Arrows – Fences (feat. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)

I was a high school basketball player when I first heard Macklemore. “Wings” was the epitome of my subconscious; speaking on sport, image, brand, and the society we live in, I fell in love. Fast forward through Macklemore’s meteoric rise to stardom, and we stand today hearing his first produced music in a long time. With the help of Fences, here’s a awe-inspiring song called “Arrows”. Christopher Mansfeld, the lead singer of Fences, intersects lyrics and melodies in a way that perfectly melts with Macklemore’s powerful anthems. Take the shining production of Ryan Lewis, and you have everything you may need out of music.

“You forgot who you are right as the world learned your name … I’m too afraid to stare this world into its face…”

Bet you haven’t heard the song by Macklemore that changed my life. Click the picture below to hear it.

Screenshot 2014-07-29 15.48.25

Motivation Monday 7.28.14

Motivation Monday 7.28.14

I know this came a bit late, but I was backpacking up in Sedona for the weekend and didn’t have internet connection! But here it is, this week’s Motivation Monday, a somewhat calmer version of what I’ve been throwing out each week. Some of my favorite artists are on here, so hopefully if your Monday was bad, this can bring inspiration and optimism to your Tuesday.

 

Friday Flicks 7/25/14

After last week’s success with Friday Flicks, I’ve decided to create a weekly (or bi-weekly) feature of some of my favorite videos! Some are music videos, some are live performances, and some are just something for you to enjoy. Sometimes, when you get to a weekend you just want to relax. So pop your feet up on the couch and take a listen.

Friday Flicks 7.25.14

On the Nature of Daylight – Max Richter

I just wrote a piece on happiness in today’s society, and paired this incredible song by Max Richter with it. The headlining song from the 2012 movie, Disconnect, it was presented to me by the same friend who directed a previous post of mine. The song is a good deviation from the normal posts on this blog but for good reason; one that you can only understand by listening carefully.

Take a moment & read the post that goes along with this song

by clicking the picture below.

Boyhood

Jasmine Kennedy – Percy Anderson

Jasmine-Kennedy

Life hits real hard. One moment you’re spending every day together with someone and the next moment they’re gone. Across the country and in many ways, out of sight. I’ve sought many a solution and have only come up with one: music. This song was brought to my attention by my sister and her friend who are across the country studying law and kicking ass. Although Jasmine Kennedy plays elegant but simple melodies, she brings me back to the days where everything was physically connected; the days before we the days of distance were upon us. It is quite the remedy I needed.  Thanks to Taylor and Will for the discovery. 

Also, this cover of Mamma Mia is not too shabby either:

Motivation Monday 7.21.14

Motivation Monday 7.21.14

Another weekend is about to end and Monday is once again upon us. Swing the first punch and knock out the Monday blues with this playlist. Okay, maybe it won’t be that strong, but at least it’ll get you out of bed with some pep in your step. Happy days people.

If you want more music for your day, check out my other Motivation Monday playlists by clicking here.

Do your friends a favor and share the tunes with your friends by clicking one of the share buttons below

Hero – Family of The Year (A song from Boyhood)

Disclosure: I recently saw the movie Boyhood, which is filmed using the same cast over 12 years of a boy’s life. I walked out with one of my good friends and we had no idea how to react. I’ve been thinking over night about it, and here are my thoughts. But before you read, take a listen at the most important song you’ll hear this month, (also on the Boyhood soundtrack) “Hero” by Family of The Year. 

There were so many times I was watching this film and realized how simple it was. How simple life truly is, and how complicated I make it out to be. At the root of our existence, we breathe. We heave and flow, heave and flow. That’s all life is. And Mason (the main character) breathed simply through much of his life. Skimming the surface in the present, but digging deeper within. His friends came and went. His family came and went. And I watched as life happened.

Often we as humans compare our dull lives to that of a movie. I’m not talking about Die Hard epic adventures, I’m talking about simple day-by-day life. Take 500 days of Summer for example. We want the cartoon animals to appear when we are ecstatic. We want the dramatic rise and fall of relationships and humorous and witty ikea adventures. It’s not that those experiences don’t exist, it’s that by hoping and waiting for them to happen, we sit still. We don’t even allow the potential for those experiences to happen. In Boyhood, there was never a time when I felt it was unauthentic to real life. Yes, the scene where they were sitting at the dinner table with drink glasses flying was a strong moment – but not unrealistic. The arc of Mason’s life was normal. And because of the director’s portrayal of that, it was brilliant. This was not a movie on misunderstandings, divorce, remarriage, alcohol abuse, drug use, college, heartbreak. It was about life. Real life.

Because of this, I wonder if my expectations for life are too high. An underlying worry stands strong stating even if I go and do all the things I want out of life, will I actually be more alive? Will it satisfy me more? Maybe the pleasures I get out of life are the pondering and pandering I receive from my brain at a coffee shop? If Boyhood was a realistic portrayal of life then the beauty and value of life does not rely on anything more than conversation with other humans. Understanding our place among those that love and hate us gives us context and within that context: meaning.

Will learning to surf give me meaning? Will backpacking in Iceland make me feel alive? Or are these just vessels to put myself in a position to expand as a human? Only time will tell.

If you aren’t excited to see Boyhood yet, jut go see it! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the movie – so comment below!

 

Friday Flicks

Today I thought I would share with you some of my favorite past and present videos of artists. I could watch these on repeat. Wait…I do. This music obsession is getting to be an unhealthy addiction that I’m completely fine with. Enjoy the weekend everybody!

This video literally changed my life. I posted a little about this earlier this year, but that last line kills me every time.

 

Thanks to Nicole Prokes for showing me this two years ago!

 

 

A public transit musician you’d actually want to tip…

 

 

One of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. Bon Iver always kills it.

Wish I Was Here – Part 1

Check out some of the incredible new songs that were released in the first look into the soundtrack for “Wish I Was Here”. This movie soundtrack has to be the most anticipated compilation of music since Garden State. I already profiled the Bon Iver song a couple weeks ago, and the rest are only proving my point. I mean, new The Shins song? It makes you want Zach Braff to make a soundtrack for your life.

THE SHINS – too good to be true.

GARY JULES – subtly just what you need to hear.

RADICAL FACE – but seriously, this song…Zach Braff, you have to stop.

Cherry Wine (live) – Hozier – caramel to my ears

Breathe In – Japanese Wallpaper (ft. Wafia) – How does Braff find this beauty?

Raven’s Song – Aaron Embry – this dancing piano was necessary. And so was his shirt.

Bleachers – Strange Desire

I was going to simply tell people they needed to go out and listen to the new Bleachers album, Strange Desire, that just came out this past Tuesday. But Bleachers means so much more than that to me. And if you don’t care about that, then go scroll down and start jamming the freak out – cause it’s that good.

Photo Credit: Billboard.com

Photo Credit: Billboard.com

The Bleachers back story starts in high school, when my best friend gifted me a mixtape of Arizona hometown band, The Format. Before this moment, my music taste came curated from my mother (a dance teacher spanning music’s crazy generations) and cliche radio stations. Madonna, The Beatles, and Jackson Browne will always hold a place in my heart because of my mother – and sadly, so will Magic Stick by 50 Cent. But at this moment, where a mix CD came in the form of authentic song writing, powerful back stories, and musical genius, my mind changed. Hearing the grit and hard work Nate Ruess (lead singer of The Format) and Sam Means put into every song made me fall in love with the so-called “indie” music scene. In all honesty, I became a fan-boy.

The Format: photo credit: freshpeel.com

The Format: photo credit: freshpeel.com

However, in a tragic sequence of events, The Format broke up shortly after I found a passion for the music. I saw my best friend get emotional about a band, and somewhere in the back of my mind, I felt a cringe of pain as well. Music had officially gotten to me. We proceeded to search high and low for similar bands, until one day in late 2008 we heard fun. , the brain-child of Nate Ruess (from the Format), Jack Antonoff (from Steel Train), and Andrew Dost (from Anathallo).

Have a second? Click here to see Andrew Dost’s side project: music for dogs. 

Fun. shed everything I knew about music. I saw one of their first concerts in Tempe (with The Jakes opening, now known as Young the Giant) and had never felt ecstasy as pure and raw as what came out of those blaring speakers. Fun. did not care about any of the rules of music producing or life. Throwing elements of Queen, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, new-age pop, and rock into one whirlpool of goodness, fun. was the most authentic thing I heard in my entire life.

Fun.

2008 fun. performance in Tempe

Fast forward to fun.’s release of their second album, Some Nights, and the fans starting pouring in. My small group of friends who had been to over ten fun. concerts across the nation were then joined by thousands.

If you think you like fun. and haven’t seen this, you’ll probably lose it. Click here: “Some Nights Intro”
(O
pera singers, choirs, orchestras, and that voice. That fucking voice.)

The band represented everything we were. It represented everything we wanted to be. Nate knew what I was thinking when he sang, “and you have every right to be scared,” because I was terrified. Fun. provided us solace in everything. 

photo credit: themaxonline.net

photo credit: themaxonline.net

Amidst all of this chaos, Jack Antonoff was always there. The lead guitarist jumped incessantly like a slinky falling down stairs at every single concert. Underrated by most fans of fun., Jack created the heartbeat behind every song. Elements from his previous, and awesome, band Steel Train, poured out, while his activism and equality shined out through the band’s brand. Passion for music is an understatement for Jack, as I once saw him in Mesa perform as the lead singer for Steel Train, and then play immediately after as the lead guitarist for fun. Two concerts. Back-to-back. (Side Note: he stage dived…I may or may not have touched his butt)

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Present day: fun. is out working on new music, and Jack started and finished Bleachers’ first album. Imagine fun. + Steel Train + pure joy. In my first listen Jack already throws down with lyrics that are once again ubiquitous and personal at the same time. The emotional pull you never expected music to hit you with is extrapolated with a sledge hammer in every song.

“And if you see me in the darkness
I hope you know I’m not alone
I carry you with every breath I take
I won’t let up, I won’t let up
Until the wind is gone”
-Like A River: Bleachers

The album, Strange Desire, is truly something special. Jack is honest and true in everything he does. Called strange, odd, and quirky it seems as though Jack doesn’t care. [I mean, Yoko Ono makes an appearance on his record.] What he does care about is authenticity in everything he does. And Strange Deisre is as pure as it gets. Take a listen:

“I want to be grateful for the experiences I’ve had” – You’re Still a Mystery: Bleachers

See the Bleachers music video, along with other songs for your summer in one of my previous posts. Click here!