March tunes


I was going to write a post like some of my older playlist posts from last year, but I realised I’m pretty much listening to the same 4 albums on repeat at the moment.



If you like:  Fleetwood Mac, Lana Del Rey?

Top tracks:  You’ll Be Mine, We Are Stars, Love You More.

My friend Chris alerted me to the existence of this southern-born, NYC-based sister duo, passed on to him by our friend Sam.   The album You and I  has been out over a year, but new material is due for release this year, hopefully.

From the harmonies to the many layers of instrumentation, you’d think you were listening to something out of a different era, with more of a taste of the 60s and 70s than modern times.  I can’t stop listening to it.



If you like:  well… Tegan and Sara! This album is a little more electronic-based/poppy than previous, but it still has their excellent songwriting/harmonies.

Top tracks:  While the single Closer is pretty great, I’m a much bigger fan of Love They Say, Now I’m All Messed Up, and I’m Not Your Hero.  The whole album is excellent, though.

What a great direction this takes T&S in.  The album is near perfect, with every song having some emotion and heartbreak, yet being damn catchy as well.  I work out to this album sometimes!



If you like:  Totally hard to compare.  Regina Spektor meets Sarah McLachlan meets… me?

Top tracks:  Society Song, Life, The Right Words, Everything By the Gallon.

As you can probably guess from the Sarah Slean posts lately, I’m a pretty big fan.  This is her most recent offering, a double album: Land being the more conventional “pop” album, Sea being a soaring triumph of lush, emotional songs backed by classical instruments.  Give it a go!



If you like:  Country music! The Civil Wars, Carrie Underwood, etc.

Top tracks:  Wrong Song, Undermine, Love Like Mine, When The Right One Comes Along, Telescope (Lennon/Maisy Stella version).

Ha! Yes, this is from a TV show.  But, like Nashville itself, it’s totally great.  I’m not a fan of Connie Britton’s singing voice, and find it slightly unbelievable that she is a big time country star (being that, at her age, she would have had to find her fame and fortune in an era where the singing voice meant a lot more than it does today), but the songs are well-written and well-chosen for the characters, and the young actresses who play Connie Britton’s daughters in the show have a track on the album, and boy are they great wee singers.  Their version of Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend is pretty famous, too, if you want to watch that.  Talent dripping out their ears.


What are you listening to lately?



Coming soon:  Changes at work, shift living, trying to cleanse my closet, thoughts on shul and many more.




10 reasons to love ‘that song’


(or 10 things I hope to inspire)

1. It leaves you wanting more.
2. It makes you want to drum in the air, or on your steering wheel.
3. You sing along after hearing it once, or even halfway through.
4. It makes you feel something in your heart.
5. The vocals or arrangement bring a lump to your throat.
6. It makes you want to dance.
7. You send the lyrics to someone you love.
8. You listen to it more than once in a row.
9. You tell a friend about it, or play it to them.
10. You’ve felt the same.

What about you?

April’s mix


I make a mixed CD pretty much every month, in the first week. It’s a collection of what I’ve been listening to the month leading up to it, but I still name it after the month I’m in. Yes, I’m odd.

Anyhoo, I thought I’d start posting them here.

April’s mix is rather eclectic:

1. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins – Rise Up With Fists
2. Del Amitri – Tell Her This
3. Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels On A Gravel Road
4. Train – Cab
5. Francis Dunnery – Good Life
6. Kings of Convenience – Sorry or Please
7. Boards of Canada – Dayvan Cowboy
8. Brandi Carlile – Follow
9. Erasure – A Little Respect
10. Sugababes – I Bet That You Look Good on the Dance Floor
11. Pink – Stupid Girls
12. Madonna – Sorry
13. Motorcycle – As the Rush Comes
14. Rihanna – S.O.S.
15. Brandi Carlile – Throw It All Away
16. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide
17. Lazlo Bane – I’m No Superman
18. Old 97s – Question
19. Jewel – Goodbye Alice in Wonderland


The last 5 songs


The last 5 songs on shuffle:

For A Song by Butterfly Boucher: Butterfly is awesome. And yes, that’s her real name. This track is a bonus song on her Flutterby CD, but it’s definitely worth the listen. Chris and I met her when she supported Sarah McLachlan last year, and we were the only ones in the audience cheering loudly like dorks for her. When we met her in the intermission, we gushed like little fangirls over her, and she was pretty neat.

Off the Hook by Barenaked Ladies: I am one of the few devoted Barenaked Ladies fans in New Zealand. Hell, am I the only one? (another good song). Probably. This song has such a catchy beat in the chorus, and Steve’s voice never fails to get a message through. I was very gleeful when I heard this track in the movie Sweet November. Go the Ladies! They need more soundtracks.

Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon: I think this is one of the best songs ever written. In fact, I love this album. I wonder where it is. Anyway, it’s an excellent observation on unrequited love. Do I sound like a reviewer now?

Song for Bernadette by Leonard Cohen (sung by Jennifer Warnes): My friend Randolph sent me Jennifer’s CD of Cohen songs many years ago, and it still gets play every now and then. This is one of those songs that sticks with you, even as it ages. It tells a story with soaring strings, and Jennifer’s voice can portray such subtle emotion.

Falling Free by David Gray: Any song that starts with “All of my senses overthrown, by the might of your skin” can’t be bad. This song is falling in love and having it completely take you over. It’s feeling dizzy and clouded and overwhelmed. It’s gorgeous. It’s the best feeling.

What’s coming up randomly on your iPod lately?

But I just can’t walk away


Tonight I put my cowgirl boots on and went and saw a little movie about June and Johnny. It was great.. it made my heart smile. I couldn’t get over how beautiful Reese is, and how like June she became with the long hair. And Joaquin? Joaquin was Cash.

I still remember how a friend’s father told me of his experience with Johnny Cash. He is a photographer, and had worked a shoot with John at some point. A few years back, not that long before John died, he ran into John on the street.. in New York, I think. He said to him, “Hey, Johnny.” Johnny kept on walking for a few metres before turning and pointing at him, saying, “Steve, right?” He then turned and kept on walking.

I drove home tonight, listening to songs that have been both inspiring and hurting me lately. I looked out to the bay and thought of him, and wondered how he was doing. I drove his route to my house, as I have often in the past year and a bit.

I came home, took off of my boots, took off of my jeans. In the mirror I saw not June, but me, and I sat down with my guitar. Taking one last look at my long nails, I clipped them off, picked it up and wrote a song.

I don’t know if you’ll ever hear it; maybe one day I’ll sing it for you.