Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The 13 of '13

This year has been pretty great for music, we can't deny that (aside from Miley Cyrus still being alive, of course). But really, it's been overwhelming in the most wonderful way possible. Here is my list of the top 13 albums released and listened to excessively by me in 2013. Seriously, this was hard. 

13. Katy Perry PRISM       
I love Katy! She's a guilty pleasure for sure. Except that I don't feel guilty about it.... But really this album is great. Just a bunch of classic girl pop jams about breaking up, falling in love, dancing and doing dumb girl stuff. Also, I may or may not have cried a little the first time I listened to "By the Grace of God". And if you haven't watched the Katy Perry movie yet, do it. Just freaking do it, NOW. 

12. The Shouting Matches Grownass Man 

Literally anything Justin Vernon does, I am in love with. This ENTIRE album is so good!! I bought it the day it came out having never even heard anything of the band before, just based off my knowledge of Justin's genius, and I was not disappointed in the least. I love blues-rock, and I love Justin Vernon. This album was literally a dream come true that I didn't even realize I had dreamed.  

11. James Blake Overgrown

I could listen to this album over and over for the rest of my life. His voice is absolutely pure. The only way I can think to describe his music is a mixture of Radiohead and Bon Iver with a black guy singing. So, perfection. Also, I LOVE that cover art, beautiful. 

10. Devendra Banhart Mala 

Wow, this one surprised me. I had never listened to Devendra before this album, and I really didn't even know what to expect. I'm pretty sure my jaw literally dropped and remained dropped from beginning to end of Mala. I still can't get over "Fur Hilegard von Bingen" Too good. 

9. City and Colour The Hurry and the Harm 

I love Dallas Green, he never disappoints. Just beautiful music, always.  Just go listen. It speaks for itself. 

8. Small Black Limits of Desire 

I absolutely love this style of music, I guess you could call it "Chillwave" or whatever, I just call it freaking good. It's the absolute perfect summer album. It was my narrative while laying out in the backyard giving myself cancer nearly everyday in Italy. 

7. Drake Nothing Was the Same 

I'm not gonna lie, the first time I listened to this album all the way through I was a little disappointed. The only track that really stood out to me was "Too Much". But I love Drake so much that I decided to give it another try, and in time I fell completely in love. It's a solid album. Well done, Drake, well done. 

6. Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience 1 of 2 

Really, do I even need to say anything? It's JT, he does not disappoint. (Unless, of course, you're talking about The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2, I'm not sure what happened there, but let's just look past it and move on) 

5. Carousel Palms 

OK, this is technically an EP, but I had to mention them because I have not been able to stop listening to them since I discovered them in about March or April. Every song they have is amazing, and you need to look them up immediately. You will not be upset. 

4. Arctic Monkeys AM 

OK, really though, this album could not get any better. I have not been able to stop listening to it since it was released a few months ago. It is easily the best work this band has ever produced. I cannot tell you how much I love this album, really I can't. 

3. Toro Y Moi Anything In Return 

This album just solidified my decision of Toro Y Moi being one of my absolute favorite bands. When this came out in the beginning of the year there was literally nothing else I was listening to. His style is perfect. Everything he has made is perfect. What a guy. Really. 

2. Arcade Fire Reflektor 

There was so much hype for this album that I was actually a little nervous it was gonna be a huge let down, but then I remembered that Arcade Fire is unbelievable all the time, so I shouldn't worry. Then I bought it the day it came out and about threw up because I was so overwhelmed with how seriously incredible it is. If you haven't listened to it then I want you to know that you are literally wasting your life. GO LISTEN! "Porno" makes me lose my mind. 

1. The National Trouble Will FInd Me 

Hands down, this is THE BEST album released all year. I mean a lot of others have come pretty close, but nothing captured me the way this one did. The National is my soul (along with Bon Iver). I can't live without them. I really can't bring to words my love for this band, and this album. Solid work, men, well done. 

Really, go listen to all of these albums right now. Give yourself a good 13 or so hours, and let your life be changed for the better. You're welcome. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's pretty unimportant but....

I should be studying French right now, or doing anything that is more productive than writing a new blog. But.....whatever. I haven't written a blog in a long time (and super don't care), but am pretty bored, and don't want to do homework at the moment. So, I thought I would write one.....

I need to, no HAVE to get out of this country like right now. It's been over a year and a half since I got back from India, and I am about to kill myself. My passport needs new stamps. I need some culture. I need to be around people that don't speak english. I need brown people.

I miss Seattle. One week, just one week. I can't wait. I think I'm unhealthily in love with the city. Music, art, rain, men with beards. It has everything I could ever need.

Why does all the best music come from England? Oh yeah because England is amazing, and I want to live there. I miss London every single day. Seriously though...

The Beatles
Electric Light Orchestra
Cat Stevens
Eric Clapton
Elton John
Led Zeppelin
Pink Floyd
The Cure
... and like a hundred more.

Are they fed differently or something? For real, what is the deal? I don't even know how I would live if the world didn't have this music. I probably wouldn't. I would definitely kill myself. 

The states produce some pretty good music too, though. Why don't you go ahead and set aside the next 25 minutes and fall in love with my husband Justin Vernon. He looks good in his beard and hoodie, right? I know. Everything he touches is perfect. I could cry myself to sleep over the beauty of this music/video. And I will.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Best Records of 2011

I should definitely be focusing on writing my ten page paper on art and propaganda rather than looking up new bands and compiling this list, but....... This is way more fun. Also, I feel this information is much more vital to society. 

These are my favorite/most listened to albums of 2011. I forced myself to limit the list to these 11, because honestly, there are probably 30 other albums that deserve credit. If you haven’t heard any of these I highly suggest stopping everything you are doing, and devoting a day to listening to every one of them. It will be a day well spent. I won’t put them in numerical order, but anyone that knows me well at all will have guessed by the second they started reading this blog what my number one is.

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
I know their sophomore album Helplessness Blues came out this year (that is an out of control amazing album too, by the way), but I still chose their self titled album for my list. One reason being, I just discovered the gloriousness of this band/album earlier this year, and  its glory must be praised. From beginning to end my mind was continuously blown, each song is perfect. If I was forced to pick a favorite track, I wouldn’t. But maybe I would say “Blue Ridge Mountains”, and that is only because I am literally listening to that song right now. Also, I love the use of piano. Mostly, this album makes me want to wear a really long ugly corduroy skirt, lay in the grass, and let these bearded beauties serenade me for days on end...in the 70’s.

Drake, Take Care
Yeah, I freakin love Drake. I just do. Minj (my little brother) and I just cannot get enough of this guy. We had been counting down the release of this album since, well about 2 days after we bought the last album. You can never have enough Drake. This album did not disappoint, other than it could have been maybe 3 hours longer. Greedy? Yeah, I am. From the first notes of “Over My Dead Body” I knew I would be fighting off a fit of hyperventilation for the next hour plus. I succeeded, barely. “Doing It Wrong” just about did me in. 

The National, High Violet
I want to start off with an apology that I regrettably had not listened to this band before just a few months ago. I had seen this album, and heard about this band a million times before, but never really listened to them. Why? No freaking idea. For whatever reason, one day I started listening to a song of their’s, and proceeded to listen to every single album they have ever made. ....And continued to listen to them and no one else for the next couple weeks. Clearly, I fell in love. The relationship is still going exceptionally, might I add. They just know how to treat a woman. Simple as that. (Has anyone else noticed that they mention eating cake in their lyrics kind of a lot??)

Radiohead, The Bends
I listen to this album probably too much, every year. So, of course it has to be on the list. I love Radiohead more than I love most people. Often people question me when I tell them The Bends is my favorite Radiohead album. But I question them for The Bends not being their favorite, or at least among their top 3. “Fake Plastic Trees”, “My Iron Long”, “Bullet Proof...I Wish I Was” etc etc. How can you not understand the importance of this album? In all honesty, though, all the Radiohead albums (Pablo Honey excluded, sorry guys) rank at nearly the same place on the scale of “that just freakin blew my mind”...each in their own unique way, of course. Oh, I should mention that The King of Limbs was definitely listened to, by me, a lot this year.

Discovery, L P
There is no way I could not mention this album. Breanna and I have listened to this/had dance parties in the car and/or room to this album one too many times (including last night) for me to leave it unmentioned. Besides the fact that I love the album art, the whole record is freaking nuts! Just listen to “So Insane” once and try to tell me you aren’t going insane with how rad it is. Best dance party music you could ever ever wish for.

Toro Y Moi, Causers of This
By fate alone, I found this band back in February-ish. It was a day to remember. I listened to this album, as well as his others, and nothing else for weeks. I can’t even describe what you would call this type of music besides perfect. I wish more people made music like this. I absolutely love everything about it.

John Legend, Once Again
I am a huge huge R&B fan, and John Legend is one of my absolute favorites. This is probably my favorite album of his; I have short little phases of listening to it and nothing else at least once a month. “Save Room” “Another Again” “Each Day Gets Better” ....I cannot contain myself. Plus, in my opinion John Legend has definitely got that whole GQ thing going on. Well done, sir, well done.

Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago
Words cannot describe my love for this band and album. I first discovered this piece of my soul early this year, and my life hasn’t and never will be the same. I could not have found this album at a better time. It was EXACTLY what I needed at the exact time I found it. In its own beautifully depressing way that makes you want to do nothing else but cry yourself to sleep, this album will completely take over your entire life. That is exactly what it did to me. And I couldn’t have welcomed it more.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver
First off, that is the most beautiful piece of art I have ever seen, especially on the front of a record. The follow up album to For Emma was more than I could have ever expected. Rather than making you feel sorry for yourself and your crappy love life, this album give you a sense of hope and has an all around much happier feel to it. I bought this album the day it came out back in June and I still listen to it probably more than once a week. Bon Iver means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Overstatement? No. Weird? Sure, but I do not care.

Dear future husband, 
You better hope I feel the same way for you as I do for this music. Thus far, no one has compared. Not even close... I won’t lie, part of me might just be holding out for Justin Vernon himself. He is a genius. And he loves cats. My soul mate? Undoubtedly.
My kind of man. 

Electric Light Orchestra, Time
I had a hard time deciding whether to put this album or their Discovery album on my list, but in the end Time won. Seriously “Ticket to the Moon”, “Another Heart Breaks”, “From the end of the World” are you kidding me?! I can hardly take in such musical perfection. Jeff Lynne, you are an absolute genius.

George Harrison, All Things Must Pass
I want to marry this album. I cannot remember life before it, and I can’t imagine life without it. “I’d Have You Anytime”, “What is Life”, “If Not For You”, “I Live For You”, one of these will be my wedding song. My wedding to George, by the way. He definitely was singing about me, even if I wasn’t necessarily “alive” yet...whatever.

MARIAH CAREY (no specific album of hers was played more than others, but she is continuously played in the story of my life. She just had to be mentioned, because well it’s me, and I’ve been unhealthily in love with her since 1995)

By the way if you are curious, or don’t know me well enough to know what my number one album of 2011 is.... take a guess....

You got it.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Recently Sarah so kindly reminded me that I haven't blogged in a long time. I mostly don't care, but am also somewhat bored and not tired enough to make myself go to bed. Also, lately I haven't had a lot of time for writing, (or much of anything else, for that matter. Thanks for that work, we are definitely not friends.) and I really miss it.

Now I am left with the question of what to blog about. I have pretty much abandoned the idea of finishing blogging about India, though I probably should. I could blog about how much I hate the word "blog". It's totally dumb and weird to say. hmmm no.

I could write about what Kristina has been telling me to blog about for like a year, but for whatever reason I haven't (maybe because a lot of me thinks it's not necessarily worthy of blogging about):

What is the most attractive outfit a man can wear?
Answer: Well, there are two answers.

1.Three piece suit. Always amazing. OK mostly I'm just obsessed with guys wearing vests and think they should at all times.

2. I guess this should really be my number 1. Hands down, there is absolutely nothing more attractive to me than when a guy wears jeans, a belt and a fitted t shirt.

Nicely done. (I realize those aren't really jeans, but you get the idea.)
Really though, as long as a guy has good shoes (please no tennis shoes. Just put on a pair of Converse, it's not hard, everyone can wear them.) then the rest of the outfit will most likely be just fine. Unless his jeans are bad, then there is no hope, sorry. (I hope that's not too harsh or shallow, just some advice to the unaware.)

Or.... I could write about what initially made Sarah tell me to write a new blog: Toy Story

Am I the only one who saw the original Toy Story movie when i was a child and seriously thought their toys were alive? I have faith that I am not. I vividly remember playing with my toys in my room, leaving the room very loudly (so they'd know I was gone) and sneaking back in very quietly to try and catch them in action. They were always too quick for me though. I never caught them. One time I really thought i did. I went to sleep with a clean room and woke up in the morning to a floor covered in dolls and barbies. Clearly, they had walked themselves out of my closet and gathered on the floor by my bed. I knew the movie wasn't lying. This actually happened a couple of times. I never found out until a few years later that the toys hadn't actually moved themselves. My sister, who I shared a room with, had just gotten bored during the middle of the night a few times and played with our toys until she got tired. Thanks for ruining my dreams Michelle. (yes, I realize I was 8 yrs old when the movie came out and probably should have known better. but leave me alone, you know you thought the same thing.)

Or... I could write about my most recent disappointment with the music of today.

One of my favorite bands, Cold War Kids, have unfortunately added themselves to the "My Favorite Bands, That Now Suck" list with the release of their upcoming album Mine is Yours. Ok, I wouldn't say they completely suck, but if you listen to their new single "Louder Than Ever" and compare it to their first single "Hang Me Up To Dry" (the song that originally made me fall head over heels for them) you can't help but wonder what the crap happened. The new song is catchy, but catchy doesn't equal good. I still kinda like it though, but it definitely doesn't deserve my love. I listened to some of the other songs that will be on the new album out in January, and sorry not impressed. I was hoping for a song that would make me feel the way I did the first time I heard "Hospital Beds" but it didn't happen. First Kings of Leon, now Cold War Kids?! This has got to stop.

So, I guess I pretty much covered all those topics in one post. Nice. I will end with a song of the day.

Rick Ross ft Drake and Chrisette Michele "Aston Martin Music"

For whatever reason I can't stop listening to this song. Every once in a while a hip hop song gets a hold of me and will not let go. This song has definitely done exactly that. Mostly because I love the chorus, and Drake is amazing. The rapping parts by Rick Ross I don't really care about.

Kelly H. (I know you always read these and are waiting for me to mention you in them, so there you go.)

Monday, October 25, 2010


Our train was scheduled to arrive at 10:55 AM. At about 1PM we finally got off and caught a taxi to head towards where we could find a cheap hotel to set our bags for the day. It took a little longer than we would have liked to finally find our room, which was the size of my bed, and by this point we were all starving, disgustingly sweaty and tired. We headed over to a restaurant and ended up hanging out watching almost all of some crappy American "scary" movie called Mirrors that the waiter had turned on for us. Next stop: Taj Mahal.

We spent a good amount of time at the Taj wandering around taking pictures and watching the sun go down. Beautiful. By 9PM we were back at the train station playing stupid games like "I've never...." trying to entertain ourselves until our train finally arrived and we began our second sleeper train experience. This time we brought food.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Once we got back to the hotel we loaded all our bags into the car Salim had arranged to drive us out into the Rajasthan countryside to a little town named Mandawa. Our new driver was also pretty awesome, and especially fond of Matt. Four incredibly crammed sweaty hours later we reached our hotel out in the middle of basically nowhere. We headed up to the rooftop to enjoy the incredibly beautiful view of the stars before passing out for the night.

After a very quick buffet breakfast we walked over to where our camels were waiting to take us out on a little trek through the desert. An hour and a half or so later we were all back in the hotel room taking turns taking showers and trying not to smell disgusting, which is kind of not possible in India. Our driver had planned to take us out to meet his family in a little village named Tye. When we got there Maggie and I were almost immediately ushered off to the girls bedroom where we sat and where stared at by all the children and women of the village for about an hour. Mostly we just smiled and laughed with the kids teaching them our names and trying to figure out what intentions the nice women had with us. It turned out they just wanted to stare at us. Eventually the young girls got their ink out and gave Maggie and I our very first henna tattoos. Meanwhile the boys where becoming good friends with the family and exploring their home area. When our tattoos were done we went over to the cooking room and watched how chapatis are made. After hanging out for a bit longer our dinner of chapatis and the mutton we had purchased off the street earlier in the day was ready. We ate until we were all completely stuffed and couldn't take the fire in our mouths and longer. So spicy, but oh so freaking good. After the feast we unfortunately had to part ways with the family we had all fallen in love with. They were sad to see us go as well, following our car down the road and waving goodbye until we were out of sight. One of them even called our driver (I wish I could remember his name. Zackar?) and told him to turn around and bring us back! We miss them. I totally want to adopt an Indian baby. Those big brown eyes are easy to fall in love with.  We made it back into Jaipur in time to check into a hotel and sleep for six hours until our 6AM train to Agra.

Friday, October 8, 2010


We got on our first sleeper train not exactly sure what to expect, bu thanks to the nice Irish 24 year old guy sitting next to us (I think his name was Darragh or something Irish like that) who gave us a little crash course of what to expect and tell us stories of his travels it didn't look like it would be so bad. The next morning at about 8AM we arrived in Jaipur and found an amazing super cheap hotel with a rooftop restaurant. We put our stuff in our room and immediately headed up to eat our first meal of real food in what seemed like forever. We all had survived on no more than a few crackers and almonds since we got on the train the night before at 6PM. After stuffing ourselves we each spent the next few hours by ourselves having some alone time. I spent mine taking a shower, writing, listening to my iPod and walking across the street to the Internet cafe to check my mail and post a blog. At about midday we all got back together to discuss plans for our next 3 days in Rajasthan. First stop- Pink City. We got a rickshaw and headed on our way. Our driver, Salim, turned out to be pretty much the coolest guy ever and our own personal tour guide for the next day and a half. He took us all around from Amber Fort to Water Palace giving us tips and travel advice about India. We were all in agreement that the best part of the day was the elephant ride. We all rode on the same elephant (they are huge, they can handle it) wandering through back rodes into an open field where a group of kids were playing a game of cricket. None of us could get over that fact that we were riding an elephant in freaking India. Epic. At the end of the day Salim took us to another hotel's rooftop restaurant and we all ate and hung out for a few hours.

The next morning Salim met up with us as we were eating breakfast at our hotel. Until about 5 or 6 we rode around town in his rickshaw visiting more sites we missed the day before. At one point I even lost my debit card. That was exciting. I had a small panic attack until Salim pulled it out of his pocket and told me to be more careful with it. Not a funny joke. Lesson learned. Apparently I had forgotten to take it back from the ATM earlier in the day and the lady in line behind me noticed and ran out to give it back to me. Salim grabbed it from her and put it in his pocket before I even noticed anything was wrong. I didn't even notice until an hour later when Salim asked if he could see my debit card claiming he had never seen one before, which was an obvious lie. I questioned him a bit then went to grab it from my wallet and noticed it wasn't there, giving me a small heart attack. I'm so happy it wasn't actually lost. I would have killed someone. Anyway, other highlights of the day included feeding monkeys at the monkey temple and a visit to a jewelry store where Maggie and Steven had personal sessions with a very popular half Canadian half Indian healer man. (astrology, ora, stones, that kind of stuff.) Matt and I got an odd feeling from the guy, plus that kind of stuff kind of freaks us out so we just hung out looking at stuff. We also made a stop at the textile store we had visited the day before to pick up the pants Matt and Steven had made for them. The store was founded by a German, an Australian and an American from Washington DC seven years ago. The money they make go towards helping Indian widows and getting books and things for Indian children's schools. We had a lot of fun hanging out with the men that worked there as they showed us fabrics, Saree's and scarfs. Each of us spent probably a little too much, but it's for a good cause so, it's worth it.