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Take Me Out

       I told you guys that I would put up my 'end of the year' song before leaving so this is it. Something about it always seems fresh, if you can listen to it without singing along or dancing then you might be broken, it can pump you up no matter how low you're feeling (because what the hell have I been doing with my life since last new year's eve?), and it never really seems to get old. 
       Have fun tonight, be safe, and have an amazing last night of 2013 (but don't go insane because your slate isn't actually wiped clean at midnight). 
"Take Me Out" Franz Ferdinand
- E

Music Related News for 2013

       I did not give you your Music Related News post yesterday, so here's a compilation of some of the awesome things that went on in music this year.
  • The Fratellis released their album, We Need Medicine, which was their first full length since the band's reunion, and we all shed a tear of joy that our favorite English indie rock group was back to make us dance.
  • The Wombats released "Your Body Is A Weapon", the first single since 2010's This Modern Glitch, and made us realize that we had been lusting for something else from the band since then. This band cannot put out a bad song.
  • Sleeperstar wrote a song (and filmed a music video) based off the greatness of Harry Potter (aptly named "The Harry Potter Song"), further reinforcing my love for the band and their music. Look for Lost Machines to be released in 2014 because these guys veer close to my definition of 'favorite band' and are pretty amazing.
  • Everyone speculated about a supposedly imminent break-up from The Killers. It never happened because they're not breaking up. Listen to "Shot At the Night" from their Deluxe Hits album and get ready for a second solo album from Flowers in 2014.
  • Jack Johnson reminded us that we will never be as cool as he is with his video for "Shot Reverse Shot".
  • Travie McCoy came out with a single that featured Jason Mraz and it was not as great as it sounds. 
  • Lupe Fiasco came out with a single from his upcoming album Tetsuo & Youth the day after Beyoncé released her surprise album. Tough break man; I'm still a fan. Listen to "Old School Love" featuring Ed Sheeran.
  • Matthew Mole came out with a video for his chart topping (at least in South Africa) single "Take Yours, I'll Take Mine" and it was just as adorable and heart-warming as the song itself. Get The Home We Built and Take Yours, I'll Take Mine EP for some perfect tracks.
  • City Rain made us all think about the positive when everything else in the world seemed to be pointing out the shittiest parts of our existence. Check out "The Optimist" because it's extremely awesome. 
  • GOVS (Josiah Birrell) released his self-titled GOVS EP and, along with the release of the "Holy Infinity" video, made us all question why we did not realize the greatness of Australian artists sooner (probably because all we had before was Jet who left us and Keith Urban who refuses to leave us).
  • The Griswolds rushed onto the scene with bright colors, fun videos, and hooks we couldn't get out of our heads if we tried (check out "Mississippi", "The Courtship of Summer Preasley", "Heart of A Lion").
  • The Silent Comedy gave us a lyric video we should all aspire to make one day.
  • Gemini Wired spoke out about bullying and showed that the coolest people were bullied when they were young (because being weird makes you awesome and you're going to rule the world); "What Now".
  • Clubfeet made an amazing music video for "Everything You Wanted" that makes me question if I really like the song, or I'm just transfixed by the images (I really like the song; it's amazing with lines like "we used to walk like we were free...we used to laugh because we never knew" and "come with me, I'll show you everything you wanted" and a swirling composition that screams perfection).
  • The UK forced us to acknowledge their perfection by giving us new acts to love like London Grammar, Kodaline, and Hudson Taylor
  • Britney Spears took up residency in Vegas and released Britney Jean and made us all realize that, even after all the shit she's gone through, we still all secretly want to be Britney; why does everything about her life sound so weird and perfect all at the same time?
  • Kanye West and Justin Bieber proved they were awful human beings. 
  • Miley Cyrus put out a bipolar album and released videos in the order of a party video, to a slightly heartbreaking video, to one that is just straight up childish stupidity. Apparently, she thought she wasn't getting the attention she deserved and had to put out "Adore You" to refocus the spotlight on herself. Part of me wants to like Cyrus for her vocal and writing talent, the other part is reminded of why I usually avoid people my age. Grow up and stop trying to get attention in the easiest way.
  • HAIM became famous. I'm about as much of a HAIM fan as I am a fan of Arcade Fire, but I guess I should throw that in here (oh, and Arcade Fire came out with Reflektor).
  • Hellogoodbye released an album we'd all been waiting for since 2012's live Did It Kill You? album and reminded us of why we first thought indie techno sounded like an acceptable genre; Everything Is Debatable
  • "What Does the Fox Say?" is etched into all of our brains forever. 
  • Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Same Love", featuring Mary Lambert (released in 2012), became a sort of anthem in 2013. It brought up questions of whether a straight man writing a 'gay anthem' (media's words, not mine) was almost too preachy, but Mary Lambert shot down those naysayers by stating "a straight white man can't change his demographic, but he can choose what he does with his privilege, and he can choose this awareness of sense of self and what privilege is. And I think Ben does an incredible job of checking himself constantly" (she's amazing). She further proved her own personal greatness by releasing "She Keeps Me Warm". In 2014, turn "She Keeps Me Warm" into an anthem so that we can stop listening to the people who complain about someone writing a gorgeous song and instead just focus on a truly gorgeous single from Lambert who deserves the recognition. 
  • Taylor Swift continued to receive a bad rap for writing 'childish' songs but, really, lyrics like "we're happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It's miserable and magical", "maybe this is wishful thinking, probably mindless dreaming, but if we loved again, I swear I'd love you right", "please don't be in love with someone else, please don't have somebody waiting on you", and "this is the last I'm asking you why you break my heart in the blink of an eye" should be celebrated for their flatly stated honesty, because she's saying everything we would never be brave enough to say face to face. 
  • The Neighbourhood broke onto the music scene and "Sweater Weather" became your favorite song to hate after it became "too mainstream" (I've said it before and I'll say it again; mainstream is not bad).
  • Lorde dominated US radio airwaves with "Royals" (it will never really leave your head).
  • Walk Off the Earth proved that they're musical geniuses, even when the only instrument handy is a car.
  • Bob Dylan released an interactive video for "Like A Rolling Stone".
  • I found myself oddly addicted to a One Direction song (something is wrong); though Midnight Memories was announced as the biggest-selling album of 2013, so maybe it's just been slowly forced into my subconscious.
  • Beyoncé came out with a surprise visual album and demanded to be our queen (you need to hear "Heaven").
  • Ezra Koenig said he liked selfies and Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop" because of its melancholy undertone and posed the question "Why can't you stop? What's going to happen if you do stop?". Leave it to Koenig to make even the most simplistic pop hit sound deep.
  • Lady Gaga got old fast when she released ARTPOP and everyone responded with "cool but, no thanks".
  • Boy bands were on the rise (see here).
  • Justin Timberlake was perfect.
  • Music was so easy to get that we became wrapped up in singles and stopped listening to albums, resulting in shorter albums or EPs and Beyoncé's decision to release all tracks on her album at once, and that's really the only thing we should probably change in the new year (that and commenting on the 'hotness' of our band members. I don't care what you look like, just sound good).
       This didn't even cover a quarter of the music headlines this year, but it should give you a start so you can close the chapter on 2013 and head into 2014 with some party talk for tonight and a few awesome songs running through your head. 
- E

Who To Watch in 2014

       A trimmed down list of the bands/artists you need to be watching for in 2014.
    London Grammar- After releasing "Hey Now" last December they, more or less, exploded onto the scene and, with new tracks like "Nightcall" maintaining the same gorgeous lulls and haunting melodies that made us fall for their music in the first place, the band won't be leaving any time soon.
   Hudson Taylor- Listen to one song and you should be hooked because they're perfect. I heard "World Without You" once and now I can't stop; those vocal harmonies and the simplistically wonderful melodies of two acoustic guitars coming together makes their music undeniably addictive and more of their music will be available in the US soon (listen to this [and this] until then to hear how truly great they are).
   Palaye Royale- While on the topic of addictive music, this band has to be mentioned. The reason I am so amazed by their music is because they use classical structures for the bones of their tracks, then they flesh it out with modern tones and indie-rock riffs. The lyrics are so very amazing that I still have not found a less than perfect song from the band and those vocals are so satisfying they could not possibly be any better. Plus, the band has that ineffable 'spark' that you need if you want to be something; they have it and they'll be great (listen to "Get Higher", "Primary Propaganda" and "Die For Something Beautiful" to get started).
   Matthew Mole- His album was number one in South Africa because his music is amazing. If you've been to the blog before, you've probably heard "Take Yours, I'll Take Mine" (because it is the most viewed post, with a good three hundred view headstart on the next closest post), but buy his albums and check out his other music because it's all fantastic. Everything from The Home We Built is filled with sweet melodies and honest lyrics and his Take Yours, I'll Take Mine EP is worth the few dollars because it will, possibly, hold you over until this artist gives us some new tracks to fall in love with.
   Echosmith- Their Talking Dreams album was perfection and, by now, you should have heard "Cool Kids" or "Come Together" on some media outlet and fallen for the band's music. Check them out because they're going to rise quickly in 2014 and you want to know them before all your friends.
   Cattle and Cane- I actually might like these guys better than Kodaline. That seems blasphemous. Their melodies seem fuller, relying on the acoustic rather than the studio, and something in those vocals is more satisfying than that of Garrigan's. Kodaline is amazing, and their quick rise from last August's "All I Want" to this year's headlining international dates is proof of that, but Cattle and Cane's sound is so sweet and pure that I can't seem to get enough of them. Listen to "Red", "I Will Rise", "Sold My Soul", and "Pull Down the Moon".
   City Rain- I don't know why I'm so excited to see what's on their next album, but I just know it's going to be great and you need to be excited for it; their music's slightly amazing. Schools For A High School Dance cannot actually be anything less than near perfection because I'm Gone and Montage were so great and every song that they have released in anticipation of the album is gorgeous and even better than those earlier tracks, so be excited for this next album's release. Listen to "Join the Human Race" and "Mama I Wanna Go Home". 
   Hunter Hunted- Their vocal harmonies and songwriting abilities have always been there and, now that they're signed to a label and have re-released their debut self-titled EP, there's no way the band isn't going to be infecting your radio. Listen to "Keep Together", "Gentle Folks", and "End of the World".
   Julian Taylor Band- "Never Gonna Give You Up" and "Zero to Eleven" are impossible to listen to only once because the band's compositions are as close to perfection as they can get. Hooks that won't leave your head (in a good way) and hum-able melodies mean that the band's forthcoming album is bound to be fantastic. 
Bands to keep in mind:
Black Whiskey Union- Her voice is gorgeous and the tracks are catchy; give them time and they will win you over for sure.
For the Foxes- They just have one thing that needs to change and then they'll be set. 
The Saving Pointe- If they can devote a lot of time to the spread of this album and find someone to give them a leg up in the industry, they should be able to get something.
Gloryhound- They're just good. Really good. 
Love Like Hate- They're new, but give them time to give us an album and they'll be great.
GOVS- "Holy Infinity" promises great lyrics and melodies to come.
Night Terrors of 1927- I don't actually believe that they'll became 'famous' per say, but I do think that they will reach Ra Ra Riot cult-like levels of fan appreciation (which might even be better than widespread, all encompassing fame).
- E

Debut Albums/EPs in 2013

       There were so many new bands coming out in 2013 that there's no way I can have all of their music listed here, but this is a [short] list of my picks for the 2013 debuts you should already have in your music library.
The Ends Beginning EP Palaye Royale (get it now)
Talking Dreams Echosmith (you're not going to stop hearing their name)
In A Perfect World Kodaline (their debut full length is stuffed full of perfection)
If You Wait London Grammar (they blew up after "Hey Now" and have only become better)
Hunter Hunted EP Hunter Hunted (perfection)
Follow My Feet EP The Unlikely Candidates (those vocals and melodies are like a four course meal for your ears)
Mount Karma Dovetail (folksy in the best way with just enough of an alt-rock sound to keep you happy)
You Could Be Happy Sahara Beck (pure vocals and an acoustic guitar)
I Love You The Neighbourhood (every track's perfection and they're so fun to see live; scream "Afraid")
You Belong Here Leagues (the guys are cool, their music's fantastic, and their live performance is a can't miss)
Sunny Days & Starry Nights The Saving Pointe (get the full length because it'll have something you'll love)
       It's a short list; I'm positive I missed something great that I was ranting about earlier, but I'll cover it later when I'm not trying to post every 'end of the year' list within five hours.
- E


       You guys want to read another 'best albums of the year' list that you don't agree with as much as I want to try to listen to every big name album of the year in one day. Instead, here's a list of some of the established bands who released albums this year that had fantastic tracks you should check out because they're all awesomely addictive.
"Shot At the Night" The Killers (they didn't break up and this video's adorable; Direct Hits)
"(Everything Is) Debatable" Hellogoodbye (Everything Is Debatable)
"The Giving Tree" Plain White T's (his vocals are so satisfying; Should've Gone to Bed EP)
"XO" Beyoncé (I'm pretty sure Beyoncé could rule the world and no one would complain; Beyoncé)
"Mirrors" Justin Timberlake (Comeback of the Year; The 20/20 Experience)
"John Doe" B.o.B ft Priscilla (Underground Luxury)
"Story of My Life" One Direction (I wish I didn't like this song; Midnight Memories)
"I Like It" We The Kings (they're just awesome and Somewhere Somehow is fun)
"A Tribe Called Red" Angel Haze (Dirty Gold)
"Counting Stars" OneRepublic (Native)
"Brand New Day" Kodaline (you should know about them by now; In A Perfect World)
"Out of My League" Fitz and The Tantrums (So. Fucking. Amazing. Live. See them; More Than Just A Dream)
"This Is Gospel" Panic! At the Disco (because Too Weird To Live, Too Rare to Die! was perfect)
"Slow It Down" The Goo Goo Dolls (Magnetic)
"Run" The Maine (still have yet to hear a bad album from them; they're pretty great. Forever Halloween)
"Bride & Groom" The Airborne Toxic Event (one of their best but this band's always perfect; Such Hot Blood)
"All Wash Out" Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes (they performed this in the rain and it was magical; Here)
"Polaroid Picture" Frank Turner (this song's almost as perfect as Turner is; Tape Deck Heart)
"Say Say" Youngblood Hawke (they're 'established' in my eyes; Wake Up)
"Wrecking Ball" Miley Cyrus ("Wrecking Ball" was art and heartbreaking, "Adore You" is childish and attention 
      seeking, but you know you can't look back at 2013 without Cyrus; Bangerz [this is the only album you don't 
      need to look at from this list. I don't have it and won't ask you to get it])
       Check these out, get the albums (or at least the tracks you like) and check back later for another end of the year post. 
- E


       I missed out on putting up your usual New Music Monday tracks but, with the new year just about here, these are the tracks released this year from some newer bands/artists that you need to check out, at least once, before heading into 2014. Some of these are on SoundCloud, so click on the titles to hear those tracks. 
"Turn It Around" Lucius Silent Rider remix
"Ayo" Projekt Rehab
"A Million Shining Colours" Simian Ghost
"Synesthesia" Chuckie Campbell
"Holy Infinity" GOVS
"Electric Ships" Love Like Hate
"Mercury" Slip On Stereo
"Hurricane" Katey Laurel
"2+2=5, You Suck" The Saving Pointe
"Freakin' Love" Flora Cash
"Make You Scream" Bobbie Morrone
"See the Sun" Dovetail
       Check back later because I'm going to work hard to get all of those end of the year lists put together for you guys, then I'll throw the song I always listen to before the new year up on the blog. 
- E


Around the World

       Other countries made our playlists great this year by chiming in with the best singles and albums and, while there are countless great tracks out there, these are the ones you should be keeping in mind. 
"Mekong Delta" Eden Mulholland (Australia)
"Zero to Eleven" Julian Taylor Band (Canada)
"Take Yours, I'll Take Mine" Matthew Mole (South Africa)
"Master of Eden" Marcus Blacke (Australia)
"My Song 9" Nova Heart (China)
"Silent Revolution" My Excuse (Greece)
"Gang of Rhythm (Car Loop Version)" Walk Off the Earth (Canada)
"Spring" Sound the Ocean (New Zealand)
"Brand New Day" Kodaline (UK)
"Fortress" Dialekt (Australia)
"Shiver" Avec Sans (UK)
"Silhouettes" Kaitlin Riegel (New Zealand)
"Hold On" Glenn Aitken (New Zealand)
"Care" Hudson Taylor (UK)
"Pull Down the Moon" Cattle & Cane (UK)
"Runaway" The Melodic (UK)
"Electric Ships" Love Like Hate (Australia)
"Holy Infinity" GOVS (Australia)
"Lay Me Down" Benhur (Canada) 
       I'm positive that I'm missing a lot of great music, but check out these tracks for now and I'll find a way to feature other great songs at a later time. 
- E


Tell Her You Love Her

       Echosmith put out one of the most flawless full length debut albums of the year; their lyrics are great, the compositions better, and their onstage energy is palpable. See the band when they head out on their 2014 tour (a lot of it is 'students only' which just means you have to borrow your friend's roommate's I.D) and make sure Talking Dreams is in your iTunes library because it's very near perfection.
       Check out a single off Echosmith's debut album Talking Dreams to see why they had one of the best albums of the year and check back later to see how they rank in the lists for debut albums/EPs and break out artists of 2013. 
"Tell Her You Love Her" Echosmith
- E


You and I

       This video comes from 2012 but, before we get to 2014, you need to know every song from The Peace of Wild Things. I've said it before, but will say it again: The Peace of Wild Things is the most completely satisfying and perfect album I have heard. Everything from the opening "Love Letters" to "Calm My Soul" is nothing short of amazing and this video, after a year, should have received a lot more attention than it has. 
       Check out the video for "You and I" below then get your copy of The Peace of Wild Things because there will be something on the album you should love; the songs speak honestly with full compositions and it was the best album of last year and deserves your attention before we head into 2014.
"You and I" Paper Route
- E

The Giving Tree

       This has nothing to do with my 'best of' lists, but the video's put together flawlessly, the song is, as expected from these guys, perfectly catchy and ready to play at least once more after the first listen, it's stuffed full of lyrics that manage to be both sweet and sad, and Higgenson's vocals are just so satisfyingly smooth and rough at the same time that I'm probably going to get stuck in a Plain White T's rut for a bit now. 
       Check out the video below and, if you did not get their Should've Gone to Bed EP, grab it off iTunes now.
"The Giving Tree" Plain White T's 
- E


Remember When (Push Rewind)

       I don't have time to write a full post right now and I apparently don't have the foresight to prepare something ahead of time, so just listen to this (on repeat). 
       I played Wallace's music so often last year that my friend now groans when she hears these opening notes and he was mentioned on last year's 'bands to watch in 2013' list because he should have so much more than he does now. Push Rewind was catchy as hell and you know that, even though they are so pop fueled it could rot your teeth, you just want to sing along to "Invincible" and "Keep Me Crazy".
       In 2014, we should all just accept Wallace's greatness and stop acting like him and his voice aren't perfect.
"Remember When (Push Rewind)" Chris Wallace
- E

Second Best

       Hudson Taylor released, yet another, ridiculously good video of them performing a fantastic song on Christmas Eve and I can't get enough of this band. The combination of those vocal harmonies and two acoustic guitars complimenting each other perfectly is almost too much. 
      Check out their acoustic version of "Second Best" from the band's Osea EP and see why they may be my number one pick for band to watch in 2014. 
       If you live stateside, you cannot pick up their latest EP (you can only cry and lament the fact that you had to be born in the US when, obviously, all the cool things are available in the UK first).
"Second Best" Hudson Taylor
- E


Walk You Home (Night Vision Binoculars)

       It's an oldie, but a goodie. The beginning sucks you in with sweet verses like "I see you nearly everyday, I see you, but you don't see me. I wish I had something clever to say, and I wish I had something better I could be" and "I just wanna walk you home" but by the time he gets to "I see you nearly every night, I see you when you're down in your house. With my night vision binoculars, I creep quiet as a mouse" you realize that it's everything you never wanted to hear your stalker say. 
       Regardless, I maintain that it is one of Rosenberg's catchier songs and that, despite this year's amorance of "Let Her Go" and all the other amazing tracks that were featured on 2012's All the Little Lights (listen to "Keep On Walking", "I Hate", "Patient Love", and "Things That Stop You Dreaming" [actually, just listen to all of them]) any one who really wants to listen to some amazing music should head back to Passenger's debut Wicked Man's Rest and work their way through all the albums (I previously explained Mike Rosenberg's use of Passenger as his stage name but: Rosenberg was part of a British band called Passenger whom released their debut album in 2007 [Wicked Man's Rest] then the band broke up and Rosenberg, heading out as a solo act, kept the moniker for the next four albums [Wide Eyes Blind Love, Flight of the Crow, fan released Divers and Submarines and, everyone's favorite, All the Little Lights]).
       Check out "Walk You Home" for a track you should know before heading into the new year. 
"Walk You Home (Night Vision Binoculars)" Passenger
- E

We Belonged/Turn It Around/The Optimist

       I have a lot of cleaning to do before Tuesday so, as is to be expected, I am procrastinating. A lot. So, here's a sneak peek at what 2014 and the upcoming 'best of' lists for 2013 will hold (because I will always wait until the last week of the year to get those finished).
       If you missed Stoney's "We Belonged", you probably haven't cried at a music video yet this year; watch it below so that you can enjoy how tragically, beautifully, heart-breaking the song and video are. More Than Animals is set for a January 14 release and you're going to want to buy the entire album. Despite the sorrowful sound intrinsic in this gorgeous piece, the rest of the album seamlessly intertwines good, solid rock tracks with those that scream alternative rock and others that sound just as pure and sweet as this one; be ready to grab your copy in 2014 because this album is kind of perfect.
       Silent Rider's remix of Lucius' "Turn It Around" may be even better than the original and, after listening to more tracks from these guys (check out their SoundCloud here), I can't wait to write up more about the band in 2014.
       I think I'm most excited to see what City Rain is going to come out with in the new year, though. They have yet to come out with a track that doesn't have awesome lyrics with even better music and their latest forthcoming album, Songs for A High School Dance, is bound to be great. Check out tracks like the greatly hypnotic "Mama I Wanna Go Home", the fantastic "Join the Human Race" that should really have you more than ready for this new album to be released, and the ever popular "The Optimist".
- E

Wake Me Up

       I'm working on lists for you guys, but mine don't add up to other's, because I really think Tonight Alive is overrated (and their music puts such a strong emphasis on being misunderstood that I can't actually sit through the entire album), I'm never going to support Robin Thicke, and songs like Zedd's "Clarity" or Passenger's "Let Her Go",which were big this year, were in my playlist last year and overplayed and thoroughly memorized by January of 2013, so it's hard to think of it as something from 2013, rather than 2012's sleeper hits. Regardless, I might come up with a few things for you guys in reference to the albums/EPs you should get and the bands you need to know before we head into 2014. 
       This song is fantastic and catchy and I love it and we should never ever play it again once 2014 hits. It's a gorgeous mixture of sounds and the lyrics are great, but we should shove it wherever we put Swedish House Mafia's "Don't You Worry Child", because every catchy EDM track has an expiration date and this one is soon approaching.
"Wake Me Up" Avicii
- E


Shake Up Christmas

       The song comes from a Coke commercial (it's also referred to as Coke Xmas Anthem) but the concept of our modern day Santa Claus stems from a Coke commercial, so it's rather fitting for the holiday (the rotund stomach with the red suit was popularized by the company's advertisements and thus our modern figure won out over the competitors'). Plus, Pat Monahan is just so very superbly amazing live and the fact that the video is staged as one of his concerts makes it so much better.
       Check out the song and video below, 'best of' lists will start showing up by Friday, and a very merry Christmas to you and yours.
"Shake Up Christmas" Train
- E

Holiday Song

"Holiday Song" Lady Danville
- E



       Last year I had a classic playlist, a playlist for those who aren't big Christmas fans, and my personal playlist but, as I am getting started so late this year, I'm just going to stick to my own Christmas playlist. Enjoy and thanks for being amazing, because I wouldn't be doing this if you weren't always there (but now go spend some time with your family, or cuddle someone, or eat a disgusting amount of cookies).
"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" Michael Bublé
"Sleigh Ride" Fun.
"Fairytale of New York" Gianni and Sarah 
"We Need A Little Christmas" AgesandAges
"Wish List" Neon Trees
"Shake Up Christmas" Train
"I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day" The Civil Wars
"Belleau Wood" Garth Brooks
"Darlin' (Christmas Is Coming)" Over the Rhine
"All I Want for Christmas" Mariah Carey (my playlist actually has Cee Lo Green's cover)
"I Hope That it Snows" Madi Diaz
"What Are You Doing Christmas Eve?" The Head and The Heart
"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" John Lennon
"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" Harry Connick, Jr.
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" Relient K
"The Christmas Song" Paul McCartney
"Underneath the Tree" Kelly Clarkson
"Christmas Lights" Coldplay
"I Don't Wanna Spend Another Christmas Without You" The Ready Set
"Wonderful Christmastime" Meiko
"Silent Night" The Fray
- E


Music Related News

       Last year this time, I was on my way to Germany and I already had my 'best of' lists finished and programmed to go up; this year, I haven't even begun to get them together and if everyone else has already done it, should I really bother chiming in? Anyways, music related news and such.

  • Bands continue to drop out of Orlando SeaWorld's Concert Series after the release of CNN's Blackfish documentary. Apparently, fans and artists needed someone else to point out to them that maybe the large mammals trapped in small circular concrete tanks probably weren't being kept in the best conditions.
  • YouTube came out with their "What Does 2013 Say" YouTube Rewind video. As far as the title goes, I get it; "What Does the Fox Say" was big. It was funny the first few listens, but then the Today show heard about it and things got super old super fast. Also, I really fucking hate "Blurred Lines"; how is this song even partially okay? The video itself is everything you would expect from a 2013 YouTube which has been working hard to turn itself into the online answer to MTV, a goal they're actually fairly close to achieving; their YouTube awards show actually had a fair number of viewers and even though the union of Google+ and YouTube is annoying to some users, it's forced people into a Google ruled world and made YouTube even stronger than competitors like Vimeo (who had previously looked like they could be on the rise).
  • Justin Bieber made a cruel joke about early retirement (why would you tease me like that?). His retirement would have been a great gift but, now at least, we won't lose a great source for jokes. Thanks Biebs for always being there to make people feel better about their bad decisions.
  • Jack Johnson released his video for "Shot Reverse Shot" off his latest album From Here To Now To You which was filmed with his phone and features pictures drawn by Johnson on whiteboards, windows, coffee cups, and tables and proves, yet again, that he will always be cooler and more talented than you. Get the new album now because the songs are, as always, filled with sunny melodies and harshly honest (i.e. fantastic) lyrics.
  • Palaye Royale is in a new Samsung Galaxy commercial and it's fantastic for so many reasons. It's cheesy, but the guys are cool enough to pull it off, there are so many wonderful colors shoved in there, the band mimics The Beatles famous Abbey Road cover (only with the inclusion of tablets), the song's fantastic and, best of all, the guys are getting the exposure and recognition they deserve for their amazing music. Buy The Ends Beginning EP and their other singles because you're guaranteed to like them.
  • We The Kings' Somewhere Somehow was released last week and you should add it to your iTunes library. These guys veer so close to the pop line they make an art form out of jumping back and hanging onto their alt-rock riffs by their fingertips while playing around with fresh pop beats and cute lyrics and their albums are always great.
  • Check out Burial's "Hiders" for something greatly hypnotic and get their EP Rival Dealer now. 
  • Beyoncé explained why she chose to create her visual album and, just as I was thinking that maybe it was time to get over it and move on to a new album to obsess over, this video proved that I just can't do that because Beyoncé is amazing and won't let me. Thanks for consuming my iPod, the internet, my life and just being completely fuckmazing Beyoncé; never change. Check out the video for Self-Titled: Part 1 because it will make you appreciate, and maybe even love, her music. 
  • After coming onto the scene late last year, London Grammar chose 2013 to completely fucking explode all over the musicsphere. Keep your eyes on these guys because they keep making gorgeously hypnotic albums and nothing they've put out since their first single "Hey Now" has been anything less than unobtrusive perfection. Check out their most recent video for "Nightcall" and get all of their music; right now ("Metal & Dust" is still my favorite, but the tracks are all so gorgeous and frisson inducing and now I'm stuck on their music again).
  • This video shows why country music had a rough year; basically they're unoriginal and seem to be stuck in the same old rut while everyone else continues to move forward.
  • Katey Laurel's "Hurricane" has so many remixes, but the SLEUTH one is probably my favorite. Check them all out by clicking the links on their names: ZiKBrian for President / ocellus LUCANUS
  • Music for Relief announced their Concert for the Philippines which will take place January 11 at Club Nokia in L.A. and will feature The Offspring, Bad Religion, and Linkin Park. Watch the video for more information.
      I'm ninety-five percent sure that I am forgetting something, but I'll include it on the blog later. Check back for a Christmas playlist or two. Watch Sam Pepper's "We Don't Give A Fuck" below because it's ridiculous and kind of great to dance and sing along to.
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Climbing Walls

       I mentioned that Strange Talk had released a music video for "Climbing Walls" in last week's bulleted list but it deserves more attention than a short mention because it's ridiculously addictive and I honestly don't know why I can't stop listening to the song. 
       There are two videos; the first was released towards the beginning of December as a lyric video featuring magnetic refrigerator letters and it's simple perfection.
       The second video was released last week and features dangerous driving in a red sports car, a very unnecessary and random shot of a clown mask, steam, and lingerie (that salt water and chlorine is going to be hell on her bra) and I honestly don't know what I'm talking about... What is the point of this video? 
       I love the song; it's fantastic. That beat is absolute perfection, those lyrics are fantastic because "taken for a ride now I'm reaching out to take control, I'm searching for the truth when I know that it won't lead the way" and "following a ghost in the distance of a brighter day, it's swimming in my mind now it's building like a tidal wave" are so articulate and you know you can relate to "I'm feeling like a fool in a cage, there's nothing left to say" "I keep trying to run away, from what you're saying", and that melody will be circling around your head for days (in a good way), so just listen to the song and enjoy it for it's complete awesomeness. 
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       The Melodic released their music video for "Runaway" (from their debut album Effra Parade) and it was just as unobtrusively brilliant as the song itself (meaning, it's not in your face, but it's fantastic and, before you know it, you're hitting repeat).
       That rhythm is perfectly steady and low-key and lyrics which include "turning my back on what I know", "how much diversion can a man desire, this excursion will lift me up and light a fire" and "I'm going to take my advice and leave these rainy days behind" slip seamlessly into a gorgeous composition whose melody won't leave your head (but you won't really mind because it's just so good).
       The band will be heading out on their North American tour in 2014 so check the links below to look up dates and get your tickets.
"Runaway" The Melodic
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       Katey Laurel's "Hurricane" has always been fantastic, but ZiK's remix and lyric video somehow make it even catchier and it's going to be falling back into my playlist because it's even more addictive now than it was before. Check out the lyric video below then head to the websites (for bother ZiK and Laurel) to support the artists and check out more of their music. 
"Hurricane" Katey Laurel - ZiK remix
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The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)

       I forgot that today is Monday and Monday means new music. Nothing is ready. It's also Christmas Eve Eve though (yes, that's a thing) so I will definitely have a few tracks and maybe a 'music related news' post for you after I get coffee and get my shit together (and also that playlist I promised you last night) but, for now, just enjoy Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" because you should have some sort of memory of this version playing during your childhood Christmases and this version, all the new versions with catchy guitar riffs and vocal runs aside, is probably the best for getting into the Christmas spirit. 
"The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)"
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What Christmas Means To Me

       You know that moment during the holidays when you're a perpetually nice person and you really wish that you could be as mean to people in real life as the things you think in your head but you just can't do that because they've done absolutely no harm to you so you're just sitting there accepting life and smiling nicely and your great grandmother hands you a gift and she's smiling and saying "I hope you like it. I think you will" and you open it and there's this puffy blue sweater thing inside and you're like "oh, wow, that's so nice" and then you see that it's a size large but you're still rolling with it so you're like "and it's so soft" and then you just smile and try not to make eye contact with the family members across the room who know you too well and are definitely losing their shit because then you'll lose your controlled facial expression because all you're thinking in your head is "THE FUCK IS THIS HALF SNUGGIE THING I LOOK LIKE FUCKING WINNIE THE POOH MATED WITH SULLEY".
       So, here's to all the controlled faces of comfort and joy that you will be making over the next few days. I'll definitely work on trying to get up a playlist of Christmas songs for you guys who are about to go insane with the 'big day' being so near.
"What Christmas Means To Me" Cee Lo Green
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       For those of you who are still with me and don't have other obligations/holiday plans (though I totally understand because I'm trying to jot this down before leaving for the day) this is what my personal playlist looks like this week and all of the tracks are fantastic so you should check them out and support the bands by heading to iTunes for more of their music.
"Light of Day" The Silent Comedy
"The Courtship of Summer Preasley" The Griswolds
"Turn It Around" Silent Rider Remix (click the link to hear it on SoundCloud)
"Crystallized" Young the Giant
"Halo" Melodime
"The Wanderer" The Saving Pointe
"See You In My Dreams" We The Kings
"Cry (To Keep From Laughing)" JF Robitaille
"Holding On" Bobbie Morrone Trio
"Dust and Bones" Night Terrors of 1927
"Heartbeat" Matthew Mayfield
"On Your Side" SafetySuit
"Salvage" MTNS (this band released one of the most gorgeous debut EP's of the year so check it out)
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On Your Side

       I was sitting here all distracted by last night and couldn't think of any music to write about, then I realized that it's SafetySuit Saturday and my work is already half done for me which is fantastic. 'Kay, so, SafetySuit Saturday..
       SafetySuit released the first single from their forthcoming third album on December 3rd and, if you still don't have it, you've got to get on that, because it's gorgeous. It picks up slowly in the beginning with a soft and gorgeous melody before swelling into something full of awesome techno beats that drops off just in time for Brown to sing wonderfully honest lyrics that always end with a sweet promise. Lines like "there's gonna be times feel scared and the streets feel cold and the world is empty...there's gonna be times you feel you're losing, like you could be somebody, you just need the chance to prove it", "when the tide pulls you under I'll be the one who rescues you, and when they come and try to take over, I'm gonna knock off every demon that lands on your shoulder, I'll be there for you, everywhere you go", and the refrain which simply states "I am on your side, beginning to the end, you know" are all amazing.
       The song's about six and a half minutes long, which seemed long to me at first (seeing as how it's a first single and should be grabbing your attention), but the song still manages to grab your attention every time it's about to drop off by maintaining a sort of movement-esque quality, turning the bridge into something separate from the rest of the piece but pulling it all together by circling back around to the original idea by the end. This band is completely adept at allowing their music to speak just as loudly as their lyrics (which is why they're amazing) and they have outdone themselves with this track, so get it on iTunes (actually buy it to support the band) and start playing it on repeat. 
"On Your Side" SafetySuit
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Cry (To Keep From Laughing)

       Now that the end of the year is coming up, the site's going to jump on the 'best of 2013' bandwagon and chime in with my picks for the bands to watch and albums to get and so on but, for now, just check out Robitaille's "Cry (To Keep From Laughing)" for something which might surface again once I start working on those 'best of' lists (because, with a retro twist on modern music styles, Robitaille's Rival Hearts was kind of great [actually, Canada, as a whole, had a pretty awesome year for indie/alternative rock music]).
"Cry (To Keep From Laughing)" JF Robitaille
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