All posts in Music

A Song & A Prayer

Hillsong-Oceans

Have you ever had a song, or a poem, or a quote that you just couldn’t get away from? I don’t mean one of those earworm songs that gets stuck in your head and drives you crazy. I mean something that clearly God wants you to hear, or see, or read…something He will continue to place in your path until you stop brushing it off as coincidence and realize maybe, just maybe, God is actually trying to tell you something?

In the last few months I have really felt God stirring my soul and confronting me with the truth that I tend to stay where it is safe, and let fear and uncertainty hold me back, rather than leaning on my faith in Him that He will carry me through. The truth that if I would stop worrying about myself and my own comfort so much, He could use me for really great and incredible things in His name. I want so badly to move beyond my fears and let Him lead me where He wants to use me.

And in comes this song I just can’t get away from. For the record, I really don’t listen to Christian radio and am largely out of the loop on what is popular in the Christian music scene. So it’s not like this is a song I can’t get away from because it’s played all the time on the stations I listen to all the time. This has been brought to me through random blog posts, comments in other blog posts, Bible studies, friends’ Facebook posts…all unrelated, and all this song. So I finally listened to it and there God was, telling me once again to let go of my fears and grab on to Him.

I’m certain I am not the only one who has listened to this song and made it his or her prayer. It’s a scary prayer to pray, because God is so good in taking you to those places you aren’t comfortable when you ask Him to. But I know my God is good. And it might be tough, and it might be scary, but He can use me in this place of discomfort…this place where I can’t rely on myself but instead must truly trust in Him. I just pray I will keep praying this, and not fall back into my meek and fear filled ways. Lord help me to be bold and be a vehicle for your glory to touch others.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

–  “Oceans” by Hillsong –

Tuesday Tunes: Happy 80th Willie!

Tuesday Tunes

Willie Nelson. He is as synonymous with Texas as bluebonnets and The Alamo. And today, he turns 80 years old (which, really, is pretty incredible considering the life he has lived!). So really there is nobody else I could possibly feature than the man himself!

willienelson

I have had the privilege of seeing Willie play on quite a few occasions and there’s just nobody quite like him…he’s still Willie, and that voice is still just as leathery and poetic as ever…and you never know quite what you’re going to get, but it’s sure to be a great show no matter which route, or detour, it takes. In fact, on one occasion I heard Willie sing Whiskey River no less that four times…in one set. I think the Whiskey River has been flowing pre-show and, indeed, taken his mind!

If you haven’t seen him perform, you should definitely make plans to asap. Put on your boots and get ready for a good time. Without further ado, I give you the birthday boy himself, Willie Nelson…

One For My Baby and One For The Road

Crazy

Heartbreak Hotel

Pancho and Lefty with Emmylou Harris

Whiskey River

 

Tuesday Tunes: Feeling French

One of my favorite parts of the story of how Bear and I came to be came to pass very early on when we had first met, before we were dating. At the time it was definitely not my favorite but now it makes us laugh every time. I won’t go into all of it now, but let’s just say he tried to woo me by “speaking French” although he doesn’t speak French at all! As we start planning our wedding, a number of French songs have come to mind and I just love how they bring back memories of that first incident. So today, let’s let that beautiful language dance in our ears as we set out to make it a great day.

Le Temps De L’amour – Francoise Hardy

Quelqu’un m’a dit – Carla Bruni

La Vie en Rose – Edith Piaf

La Mer – Charles Trenet

 

 

Tuesday Tunes: The Big Easy

New Orleans

There’s just something about New Orleans, isn’t there? Truth be told, I’ve only been once as a college Junior, not quite 21 (but does that really matter in New Orleans?) with a group of friends for the Sugar Bowl. We had the best time and I’d love to get back there sometime soon. There’s just something about the Big Easy that elicits an emotional response. The food, the music, the sights and sounds…it’s like a whole different country with a different culture and a unique, infectious spirit.

With today being Mardi Gras, and a rainy dreary one at that here in Dallas, I figure what better time than now to let the sounds of New Orleans transport us to a sunny, festive, celebrating state of mind. You’ll be dancing in your office in no time. …you might even want to pick up a King Cake while you’re out at lunch!

Tailgate Ramble – The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Big Chief – Rebirth Brass Band

Dirty Old Man – The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Percolatin’ Blues – Smoking Time Jazz Club

…and we can’t leave this one out…

When The Saints Go Marching In – Louis Armstrong

 

 

 

photo by Jorge de la Torriente

Tuesday Tunes: Girls Soundtrack

Tuesday Tunes

Since the soundtrack for the HBO show Girls came out a couple of weeks ago it has become my work day go-to music. It’s such a good mix of pulsating and more mellow music and it keeps me energized and focused all at the same time. And believe me, I need all the focusing help I can get! I have to say, trying to plan a wedding while working full-time is hard! Not because it is so incredibly time-consuming (at least not yet) but because I just want to be working on it all the time! There are so many details and projects I’d love to work on all day long…I know, I know…feel sorry for me (as if!). So, like I said, clearly I need help focusing! That’s why I thought I’d share a few of my favorite tunes from the soundtrack today! Do you have any good focus music? I need all the help I can get!

Dancing on my Own – Robyn

Infinity Guitars – Sleigh Bells

White Nights – Oh Land

…and of course, Girls – Santigold…I love this video!

Now go get after it!

 

 

Tuesday Tunes 01.22.13

Do you ever go back through your Shazam tags to see what caught your attention recently? I don’t do it all that often (which, seems to kind of defeat the purpose of tagging a song, oh well…) but I always get some nice surprises, and inevitably some “What did I like about that enough to stick my arm up in the air and Shazam that crap?” moments. So today’s Tuesday Tunes comes directly from a few of my tags in Shazam. Judge me if you must.

Wagon Wheel, Old Crow Medicine Show

Default, Django Django

Doom and Gloom, The Rolling Stones

 

So what are you listening to these days? I need some new tunes on my rotation!

Tuesday Tunes: Hip Hop Christmas

You guys have my sweet friend Lacey to thank for the greatness that is today’s Tuesday Tunes.  Lacey might be one of the funniest people I know. And, she loves DMX. So what could be better than DMX singing one of our favorite Christmas tunes? Not much, I tell you.  So when you see Lacey, tell her thanks for helping to put a smile on your face, and a chuckle in your belly today. Maybe I’ll put this on repeat tonight as I once again channel Santa’s elves and go back to work in my mini-Santa’s Workshop.  Somehow, I WILL get everything done!

How are your holiday preparations coming along? I feel like I’ve still got a looooonnnggggg way to go…and I’m running out of time to get everything finished and shipped! If you need me, I’ll be locked away in my apartment working feverishly away into the wee hours of the morning.

 

Tuesday Tunes: Holiday Party Playlist

This weekend is our aforementioned holiday party and I am getting so excited as each little project and detail begins to fall into place.  This really is one of my favorite parties to throw each year because it gets me in the holiday frame of mind. The house is decked out, our friends come decked out, and we get to share some bubbly and laughs with our favorite people.

Every great party needs a great playlist and a holiday party is no exception. I think the real trick with holiday party music is finding a good mix of standard classics and throwing in some curve balls and refreshed takes on the songs we’ve heard a million times.  You’ve also got to know when to take the party up, and when to slow things down…this is something I’m still figuring out, but we always seem to have a good time so maybe it’s not so much an art as it is luck.

With all that said, the order of this might not be perfect, but I think this little 12-song playlist will give you some ideas as to how to breathe some new life into what can be a rather stale song selection.  Do you have any good holiday music you think I should include?

Tuesday Tunes: Election Day 2012 Edition

Vote 2012

Not to beat a dead horse, but GO VOTE if you haven’t already! It doesn’t matter who you vote for, just go make your voice heard! WE are the government…WE are in control! Don’t take for granted the incredible privilege of living in a country where you can have a voice.

So as you head to the polls, or stand in line waiting for your turn to cast your ballot, I thought you might like a few songs to get you amped up and excited about your RIGHT TO VOTE!!!  A couple of these were suggestions from others, a couple are my own choices, and there are surely countless more I would’ve included but missed.  Any you think should be added?

 

Do you have any election night plans? I wish we were having a watch party, like we did back in college. Either way I’ll definitely be coloring in my map as the states come in. Man, there’s something about Election Day that just gets me excited about what a wonderful country we live in. Cheers to you, America!

GO VOTE!

Tuesday Tunes: Love Song

The Cure, 311, Adele

I thought for today’s Tuesday Tunes I’d go a little different route. Rather than choosing an artist I am loving right now, I’d pick a song and share several different versions of it. As we were cleaning the house on Sunday, the song Lovesong came on and every time I hear it I stop and say “I just love this song!” And it really doesn’t matter which version of the song it is.  Originally by The Cure, their version is hard to beat, naturally. But the first time I heard the song, it was the 311 version, which was also featured in the movie 50 First Dates, and I think that will always be my favorite only because it’s the first one I knew. It’s got that signature laid-back, beach bum 311 sound.  But then, I got the Adele album and wouldn’t you know, there that song is again. And with her voice and arrangement, it is somehow even more haunting than its previous renditions.  I love them all.

The Cure

311

Adele

So, do you have a favorite?

 

photos: The Cure, 311, Adele

Tuesday Tunes: Ben Howard

Ben Howard

I know a lot of people have switched from Pandora over to Spotify these days, but I continue to discover great new (to me) music on Pandora and love the ease of turning it on during the work day and seeing what comes next. Pandora is exactly where I first heard Ben Howard, and I acknowledge I am probably way late on knowing about him, but I’m so glad I found him, or, rather, Pandora found him for me. He has a bit of a David Gray quality to his voice I think. And the feel of his songs is cozy and fits well with the turn of the season. I am so in love with his song Only Love and am enjoying getting to know more of his music.  Isn’t finding, and falling in love with, a new artist’s work just one of the best things ever? It makes me happy.

Only Love

The Fear

His album will be on repeat in my office today….

 

ACL: A Recap

Austin City Limits 2012

Clearly it has taken me several days to fully recover from the three jam-packed days we spent in Austin this past weekend for the 2012 Austin City Limits festival. I guess the older you get the longer it takes to bounce back! And just like I think we said last year, this might be our last full three days of ACL for the foreseeable future (you can hold me to that right up until the 2013 lineup is released–then all bets are off!) It wears you out, but what you get while you’re there is really something amazing.  There are so many things I could say here to recap. I could run through every band we saw and every slightly painful moment, but instead I thought I’d just pull out some of the highlights of the weekend for me personally.

  • Running Late, As Usual: Even after getting out of town earlier than planned, somehow we were still running late for the First Aid Kit set at 1:15 on Friday…and I was NOT going to miss them! Even if that meant ditching poor Bear at the entrance gate when his wristband malfunctioned and he was rerouted back through the ticket line.  I should’ve been a good girlfriend and waited to make sure he got in okay, but instead I sort of gave him a nod and said, “let me know when you get in!” and took off across the field to catch what was left of their set. Don’t worry, he made it in the second time around!
  • Florence and the Machine: I was already looking forward to seeing this set, but I don’t think I could’ve anticipated just how good Florence Welch would be. Dressed in a long-sleeve gown (in the sweltering heat) she ran and jumped and skipped across the stage, and through the audience, all while wailing on those notes. She gave me chills. Her energy and dedication to the show were unreal. You could feel that she was giving every last ounce of everything she had to that audience. The crowd went nuts when she sang “Shake It Off” and I loved hearing “Cosmic Love”.

Remember, heat and sun safety kids! Ha. Ridiculous, right?

 

  • The Eye of the Tiger: Let me be the first to admit I was a total hater when Bear walked out of the bathroom in his, how would you say, um, unique, shirt for Day Two. I couldn’t believe he was actually going to wear it in public to be honest. But I’ll be darned if he wasn’t the hit of ACL that day.  I can’t even tell you how many people stopped him to take pictures with him, or to tell him how awesome his shirt was…one kid even walked by and “knighted” him for having the best shirt out there. So kudos to Bear for out hipstering the hipsters.

Bear in his tiger shirt

  • Rufus Wainwright singing Judy Garland: Judy Garland is one of my all-time favorites. I can’t even tell you how much I love her. When I was younger I was on a mission to watch all of her movies, even the hard to find ones. And Saturday I saw a man sing the most beautiful rendition of her version of “The Man that Got Away”. My hats off to Wainwright as this could’ve been a mess in anyone else’s hands, but for the second time at ACL this year, I had goosebumps. (see him sing it here)
  • The Whistling: I have an album or two of Andrew Bird’s and it’s great background music, but I didn’t really know what to expect from his live show.  Well, apparently he likes to whistle–A LOT. I seriously think he whistled in every song. And that’s all I have to say about that.
  • Galway Girl, Mixed with Dubstep: One of the more unfortunate things of the weekend was that everyone who played at the Austin Ventures Stage seemed to be pitted up against some major dubstep or hip hop on the Honda Stage, and the Ventures Stage nearly always lost out. I thought we were going to miss out on Steve Earle all together as he was clearly unhappy with the sound bleed from BASSNECTAR’s set (it was serious y’all), and the rain. But my night was made when he came out and gave me what I’d been hoping for: Galway Girl. I was in heaven.  And then a little added bonus of Copperhead Road to round out the set. Love!
  • 18 Minute Rock Songs:Neil Young and Crazy Horse were in classic rocker form Saturday night, bringing the rock, and those really long “interludes” every chance they got. It was awesome. And it was more awesome seeing how much fun my dad was having finally getting to see one of his favorite artists after all of these years. Have I mentioned how cool my parents are?

    They look like they’ve had a good day to me!

  •  Gary Clark Jr.: I don’t know what else to say other than the man can rock. HE is SO. GOOD. His set was early on Sunday but there was a massive crowd at the AMD Stage…with the warm muggy air, and everyone looking a little ragged trying to rally for day three, but still clearly enjoying the show he was putting on, I couldn’t help but imagine for a brief moment that this was one of those “Woodstock Moments” that will just stick with you. If he is every in your area, do not miss him. Seriously.
  • All Together Now: I’ve never been the biggest Red Hot Chili Peppers fan. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some of their stuff, but they have some die-hard fans out there…and I can see why now. They put on one heck of a show to close out the weekend. It was shocking how many of their songs I knew all the words to, and it was just so much fun singing and dancing with everyone around you. Those are the moments that make the music festivals what they are. We are all in it together. And we’re all going to enjoy it. I sure did.
  • The Great Flood: No, I’m not talking about the substantial rain that came down Saturday and left Zilker Park a muddy, smelly mess. I’m talking about the sea of humanity flowing into the street as the festival dimmed its lights on 2012.  It really was incredible to see that many people wading out, all together, heading home. I was happy to be one of them.

The Remains of a Successful Weekend

And there you have it…those were some of my favorite moments from the weekend. The ones that are harder to describe are the ones that maybe I treasure most, like sitting on the hill and just watching everyone go by, or walking back downtown hand in hand with Bear, feeling the relief that we actually survived, crowding under umbrellas as the deluge came on (and some random girl ducking in with my dad, to his surprise), laughing at how ridiculous boys can be, hanging out with my sister…I could go on and on. But I’ll stop there and just say, it was a great weekend. Another one well done, Austin City Limits. Well done.

 

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