Sunday, November 13, 2011


Friends, I'm sure you have all realized this by now, but seriously Spotify has got to be one of the most amazing musical concepts ever. I LOVE it.

It has, for example, allowed me to listen to tons of amazing and great albums that I'd love to buy, but I can't now because I don't have any more fun money. And it has taught me that there are some albums that I thought I would want to buy, but really probably shouldn't. All with severely limited commercial interruption.

Based solely on a Spotify commercial, I was informed that the artists still get profits from this site. I'm not sure if that's true or not, but if it is, I feel much less guilty using it.

Spotify has let me realize that I love Bon Iver. I mean, I always new that I sort of like him, and that I should probably get his latest album (Bon Iver) at some point, but now that I can listen to the whole thing, I'm in love with him.

Thank you Spotify.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Ok, I know, I's been too long. I'm working on it. Promise.

BIG NEWS: I'm learning the mandolin! I know you're jealous, right? So far it's going pretty well and I'm taking lessons with a local musician. I didn't know until I started this little adventure that the mandolin is strung the same as a violin and since I play the viola it's not too much of a stretch. I can pick up melodies fast...but the whole strumming thing is much harder than I anticipated. But I'm excited to see where this will take me!

Speaking of mandolins and such, here is a great new album for you: It's from Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile. Incredible. I don't think you have to be into bluegrass or folk music to like it either. It's a great blend-y sort of mash-up of these types of music with a little Celtic and classical for some spice. Go listen. Now.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

How you like me now?

I seriously need to start picking up the pace! Summer's officially in full swing as evidenced by a nearly-crippling heat wave. Anyway, to the tunes!

I've been hearing a song on lots of commercials and movies lately and so I investigated it. I found a video on Youtube by a British band called The Heavy (oh and the song is called "How You Like Me Now?"). It's a great song, lots of energy and kind of a neo-soul groovy sound (not unlike The Black Keys). I really love it. So, I did some more digging on iTunes and it looks like this album came out in did I miss it?? I don't know if this band is working on anything new anytime soon, but I sure hope so. I guess I'll just tide myself over with that 2009 album, The House That Dirt Built.

In other news, and speaking of The Black Keys, they are said to have finished recording their next album and are not just in the last stages of mixing. I'm seriously hoping it's done by the end of the year.

In other, other news, I know that this isn't a book blog, but I need to share what I've been reading. I recently started Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell and omg I love it. I heard all the hype about the movie and then subsequently never saw it, but recently I saw the book and decided to pick it up. It's a great story that really draws you in. And I love that a local (well, from the Ozarks in MO) author has gotten so much attention.

I've also been reading The Feminine Mystique and getting in touch with my feminist side. There are parts that I'm not sure I totally agree with, but I still think this book should be required reading for women everywhere. Very interesting stuff.

Until next time...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The 2011 Roo Recap

Oh goodness. One week ago I was camping on a farm in the Tennessee heat and listening to some of the best live music around. I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorite performances.

The Walkmen. I saw this band perform one night in Columbia, but they were not really at the top of their game. They were have some audio issues and were clearly affected by it. So it was really refreshing to see them perform at their best while at Bonnaroo. This was one of the first shows that I went to and it was a fantastic way to start the weekend!

Jessica Lea Mayfield. I had never heard of her before, but my friend and I were wasting a little time and wandered over to her tent. She has a great country drawl when she sings and her songs are very heartfelt. She put on a good show.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Wowza. No one puts on a show quite like Grace Potter. She puts herself all in and it works. She's a little bit kooky and a little crazy but she is amazing. They played the perfect mix of old and new songs and they also covered White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane. My friend and I got up pretty close to the stage, so it was great.

Lil Wayne. This show started out pretty fun but unfortunately we had to leave early because my friend got sick. I heard it was fun, so I wish we could have stayed...oh well.

The Black Keys. OhEmGee. This was amazing for me. I made one of those good/bad choices and actually went to this show by myself. My Bonnaroo buddy needed some more shut-eye. But, there was no way in hell that I was going to miss this show! And it was actually ridiculously fun to go alone. I was able to dance like a fool without caring who was watching me. I got a really great spot to watch too. The Black Keys put on a great performance; they played a perfect mix of old and new. They are just so damn sexy...their songs and the way they sing...bah it's great. Probably my favorite moments of the weekend.

The Head and The Heart. Another great show. This band has really grown on me. The band was so excited just to be at Bonnaroo and that energy definitely made it into their performance. Such fun.

Overall a great weekend...this is only a smattering of my experience. My friend and I are looking forward to our next festival. Probably not Bonnaroo, but something equally awesome.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

cats and dogs

Oh friends (all 10 of you according to Blogger), guess what? I passed my qualifying exam!! I'm starting to think this whole Ph.D thing could be a reality. Wowza. That means it's officially summertime! I have some big plans this summer-trips to Tennessee and DC, maybe a float trip, lotsa music, lab Thursday Funday, reading for pleasure, and maybe joining the Columbia community symphony.

Anyway, let's chat tunes. I haven't had much time to check out anything new because I've been studying so freaking much, so I'm afraid I don't have much to report.

I've been listening to quite a bit of The Head and the Heart during my studies and I have to say they have grown on me a lot. At the first listen, there were definitely several stand out tunes (Down in the Valley, Lost in My Mind), but overall I wasn't impressed. I liked the folksy, acoustic-y vibe and I really love the lead singer's voice (Josiah Johnson) has a really nice husky quality. But many of the songs feature a sort of jazzy piano part that honestly I found a little cheesy. Over time the songs have really grown on me though. I still think some of the piano can be toned down (maybe even left out) because the lyrics and harmonies can carry the rest. But, I'm not a producer.

I've added two more concerts to my summer! Toots and the Maytals are stopping by The Blue Note next week for a free show on 9th Street (part of their Summerfest). Then in July I'm going to swing by the Pageant for The Fleet Foxes with a dear friend from undergrad.

Stay tuned for my upcoming Bonnaroo Preview Playlist.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

lost in my mind

Hi friends, I'm extremely sorry about my hiatus. In approximately a week and a half I will take what is arguably the most important exam of my academic career. I have been stuffing my brain with biochemistry for the last month and now I'm attempting to pump myself up for this terrifying experience.

Anyway, all of my motivation to keep on keepin' on is music-based. Of course Bonnaroo is keeping me focused. I recently got my ticket in the mail and the schedule is officially up! So excited! Can't wait to report back to you about all of the great performances!

Without further ado, here are a couple of that I've been listening to:
Fleet Foxes
, Helplessness Blues- Such a great follow-up to there last record.
Nicki Bluhm, Driftwood- A great new find! Bluhm is kind of a folksy, bluesy, acoustic-y gal. Her husband Tim joins her on several of the songs which really balances it out.
Toots and the Maytals, Reggae got Soul- Classic Toots. He's a legend in the Reggae world and this album is a great intro into the genre. If you haven't really listened to Reggae, this is a great place to start.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

roman's revenge

Today's been a hip-hop sort of day.

Favorite new duo: Chiddy Bang. These two have been likened to "a hipster's wet dream," which I find hilarious...because I think it's kind of true. Chidera "Chiddy" Anamege provides the ryhmes and Noah "Xaphoon Jones" Beresin lays down the beats. But they aren't just any beats...oh no. Chiddy raps over samples of popular songs, often of the indie persuasion. Opposite of Adults, a single off their album samples MGMT's Kids. He even raps over Sufjan's Chicago on the track All Things Go. It's definitely an eclectic sound/style, but they're not really the first one's to come up with it. Still it's a fresh take on this type of genre and it's definitely a good place to start if you are just getting into hip-hop (i.e. it's easier to swallow that say, gangsta rap).

Next up: Nicki Minaj. I have recently discovered that I LOVE Miss Minaj. I really can't put my finger on what I love so much about her, but I'll try. She just has this kind of larger-than-life persona and all of her songs are performances. They're stories. Her parents fought a lot when she was younger and so she used to make up alter egos to forget about it. Now she has put them to good use and uses them throughout her lyrics. She has put out mixed tapes and demos for years, but her first full-length studio album came out just recently. I think it's pretty great. It's not my favorite type of music but it's fun to jam to.

There is so much great music coming out this spring...I'm so excited! But I'm also a little sad because that means my wallet's going to take a hit. Oh well. Keep a look out for new stuff from: Panda Bear, TV on the Radio, and Fleet Foxes. Oh my.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

white rabbit

So, I thought that I would just post some videos that I've been into lately. The first is the Jefferson Airplane cover, White Rabbit, from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I really love her soulful voice. It's classic rock n' roll.

Second, we have Wanda Jackson, rockabilly legend. She has this interesting voice that sounds a little worse for the wear, but hey, she's 73 and still going at it. She was kind of a big deal during the height of the original rock n' roll. This latest collaboration with Jack White is pretty neat.

Finally, Lady Gaga's Born this way. Ok, here's my take on LG: I think it's great that she loves being completely out there and pushing boundaries, etc etc. I really do. And I think she has/is doing great work for gay rights. And I love her songs...they are catchy, upbeat, and fun to dance to. But something about her videos gets on my nerves. I think she seems to take them so seriously that it's a little comic. This one's a doozy. The constellation uterus in the beginning and the weird/gross birth scenes freak me out. I do like the song though. Also...get your science right..."mitosis of the future" doesn't make sense.

In case you were wondering, the first two of these artists will be at Bonnaroo. And I. Can't. Wait.

Also, in academic news, I have decided on the lab(s) for my Ph.D. Sa-weet.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

paper cup

Today I bought my ticket for Bonnaroo X 2011.

A friend of mine from school and I decided that in order to help motivate us to study for our qualifying exams we should go to Bonnaroo. The festival is about a week after the exams, so hopefully we both will pass and then go celebrate!

Looks like a pretty good lineup.

Now just keep your fingers crossed that I pass.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

sigh no more

I have kind of a love/hate relationship with Mumford & Sons.

Their debut record, Sigh No More, has gotten mixed reviews. Pitchfork only gave it a 2.1, other online music websites have given lukewarm reviews, but I do have a lot of other friends with respectable taste who like it. So, I bought it.

At first listen it's pleasant. The songs are mostly upbeat, catchy and full of pretty solid harmonies. Some of the first songs have interesting crescendos and they're emotionally charged. They are talented instrumentalists as well...I really dig the banjo parts. So I thought maybe I liked them.

Then I kept listening. And I thought for a second that iTunes was on repeat. But it wasn't...the songs just sound the same. Those lovely harmonies that first peaked my interest grew tired and kind of sad, the crescendos and the raw emotional became predictable.

This leaves me at a crossroads since I do like some of the songs. I really like their style too; they're cute. And honestly, Marcus Mumford great alliterative name. Enjoy this video...they are great performers.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Comfy in Nautica

This week has been a historic one for mid-MO. We got 18" of snow in less than 24 hours and nearly an inch of ice as well. MU will have been closed for three days by the end of this week...which I'm told might be a record.

Unfortunately my type of work is not conducive to snow days, even more so since I live about 0.13mi from campus. I did take one snow day yesterday, but I'm back in lab today. In order to make it more exciting, I bought some new tunes to pass the time, of course!

First up, I decided to buy Panda Bear's Person Pitch. I'm not sure why I hadn't bought it before since I love Animal Collective (Panda Bear is Noah Lennox, founding member of AC). I've only listened to it a couple of times, so I really don't have much to say except that I like it. It's exactly you would expect to get from Lennox (it gets weird to keep writing 'Panda Bear').

I also bought The Walkmen's Lisbon. Honestly my motivation for this is a little skewed. I have some other stuff by them and I've always thought it was ok, but never gave it too much credit. Well, I found out yesterday that both The Walkmen and The New Pornographers are coming to The Blue Note in April. I love TNP and thought it would be cool to see them with The Walkmen and after a little searching I realized they had released a new album in '10. I checked it out and I really like it. It's a solid album. I've only listened to this a few times too, so again, I can't really expand on it now.

Stay tuned to see if I make it to the show (fingers-crossed)!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The King is Dead

I have to admit that it's been a while since I have thoroughly enjoyed an entire album...each and every song. But then I bought the latest from Portland's own The Decemberists, The King is Dead. And I love the entire thing. I really don't think there is a single song that isn't as good as the rest. Don't Carry It All is probably my favorite, but they are all good.

This album is the hallmark of real musical talent. They have proven that it pays off to grow and change as artists. This album is very clearly Decemberists: it's very clean, each song has a 'crafted' sound, it has Colin Meloy's unique vocals, etc. But it's new: it sounds very much like a classic rock-folk album, which is a departure from previous records. Many of the tracks were produced by Tucker Martine who has worked with some great folks, so it's really no surprise that this is a hit.

Listen and soak it up. Now.