Bands @ Best Kept Secret I hope to see

Bands @ Best Kept Secret I hope to see

Tomorrow will see the beginning of Best Kept Secret festival. And I’m going! It will be my second time and I’m fully prepared. I have a tent, a matte and a sleeping bag, so I’m all set for 3 days of sun, fun and music. Because music is the reason I’m going. Here are my top 10 bands I hope to see at Best Kept Secret

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Flashback to Best Kept Secret 2015!!

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Tuned up Thursday: Music ABC – G

Tuned up Thursday: Music ABC – G

Remember that I like an array of different music? Well today’s post will proof just that. From a golden oldie, to elektro house, commercial dance, singer songwriter and one of the best tracks from one of the best albums ever made, this post showcases a neat division of the type of music I listen to. Move over indie music, today we’ll be delving into my musical catalogue and have a look at my favorite songs starting with the letter G.

1.) Georgia on my Mind – Ray Charles

The master of soul and R&B: that’s Ray Charles. His music is amazing and this song always gives me goosebumps. It’s just so beautiful, raw and filled with emotion. A classic that everyone should know.

2.) Ghosts n Stuff – Deadmau5

When listening to this song you need the full 6 min album version. I only one dance album. And it’s Deadmau5′ Random Album Title. It doesn’t feature this song per se, but because of that unique feature, I knew I had to include a Deadmau5 song in my Music ABC series. This is my favorite track by him. If you like a bit of elektro and a bit of house, then you’ll like this one.

3.) Golden Train – Justin Nozuka

How Justin Nozuka isn’t super duper famous yet is beyond me. His music is divine. Especially his first album. I saw him live 3 times and I’d go see him again at the drop of a hat. His music falls into the singer songwriter category and this song in particular is soothing, a tad sad and oh so beautiful. I love how it picks up half way through to give it a bit more oomph. He just released a new record not too long ago and I haven’t heard it yet, will have to some time soon.

4.) The Great Gig in the Sky – Pink Floyd

If you’d ask me what’s the best album ever made, I’d tell you Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd within the blink of an eye. I’ve been listening to it since I was 14 years old (as per my mother’s recommendation) and I’m still listening to it. My favorite track on it, is this one. It’s instrumental mostly, with vocals just singing a melody line, no words. I love listening to this late at night and just let it transport me wherever it takes me. For those moments where you don’t want to think of anything, but just let the music take you for a ride.

5.) Greyhound (Original Mix) – Swedish House Mafia

Gym classes can also give you some inspiration for your music playlist. I know this song through my spinning classes. And I love it. Super commercial but oh so fun dance track that I’m will get all the crowds jumping. It’s got the pounding rhythm, the repetitive build up: in short anything that makes a crowd pleasing dance track. I love listening to this when I work out in the gym still.

What songs starting with the letter G do you like?

Music ABC – B

Music ABC – B

To get through the entire alphabet (and numbers) I’m gonna have to make 27 of these posts. That means, that even if I were to post one of these every single week, it would take me at least 6 months to get through. And since I also want to do my songs of the week and music of theĀ  moment posts, where I can show you some more recent songs, I thought it’d be best to have the alphabet posts take up all other weeks. Else you, my dear reader, will have to hold out for too long. Since I don’t want to stall the Music ABC for too long, I’m bringing you the letter B today.

Bird Song – Florence And The Machine

Let’s start off this letter with my favorite song by Florence and the Machine. Well one of my favorites. Back when her debut album Lungs launched a few years ago I was one of the first to hop on that bandwagon. I believe I even had a few of her songs floating around my playlists before she even released an EP. I kinda liked her second album, but since that is in the vein of songs loved by the masses, I didn’t love it as much as her first one. What I loved about that first album is that it is so versatile and has so many different flavors and sounds. To me, Bird Song is a quintessential early Florence + The Machine song: it has her amazing voice, a harp, drums and eerie lyrics.

Blue Monday – New Order

An older song, yet nonetheless a gem in any music collection. This 80s track by New Order is what I would call THE New Wave track. And if you don’t know what New Wave is, then certainly give this a listen. In the age of the computer becoming more of a standard for creating music, this song is a pioneering track, not just for electronic music, but also for any type of dance music that was to come in decades after. In fact, lots of 80s electronic tracks sound like early versions of much later house, trance and other dance songs out there. The song was remade by the band in 1988.

Box – Johnny Flynn, The

Johnny Flynn has been one of my favorite artists ever since I saw him sing this song in the Takeaway Shows by La Blogoteque. He walks the streets in Argentina and into a bodega while playing his guitar singing this song all by himself. I fell in love with his voice and bought his first album A Larum. And what’s not to love?! This man not only plays guitar and sings, but also plays the violin and can pretty much do a whole song by himself. I finally managed to see him live and this song sounded even better in real life than I had imagined. This is folky, bluesy type stuff with catchy lyrics and he’s played with Mumford & Sons before.

Bread And Butter – Newbeats

On to some 60s beat music. In the 60s, many bands started adopting the ‘beat’ sound which was firstly promoted by early Beatles music. Many of those bands didn’t necessarily cross the pond, nor stood the test of time and have been forgotten. Since I have a weakness for this type of music, I came across this live version of the Newbeats’ Bread and Butter one afternoon. It’s catchy (Sesame Street tune anyone?), a bit cheek in tongue and of course the song is made by the falsetto by the lead singer.

Breathe On Me – Britney Spears

On to the last song, which is straight up pop. This song was never a single, but it’s on Britney’s album In the Zone. The video is from the accompanying world tour and it shows Britney in her heyday: before the craziness. I don’t even really know why I love this song in particular, but it’s always stood out to me and this was out when I was in my hardcore Britney loving phase. I still love her, I have all her albums and I love her music most for dancing along to, so that’s what I usually do with this song mostly. Now all I need is myself a hot male dancer to make out with in the instrumental section.

What letter B song is your favorite?

Music ABC – A

Music ABC – A

I had been considering sharing my all time favorite songs with you, but since there are so many, I never knew how to format it. Then, I came across a blog randomly (I forgot which one) where the owner went through her favorite music according to the alphabet. Not by artist, no by song. And I thought that was such a nifty idea! So this isn’t an original idea and if you read this and came up with this, then I hope you don’t mind that I took your idea and went with it. So the concept is simple: in the next couple of months I will be sharing my favorite songs in alphabetical order. Every time I’ll share 5 songs with you and explain a bit why I like a song or how I came across it. Let’s start at the beginning: with the letter A!

A Sunday Kind of Love – Etta James

Oh Etta! If you could fall in love with a voice, I’d fall in love with Etta James’. The warm, soulful voice combined with the early R&B sounds of this song just make it magnificent. Factor in the fact that it has slightly lazy feel to it and you instantly understand the title.

Addicted – Kelly Clarkson

I had a major Kelly Clarksom phase back in 2005 – 2006 and this song (and a few others, but mostly this one) has stuck with me ever since. Not a cheerful song, but so powerful. One of those: I’m stuck in a rut and I need a song to pick me up type of song.

Ain’t That Peculiar – Marvin Gaye

If you’d ask me what is my favorite song of all time, I’d have several options. One of them is this one. With a hint of swing, this song is an upbeat song but with a not so upbeat message. In addition Marvin Gaye was a musical genius, so if you don’t know this one yet, definitely check it out.

American Boy – Estelle ft. Kanye West

This song was on repeat constantly when I first heard came it. It’s catchy, it’s fun, and a tad cheeky at times. Yup, a fun little modern day R&B track. (I just noticed that there are 3 R&B songs in this post. It’s not as if that’s the only thing I listen to).

And If My Heart Should Somehow Stop – James Vincent McMorrow

I remember vividly when I first listened to this song with all of my attention: while lounging underneath a tree on Center Island in Toronto. So for me, this song is summer vacations in foreign countries while doing absolutely nothing. When I hear this, I instantly relive my 2012 vacation. And really, what’s better than that?

Share your favorite songs starting with ‘A’ in the comments below!

Song(s) of the week #1

Song(s) of the week #1

Music is one thing that literally makes my world go round, so when it comes to daily posts, I’ve decided that music needs a regular spot on the blog. My aim is to have a music related blog post once a week. Where I already have a regular blog post entitled Music of the Moment, which will of course return, I have come up with some new themes. In Music of the Moment I tend to list songs that are newly acquired, but because of that format, stuff that I’ve been listening to for a while get lost in the mayhem of it all. That’s why I’ve decided to split up the two. So from now on: new music in Music of the Moment and any other song or songs that strike me during a specific time will be titled Song(s) of the Week. This is the first installment. Enjoy the randomness as today I have 6 songs for you. 5 of them indie gems which I hadn’t shared on here yet and an oldie but goodie musical song.

Elephant – Shapeshifter

Need a tune to warm up your late spring evenings? Look no further because you’ve just found it. Sublime track with the immediate effect that you want it to be summer. Now. Pronto!

Eli & Fur – You’re so High

I love the whole retro 90s dance throwback tracks that are out there. This is one of those tracks. With a bit more oomph and sexy breathy lyrics.

Hiatus – Empress (ft. Hayedeh)

Weirdest song in the list by far, but oh so beautiful. Chillwave to the max! Nice electronic base with repetitive piano melodies. What makes this song special are the vocals though: they’re sampled from a Persian singer. Perfect mix between cultures and sound.

Hockey – Defeat on the Double Bass Line

Hailed as one the bands to watch a few years ago, Hockey released this unique track last year. I love the blend of the booming bassline and minimal instrumentation that reminds me of the 80s. I hadn’t heard this song in a while, but it came on and just got stuck in my head. This is great on repeat.

Island Cassettes – Dodo

This song breathes SPRING! From the tweeting birds in the background to the happy guitar riff, this song just makes me want to dance in a field filled with daisies in my bare feet.

Jennifer Holiday – You’re Gonna Love Me (And I am telling you – Dream Girls)

Who’s seen this movie? Then you may remember that Jennifer Hudson who won an Oscar for her supporting role and mainly for singing this song. Well forget that. And listen to the original. Woman can sing! For those of you who need some drama in their lives and want to be awed by the abilities of one woman’s vocal chords. I get goosebumps whenever I hear this. Oh and did I mention it’s the best break up song ever?

What songs have you been loving?

My favorite Backstreet Boys songs

My favorite Backstreet Boys songs

Let’s take a break from all the indie music that usually makes up my music related posts. Let’s have a look at some of my favorite songs by a group who played a major role in my life for more than 13 years. I’m taking about Backstreet Boys of course. When you’ve been a fan for such a long time and you play their music religiously, certain songs will pop up as your favorites. Most often, not because they are the best known or because they are the best songs in the catalog, but because you have certain memories attached to them. Even though my love for them has dwindled down in recent years, I found myself listening to some of my old playlists after I saw them live on March 24th. Hence the idea for this post. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and my favorite songs by BSB.

All I have to give (a capella)

The only song on this list that was ever a single, but in a slightly different version. I distinctly remember buying this song as part of their single for Shape of my Heart. If there is one thing which defines or at least used to define Backstreet Boys it was their a capella singing. Add in the fact that I have always liked All I Have to Give as a single the minute I heard it and you have the perfect combo for a favorite BSB song.

Close my eyes

Released as a b-side on the single for Inconsolable, this song immediately hit home. Another thing that Backstreet get right is a good power ballad. I used to listen to this all the time to soothe my moods.

Color my world

A bit of a cheesy song this unreleased track for Never Gone, but nonetheless catchy and I love how each voice blends into the next. Nice concept, great singalong. Solid song. Also covered by Westlife.

Don’t wanna lose you now

Track no. 9 on their Millennium album. I used this song as my alarm clock for a year straight when I was 15. Nuff said.

Everybody (Live 2005 tour)

I couldn’t find a link to the version I listen to (which is from the Cleveland Up Close & Personal Tour), but this will do. The only bit you’re missing is the fact that this version ALSO used The Ying Yang Twins’ Wait (The Whisper Song) for the intro and the first half of the chorus. Oh well. Sheer brilliance in this remix and a special song because it was during my 2005 stay in the US that BSB decided to come back with a tour. It was the first tour for which I saw more than one show and they played all clubs too. Best. Tour. Ever.

Grammy Awards Medley

In the year 2000, at the height of their career, Backstreet Boys performed this medley at the Grammy Awards. They never won any, but yet this song encompasses pre-Internet fandom in a nutshell: my VCR was on all night to catch this on video tape when FOX broadcast the show live in The Netherlands. Oh the memories (and the stress whether your video tape would actually be able to catch everything).

If you stay

An old unreleased track that was never on any single or CD. It was only released as a special song for some 90s R&B collection. And then they decided to do it live for their 2001 Black & Blue tour. An oldie, but a goodie.

Something that I already know

My favorite of all favorites. This one is very special to me. I used to listen to this all the time during my first teaching job and while I was training to become a teacher at the same time. Many memories are attached to that period in my life and they all come together in this one song for me. Plus the vocals are off the chain in this.

Undone

The most recent song in this list. This song is from their 2009 album This is Us. This is Us marked the start of my dwindling fandom (I still dislike that album with a passion). All but one song ended up on the ‘oh-no-not-this’ list. This song is quintessential Backstreet newstyle. I wish they’d do an entire album filled with this R&B fusion style music that showcases their vocals.

Who do you love

Old unreleased track of which the only full version in existence is this acoustic live version from the A Night Out… video tape which was released in 1998. This was supposed to go on an album, but then they changed managements and things got changed up. I’ve loved this since I was 14 when I first got my hands on the tape.

What’s your favorite Backstreet Boys song?

New albums I’ve been loving

New albums I’ve been loving

It’s been a while since I’ve actually written anything on music on here. My last post featured albums from 2013 that I found needed a bit more love. But since the new year began, plenty of music has been released already. I bought a few albums in the past few weeks and so far I’ve been loving all of them. Here they are, including two ‘oldies’ that I think need sharing as well.

Warpaint – Warpaint

I was very curious about this album. I already knew Warpaint as I played their first album, called The Fool, non stop and I even went to see them live. Their self-titled second album is even better. Out of all CDs I’m discussing in this post this is my favorite. It’s like the band took everything from the first album that I loved and put it in here and then some. So what do I love it so much? First up are the interesting rhythm patterns combined with a slow, almost lazy vibe. It’s a fairly dark yet laidback sounding record. Great for relaxing and just think of nothing while being taken on a trip by this music. Secondly is the introduction of a more electronic vibe. There is an added layer of sound to this album which not only deepens the songs but also makes that every time you listen to it you’ll hear more. Definitely an album that keeps you interested.

Broken Bells – After the Disco

Another second album by a band whose first album I loved. Broken Bells is the collaboration of James Mercer of The Shins and Dangermouse. I saw them live when they toured their first album a few years ago and I was surprised there even was a second album. The album couldn’t be more aptly named as the songs all give off a disco vibe which makes for upbeat songs that sometimes remind me of the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, but in a good way. The title track and first single makes me want to move while other songs slow it down or are direct earworms. What strikes me is that most songs take elements from disco music, but never do any of the songs go all the way. It makes for a refreshing sound that fuses together with that typical Broken Bells vibe to create an enjoyable album that would suit the hopefully warmer temperatures of spring & summer.

Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow

The band I once loved and got back on my radar the moment I first heard lead single Carry Me. I loved early Bombay Bicycle Club songs, the lost track after their more folky/ acoustic experiment on their second album. This fourth album totally delivers on the promise of that first single: So Long, See You Tomorrow features many solid indie rock songs that have catchy refrains, guitar riffs and drumlines. It’s one of those instantly likable records that work on larger audiences and I can already imagine what some of these tracks will do when played live at some of the summer festivals the band will most likely be playing. For those who need an album that is easy to listen to, but does bring something new to the table.

James Vincent McMorrow – Post Tropical

On to follow up album number 3! If there is one album that I loved most in 2012 it was his debut album Early in the Morning. I think that together with Marcus Foster’s Nameless Path this album comprised my soundtrack of 2012. I already heard a few of his new songs at the Songbird Festival in Rotterdam last November and I then knew that this second album would be a lot more experimental than the first one. Leaning heavily on his high and icy falsetto, McMorrow has created a hauntingly beautiful record that combines elements of the acoustic base he laid on his debut with electronic music that reminds me of some of the indie chill wave I listen to on an almost daily basis. This album definitely needed to grow on me and I needed a few listens until I could really appreciate it.

Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities

On to one of the most talked about albums produced in the Netherlands in years. Or so it seemed to me anyway. This is by no means a new release, but I hadn’t heard it yet and I picked it up when I bought one of the other articles and I do really like it, so I thought I’d include it here as well. I can best describe this music as a fusion of 60 psychelia with 70s folk. The songs are dark at times with a slightly unsettling vibe (cackling children anyone?). But that does make for some interesting combinations and I love the retro vibe of the songs. If you like bands such as Tame Impala, The Coral and Blitzen Trapper, you may very well like Jacco Gardner.

Britney Spears – Britney Jean

Oh and yeah, Britney released an album in December as well. I can’t help it, I just love her albums. Even though half the songs are too easy and clearly fillers and mediocre at best, the handful of songs that do stand out are keepers. I feel that is the case with all of her albums, but I have never minded. I love me some Brit and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Fingers to the sky!

You may have noticed that I haven’t listed any favorite songs for any of these albums. No need to worry, in my first Music of the Moment (which will be the next music post you’ll be getting from me) I’ll make sure to include one song per album.

What have you been listening to lately?