Saturday, January 29, 2011


"all the single ladies, all the single ladies" - no one will ever forget this song. it was released in October of 2008 and how many bands have covered it now? i lost count. truthfully, the first time i heard this song, i wanted to cover it as well (ask my husband). who can deny that chord progression? not this gal. i guess Pomplamoose felt the same way - almost word for word - "we cannot deny this chord progression." they must have heard me say that when this song released...copycats (ya right). back to my point - this is my all time favorite cover of "single ladies." i discovered it, oh, about a year or so ago (?) and have not shared it on here yet (not sure why really). but i am sure of my love for this cover. from "uno, dos, pizza" to "don't make me sing this part of the song, the lyrics are so bad" to the doo-wop harmonies to her Batman shirt. i will not bore you with the other 29 reasons. i am simply going to leave you with this video. i hope you watch it. cheers!

oh! also, they have plenty of music on itunes for your listening pleasure. their originals are great as well...which is always a plus.

Friday, January 21, 2011

lyrics and faith.

well, it's Friday. i was greeted this morning at 5:00 a.m. with the stomach flu. what a way to start a weekend right? i am hoping it is only a 10-hour bug cause i have ridiculous plans tonight that may or may not consist of going to a Snoop Dogg concert...which is another blog in and of itself. so, i am sitting in my bed trying to get over this flu nast and thinking of one thing (well, maybe two...m'husband too): lyrics lyrics lyrics.

i am currently writing a new song and i can honestly say i am so excited about it...contrary to what you might be thinking, i do not have these thoughts often. i have written plenty of bad songs - some ok songs which creep their way into my set at shows - and a few good ones. a few that i can say, "i am proud i wrote that." every singer/songwriter should know their strengths and weaknesses as a writer. my strengths are melodies and chord structure/instrumentation. my weakness: lyrics lyrics lyrics. i have learned from talking to many singer/songwriters that i am not alone in this boat. good lyrics are hard to write. i think too much when i write - instead of just writing what comes out. this is one of the best pieces of advice anyone has ever given me: "stop trying to stuff yourself into a genre or lyrical box of expectations...write what comes out."

i tend to write "safe." often i write about people...friends, my husband, family, etc. i guess this should be your warning: if we are friends, i might write you a diddy - well, a song about you, that is. this morning it occurred to me: i rarely write about faith. there is good reason behind this. faith scares me. it is a topic i do not like to open my heart up to and write about. that might be confusing to you. let me clarify. the idea of faith is astounding...but i also have so many questions. questions i thought, by the old age of 28, would be answered. shouldn't i know where i stand on every single topic in regards to faith?

a few years ago, i sat down at a Steinway grand piano and wrote about faith. the title was going to be "Faith" but ended up being "Untitled." how oddly appropriate. i wanted to write a song that would bring hope to those who were struggling but that is not what came out - i got about 3 verses in and could not write anymore. here are the lyrics:

Oh what little faith I have to try and try, staying here
And the distant trumpet sounds within me cry
Please be near, so near

Courage is of willing heart and humble state, wanting more
And the distant pathway winds toward the gate
What's in store, in store

Running down into the sea to wash away, all the fear
Arms held open toward the sky, round they sway
Falling tears

this song lasts about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. i am proud of this song. my heart is bleeding out of it. i have decided to start opening my shows with this song. i hope i have it in me to write more of these. i am hoping the song i am currently working on will be a good song. we will see. i have started to co-write with this guy - he plays guitar (amazing) for me and is a dear friend. he has a better grasp on lyrics than i and i am hoping we can write some great tunes.

i need to stop writing. i will leave you with this song: Peace of Mind. lyrically, one of my favorites (as well as this guy i'm writing with) acoustic, a haunting melody, and Mindy Smith vocals. if this song does not move you to tears, i am not sure if you have a heart :). i hope one day to write songs that are lyrically this sound. i posted a link at the bottom, listen to it.

Peace Of Mind
Mindy Smith

I need peace of mind and a hopeful heart
to lose this rage and move out of the dark
I ain't looking for rainbows or shooting stars
just some peace of mind and a hopeful heart

I need a peace of mind and a lullaby
cause there's an angry voice in my head tonight
tellin' me to do things that can't be right
I need peace of mind and a lullaby

and a miracle for this broken soul
a little miracle for this broken soul

I need peace of mind and gentle hand
as I try to change the way I am
I hope God forgives me when I can't
I need peace of mind and a gentle hand

or a miracle for this broken soul
a little miracle for this broken soul

I need peace of mind and a hopeful heart

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

forgotten records.

i can't believe i forgot these two records...which means i have a top 12 - whoops.

11. Jakob Dylan - Women and Country ---- T Bone Burnett and Jakob Dylan...enough said. "nothing but the whole wide world to gain, nothing, nothing." i have bought more people this record than any of the aforementioned.

12. Brandon Flowers - Flamingo ---- i am a huge Killers fan (my husband and i really). we had the chance to see them live last year and it was one of the best shows i've been to (and i have been to a lot). Brandon Flowers is a great performer. i have to admit i was a bit skeptical when i heard he was recording a solo record. my husband bought it immediately and loved it. i waited a few weeks to listen but as soon as i heard "Only the Young," i was sold. a friend of my husband's who is also an artist said it so well, "it's songs like Only the Young that make you want to stop writing music all together - what's the point when there are songs this good?" i couldn't agree more.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

top ten albums of 2010...

well, i'm finally getting around to my annual 'top ten albums of the year' post. i thoroughly enjoy writing this post each year, though it does pose somewhat of a challenge. you see, music is a very passionate subject for me to discuss. at times i become so passionate that i seem to lose myself and become this elitist jerk (who i don't enjoy, and neither do others). thank the dear Lord for my sweet husband who has helped me to change and i can now say i am WAY better than i used to be at controlling my words and opinions on the subject of music. just to put it in perspective, here is Katie 4 years ago:

dude asking me a question after one of my shows: "so ya, my favorite bands are Linkin Park, Lifehouse, and probably like them too yes?"
me (in pompous elitist tone): "um, no. and here are the 28 reasons you shouldn't like any of those bands"... (starts listening reasons) - and let me just clarify that i pretty much ripped all of said bands apart and left him speechless. i know, i'm sure he's a huge fan of mine and my music. hopefully he's gotten over it. i think so, since i still see him from time to time.

m'huz now was m'boyfriend then and he was pretty upset with me. he has reminded me many times since that i should let people like what they want to like and leave my opinions out of it (he reminds me in a nice way, of course). as silly as this sounds, i am grateful for him reminding me of this. now, this isn't to say i don't have strong opinions about what is good, bad, amazing, and terrible music. oh i have them and those of you who know me are laughing right now - strong opinions indeed. one of my favorite things to do is argue with my husband about music - haha. but seriously. it always ends in laughing, so that is good. i am grateful to be married to a musician (who is incredible by the way...they are currently touring Arizona and Texas). love that man.

ok, i really didn't mean to write this long. i was going to list my top ten albums and be done. but as i said, i am a very, very passionate person and this is what happens when a passionate person starts writing about one of the things they are most passionate about - wowwwwwww. i'm done. maybe one more thing...i chose these albums for specific reasons. i don't want to take the time to write a page on each album so if you would like to know why i chose one or more of them - just ask! on that note, here are my top ten albums of 2010 in no particular order:

1. Carney - Mr. Green ---- incredible musicians. Reeve Carney is currently playing the role of Spiderman on Broadway - Bono and The Edge wrote the music for this production.

2. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs ---- knowing all of humanity would buy this record, i was a bit skeptical. it took me about two listens but ya, i'm feelin it. i plan to see these talented folk live this year.

3. The National - High Violet ---- great band. great lyrics. great record.

4. Sandra McCracken - In Feast or Fallow ---- in general, i love this an artist and as a person. these new/old hymns are powerful. well done, Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken.

5. Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown ---- i can understand why one would be sick of Kings of Leon at this point in time. that being said, i'll let Chris DeLine's review say the rest for me...i couldn't say it better: "
Come Around Sundown reveals itself to be the first step in a shift toward what made the Followill brothers so alluring in the first place. Sure, there are songs like the oddly placed malt-shop rock of “Mary,” but there are also songs like the vaguely twangy “Birthday,” which is far sexier—lyrically—than anything having to do with someone’s sex being on fire, “We’re gonna come together, we’re gonna celebrate/We’re gonna gather around like it’s your birthday/I don’t want to know just what I’m gonna do/I don’t care where you’re goin’, I’m coming home with you.” If you keep an open mind you’re likely to find a solid mainstream rock album that sounds much more like a product of a band that enjoys “goofing off” more than it does “going to the office.” Time will tell which of the two directions the group takes—whether they chase success or continue the search for soul—but if Come Around Sundown is any indication, the future of Kings of Leon will be just as enjoyable as the band’s past has been."

6. Jonsi - Go ---- anyone who has been completely entranced by Sigur Ros was excited for this record. a side project by
Jón “Jónsi” Þór Birgisson and Alex Somers. just buy it.

7. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of ADZ ---- this man is genius. that is really all i can say without writing 8 pages of why.

8. The Morning Benders - Big Echo ---- i was in love (whoa) with this record from the first time i laid ears on it. this doesn't happen often. i'm a sucker for 1950's pop balladry and since that is exactly what the opening track is - i was bound to be in love. my friend Ellen once described a record as "giving her a tan from the inside out" - that is exactly how i feel about Big Echo.

9. Local Natives - Gorilla Manor ---- led by harmonies. great songwriting. a bit of Broadway, a touch of Motown, and a tang of choir nerd. rare and wonderful.

10. Dr. Dog - Shame Shame ---- i echo the words i spoke of Big Echo: i loved this record from the start. oh the harmonies. of course i love harmonies - i was a vocal performance major - AND i am a music teacher - c'mon. "Jackie Wants a Black Eye" makes me want to gather all of the important people in my life into one giant circle, link arms, and sing at the top of our lungs - about each other, to each other. "we're all in this together now, cause we all fall apart...we're just swapping little pieces, of our broken little hearts."

**with special mention to:
Beach House - Teen Dream
Midlake - The Courage of Others

**also, i need more music this year from Bon Iver, Leslie Feist, Thad Cockrell, and Mindy Smith

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


i have many things to post but lack of for now - here is a really great tune that will cause you to sit and contemplate. the lyrics are astounding. enjoy.

oh! and while you're at it, buy some Sleeping at Last. my dear friend Jeremy Hugus introduced them to me about 6 years ago. what a great band.