Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thanks for the welcome, party people!

Let me just start by saying that I'm jazzed about beginning as a contributor here on Guilt Free Pleasures! It was quite serendipitous, really...as if the fates aligned to give me the chance to share my music lusts with all of you. This post will be longer than any others I will ever write, but I hope you stick with me.

I thought that I might put my best foot forward and introduce myself to you by giving you Lauren's top 10. This eclectic mix will give you an idea of my taste and what to expect from me in the future. These ten artists are the creme de la creme of my iTunes library...at least for today. I try to be gender equitable in my music listening, so I've separated them into the guys and gals. Without further ado...

The Handsome Gents

Leslie Anne Levine [mp3] The Decemberists- "Castaways and Cutouts" (iTunes). You'll find me to be a big fan of The Decemberists. In fact, I'm just brimming to get on here and review their recently released album "Hazards of Love." The Decemberists have such an interesting take on life, music and love; and my indie heart beats wildly for the somewhat whiny/totally soulful croon that is the lead singer, Colin Meloy. This song is their quintessential style.

Love, Love, Love [mp3] - The Mountain Goats - "The Sunset Tree" (iTunes). Lyrically, this song is another 'thinker,' which I absolutely adore. With the literary allusions (Bible & Crime and Punishment, anyone?), this song is also tender and lovely...which is especially spectacular from a band that usually produces songs that sound like Irish drinking songs. (If you're in the mood for Irish drinking songs, check out No Children off of "Tallahassee.")

Wonder [mp3] - Colin Meloy - "Colin Meloy Sings Live!" (iTunes). As mentioned above, Colin Meloy is the lead singer for The Decemberists. My reasons for loving this song are just...too many to mention. I love, love, love the timbre of Colin's voice and the subject of this song is just too sweet. I often slip into grand reveries of telling my currently nonexistent future husband that I'm pregnant by playing this song.

At the Bottom of Everything [mp3] - Bright Eyes - "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" (iTunes). I definitely gravitate toward incredible stories told by insightful storytellers. Case in point: At the Bottom of Everything. The song begins with a story of 2 people in a crashing plane, which is just about the best premise for a song ever. Listen and fall in love with kindergarten-esque story time all over again.

Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood [mp3] - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" (iTunes). I love this song solely due to its timbre. I tend to have weird-dar; there's something about weird-sounding music that 100% grabs my attention and holds it until the last note. With the coupling of an oddly sluggish - incomprehensible lead vocalist and the upbeat melody, this song definitely makes the weird-dar ding. My absolute favorite part of the song is the crescendo nearing the end where the lyrics denigrate into repeating 'child stars.'

The Fabulous Ladies

First Love [mp3] - ADELE - "19" (iTunes). This Grammy-winning songstress captivated my heart (and ears) at first jazzy note. While I like Chasing Pavements, I fell in love with ADELE once discovering First Love. And, this might be TMI (Too Much Info), but I totally identify with the subject matter, as I'm sure many of you in the blogosphere can.

Foundations [mp3] - Kate Nash - "Made of Bricks" (iTunes). Imagine my horror and despair when I found Guilt Free Pleasures, replete with the artists that sing my soul, and didn't find Kate Nash! Well, I'm here to correct that grevious misfortune. I love how Kate sings it how it is (which, let's face it, isn't always pretty) and couples it with a simple, upbeat tempo. Insatiably catchy, with a Lily Allen feel (though, Lily Allen might kill me for making that reference!)

A Better Wife [mp3] - Erin McKeown - "Grand" (iTunes). I first learned of Erin when she came to American University (my alma mater) as the opening act for...well...I can't remember. Needless to say, she totally stole the show, and my heart. She's folksy and fun, and A Better Wife totally encompasses all the best of who she is and how she puts herself out there.

Pluto [mp3] - Clare and the Reasons - "The Movie" (iTunes). I found Clare & The Reasons back in November/December when they opened for Shara of My Brightest Diamond. Much like Shara, Clare and her posse of Reasons, this band is comprised of vocalist, cellist, violinist and X, where X stands for whatever weird instrument produces the desired sound. Maybe I'm projecting a bit, but a love song to Pluto after having been de-planetized makes me feel happy about the world.

Evident Utensil [mp3] - Chairlift - "Does You Inspire You" (iTunes). Speaking of stealing the show, Chairlift totally eclipsed Yeasayer as their opening act this past December when they played here in DC. Most people know Chairlift from their appearance as the music on the last iPod commercial, but I posit that they are so much more complex than Bruises portrays them to be.

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