We listen to a lot of Top 40 at our house. Each day, in lieu of a proper alarm clock I turn on top 40 radio to wake my girls. Frankly, it is the repetition that gets to me. Songs that were tolerable or perhaps even kind of good become mind numbing really quickly. I have nothing against Top 40 or popular music per se, but I wish that they would just expand their playlists exponentially.

There has been a really interesting trend that I’ve noticed; occasionally a song that receive modest success in the indie radio world will make the leap over to popular radio. What is interesting is the time lapse that happens between indie and popular radio.  A couple of years ago, Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” was in regular rotation on XRT in Chicago and then a good 6 months later it resurfaced to popular acclaim (and eventual overplay) on Top 40 stations. Goyte’s “Somebody I used to Know” was next, followed by Ellie Goulding’s “Lights”. Now these are just the ones that I noticed, I am sure that there are many more making the jump.  On the one hand, I am not a music elitist, it doesn’t bother me to see my favorite song “discovered” by the masses –I realize that sounds elitist–I just wish that popular stations could exercise a little restraint. Is it possible to have something lightly in rotation?

Having two young girls pretty much necessitates that popular radio will be a continual presence in our home; I love seeing that my girls love music as much as I do.

Today’s pick is a song that I really like from a group I am recently discovering. I predict it will make the leap to Top 40 radio simply because I discovered that my 10 year old had been googling the title to find the band. Always nice to find music we both enjoy:  Imagine Dragons, “Demons”  (live)



The start of this song reminds me of an orchestra warming up. Perfect way to start the week. This is Phosphorescent, “Song for Zula”  I love the plaintive Tom Petty-ishness of vocalist, Matthew Houck, brought to my attention via

Have a great day!

No Expectations

Have I mentioned how much I love Shazam? How insane is it that you can generally source any music you hear just by Shazam-ing it? I have tons of tags and when I feel like my music is stale and needs refreshing I can just go to my list of tags and download.

Today’s pick is a frothy 80’s-esque song from a Canadian group called Stars. When I heard it initially it was the Kate Bush-like female vocalist that drew me in. Her background vocals are really pretty and offset the lead vocalist’s straightforward delivery. This song is light and easy as Fridays should be, but if you listen,the lyrics are actually pretty great:

Take the weakest thing in you

And then beat the bastards with it

And always hold on when you get love

So you can let go when you give it.

Not going to get too deep on this, but I like this message: Love freely and without expectation. Whether its friendships or your love relationship, I think this has the potential to create real contentment.* Happy Friday!

*this is not advocating being a doormat.

Audible Caffeine

Some days you just need a kick in the pants. Perhaps it’s a Tuesday, or it’s rainy or… God forbid, both. Or maybe it’s that you have a spot of time to reflect on your purpose in this life, without the benefit of motivation or clarity to see things as they really are. It is then, my friends, that you need to have in your arsenal some sure-fire songs to get your heart pumping (even if you remain seated on the couch). I might be able to hurdle our back fence if this song were playing loud enough. Not going to try it, but the thought has crossed my mind. Now, I am posting a video with a static picture while the song plays for several reasons: the band’s actual video is arty, creepy and will take you somewhere other then where I want you to go. (I’m steering this ship dammit!) and the myriad of live versions, while probably impressive if you are actually are there, are not what what today’s post is about either. Forgive the bossiness. What can I say, it’s the song?! Today’s pick is Delta Spirit, “People C’mon”.     ~ enjoy!

For You I’d Wait

Hidden at the end of Coldplay’s X&Y is a compelling cover of Johnny Cash’s  “Til Kingdom Come,” supposedly Coldplay and Johnny Cash had plans to record it together, but Cash passed away and the recording never happened. This song is included as a bonus track on a pretty perfect album. I remember hearing X&Y for the first time; I bought the CD the day it came out. We lived in Hawaii at the time and Chris and I were in the throes of getting to know one another again after a 9 month deployment to Iraq. All of the stress and anxiety of him being gone; and to being a single parent to our daughter, gave way to the relief of having him home again. This time was bittersweet. So much time lost, so much to catch up on. What was once my routine, my schedule was now, again, ours, and we began the process of rebuilding our life together.

I will add this (perhaps I will create a tag) to the group of strangely great songs to run to. Supposedly Lance Armstrong trained to this album for one of his Tour de France victories. (I used to be more impressed by that fact) Point being, X&Y is good for long workouts.

This is SUCH a Johnny Cash song, the cadence and the tone. I really love hearing Coldplay’s version. I have loved each and every one of their albums in its own special way (except Mylo Xylito which I don’t own???? Why?? Do I need it?)

The only thing missing when I hear this is the Ko’olau  Mountains and the Pacific.

Folky trip hop

I recently read a super creepy and suspenseful book, Before I Go To Sleep, which had been recommended by a friend. A fairly macabre read, it was nevertheless un-put-down-able. That is a word, look it up *. I am similarly creeped out by Alt J’s Breezeblocks, and yet I can’t get away from it. Alt J is so unbelievably weird and talented and somehow manages to be both alien and familiar. I listen to their music, mouth agape like “WHAAAAAT  iiiiiiiiiiiisss this?” And even while thinking that am like, “huh, they kinda sound like the Kingston Trio or Simon and Garfunkel but also like Tricky’s Maxinquaye from the mid-90’s” which is the most bizarre combo of all time. These guys are super talented. I can’t even imagine how a group gets together and creates something like this, but evidently it took them 5 years to put this album together. I’ll bet there is some crazy sh*t on the cutting room floor. I am convinced that when the aforementioned book that I love is made into a movie–which is happening right now–it MUST have this song scored in somewhere. I don’t get to make those kinds of decisions, but just throwing my two cents in.

I was kind of torn about whether to post a video of the band performing in all their nerdy glory or post the video that started this whole train of thought. At 10 million views I am clearly late to this party.

* no, it isn’t.

I’m a Certified Fool

I have sort of an attraction/repulsion thing going on for Mick Jagger. I think he is sort of horrifying to watch and yet it is almost impossible to look away. I’ve read snippets of his biography that came out last summer and not that it is a surprise, but he has bedded well, pretty much everyone.   I don’t get the impression that he is the nicest guy, but he sure is entertaining to watch.  One of my all-time favorites, Fool to Cry, was covered by a band that I am recently discovering and loving: Tegan and Sara.