For as long as I can remember, I’ve always thought music should evoke some sort of emotion – a smile, excitement even hysterical laughter. One of the best feelings in the world is hearing one of your favorite songs come on the radio, your iTunes or cued up at a bar. The initial recognition of the first few chords can easily result in a gasp or scream. You smile and scream your way through those happiness inducing lyrics. But, when it comes to music, I prefer a solid tear jerker. No, I’m not a weepy gal. I’m human and it happens, but I try hard not to let it happen much…or around people, especially around people. However, if you can write me a song that makes me cry, my heart is yours forever.
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert have done just that with Over You. For all who missed the CMAs last night, the emotional ballad Over You won Song of the Year. But, last night was not the first time I heard this song. In fact, I distinctly remember where I was when I heard it first. I was driving back from a voice lesson, along a street one block west of my high school. The song started and I turned it up a bit, drove the length of a few houses and turned it up a bit more. Came to a stop sign and stayed stopped for much longer than I should have, but I was busy. I was listening, leaning forward, ear angled towards the speaker. Normally, I’m not a die hard Miranda Lambert fan. This song was different. I was sold the second she surprised me by going down on the word “cold” instead of the expected up. By the time I finally realized I had been at a stop sign for about 45 seconds, I was singing along with Miranda, teary eyed. Why? The song got me. I didn’t even know what it was about at that point, but the DJ let me know as soon as the song ended.
I have been fortunate enough to never have experienced the loss of a sibling. Blake Shelton can’t say the same. The song Over You, sung by his wife Miranda Lambert, is about Shelton’s brother, who was killed in a car accident when Shelton was 14-years-old. As he said at the CMA Awards last night, his dad encouraged him to write a song about the experience. For years, he didn’t do it. Once he wrote the song, he tapped his wife to sing and record it. Shelton’s dad passed away in January of 2012, and he was awarded the coveted Song of the Year less than a year later. During the acceptance speech, Shelton said, “I lost my dad in January, and it’s so amazing to me that tonight, even after he’s gone, he’s still right. I just needed the right person to write this song with, and the right person to sing it.”
I can’t believe I’m thanking someone for making me cry, but…thank you, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, for writing and recording Over You. I’m actually proud to say you make me teary eyed both when I hear the song, and you two did it again during your acceptance speech.
Watch the acceptance speech, too!
Also, 2 CMA/past HauteThought feature shout outs – congrats to Dave Barnes for being nominated with God Gave me You (recorded by Blake Shelton) – I saw that nice close up they got of you right in the beginning! Also, congrats to Love and Theft for being nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year and New Artist of the Year!
Filed under: Featured Artist, Music | Leave a Comment
Tags: Blake Shelton, CMA, CMA Awards, Country Music, Country Music Association, Dave Barnes, Love and Theft, Miranda Lambert, Nashville, Over You, Song of the Year
Hello, there. Remember me? Probably not. I haven’t seen you for
3 months some time now. (Time? What is time, really?) And for that, I apologize. It has been impeccably poor timing in terms of being a missing person, since I’ve done more musical things in the past 3 months than I had in the year leading up to my absence. So maybe that’s it. Maybe I’ve been off being oh-so-musically current that I simply had zero time to give attention to something that I used to pay attention to most: HauteThought. You’re right, that’s not it. And if that was true, it’s a pretty sorry excuse if you ask me. The truth? Work picked up and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was sit in front of a screen again. Lame reason, I know, but it’s a true one nonetheless.
I really, truly have been doing music related things as the time passed. I was able to see Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw at the Brothers of the Sun tour, go to Lollapalooza for the 2nd year, visit Nashville (Music City) with my family (a place I’ve wanted to live since 6th grade) and this past Friday, I saw Gotye in concert. See? I haven’t been a musical shut in. I’m taking my most recent musical getaway to jump back into the blogosphere. Thank you, Gotye.
I have to be honest with you. Up until I featured Gotye’s “I Feel Better” as song of the day, I only knew “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Basically, I was like everyone else. The day I stumbled across “I Feel Better,” I dug a little deeper into Gotye’s Making Mirrors album and I’m so thankful I did. What I found was an eclectic mix of sounds and styles, all under one album title. That said, when I discovered he was coming to Chicago, the question ‘should I go?’ never crossed my mind. ’What should I wear,’ however, did.
Gotye played Chicago’s Charter One Pavilion on Friday night and showed Chicago a thing or two about what he can do as a musician. Sure, I knew he had a different and slightly addicting voice (and also sounds eerily similar to Sting and Phil Collins at times). Yes, I knew he was from Australia. Yes, I was aware that everyone with a set of working ear canals knew the song “Somebody That I Used to Know.” What I didn’t know impressed me more.
I didn’t know how extremely involved Gotye would be with his performance. Half of my photos from the night show Gotye as a blurred figure because he ran from percussion set to a synthesizer back to a different percussion set throughout the entire performance. So the guy doesn’t simply have a good voice. He’s also a percussionist. Color me impressed.
Standout songs are easy for me to pinpoint. Naturally, “Somebody That I Used to Know” was performed very well. There was a bit of a surprise here, though. I assumed his opener, Missy Higgins, would sing her way through Kimbra’s portion of the song. Instead, Gotye had the audience sing this portion while he tinkered away on one of the many instruments he’s mastered. ”State of the Art” also proved to be a standout on Friday. The matching animation behind depicted a family who purchased a state of the art music machine. It has the ability to recreate sounds normally produced by standard musical instruments, much like a computer. Gotye sings through a distorted mic, “Now for an arm and a leg, We get three half-dozen beats to choose from. So now we can pretend that there’s an orchestra in the loungeroom.” Being the EDM/all things techo-hater that I am, I couldn’t help but smile as I saw the animated family become horrified by the musical machine they purchased.
Gotye’s top song was not the single, nor was it the song I purchased a ticket to hear (as it turns out, he didn’t get a chance to play it). ”Eyes Wide Open” proved to be Gotye’s strongest performance of the evening. This is a song that not only delivers musically and lyrically, but gives a strong message, as well. While I usually pay attention to lyrics, I didn’t truly hear them until the live performance. The song talks about walking the plank with our eyes wide open. This push against ignorance and choosing not to stand up for things caught my attention immediately. (I’ve since done a bit of Googling and found the song may be about global warming.) Thank you, Gotye, for using your talent to send a message.
Filed under: Music, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
Tags: Charter One Pavilion, Eyes Wide Open, Gotye, HauteThought, Music, Review, Somebody That I Used to Know, State of the Art
Dear Dave Barnes,
I apologize if this sounds out of line, but I need to tell you something. I woke up to your voice every weekday morning for 3 years. “Until You” remained my morning alarm for 3 years of my college career. I never once got sick of it and pressed snooze not only to gain 10 more minutes of precious sleep but also to hear more of the song (ok, let’s be real, I probably snoozed 3-4 times each day). I still get text messages from roommates past when they hear Until You because they, too, got to experience the song each and every morning. One of the best concerts I’ve been to was your visit with Matt Wertz to the Canopy Club in Champaign, IL. This was before Blake Shelton got ahold of “God Gave Me You” and before “Until You” even had a music video. What I’m trying to say is I’ve been a longtime fan and I truly appreciate you waking me up every morning.
Somehow, I am just now getting to listen to Barnes’ “Stories to Tell,” and I’m shaking my head in disbelief that I didn’t keep this album on repeat from the second it came out in March until God knows when. “Stories to Tell” has a more playful feel than some of Barnes’ past albums but I love it just the same, and potentially even more. One thing, however, has remained consistent throughout Barnes’ career. He continues to write both the music and lyrics for all of his songs. In my eyes, Barnes encapsulates the meaning of being a musician. Flawless vocals, instrumentation, great songwriting and meaningful lyrics all in one, “Stories to Tell” does more than just impress. It has continued my respect for Barnes as a musician in an industry that has gone through a plethora of changes throughout the past decade.
Barnes’ music expresses human emotion, particularly love, and makes the listener want to experience these emotions right along with him. In Missing You, he sings about a past love and made me respect the end of their relationship as if they were my friends. I don’t know him personally nor do I know his past flame, but I do know that after listening to Missing You a couple times through, I’m convinced that he and this mystery girl had great chemistry but are mature enough to move on.
You and me together
I’d pick you up and we go
Some place only we’d know
Summer, whole life
Stay up dreaming all night
I started this post as a Song of the Day as soon as I listened to White Flag. Now that I’ve finished listening to the album in its entirety and eager to start it over, it’s turned into an album
gush review. After a great past few days full of friends, love and family (and an impromptu visit from my dog), “Stories to Tell” not only became my new go-to album, it made me incredibly grateful. Thanks, Dave Barnes; you’ve done it again. You’ve created a fan that will stick around as long as you continue to make music, and beyond.
Stories to Tell:
And the one that started it all:
Filed under: Featured Artist, Music | 1 Comment
Tags: Album Review, Dave Barnes, Missing You, Music, Stories to Tell, Until You, White Flag
To those who know me, my love and childlike impatience for the summer months can easily be categorized as old news. However, this year’s impatience is about five times as bad as it normally is. Why, you ask? The Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw “Brothers of the Sun” tour has a Chicago stop on July 7 and you best believe that I will be there. Not that I’ve been counting down the months…weeks…minutes since I bought the tickets the second they went on sale on December 3. In fact, I even woke up early on a Saturday to do just that. To me, anything aside from an emergency or Justin Bieber sighting is not a legitimate reason to wake up early. So yes, this is huge. (Plus, Jake Owen and Grace Potter will be a part of the tour. Impatience at an alltime high.)
What else is huge? Kenny Chesney’s recent release of two songs from his 13th studio album, “Welcome to the Fishbowl.” Listening to Come Over and Feel Like a Rockstar, a duet with Tim McGraw, coupled with an impending 87 degree beach day tomorrow has made sitting still an impossibility today. Kenny’s chilling message in Come Over gives me goosebumps each time I replay the song. As Kenny says, “Come Over is about two people who are as broken as their relationship is, when they realize deep down that their time together has probably ran its course, but they aren’t really ready to emotionally or physically move on to something else.” Oof. I realize that wasn’t the most summer loving summary, but I couldn’t deprive you of something that is sure to be on the country charts for awhile.
Since today is Friday (and I didn’t want to be a buzz kill by raving about a song that covers an unfortunate relationship), I moved on to Feel Like a Rockstar. After listening to it a couple times through, I’m pretty sure I could
stare at Tim McGraw and fantasize about our life together listen to the song all day. Their voices compliment each other perfectly and if this is any indication of what the concert will be like, I might pass out.
Filed under: Music, Song of the Day | Leave a Comment
Tags: Brothers of the Sun, Come Over, Feel Like a Rockstar, Grace Potter, Jake Owen, Kenny Chesney, Music, Song of the Day, Tim McGraw, Welcome to the Fishbowl
I truly and honestly believe Sara Bareilles can do no wrong. What I’m about to tell you is old news. She’s a great lyricist, plays the piano perfectly, has one of the best voices in the music industry today and, to top it off, a sense of humor. I realize that I give a positive review about a majority of the songs that gain the coveted “song of the day” title, but it takes a lot for me to 100% respect a song and its artist. Somehow, I have yet to hear one I dislike or don’t respect from Sara B. Why? Because when someone with an extreme amount of talent succeeds, it’s hard not to commend them time and again.
My last encounter with Sara Bareilles’ voice was during the Plot Your Escape show at Chicago’s Union Station. I, of course, was standing there trying to soak in every last sound of hers while surrounded by a group of girls who didn’t know how to shut their mouths. I didn’t know I was capable of feeling such rage. I also didn’t realize I’d still feel it two months later.
So, when I saw a great Facebook status about Sara B. yesterday, I realized I had to have a love fest post today. Thank you, Katie, for posting Stay. I can honestly say I’ve been listening to it on repeat all day and will be hitting replay the second it ends. The song is full of emotion, feeling and talent. It commands my attention and makes me want to sprint to a dance class and encourage someone to choreograph something to Stay immediately. I know, probably not the reaction most of you have to a song, particularly a slower one like this, but the lyrical dancer in me lives on.
Stay is off of Sara’s upcoming EP, “Once Upon Another Time,” which will be available May 22. Head to her website for a free download of the song!
Aaaand I’m listening again.
Filed under: Music, Song of the Day | Leave a Comment
Tags: Music, Once Upon Another Time, Plot Your Escape, Sara Bareilles, Song of the Day, Stay
I decided at a young age to be a non-conformist when it came to music. No, I’m not the type of person who used to like Death Cab before they were featured on The O.C. a billion times and then hate them with a hate so strong it can only be compared to that of a child’s feelings towards brussel sprouts. I just mean I’m not going to start liking something just because everyone else does. If I do, great (see: Call Me Maybe and Party in the USA – cred gone). If I don’t, I’m sorry. I’m no bandwagoner. I’ll admit I jumped into this a little heavily to begin with. In grade school I swore off all popular music and listened to the sweet sounds of Oldies 104.3 and personally thought Dick Biondi was my friend. The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Temptations and Tommy James and The Shondells were my go-tos. I went to a Beach Boys concert in 5th grade and nearly passed out when Mike Love shook my hand.
In my 23-year-old body lives a fan of music past. I can’t help it. So, when I hear a song reminiscent of the things my elementary school self listened to, I tend to gravitate. That’s exactly what happened with Delta Spirit’s California. Is it overly complex? No. Does it give me a headache? Not in the least. Do I enjoy it? Absolutely. It has an heir of modernity about it through the dissonance in the beginning, but still features the harmonious “ooo” sound that made me fall in love with The Beach Boys at a young age. Thank you to Delta Spirit for taking something that has worked in the past and making it work today.
Thank you also to whoever wrote the group’s Wikipedia entry and included that last thing under “genre.” It resulted in at least a quadruple take from yours truly.
Filed under: Music, Song of the Day | Leave a Comment
Tags: Aretha Franklin, Beach Boys, California, Chuck Norris, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Delta Spirit, Dick Biondi, Lolla, Lollapalooza 2012, Music, Oldies 104.3, Song of the Day, The Beatles, Tommy James and The Shondells, Wikipedia
Generally speaking, I can determine whether or not I like the sound of a song after the intro. I determined that I enjoyed The Rat long before the vocals even began. Why? To be honest, aside from the drums, I can’t fully put my finger on it. However, once Leithauser chimed in with the vocals, I became a legitimate fan of the song.
These five gents hail from New York and Phildelphia and come together to form The Walkmen, a group that entered the indie world in 2000. On a typical Monday, I try to listen to music that basically lulls me to accept that another work week has begun. The Rat doesn’t exactly take on that same vibe. The full sound from vocals, guitar, organ and drums are not something I would classify as easy listening but it strangely fits this gloomy Monday and rainy weather.
Truthfully, I don’t have a novel to write about The Rat. In fact, the name of it even makes me slightly uncomfortable. But I like the song, and am thrilled that I found it. It’s as simple as that.
Filed under: Music, Song of the Day | Leave a Comment
Tags: Lolla, Lollapalooza 2012, Music, Song of the Day, The Rat, The Walkmen