The Sunday Funday Playlist – October 30, 2011

Oh, my.  I missed a week last week…Was recovering from my whirlwind 3-city Alpha Rev – Carbon Leaf tour, and just was too pooped to write.  I’m still a little tuckered out, so I’ll get right to this week’s playlist…

1.  Simple Grace – The Ruse

My favorite little L.A. rockers, The Ruse, churned out a gorgeous little acoustic-y number two weeks ago and it’s been my numero uno play since.  Love it.  The boys show their musical versatility with this change up from their usual guitar-heavy rock n’ roll.  It also reveals they’ve got a romantic side.

2.  The Wrong and the Right Now – Colourslide

One of my favorite North Carolina (by way of Florida) bands is Colourslide.  Last week, the fellas re-released their album Everybody’s Right About Everybody Else with two new bonus tracks…and this is one of them.  It captures the classic Colourslide sound in a gorgeous way.

3.  Soul & Body – Air Dubai

Colorado has so much great music brewing right now that it’s kind of ridiculous, but none more promising than Denver’s Air Dubai.  If you want a fresh, exciting new sound, you’ve got to check these kids out…It’s like they are channeling old school Jamiroquai meshed with jazz and modern day hip hop.  They released a new EP this week called Day Escape, and it is just that…a perfect little musical get away, filled with tales of being young, in love, and in a band.  My favorite track from the EP is actually “Summer Solstice,” but this is the only one available on SoundCloud.  Either way, it’s a little trip into the light fantastic…but check out the whole EP on their Bandcamp page.

4.  I Love Lamp – RdGldGrn

Gotta give my girl Allison at RadioPotato a shout out (and by extension, The Wounded Jukebox) for turning me onto this song.  What an addictive little track!  I have been dancing around my cube, car, living room, kitchen, and just about every place else for the past week to this song…Click on the lil’ arrow above to download this ditty for yourself.

5.  French Girl – Midnight Youth (click on image to watch video on

Hello, New Zealand. Another NZ band that I follow on Twitter, Mercury Crowe, tweeted about this band last week and I checked them out on a whim.  Apparently, Midnight Youth has been around for some time…my only question is, WHY THE HELL AM I JUST FINDING OUT ABOUT THEM?  Holy in love.  I apologize that you’re going to have to click to watch this video on another page, but it’s not embeddable anywhere. I watched this video and was an instant fan, and have been listening to their last album, The Brave Don’t Run, for the last week and anxiously waiting for tomorrow to download this song when it becomes available in the States.

The Sunday Funday Playlist – October 17, 2011

A week of battling some icky sickness has left me with not a whole lot of motivation to write.  So I apologize for the brevity of this week’s list … do not take it as any commentary on the quality of the music. 🙂

1.  Heartbeat – The Fray

I’m a big fan of these guys; they might be big time rock stars, but that doesn’t stop me from loving their distinctive writing style and their pop sensibility.  Loving this, their new single that was released this week.

2. Atlantic City (Springsteen Cover) – Benjamin Francis Leftwich

I have fallen madly in love with this Brit songwriter’s soft, lilting trill … so when I saw he had a FREE covers EP up for download, I snatched it up.  And imagine my joy when I saw one of my favorite Springsteen songs there.  While BFL’s version retains the eerie sadness of Springsteen’s, his voice definitely makes the song something new.  Totally digging it.

3.  Black Sky (Alpha Rev cover) – Carbon Leaf
As if they know that I’m completely freaking out about my three-day mini tour this week, Alpha Rev and Carbon Leaf have been exchanging video covers of each others’ songs this week.  This one is pretty phenomenal and (see my post from earlier this week) is available for free download and benefits Texas Wildfire Relief.

4.  Human Nature (Michael Jackson cover) – Gareth Asher

Gareth came through town this week and seeing him perform always puts a smile on my face.  Gareth has such a love for life and a passion for his craft, and when you pair those two things with his incredible voice, there’s nothing better.  He covered this Michael Jackson classic on Thursday night, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.  This is a live version from his Eddie’s Attic show on his birthday.

5.  Little Black Dress – Honor By August
A lovely little pop-candy gem from my favorite DC boys.  Pick up the studio version for free over at Noisetrade right now.  Until it’s available on SoundCloud, here’s the video from the first time they played the song live at Iota … proud to say I was there for the debut!

The Sunday Funday Playlist – October 9, 2011

1.  Audition – Red Wanting Blue

I was way late jumping on the Red Wanting Blue bandwagon.  These guys have been around for a decade, and I only started listening to them in February after seeing them with Erinn when they opened for Honor By August.  I am completely in love with Scott Terry’s voice and his old-school rock band dedication to making music.  Their new album, From the Vanishing Point, comes out in January, but this is the first single.  I have been singing it for days now.

2.  The Fear – Ben Howard

Brit songster Ben Howard’s new album Every Kingdom was released this week and it’s GORGEOUS.  This song speaks so much truth to me right now it almost breaks my heart. “I’ve been worrying that I’m losing the ones I hold dear; I’ve been worrying that we all live our lives in the confines of fear.” Brilliant writing.  This acoustic version is especially stunning.

3.  State of Love & Trust (Pearl Jam Cover) – Gaslight Anthem

New iTunes Session up for pre-order this week…some of my favorite Jersey boys, Gaslight Anthem.  Bunch of great covers listed, but this one was available to purchase and I’m SO STOKED about it.  This song was my anthem for the summer of 1996, when I was dating Charlie, a Pearl Jam nut who played drums in a cover band.  I spent the entire summer driving back and forth from Chestertown to Annapolis to see him play and I swear, I probably had six different mix tapes with this song on it.  Such memories.  Gaslight does it justice.  Unfortunately, the rock version isn’t available on SoundCloud…but this version, an acoustic version that sounds like it was recorded in someone’s living room after a couple of beers and is complete with them talking about the intricacies of the “guitar part”, is.  And it’s still awesome. Rock on, guys.

4.  Chains of Love – Ryan Adams

On Friday, Ryan’s new album, Ashes & Fire, arrived in my mailbox and although I’ve only had a few spins through it, I’m already well “in like” with the whole record.  Ryan’s one of those artists that is so complex sometimes that it takes me a good few weeks to get through all the layers and figure out what I really love.  That said, I can tell you that this record is way more up my alley than some of the stuff he’s done in the past few years.  Way back to his singer-songwriter style, that I love … So far, this one is my favorite.  But that’s bound to change by next week.

5.  Breaking – Christopher Jak

An exchange of e-mails with one of my favorite songwriters this week has inspired the last track of the Sunday Funday playlist.  See the post before this for me going on (and on and on) about Christopher Jak and his unbelievable talent.  This song is from his Folk EP, which you can download for free right now on Noisetrade.  Just listen to the first freaking line…the man is poet.

The Sunday Funday Playlist – October 2, 2011

1.  American Dream – Will Hoge

The release of Will Hoge’s Number Seven this week has meant one thing…I have been a Will Hoge junkie this week.  The new album is amazing (read my review of the new album here), and full of storytelling gems.  This song is by far the saddest song on the album, in my opinion, and I absolutely love it.

2.  I Will Come – Alpha Rev
If anything got as much play as Will’s album this week, it was Alpha Rev’s new EP City Farm:  Roots.  These new songs are so tight and creative, I am absolutely itching to see the new band lineup live.  I am constantly amazed by this band’s continuing evolution.  This is my favorite track from the EP.

3.  No Man’s Land – Will Hoge

Yup, two songs by Senor Hoge on this week’s playlist.  Gotta be honest about what I’m listening to!  This song is a great showcase of Will’s humor…and ten bucks says you’re singing along after one listen.

4.  The Book of Love – Peter Gabriel

I heard this song in a wedding video that a friend created, and instantly fell in love with it.  If you can get past my tough exterior, I am a sappy romantic and this one hits all the right notes with that side of me.  It will be played at my wedding, if and when that ever happens.  Kind of appropriate, really, since PG is responsible for my favorite song EVER (and if you know me, that statement is huge)…”In Your Eyes,” if you’re wondering.

5.  Older – The T-Rooks
I’ve mentioned my minor obsession with local Charlotte artist Margolnick (and his previous band Flagship, as well as his side project, Jackal and Dice) before, and I’ve also previously talked about another local act, Campbell the Band. So, imagine my surprise this week when they announced that they were joining forces and forming a new band called The T-Rooks.  This new Charlotte musical powerhouse released a video for a new song called “Older,” which is ethereal and epic.  Going to be interesting to watch these kids develop.

The Sunday Funday Playlist – September 25, 2011

Man, rough week.  Coming back from two days off of work sounds like it would be easy, but the work week beat me up this week.  Hoping that the coming week will be better.  Least I’ve got some fresh new tunes to get me through it.   Maybe they’ll power you through this week!

1. Call Up Dad – Damon Smith & The Quality Lightweights
Frickin’ A, Australia.  Can you please stop putting out so much great music?  Balcony TV strikes again; described by the hostess as a “local band,” I was intrigued by their look and OH.MY.GOD.  Instant love. This is alt-country at it’s absolute finest. I’m entranced. Kinda remind me a little of Jakob Dylan…if Jakob went really, really dark.  Their album, I Thought I’d Be Someone By Now, is a little pricey by U.S. standards – $16 – but you can pick up a few choice tracks individually at their Bandcamp page.

2. Reaction – Acres of Lions

Gotta thank my Twitter music buddy RingosMyUncle for cluing me in to this great little rock band from north o’ the border in British Columbia.  This catchy little ditty, complete with whoa-ohs, pops and snaps, is enough to keep me dancing around the room even during a gloomy rainy day like it was on Friday. I’ve only downloaded a handful of their other songs, but I promise you, when my budget allows, I’m going back and picking up their whole Collections album that came out two weeks ago.

3. The Reckoning – Needtobreathe

If you’re not on the Needtobreathe boat yet…well, I just don’t know what to say to ya.  The boys from Possum Kingdom released their new record, The Reckoning, this week and it is just chock full of rock n’ roll goodness.  While “Devil’s Been Talkin'” is probably my favorite track on the album, the title track was probably the biggest surprise for me.  Diggin’ on it big time.  Pick up the new album here.

4. Big Bright Sun – Will Dailey & The Rivals

Appropriate for the first week of fall, I think, to put a song with “Sun” in the title on The Sunday Funday Playlist, no?  One of Boston’s favorite sons, Will Dailey & The Rivals released their new record this week, as well.  Will is one of those songwriters of whom I can never get enough.  He’s a very smart lyricist and he writes the catchiest songs. This song is tied for my favorite track off the new record – there’s clapping, does it really surprise anyone?  It’s a great song about reminding yourself of how great you can be when you believe in yourself…and I kinda need those positive thoughts in my world right now. “Kindness” is my other favorite.  Pick it up on Amazon or iTunes.

5.  Fly Me to the Moon – Grace Potter
The classic song “Fly Me to the Moon” has been recorded by so many amazing artists it’s kind of ridiculous.  Originally written in 1954 by Bart Howard, it’s been sung by classic crooners like Neil Sedaka, Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé, and Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra (who, in my opinion, has the bestest version).  Well, step aside gang. My girl-crush Grace Potter has covered the song for new Pan Am TV show.  Are you kidding me??? My girl makes this song even better!  OH MY!  Pick it up on iTunes and watch the Pan Am promo here!