Sunday, October 28, 2012

Frankenstorm Playlist

I planned on putting together a Autumn/Halloween-ish playlist like I did last year, but then when I learned that my area was going to be hit hard by a hurricane, I thought about putting together another hurricane playlist like for Hurricane Irene...and then I thought: why not combine the two?

I therefore present to you my Frankenstorm Playlist; a collection of spooky-ish, storm-themed, "I need something to listen to that appropriately fits a hurricane in the middle of Fall", songs. At least, my interpretation of what kind of a playlist would be. 


  1. Silversun Pickups – Mean Spirits
  2. Mumford & Sons – Whispers In the Dark
  3. Cassino – The Levee
  4. Freelance Whales – The Nothing
  5. Agnes Obel – Brother Sparrow
  6. Band of Horses – Is There A Ghost
  7. Jose Gonzalez – Storm
  8. Feist – Caught A Long Wind
  9. Ed Roland & The Sweet Tea Project – Shelter From The Storm
  10. She & Him – I Put a Spell On You
  11. Ella Fitzgerald – Stormy Weather
  12. Maroon 5 – Come Away To The Water
  13. Neil Young – Harvest Moon
  14. Vitamin String Quartet – Sally's Song
  15. Bon Iver – Holocene

I hope you enjoy it. If you're on the east coast these next few days, please stay safe and dry. If you're not on the east coast, have fun trick-or-treating in normal weather!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

You Say You Want a Revolution, Well...Maybe Not This One

Our day-to-day lives revolve around technology. It is how we communicate, travel, work, play, cook, etc….everything. In fact, it was about a year ago that I wrote a blog about how Apple devices in particular have become fixtures in many people’s daily lives.

But it’s not just Apple products. We Google something rather than looking it up in a dictionary or encyclopedia. We email, text, and call (it seems that a phone call is also becoming slightly antiquated…at least “land-line” phone calls) rather than having face-to-face conversations. We drive our cars to grocery stores and restaurants where we purchase prepared food or buy ingredients that we take home and cook in ovens and microwaves rather than walking to hunt, gather, and grow our own food. We purchase medicine or visit the doctor or hospital for every little ailment.

The list goes on and on. We are a society that is evolving at the same rapid pace that new technologies are being invented and implemented.

The basis for all of these technologies (electronics, transportation, medicine, industry, etc.) is electricity. So what would happen if one day, the power simply went off? No electricity, no batteries, no engines…nothing. Everything would just stop working: cars, airplanes, cellphones, computers, refrigerators…even “basic” things, such as flashlights. Medicine could not be produced, food could not be stored, long-distance travel would be improbable, communication would be difficult, the consequences would be endless.

How does a society that is built around technology function when it’s foundation is taken away?

Well that is exactly the type of society that Eric Kripke has created in J.J. Abrams’ latest foray into science-fiction-y television shows: Revolution.

As I said last year, I am a total Abrams fangirl, particularly if a project of his involves even one LOST alum. Unfortunately, several of his television projects have failed in the past few years and there has seemed to be almost a “1 season science-fiction television show curse” (ex. Flashforward, The Event, Terra Nova, Alcatraz, etc.). So I was particularly wary (albeit, stoked) of this show when it was announced with the new Fall shows.

However, so far so good. I won’t go too much into the details since, only four shows in, the details are quickly changing. If I had to compare it to another show I would say the briefly-lived Flashforward (unexplained global event; possible conspiracy theory; JJ Abrams-esque characters) combined with The Walking Dead (post-apocalyptic type society; a journey; collapse of organized government, society, etc)…but with sword fights. Which makes me quite a happy camper since I love The Walking Dead but hate all the blood and gore.

One of the main characters is also a pretty awesome, crossbow-wielding young girl for all you Hunger Games fans out there.

But my favorite thing, as with all of these Abrams/science fiction/dystopia shows, for me at least, is that it makes you analyze the society we have created for ourselves. Abrams himself has stated that the show is not meant to be any kind of statement about our society blah blah blah, but I think it inevitably will make you question our unwavering and complete reliance on technology.

One of my favorite examples of this was when one of the characters, who has not seen her children since the power went out ( I can’t say “blackout” since that was the term used in Flashforward…these shows are getting tough to differentiate), explained that she has carried around her completely useless iPhone for the past 15 years because somewhere inside is the only picture she has of her children.

When was the last time you carried around and showed off actual photographs of your family, vacation, dog, etc., rather than simply whipping out your phone to show someone your pictures on there. Lose your phone or digital camera? No problem…because they’re stored on your computer. Computer dies…that’s okay, everything is backed up on the “Cloud”. Power goes out…forever, and you are left with nothing.

Am I being slightly overdramatic? Maybe. But it makes you think.

We take technology for granted, whether it is something as small and basic as a battery or the latest iPad, to the point where it wouldn’t hurt for us to get back to basics now and then, such as growing our own produce, putting together family albums (and not a “virtual album”), or simply turning off the phones, iPods, televisions…everything, and sitting by a fire and talking with your family or friends.

I really hope this show breaks the science-fiction curse and makes it past the first season mark, because it is definitely an awesome concept and has enough adventure/action and mystery/intrigue (with appropriate amounts of wit and romance) to appeal to a wide audience for an extended period of time.

You can check out Revolution, Monday at 10 pm on NBC and catch up with the first few episodes here. If you only have time to watch one new Fall show this year, make sure it's this one.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Listening as of Late

I suppose I must resign myself to simply posting now and again my favorite listening as of late rather than every Monday.

I will hopefully be able to get my act together enough to make another Fall playlist again this year before Fall is over.

Until then, here are some great albums that I have had on repeat lately.

Southern Air - Yellowcard

Yellowcard is one of the bands that will forever conjure up memories of past summers spent listening to pop-punk music. But Yellowcard I think is one of the few bands to have successfully come out of that period of music with their respect maintained and continuing to make good, not-embarrassed-if-you-catch-me-listening music: music that you still want to blast as you drive around in the sunshine with all of your windows down and with a few sentimental ballads that always make me tear up...just a little (damn you Ryan Key). 

With feel-good songs like Here I Am Alive and Always Summer:

And tear-jerkers (okay, maybe it's just me) such as Ten and Telescope:

Southern Air is just as memorable as their other albums.

Mirage Rock - Band of Horses

I was over the moon by the fact that I got to see Band of Horses play live back in August. Hearing them perform live has forever spoiled me and listening to a recording is no longer as satisfying. But the fact that their new album, Mirage Rock was released a few weeks ago certainly helped. I may need a few more listens before I like this one as much as their last album, but I'm on my way. 

If you have been living under a (mirage) rock and never heard of these guys, then now is the perfect time to become acquainted with this one-of-a-kind band.

Tempest - Bob Dylan

While I realize that Dylan is not exactly everyone's cup of tea, he certainly is mine, so I was super excited to hear that he had a new album come out, particularly since it's the first one on which he has written all of the songs for in a while. 

Cup of tea or not, everyone should experience at least a little Bob Dylan in his life.

Babel - Mumford & Sons

Considering Babel has so far sold the more copies in it's first week than any other album this year (take that Justin Bieber!), I certainly hope that you have heard about it. And I really hope that you have heard the first single since it is absolutely terrific.

This highly anticipated follow-up to Mumford & Sons' (or The Mumfords as some people I know call them) Sigh No More was well worth the wait. And if you spring for the deluxe edition, you get some great bonus tracks including a cover of The Boxer.

Here are a few random songs I've been loving recently as well:

Headlights - Morning Parade

Heart Sing - BIGkids

Skyfall - Adele

Agree, disagree?

Listening to anything good lately?

Favorite Fall songs?