Friday, July 1, 2011

The Sound of (new) Music

With the completion of my storage bench project, I think my crazy-pregnant-lady DIY-athon has reached a small break. After all, there's only so much I can tackle without A) wearing myself out, and B) wearing out the budget...definitely the more serious of the two. Don't get me wrong: nesting and decorating our new home is definitely still a big part of my life right now (which is why you get to hear all about it!), but until we rustle up some more essentials for the piggly wiggly (like a crib...and a dresser...and a high chair...and a baby gate...hmmm...), I'll focus on working with what I have and getting on with some things I've been neglecting lately. Like my music!

To clarify: some of this is legitimate neglect that needs curing. It's been ages since I mentioned it, but Seb and I are performing at his cousin's wedding in September. He'll play piano and I'll sing. We're doing Hymne a l'Amour, which - if I remember right - was first an Edith Piaf song, but was more recently covered by Josh Groban. Needless to say, with the moving and DIY-ing and working and church activities, we haven't exactly made practising a priority. Oops. (Bigger oops? I lost the sheet music during the move...) Guess it's time to get on with that.

But the other point of neglect has been my music collection. When you're either at home or at the gym most days, you pretty quickly wear out even the most diverse music collection. And since I'm really not in the mood to dive into the random assortment of Beethoven in my iTunes, I need some new grooves to get acquainted with. Technology to the rescue!

My first resort has been Grooveshark. Gotta love free internet radio. In fact, just yesterday, it randomly found me a great cover of Adele's Rolling in the Deep done by none other than John Legend. A cappella John Legend? Yes please! (In case you can't tell, I'm suggesting you hit up Grooveshark and listen to this.)

Oh, and because I can't get away from it, even in a post about music, I have to give some props to Young House Love. I painted my nails last night. Exciting news, I know...we're going to a swanky dance tonight and Seb is breaking out his tux for the occasion, so Yours Truly really needs to make an effort, here! Anyway, while I was waiting on the nail polish to dry, I decided to keep occupied by watching a few cute how-to videos on the YHL blog. Most of the time lapse videos (like this one on painting the kitchen) have pretty fun and bouncy music in the background. The video I linked to had a song called Built to Last by a band called Fall Walk Run. The best part about this discovery? The band's URL is included at the end of each video where their music is featured...and Fall Walk Run has their whole latest EP available for free download. Who knew that learning how to DIY would get me cool new music?

My other resort for new music is to turn off my iPod in the car or at the gym. I milked that in-car iPod adapter for all it was worth when I'd commute to Chawton every week, but for trips around town, I tend to just leave BBC Radio 1 on. I'll be honest, half of the time the music falls into the categories of "meh" or "not again!!!", but the other half is pretty fun. First recommendation to hunt down on iTunes, YouTube, or Grooveshark? The A-Team by Ed Sheeran. It's a bit James Blunt/Jason Mraz: very good for background music to chill to.

Now where has the gym come in handy? Basically half of the music I exercise to, I heard at one gym or another during my past 5 years' worth of various and sundry gym memberships. A sampling of the stuff I've collected after having heard it at the gym?

  • pretty much anything that features Pitbull. (I Like It with Enrique Eglesias, Give Me Everything with Ne-Yo, Hey Baby with T-Pain...)
  • Hollywood Tonight and Hold My Hand by Michael Jackson. (Say what you want, MJ was a good performer.)
  • Fireflies by Owl City. I'd nearly forgotten about this song until I heard it again in B&Q.
  • Run the Show by Kat DeLuna with Busta Rhymes. I think my mom knows this one from zumba class.
Considering that most people I know around here can't hang out for huge periods of the day because they either have their own kids, and/or watch other people's kids, I need something to keep me occupied when I'm on my own. I mean, I know pretty soon I'll be joining the club of Ladies with Babies, but until my little kickboxing master is an outside baby, I need ways to keep myself entertained. I'd ask about what good books people are reading, but we've already had the discussion about how abominably crap-tastic our public library is. (It's taking an effort of will not to start this tirade all over again...)

So with that thought: does anybody have any good music suggestions I may have missed? I'm sure there's tons considering that whatever's popular in the UK at the moment hasn't necessarily made it back to the US. If you find me good music, consider that like your good deed for the day!

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