Thursday, December 26, 2013

December Playlist

December Playlist

So the last month of 2013 is almost over. Only 5 days until the new year. I have been looking forward to this calendar change for a while; I'm ready to leave 2013 behind and start fresh. 2014 has so much promise, at least in my opinion. I've got a good feeling about it, for all of us.

In any case, 2013 is still not quite finished, and for your last few days of the year, you can check out my December playlist and coast into 2014 with some killer tunes on your iPod.

(On a totally separate note, my phone is almost full. I can't help myself. I only have a 16GB iPhone and I keep buying music even though I have something like 1500 songs. I'll need to get a 64GB soon...)

1. "Daydream" - 4:00
ALBUM: Foreword - EP
ARTIST: Tori Kelly

2. "Hard Out Here" - 3:31
ALBUM: Hard Out Here - Single
ARTIST: Lily Allen

3. "Give it a Try" - 3:45
ALBUM: Head Over Feeling
ARTIST: Taylor Mathews

4. "House on Fire" - 3:28
ALBUM: More Than Just a Dream
ARTIST: Fitz & The Tantrums

5. "December" - 5:01
ALBUM: The Blessed Unrest
ARTIST: Sara Bareilles

6. "Have to Explode" - 3:21
ALBUM: Tallahassee
ARTIST: The Mountain Goats

7. "Islands" - 4:20
ALBUM: The Blessed Unrest
ARTIST: Sara Bareilles

Also, as I'm sure you've noticed, my playlists always have Sara Bareilles...I LOVE HER OK SHE IS A GODDESS. I am irrationally excited that she got nominated for 2 Grammys. !!!!! She deserves the recognition, "The Blessed Unrest" is a triumph and an inspiration.

8. "Sail" - 4:19
ALBUM: Megalithic Symphony
ARTIST: AWOLNATION

9. "Harlem" - 2:43
ALBUM: A Bad Girl In Harlem
ARTIST: New Politics

10. "Counting Stars" - 4:17
ALBUM: Native
ARTIST: OneRepublic

11. "Hit the Dark" - 3:30
ALBUM: Warning - EP
ARTIST: Air Dubai

On Dec. 15 I went to a Jake Miller concert, and the opening acts were two incredible bands, Action Item and Air Dubai! Air Dubai was definitely my favorite of the two, and "Warning" is absolutely flawless from one track to the next. Plus I got to meet Jake and the two lead singers of Air Dubai...can you say heartthrobs?! :)

12. "We Must Be Killers" - 3:19
ALBUM: We Must Be Killers - Single
ARTIST: Mikky Ekko

13. "Dust to Dust" - 3:49
ALBUM: The Civil Wars
ARTIST: The Civil Wars

14. "Waste of Time" - 3:34
ALBUM: Waste of Time - Single
ARTIST: MØ

Alright, I hope you've all had a good year this year. If you haven't, relish the fact that it is finally almost over. 2014 is going to be a GREAT year, I just know it. Happy New Year. If you've been reading this, THANK YOU. I really do appreciate it. Don't forget to check out my "Fix You" cover on your way out :) See you all next year. <3

"Fix You" cover : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVFEb7krAd0

UPDATE - 2 Posts in 1 Day?!

Hi, so I haven't been around since my last playlist, but I have an update for you as well as a new playlist in short order!

I posted a cover on my YouTube channel!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVFEb7krAd0

It's "Fix You" by Coldplay! If you could watch it and then share the link with friends and family (plus on all your social media), that would be BOMB :) Also, here are my links as a reminder:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/jensenmcraeofficial

Twitter: @mcraejensen

YouTube: http://youtube.com/jensenmcraeofficial

Tumblr: http://mcraejensen.tumblr.com

Instagram: @jensenmcrae

Follow, subscribe, and like to get instant updates on what I'm up to in the music world. Starting 2014 I'll be posting covers with a lot more regularity, so stay tuned for that. This video is a preview of what I'll be doing; acoustic, unplugged, and completely live covers shot with piano, guitar (if I can get some of my friends to help me out...), or totally a cappella. Aside from my professionally shot videos with professionally recorded and produced songs, I want everyone to get a sense of how I really sound. Plus, now that I've got a good camera, I can produce everything on my own with some rapidity.

I look forward to seeing your comments on my videos (which of course are always welcome). Tweet about my video, email the link to everyone you know, and post on your Facebook wall. It would mean so much if I could start building an audience. This is only the beginning. I want everyone to be part of this journey with me.

The December playlist will be up soon (possibly in a few minutes!) so check back shortly for that. See ya later, and thank you so much for reading and helping out in any way you can! <3

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November Playlist

November Playlist

Happy November, ladies and gents! I'm wishing you a restful Thanksgiving as the penultimate month winds to a close...! How crazy is that?!

I'll post an update about my career shortly, but for now here's a list of fall songs to help you close out November. The weather in LA has been just divine--chilly but not too cold, of course, just the perfect sweater weather. There's been a touch of rain, but mainly the leaves are changing and there's a briskness in the air that invites sitting by the fire with a mug of some seasonal Starbucks drink. School isn't getting any easier, but maybe I'm getting a little smarter. Though I have to be honest, I'm putting off some AP U.S. History homework as I type this...

Enjoy my November Playlist! (If anybody reads this nonsense...!)

1. "Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You" - 2:54
ALBUM: The 1975
ARTIST: The 1975

2. "The Girl" - 6:00
ALBUM: Bring Me Your Love
ARTIST: City and Colour

3. "Beginning of a Bad Idea"- 3:58
ALBUM: Honestly
ARTIST: Tyler Ward

4. "Cold is the Night" - 3:15
ALBUM: The Oh Hello's - EP
ARTIST: The Oh Hello's

5. "Your Body Is a Wonderland" - 4:09
ALBUM: Room for Squares
ARTIST: John Mayer

6. "Piano" - 3:54
ALBUM: Yours Truly
ARTIST: Ariana Grande

7. "Hercules" - 4:21
ALBUM: The Blessed Unrest
ARTIST: Sara Bareilles

8. "Rough Water" - 3:39
ALBUM: Rough Water (feat. Jason Mraz) - Single
ARTIST: Travie McCoy

9. "Shake, Shake, Shake" - 2:43
ALBUM: Shake! Shake! Shake!
ARTIST: Bronze Radio Return

10. "Hold On, We're Going Home (feat. Majid Jordan)" - 3:51
ALBUM: Nothing Was the Same
ARTIST: Drake

11. "Beware (feat. Lil Wayne & Jhene Aiko)" - 3:55
ALBUM: Hall of Fame (Deluxe)
ARTIST: Big Sean

12. "The Monster (feat. Rihanna)" - 4:10
ALBUM: The Marshall Mathers LP2 (Deluxe)
ARTIST: Eminem

13. "Slow Down" - 3:30
ALBUM: Stars Dance
ARTIST: Selena Gomez

14. "Dear No One" - 3:17
ALBUM: Foreword - EP
ARTIST: Tori Kelly

15. "People II 2: Still Peoplin'"
ALBUM: Knife Man
ARTIST: Andrew Jackson Jihad

16. "Latch (feat. Sam Smith)" - 4:16
ALBUM: Settle
ARTIST: Disclosure

17. "Stay the Night (feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore)" - 3:37
ALBUM: Clarity (Deluxe Edition)
ARTIST: Zedd

18. "Alguien Soy Yo" - 3:59
ALBUM: Insomniac
ARTIST: Enrique Iglesias

19. "Do What U Want (feat. R. Kelly)" - 3:47
ALBUM: ARTPOP
ARTIST: Lady Gaga

20. "Little Black Dress" - 3:32
ALBUM: The Blessed Unrest
ARTIST: Sara Bareilles

Welp, these things are getting progressively longer...anyway, here are the 20 songs I couldn't stop listening to in the month of November. 2013 is almost over, and to be honest, I'm looking forward to the fresh start. But there's still December left, and who knows? Maybe all of us are in for something big next month. Something good.

See ya soon! xo

Saturday, October 19, 2013

October Playlist

FIRST OF ALL...CHECK OUT THE LYRIC VIDEO FOR MY NEW SONG! This month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month...this song examines the struggles of abusive relationships and the benefits of escaping them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrWuouqZuz4

Where is 2013 going?! Somehow, October is already almost over...and I got my driver's license! :-)

I love that the fall weather is finally settling in, and I've got a truly fantastic autumnal playlist put together. I love rise and fall, a mix of genres, and of course, stellar vocal tracks, so that's what I've got here in my October playlist. Listen in or out of order (though you might want to try it once through in order, just to see...), but either way, enjoy what I've been listening to in October 2013! :-)

1. "Undone" - 3:49
ALBUM: Listen Up!
ARTIST: Haley Reinhart

2. "I Choose You" - 3:38
ALBUM: The Blessed Unrest
ARTIST: Sara Bareilles

3. "Hello, I'm In Delaware" - 5:45
ALBUM: Sometimes
ARTIST: City and Colour

4. "Monster" - 4:09
ALBUM: Monster - Single
ARTIST: Imagine Dragons

5. "Unstable" - 3:34
ALBUM: Vital
ARTIST: Anberlin

6. "A Wake (feat. Evan Roman)" - 3:46
ALBUM: The Heist
ARTIST: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Evan Roman

7. "W.D.Y.W.F.M.?" - 4:19
ALBUM: I Love You.
ARTIST: The Neighbourhood

8. "Sonsick" - 4:13
ALBUM: Sonsick - Single
ARTIST: San Fermin

9. "International Small Arms Traffic Blues" - 2:50
ALBUM: Tallahassee
ARTIST: The Mountain Goats

10. "Atoms" - 2:44
ALBUM: "Ruth"
ARTIST: Nana Grizol

11. "Just Before Goodbye" - 3:11
ALBUM: Stay Out - EP
ARTIST: Nina Nesbitt

12. "Somebody Loves You" - 3:37
ALBUM: The Movement - EP
ARTIST: Betty Who

13. "What A Buzz" - 3:07
ALBUM: Right Place Right Time (Deluxe Edition)
ARTIST: Olly Murs

14. "Look At Me Now" - 3:17
ALBUM: Ego
ARTIST: Charlie Puth

15. "1000 Times" - 4:29
ALBUM: The Blessed Unrest
ARTIST: Sara Bareilles

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Still Got Legs...#coollikereference

I feel bad for not posting in a while...!!!

October Playlist will be up in a week or so! :) In other news, I'm working on a lot of cool projects right now...I just started revising my novel which I completed over the summer (!!!); I'm currently revising a one-act play that, in a few months, I will enter into a play writing festival at school; I'm writing a ton of music, of course, and soon one (or more!) of my songs is going to be in a student film which I'm REALLY excited about; in just ONE WEEK (from Friday) I'll be performing the song I wrote for a charitable organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, at their annual fundraising gala for the SECOND year in a row! It was such a great experience last year and I'm REALLY looking forward to doing it again. Plus, I wrote a movie script--a very short one, only five pages because it's a really short concept--and I have a friend who wants to direct it! He's the grade above me and he's already coordinated the two actors we need and hopefully soon we're gonna film it! Plus I'm writing another movie script that's a lot longer, like it'll be around 30-40 pages at completion, and I'll hopefully finish that one by winter break so I can film it with my other director friend, a girl in my grade.

Wow. Writing all that out made it seem like a lot, but I guess it is! Add all that on top of 4+ hours of homework a night as a junior at a very tough prep school...let's just say that my creative projects sometimes get neglected during the week, much to my chagrin. :'( It's okay! In due time I will be able to focus ALL my energy on music and writing, but first I have to get my diploma! Only ~1.8 years left!

...

Sigh.

Anyway, I'll be posting my October playlist soon, like I said, and ideally I'll come up with some more posts for this blog, like a few more YouTube Artist reviews, some pop culture forums, and if anybody reads this nonsense, you can comment on what you think of what I've been posting and we can get some discussions going about music, writing, pop culture, and just life in general, because I like to type and I like to talk.

Till next time! Get ready for some good music to match this glorious sweater weather!

Also, MY LICENSE TEST IS IN THREE DAYS! IN JUST 72 HOURS I MIGHT BE A LICENSED DRIVER IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! :-) Just thought I'd vent a little more of my excitement/nervousness about that. K thanks. Talk soon!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September Playlist

With school well underway, me (finally!) 16, and the autumn weather just starting to peek through the indomitable heat of LA, it is time for none other than my September playlist!

Listen in or out of order. I just love these songs, and I think they're a great transition from summer music into some mellower fall stuff. I'm ready for sweaters and pumpkins and all that jazz. Even though God knows LA is basically a weather controlled bubble…hey, let's be honest, as much as we'd all love some seasons, you can't hate warm weather year round! Anyway, here are my latest fall tracks! :)

1. "Boomerang" - 3:31
ALBUM: Legendary
ARTIST: The Summer Set

2. "Chocolate" - 3:47
ALBUM: The 1975
ARTIST: The 1975

3. "Replay" - 3:29
ALBUM: Replay - Single
ARTIST: Zendaya

4. "I Wish (feat. T.I.) - 3:31
ALBUM: I Wish (feat. T.I.) - Single
ARTIST: Cher Lloyd

5. "Chasing the Sun" - 4:28
ALBUM: The Blessed Unrest
ARTIST: Sara Bareilles

6. "First Day of My Life" - 3:08
ALBUM: I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
ARTIST: Bright Eyes

7. "Stop This Train" - 4:45
ALBUM: Continuum
ARTIST: John Mayer

8. "Joy of Nothing" - 5:02
ALBUM: Joy of Nothing
ARTIST: Foy Vance

9. "There Will Be No Divorce" - 2:51
ALBUM: The Coroner's Gambit
ARTIST: The Mountain Goats

10. "I Want You So Bad I Can't Breathe" - 3:22
ALBUM: Of the Blue Colour of the Sky
ARTIST: OK Go

11. "Almost is Never Enough" - 5:27
ALBUM: Yours Truly
ARTIST: Ariana Grande & Nathan Sykes

12. "Sorry (feat. Big Sean)" - 3:36
ALBUM: Sorry (feat. Big Sean) - Single
ARTIST: Naya Rivera + Big Sean

13. "Closed Hands, Full of Friends" - 4:03
ALBUM:  Joy of Nothing
ARTIST: Foy Vance



Sunday, August 18, 2013

August Playlist

Hey guys! I only have nine days left of summer...seriously weeping right now. But it has been August for a while, which means it's time for my August playlist. Here are my favorite songs for August!

Also, I'm gonna do something slightly different where I don't do any setup for the songs. I'm gonna let them to stand on their own. Tell me what you think (on another note, does anybody read this blog?!)

Listen to it in order or not, but just for the record, I usually do :-)
(Also I apologize for the absurd amount of Nana Grizol. My friend got me obsessed with "Ruth.")

August Playlist
1. "Galaxies" - 2:55
ALBUM: "Ruth"
ARTIST: Nana Grizol

2. "On Brevity" - 3:10
ALBUM: The Simple Life
ARTIST: Josh Woodward

3. "Empire" - 3:37
ALBUM: Everything Under the Sun
ARTIST: Jukebox the Ghost

4. "Mr. Brightside" - 3:42
ALBUM: Hot Fuss
ARTIST: The Killers

Side Note: I'm a terrible human being! The only song I know by The Killers is "Mr. Brightside!" Hipsters, please don't pour hot tea on me!!

5. "Cynicism" - 2:28
ALBUM: "Ruth"
ARTIST: Nana Grizol

6. "Sweater Weather" - 4:00
ALBUM: I Love You.
ARTIST: The Neighbourhood

7. "Manhattan" - 4:38
ALBUM: The Blessed Unrest
ARTIST: Sara Bareilles

Side Note: I have more Sara Bareilles on my iPod than any other artist, I think. Is that lame? Maybe? Okay, I'll take maybe over definitely.

8. "Quetzalcoatl is Born" - 2:21
ALBUM: Zopilote Machine
ARTIST: The Mountain Goats

9. "Gracias a La Vida" - 4:22
ALBUM: Serie Millennium: Mercedes Sosa
ARTIST: Mercedes Sosa

10. "From Here" - 3:01
ALBUM: "Ruth"
ARTIST: Nana Grizol

11. "Wake Me Up" - 4:09
ALBUM: "Wake Me Up - Single"
ARTIST: Avicii feat. Aloe Blacc

12. "Fly Girl" - 2:40
ALBUM: Playtime - EP
ARTIST: Two Worlds

I love EVERY SONG on "Playtime" but Fly Girl is just my JAM oh my God. Seriously, buy the EP and listen to it because it is so much fun to dance to and be a stereotypical teenager to. :-)


13. "Heart It Races (As Played by Dr. Dog)" - 3:51
ALBUM: Heart It Races - EP
ARTIST: Dr. Dog (originally by Architecture in Helsinki)


Okay, so let me know what you think of this new format, and I would love music suggestions and feedback on my music. Sorry I've been sort of AWOL, but you can always count on my monthly playlist plus a few little extras!

See ya later!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Quick Update!

Hey ladies and gents! ;) Expect an August playlist soon!!

But in the meantime I have some updates!

1 - I'm going to start posting covers on my YouTube channel (youtube.com/jensenmcraeofficial if you haven't checked it out yet :) haha), probably when I go back to school (which is in a couple weeks--whoa). My friend agreed to help me shoot some and we both have some cool ideas, so hopefully those will come out in the next couple months.

2 - Like I said, I go back to school soon, and even though I haven't been very active as it is, I probably won't be posting that much. But monthly playlists will still very much be a thing!

3 - This is just a promo for one of my favorite groups right now, Two Worlds, but they posted their first music video LITERALLY MINUTES AGO and released their EP on iTunes!!!!!! Their channel is youtube.com/TwoWorldsMusic and they are ABSURDLY talented!!!! Nick Voelker and Adiel Mitchell have beautiful voices and they are so versatile and gifted and I love them to death. Please go watch their music video for "Stay the Night" and buy their EP "Playtime" for only $3.99 on iTunes!! I just listened to all four songs all the way through, in order, and every single one is absolute perfection. Now I'm on my second listen :) listening as I type, actually!! So please go watch it!

That's all for now!
<3 <3 <3 <3 See ya later!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

MKTO - "Classic" Record Player!

http://www.wearemkto.com/classic/

Look at this link! It's absolutely adorable; MKTO has a little record player on which you can listen to "Classic" !!! How cute is that?!

I've been listening to this song nonstop. Check out my July playlist, though it does not indicate the extent to which I have been overplaying this song. :-)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July Playlist

Rest in peace, Cory Monteith. You will be missed. Gone but never forgotten 1982-2013.

Hey guys! So it's been July for a little while, and I've got a new monthly playlist for you!

Also, I would recommend that you listen to these songs in order! But I'm not gonna make you or anything. ALOL.

PS: If you think you recognize some of these songs from How I Met Your Mother...you would be right. The show has awesome music. I'm currently rewatching the whole thing from season 1, episode 1. :-)

July Playlist

1. "Hard Left" - 2:50
ALBUM: One Foot Barefoot
ARTIST: Robin Hackett

This song has a great guitar instrumental, and Robin Hackett's mournful voice is absolutely heartbreaking. If you like sad, alternative folk-pop, then this song is for you. "Hard Left" isn't a traditional summer song by any means, but it's great to listen to.

2. "Pompeii" - 3:34
ALBUM: Haunt - EP
ARTIST: Bastille

I LOVE this song! It's an addictive alt-electro-pop that manages to be both radio-friendly and also wildly unique. It's remarkably well-produced, and Dan's Smith is that perfect blend of raspy and smooth; he's also got a great range. Plus there's this one part in the middle where the drums change into something like a haunting marching band and the harmonies just get under your skin. A+, 10/10, would recommend.

3. "Rewind" - 3:35
ALBUM: Tally of the Yes Men
ARTIST: Goldspot

I'm a sucker for a good introduction (though unfortunately I usually struggle with writing them...c'est la vie), and the guitar hook of this song will make you stop and go "wait a second, I HAVE to hear the rest of this." The lyrics are somewhat simple, but every line is strikingly poignant and well-placed. And it's perfect, because it's just a little bit upbeat, like a single beam of light in a darkened room.

4. "You Belong To Me" - 3:27
ALBUM: Over and Over
ARTIST: The 88

The song is one of the coming down songs on this playlist, the fall in the rise and fall. Keith Slettedahl just has one of those voices, the kind I tend to gravitate towards; gravelly and capable of great vocal feats. This song is a little bit bluesy, a little bit alternative, and a little bit amazing.

5. "Soul Meets Body" - 3:50
ALBUM: Plans
ARTIST: Death Cab for Cutie

Unlike most of the bands on the playlist, who I'm only now stumbling onto, I've been a casual fan of Death Cab for Cutie for the last couple years. Not a huge fan, but always appreciating a tune of theirs if it came on the radio. This album in particular has a lot of greats, but right now, I can't stop listening to "Soul Meets Body." At every turn, the lyrics sort of surprise me with their beauty, and the accompanying music has this really wonderful ebb and flow that makes it a truly well-rounded listen.

6. "Stay Out" - 2:45
ALBUM: Stay Out - EP
ARTIST: Nina Nesbitt

Marcus Butler tweeted about this music video, and now it's one of my favorite songs! Nina Nesbitt is gorgeous and an amazing songwriter. It's one of those songs you expect to be played ad nauseam but somehow isn't mainstream yet. I'm totally hooked on this pop tune, and unlike some of the other songs on this playlist, it's a quintessential summer song about being young and staying out late.

7. "Classic" - 2:54
ALBUM: Role Models
ARTIST: MKTO

Does anyone remember "As The Bell Rings," that miniseries on Disney Channel like six years ago? Of course you do! Now do you remember that super cute guy that sang with Demi Lovato in the hallway?! Of COURSE you do! Well, he didn't fall off the face of the earth, in case you were wondering. Neither did that African-American kid on "Lost" ... which I didn't watch. :-) Nonetheless, Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller, outside of doing some TV and movie work (including working together on the short-lived TeenNick drama "Gigantic"), are now the two-man band MKTO that makes you fall in love with pop again! This blurb has started to get pretty long, but here it is in a nutshell: Tony Oller's voice makes me melt, Malcolm Kelley is a terrific rapper with a real knack for embodying the mainstream flow, and the song "Classic" should be blasting from everybody's car radios this summer.

8. "The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1" - 2:00 / "The King Of Carrot Flowers Pts. 2 & 3" - 3:06
ALBUM: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
ARTIST: Neutral Milk Hotel

NMH made a brief appearance on my June playlist, and this month I'm listening to a different tune off the sophomore album of the band. The two (or three...) part song is simple alt-folk-pop with unassumingly brilliant lyrics. That's the style of Neutral Milk Hotel, to make you hear a song once and like it, hear it a second time and love it, and then on that third listen, to totally blow your mind.

Alright, goodbye guys! Thanks for reading! I'll be back soon with some more stuff for you. Till next time! :-)

PS: Don't forget to check out my music videos on my YouTube channel:

http://youtube.com/jensenmcraeofficial

Thursday, June 20, 2013

YouTube Artist Review

Hello again! I'm actually on vacation right now, but I've got this post queued up to go live in my absence. So here is a review of three of my favorite YouTube artists right now!

1. Alex G
CHANNEL: AlexGMusic7
655,725 subscribers (as of 6/14/2013)
85,622,508 video views (as of 6/14/2013)

Alex G is one of those people that is on the precipice of blowing up, big time. Let's just start with appearance; she's absolutely gorgeous and has an infectious smile. I also love her style. In every video of hers, she has amazing clothes and is all-around stunning. As for her choice in music, I love everything she covers--obviously, because I love literally all music. Some of my favorites of hers have been "Some Nights" (F.U.N. cover, a collaboration with Tyler Ward), "Heart Attack" (Demi Lovato cover), and "Thrift Shop" (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis cover). She's covered a few rap songs besides "Thrift Shop" and every time, she re-appropriates it into a purely pop dance tune or ballad. Plus, her original songs are killer, extremely catchy with heartfelt, if simple, lyrics. My favorite of hers, as far as both song and music video goes, is "Find You." Her voice is clear and strong, and she seems to know her vocal capabilities really well--and she's also really funny, especially in her cover of "Want U Back" by Cher Lloyd.

2. Ari Zizzo
CHANNEL: espanarnar96
2,430 subscribers (as of 6/14/2013)
160,974 video views (as of 6/14/2013)

Ari Zizzo is relatively unknown on YouTube but he SHOULD be way more popular. He's adorable and if you go back and watch his progression of videos, you can even see him go through voice change :-) I don't know why, but that absolutely kills me. His voice is just a little bit gravelly, which I always appreciate, and there's something about his understated style of video-making that's really appealing and inviting. I personally love his cover of "For the First Time" by the Script, which is one of my favorite songs anyway, and "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" by John Mayer, another favorite of mine, which he did with his friend Cassidy Reiff. And his ORIGINALS! Oh my God, he is a mega-talented songwriter. I love his singing voice, but I would venture to say that he's an even better songwriter than he is a singer. They are honestly and complexly written and beautifully performed. Ari Zizzo is one to watch; I personally would love to collaborate with him one day!

3. Late Nite Reading
CHANNEL: LateNiteReading
18,770 subscribers (as of 6/14/2013)
1,274,387 video views (as of 6/14/2013)

Late Nite Reading, the pop-punk band composed of Dalton Wixom on lead vocals and guitar, Brady Szhuaj on bass, Clayton Collins on guitar and backup vocals, and Drew Cottrell on drums, is an absolute knockout. First of all, all four band members are adorable. That's always a plus. Secondly, they are all total goofballs; I haven't investigated the other two members, but Brady and Dalton both have YouTube channels in addition to the band channel where they post funny videos, and Brady's series "My Life in Color" is laugh out loud funny, if you don't mind severe language...:-) Anyway, this band's latest EP, "Walls," is superb. All the songs are pop-punk at its finest, with angsty lyrics that punch you in the gut and also make you want to head bang till your neck snaps. Boys, if you're reading this, that is a compliment! They've also done a few awesome covers (my favorites are "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People and a Ke$ha/Justin Bieber/Taio Cruz mashup on "Die Young").

I also want to give a shoutout to the awesome rapper Kid Kodak and his group The Suburbs (channel: JetlagEnt2012)! They are absolutely amazing, and Kid Kodak and I are currently collaborating on a new song! We might even make a video this summer! Whoa! :-) Kodak has catchy lyrics and great flow, so if you're looking for an up-and-coming rap superstar, this is the channel for you!

See you guys later!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June Playlist

Hey everyone! Welcome to my blog! I'm going to be posting stuff about music here--my music, other people's music, maybe a little bit of pop culture, just some of everything musical! :-)

One consistent feature will be a monthly playlist that has the songs I've been listening to that month. So, in no particular order, here is my playlist for June. Hope you enjoy!

June Playlist
1. "Chill Murray" - 3:36
ALBUM: Schizofriendly
ARTIST: Young Science

This is a super upbeat dance song that just makes you want to throw your hands in the air and jump up and down. I'm so glad I stumbled onto this song, it's feel-good and perfect for summer!

2. "LA Story" - 3:28
ALBUM: LA Story (feat. Mike Posner) - Single
ARTIST: Sammy Adams feat. Mike Posner

The opening of this hip hop song is catchy and inviting, because Mike Posner's voice is just luscious, TBH. The sound of his voice makes you want to hear the rest of the song, seriously. And Sammy Adams, who I'd never heard of before this song, is an AWESOME rapper with great flow and killer lyrics!

3. "Popular Song (feat. Ariana Grande" - 3:20
ALBUM: Popular Song (feat. Ariana Grande) - Single
ARTIST: MIKA feat. Ariana Grande

Ariana's voice is absolutely gorgeous; she says she's inspired by Mariah and it shows. Her runs are flawless and she is so cute, OMG. I love her to death. MIKA is quirky and adorable and super talented, and the combination of the two of them is heavenly. Plus, sampling a "Wicked" song?! Talk about the key to my heart! :-)

4. "Going to Georgia" - 2:15
ALBUM: Zopilote Machine
ARTIST: The Mountain Goats

My newfound obsession can be attributed to a) John Green's insistence on their excellence and b) one of my best friends reminding me to listen to them. John Darnielle's lyrics and voice will make your summer, let me just tell you that. The most remarkable thing about listening to this album is that it's you, and you're listening to this album.

5. "Neon Cathedral (feat. Allen Stone)" - 4:34
ALBUM: The Heist
ARTIST: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Allen Stone

Macklemore's lyrics and flow are bone-chillingly good. Every song, regardless of the tone or the message, leaves you with your mind blown and your fingers furiously pressing the replay button. This song makes me cry. It is an honest portrayal of alcoholism, and the juxtaposition of imagery from a church and a bar is positively genius. Pure, unadulterated genius.

6. "Two-Headed Boy" - 4:26
ALBUM: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
ARTIST: Neutral Milk Hotel

Again, my best friend and John Green have excellent taste in music. If you've read "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" (which you should have, if you haven't), you may know about this indie band from the 90s that recently made a resurgence with a new EP in 2011. The whole album is decadently intellectual and jam-packed with brilliant lyrics, but "Two-Headed Boy" has lilting quality that makes it a great song to really lay back and listen to.

7. "22" - 3:52
ALBUM: Red
ARTIST: Taylor Swift

Don't let my glowing review of NMH and The Mountain Goats fool you: I'm a pop culture junkie, too! Taylor Swift is actually one of my favorite artist; her songwriting is honest and catchy and fun, and as you'll soon see, I love every single genre of music (except death metal. That's where I draw the line). "22" makes me happy and makes me want to dance around. Also be 22, though I have to wait around six more years for that.

8. "California Daze" - 3:56
ALBUM: EP Delicious - EP
ARTIST: Peace

One of my other best friends recommended this song to me, and I've been listening to it nonstop for like two weeks now. The whole EP is fantastic, but "California Daze" is soothing, subtly complex and a good comedown from dance music, if that's what you typically store in a summer playlist.

9. "Eleanor Rigby" - 2:06
ALBUM: Revolver
ARTIST: The Beatles

If you don't know this song, I don't know what you're even doing on the Internet, please go listen to it and move away from the rock under which you take residence. :-) Why mess with perfection? Having a solid Beatles jam on your summer playlist is a win-win. And "Eleanor Rigby" is The Beatles at their best; it's probably my favorite song by them (though three other songs are in my mind going What about me?! What about me?! And I'm like, I know, I know). But yeah, this song is amazing and incidentally is really fun to play on the piano and sing.

I hope you like this playlist for the month of June. You can mix and match the order and put in your own stuff, but this is what I've been listening to on repeat! Plus, I highly recommend you check out these artists and their other albums/songs, because all of them are extremely talented and worth a listen.

See ya later! :-)