Two pop culture addicts' snarky musings…

Posts tagged ‘music’

Mumford & Sons remind listeners what music is supposed to be

It seems to me that anytime a new artist breaks onto the music scene, they’re usually followed by some hype that they’ve either changed the face of music or they’ve brought a fresh sound to an established genre. Sometimes the hype is backed up by talent, most of the time the artist becomes big because our society is programmed to make a superstar out of anyone. However, for the first time in a while, I think I’ve found a band that is truly revolutionary: Mumford & Sons.

Okay, well I didn’t exactly discover them and I actually first heard their music when I saw the video on -gasp- VH1. You know, the reality show channel that, like MTV, was once a channel devoted to all things music and is now devoted to all things ridiculous? Anyway, according to the fold rock band has been together since 2007, their debut album “Sigh No More” was released in the UK 2009 and in the United States in 2010 and are up for two Grammy awards; one for Best New Artist and the other for Best Rock song for their single “Little Lion Man,” so I’m not exactly the first person to ever have heard of them. But I do think more people could benefit from listening to said debut album.

While the English band is categorized as folk rock or indie folk, there’s just something otherworldly and timeless about their sound. It has a sense of history; of a time when music was a few instruments and voices, not auto-tuned vocals and heavy beats backing up nonsensical lyrics. It sounds like what music is, what it should be. I realize this makes me sound like a music snob, so I feel I should state that I love contemporary music as much as the next person (I’ve had Katy Perry’s “Firework” stuck in my head for about a month and have loved every single minute of it) but it’s refreshing to hear a band like Mumford & Sons and realize music can be simple without being dated. “Sigh No More” is contemporary while reminding us of the past and the modern audience should not turn away from it because of its folk label.

The proof of this band’s talent is clear from the very first track of their album and carries through until the very last. This isn’t one of those albums that you find a few songs you like, especially the singles, and then skip the rest. Every single lyric has a meaning and an emotion; every song has its own unique quality that makes it enjoyable. The main theme that runs through the album is that of love both lost and found, yet there isn’t a bitterness to the failed love songs or a naive happiness to the new love ones. They all have a reality to it, as though a group of friends just got together to sing about their heartaches.

This group isn’t for everyone, but I think that anyone who enjoys music and comes to this album with an open mind is going to find themselves pleasantly surprised.

More information on Mumford & Sons and their upcoming events can be found at their official website

VMAs 2010 – Or how MTV got her groove back for exactly one evening

Leave it to Chelsea Handler, brilliant woman that she is, to find and maintain the funny at the VMAs this year. As the first woman to ever host in its 16 year history, she called MTV out on the farce that the VMAs are and then MTV managed to put on a pretty good show. Shall we hit the highlights?

*Eminem is still a badass, no matter what anyone says. And though I don’t understand the outfit, I love that Rihanna came out and killed it.

*No one is laughing, Lindsey. Too soon, dumbass. Too soon.

*Still laughing at “the big black elephant in the room.” Oh, Chelsea.

Love or hate the new Jared 'do?

*I love that 30 seconds to Mars won best rock video. What I dont’ love is that terrible new blond ‘do Jared was rockin’. I miss the shag, dude.

*Your love for Justin Beiber isn’t just creepy in the eyes of the law, Kim.

*And then little Justin proved boys can lip sync too.

*Yep, definitely don’t get the whole Usher thing anymore…

*Like most Taylor Swift songs, I’m sure I’ll get this one late, but right now I don’t understand…

*Is it just me or is Justin Timberlake aging backwards?And white again…

*I just heard this song Airplanes the other day for the first time and I LOVE it. It’s such an ear worm and I just don’t care.

*Raise your hand if you are surprised Justin Beiber won Best New Artist. Bueller? Beuller?

*The verdict is still out on the new Linkin Park song for me, but the performance was pretty bad ass.

*Still love me some Cher. Vintage or otherwise…

*Oh Kanye, why won’t you go away? Not even if we ask nicely?

All right, that’s pretty much everything.  I’ll go back to hating MTV tomorrow for bringing Snooki and Speidi into this world, but for now, I’m kind of okay with them being ironically named.


How about a little musical interlude…

What happens when you combine a computer-less week with a needy Shih Tzu and a busy week at work? Answer – A severely neglected blog and an irritated blogger. The fact that it’s perfect weather outside complete with Autumn like breeze and sunshine is so not helping. Still, I made a commitment, and my PIC Sarah is living it up in Cincinnati with a big ol’ helping of Skyline Chili, so here I am…and you know what this week could use more than anything? A better soundtrack.

Here are a few of my current addictions in no particular order:

This is War - 30 Seconds to Mars

This is War - 30 Seconds to Mars

1. This is War30 Seconds to Mars: Aside from any excuse to see Jared Leto in eyeliner, this new record is stellar. I find a new favorite song everyday. Right now, that song is “Hurricane”, an interesting blend rock with a little Kanye West mixed in for good measure. You can also check out the first single “Kings and Queens” which the band used thousands of voices recorded around the world to create the chorus at the end of the song. And Elijah Wood can suck it…

Hurricane Featuring Kanye West

2. 70s classic rock – Not sure if it’s just the mood my iPod is in or if it’s the nonstop weeks of Supernatural watching, but I can’t seem to get enough Classic Rock this week. Check out Styx’s “Renegade” and Kansas’ “Carry on My Wayward Son” for a taste of the good stuff.

Gratuitous Supernatural plug with “Carry on My Wayward Son”

3.  The onslaught of new country bands in the past couple of weeks has actually brought some potentially interesting prospects. I have listened to The Band Perry’s single “If I Die Young” approximately 873 times over the past week and I still can’t get enough. And though I pushed pretty hard for JB Rocket I will concede to Naomi Judd and Big Kenny as to the genius of Steel Magnolia. Their new single “Just By Being You (Halo and Wings)” is epic. And then there’s Jaron and whatever the unnecessary end of his name is since it isn’t a band name and it’s not an album title. “Pray for You” is quirky and fun, but the rest of the album isn’t half bad either.

“If I Die Young” Official Music Video

Melissa’s Week in Review…a little early

I know the week doesn’t technically end until tomorrow, but I’m gonna have to jump the gun. It’s a long story involving a dead disc drive, a complaint letter and a quirky tech support dude named James, but I am sadly computer-less for a few days.

Barry Watson’s heartbreaking guest spot as a man using a clown costume to grieve the loss of his wife on Sunday’s episode of Drop Dead Diva  reminded me why we need him back on a prime time show pronto. Why did they cancel Samantha Who again?

Tuesday’s episode of White Collar could quite possibly be my favorite yet with them shifting gears to a more Moz-centric episode. The foreshadowing could have been a little more subtle, but the end result more than made up for it. I loved some of the Burke/Mozzie exchanges – “Don’t think this is my only safe house…I call this one Tuesday?” Why? “Because I’m usually here on Wednesdays.” Pure genius.

Where did Liam James go? My favorite young Shawn has been replaced by a freckled, dull little boy without his sparkle and shine on this week’s episode of Psych. Please let the switch be temporary because he totally makes those Young Shawn and Gus vinettes.

I am loving/addict to The Band perry’s new song “If I Die Young.” Everyone should check that out on iTunes. Also, if you like Train, Pat and the boys did a killer cover of Rihanna’s Umbrella at their recent Unplugged session at Vh1. You can find it at here.

Check out the trailer for Robert Downey Jr’s new movie, Due Date here because it’s hilarious and he has to road trip with Zach Galifianakis – Trailer

I am lovin’ RuPaul’s Drag U on LOGO. It’s like a gayer, more interesting version of that show with Carson Kressley on Lifetime. I never thought I would write a sentence in which something would be gayer and more interesting than Carson…this is a monumental day.

All right, kittens, I’m off to rediscover my Emmy weekend/Supernatural induced stupor which you will probably find me in until my computer has returned.

Check out Sarah’s Weekly Preview Sunday and watch the Emmy’s!

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