First, if you are lurking behind Google Reader's boring veil come out and see the real world of blogging for a sec. I gave my blog it's bi-monthly facelift this weekend and I'm digging the new colors.

This post is all about tunes. Because this was the first weekend in seven weeks that one of us was not traveling, running a marathon, nor working. Two days in a row of pure, unplanned bliss means lots of time to study [for Nate] and working on the computer [for yours truly]. When I plant myself in front of this glorious screen, I need my tunes to help the creative process. Usually good music pared with either black coffee or red wine [depending on the time of day, of course] does the trick for me. So now I will share a few of my gems with you in hopes that you can give me new prospects, too.

I recently purchased Jason Mraz's newest album called "We sing. We dance. We steal things." I've always like Mr. A-Z and this album does not disappoint. I'm sure most of you have heard his single "I'm Yours" played non-stop on the radio, but I promise that is not the best song on the album. Great buy.

This summer I also bought Paramore's album "Riot." They are labeled as alternative but I really think they are more rock, and totally hard core if you ask me. I love it because it's classic girl power music with a little more edge. You've probably heard "Misery's Business" and "Crushcrushcrush" which I adore, but there are some other goodies there, too.

I pounced on Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" the day it came out. Swoon. I love them so much. I think I added about three of these songs to my website which shows my intense amount of love, right?

Also this summer I bought Death Cab for Cutie's new album "Narrow Stairs." Besides Coldplay's new album this might be one of my newest all-time faves. In the history of the world. It's THAT good, folks. I must thank my brother-in-law, Jon, for this new love of mine. But more on him later.

I broke down and bought Katy Perry's album "One of the Boys" because I'll admit it, I love her song "I Kissed a Girl." Too bad that song isn't on the album, but a bunch of other girl power songs are there. This is a perfect sing-so-loud-in-the-car-that-a-stranger-stares type of album.

Also, I bought M.I.A's single "Paper Planes" just because I'm a gangsta and love the gun shots in this tune. Seriously. It's a far cry from some of the others but I likey. So back to my brother-in-law, Jon. He is the epitome of a music snob, but in a good way of course:) To sum him up, he despises everything corporate and mainstream. He will not drink a Starbucks coffee but the locally owned coffee shop will get his praises instead. He hates most brand name clothes and prefers to shop at Goodwill for vintage tee shirts. He probably has no clue who Paris Hilton, Lauren Conrad, or Kevin Federline are...but he can list about a million Indie-rock bands that are virtual unknowns to the rest of America.

So when Jon caught a glimpse of our iTunes playlist he almost vomited in his mouth a little bit. Techno?? Top 40 hits?? BRITNEY SPEARS?!?! The horror.

He took it upon himself to make me a 'cool' music list to inspire my inner granola. And I will admit, there are some awesome non-mainstream bands out there.

For instance, The Weepies. I love their songs, "Gotta Have You" and "Take It From Me." Go look them up on iTunes right now and try not to buy them.

Then there's Silversun Pickups, whose most popular song is probably "Lazy Eye". You know the song that goes, "I've been waiting for this moment, for all my life." That's them. But their best song I've found is "Three Seed." Obsessed with it, blare it daily, and have no shame replaying it multiple times until Nate begs me to stop. Listen and you will see.

But that song is tied for first place in the "New Alternative/Indie Awards" according to me. It's tied with Badly Drawn Boy's song called "Once Around the Block." I could listen to this one constantly and apparently Jon likes it, too: the play count on it is 237! That is about 200 more than any other song I own.

So maybe that will give you about three more songs to download if you dare. Have you heard of these groups before? Cause I definitely hadn't before Jon.

I emailed Jon tonight to ask his opinion of the new Keane and new Snow Patrol albums. He got me hooked on these bands, too, but now I think Snow Patrol has gotten way too mainstream for Jon anymore. I just listened to a few of the songs on iTunes and I think I might take the plunge.

Did anyone get these yet?

Or any other recommendations for me? I love new music and apparently I'm moving away from the Top 40 in my maturity. But all types of music welcome.


  1. Jason Mraz is amazing. I love that CD and I listened to it all the time when I was in Israel - it's fab!

    I would recommend Duffy as well. She's fab!

    Love your background! Do you design it yourself?

  2. Love, love the new design!

  3. 1. love the new look. You are making me feel shameful for my blog's lackluster look

    2. I have heard of Badly Drawn Boy, but not the others.

    I, too, am pretty mainstream...but I love ALL kinds of music and always love finding new artists. I make a new playlist every month and I'm afraid this month is heavy with Britney and Rihanna. I'm loving Ingrid Michaelson/Be OK and Eric Hutchinson/Rock & Roll too though.

    My favorite still not mainstream artist is Bob Schneider. He is an Austin, TX musician and he is awesome. Check out "Captain Kirk" and "Getting Better"

    Are you a country fan? I'm kind of thinking no, but if so, you might like Ashton Shepherd. She is an up and comer and I cannot get enough of her song "Sounds So Good" lately.

  4. I love the new design too. Very cute.

    TJ is a music snob too. Actually all of his friends are. He tries to teach me, but I usually think the stuff he listens to "just sounds like a big mess." For example, whatever he just started playing five seconds ago...

  5. LOVE the black and green! I think you need to do a "Blog Design for Idiots" post. Please? :)
    I also have a BIL just like that. He is always introducing us to new bands. I'll have to check out the ones you listed.

  6. I don't come out of GR for many people, Julia. ;) The blog looks fabulous!

  7. I love your new blog design AND your taste in music.

    Have you ever heard of Bitter:Sweet? It's kind of a mellow loungy sound but I love it. Dirty Laundry and The Mating Game are two good ones. They have a new one out too but I haven't heard it.

  8. Oops...that should have said they have a new album out...the other two are songs from their older one.

  9. 1. LOVE the new blog design!
    2. I'm digging Jason Mraz right now as well...just downloaded a bunch of songs this weekend.
    3. Unfortunately I'm the Top 40 queen. Jim introduces me to non-mainstream music as he usually hates a song the minute it hits the radio. But I can't deny my music taste...must be the former Pom girl in me :)

  10. I love all the new suggestions, keep em coming!

    And, not so much. Back in the day I loved it [being from a small mid-MO town and all]. But usually not now.

  11. I love Jason Mraz too! But a good one to try is Brett Dennen. Specifically "Ain't No Reason" and "Make You Crazy". He's awesome. Also, Matt Nathanson and Matt Kearney are good, and Dashboard Confessional, although they've become more mainstream. I can't wait to check out your recommendations!

  12. On the more lowkey, mellow side, Griffin House and Sanders Bohlke and two big faves of mine. I'm definitely gonna check out some of these you listed!

  13. 1. I love the new blog design. You never disappoint. :-)

    2. I heart Jason Mraz! We used the song "Life Is Wonderful" as our wedding party entrance song at the reception, and it was one of my favorite memories of the evening.

    3. The cover design on The Weepies album alone makes me want to buy it.

    4. I love Keane and Snow Patrol, so I will have to check them out.

    5. We went to see a friend's band perform at a local bar, and the headliner that night was a band called The Action Design. They were so good that I ended up buying their CD's right then and there (I rarely do that). Their website is (they have a MySpace page too).

  14. I love the design!
    Also, you have great taste in music :)

  15. I am a semi-music snob - but let me tell you: I can't get through a hard workout without a little Toxic by Ms. Spears.

    On that note - my new fav is Bon Iver. He's from Wisconsin - and his songs are perfect for a snuggly fall/winter day. Skinny Love is my favorite tune on Emma Forever Ago.

  16. I am the guy who found your website by googling "Chai Spice". I painted my accent wall that color yesterday. I thought I would let you know that your blog is very interesting and I think I read the entire thing before realizing why I surfed in. I like the new look, very creative, nice colors, inviting.
    Music, ah, music. Judging by the bands you listed, I think you would like the band Guster, album titled, Guster, too.
    Jack's useless fact of the day: M.I.A ripped that catchy melody from the intro of a song by The Clash titled Straight To Hell. Not a happy song.
    Second useless fact, I am from MO but have lived in MN for 14 years.

  17. I got the Katy Perry album from iTunes, but it definitely had "I kissed a girl" on it. It's #2. #3 (Waking up in Vegas?) is my favorite. And, you're right, it's total blast-in-the-car-and-sing-out-loud-not-caring-if-strangers-are-staring type of music. Love it!

  18. I love the Silversun Pickups album as well and agree that Three Seed rules! I had to go back and see which one that was (I never pay attention to the song titles), and yup, I agree.

  19. {Audible} Ooooooooh.

    I love the new design!


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