Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Last year I discovered Mindy Smith’s amazing Christmas album, My Holiday, and played it over and over until January. I loved it most for being fresh and original tracks sung by one of my favorite artists. I’m trying to find new songs or fresh intereprations for this Christmas season also. Here’s the playlist I’ve found so far that’s worth taking a listen to. Enjoy!

  • Celtic Woman – Christmas Album
  • “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson on The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs
  • “The Heartache Can Wait” by Brandi Carlile on The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs
  • “All My Bells Are Ringing” by Lenka on The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs
  • “Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song)” by Meiko on The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs
  • “Winter Wonderland” by Kate Havnevik on The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs
  • “The Christmas Song” by Catherine Feeny on The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs
  • “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by Enya on And Winter Came
  • “And Winter Came” by Enya on And Winter Came
  • “The Spirit of Christmas Past” by Enya on And Winter Came
  • “Last Time By Moonlight” by Enya on And Winter Came
  • “White Is In the Winter Night” by Enya on And Winter Came
  • “White Christmas” by Michael Bublé on Let It Snow!
  • “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Michael Bublé on Let It Snow!
  • “Grown-Up Christmas List” by Michael Bublé on Let It Snow!
  • “The Christmas Song” by Michael Bublé on Let It Snow!
  • “Some Children See Him” by James Taylor on James Taylor At Christmas
  • “In the Bleak Midwinter” by James Taylor on James Taylor At Christmas
  • “River” by Sarah McLachlan on Wintersong
  • “Wintersong” by Sarah McLachlan on Wintersong
  • “What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)” by Sarah McLachlan on Wintersong
  • “Song for a Winter’s Night” by Sarah McLachlan on Wintersong
  • “That’s What I Want for Christmas” by Jessie Baylin on That’s What I Want for Christmas
  • “Christmas Time Is Here” by Diana Krall on Christmas Songs
  • “Glorious” by Melissa Etheridge on A New Thought for Christmas
  • “Christmas In America” by Melissa Etheridge on A New Thought for Christmas
  • “Light a Light” by Melissa Etheridge on A New Thought for Christmas
  • “Mistletoe” by Colbie Caillat on Mistletoe – Single

If I were to go back and download the full album from any of these, it would definately be Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong, Enya’s And Winter Came, and Melissa Etheridge’s A New Thought for Christmas.

I haven’t blogged much about music lately. I have my favorites, favorite songs and albums and favorite artists too, but I love finding new stuff all the time. Thought I’d share what I’m shuffling lately. It’s just good stuff.

  • Kings of Leon is my new favorite band. I heard them on SNL a while back and just can’t get enough. Sex on Fire, Be Somebody, Use Somebody, Manhattan, and Revelry are my favs
  • Matt Nathanson is just good stuff. Come on Get Higher just won’t get out of my head
  • Amos Lee’s newest album Last Days at the Lodge is as good as any he’s put out and possibly grammy worthy in my opinion. Several of the tracks are getting national airplay but everyone of them are golden
  • John Mayer is a staple in my iPod. He’s got an amazing version of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ that is as good and fresh as the original
  • Matt Wertz released an acoustic version of one of my all time favorites, 5:19
  • Ray Lamontagne’s long awaited new album Gossip in the Grain is out this month and is as brilliant and pure a sound as any he’s put out there. It’s sensual, raspy, and bluesy
  • Marc Broussard’s new album Keep Comin’ Back is great. I wasn’t a big fan of the last album Save Our Soul. It was a departure from some of his most well known work, but I’ve got to support a Louisiana boy when I can. I haven’t heard all of the new album yet but it sounds great. His duet with Leann Rimes, When It’s Good, is just amazing. 
  • And of course, there will always be Tracy Chapman, Bruce Springsteen, Will Hoge, and Mindy Smith spinning in my player

by Darden Smith / JD Martin

If I could love you like Elvis
Elvis back in ‘62
Hips on fire, full of desire
It wouldn’t be good enough for you
And if you could love me like Marilyn
In the Garden back in ‘63
Singing ‘Happy Birthday, Baby’
It wouldn’t be good enough for me

‘Cause that stuff ain’t really real
No matter how good it feels
It’s only skin deep and we
Are way beyond that now
Lying with you in the dark
Soul to soul and heart to heart
Baby you and I
Know how to be satisfied

A raindrop falls on the mountain
Slowly rolling to the sea
And it takes time to know what is love, what’s a dream
And the difference in between

That other stuff ain’t really real
No matter how good it feels
It’s only skin deep and we
Are way beyond that now
Lying with you in the dark
Soul to soul and heart to heart
Baby you and I
Know how to be satisfied

I have a weakness for acoustic/folk songwriters. Recently I stumbled upon Darden Smith, just such a character from Texas nonetheless. There’s something about west Texas that has such a magic about it, but it may be from reading too many Robert James Waller books. This guy is good. I like the grit in his voice and the heart in his songs.

There’s a certain awkwardness in writing about music. It’s sort of like trying to describe art. It’s something you just have to experience for yourself to appreciate, nonetheless I’m going to take a shot at it from time to time when I hear songs or artists that make an impression on me. This particular song, “Satisfied,” really grabbed my attention. At first reading the lyrics about Elvis and Marilyn threw me, until I heard the song. (You can hear and download it on Darden’s myspace page.) I’ve listened to it a number of times now and can’t get it out of my head.

Sometimes love songs can be over the top, you know, sensational and dramatic. Many people often feel disheartened for never having felt that way about someone or for not having someone feel that way in return. At other times that feeling is elusive and fleeting. We find moments in our relationships where those sentiments resonate with us, but in between there’s life with bills, kids, work, and stuff. This song strikes me about married love or at least the nature of love over time.

This song talks about the simplicity of love, “lying with you in the dark,” and the maturity of love, “it takes time to know what is love, what’s a dream and the difference in between.” Over time we come to know what love is by learning what it’s not, as much as what it is. It is a feeling, but much more than that it is a choice. Feelings are fickle and subject to circumstances. Real love transcends circumstances. I think this song captures that sentiment beautifully.

I think a lot of people aren’t “satisfied,” neither with love nor with life. Maybe it’s because we sit around waiting to feel satisfied, for all the stuff in our life to line up just right. That’s chasing after the wind. The apostle Paul said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content,” Philippians 4:11. I think there’s a lot of wisdom in that statement. Being content or satisfied is something that you learn, although you may never master. The first step is to choose to be satisfied, to embrace every circumstance, every person, and every moment in your life for what they are and not for what you want them to be. If we spend our lives wanting to be in another place in another time down the road, we may or may not ever get there but will have wasted years and precious moments in between.

Hope you enjoy the song.

I’ve seen quite a few movies the last few days between the Blockbuster movie program and HBO. I thought I should share a few thoughts on them:

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music documentary by Robert Elfstrom
I love all things Johnny Cash. I’ve read several biographies, including one by Rolling Stone magazine which was an amazing photo journey. This documentary was not an all encompassing birth to death, rags to riches epic. It was filmed by British filmmaker Robert Elfstrom in the late 1960’s as he traveled with Johnny and June. Johnny was so impressed with Elfstrom’s work that he later asked him to produce his film about Jesus Christ, The Gospel Road. This movie is archival footage from live concerts, recording sessions, Johnny’s return visit to his hometown, and rare personal moments and reflections. Fantastic!

Conversations With God with Henry Czerny
I had this movie in my queue but moved it up after my friend commented on it on his blog. I thought the movie provided a very human portrayal of a man who fell upon hard times and into homelessness and struggled to climb his way back out. I did not buy into the spirituality. It seemed to lack substance and drive book sales or something. Overall, I was glad I watched it.

Take the Lead with Antonio Banderas
Ok, how many movies have there been about courageous teachers who transform the lives of inner city kids? I didn’t rent this one, but when I started watching the beginning I had to stay up to watch the whole movie. I’m not a big Antonio Banderas fan, but he did an excellent job of acting in the movie. I guess the whole ballroom dancing thing was a large enough curiosity hook to separate it from the other movies about troubled inner city kids. Definately worth watching!

Proof with Gweneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, & Jake Gyllenhaal
I missed the first few minutes of this one, but it was really good. It’s a little similar to A Beautiful Mind but definately stands apart. Gweneth Paltrow was amazing in this movie. Jake Gyllenhaal was ok. Anthony Hopkins’ appearances are limited but he’s old, heavy, and going crazy in the film, so he provides some depth. He’s Paltrow’s aging mathematical genius father who is losing his mind. Paltrow’s scenes jump back and forth to her time of caring for him and moving forward after he dies. In the process she’s wrestling with her own sanity and genius. A very good drama. I recommend it.

Skeleton Key with Kate Hudson and Gena Rowlands
I saw this one over a year ago and just watched it again today. I enjoy movies filmed in or set in Louisiana, especially if they’re good. This is a darker movie about old New Orleans and voodoo, and it has some amazing plot twists. It’s not a horror film but a great suspense thriller. It’s grade A entertainment that will keep you hooked.