Tag Archives: circa survive

2012 In Review: Music (Part 2) – Best *New Bands

*New to me, not necessarily to the world

Despite currently having 121 GB worth of music on my computer, I am always on the hunt for more. Something new, something I missed out on somehow, just anything appealing to my ear. While I come across plenty of music every year, there are always a few bands that really stand out over the others, bands that become favorites. This year I discovered a lot of really great artists, but the following four are easily my top finds.

letlive.

letlive

Cory Eaves, drummer of Artifex Pereo, can take credit for me falling for this band, though he probably has no idea. I think it was an ‘ask’ about his favorite bands or maybe bands he’d like to tour with (I don’t know, it was a long time ago), but he listed letlive. along with a couple other bands I already knew I liked and it spiked my curiosity. I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me that a talented musician like himself would have killer taste in music, but I don’t think I was prepared for how much I would love letlive. I can only imagine the kind of energy they must create performing live and I really hope I get to experience it one day. I would later fall in love with many more bands because of Cory’s music recommendations, but letlive. will probably always hold the top spot.

Circa Survive

Circa Survive

It was April, my birthday weekend, and I was going through a music buying binge on Amazon after receiving a MP3 gift card. I’d already spent more money than my gift card offered when Amazon suggested I’d like Circa Survive, as if I needed more music at all. I don’t think that Amazon’s ever really been completely right with their suggestions to me, but you can’t really blame them since my music taste is so all over the place. But I previewed Blue Sky Noise and fell so head-over-heels for Circa Survive I spent even more money and acquired every album they’d released immediately. Amazon loves my wallet. Needless to say, this is a band I don’t see myself ever growing tired of.

O’ Brother

O' Brother

My newfound love for Circa Survive is the reasons behind my love of O’ Brother. When they announced their latest album’s release and tour, they offered a free download sampler of the bands they’d be touring with and on this sampler was O’ Brother. I couldn’t get enough of their sound and just had to hear more. Everything I’ve bought since has been so, so solid. It is absolutely a band worth checking out.  

Relief in Sleep

Relief in Sleep

I guess because I post music so often, it’s not uncommon for unsigned bands to contact me asking to be checked out (I assume this is why, no one’s ever actually said it, but I do get a pretty significant amount of requests like this). Unfortunately, I don’t get a lot of winners, but Relief in Sleep was the biggest winner of them all this year. They’re like this lovely clashing of old Paramore or Flyleaf against a perfectly complicated musical arrangement. I’m not sure what their future holds, but I hope it’s making more music and being further recognized by the music industry.

What were the best bands you came across in 2012? I’d love to check them out! 

**If you don't already know these bands, click their name or pictures to check out their sound!

Music Friday – Christmas Edition

Over on Tumblr, I frequently post songs at the end of the week that lived on repeat. I tag this "Music Friday." With it being December, and me listening to pretty much nothing but Christmas music, I've started tagging them all "Christmas Edition." In the past here on LJ, you know I've done "25 Days of Christmas Music," but there isn't much participation in it (which is true for most of my blog posts these days, eh) and so I decided to skip it this year. But, since I'm still finding new Christmas tracks worth sharing, I figured I'd compile a small list here in case any of you are actually reading and looking for some new Christmas tunes. Ready? :)

This first track comes from what is easily my favorite Christmas album this year, "August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin' Hill, A Holiday Album." I am typically a fan of musicians taking a stab at a Christmas album anyway, but I'm even more delighted when it's a band I really like, putting out an unconventional Christmas album in a style of music I really love. This is totally the case with this album. Now I could really make a post strictly for this album because there are so many great tracks on it, but I won't. Just know that you should seriously consider checking out more than just this track.

August Burns Red – "Flurries"

I'd never heard of this next band until I heard this song and while I've yet to hear anything else by them, I'm really looking forward to it. I don't even think I was much of a fan of this song prior to hearing their rendition of it, but there is just something so mellow and perfect about it and I can't stop listening to it. I'm especially fond of the turn it takes at 2:45 and how it sounds almost nothing in the end like it did when it began. Also, the piano is just… well I mean, come on, if you know me, you should already know I'm drawn to it because of the piano. 

The Head and The Heart – "What Are You Doing New Years Eve?"

I admit I've always really wanted to sing this song with someone, but I doubt that day will ever come. And so, I find enjoyment in other people singing it and what better than the likes of Mindy White (from States) and Anthony Green (from Circa Survive)? Mindy's voice, in particular is perfect for Christmassy tunes. She should totally put out a holiday album. Aside from their voices though, I really enjoy the dips in the music itself. 

Mindy White & Anthony Green – "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

This last song is just one of those feel good songs. The story in it's cute, the video for it's cute. It's sort of what I consider a typical, happy Christmas song. But I thoroughly enjoy typical where Christmas is concerned. I want songs to make me feel cheery, as I want anything that has to do with Christmas to make me feel. 

Train – "Shake Up Christmas"

I've got an enormous Christmas playlist, but I don't want this to get unbarably long. Perhaps I'll do another before the month's end if there's a demand for it. Do you have any newer Christmas song suggestions I might want to check out? I'd love to hear them if you do! 

P.S. I really wanted to post the song I'm currently listening to in this batch too, because it's strings are ridiculously beautiful, but I wasn't able to find it in an embeddable way and so all I can do is link you to it. You should really click HERE to listen to Punch Brother's version of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."

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June: In Review

Gosh, June, where on earth did you go? Heck, the first half of 2012, please freaking come back! It is ridiculous how fast time is passing this year. I know I say this every month, but I swear time is listening and challenging me even more with every month that passes. Curse you, Time! *shakes fist angrily*
But enough of my disappointment with time… I’m sure I’m not alone with this lost time thing, so let’s just get on to the review of what was accomplished in the short period of time known as June. 
Writing – It’s not spectacular, but at least there’s a number this month. Total: 822. I should feel ashamed, I know, but I’m just happy to have written anything. It’s summer after all and even though I was struck with the lovely shiny-new Summer Novel idea last month, I wasn’t sure I’d actually achieve anything. But the first half of that number can be applied to Summer Novel (currently being referred to Beyond the Trees), and the second half can be applied to a short story I’m working on. Something, that sadly, might make you cry, but in a good way (hopefully). 
Reading – I didn’t read nearly as many books as I’d hoped to read in June. I started more than I actually finished honestly, but I did finish four, which isn’t a terribly embarrassing number to report. Included in those four, are: The Carrie Diaries, Book 1 by Candace Bushnell, Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors, Book 1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan, and Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 1) by Charlaine Harris. *Clicking those titles will take you to my thoughts on each book*

Photography – With June being Gideon’s birthday month, and his 1st birthday no less, there were a lot of opportunities for great pictures. I’ve bundled the pictures via instagram, but clicking on them will take you to their full albums if you’re interested in seeing more. Also, crazy things happened this month in regards to my photography. Things that both excite me and scare the crap out of me. Like, PEOPLE WANT ME TO PHOTOGRAPH THEM! People I hardly even know. They’ve been asking my family and friends and even approaching me about photographing their families or children. I am feeling super honored and scared like you can’t believe. I truly hope I don’t let them down. The other crazy thing is detailed under the first picture so without further ado, June’s notable moments in pictures:
Gideon’s 1st Birthday Photo Shoot
The cupcake used for the shoot was from Cupcake Wars Winner and local bakery, “Flavor Cupcakery.” When I was buying it, I mentioned what I’d be using it for and they asked me to bring in a copy of the picture. When I posted it on their FB page the following day they were so in-love with it that they used the photo to advertise their cupcake flavors for that day! So many total strangers ‘liked’ the photo on FB. It was a really cool feeling for me.
The Huff Family
My sister, Rachel, and brother-in-law, Steve, and their most recent tattoos, and then the both of them, with Gideon, at his 1st birthday party. The last time I shot pictures of them like this was their wedding party. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already.
Gideon’s 1st Birthday Party
It was Pirate Themed, as to be expected based on the birthday invitations I shot last month. He received two of those pirate ship rides and my sister made all the adorable cupcakes and birthday cakes. Overall, it was a successful event! 
Music – As always, music never lets me down. And June was no exception. I wish I could limit this list to a more reasonable number because I know by posting as many as I’m about to post, I’m probably losing readers, but seriously, I just can’t. There were THAT many great bands in June that you MUST know about. If you pass up this list, well, you’ve totally lost out. Just saying.
Artifex Pereo – Liable for Tragedy
It’s always a wonderful thing when one of your favorite bands randomly releases a new track featuring their new singer, for no reason at all, and you love it just the same as all their other tracks with their old singer. It’s even more awesome when they offer you a link to said song for free, even when you’re willing to pay for it, just because you want to listen to it on repeat. Yeah. One of my favorite bands. You get why, right? 😉

Anthony Green – “Get Yours While You Can”

I had wanted his solo album for some time now, but the guilt over the money I’d spend to buy it always got the best of me before. This month, though, I finally let desire win over quilt and Oh, gosh, I wasn’t let down. I had no doubt that Anthony Green was talented. I was well aware of his skill with Saosin and Circa Survive, but this solo record was really something special and I am so happy to finally own it. 

Circa Survive – “Suitcase”

Technically this should probably be the last track listed since it hit me at the end of the month, but since we’re talking about Anthony Green already, I might as well follow up with this gem. Apparently Circa Survive is releasing their next own on their own and it’s coming in in AUGUST! Oh, you don’t even know my excitement over this. Seriously. Expect lots of Circa Survive come August. Just warning you. 

Grouplove – “Tongue Tied”

A friend from high school who actually participates in Music Friday on Facebook suggested I give Grouplove a listen and since their album was on sale, I went ahead and bought it. And I’ll be honest, it’s stellar. If you’re looking for that happy summer sound, Grouplove just might be the band you’re looking for. Check them out, really. 

City and Colour – “Weightless”
So many times I’d heard of this artist, but it wasn’t until this past month that I finally gave them a listen. And of the two albums I now own, I can confirm their absolute awesomeness. If you haven’t check out this artist, you’re missing out. Period. 

Imagine Dragons – “Round and Round”
After expressing my interest in City and Colour my sister exposed me to Imagine Dragons and while there’s only an EP’s worth of tracks to love, OMG, I love them all. If you like indie, and also love a little beat, this might be a band for you. I can’t wait for an entire albums worth of tracks. I’m pretty sure they won’t let me down. 

Letter Kills – “Brand New Man”
If you’ve followed me long enough you know that 1) I steal music from whoever is advertising it, and 2) rarely like a band enough to enjoy every song by them. Well, this band was stolen from the drummer of Artifex Pereo, and were they still around, they may just qualify as one of the bands I like every song by. Too bad they didn’t last. 

Of Mice & Men – “The Depths”
Of Mice & Men announced the re-issue of their album, “The Flood,” and while I already own it and have no intentions of buying the whole album all over again, I am definitely anticipating the new tracks that are slated to accompany it, especially if they’re anywhere as awesome as this one.

Chantal Claret – “Light it Up”

It really sucks that I have no youtube link for this track because I promise you it’s so worth listening to and I fear you won’t follow THIS link to actually check it out. But you really, really should. While Chantal’s solo sound will never be in league with her Morningwood sound (IMO), the modern soul thing she’s doing now is really great, and I have no regrets over buying her new album this month!
In case you missed that link above, click HERE to HEAR “Light it Up”

And so, I guess that’s all I have to report this month. It feels like I had more to say, but this is already ridiculously long, so I’m guessing I probably covered it all. What were all of you up to in June?! Please sound off in the comments. I’d love to hear all about it! 

Peace & Love – Sarah

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Me, the Slacker?

You’ve probably noticed I’ve failed to make an April: In Review post yet and it’s already the 12th of May…. Yeah, I’ll cover that in this post first (quickly).

        Nothing to report here, April was useless.        

Okay, no, I’m kidding. I mean I don’t have a ton of things to report, but I have a few things to reflect on. Like…

I managed to read two books, neither of which were the completion of those two books I started back in February. (Who knows when I’ll ever finish them?) You can see what I thought about the two books I did read though by clicking the title: Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, Book 3) by Sherrilyn Kenyon & The Walking Dead (Book 1 (Vol. 1-2) by Robert Kirkman 

With my birthday, Easter, and some beautiful Spring weather all going down in April, I put my camera to use more than usual and tested my photography skills on more than just Gideon for a change (though there are some adorable ones of him, too). Rather than post an excess of “favorite” pictures that will likely slow down your feed, I’ll post one from each of the albums and if you want to see more, feel free to venture to the albums by clicking each of the pictures below. 

‘A Mother-Son Bond through the Glass’
Rachel & Gideon, Easter 2012


Me in the Smithsonian Gardens, Washington DC
(Technically Heath took this, but I set up the shot)


Mariner Point Park


Best of Instagram
(Oh, yeah, I’m on Instagram now. Follow me @swhisted)

Music in April was glorious as usual. It’s one of the constants in my life that never lets me down.

Arctic Monkeys released a new track….

“Electricity”

I fell hook, line, and sinker for Four Year Strong and Circa Survive.

“Falling on You”

“Semi Constructive Criticism” 

Saosin and letlive. demanded my ears attention and are still screaming, “Play Me NOW!” despite my attempts to listen to the new loot Heather () sent me for my birthday.

“Sleepers”

“Homeless Jazz”

And I checked out a number of new (to me) stuff by bands like Cage the Elephant, Arcade Fire, and Sleeping with Sirens. (Clicking those names will take you to a song, FYI.)

The oddest song that found itself on repeat in April had to be this, though:

Sleigh Bells – “Comeback Kid”

As for writing (notice how I saved that one for last?), well it didn’t happen. At ALL. And while I’ll admit to it bothering me greatly (like self-doubt is at an all-time high), I realized that it’s Spring, and while I’d love to deny a truth I settled on last year, it means I probably won’t write anything of value or substance until Fall comes around again. The idea of this makes me feel a little insane. If you are a writer, you know what it’s like to have words trapped inside of you with no way of escaping. If you’re not, I probably just sound like a crazy person, but whatever. I really hope that I can somehow break this seasonal writer curse I seem to have placed on me, but my outlook is pretty grim.

Anyway, the real purpose of this post was to tell you what I’ve been up too because it’s been a while since I did a ‘general life’ post.

Last week I had an HBO marathon of the entire series of Bored to Death and The Game of Thrones. Bored to Death was a terribly hilarious series that was canceled too soon in my opinion. Ted Danson is a riot in it. And I’ve already seen most of Season 1 of The Game of Thrones, but I needed a refresher course before I finished what I’d missed. That show is crazy good. I’m glad I can finally keep up with it instead of having all of Twitter and Tumblr spoil it for me. I plan to finally catch up on True Blood next, as the new season begins in June and I’d like the net to not ruin it for me by still being behind.

I’ve also been watching a lot of hockey. I always keep up with the Washington Caps (my team, duh), but since they’d made it into the playoffs, I was paying even more attention than usual. Sadly, they played their last playoff game tonight. I can’t pretend I’m not disappointed, but I can at least conclude that 3rd string goalie, Braden Holtby, is amazing in the way that Olaf Kolzig was back when I first got into hockey and this thrills me. The caps would be foolish to let his talent remain in 3rd string standings come next season.

Today I just finished reading the funniest book I’ve ever read, and it’s a memoir which is not my typical read, so I’m delighted to have enjoyed it the way I did. I’m not lying when I say I’ve literally laughed out loud, to the point of tears, every couple of pages in this book. It is full of comedic value, even at times when you wouldn’t expect there to be anything funny. You should totally check it out. 

“Let’s Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” by Jenny Lawson
(otherwise known as The Bloggess)

Immediately after I started reading Carrie Jones’ ENDURE (the final NEED book) and am already half way through it. I’ll likely finish it tomorrow because it’s so great you just can’t put it down, but I’m sure I’ll regret speeding through the last book so quickly because it’s always sad saying goodbye to a great series.

My weight loss effort has been heavier than ever on my mind. In fact, I’ve become a bit obsessive about it, but like all other things in my life that I let my OCD take over, I can’t see this being a bad thing because it’s keeping me on track more than I’ve been in the past. I’ve been finding all of these people who are as big as me or even bigger who have made remarkable progress – the right way – and it inspires me greatly. If they can do it, there is no reason I can’t believe I can’t do the same. Still, the time it will take can be frustrating. There are days when I feel like I must have made a great progress and the scale has nothing positive to say to me. This can be discouraging, but overall I know I’m making healthier choices and it’s doing something really cool to my mentality. I hope I really keep it up this time. I’d love to post before and after picture with major evidence of my journey.

And, so, that’s pretty much it. My life is so exciting, right? (That’s sarcasm, obviously.) What have all of YOU been up to these days? Please sound off in the comments!

Peace – Sarah

P.S. I know I'm behind on LJ comments. I plan to work on that this week, so sorry in advance if your blog gets a ton of late love.

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