Thursday, March 13, 2008

a bunch of artists you may or may not have heard of.

So this morning I woke up with two thoughts in my head. 1) I really wish that a perfect cup of coffee could just appear on my nightstand when I open my eyes. 2) I really should blog about some of the musicians that I love. Well, my coffee is in hand, so its time to move on to thought number two! So I give you, in no particular order, a completely random list of musicians that I'm either currently or have been addicted to.

1. Matt Nathanson - Matt is one of those artists that I just want to see win. He's got amazing music and works his ass off to get it heard. He's hilarious and has talent to burn, for sure. I'm holding off on gushing here, because I'm finally seeing him live next week and I'm sure I'll be at no shortage of blogs about him then. So for now, I just recommend All We Are, and Come On Get Higher, but there is NO shortage of amazing songs from him.

2. Matt Morris - I ended up seeing him live by accident a few years back. He was the impromptu opener at a Justin Timberlake club show, and I completely fell in love. Make no mistake, he's hardly a pop star mousekeeter, and his voice is nothing short of amazing. He's a little more subdued recorded, but his live vocals blew me away. Check out Let Me and You Were Mine for now, look for new music soon, and in the meantime, follow him (and me, and Nikki) via Twitter.

3. Jason Mraz - I'm hip to the fact that Mraz is not everyones cup of tea. He's a little earthy, a little hippie, and a little random lyrically. However, he's another one of those undercover talents who has a voice that just does not quit, and hidden gems pepper his albums and live sets like you wouldn't believe. He's also got a new album out soon. We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things drops May 20th! In the meantime, check out the demo version of I'm Yours, the acoustic version of Please Don't Tell Her, or check out his Youtube account for other great acoustic performances and random road blogs that will make you laugh and wish you were on vacation.

4. Nellie Mckay - Jazzy, quirky, and irreverent. When her first album, Get Away From Me was released, Nellie was compared to a female Eminem and not without reason. Her throwback voice and Broadway singalong beats are contrastingly matched with snarky lyrics and clever wordplay. She's the real deal, and three albums in is finally finding some mainstream love via prime time TV. Check out I Wanna Get Married, and The Dog Song for sure.

5. Sara Bareilles - I'm know what you're going to say, and I'm right there with you. If I have to hear Love Song one more time I'm going to pull my ears off and beat someone with them too. But I can't not put her on the list, because her album was easily one of my favorites to have been released in the past few years. Her voice is flawless and her lyrics are divine. Check out Gravity, City, and Between The Lines for the story of my love life these days.

6. Lucy Woodward - Her debut album While You Can, is easily in my top ten cds of all times. I consider any cd that I don't have to skip tracks on a feat to be admired, and Lucy delivered flawlessly. Check out Standing, and Is This Hollywood (the song that inspired half of a novel that I started writing and will finish one day, I swear.) She checked in on the tail end of the pop princess boom, but still has a lot to say.

7. Butch Walker - Any mainstream radio listener has heard Butch Walker's work and more than likely has no idea. He's produced and written for the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Simple Plan, and Avril Lavigne. However, he's also had an impressive career on his own, from his days with the Marvelous 3, to his solo efforts, to his recent jaunts as Butch Walker and the Lets Go Out Tonites. Do yourself a favor and track down his This Is Me Justified and Stripped recording, or his new live release Leavin' The Game On Luckie street. You will not be disappointed. Butch pours his heart out live, and has lyrics that will tear your heart out, stomp on it, and not bother to apologize. Check out Sober, Joan, Don't Move, or just pick a random track. They're all equally amazing.

8. Gavin Degraw - I'll save the gushing for Nikki (she's all about it these days!) But I will say this; so much more than what you may have heard on the radio. Gavin has a soulful voice that is hardly represented by the song that all but launched his career. Get your hands on the stripped version of his first album, Chariot. Also, check out Belief, We Belong Together, his cover of A Song For You, and buy the new album May 6th.

9. Ari Hest - You've gotta give Ari Hest props for the way that he's embracing the digital age of music. Check out 52. 52 songs in 52 weeks in 2008! That aside, check out my favorite song, Strangers Again, and his cover of the Leonard Cohen classic Hallelujah, which from the first moment I heard it quickly became the definitive version for me.

10. Anna Nalick - We're 2 weeks out from Anna's second album, Shine, and I'm still not tired of her first offering. Lush and gorgeous instrumentation compliment her sweet and dreamy vocals. You may have heard Breathe (2am) on your radio a couple of years back, but as with many of the artists I fall in love with, you have to venture past the first single to find the depth in the album. Check out Satellite, Shine, and Wreck of the Day for more.

The fact of the matter is, I could pimp my favorite artists all day. Honorable mentions include:

A Fine Frenzy, Mutemath, Sam Phillips (I cannot stop listening to Reflecting Light right now.), Adele, Aqualung, Ben's Brother, Bittersweet, The Bird and the Bee, She and Him, Cold War Kids, David Gray, Death Cab for Cutie, Howie Day, Vaughan Penn, Inara George, Ingrid Michaelson, Jon Mclaughlin, Rasputina, John Mayer (he'll get his own blog entry someday, and we all know it), Lisa Loeb (she'll also get her own blog entry, I'm sure),and Kasey Chambers.

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