Monday, December 14, 2009

December, Part One: Chillin'

Well, hello there, gentle readers! I hope you've been enjoying the cessation of finals since we last spoke--I know I am.

...But wait, there's even more to celebrate! That would be the fun that is the scarf, Snuggie, and Christmas season. What could be better? December is a cool month in so many ways. As it gets cold and I have to find all my warm clothes in the back of my closet, I enjoy shifting my music along with the season.

As wonderful as it is, I don't listen to Christmas music exclusively for an entire month (though I often contemplate it). My other music tends to be cool in a less literal, more modern way. I love to enjoy the cold weather (and five minutes of snow in Austin!) while listening to some contemplative, creative, and beautiful music like this. For each song I've given a little intro as to why I find it so captivating. Feel free to comment with your opinions on the songs, and what songs you are inspired by in this weather!

"Unison" - Bjork
It builds from a very calm start to a lovely crescendo of Bjork's signature strange, interweaving voice and loops of beats and sound. It's delicate and interesting, just like its Vespertine album cover you see above.

"The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" - The Postal Service
A classic chill-out tune. To younguns like us, it can almost be considered vintage indie-pop, and that makes it even more thought-provoking!

"All I Need" - Radiohead
This song makes me melt! I nearly did when Thom (blogger Thom) and I were lucky enough to see the real Thom (Thom Yorke) & Co. in Houston and they played it. It's so romantic and sweet, which is almost odd coming from Radiohead.

"The Maker Makes" - Rufus Wainwright
This song has a bit of an unfair advantage compared to the others; it is from the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack. Brokeback Mountain, though extensively made fun of, is one of the best and most heartbreaking movies I've ever seen. This connection, as well as the simplistic beauty of the piano and Rufus's voice make it one of those songs that I have to stop and absorb when it comes on shuffle.

"We Might As Well Be Strangers" - Keane
I could have posted almost every Keane song on this entry and it would fit, but this one is particularly poignant and pretty. The boys of Keane always hit the mark--catchy but with substance and composition. Love 'em!

"Lisztomania" - Phoenix
Phoenix has a really great ability to combine fun, poppy sounds with interesting and charming songwriting. The video for "Lisztomania" showcases their wide-eyed fascination with the centuries-old roots and aging relics of their native Versailles. This is a great studying-art-history song, I've learned from really makes you think about history.

"Roslyn" - Bon Iver and St. Vincent
"Roslyn" is a beautiful end note to my winter playlist, because its ethereal, haunting, folk-infused harmonies linger well after the song is over. Good luck trying to match it with your own voice, though--I've tried many times unsuccessfully, though had great fun doing it.

Keep listening to whatever you love! It's why we blog and it's why you read our blog, right? Have fun.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

December, Part Two: 'Tis the Season

This time of year, I love to listen to warm-and-fuzzy Christmas music, especially the songs that I remember hearing all the time as a kid. Putting up the perty fake tree and baking scrumptious blackberry tarts just aren't the same without Silent Night in the background. Of course, I don't if everyone listens to a Boyz II Men version like me...but now they can! It's a capella and pretty much the best thing that has come out of the silly R&B 90's boy band trend.

"Silent Night" - Boys II Men

And we can't forget some old classics, like Blue Christmas and The Chipmunk Song. Who doesn't love The King and Alvin?!

"Blue Christmas" - Elvis Presley
"The Chipmunk Song" - Alvin and the Chipmunks

As we get further into the Christmas season, I hope all of you lovely readers are enjoying yourselves and spending time doing whatever you love to do. I will be decorating the humble Tilly n' Thom abode, baking, and being an all-around June Cleaver stereotype--minus the husband-obedience.

Merry Christmas!!

Love, Tilly