Bon Iver for Bon Iver

The mention of Bon Iver’s music is often met with the stirring of many emotions. I myself will always be able to remember the first time I heard “Skinny Love” (riding in the passenger seat with my current romantic interest, the windows down, a calm cool night in North Carolina, and all of a sudden this voice on the speakers starts whispering to me everything I was feeling at that moment with graduation only a few weeks away: “skinny love just last the year…”).

I was in love.

Generally speaking, most people that have fallen for the raw grace of For Emma, Forever Ago will have a similar story to mine. The emotions wrapped in that album are so powerful and real (after all, they were written for a girl following a break-up) that you can’t help but relate to them. For a debut album, it was significant. It connected to people and created ties between listeners and the song-writer/singer. Ties that have held us to wait and wonder what Bon Iver has to offer us next.

I can’t usually stand to read reviews. All the fancy music terminology reviewers use, obscure references they throw in just to make us feel stupid, and nit-picky ways to say “yeah this could have been better” (I’d love to see them do better). When I tell someone about an album I prefer to stick to basics: loved it, hated it. Let people decide for themselves. I know music is art and critics will always exist to tell us what we should or shouldn’t be listening to. But that doesn’t mean we have to listen to them.

As of now, I refuse to read a review for Bon Iver, the self-titled second album that will be released June 21st. The album is currently streaming at NPR and while checking out the album I couldn’t help but notice two phrases: “Grand, chance-taking record” and “dares to be dreamy” (okay so maybe I read a few paragraphs of the NPR write-up).

“Chance-taking” ? “Dreamy” ?

I have had this album on repeat for the last 3 hours. All I can say is that I am incredibly impressed with this album. The fact that Justin Vernon did not make another Emma is all that I could have ever hoped for and yet this album surpasses his first in a way that I never thought would be possible. To think that an artist could hit such high acclaim after only one album was nearly inconceivable. The emotional connection is still there from the first album, but this time the lyrics are less clear (even hard to make out at times). At first listen, Bon Iver is not much of a departure from Emma in terms of sound and meaning, but rather clarity. I love when artists do something different, I love when they challenge themselves, and I especially love when it works. So maybe he did take some chances. This album has me literally holding my breath at times- starting with the drums and horns in “Perth” and ending with the miracle of electric sound that is “Beth/Rest”. That didn’t quite exist in a straight forward guitar album like Emma. At least not in the same way. I can’t help but feel lost in this album, and I like that.

This album is called Bon Iver for a reason. It’s not for Emma this time. It’s not for anyone really (or it might be, but I am blissfully unaware because I am refusing to read reviews). It’s the next step in Justin Vernon’s musical journey. And I am so happy to be a part of it.

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Got a secret?

Can you keep it? This might not be too much of a secret….but my guilty pleasure is really bad teenage dramas. I’m not talking about Twilight, I do have standards. However, set me in front of Gossip Girl or Make It or Break It and I can’t look away. My new latest obsession has been Pretty Little Liars. It’s so bad I even had to read the books while the show was in hiatus. I can’t even claim I watch the show for the good music (like I did when I watched The OC) , because the music kind of sucks. However, I know the Little Liars would listen to better things. Especially Aria.

Aria Montgomery is Rosewood’s “weird girl.” In the books she was a loner who knitted mohair bras before the lovely Allison snatch her up from loserdom. I like her because she’s original. She has a vintage style and is very put together. Plus she has an illicit affair with the hot teacher. The girl has it going on.

Having spent a year abroad in Iceland, I feel her musical tastes would lean toward foreign bands. Without further ado, click here to see what’s playing on Aria’s Zune.

New Music Alert!

If you are like me then you are always on the prowl for great new music to blast in your car with the windows down as summer  draws near and the days grow longer.

Well, with that said, I would like to introduce you to Cults.

Fairly new, straight from the land of hipsterdom, this Brooklyn duo turned 5 piece band has created more than just a cheery pop album. I cannot stress to you how much I am enjoying this album lately. Even with the handfuls of new albums from veterans like Death Cab and My Morning Jacket coming out this summer I can confidently say that this is tops for me.

Head on over to NPR to stream the album in full. You will not be disappointed.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaall-E

As a self-proclaimed Disney crazy person, I was shocked when I noticed our blog has absolutely no Disney characters’ playlists. How terrible! Obviously this is a result of MITN only recently expanding to film and literature and thus I have set out to remedy this obvious problem.

This was a pretty difficult decision with so many animated films and characters to choose from but I think you will agree that this little robot is worthy to be selected for Movies in the Newspaper’s very first animated character’s playlist.

Wall-E is very near and dear to my heart. The movie touches on important themes like consumerism, waste, and caring for our planet while the basic story revolves around two little robots that fall in love. Yes, I stand with the belief that this movie is a love-story. Sometimes I even think the morbidly obese human race flying around in space is just a complication in the budding relationship of Wall-E and EVE.

If you watch this movie carefully or have seen it as many times as I have (infinite) then you will begin to appreciate the true romantic that is Wall-E. 700 years of solitude on a polluted and unsustainable Earth has given Wall-E emotions and a true personality. All he really wants is someone to hold his hand.

Wall-E’s music selection is limited as apparently the only surviving video of life (dancing and music) on Earth is one of “Hello Dolly” which Wall-E re-watches, records, and dances along to with the hopes that he will one day meet his match.

If Wall-E could have preserved more of our music today, I think that his playlist would be made up primarily of songs about space, saving the world, consumerism and of course classic love songs. Head on over to 8tracks to check out Wall-E’s mix of Space Jams and Love Songs:

“and that is all that love’s about”

Sha-la-la-laaa! It’s a Sunny Day

This weekend, I watched The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel. No offense to DJ Brady, the old school television show is classic good times, but these movies really make you nostalgic. They spoof everything overly ridiculous about the Bradys, like the breaking out in song for a Sears trip, to the things you sort of feel bad for laughing at in the series (but seriously, who doesn’t laugh when Marcia breaks her nose?)

I want to feature Jan Brady for this Music Monday. Not just because it’s Marcia, Marcia, Marcia all the time, but also because the Jan Brady in these films is such an incredible actress. She becomes awkward personified from the way she wears the little curls on the side of her part to her funny hair swinging walk to the way she pronounces “boyfriend.”

Jan’s record collection would consist of super cool tunes. She would probably copy some of her style from her groovy older sister, but she won’t be able to resist some more embarrassing songs keeping true to her uncool nature. We love you anyways, Jan. To listen to those tunes, click here.

The Golden Age of Musical Commercials

Have you seen this commercial yet?

I hope so. The song “Golden Age” by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour is featured in this commercial for Heineken and it’s extremely catchy. I swear it brings back the feeling of age old Hollywood cinema and celebrities.

The band- The Asteroids Galaxy Tour (crazy name, I know) is actually Danish and has believe-it-or-not been featured in a commercial before… for Apple’s iPod Touch!

So now the question remains… will this band move beyond the age of commercials? According to their wikipedia page they’ve been featured in a ton of television shows and, they even opened for Katy Perry!

So why “has no one heard of them” still???

Good question.