Posts Tagged ‘music recommendations in Atlanta GA’

Yes, I’m Still Watching American Idol

April 13, 2013 Leave a comment
American Idol 2013 - Top 5

American Idol Season 12’s Top 5

I promised myself I wouldn’t do it. I said that I wasn’t going to watch American Idol this season because Nicki Minaj was going to be a judge and I think she is the epitome of the word “talentless.” (Anyone who calls THIS ATROCITY music has no business judging a talent competition…but I digress.) I happened to be at home the night the auditions started, so I thought I would just watch them and see what the talent was like this year. To say that I was blown away would be a huge understatement.

This is the first year they have ever had a top 5 that was all female. (I think this was pretty much rigged to happen with all the complaints about the “White Guy With Guitar” factor regarding winners from the past (Season 7 – David Cook; Season 8 – Kris Allen; Season 9 – Lee DeWyze; Season 10 – Scotty McCreery; Season 11 – Phillip Phillips) but who knows.) In all honesty, the guys who were chosen to compete in the top 10 this season weren’t that great…so a female was pretty much guaranteed to win this year. Needless to say, I have followed the show quite frequently over the years.

This season, my favorites are Angie Miller and Candice Glover. If either of these two win, I’ll be happy. So far this year, my favorite performances on the show have been Angie’s cover of Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” and Candice’s cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong.” Enjoy these performances in the videos below.

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My Top 10 Favorite Christmas Albums

December 26, 2012 Leave a comment
North Point Christmas

My favorite album this year.

Since it’s about time to take all of the Christmas music off of my iPod, I thought I would share with you the top 10 Christmas albums I enjoyed this year. They weren’t necessarily released this year, just ones I listened to most for the Christmas holidays in 2012.

1) North Point Christmas – This album was released in 2010. North Point Community Church is the main campus of the church I attend (Buckhead Church). It contains songs by several of the worship leaders at both campuses including Seth Condrey, Chrystina Fincher, Todd Fields, Eddie Kirkland, Casey Darnell, and Chinua Hawk. Whenever I listen to these songs, it makes me feel like I’m at church worshiping our awesome God!

2) PTXmas by PentatonixPentatonix is an a cappella group that won the third season of the reality show The Sing-Off. Their unique sound blends pop, dance, and electronic music just using their voices.

3) A Very She & Him ChristmasShe & Him is made up of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. This album to me is a representation of a “modern day classic.” It has a very nostalgic sound and feel…it reminds me of the Christmas music we listened to when I was a child.

4) A Myx’d Christmas by Scott BlackwellScott Blackwell was the first Christian DJ I had ever heard. This is just good Christmas music to which you can dance. It has classic Christmas songs everyone knows plus a few original tracks.

5) When My Heart Finds Christmas by Harry Connick, Jr. – It’s hard to believe this album was released in 1993 because it is so timeless to me. Harry Connick, Jr. has an amazing voice that is much like that of Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. Listening to this album was the first time I had ever heard him. You have your classic Christmas songs along with original songs (my favorite track has to be I Pray On Christmas).

6) If Every Day Was Like Christmas by Elvis Presley – I can’t help but think of Elvis Presley’s Blue Christmas when I think of Christmas music. This album makes me think of a time when all was right with the world (so to speak)….the simpler times. You didn’t worry about the troubles of today…you just spent time with your family and friends enjoying Christmas and all that came with the holiday.

7) Christmas Songs by Jars of Clay – Dan Haseltine’s voice just puts me in a good mood no matter what is going on around me. Jars of Clay has been one of my favorite bands over the years and this is a great sample of the sound.

8) The Family Force 5 Christmas Pageant – Gotta show some love to the guys from the ATL! Family Force 5 has a unique sound that is all their own. This is just a fun album that mixes pop, rock, rap, and dance with Christmas music.

9) Christmas Remixed: Holiday Classics Re-Grooved – I am a big fan of remixes and mash-ups and this album is a great example of what makes Christmas fun and exciting. It’s the classic Christmas songs you remember, but with a twist.

10) Merry Mixmas: Christmas Classics Remixed – Another album that shows several examples of classic Christmas songs with a modern twist.

What Christmas albums were your favorites to listen to this year?

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The Next American Idol (Judge) Is…

July 14, 2012 1 comment
American Idol logo

Who will replace the AI judges?

American Idol is one of my guilty pleasures. I’ve watched it every season since it started. I saw two of the American Idol tours (the year Taylor Hicks won and the year David Cook won). I even voted for Phillip Phillips this year and have his song Home on my iPod. If you keep up with pop culture at all, you have probably heard recently that both Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will not be returning as judges for season 12 of the show. At this point it is not known if Randy Jackson will stay or follow suit. Ryan Seacrest has signed a 2 year deal to remain, so he will be hosting through at least season 13 but who knows are that.

With at least two of the three judges leaving the show, it’s time to make some changes to bring American Idol back to the juggernaut that it was when it first started back in 2002. First off, they need an “anchor” female judge who is known and loved by many (the X Factor has Britney Spears and The Voice has Christina Aguilera). Someone like Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, or even a music veteran like Carole King or Chrissie Hynde could potentially be a good fit. Next they need someone who is up and coming or really current right now – someone like Carly Rae Jepsen, Gwen Stefani, Pink,  Ellie Goulding, or even Katy Perry. A music producer or someone in the industry is a must for the panel – like Jimmy Iovine,, or even someone like Diddy. Finally, I think they should bring back a fourth judge and have it as a “rotating” judge homecoming for AI alumni (winners and those who have had a significant impact on the show) – Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson, Kris Allen, David Cook, or Jordin Sparks. This would be nice because they would only be there for a week, so it wouldn’t greatly impact their touring or appearance schedules. It would also be a great way for the audience to see “where are they now” regarding their favorite former AI contestants.

As we discovered in season 9, finding the right judges can be a hit or miss process (Ellen DeGeneres?!?! Really?!?!). If you could pick, who would you like to see as the new judges for American Idol season 12?

Photo Credit: By Darren Wittko

It’s My (Peachtree) Jam!

April 4, 2012 2 comments

It's Peachtree time again!

If you know me, you know that music is a huge part of my life. Like one of my fellow bloggers, John Saddington, I listen to music while I blog. One of my favorite times to listen to music is when I run. Music helps me get in the zone and clear my mind while I exercise.

Once again this year, I will be running in the Peachtree Road Race on July 4. This will be my fourth year running the race (I ran it in 2008, 2010, and 2011) and I am really excited. Last year, I started creating a playlist for my iPod for the race. With the race right at three months away, I decided to do the same thing this year. Unfortunately I have an infected toenail right now, so I cannot test out the playlist until it is better (it’s almost there – probably just a couple more weeks).

Here are the songs on my 2012 Peachtree Road Race playlist:

  • Hello Good Morning (radio edit) – Diddy – Dirty Money
  • It’s Tricky – Run DMC
  • Here Comes The Hotstepper – Ini Kamoze
  • Who Stole The D.J. – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
  • Showstopper (Capital Kings Remix) – TobyMac
  • Radiate – Andy Hunter
  • Party On The Floor (Capital FM Summertime Ball Mashup) – DJ Earworm
  • Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)(7th Heaven Club Mix) – Kelly Clarkson
  • Jump Jump (Dubstep Remix) – Kriss Kross
  • Rolling In The Deep (Dubstep Remix) – Adele
  • You Make Me Feel – Cobra Starship ft. Sabi
  • Like A G6 – Far East Movement
  • Enth E Nd (Album Remix Version) – Linkin Park
  • 4 Minutes – Madonna ft. Justin Timberlake and Timbaland
  • Mary, Mary – Run DMC
  • Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith
  • Wind It Up – Gwen Stefani
  • We Found Love – Rihanna
  • Above All This – DJ Hans Solo (a.k.a. Hans Daniels)
  • One Time – Earthsuit
  • Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People
  • Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera
  • Some Like It Hot – The Power Station
  • Umbrella – Rihanna
  • Decode – Paramore
  • Feed The Machine – Red
  • Monster – Skillet
  • Dark Horses – Switchfoot
  • Discotheque – U2
  • Save Me – Remy Zero

What songs are on the playlist for your next race?

Photo Credit: By Chris Fannin

Overcoming The Typical

January 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Photo Credit: By

Chances are we have all experienced what I like to call “Groundhog Day” syndrome. In the 1993 movie of the same name, a weatherman (played by Bill Murray) is forced to relive the same day over and over again. Does your daily routine sound like the following – wake up, go to work, come home from work, watch television, go to bed, and then repeat the next day? It can easily become monotonous.

Sunday morning at church, the worship band played the song “Typical” by MUTEMATH. (Make sure to check out the music video for the song as it is anything but “typical” – it was filmed backwards and the band learned the song backwards so they would appear to be singing it forward in the video.) Some of the lyrics speak to this very situation.

Cause I know there’s got to be another level
Somewhere closer to the other side
And I’m feeling like it’s now or never
Can I break the spell of the typical?

Because it’s dragging me down
I’d like to know about when
When does it all turn around? defines typical as “considered to be an example of some undesirable trait; conforming to a type.” In essence, typical is what we consider normal, average, or the usual. Some times we just do what society expects from us and nothing more. The typical can be what is robbing us from the phenomenal.

How do you avoid the typical in your life?

You Make Beautiful Things

September 13, 2011 2 comments

"Beautiful Things" by Gungor is amazing!

Music is one of my passions. Hearing moving lyrics together with amazing instrumentation is just something that moves me. Last week at church we had re:Group (an annual small group leader training) and at the end of the night, the worship band played this song I had never heard. The lyrics felt like they were speaking directly to me – like they were written by me to a loving Heavenly Father who is providing for me and taking care of me. The song is “Beautiful Things” by the group Gungor. Here are just a few of the lyrics:

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

This song just reminds me that regardless of the circumstances that are going on around me, God can use them to make something beautiful. Even with all that is going on in my life right now, it is comforting to know that I have not been forgotten and that everything is not happening in vain.

Enjoy “Beautiful Things” by Gungor below.

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Maybe She Did Just Need A Friend – RIP Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

Amy Jade Winehouse (1983 - 2011)

“I don’t ever wanna drink again. I just, ooh, I just need a friend.”
– Amy Winehouse from Rehab

By now, you have probably heard that singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home on Saturday, July 23. What is so sad about this tragedy is that Winehouse has become a part of what some call the “27 Club” (a group of musicians who all died at the age of 27) – this group includes Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain. It is widely known that Winehouse had a problem with drugs and alcohol. What caused her to turn to these substances? One will never really know.

Some say she was lonely, so maybe she did truly need a friend like her song said. The songstress had a strong amount of influence on her fans and the public, whether it be through her music or her fashion (she single-handedly brought back the beehive hairdo). Her album sales have sky rocketed since her passing. Part of me wonders if she really had any friends – I’m not talking these “yes man” people who tell you what you want to hear…I’m talking about true friends who tell you what you need to hear whether you want to hear it or not. This is not an excuse for her bad choices, but if she possibly had someone in her life to encourage her to make the right decisions she might still be with us today.

Her personal problems had a tendency to overshadow her music. She was a very talented individual who has influenced artists like Adele and Duffy. Watch the video below of Winehouse’s first appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Photo Credit: By Fionn Kidney

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