Tag Archives: automatic loveletter

The Best Music of 2011

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After reading a few of my favorite music bloggers Top 10 of the year, I realized I couldn’t let 2011 go by without compiling my very own list. This was an AMAZING year for music, no doubt- so many artists released new records… I’m actually pretty disappointed at the sheer number of records I FORGOT to listen to, there were just so many! I’m really not sure how I’ll be able to narrow it down to ten favorites. But I will definitely try.

    

    

#10 Death Cab For Cutie- Codes & Keys
Released: May 2011

Why: I got this one pretty late (as in a few weeks ago) but it’s an awesome album. I had a lot of trouble picking a 10th album to be honest, but I really liked this one best out of all the potential candidates.

#9 Adele- 21
Released:  February 2011

Why: Because who doesn’t love Adele? I could listen to ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ on repeat all day.

#8 Feist- Metals
Released: October 2011

Why: I wasn’t ever a huge Feist fan, but this album changed me. I loved listening to it when it was still warm outside in October. It was the perfect mix of cute, relaxing, indie, and sing-songy.

#7 Automatic Loveletter- The Kids Will Take Their Monsters On
Released: June 2011

Why: It’s no secret that I love Juliet Simms’ unique voice, and I love how it’s highlighted on this acoustic EP.

#6 The Decemberists- The King is Dead
Released: January 2011

Why: I got this album after interviewing one of the band members this year and I’ve been completely smitten about them since! They are so cute and fun live, and I just love the sound of this record.

#5  Foster the People- Torches
Released: May 2011

Why: The entire album is just as catchy as their single Pumped up Kicks

#4 Hedley- Storms
Released: November 2011

Why: Probably the best Hedley album so far, it has a depth to the songs and lyrics that I’ve never seen before from this band. I listen to this record over and over again. And over.

#3 Marianas Trench- Ever After
Released: November 2011

Why: If you haven’t heard Marianas Trench, they might be one of the easiest bands to love. Their newest record is no different; it’s everything I’ve always loved about them, and then some.

#2 Augustana- Augustana
Released: April 2011

Why: After the scare this band gave me RIGHT after releasing the best album of their career- you know, the whole “we broke up for a few months thing”- it definitely deserves to be in my very favorites. Glad they’re back together, and I am still totally in love with everything about this CD.

#1 Jack’s Mannequin- People and Things
Released: October 2011

Why: Well, besides the fact that they’re my favorite band and it was my most anticipated CD of the year, it’s awesome. Definitely not my favorite by them, but I still had it on repeat for a really long time. I love Andrew McMahon’s voice and everything he creates is amazing.

Notable: All Things Bright and Beautiful- Owl City (THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN in my Top 10, but I remembered it after this post was all done! Sad face.) Bon Iver- Self Titled, Blink-182- Neighborhoods, Foo Fighters- Wasting Light, The Arkells- Michigan Left, The New Cities- Kill the Lights, New Found Glory- Radiosurgery, Britney Spears – Femme Fatale (by far one of the best of her career!)

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I’m sure I missed about a dozen albums that I LOVED but I just couldn’t remember everything that came out this year! I still have a few that I just didn’t listen to enough, but overall these are the records from 2011 that really made an impact on me.

I have SUCH a varied taste in music, sometimes I feel like I don’t do all of it justice and that I don’t listen to enough new stuff. In 2012 I’m going to make a conscious effort to keep track of upcoming albums and really giving them a good listen, instead of just throwing them into the vast world of my iTunes.

What were your favorite albums of the year?

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What’s been going on?

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I feel like even though I’ve been posting every day, I’ve been forgetting to add a little bit of myself in my blog these days, so I thought it was time for a little catch up post on what I’ve been up to in my every day life!

1) I’ve never spent this much time in front of the computer before, getting all my online affairs (if you will) in order before I leave for Greece. I’ve practically been sitting here for three straight days scheduling blog posts, catching up with my Google Reader & soaking up as much of the blog world as possible before I leave. I don’t think I’ll be online very much (if at all) while I’m gone, so I’m overdosing a little bit now it seems.


At least the view from where I’ve been working is lovely… Must enjoy more sun ASAP.

2) Summer has been going by SO quickly, where is time going?! I feel like I haven’t been doing enough with myself, and yet I don’t really have any spare time to read and catch up on sleep and soak in the sun. I miss doing all those things, but I’ve just been cooped up at work, on my blog or I don’t know where. Stressing out a little too much though, it seems.

3) I need to get my hair cut. I haven’t had a hair cut in like… 6 months, if not more? And I usually have a shorter hair style that requires a 2-3 month trim, so right now I’m just dying to get to the hair dresser. Must make time in the next week and a half before I leave!


Short hair, I miss you so! And straight hair, I miss you too! 

4) I’m way too addicted to Twitter these days, but I’m loving it and I’m meeting so many new bloggers recently because of it. I think my favorite these days are the #SummerofHarry book club chats on Thursday nights! I’ll be missing it this Thursday, but that’s only because I’ll finally be going to see the last installment of the movie. FINALLY. About Twitter, somebody please send me help? I’m seriously tweeting like 20 times a day now that I’ve been working from home.

5) I’ve been getting re-obsessed with Harry Potter lately, which I think I’ve mentioned (and blogged) about recently. I also somehow found time to re-watch movie 6 and movie 7, so I’m all ready to go see Deathly Hallows part 2 tomorrow! The main thing I’m realizing though is that I’m appreciating the movies SO much more now than the first time that I saw them. I don’t know if it’s nostalgia, but I’m seeing them in a whole new loving light!


I’m just going to keep randomly sharing pictures of the HP cast & indulge my obsession. Plus, hi there Rupert.

6) The next week and a half is going to be all sorts of crazy for me as I finish all my preparations before leaving for Greece. I’ve never gone on such a long trip and I didn’t realize how much I had to do! I need to step it up and do things quicker because I’m really running out of time! I’m also trying to fit in as many hang outs with friends right before I leave so I don’t miss anyone too much, but I know I will anyway.

7) I have been getting out a couple nights too and I’m having a lovely time with friends. I’ve gone to a couple summer BBQ’s, I’ve spent some time with my Greece girls, my work ladies & I’m still doing lots of fitness classes. Monday night I did a Zumba class and it was a bit easier than my first one (the teacher was different) but it also wasn’t as much of a work out I found… It was however more fun. Today I’m doing another boot camp class and yoga, and on Friday I’m doing another hour of hot yoga! I’m really sad that my fitness membership expires as I leave for Greece. Must find new gym to join when I get home.

8 ) This coming Friday is FINALLY the day that I go see the Eric Stonestreet comedy show downtown with my mom (he plays Cameron on Modern Family!) He’s hosting a show for the Montreal Just For Laughs festival going on and I am seriously REALLY excited. I’m just sad that I didn’t get any Russell Peters tickets because he’s here the night before, but I guess you can’t get everything in life!

9) Some music that I’ve been loving lately: City & Colour’s latest album ‘Little Hell’, the brand new Jack’s Mannequin single ‘My Racing Thoughts’, the new Marianas Trench Single ‘Haven’t Had Enough’, Paramore’s song ‘Monster’ and anything by Automatic Loveletter. I completely forgot that when I interviewed Juliet from Automatic Loveletter I got a photo with her, and I just can’t wait to share it once the interview goes live!

10) I can’t stop staring at my blog’s colorful new layout. That’s a good thing, right? I also (this is unrelated however I don’t want more than 10 numbers on this list) found my glasses broken after my shower. They literally just fell apart, and they’re hardly 6 months old! Thank God I got contacts, otherwise I’d be totally effed. Must get those fixed ASAP, I’m blind as a bat without them & I still don’t like going out in public with contacts in- especially work! Ugh.

Somebody get me off the internet, pronto. Luckily I’ve got work to keep me busy these next few days and all sorts of fun plans, and even more things to share with you all as I prepare to leave (12 days! Ahh!)

Oh! And if you do graphic design, blog re-designs, banner designs or anything like that… Please leave me a comment! I’m looking for someone who can work with WordPress and is available to do designs. If you know any good small businesses, also let me know. The ones I’ve contacted are all booked up! Drat.

Okay I’m done now, I swear. How have you all been? 

Backstage at Warped 2011

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Every time I’ve been to Vans Warped tour (In 2008, and in 2010) I’ve had the most amazing time. There are always bands that I can’t wait to see, and the fact that there are something like 75 bands on any given day, there is music playing for 10 straight hours. Thousands of people make their way to Warped every year and it’s always on a really hot, humid July day. Warped Tour in Montreal more often than not marks the halfway mark of summer, it’s something to look forward to from March straight through til July when it gets here. When I get home at night, I’m usually dirty, hot, EXHAUSTED but on a complete adrenaline high.

Last year Warped landed on my birthday and I spent my whole day there with best friends, followed by a night with some friends backstage watching the fireworks late at night. In 2008 it was my first Warped experience and I was front row for every single one of my favorite bands (Jack’s Mannequin, Anberlin, The Academy Is, Relient K…) This year, I wasn’t just a fan. I got a media bracelet and I spent half of my day backstage conducting interviews.

The reason I thought this year would be good to request a media bracelet was because there weren’t really that many bands that I LOVED- There were a bunch that I really liked and wanted to see, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to watch that many shows if I was doing interviews all day. Plus, it was a great way to actually discover new musicians! Was I EVER right.

I was backstage from 11:30am until 5:30pm almost completely. I did 8 interviews, and they’re all bands I respect and had a great time talking to. I also took pictures for Jenia’s interview with Enter Shikari (check them out, great band from the UK)  and I got to do photography in the pit (in front of the barricade) for a band called Every Avenue as well as Paramore. THAT was quite the experience. I was beyond the front row, literally one foot away from Hayley Williams herself, a musician that I respect and admire like I can’t even begin to tell you. I felt very, very lucky for those 15 minutes.

Here’s a list of the bands I interviewed, linked to their MySpace so you can check them all out, and a little bit about how our interview went. They’re all really awesome, seriously!

1. Less Than Jake

 

– Style: Ska
– This band has been around for almost two decades, and although ska is not my style at all, I had the best time interviewing Roger, one of the two lead vocalists for the band.  I can’t believe I had the chance to hang out with such a long time musician for 10 minutes- not to mention that he might have been one of the MOST down to earth guys ever. He’s been in the business for so long but I wasn’t intimidated at all. We joked around the whole time and I’m just so humbled what a cool guy he is.

 

2. Go Radio

– Style: Pop/Alternative/Rock
–  I discovered this band a couple months ago because I’d heard they were going to be on Warped and that they were good- and they really are! They’re just my type of music and I had a lot of fun watching them play live. I got to sit down with one of the members and it was really nice to just hang out and talk music with a band that I like listening to.

3. Relient K

– Style: Pop/Rock
– How cool is this band? They have an album called MMHMM, I seriously love them! I interviewed Ethan, one of the members, pretty last minute, but I had the best time. It was like talking to a friend and he was really nice and had great answers. Best part? At the end of my interview he took the time to tell me that I had a really great interviewing style and he loved how we just spent some time talking, and that it doesn’t happen like that all the time at all. He made some jokes and shook my hand, told me it was super nice to meet me (remembered my name!) and just yeah. I was really flattered.

4. Paramore

left to right: Jeremy, Hayley, Taylor

– Style: Alternative/Rock
– If you don’t know this band yet, PLEASE GO CHECK THEM OUT. Lead vocalist Hayley Williams is 23 years old and she is phenomenal. Her voice, I can’t even tell you how great. I’ve been a HUGE fan of Paramore since College when they released their album ‘Riot!’ and the song ‘Misery Business‘ which is catchy by anyone’s standards. I got to interview Jeremy, one of the members who’s been around since the beginning, and he was absolutely HILARIOUS. He kept making jokes and I was easily myself, joking around and throwing around a little bit of sarcasm with him. I still can’t believe I interviewed one of the members of Paramore. Wow.

5. Every Avenue


– Style: Pop/Rock
– I wasn’t supposed to interview this band, but they were just relaxing by the media tent without much to do and were looking to talk up their band so I thought why not? They’re an incredibly talented bunch of guys and it’s always fun to talk to guys who are excited about what they’re doing. I got the impression they were a bit nervous during the interview from the way they were answering me, but that humbled me more than anything else. I caught part of their set later and got to take pictures in the pit and they put on a super fun show and had lots of energy too!

6. Automatic Loveletter


– Style: Alternative
– Singer/songwriter Juliet Simms has one of the most unique voices & I’ve been a fan of hers for about 4 years now. I first heard of her when she sang alongside All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth in a song called ‘Remembering Sunday‘ which I’ve been in love with ever since. I was most nervous to interview her but I have no idea why, she was so down to earth and funny and very honest. It was an absolute pleasure to finally get to meet her.

8. Ill Scarlett


-Style: Dub/Punk/Rock
– This band isn’t my usual style of music, but they’re from Toronto and I was interested in learning more about them since they’re so close to where I’m from. They’ve got a really fun summer vibe to them. I interviewed one of the guys and he was so relaxed and having the best time on Warped. It’s a tough festival for any band (think 3 straight months traveling the States and parts of Canada, 12 hour long drives every night, even longer days setting up and taking everything down) but he was absolutely loving everything about it.

9. Shut Up & Deal 

-Style: Pop/Rock
– I interviewed two of the guys in this band, they were a TON of fun to chat with and super down to earth. You can download their album on their Myspace (linked above) for FREE. Go now.

I finished off my day with Jenn watching Paramore from the main stage. There were SO many people that once I was done taking pictures we couldn’t get anywhere even close to the stage, so we just enjoyed it from a distance, and left just before the last song so we wouldn’t get caught with everyone leaving. We were both EXHAUSTED, but I had a really great time. Not only with interviews, but I just love the ambiance at Warped. There are so many people there for music and for a good time, it’s hard to leave there in a bad mood. I’m already excited for next year!