Tag Archives: jack’s mannequin

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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Sunday Inspiration + Links v.3

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A guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As if I didn’t already want to go badly enough?!

– The easiest, yummiest dessert I’ve seen in a while. Nutella Mug Cake. Om noms.

– Someone is trying to tempt my *healthier* eating habits. Another super easy dessert, cinnamon toast&rolls. What?! Looks delicious!

– The song in the video below. It is so beautiful, the more I listen to it the more I love.

– I love this how-to on building characters for your novel. Will definitely come in handy when I start writing MY book!

Why it’s OK to stay in tonight. Sometimes, Friday nights at home are just the right medicine after a long week!

– Really interesting article on what foods to combine together… I’m down for some tomatoes and avocado! Yum!

– The optical illusion below is such a neat way to show you HOW COOL our eyes are.

 – I love Jack’s Mannequin. I really do. Especially when photos like this pop up of them:


That’s all I’ve got for you for this week… There are tons more things that I’d love to link to but I just DON’T HAVE TIME! It’s been a busy week and weekend, and now I really have to do some homework.

Happy Sunday! 

 

 

Muuuusic Time!

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I thought I’d take the weekend to catch up on some good stuff worth sharing, and after writing the post about books yesterday I thought it would be only fair to give new music it’s own day too! Here are a few albums I’ve been listening to that came out recently, all worth checking out, I think!

1) People and Things- Jack’s Mannequin 

It’s no secret that this is my favorite band and that I’d been anxiously waiting for this record to come out ever since it was first announced, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s quite amazing. I’ll admit it might be my least favorite of the Jack’s records, but it tells it’s very own story like the other two. I’m pretty sure almost no album beats their last one, ‘Glass Passenger’, but what I love about this one is how upbeat it is. It makes me think of lovely summer days spent reading by the beach.

Genre: piano pop/alternative/rock
Rating: 4 stars

2) Neighborhoods- Blink 182

This album, even though it’s brand new, makes me think of high school and growing up, and basically all those things that Blink-182 make most of us think about. It’s pretty classic Blink music. I mean, if you like their old stuff you’ll love this. The first song on the CD ‘Ghost on the Dance Floor’ is so far my favorite. It sets the tone for the whole record and makes the entire thing an easy listen.

Genre: Rock/Pop
Rating: 3.5 stars

3) Siberia- Lights

I’m a bit torn about this album. I’ve listened to it a few times now, and I have to admit it’s growing on me. The first time I heard it I didn’t feel like very much stood out about it. I figured I needed to give it a good chance, so I sat myself down and really paid attention to the songs and now I’m a much bigger fan of it. It’s not anything SPECIAL, and Lights isn’t exactly breaking out of her usual stuff to show fans anything new, but maybe that’s a good thing for now.

Genre: Synth pop 
Rating: 3 stars [but a solid 3, definitely worth checking out]

4) Metals- Feist

It’s basically impossible to dislike Feist. I mean, her music is so calming, soothing, relaxing. You name it. I’m not usually a huge fan of music like this, but I make an exception for artists like Feist. This album got me in a good study groove this week and I listened to it several times without getting remotely tired of it. Easily something I could put on after a stressful day to just decompose.

Genre: Folk/Indie
Rating: 3.5 stars

5) Radiosurgery- New Found Glory

Such a catchy album! It kind of had me thinking of Good Charlotte mixed with a little bit more heavy punk, and maybe a touch of pop. I’m in love with the opening track, ‘Radiosurgery’, which similarly to Blink-182 sets the vibe for the rest of the record which has the same feeling to it. The great about this CD? I didn’t feel like I was listening to the same song for 45 minutes.

Genre: Punk/Rock [and in my opinion a LITTLE BIT of pop]
Rating: 4 stars

Honorable mention:

-Cartel’s new EP ‘In Stereo’, love that band, love the EP!  Good alternative/pop music. I’ve loved this band ever since late high school, they’re just constantly awesome. Check them out!

 What are you listening to these days? 

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? 

And the postcards’ gonna read…

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It’s no secret that the love of my life comes in the form of a band called Jack’s Mannequin, but maybe more specifically a musician in particular called Andrew McMahon. His natural talent has had me swooning over his music (and maybe him, yeah, I know he’s married!) ever since I was 14 years old, and I haven’t looked back.

So naturally any weekend of mine that includes even just a little bit of him from a distance is considered to be pretty fantastic, thank you very much.

You see, Andrew and his bands (Something Corporate, Jack’s Mannequin) did not come to Montreal before July 2008. That was the first time I saw him, and then I saw him again in August 2008 and then again in November 2008. He was obviously making up for lost time.

Last summer, I saw him perform with Something Corporate… A teenage dream of mine come true.

And last night I got to see him perform as Jack’s Mannequin again for the first time since November 2008. It was short, and it was the 2nd furthest I’ve ever been from him while he performed on stage. All I wanted to do was jump over the seats and sing my heart out front row with my best friends. But instead we were all separated in the stadiums’ seats.

I always feel like when I see him play live, there isn’t enough time for me to soak up his energy, his music, his talent. I am constantly trying to get closer, make my brain take in every little detail of what he does at that piano of his. The way his seat always falls backwards when he gets up for a really intense part, the way he dances around during two or three of the songs and jumps all over the keys.

The show was expensive, it was short, and I got the wrong side to see him play, but it was somehow still just what I needed. I’ve said this for other bands but I don’t think I understood it until I saw Jack’s Mannequin live back in July 2008. Every time I see them play, it’s like falling in love all over again. I can’t stop listening to the music now, even though every song has been drastically overplayed on my iTunes. But I don’t care. Love is love, no matter what shape it comes in, right?

I can’t wait to get my tattoo to prove it forever. But that’s for another post.

Hanging out at dinner, taking weird pictures. That’s just what we do.

We were fifth row in a stadium that fits just over 21,000 people. Pretty close, considering! I seriously missed seeing this band.

Hanging out on his piano!

It’s love.

And how was your weekend? Any fun July 1st or July 4th celebrations?! 

This Week’s Music Obsessions

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As if I haven’t blogged enough music in the last month and a half, I had to share these videos that I’ve come across in the last couple days. There is honestly nothing better to me than browsing youtube and discovering amazing videos of favorite artists.

1.

Seriously, Mumford & Sons has to be my favorite break out band of the year. When this kind of music makes it big, it renews my faith in the world. This video is an acoustic version of one of my favorite songs by them, and it just might be better than the real version. Every time I listen to this it practically moves me to tears.

2.

I’ve loved Fall Out Boy ever since I can remember, and I’m just as supportive of Patrick Stump’s (the lead singer of FOB) solo stuff. He recently released this music video for his single, and I just love it. Plus I love this song!!

3.

I just adore Ben Lee. He’s so darn cute, and I love his cover of the song Kids by MGMT. It’s quite different, but it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.

4.

Of course, the love of my life (Andrew McMahon/Jack’s Mannequin) played at Coachella this weekend and played a new song called My Racing Thoughts that’s going to be on the new album. I physically don’t know if I can WAIT for the album, I’m already so much in love with this song.

5.

I just love City & Colour and I love his new single! It’s a bit different from his other stuff, but his voice is just so great. I’m really hoping to be able to see him play at the Osheaga festival this summer, I’ve been dying to see him perform for a couple years now! (There was that time I ALMOST interviewed him, I still can’t believe that got cancelled the night before!)

What music are you addicted to these days?

30 Day Music Challenge: Day 26

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Day 26 – A song that you can play on an instrument

Since the only instruments I can play are the saxophone, the clarinet, the flute, the recorder and other various random high school things, I never learned any GOOD songs (it was always up to my music teacher and obviously in high school you didn’t play anything besides classics) so instead of putting a video of twinkle twinkle little star, I thought I might share a song that I’ve always WISHED I could play… on the piano.

Around 40 seconds in the piano kicks in, and then at the second chorus, well that’s basically the reason I wish I could play piano.