Kristen’s Wedding Mix ’12- A Selection

I have a friend who is getting married at the end of this month so obviously, I am making her a lovely wedding/marriage themed mixed CD. In the process of combing through my music library to select the perfect songs, I’ve realized that many of the songs that one might classify as “love songs” aren’t really that at all. Well, there are a lot of songs about love, but I feel that they are mostly about love lost, a yearning for love, or what might more appropriately be labeled “lust” songs.

Another challenge is keeping the ratio of slow songs to more upbeat numbers reasonable. Ballads are great, but there can be rock songs about love and marriage, right? right??

Overall this has been a fun little exercise as it’s encouraged me to take a closer listen to some of my favorite songs. I thought I’d share some of my selections, so here are my top five cuts from my first wedding mix:

1)      “Mountains” – Biffy Clyro

I firmly believe this to be the most romantic song ever written. I think for full impact, one must read the book Only Revolutions which inspired the song and the album it is on. I selected the acoustic version for the mix


2)      “Nothing Without You” – Carney

I am also including the obvious “Think of You” but I wanted to rock the mix up a bit.


3)      “Car Door (Dancing In the Aisles)” – Joe Firstman

All the complexities of marriage boiled down to a single line: “I’ll open up your car door every time as long as you’ll reach over and unlock mine”


4)      “On Top Of The World” – Matthew Perryman Jones

the beauty of this song is paralyzing


5)      “May I Suggest” – Red Molly

an affirmative song that should be played every day, but might be particularly relevant on a day like your wedding day


I also have on deck, songs from Ed Sheeran, Ben Rector, NEEDTOBREATHE, A Fine Frenzy, Tony Lucca, and more!

However, suggestions are welcomed…


~ Kristen

Valentine’s Day Playlist: Honorable Mentions- Part 2

As promised, my honorable mentions list.

Honorable Mentions: Amanda

Loneliness: Medicate- AFI

Let’s see, a song about medicating, being numb, and someone who doesn’t even know your name. Yep, that’s pretty sad.

Tease: Dare Me- Pointer Sisters

I grew up listening to the likes of The Pointer Sisters, The Coasters, and other such oldies. I have to say, I like it when a lady dares a guy because she knows she can take him on. The real question is, can he handle her?

Sexy: Mr. Sinister- Scarlet Grey

One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite LA bands and while it isn’t ‘sexy’ in terms of being a song about sex, it feels sexy to me. Maybe it’s the guitar. Maybe it’s about someone sinister. It might just be the lyric, ‘he’ll help you take off your dress, insist there’s more to confess.’ Is that a promise?

Puppy Love: The Way It Is- Th’ Moonlight Sexy

Sadly, Th’ Moonlight Sexy no longer exists and neither does this song on the interwebs. I can however, link you to their old Myspace and you can listen to their other tunes. I know it’s a cop out but I got nothing….

Sprung: Dirty Little Secret- The All American Rejects

You want me but you don’t want to tell anyone about me? Well sir, it sounds like you just want me for my body and all it’s capable of doing. I might be ok with that.

Creepy Love: I Will Follow Him- Peggy March

This might be more a song about devotion and true love but in today’s day and age, a song about following a guy no matter what reads ‘stalker.’

Unrequited Love: About A Girl- The Academy Is…

So wait, this song isn’t about a girl you’re secretly in love with? Oh wait, you just don’t want to admit it. Keep telling yourself you aren’t in love. Let’s see how long that lasts. P.S. I totally relate

Proclamation: There She Goes- Carney

Something about Carney just oozes sex. So when they start telling you they secretly love you, how could you not go weak at the knees for this? Sigh.

In Love: The Brute and The Beast- Fierce Creatures

I remember the day when Fierce Creatures came knocking on my little blog door and said ‘hey, check us out.’ It’s been love since then much like this velvety soft song.

Tragic Love: Daisy- The Silent Comedy

Sadly this song doesn’t get a lot of playtime but it’s always been a favorite of mine. Hey Daisy, just add some salt to the wound. It makes for a good song.

Post Break Up: Miserable At Best- Mayday Parade

Love sucks. Love hurts. Sometimes the best you can be is miserable. Mayday Parade understands your pain.

It’s Just Another Day: Haight St.- Anberlin

‘Let’s you and me, make a night of this. Old enough to know but too young to care.’ Hark, I hear my lost adolescence calling me! I suppose that’s why this song has a sweet spot with me.


And now we end all talk of Valentine’s Day! Until next year…

Valentine’s Day Playlist: The Cycles of Love : Sexy Times!

She’s driven you crazy with all the teasing and flirting and you’re ready to burst both literally and figuratively.  So seal the deal! Put some groovy tunes on to seduce the hell out of her!  As the Silver Jews once said, “How Can I Love You, If You Won’t Lie Down?”
Sexy Times
Local Music –  Love Me, Chase Me – Carney

Not only is Reeve Carney’s voice sexy (singer for Carney) but this video is sexy too. With a title like Love Me, Chase Me the only image I can’t help but conjure up is the beginning of sexy times where the boy chases the girl (or vice versa depending on how you like to roll) and he catches her at which point they fall into the leaves and begin making out.

Top 40 – Kiss – Prince

Prince is the King of sexy. He could seduce the pants off pretty much any girl and the song “Kiss” works alright with me.  If you can sing as high as Prince, then you deserve whatever tail you can rustle up, but leave the sexy times to that purple high heel wearing, tiny little man that is Prince. (Sorry About the Glee Video, Prince Doesn’t Authorize His Music On Youtube)

Alternative Radio – Closer – Nine Inch Nails

So the first song that came into my head for the sexy category was “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails.  I mean the song says, “I want to fuck you like an animal”, NIN isn’t pulling any punches.   I forewarn you that the video is equally raunchy and disgusting.

Soundtrack – Need You Tonight – INXS

I don’t know anything sexier than a song about needing someone tonight. As in right now. I remember this playing in the background of Coyote Ugly when Violet is trying to sell off Kevin to the highest bidder to make the money she owed Lil. Nothng says sexy like ‘I’m selling you off to pay for my debt.’

Misc – You Shook Me All Night Long – ACDC

A classic ACDC riff and a classic line about thighs, no wonder strippers like it.  So strut in, strip off your jean cut offs and let them know you mean business.


Now that business is all done, are those stars in your eyes or is it Puppy Love?

Kristen’s ’11 Mix – Track 12 – Mariah McManus

12. “Anyway” – Mariah McManus


I first saw Mariah McManus front her rock band Glare of Rockets several years ago…I think they might have opened for Carney at The Troubadour. I recall enjoying the band, but never heard from them again. Now Mariah is back with a solo album, Nice to Meet You, which is one of my favorite albums that came out this year. I love her unique voice and she is quite the talented songwriter. She also put out a Christmas album that spent the holiday season in my car player on repeat.  I anticipate big things from Mariah McManus. You should check her out.

~ Kristen

Kristen’s 5 “Must See” Acts of Bonnaroo ’11

Tonight, we’re leaving for Bonnaroo!  I’ve done the usual; listen to all the artists, create my schedule, figure out how to pack a tent and a sleeping bag to take on a plane…  I don’t know what was more difficult, narrowing down the number of books I want to bring or narrowing down the number of bands to put on my top 5 “must see” acts of Bonnaroo ’11 list. But both tasks needed to be done.  There are so many acts that I’m excited to see, but here are my top:


  1. Deas Vail

This band captured my attention at Warped Tour and I’ve been craving another helping of this Arkansas-based group ever since. Their uplifting melodies and calming vocals always manage to lift the spirit. Deas Vail is the kind of band that can take you to another, much better place. And that’s what Bonnaroo is all about (for me at least). It’s the physical representation of that mental place I go every time I see my favorite bands perform. And there is absolutely nothing better than seeing one of my favorite bands in this place…and that’s why Deas Vail is the group I’m most looking forward to seeing this year.

Where to see them:  Friday 2:30 at Cafe Where


2. Eminem

One of my favorite things about Bonnaroo (and music festivals in general) is being able to see so many big acts that I would never pay to see individually (I go to way too many shows to pay big bucks for any one artist). There are quite a few big names I’m looking forward to this year, but none more than Eminem. I was never a huge fan of Eminem, but then I saw him perform at another festival (Epicenter). This man has a gift. I’ve been hesitant of big name rappers at Bonnaroo ever since that whole Kanye debacle of ’08, but I know Eminem will be more embracing of the Bonnaroo spirit and put on a show worthy of the event. Now that I’ve had a taste of this live performance, I cannot wait to get more!

Where to see him: Saturday 11pm at the What Stage



3. Lelia Broussard vs. The Sheepdogs

I’ve been keeping tabs on the whole Rolling Stone unsigned artist cover competition. Although my faves, Chicago rockers Empire, are sadly no longer in the running, there are still two fantastic acts left. I’ve been going to Lelia Broussard shows for years now and have always enjoyed her songs and charming delivery. The Sheepdogs were introduced to me through this competition, but I pegged them early as one to watch (I have a weakness for southern rock). I’m excited to see them both perform and bring about a conclusion to this competition.

Where to see them: Saturday 2pm at This Tent



4. Mumford and Sons

As amazing as their album, Sigh No More, can be, the live Mumford and Sons performance is even better! As these English folk rockers continue to grow in popularity around the world, their performances become increasingly coveted. I don’t know if I could ever beat the front row at The Belly Up, but Mumford and Sons + Bonnaroo is an ideal combination and I am really looking forward to seeing them again.

Where to see them: Saturday 6:15 at Which Stage



5. Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons

What would be the point of a big music festival, if I didn’t walk away discovering a great new band. I mean Bonnaroo is the event in where I first heard one of my LA faves, Carney. Listening to all the acts unbeknownst to me, I heard a lot of promise in Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons. Will they live up to my expectations? Will another unknown act steal my heart? I guess we’ll all have to wait and see.

Where to see them:
Thursday 7:15 at The Solar Stage
Friday 9:20 at The On Tap Lounge





Other Highly Anticipated Acts for Bonnaroo ‘11


Hope to see you at the ‘Roo!

~ Kristen

Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar: 4/18-4/24

Still singing and dancing to music from last night’s adventure at The Troubadour. Ben Rector and Matt Wertz were both fantastic, bringing me back to my days of Tyler Hilton, Gavin Degraw, and that ilk. I spent a lot of time in 2004-5 this week between last night and Weds night’s venture to The Hotel Cafe to see Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump busting beats with his new solo tunes. The highlight of last week, however, was Biffy Clyro down at The Belly Up. I cannot be effusive enough in the written word to describe the experience, so I won’t even try.

Let’s just say this week has a lot to live up to. If I could pick just one show it would be Thursday night at Molly Malone’s. Zane Carney (of my very first LA band love, Carney) is in town from NYC where he, as well as the rest of the band, have been very busy with the new Spiderman musical. Zane’s playing three sets; the first with a jazz band, the second with his sister Paris Carney, and the third with Stephen Hovsepian as a duo, Great Work. I am excited about the music (Zane is a master of the guitar and always a pleasure to watch), but I’m also excited about catching up with my Carney family, the first group of people I met when I moved out to LA, the majority of whom I have not seen since Carney departed.

But that’s not all that’s going on this week. It’ll be a busy one:


Monday: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 (9pm)
ALSO: Lauryn Hill at Club Nokia (7pm)


Tuesday: Dead Sara at The Viper Room…opening for Duff McKagan’s new band, Loaded (8:30)
ALSO: Eliza Doolittle and Plan B at The El Rey (7pm)
ALSO: The Material at Whiskey a Go Go (8pm)
ALSO: Armada and Infantree at Saint Rocke (8:30, 9:30)
ALSO: The Muddy Reds at Silverlake Lounge (10pm)
ALSO: Jonathan Clark and Satellite at Molly Malone’s (8,9)
ALSO: Paul Simon at The Music Box (7pm)


Weds: Ellie Goulding at The Music Box (7pm)
ALSO: Amie Miriello and Ruby Friedman Orchestra at The Hotel Cafe (7,9)


Thursday: An evening with Zane Carney at Molly Malone’s (8: Zane Carney, John Daversa, and Sam Gendel play jazz; 9: Zane and Paris Carney; 10: The Zane and Stephan Show)
ALSO: Deep Dark Robot at The Roxy (10pm)
ALSO: The Shakers at The Viper Room (11pm)
ALSO: The Pretty Reckless FREE at Hard Rock Cafe (9pm)
ALSO: Kurt Vile and The Violators at The Echo (10pm)
ALSO: Brian Wright at The Foundry on Melrose (8:30)


Friday: Purple Melon at The Roxy (9pm)
ALSO: Hugo at The Viper Room (9pm)
ALSO: Lakes at The Hotel Cafe (midnight)
ALSO: Matthew Jordan at Pi (part of a songwriters in the round session, starts at 9pm)
ALSO: Eastern Conference Champions at The Echo (10pm)


Saturday: I do have a friend who will be dressing up like a crab and singing “Under The Sea” at The Troubadour…that might be interesting…


Sunday: Justin Hopkins Songwriter in the Round Series and Hugo at Saint Rocke (8,10)
ALSO: Viza at The El Rey (7:30)


To Keep in Mind:
April 25th: Airborne Toxic Event at The Satellite
April 25th: The Head & The Heart at The Troubadour
April 27th: Andy Clockwise at The Troubadour
April 29th: Joe Purdy with The Milk Carton Kids at Saint Rocke
April 30th: Joe Purdy with The Milk Carton Kids at The Troubadour
May 2nd: Xavier Rudd at The El Rey
May 4th: The Pipettes at The Satellite
May 7th: The Silent Comedy at The Roxy
May 9th: KT Tunstall at The El Rey
May 14th: The Other Side of Morning CD Release
May 15th: Eisley at The Troubadour
May 20th: Curtis Peoples at The Hotel Cafe
May 21st: Saint Motel at The Roxy
May 27th: The Script at Club Nokia
May 27th-29th: Sasquatch Music Festival (Washington)
June 2nd: Manchester Orchestra at The Music Box
June 7th: Death Cab for Cutie and The Lonely Forest at The El Rey
June 9-12: Bonnaroo (TN)
June 13th: Florence and The Machine at The Greek Theater
June 15th: Augustana at The House of Blues Sunset
June 29th: Brooke Fraser at The Music Box
July 26th: The Indigo Girls at The Troubadour
July 28th: A Perfect Circle at Gibson Auditorium
August 12-14th: Outside Lands in San Francisco
August 18-20th: SSMF
September 22-24: Hotel Carolina (South Carolina)

~ Kristen


Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar: 1/24-1/30

Amanda and I are in New York City at the moment. Just came back from seeing the boys of Carney rock Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark (again). They made some changes in the second half that I loved. As you know, we ventured to the east coast because my first favorite band, Pepper’s Ghost, had a reunion show at The Grape Room, Saturday in Philadelphia (their first show since 2007…). There are no words to describe how I felt about seeing this band play again. The whole day, really, spent with some of my favorite people and seeing a couple of my top bands (we also went to Northstar to catch a bit of Alright, Junior’s set) is bound to go down as one of the best days of my year…hopefully I’ll find some time to put up some pictures and, fingers crossed, video (!) soon.

But, in the meantime, we’ve got lots of great shows to look forward to this week in LA! Can’t wait to get back (and not just because I’m freezing my fingers off over here)! Here’s what I’d like to do:

Monday: Cold War Kids at Bootleg (10:30)
ALSO: Camp Freddy at Whiskey a Go Go (9pm)
ALSO: The Script at Jimmy Kimmel (6:45…with reservation from
ALSO: Iron & Wine FREE at Amoeba (7pm)
ALSO: Songwriters in the Round at Room 5 (9pm)
ALSO: It’s a School Night at Bardot featuring Royal Bangs and Gary Clark Jr. (10:30)

Tuesday: Cold War Kids at Amoeba (6pm)
ALSO: Anna Nalick at Saint Rocke (10:30)
ALSO: WPA featuring Glen Phillips and Sean Watkins at The Hotel Cafe (7pm)
ALSO: The Vaccines at The Satellite (9pm)
ALSO: The Canyons at Molly Malone’s (9pm)
ALSO: Iron & Wine at The Wiltern (8pm)
ALSO: Olin & The Moon FREE at The Echo (10pm)
ALSO: 8mm at The Good Hurt (11pm)

Weds: Red Circle Underground at Silverlake Lounge (11pm)
ALSO: Keaton Simons at The Roxy (8pm)
ALSO: Iron & Wine at The Wiltern (8pm)
ALSO: Bryan Greenberg at Saint Rocke (10pm)

Thursday: High Voltage Presents at The Mint featuring Armada, 8mm, etc. (8pm)
ALSO: Amos Lee at The Music Box (9pm)
ALSO: Graydon at Silverlake Louge (9:30)
ALSO: Steel Train at The Troubadour (8:45)

Friday: Queen Caveat and Nico Vega at Saint Rocke (9,11)
ALSO: The Postelles and Free Energy at The Roxy (8pm)
ALSO: Honeyhoney at Bootleg (9:45)
ALSO: Parade of Lights at Club Cohiba in Long Beach (7:30)
ALSO: Juke Kartel at The Hotel Cafe (10:30)
ALSO: Maxim Ludwig at The Sante Fe Seven (11:45)
ALSO: Rocco Deluca and Daniel Lanois at The El Rey (8:30)

Saturday: Charlotte Martin at Bootleg (10:30)
ALSO: Tyler Hilton at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)
ALSO: Oh Darling at the Santa Monica Pier (5:30)

Sunday: George Stanford at The Hotel Cafe
ALSO: Against Me! at The Music Box (8pm)
ALSO: The Shakers at O’Briens

To Keep in Mind:

Feb 1st: Patrick Park at The Hotel Café
Feb. 1st: Queen Caveat at The Viper Room
Feb 5th: The Silent Comedy at El Rey
Feb 9th: Sarah McLaughlin at Nokia Live
Feb 9th: Tina Dico at The Troubadour
Feb 16th: Nicole Atkins at The Troubadour
Feb. 16th: Scars on 45 at The Hotel Cafe
Feb. 20th: Beth Hart at The Echoplex
Feb 26th: Josh Ritter and Scott Hutchinson (Frightened Rabbit) at The Music Box
March 1st: Biffy Clyro at The Troubadour
March 3rd: Civil Twilight at The Troubadour
March 4th: After Midnight Project at The Roxy
March 22nd: War on Drugs at The Troubadour

~ Kristen