Category Archives: Music Monday

Music Monday: Do You Want New, Free and Legal Music?

If you’re any kind of music lover, you will definitely say yes to that right?

One of my recent (although it’s been around for some time now, I just didn’t pay attention) discoveries is Noise Trade. It is all kinds of awesome, as you would hear me say if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr

Why is it free and legal you ask? Well, their “tagline” says it all

Fans get free music.
Artists connect with new fans.
Everybody wins.

They explain it more thoroughly here. And they also have a blog showcasing their “success stories”

I have barely begun sinking my teeth into this and already I am happily discovering new music that is eating up space in my rapidly shrinking hard disk. But no matter what, I’ll always make room for brilliant new music. Or buy a new macbook pro with bigger disk space 😛


Here are some of the new artists I’ve discovered and currently devouring.

The Welcome Wagon

The Vespers

Apex Manor

Garrison Starr

Paper Route

There are also some familiar artists here like Susanna Hoffs (formerly of The Bangles), Rhett Miller (Mr. “Am I gonna be lonely for the rest of my life”) and current indie darlings The Civil Wars (their live album at least).

Be warned, if the kind of music you’re looking for is the Bieber or Carly Rae Jepsen variety, you definitely won’t find it here. Unless, they’re hiding there somewhere (and I don’t want to look for them)

But if you’re feeling musically adventurous, this is definitely the site for you. Why don’t you try out their Summer Music Sampler first to see if the artists here fit your taste. You just have to like their Facebook page to get the 33 track sampler. For some reason though it doesn’t work on Chrome, so use Firefox or IE or Safari to download

Oh, and did I mention that if you’re an indie artist who wants to get your music “out there”, you can definitely sign up and upload your music. Get started here.

Let me know if you discover any new (or old) artist that you like okay?



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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Music Monday


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Music Monday: New Music I’m Listening To

Artists/Albums you’re probably be familiar with:

John Mayer – Born and Raised – still getting the hang of it but I have a soft spot in my heart for this douche bag so I’ll probably end up loving this album. Favorite song so far: Speak For Me. Here’s a live performance of that song


Jason Mraz – Love is a Four Letter Word – another guitar-wielding singer-songwriter I am in love with (no wonder I’m crazy for Philip Phillips) and on first listen, I already like this new one. Instant favorite is Be Honest featuring Inara George

Jack Johnson’s Best of Kokua Festival – I really am on an acoustic guitar guy streak. While most of the songs aren’t new, any live music album featuring my favorite singer/surfer/photographer/filmmaker/beach bum guy is worth a listen

Keane – Strangeland – good ole Keane, which, if you’re a fan, is a good thing, but if you’re looking for something groundbreaking, this isn’t it. But if you like your standard indie pop, this is a good listen. Silenced By the NIght is my first listen favorite.


Artists that might be unfamiliar

Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light – One of those space rock bands that I love to trip on every once in a while. Their new album has been getting all kinds of buzz and I really got a musical buzz while listening to them 🙂


Sarah Jaffe – The Body Wins – I’m also a huge fan of acoustic girl rockers (I like to think I’m a frustrated one). And even though her new LP sounds more indie-rock than indie-folk, her voice is just as amazing


Music For My Soul

Planetshakers’ Heal Our Land – I still feel bad that I missed their amazing concert a few weeks ago, but thanks to Kaye, I’m at least able to imagine how soul-warming it was to be led in worship by this awesome awesome band

Kari Jobe’s Where I Find You – Again thanks so much Kaye for this! Find You On My Knees is my current soul song

Find you in the place I´m in
Find you when I´m at my end
Find you when there’s
Nothing left of me to offer you
Except for brokenness

So what’s new on your playlist?

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Music Monday


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Music Monday: How Music Keeps Me Sane

For some, music is a past-time, or just something that they indulge in. For me, it is my “recreational drug” of choice (alongside coffee and books and football), one of the things that keep me hinged, an anchor to this world, one of the things that keeps me (almost) sane.

Yes, music is that big of a deal to me (and probably it is for you too, if we are friends). Here are some ways that music has kept me from going berzerk

On long commutes

…which for me, is a daily occurrence, since I live in the ‘mountains” of Laguna. And it cannot be just any kind of music. It has to be my own. And given the preference of bus drivers to tune in to the most annoying radio stations, I always make sure that all my gadgets are charged before I embark on the 1 1/2 hour ride (just in case one gadget runs out of juice). The last time I rode a bus alone without my music, I was almost tempted to beg the driver to please just turn the stupid radio off. I have no patience for DJs who talk too much, singers who should not be singing at all and pop songs played to death.

On short commutes

Even if I will probably hear just 2-3 songs on my short jeepney or MRT ride, I still need to drown in music. Otherwise, I will go crazy from the noise pollution, the really loud people who have no consideration for others and just the sounds of rush-hour metro that can really get to you.

Waiting at the bank

…which is one of the worst places to be stuck in, since you’re not allowed to bring out your gadgets of course. Music can keep you from counting all the stains on the ceiling or starting random conversations with strangers who will slowly inch themselves away from you

Working / Studying

Some people prefer complete quiet when working or studying to concentrate better, but that would just drive me bonkers. I am more inspired to write or go on Facebook (really, that’s part of my job) or send out emails when I have my 68 gig music collection on iTunes on random. You never know what song you’re gonna get next!

When I can’t sleep

Instead of counting sheep (which i don’t think I’ve ever done) or reading a book (which will actually keep me up more than making me sleepy), I just make a sleepy playlist, which may consist of songs that have the word sleep in them or the instrumental OSTs of my favorite movies or singers with sleepy voices. Sometimes the songs even bleed into my dreams so I sometimes choose weird songs to give me even weirder dreams

When I can’t find the right words

Have you ever experienced being so full of emotions (either good or bad or even mixed) that you can’t find the right words to properly express it? My own words fail me, I can’t write an original sentence to save my life, and so I just scroll through my songs until I find the right one to match what I’m feeling at the moment. And then I post the lyrics. Music becomes my mouthpiece when I have no words left.

When my soul is heavy

There are days when you just wake up and you feel so weary and your soul just cries out to God. And during those times when I groan or I rage or I just cry, the music of anointed people who have either gone through the same pains or have emerged victorious and joyful, have helped me figure out (along with prayer of course) what exactly ails my heart and soul

When my heart overflows

And then there are days when you wake up and you feel like bursting into song because you realize  how much you love Him and how blessed you are and how His grace has kept you alive. Music helps me go to a higher plane of worship and thanksgiving and love for my Creator.

How has music helped you keep sane? I’m sure you have a story to tell…

*image from Pinterest*

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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Music Monday


Music Monday: If I Could Marry These Songs, I Would (My Favorite Love Songs)

Yes, I admit I had a phase where just the opening strains of such cheesy love ballads like You Were There, You’re All I Need or More Than Words were enough to make me go “aaaaawww” and “kilig”.

But as I grew older (and musically adventurous, I’d like to believe) all these pop, R&B power ballads that make most people squeal have the power to make me nauseous and it takes a huge effort for me not to roll my eyes, especially when the people around me seem to enjoy it.

As they say, different strokes for different folks.

But of course there are songs that make weak in the knees and make me long to actually be in love (as opposed to my almost always loveless state) just so I can really relate to the songs.

Here are 10 of those songs. Oh and yes, for the sake of disclosure, one of these is a Celine Dion Song

*click the song titles to go straight to the youtube video*

1. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths

For people who’ll say “Huh? What song is this?”, this is the song that Tom and Summer bonded over in the elevator. And for some reason, I just find the  idea of wanting to die with someone in a car crash, morbidly romantic

“And if a ten-ton truck kills the both of us, to die by your side, well the pleasure, the privilege is mine”

If I do get to see Morrisey live in May and he sings this song, I will probably bawl my eyes out while singing along to my heart’s content

2. Comfort In Your Strangeness by Cynthia Alexander

This for me is one of the most beautifully written and composed love songs ever. And if I do get married someday, i will probably insist on having this as my wedding march. And if the future groom will not agree, I will seriously re-think our engagement. Kidding. Or not. Anyways, he will probably be strange, so he would definitely agree.

“I have seen, I have been to places far and deep in my mind, only to find comfort in your strangeneness”

3. I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

Okay, does it say something about me, that 2 out of my 3 favorite love songs is about death? Okay, i will refuse to psycho-analyze myself and leave that to the psychology majors out there. But theological issues aside, this song really is the sweetest. And the fact that it’s just accompanied by an acoustic guitar makes it all the more poignant

“If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark”

4. Fly Farther by Jars of Clay

Okay, make that 3 out of 4 favorite love songs are about love and death. I’m now realizing that the two are intricately entwined in my head for some reason. But this lovely song is about a couple growing old together and gives me hope that there are still some people out there who can make it until the “till death do us part” of life

My time flies but we’ll fly farther
Into the night where the eyes of loneliness can never bother
All the dreams of together
Uneclipsed by never never
My time flies
I see it in your eyes
But we’ll fly farther

5. My Favorite Book by Stars

The first time I heard this song, I just immediately fell in love with the idea of comparing someone I love to something that I really love. And of course one of my non-negotiables when it comes to falling in love with someone is that he should be a bookworm like me. So yeah, this should be perfect for us.

How I know your face, all the ways you move, you come in, I can read you
You’re my favourite book
All the things you say, the way you shift your eyes
I never knew there was someone, to make me come alive

 6. Stay (Faraway, So Close) by U2

With or Without You will probably be on most people’s lists, but this U2 song is for me the most evocative of the romantic side of Bono and company. Although if you really listen to it, it’s more of a heartbreak song than a romantic one. But still swoony

And if you look, you look through me
And if you talk it’s not to me
And when I touch you, you don’t feel a thing

If I could stay.. then the night would give you up
Stay, and the day would keep it’s trust
Stay, and the night would be enough

7. Inevitable by Anberlin

Probably the cheesiest on this list, next to the inevitable Celine Dion song of course. But who wouldn’t swoon with lyrics like “i want to be the last first kiss that you’ll ever have” right? And it’s been proven that if you use this song on a wedding AVP, sighs will be heard all around

I wanna break every clock
The hands of time could never move again
We could stay in this moment (stay in this moment)
For the rest of our lives

8. As Time Goes By (the Billie Holiday version)

I first heard this song when I was a very little girl, and somehow, it’s stuck with me ever since. And it helps that it’s the theme song from one of my favorite love stories ever, Casablanca. I sincerely believe they don’t make love songs like this anymore

Moonlight and love songs – never out of date
Hearts full of passion – jealousy and hate
Woman needs man – and man must have his mate
That no one can deny

9. Two Of Us, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, I’m Happy Just to Dance With You, I Want You by The Beatles

Yeah, I know I cheated. But I equally love these four romantic Fab Four songs and so it’s hard to choose. So let’s just dub then my four favorite Beatles love songs, yes?

10. If You Asked Me To by Celine Dion

Yep, here it is, I admit it. This song is the current state of my heart. Enough said, Just listen to it. That is all.

How about you? What are your favorite love songs?

The videos for your listening and viewing pleasure



Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Music Monday



Music Monday: Yes I Cried Alone at Death Cab for Cutie

Tonight, I crossed off two items off my imaginary bucket list (I do have a list but it’s all my head)

  • watch a concert alone
  • see Death Cab for Cutie live in concert

A friend actually asked me why I would even consider watching a concert alone and I gave her the following reasons

  1. Tickets are too expensive for me to treat a friend (which I occasionally do)
  2. No one I knew well enough was going to the concert (I did know some people but they were with their friends and I don’t wanna be the odd duck)
  3. I’m a loser
  4. I’ve always wanted to try it

And most importantly

Of course I felt a bit silly and intimated by the numerous groups of hipsters once we were inside the venue. But the moment the band stepped on stage and played their first few notes, all self-consciousness fled my body and I started swaying, bobbing my head, singing gustily along and even dancing occasionally.

No matter how many concerts I’ve been to, I am always amazed at how music brings people together; that thousands of people, practically strangers can sing in unison and scream together for an encore; that each guitar riff or drum solo can sound so familiar and touch a deep part of our souls; that words written by one person can strike a chord in millions of people. I will never get tired at seeing the power of music.

Now after waxing lyrical about the beauty of music, here are my random thoughts:

  • Even if they say that DCFC sold out for years now, you cannot deny their musicality. And live, it is even more evident. Each instrument, note, arrangement, was just close enough to perfect that night
  • I cried twice: during What Sarah Said (love is watching someone die) and of course during….
  • that moment when Ben picked up his guitar and launched into an earnest and simple rendition of I Will Follow You Into the Dark and the who,e venue sang with him through every freaking word of that beautiful song. Two cliche but true words: Epic and Infinite
  • even if I didn’t know some of the songs, I couldn’t stop bobbing and trying to mouth lyrics I almost recognized
  • I therefore conclude I am still not old enough to not like rock music. I did not once tell myself “Man, the music is too loud”
  • this was one of the loudest crowds I’ve been with for a while now (with the exemption of football games). That clamor for an encore was soooo freaking loud, my ears rang for a few minutes afterwards (and not from the music)
  • “This next song is a song about vampires” Ben drolly said before launching into Meet Me In The Equinox, which many consider their sell-out song (it was in the Twilight OST in case you didn’t know) but is actually a pretty good song
  • OA na kung OA, but there were a lot of moments during the concert when I just had to close my eyes, sway blindly to the music just to breathe in the whole experience
  • songs that they didn’t play but I wish they did: Your Heart is an Empty Room, Stay Young Go Dancing, Different Names for the Same Thing, Someday You Will Be Loved

Click here for the complete set list

And this is what Ben had to say afterwards

One more thing, I did not have a single picture or video from last night because
1. There were too many obstructions (tall people) in front of me
2. I’ve never made it a habit to take pics during concerts coz I feel like it takes me away from the whole concert experience

So here’s my only remembrance from that night

So yeah, for real concert photos, go to my favorite concert photographer’s site here

And for once, I’m glad some people captured this moment on video (thank you youtube user kikoat)


Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Music Monday


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Music Monday: My Albums of 2011

Okay, I’m probably a week too late to be posting best of lists, but I’ll still do it of course. Originally, I wanted to do songs of 2011, but everytime I tried to pick a song from each album, I ended up choosing 2 or 3 songs, hence, I’m just making an albums list. Some you can see on critics’ lists, some were widely panned. But my only criteria is that I could listen to the whole album over and over and over

21, Adele

Even if you got nauseous just hearing the songs covered over and over again (in varying degrees of success), you cannot deny that this was the year of Adele. And why shouldn’t it be, this album was just plain pop genius. Remove your disdain for the various covers and the ubiquitous playing in radio stations and you are left with heartfelt songs, catchy riffs and her bombastic voice. And you should most definitely watch her concert at Royal Albert Hall and you will fall even more in love with her. She cackles like a witch, curses like a beeyatch but you will just love her honesty, her passion and her eyelashes, I mean, her music.

Favorite Songs: Rolling in the Deep (of course), Set Fire to the Rain, Rumor Has It


Bon Iver, Bon Iver

This was the year that I fell in love with folk and they, particularly founder/singer/songwriter Justin Vernon, were half of the reason why. The NPR folks dubbed it as a Bruce Hornsby-ish record and for once, that is not such a bad thing. The melodies are soft, the lyrics are painfully earnest and the good vibes just seep through your veins with every listen of this album

Favorite Songs: Holocene, Calgary


Barton Hollow, The Civil Wars

This duo were the other reason why I fell in love with folk (well, the indie hipster kind of folk anyways). A lot of people are always surprised to find out that John Paul White (a Johnny Depp doppleganger) and Joy Williams (a former CCM pop artist) are actually not married to each other because the chemistry they have both in the album and in live performances is just unbelievable. I had their album on loop for almost a week and I never got tired of them, even until now. They’ve gotten a big break lately by being featured in The Hunger Games OST in a duet with Taylor Swift. So stoked more people will get to discover them.

Fave songs: Barton Hollow, 20 Years


Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay

Critics and even some long-time fans (and long time detractors) were not very happy with this album. But Coldplay is in my personal list of bands that can do no wrong in my ears. First listen it was not that bad, in fact it was more than okay. But as I listened to it more, I grew to love it to bits. They’ve perfected a sound that they know fans will love, and they stick to it. They may not be as adventurous as other bands, but why change what works for them right? The only track that I hate? The one with Rihanna. I always skip over that track.

Fave songs: Us Against the World, Don’t Let It Break Your Heart


King of Limbs, Radiohead

Another one of the bands that I will always listen to no matter what. Critics and fans were very divided in their opinion of this album. But, as with any of their previous albums, I get totally lost when listening to it. Their songs are all about atmosphere and the experience of listening, more than the actual lyrics or hooks. No particular track really stands out, not because they’re not good but because it’s one whole listen for me. But critics, even those that panned the album, had to agree that Lotus Flower was brilliant

Fave songs: Lotus Flower, Morning Mr. Magpie


Ceremonials, Florence and the Machine

No one does baroque pop like Florence. And in just her 2nd studio album, she has mastered the art of creating anthemic songs that you just want to burst out singing to, except that you don’t have her vocal chops to give the song justice. So you’ll just lip-synch and dance along to it. Oh wait, that might just be me 🙂 Shake It Out is my official theme song for 2011

Fave songs: Of course Shake It Out, Breaking Down


Metals, Feist

I’m not as crazy about this album unlike her previous ones where I would just devour each and every song. Her latest one is a slow burn, where you just have to quietly listen to them to fully appreciate the whole album. I haven’t put it on loop which may be one of the reasons why I’m not as fond of it as The Reminder or Let It Die. But it still makes the list because after all, she is Feist.

Fave songs: How Come You Never Go There, Undiscovered First


Strange Mercy, St. Vincent

Annie Clark is my Zooey Deschenel/Jenny Lewis of 2011, meaning she is my indie girl crush for this year. And her new album doesn’t disappoint. In fact, this may be my favorite of her 3 albums too date. Her songs are so cheery and fun that even if she is singing about abuse or dark heartbreak, you still feel joyous and peaceful. She is also an awesome guitarist which adds to her coolness factor.

Fave songs: Cheerleader, Dilettante


Cults, Cults

Another genre that I fell in love with this year is the retro-sounding indie rock, or bands that would have been right at home in the 60s and 70s, like Real Estate, Best Coast, Phantogram, The Drums, but Cults makes my list. Just like St Vincent, there is such pep and cheer in their songs that you don’t notice that they’re actually singing about really dark things (which is sometimes bad actually). This is just their debut album and I look forward to hearing more from them

Fave songs: Abducted, Never Heal Myself


I Have a Dream, The City Harmonic 

Hands down, my worship album of the year. They describe their music as “nostalgic Brit-pop meets campfire sing-along mix that features raucous gang vocals along with agile, soaring anthems crafted to include the listener”. “Be Still O My Soul” was the soundtrack to my faith journey of 2011

Fave songs: Be Still O My Soul, Manifesto


Other albums in my list but I’m just too lazy to write about

The Decemberists’ The King is Dead

Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues

James Blake

Yuck (yes, it’s a band)

Low’s Cmon

Real Estate’s Day


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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Music Monday


Music Monday: My Current Heart Song Playlist

When words fail me, I always turn to other people’s music to express those unsung emotions in me. And this is another phase of my life where I am at a loss for words, not because I am going through something rough and deep. Maybe it’s just a season where I have been writing too many words for other people that when it comes to telling you how I really feel, I cannot form coherent thoughts. All I can do is sing

And these are the songs that tell you where I am at now

Shifting Sands by Caedmon’s Call

Always, I am standing on His grace. Otherwise, if I relied on my always shaky faith, I would have long been gone.


Love Will Come to You by Indigo Girls

I am always surrounded by friends whose hearts are continually broken, and I myself will always live with a cracked heart. And this song is for all of us who still nourish that sliver of hope


Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons

“You were meant to meet your Maker” – and yet I continually live my life as if I’m meant for other things. Sigh. Everyday, I need to “awake my soul”


C.S Lewis Song by Brooke Fraser

Again, I have to remind myself everyday that I am in this world, but I am not of this world


Lost by Coldplay

In keeping with my forever theme of lostness, “just because I’m losing, doesn’t mean I’m lost”


Restless by Switchfoot

Aside from lost, restless seems to be my default mode. And when I first heard this song, I thought Jon Foreman was personally speaking to me 🙂

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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Music Monday


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