Fall Song of the Day: Explanation and Jake Bugg

jake buggI’m having the hunch that Jake Bugg is “the next big thing.” Okay, so he’s already a hit in Britian, but all of the coolest musicians are and have to “break” America. My local alternative radio station (shout-out CD 102.5) has been posting video after video of this lad. Some of my more musically-tuned-in peers have been dishing out recommendations on his behalf. Tumblr is all up on its Jake Bugg audio posts. The internet is screaming out that Bugg is the next alternative smash.

Like Lorde before him (who I totally missed the mark on and just started listening to) Jake Bugg is a talented youngster. Just 19 years of age, Bugg has that 60′s vibe down-pat. His lyrics are masterpieces as well as his playing and vocal talent. Take a listen below on my Fall Song of the Day: “Fallin’”.

Now to introduce this feature. Fall Song of the Day is going to be a sporadic post of the songs that keep me company on my orange and gold leafy walks to class. Sure, I’m sans iPod or MP3 player at this time (my iPod took a turn for the worst this summer) but I hum and sing the songs in my mind on my walks to class. It works…

Fall songs are as warm and comforting as a steamy pumpkin spice latte. They’re crisp, true, and feature well-thought out lyrics and precise music. No more “Blurred Lines;” it was such a summer song with that catchy beat and horrible message. Plus, I’m so over Robin Thicke, anyway. Fall tunes are more like a Bon Iver song, they feel like someone wearing a plaid flannel, ready to wrap you up in a warm hug and hand you a mug of steaming hot coffee. That’s a fall song! And that’s what I’ll be featuring! Maybe when I get some money I’ll even download them all and make an 8tracks playlist. Watch out people, crazy ideas are brewing like hot apple cider in here!

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London Journal, Entry Two

Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 11.45.16 PMMusic fills the streets. On the right corner is a man with an accordion and a missing tooth. On the bank of the Thames stands a girl playing a keyboard and harmonizing with the sounds of the lapping waves. On the descent into the underground is a band beating drums and singing upbeat tunes. The parks are singing a handful of songs at the same time; the boom boxes and acoustic guitars mix to make a collage of sound. I’ve never heard a place so alive with sound. Birds and planes and trains and water. Every little town and corner has a beat of its own.

Greenwich_Foot_Tunnel_Near_Cutty_SarkOne of my favorite moments, one of those picture perfect times when you look around and breathe and think, “I’m here, I’m in London,” happened last night. I was walking on the bank of the Thames. The tide was low, rocks and sand and bones and tires were showing their true colors, shining in the strange sunlight. The water sounded peaceful and a dozen or so tourists and hometowners made it out to watch the sun set as boats chugged carefully through the waves. A man was standing on the side of it all, his electric guitar plugged into a small amp, churning out the sound. The music was peaceful, a few loose strands of a note plucked and then left to fade into oblivion. He kept at this rhythm for minutes, allowing the careful strums to rock us all to a shared harmony. If I closed my eyes, I would have pictured a white sand beach. Turquoise waves crashing as surfers took the last ride of the day. But my eyes remained open, not wishing to miss the scene. I looked around, taking in the dirty water as it crashed on the ankles of river walkers, the travelers and bikers as the came up from the underworld, the historic and damp tunnel that allows one to walk under the Thames, under liquid history. I watched as ships glided past the O2 arena,and on down to bigger and older buildings. This is the London I have grown to love. One of peaceful moments, a river with its own rhythm, and people of every shape, size, color, nationality mixing together to make a type of soundtrack for the city.

London is music for me, not only does it make me sing (I find myself humming under my breath when I’m very content) but it makes me believe that there is music in the most unexpected places. I’ve never been to a park where revelers freely play music and dance and listen. I’ve never seen so many people carrying their musical instruments strapped to their backs, like a child being led to the next destination. And I’ve never been around a group of people that seems to love music as much as Londoners do. They have a pride for their homegrown talent but embrace every type of music that is imported in.

Round-Midnigh-9A group of us traveled to a jazz and blues bar a week ago. It was off the Angel tube stop and is called Round Midnight. Jazz and blues is not my thing, I know nothing of the genre though I do appreciate it. It surprised me how authentic the music was. When I think of London’s culture and musical history, jazz and blues does not come into mind. But, they embraced it. The club had such a fun atmosphere, there was dancing and shouting and a collected feeling of excitement. Each song reminded me of New Orleans but the feeling was so London. I knew I was there, I could feel it in my body as I danced around with my friends. London has pushed me to face new experiences, ones that I would have never had in the states. I’ve not only opened my eyes to things that I have been missing but I’m appreciating all that the world has to offer.

secret cinemaEngland has always been a country of music for me. Some of my favorite artists grew up and gained inspiration here. Mumford & Sons played to a 50,000-person crowd the first weekend I was in London, at Queen Elizabeth’s Olympic Park. Noah & The Whale studied in the countryside, Johnny Flynn was once found performing Shakespeare works at The Globe Theatre, Laura Marling performed at the Secret Cinema upon my arrival. The musicians of London are so entwined with the city that a love for one brings respect and admiration for the other.

 

**Stay tuned for my Greenwich Playlist! I’m looking forward to sharing all of the songs that encapsulated my time in England. And there are a lot of gems on there (subjectively, of course!)

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She Speaks on: Inspiration and Being Thankful!

My dearest followers, family, and friends…
Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 11.30.27 PMThank you so much for sticking with SLSRSS during my time studying abroad and the start of a new school year. I cannot tell you what people just glancing at my blog means to me. And y’all that come back and read more than one post melts my heart. It’s a true blessing to have people interested in what I’m saying. I cannot thank you enough!

ktydiyI’ve noticed a slight jump of popularity with new readers! Two people are to thank, one is my roommate and DIY-loving friend, Katy. KTYDIY is a blog that follows all of Katy’s Etsy adventures. One of her newest products is the lovely hand-stamped Toy Story necklace to the left. She also sells really adorable wine glass charms (among other goodies like stamped necklaces, bracelets, and rings) on her Etsy site. If you love homemade, quirky, and adorable pieces, she’s your girl. She also does a lot of orders for sorority sisters and bridesmaids looking for personalized gifts with special sayings or symbols. She’s the best, and so talented to boot!

I also have to extend thousands of thanks to BookfessionsChica over at Bookfessionsatthepark. She recently nominated me for my first blogging award, the Liebster! I am so thankful for her lovely blog and her readership, and I’m excited to sit down and participate in the Liebster.

I’m really trying to make my blog my job and that’s going to take a lot of practice, patience, and education! So again, I thank you for sticking with me :) I’ve been using some Pinspiration to keep me writing and on top of it all (buy the lovely print below here!)
smile, breathe, and go slowly

London was amazing, and I’m planning on posting more London Blogs and pictures! I learned so much about literature, different cultures and constructs, and a whole heck of a lot about myself and how I work with people. It was so important to be a friend and a person of trust and respect while in England, and I grew stronger because of it! I can’t wait to share all of my experiences with you and I thank you for taking the time out of your lives and busy schedules to read my little blog.

Until next time,
SLSRSS

 

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Try these Sweets if You’re Looking for a Tasty Treat in London

An ongoing list of the candy I have tried and loved. London and its sweet shops and bakeries are my downfall.

1. My absolute favorite treat is caramel shortbread.
ImageSo sweet with a salty, graham cracker like shortbread cookie base, these baked goodies are the perfect ending to any hearty British meal. Perfect with tea, coffee, a cold glass of milk, or hot chocolate, I dare you not to love them.

2. Mars Bars
ImageDo we have these lovelies in the states? If so, I need the exact location so I can buy them after my return. Most selling at 70p and under, Mars Bars are the perfect candy. Like a 3 Musketeer with a gooey topping of caramel, Mars Bars have it all.

3. Cadbury Chocolates
ImageEngland is all about the Cadbury, and not just the Cadbury Creme eggs they sell in America around Easter time. Cadbury has a range of sweets, from the oh-so delicious milk chocolate bar with an Oreo cream filling to the Double Decker chocolate bar with nougat and crunchies, you’re going to want to get a hand on some Cadbury.

4. Yum Yums
ImageYum Yums are a flaky pastry with a twist. A glazed croissant/doughnut hybrid, Yum Yums are a self-explanatory snack. Just try it with tea and tell me you’re not in love. I get mine from a local Greggs, which I’m guessing is like British fast food, homemade heaven. Selling Steak Pies, Cheese and Onion Bakes, and fresh doughnuts every day at really low prices.

5. Whippy Ice Cream with a Flake

ImageNot the consistency of the ice cream I’m used to but just as delicious, Whippy Ice Cream, also called the 99 Flake, is a soft, airy ice cream treat with a chocolate flake finger (also made by Cadbury) sticking out of the side. Can you say heaven on a hot London day? (Which we’ve been having a lot of…)

Be on the look out as I eat my weight in sugary confections and update this post! And if you are from the area and have a treat I should try, please leave a comment, your input is seriously appreciated.

*pictures from The Guardian, Greggs, and a lot of candy companies

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London Week One

Welcome to the London Edition of She Listens, She Reads, She Speaks!

I’ve been having such a great time that I almost forgot to write, good thing weekly journals are required for the program. But, I’m just joking around, I’m so excited to share my journey, tips, and adventures with you all and I hope you enjoy reading!

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Coming to London was such an experience. After a lengthy plane ride, my very first, we immediately bought a ticket and boarded a tube going from Heathrow to Central London. The very first impression I had of the city was the “countryside”, shrubbery, and pavement that were viewable from my tube seat. To be honest, it didn’t look much different from Ohio. The grass and flowers were the same blooms and style that I could find in my backyard; I took comfort in the fact that some things stay the same, even on a completely different side of the Atlantic.

 

Soon, the view from my window took a pleasant turn. The apartments and houses of London became more apparent. They are quiet tiny corners, some Tudors, some of various colours. What seemed like a replica of Ohio became something new and exciting. The cars came into view, driving on the wrong side, very fast, and small. The makes are all sleek and expensive; I never realized how heavily the locals relied on the tube and bus systems to travel. Those big red double deckers are actually used for travel and not for tourism! If only the Columbus bus system allowed twice the passengers, there would be a lot more sitting and less shuffling.

An apartment on Great Scotland Yard Street. Flats are so adorable.

An apartment on Great Scotland Yard Street. Flats are so adorable but I can’t believe that’s how people live. I’m so used to rural, 4 bedroom houses and large spaces!

 

The tube was efficient. So efficient that I knew I was in Europe. There isn’t anything like the tube in the US. Sure, New York City has a subway system, but I’ve ridden that before and from the moment I stepped on I never wanted to set foot into a station again. The London Underground feels safe; sure there are security scares, but they don’t allow garbage cans, I haven’t smelled food or drink, and the people generally don’t mingle. Which, as an American, I like to talk to the stranger next to me if given the opportunity, but the Londoners like their peace and quiet, and I can honor that. The tube is really something else. And the DLR is something I could ride day in and day out. It travels mostly above ground and offers some relatively interesting views from outside of the window. Pulling up to Greenwich on the DLR was like a small tour of the city. Canary Wharf is the business district, and the farther you get out the more houses and flats you see. Take the DLR toward Bank and you get to see the gardens of London. Each apartment has a little green space, most bursting with blooms, herbs, and veggies. There is so much to see from your window, and the first day I got my first taste of the London from tube seat. Which was a good way to taste the city while suffering moderately from jet lag.

A beautiful view of Canary Wharf at night. When we pulled up from the tube, I think you could hear my travel buddy and I screaming "THIS IS TOOOO CUTE" from a mile away.

A beautiful view of Canary Wharf at night. When we pulled up from the tube, I think you could hear my travel buddy and I screaming “THIS IS TOOOO CUTE” from a mile away.

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Music Monday

Screen Shot 2012-06-11 at 11.29.26 PM

Forgo the little line of text that says this post was published on a Tuesday. Just pretend with me that it was really 11:00 PM on a Monday night and not 12:00 AM on a Tuesday morning. Are we all pretending? Okay, good. HAPPY MUSIC MONDAY!

I love summer music. I also love understated, slow winter music. Like Bon Iver or Alexi Murdoch. I love fall music; Mumford & Sons just seems to go so well with walking on crunching leaves. Spring music is a combination of the two, a faster Noah & The Whale tune or Salinas” by Laura Marling. But summer music, summer music is a different story. For me, summer music is about rolling the windows down, listening and singing a bit too loud, feeling that nagging sense of nostalgia as you revisit an old favorite on their summer tour or toast marshmallows around a fire to an old mix CD. Summer music is loud, fun, light, and probably involves some sort of gang vocal or clapping sequence. Or, if all else fails, just a beat and a melody to dance to.

I was so excited to stumble upon a band with a great summer song. Twitter is a great resource for music, my friends. Stalk your favorite musicians, see what they’re listening to, odds are they’ve tweeted about it. That’s how I came upon Green River Ordinance. And this video:

Mandolin + Banjo + Acoustic Guitar = Recipe for SLSRSS favorite summer song

“It Ain’t Love” not only has a great melody, but a stomping beat, and a lovely, bonfire partying, dock singing, driving in the sun, fun summer video. The lyrics are honest and relatable and the sound brings back the feelings of my old favorite bands mixed with the songs and instruments of the new.

green-river-ordinanceGreen River Ordinance is releasing a new EP featuring “It Ain’t Love” on June 18th. Who’s ready for some more fun tunes? In the meantime, their last full length album is available on Noisetrade. You remember how much I love Noisetrade, right? Grab it up while you still can and tip if you feel so inclined. The same album is for sale on iTunes for $9.99, so it’s a steal (and the album is wonderful!) I’m looking forward to many more wonderful things for GRO, and I hope you all love and share the awesome music!

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