Tag: Ingrid Michaelson

Friday 5: Cover Songs

This week on the Friday 5 we have a fun topic- it’s cover songs!

I picked 2 Disney songs from an album called We Love Disney I think you will really like.  I could have done all 5 from the album.

Then I have a favorite song from Ingrid Michelson singing Elvis Can’t Help Falling in Love with You

Next one of my all time favorite songs by Hawaiian singer IZ his cover of Over the Rainbow

Finally we have from the failed movie Across the Universe a great cover of a Beatles song Blackbird

I hope you enjoy these songs and I would be so grateful if you watched my video on youtube and gave it a thumbs up if you feel so inclined.  And if you aren’t subscribed I have been doing daily videos so I think you will find it worth your while!

Next week is 5 Favorite Lullabies so that should be fun!

Ingrid Michaelson

So today I am sick again.  Sick and trying to work and keep my mind off of being sick.  One of my strategies aside from using an entire box of tissues,  is listening to music.

(Isn’t it strange how such a sad song can make me feel so much better?  I don’t understand how that works but I love it.)

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE music!  I have done many entries on various music groups and songs that I love, but today I found myself turning back to one of my favorite artists, Ingrid Michaelson.  In 2009 Anna and I saw Ingrid live and it was a fantastic experience.  This is true despite the fact that it was in a tiny club, with no seating- a situation I normally despise.  She was so warm, personable and her voice so wonderful that she won me over in spite of my circumstances.   It is exactly how I would wish to sound if I could sing well. Her songs are just what I would want to write if I could translate the thoughts in my heart adequately.

The way that Ingrid came to fame is emblematic  of the major changes that have occurred in the music industry in recent years.  With the near-death of album sales to the mp3 world of Itunes, there are basically two ways an artist can become well-known:

1.  He or she can get their music featured on itunes or amazon.com.  Usually this is after developing an internet following and being picked up by a major label.  Three examples of this that come to mind are Jack Johnson, Colbie Caillat and Priscilla Ahn.  All were popular on myspace or youtube and then featured as ‘free singles’ by Itunes.

2.  The second way is to be featured on a television show such as American Idol or the Voice, or to have your music used within a popular  show, movie or advertisement.  The examples of this range from the Fray being discovered as the theme song to Grays Anatomy, to Regina Spektor headlining a target ad, to Cold Play (and a million other artists) getting a start in an apple ad.

Ingrid Michaelson is no stranger to such promotion her songs have been all over shows like Greys Anatomy, One Tree Hill, Drop Dead Diva, and ads for Motts Apple juice and Old Navy.   You think the musical purist in me would have a problem with such a commercial thinning of my favorite most beautiful music but I don’t.  I think music has always been a commercial endeavor simply because of a need on the part of the artist to survive- and hopefully thrive! In some ways the commercial potential opens the doors to artists that could never have seen the album covers in the old days of dusty bars and agents.

This song was on a Greys Anatomy show but I still LOVE IT!

By placing her music where people are actually going to hear it, Ingrid not only entertains a wider swath of people and creates new fans, but she educates and widens their musical palate.   Even as a big fan, there have been times when I’ve heard a song on a show, and then realized it was on an Ingrid album I’d listened to a 100 times and never noticed it before.  I think it is great that people will hear a new song and think of the artistic director’s interpretation first, and then hopefully by listen 20 or 30, they have come up with their own views.  Ingrid’s songs have such depth to allow for such diverse interpretations.

Even her largest hit Be Ok has undertones of sadness if you listen to the lyrics and set aside the peppy melody.   One of the verses says:

“Open me up and you will see
I’m a gallery of broken hearts
I’m beyond repair, let me be
And give me back my broken parts”

I don’t know how many times I listened to that seemingly happy song before I realized there was another layer.  To me, such realizations are the beauty of art and music. Its what makes a painting profound every time you look at it, or a song touching each time you sing it- there is no end to the layers of thought and introspection beautiful things can provide.

What would it be like to write a line, a verse, a song, with that kind of power?  I marvel with envy at those with such talents.  When I was in college I had to write a poem for a class and it was rough going.  It took me almost 2 weeks to write a pathetic little couplet.  I think I was born to appreciate others gifts and Ingrid certainly fills me with such gratitude.

Not only does she write the words so achingly and beautifully well but she sings them perfectly also.  It inspires me in many ways.  All beauty inspires me.  After all, as a mantra of my faith I seek after anything “virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy”.

Anyway, I love Ingrid Michaelson.  Its tough to say who I love better Ingrid Michaelson or Sara Barrielles?  They are both fabulous!  Here are some of my favorite of her songs.  Go- check them both out and have even your sick days made lighter by beautiful music. 🙂

This is one of my current favorite Ingrid songs

I’ve never heard a version of this song I haven’t loved.  I have 13 different versions on my ipod!

Murtaugh List and Regina Spektor

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So last week I went to a Regina Spektor concert.  She is a very talented singer born in Russia who fits well into the indie female folksy genre that is so popular.  She is similar to Ingrid Michaelson, Norah Jones, Aimee Mann, and Missy Higgins.  In fact, in some ways I like her better because she is edgy and daring with melodies and arrangements.  On the other hand, sometimes I don’t get her style- she’s too edgy for me! Her song Fidelity is featured in a Target ad right now and her songs Us and Hero were on the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack.

Being fans, Anna and I were naturally excited to be attending her concert in Salt Lake.  It was kind of a crazy weekend for me.  I went to the Regina concert Friday night and then Saturday drove down to St. George for my friend Bonnie’s wedding.  I was exhausted by the time Sunday came around! Thanks to Anna for coming with me to the concert and to St.  George.  She was such a great help to me, and it was a big sacrifice for her. I love you!

Anyway, Friday we went to the concert- Anna, her roommate Becca and myself.  Before the concert we ate at the Pie up by the University of Utah (I know enemy territory!).  It is the best pizza I have had outside of New York.  You don’t even need any toppings. It’s delicious!  After dinner we drove to the concert.  It was at a club called In the Venue that is standing room only.  It is the same place we went for the Ingrid Michelson concert but this time it was even more crowded.  Plus, we arrived early so that added another hour to the standing.   By the time Regina’s opening act was finished (btw the opening act was thoroughly lame…in the grand tradition of opening acts) I was already exhausted.  It was a mosh pit with hardly room to move.  To make matters worse, even though I was up front I was in a place where the grand piano blocked any view of Regina.  No matter how I tried to crane my neck I couldn’t see anything but her legs on the pedals.  This seemed like a lot to put up with for a pair of legs!

Finally the crowd made me feel nauseated and I was getting overheated.  I bravely began to make my way through the crowd.  I basically became a human plow trying to find my way to the back.  Along the way I pushed many a young kid and even had some rude comments.  One woman said “I was standing there first and thanks for stepping on my toes”.  I felt like saying “I beg your pardon mademoiselle.  I am sorry I didn’t ask your permission to step on you in a MOSH PIT!”.  Rude!   Finally I made my way back and wolfed down a Gatorade for $4.  It was then that I realized “I’m too old for this stuff”.

Murtaugh List

I’m too old for moshing it at standing room only concerts. I’m too old for road trips with little sleep.  I’m too old for Motel 6’s with lame, scratchy sheets.    I’m too old for nothing but pizza and root beer for dinner.  I need some nutrients!  I’m too old for skipping 2 meals and then binging on a huge dinner.  I’m too old for giant ice cream Sundays and anything with the words “extreme sour” in it.  I’m too old for trendy clothes, head banging music, tantrums, sleeping  in past 9, wearing t-shirts with “funny” sayings, practical jokes, big wads of bubble gum, prank phone calls, cartoon network, teeny bopper music, any kind of eating contest, glitter, costumes for no purpose, camping for “fun”, sleeping on the floor, watching the Hills or America’s Next Top Model, all-nighters, selling my blood, cosmic anything, group sports of any kind (especially dodge ball), Weird Al anything, Chef Boyardee, lame car games, ice skating and dancing to impress a boy (what was I thinking!), eating fake cheese, pop tarts, ramen noodles and most prepackaged foods,  flirting to impress a boy, anything in a “fun land/arcade”, and petty fights with friends.  The list goes on.

Basically I’m too old to be doing things that aren’t genuinely me.  I am too old to be playing a part or trying to fit in. I am not saying I have to be completely selfish but when you are young you go along for the ride easier.  Now I would be more likely to express my feelings and then agree to what others want to do. I remember going to concerts at the Velor in Provo.  It is loud, crowded, and miserable.  The music isn’t my taste and you know why I was there- to impress a boy.  I am too old for that kind of stuff.   If  I do  end up doing something on my Murtaugh list expect me to feel tired, even exhausted and grumpy.  I will try my best but no guarantees!

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If you are wondering about the title of my entry, the Murtaugh list comes from an episode of my favorite show How I Met Your Mother where Ted makes a list of the things he’s too old for.  These include going to raves, sleeping on futons, piercing your ears, and laser tag. Then Barnie and Ted have a challenge where Barnie attempts to do all the things on the Murtaugh list and Ted does a list of  stuff old people do like go to bed at 8 and eat at 4.  It’s pretty funny.

The other unfortunate thing about the Regina concert is she had a foul mouth.  It was too bad because her music is beautiful.  I don’t know why women feel they have to  be so ugly and unseemly.  It makes me sad.

Roommate Reunion and Ingrid Michaelson

I have mentioned on this blog that my current roommate is my 30th.  Over the years I have shared apartments with 30 different women.  They have each taught me much and almost all have been positive experiences.  That said- some have risen to the top and become life-long friends while a few more have made an indelible impact on my life.  In my fantasy life I would live minutes away from all these special friends.  We would swap recipes, watch each other’s kids and be there for hugs and comfort.  Sadly most of them live away from Utah (and even the one’s that do have a life.  Afterall, we aren’t living in a Norman Rockwell painting!).  Still, my heart yearns for the friends I do not regularly see.  I miss them and wish they were here.

Lately I have felt a little lonely so you can imagine my excitement over a recent trip to California for a ROOMMATE REUNION!  One of my most prized friends/former roommates Emily Alvillar Whitman came to my sister Megan’s in Palo Alto, California and I joined her.  The three of us then had a lovely weekend of reminiscing and catching up.  It was very nice of Megan to host and allow us to sleep on her coach! The weekend was simple- nothing too flashy- but it was great to reconnect with an old friend.  Plus, I got to spend time with Megan and her family.  Seth was very nice to watch the girls so the three of us could go to San Francisco for the day. (Thanks Seth!).  We went to all the sites Golden Gate Park and Bridge, Chinatown, Piers etc.  Emily got some jewelry and we converted a magnet into a keepsake ornament to help us remember the trip.

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On Sunday we enjoyed spending time with my family for my grandma Wagner’s birthday party.  She is such a wonderful woman and loving example in my life.  I will have to write an entire post about her someday.  Emily was a good sport and seemed to enjoy herself at our family party (sometimes being at someone else’s family function can be awkward.  Thanks Emily!).

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On Monday it began to rain and then Tuesday it was torrential downpour.  I don’t think I have ever seen it rain so much in Northern California.   It was so bad that on Tuesday the rain made the battery short out while driving Emily to the airport (after visiting the temple).  We ended up putting Emily in a yellow cab and then Seth came to my rescue.  Hopefully the car won’t sustain any permanent damage.  If it does I will feel awful.

We made some cute crafts on Monday.  I am a volunteer for festival of trees and as such we are each responsible for creating 8 gifts that can be sold at the festival.  For my gift I am making long sleeve t-shirts with Christmas symbols on them.  I hope they turn out ok.  It’s kind of complicated how you make them but basically you cut out a stencil out of freezer paper and then you iron on the paper to the front and back of the shirt.  Then you pain the shirt with textile paint.  Once the paint has dried you set the paint with the iron.  If any of you have cute and inexpensive craft ideas for the festival let me know.  It has to be something that does not require sewing or knitting.

Anyway, it was a wonderful trip and I hope we do it again.  It is important to reconnect with friends. You never know when you will need them or they will need you.  I believe that people are put in our lives for a reason and that we will be accountable if we throw people aside as if they are worth nothing.  Relationships are worth sacrificing for and certainly worth preserving.  Why is I seem to be in the minority in this view?  It seems so logical to me!

One last comment is on Friday I went to hear Ingrid Michaelson sing at a concert in Salt Lake.  She was a great performer with a beautiful voice.  What made it more exciting is the tickets were only $15 plus fees!  Anna and I went and it made me all the more grateful that she is here.  I’m so glad that we are not only sisters but that we have so many common interests- even enjoy the same concerts.  I am sure the time will come when she is busier with friends and school but for the moment we are spending a lot of time together and I love it!  The only downside to the concert is it was standing room only. With my foot condition it is hard for me to stand for hours (I told Anna that I am not as young as I used to be! I’m too old for this stuff!).  I am not sure how I am going to get through the Regina Spektor concert at the same venue but somehow I will figure it out.  It is worth it to see such amazing talent and spend time with my sister.  I can’t wait to hear Regina sing!

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