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Playlist: The Best Of Sia

Just this past week, Sia’s latest album 1000 Forms Of Fear debuted at the top of the Billboard charts. As a longtime fan, it is definitely well-deserved, and I’m glad to see other people discovering what I’ve known for over a decade.

Sia was originally introduced to American audiences as the main voice of the band Zero 7.  She provides lead vocals on several of their tracks, spanning multiple albums.  Her first solo CD was released in 2000, but it wasn’t until her song “Breathe Me” was included in the series finale of HBO’s Six Feet Under, that people really started to take notice.

I didn’t even realize that she had been the vocalist for Zero 7 when I started getting into her solo work in 2008.  That was the year she released her fourth studio album Some People Have Real Problems. In 2010 she released another album, We Are Born, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she really hit the mainstream, writing and providing vocals for the David Guetta track, “Titanium” which became an instant hit.

If you’ve only been a fan since then, you might not be familiar with her older material, so I put together this playlist of what I consider the 15 most essential Sia tracks (from 2010 and earlier), solo songs and a few from Zero 7 as well.  Give it a listen and you’ll discover that Sia has one of the most amazing voices in music today!

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The Weekly Dose 07-15-14 (featuring Sia)

Featured Artist Of The Week: Sia

I feel like I’ve written a lot about Sia on the blog over the last few years, but she really is one of my favorite artists who is finally getting the attention she deserves.  I first became aware of Sia in the early 2000’s, when she was featured on the song “Destiny” by Zero 7.  The thing is, I didn’t really know it was her until about 7 or 8 years later when she released her live album Lady Croissant which featured that song alongside another Zero 7 track and live performances from her solo albums up until that point (including “Breathe Me” which has been included in many commercials, as well as featuring prominently in the Six Feet Under series finale).

She recently gained attention in the mainstream for her song “Titanium” which was produced by David Guetta.  She’s also written songs for many popular artists (including Rihanna, Madonna, and Beyonce to name a few), and earlier this month she released her fifth studio album, 1000 Forms Of Fear.  Lately, Sia has been hiding her face in most of her live television performances, due to a combination of stage fright and a reluctance to be in the public eye.  But I’ve seen her in concert three times (so far), and I hope she will someday return to touring and live concert performances, as she really does have one of the best voices out there right now.

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Playlist: “Weird Al” Yankovic – 27 Essential Originals

This week, “Weird Al” Yankovic releases his 14th studio album, Mandatory Fun, and to celebrate, I’ve compiled a playlist of what I consider to be the 27 most essential Weird Al “original” songs.  Those who aren’t too familiar with Al’s work may not know that every album includes at least 5 or 6 original tracks.

Now, obviously Al is mostly known for his parodies.  His biggest hits include songs like “Eat It” or “White and Nerdy” but even some of the originals have been released as singles over the years (“UHF”, “This Is The Life”, and “Dare To Be Stupid” instantly come to mind). Then, you also have the songs that are best described as “style parodies”.  They are technically original, because they don’t parody a specific song, but they are usually performed in the style of a popular artist.

The 27 songs I chose for this playlist are listed in chronological order, from 1983’s self titled “Weird Al” Yankovic to his last release, 2011’s Alpocalypse(more…)

Playlist: The Best Songs of 2014 So Far…

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I don’t know how you feel, but for me the last few months have practically flown by… As they say, “time does fly when you’re getting drunk” (or something like that).  But since it’s now July, and there have already been so many great songs and albums released in the first half of this year (my personal 2014 “best of” already contains more songs than all of 2013 combined) I thought it would be as good a time as any to compile a playlist with the best songs of the year so far…

2014 has already seen the release of several great LP’s, from old favorites (like Beck, St. Vincent, and Jack White) to new ones too (Parquet Courts, Future Islands), and the second half of the year should be just as good, with new releases from Spoon, New Pornographers, Sia, Jenny Lewis and “Weird Al” Yankovic (just to name a few)… (more…)

The Weekly Dose 04-09-14 (Coachella 2014 edition featuring Future Islands)

So, The Weekly Dose has recently been bi-weekly, at least for this last month, but I’m still trying to do it weekly if possible.  I have a lot of other things going on that come before this blog, but I do like sharing some good music as often as I can.  I usually put this plug at the bottom of each week’s post, but I don’t know if everybody makes it down that far, so if you’re enjoying the playlists that I post here, please let me know what you think in the comments, on Twitter, or on our Facebook page.  I’d like to know what you liked, what you didn’t, and what songs you’d like to hear in the future!  Also, thanks to those who have actually subscribed to this playlist on Spotify. We’ve been gaining a few every week.

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The big event for this week, at least for me and thousands of others, is that Coachella starts this coming weekend. I’ll be at weekend two this year, and will be my 10th time attending the festival.  It really is always my favorite time of the year.  Even though I wasn’t initially as excited as I usually would be for the 2014 lineup, there are still dozens of acts that I’ll be seeing, some I’ve seen before (Beck, Arcade Fire), some I’ve been wanting to see for awhile (Little Dragon, Pet Shop Boys), and I’ve made some new discoveries this year as well. (more…)

Artist You Should Know : Perfect Beings

998460_10203365588330030_2088825848_nWhat do you get when you take some Genesis, add some Yes, a dash of Pink Floyd and top it off with a pinch of Marillion? You get Perfect Beings, a band out of Los Angeles. They just released their debut self-titled album, that is receiving heavy praise both nationally and internationally. A few have already dubbed it the Best Album of 2014.

I too can attest that this is a solid album throughout. One way I like to gauge an album’s strength is to go to track 7, where most albums start to falter and break apart, and see how strong that track is. This one did not fail in anyway whatsoever. If you are a headphones album listener, such as myself, this album is magical in every aspect. (more…)

Second Listen: Shaggy

You’ll probably think I’m crazy, but this is an idea that I’ve had for awhile.  You don’t know how many times I hear a song on the radio, iPod or Spotify and think to myself, “this song is good, but this artist had so many better ones that nobody ever remembers or knows”.  My wife will confirm that I even tell her this type of thing quite often, so I decided to occasionally share some of these songs here, in a column that I call “Second Listen”.  Most of these songs will be by artists that you know.  Some of them have had some good hit songs, and some that are not so great, but it will hopefully give exposure to a song that (at least I think) is better than the music they are known for!

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