listen to this, meg says listen to this

Listen to This: “Tacoma” by Caitlyn Smith

caitlyn-smith1Caitlyn Smith, the phenomenal singer songwriter that I have gushed about on here before, and included in my top favorite finds of last year. Well, time to gush again because like clockwork, I have her Starfire EP on repeat. Caitlyn Smith’s songs are my go-to for solo trips, whether it’s a long car ride, or a flight (mostly to and from Nashville, I’ll admit,) or even just days I’m sitting in the sunshine soaking up some “me” time when I’m just contemplating life, and taking a moment to reflect. Caitlyn’s songs are raw, vulnerable, real, emotional, powerful messages of her personal journeys and I am in awe of her talent no matter how many times I listen. Of course I have an unending admiration for gritty songwriters. Their profession alone is one that calls for no bs, and here she is, time after time pouring her heart out (I know, sounds familiar right? Listen to “This Town Is Killing Me”) and I feel like I’m experiencing these milestones in her life as she belts them out. On the other hand, let’s also talk about how when I’m in the car alone I sing along at the top of my lungs, and turn the volume down every once in a while, and am reminded just how astoundingly talented she is (because in comparison I sound flat out awful.) If I had an ounce of these girl’s talent, I don’t even know…So, as I basically fan girl to the max here over the wonder of Caitlyn Smith, let me tell you a little about “Tacoma.” I was a late comer to the party, but I heard Bobby Bones podcast with her as she talked about this song being so close to her heart, but how could she turn down the opportunity to have Garth Brooks record one of her songs? (I mean, yeah I get that.) BUT if you know the Brooks version, you have to hear Caitlyn sing it herself. When she gets to that major belt of “might make it to Memphis” it makes something crack inside every time, it’s like it opens up the floodgate to some deep feelings you didn’t even realize you were bottling until the cap pops off. Basically, I’m obsessed with this song, this EP, and it has a high place on the list of music I wish I wrote. So, if you’re not familiar with Caitlyn Smith or her Starfire EP yet, go download it, listen right now, and hopefully you’ll be hooked too!

And because of course I couldn’t leave you hangin’, listen to “Tacoma” right now:

(*Image is not my own.*)

listen to this, meg says listen to this

Listen to This: “Tin Man”

It probably comes as no surprise that one of my favorite tracks on Miranda Lambert’s new album The Weight of These Wings is “Tin Man.” I mean how can you listen to this song, and not feel anything? I’m not really sure. On Sunday, she preformed it live on the ACM’s. Acoustic. Raw. I think there’s something beautiful and admirable about someone revealing their heart for anyone to see. It’s a real song, and it’s vulnerable, and I think that’s wonderful. The world needs more of that. I believe it’s a brave thing to do, even if it’s scary, to put your emotions out there like that. You never really know how that situation will transpire, but it’s better than hiding away. And isn’t that  kind of how love works, anyway? It’s all a risk, but what is life without taking those chances? Her performance gave me goosebumps, but the song has that effect anyway. I’m not sure I’ve listened to it one time without getting tears in my eyes yet. (*Sap alert* I know, but it’s so good.) It had been a few years since her last one, and this much anticipated album was well worth the weight. I believe it when they say she brought her heart to the table, ready to pour it out into these songs.

“Hey there Mr. Tin Man
You don’t know how lucky you are
You shouldn’t spend your whole life wish’
For something bound to fall apart
Every time you’re feeling empty
Better thank your lucky stars
If you ever felt one breaking
You’d never want a heart

Hey there Mr. Tin Man
You don’t know how lucky you are
I’ve been on the road that you’re on
It didn’t get me very far
You ain’t missing nothing
Cause love is so damn hard
Take it from me darling
You don’t want a heart

Hey there Mr. Tin Man
I’m glad we talked this out
You can take mine if you want it
It’s in pieces now
By the way there Mr. Tin Man
If you don’t mind the scars
You give me your armor
And you can have my heart”

If you haven’t heard it yet:

Watch This

Watch This: OITNB

OK. Listen up! I’ve mentioned this multiple times, and if this is the only post you pay attention to all year long – I’m telling you: don’t deprive yourselves. When I say, WATCH THIS, just do it. Orange Is The New Black is one of the best things to happen to entertainment and creative storytelling in a long, long time. Jenji Kohan (the creator of Weeds) brought us this firecracker of a show, a Netflix original series. (Yeah. Seriously.) The story is based off of the memoirs of Piper, played by Taylor Schilling, (Kerman in real life Chapman on the show,) your normal waspy girl leading a normal-ish life. Engaged to her writer boyfriend Larry, making fancy soaps with her pregnant best friend Polly, – then bam! Going to prison to serve time for fifteen months. She got busted for being an accomplice to an international drug ring ten years prior with her then girlfriend Alex. That’s enough background info, just watch it for yourself. The series takes you through her life behind bars in a women’s prison in upstate New York. You’ll recognize some of the actors (Jason Biggs (American Pie,) Laura Prepon (That 70s Show,) Natasha Lyonne, Taryn Manning, etc.) but the new comers are just incredible as well. I’m telling you, Kohan is one of the most genius story tellers of our generation, and I am just constantly amazed by her craft – she out did herself this time. There are thirteen episodes in season one. We’ve got a year until season two comes out. I don’t know how I didn’t watch all the episodes in 48 hours. (This is a seriously addicting show.) I tried to be mature about it, show some self restraint and spread them out a little. I got through a few weeks, and I just couldn’t do it anymore, impatience got the best of me. I had to know how the season ended so I watched the last few all in a row. Of course, not without some tears. You’re gonna get sucked into these stories. One of the coolest things about OITNB is that throughout each episode, we get a flashback into a different woman’s life. You get to see what they were like before they wound up in prison – what they were passionate about, what they struggled with, the people they left behind. It’s impossible not to feel a tug on your heartstrings. As intense, raw, and emotional as the show can be, it’s also laugh-out-loud slide splitting hilarious. Sometimes, I’d have to pause or rewind because I’d miss some great dialogue while my eyes were watering from laughing so hard. You’ll cringe at the slimy guards, and you’ll root for these women as they band together to help each other get through the days. I’m cutting myself short because I don’t want to spoil any of it, I would way rather you just go ahead and check it out NOW!

If you don’t have Netflix, annoy the heck out of a friend who does. Show up at their house and demand to have a marathon together. (Make sure it’s a close friend because that’s one side note, OITNB is definitely for mature audiences. It can get a little graphic at times. To be expected with the content, but still.) So yeah, you guys – this is basically my public service announcement, my plea, for you to please check out this incredible show. My parents, my little sister, my best friend, I’m working on getting everyone hooked because it is just that good. Don’t miss out! Here’s a little teaser to the season:

PS: Another perk, of course the music is awesome and the opening track is a Regina Spektor song. Convinced already?!