“You’re Too Weird” – Fruit Bats

fruit bats

Fruit Bats is a Chicago band that has been making music since 1997.  Over the past sixteen years, members of the band have come and gone, but lead singer/songwriter Eric Johnson has been the constant.  Late last year,  Johnson announced the end of Fruit Bats and played their final show to a small crowd in Portland.

When Fruit Bats began making music, I was six years old.  When they stopped, I still didn’t know they had started.

It’s an odd feeling discovering a great band and then realizing that you have missed the boat.  I have a strange desire to spread their name despite the end of their project.  I want to spark a match that has already burned out.

But just because their music will cease to evolve, doesn’t mean it should be overlooked.  After all, “new” music is relative to the listener.  So am I about to label a 16 year old retired band “Up & Coming”? You bet I am.

Here’s my favorite Fruit Bats track called “You’re Too Weird”.   I hope you enjoy it.

Monday Playlist: Immaculate Freedom

As I sit in my cubicle at work, I question my motives. I’ve been in this mundane routine for almost a year, and until recently, I had little clarity on the my true intentions. Why am I doing something that I don’t love? Why am I sacrificing current happiness (or utility, for you budding economists) for future benefits? There’s little doubt that I will reap rewards for the hard work I am tasking myself with at the moment – but realistically, I wont be seeing a return on that investment for years to come. Regardless of the multifaceted skill set I am developing, it is undoubtedly coming at the expense of various experiences I am missing out on.

I felt that way until last week. I was talking to a colleague and he presented my situation from a totally fresh perspective. He went on to explain the freedom one gains from working. Immediately I was taken aback, and posed the obvious question – how does working give me freedom? In fact, I argued that working takes away my freedom! And then he hit me with a life-changing approach:

You can view freedom in two ways. There is the “Freedom to do _____” and the “Freedom from _____.” While working may give me freedom from serious responsibilities (showing up to work on time, paying taxes, etc.) it gives me the freedom to do so many incredible things. At that moment, I was no longer just proud to be working; I was both proud and happy. That, my friends, was the first time I was truly happy to be working a not-so-fun job. This approach opened my eyes to the immaculate freedom gifted to me.  Try taking a step back and viewing your life through my spectacles and hopefully you will feel similarly (replacing work for school works well, too).

For those of you celebrating Passover, happy holidays and I hope this playlist helps get your mind right for the spiritual days ahead. For those not celebrating the holiday, fret not – you’ll really dig this playlist anyway.

You can check out last week’s Monday Playlist: “Organized Chaos″ here:

http://appleseedsmusic.com/monday-playlist-organized-chaos

Artist Spotlight: Sam Smith

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Over the past few years I have seen hundreds of artists perform live, and thousands of artists on YouTube, among the smorgasborg of social media platforms at our fingertips. Yet, if you ask me what my favorite performances have been, I can sift through the musical encyclopedia that is my brain and within moments pinpoint several acts that have resonated with me throughout the years. Bon Iver at Prospect Park, Mumford and Sons at Forest Hills Tennis Center, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at Bowery Ballroom, Kendrick Lamar at SXSW, this list goes on and on… to a point. The list isn’t as large as you’d think. Especially in proportion to the amount of acts that have graced my ears. So what does it take to be memorable? Talent.

It’s a pretty simple explanation, but it’s true. In today’s world of glitz and glamour, where Miley Cyrus’ tongue waving, Justin Beiber’s run-ins with the law, and a plethora of scandals own the internet, true talent still prevails. Just like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones rose to the top because of their talent, artists today can follow the same path. Enter: Sam Smith. The British star rose to fame with his feature on Disclosure’s smash hit track, “Latch” and has been creating a ton of buzz due to his recent  tour. If you have the opportunity to see him, please do. His style may not fit with the rest of your “Recently Played” playlist (does this exist anymore with the rise of Spotify, and decline of iTunes? Whatever, that’s another discussion.), but his talent is a site to behold. His voice is one-of-a-kind, and if he continues on this path, he will go down as a generational star. Stay tuned.

 

 

“Nevermind” – Foster the People

When Foster the People’s new album Supermodel came out a few weeks ago, critics were underwhelmed. One review summed up the album as “Passion Pit without passion, Imagine Dragons without imagination.”

Harsh.  Clever, but harsh.

I think this response was predictable given that there was no way the band was going to produce another “Pumped up Kicks” or “Houdini” this time around. Those tracks were just too good.

A similar response was triggered by Nirvana’s 1992 album Incesticide, which followed Nevermind. There was no way they were going to deliver another “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on their very next attempt. Just no way.  Despite a solid album, critics were disappointed. People needed more hits.  Surely FTP’s Supermodel is not a 10/10 as the title would suggest. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a solid album.

Maybe their best song off the new album, “Nevermind” (ha!) tells us to stop searching so hard for whatever it is we’re looking for. We need to be patient. It will come to us if we let it.

Never mind what you’re looking for,

You’re gonna find what you’re looking for.

Sometimes it’s blinding in the race,

But I’ll be here smiling when I see your face.