Paul Simon

Straight Talk: Breaking Down January 2019’s Spotify Playlist

This month’s playlist is about energy.

2018 was a tough year for me; I’ve been eager for 2019 to come around. I’m hoping to start the year with some new energy. And apparently that was no secret. I heard from some people that this playlist immediately sounded different.

It’s about balance.

Energy with calmness. Light with dark. Male with female. Lost with found. Remembering with forgetting. Equality with inequality. Love with hate. New with old. Hope with fear. Strong with delicate. You can listen for the metaphorical meanings and make your own interpretations. But this was also about the most literal forms of balance. Hip hop, Baroque guitar. New finds, old favorites. New Justin Vernon, old Justin Vernon. (Really though, Justin Vernon appears 5 times.)

It’s about a prayer.

Because I heard somebody say that the best prayer sounds like ‘Godspeed’ by Frank Ocean. And the world today gives a lot to pray for. Many of those emotions can be heard in these songs. This prayer’s for you. For me. For all of us.

Here’s to 2019.

Note: if the playlist displayed is no longer of the current month, find the appropriate month at the link below.

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Alexander – A Million Years [MUSIC VIDEO]

Alexander Ebert, the frontman of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, is one of my favorite live performers I’ve ever seen. By the end of this video, you might have a better understanding why. It’s funny that this video came on my radar today, because for some reason, songs by Alexander, particularly “Truth,” has been echoing throughout headphones and speakers at work. It’s as though somebody heard the song, wrote it down on a piece of paper, and passed it around the office like a note about the cute new girl in class got passed around in middle school. Okay, so it probably wasn’t much like that, but a girl can let her mind wander, no?

Anyway, this video isn’t really doing it for me. Despite its attempt to be artsy and futuristic with its animations that turn mountains into men (specifically Alexander himself), it’s a little too forced for me. Almost seems a little cheesy. BUT, his dance moves at the end ALMOST bring the video back to positive review land. You know what they remind me of? The times in [the incredible movie] Legends of the Fall when One Stab does his tribal dances. Yall feel me?

Lastly, try to tell me Alexander doesn’t seem like a modern-day Paul Simon. This album is one of the five I picked for my feature on Nerve.com (Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now), and that’s when I first made that bold statement. I stand by it, though. Who wants to pick a fight with me? I’m ready for it!

Hit the jump to watch the video.

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Eric Holljes – American Tune (Paul Simon Cover)

Eric Holljes

Wake up, sleepyheads! It’s Thursday and my good friend Eric Holljes has a beautiful acoustic tune for all of us. There’s a good little six-degrees-of-separation story here, are yall ready for this? I’ll make it simple and put it in bullet points.

  • I went to college with Eric Holljes
  • Eric went to college with Mike Posner
  • Eric and Mike met in the Fall of 2007 and immediately teamed up musically to create Mike Posner & The Brain Trust
  • Eric & Mike cowrote and recorded “Cooler Than Me”
  • “Cooler Than Me” reached Platinum status
  • After his success with Mike Posner, Eric later got signed as a songwriter by Warner/Chappell Music
  • Mike Posner always said that one of his greatest inspirations was Paul Simon
  • Here we have Eric Holljes, as a single act, doing a cover of Paul Simon
  • As a side project, Eric is in a band called Delta Rae
  • Delta Rae has been featured on Sunset in the Rearview several times, most recently in their acoustic cover of Kanye West’s “All of the Lights”

So that’s a bit scattered – but it is in real life, too. It’s just a testament to the juggling that Eric Holljes does a musician. His plate is full, but he somehow manages to hit the ball out of the park with every project he touches.

Download “American Tune” (Paul Simon Cover) – Eric Holljes

Credit to CFen of GMAD for the heads up

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Dan Rossen (Grizzly Bear) – Graceland” (Paul Simon Cover)

Dan Rossen

Dan Rossen of Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles has an incredibly peaceful cover of Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” This is how I like my Saturdays. Start off slow, and build up to a fun night. And for those of you recovering from a crazy Friday night, this might be a nice little soothing track that will take your mind off of your headache.

“Graceland” – Dan Rossen

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