Music I Love Now: My Current Top 10

There is not a radio station that plays all the music I love.  I dream of having my own radio station one day, so I can share the eclectic selection of music I love with others—I’m sure there are more of us who defy categorization, who live beyond the borders of “adult contemporary,” “modern country,” “oldies,” or “classic rock.” In fact, I am totally bored with much of the music of my past (all except Jackson Browne, that is—he lives in a category all his own). So here is a totally random and incomplete list of what I am listening to now; it only includes albums that have come out in the last two years or so (I’m not being too specific here), and that hint at what you would hear if you stopped by at my house when I was home. (But please, call first! Otherwise, you never know what you might find.)

1. Avett Brothers. Oh, Avett Brothers how I adore you. First, the records, all of them. But then, see them in concert—oh, my lord! Heaven. Even sweeter is hearing my 4-year-old walk around the house singing, “In January, we’re getting married.”

2. Bruce Springsteen: The Promise. I’m going through a Bruce phase, partly fueled by this “new” album. Some artists never get old, and he is one of them. “Someday (We’ll Be Together)” is my favorite song off The Promise. But lately, also, I’ve been dancing around to “Worlds Apart,” off The Rising.

3. Keith Urban: Get Closer. OK, Keith, I would definitely dump my husband for you if you weren’t so sickeningly in love with your wife. But isn’t that part of why we ladies all love you? Can we dance around at the same time? Will you please let us see the whole tattoo, also? I love this album—especially the Lori McKenna song on the Target-only CD version (damn you, Target, for making me buy a CD!).

4. Lost in the Trees: All Alone in an Empty House. Here is another find that I owe to its mention in one of my favorite magazines, Garden and Gun (the first was the Avett Brothers). It’s beautiful, creepy, orchestra-y, and definitely on the heavy rotation list. Plus, I just love the idea of being alone in an empty house (although the words to the song freak me out, and I don’t really like them).

5. Sufjan Stevens. The Age of Adz is good, but Illinoise is even better. I owe this find to a really cool guy at work who has great taste in music. Dreamy, fresh, and highly melodic (the music, not him!).

6. Ida Maria: Fortress Round My Heart. She’s Norwegian. This is one of those records that I could have downloaded and just listened to once or twice, but it has become one of my favorites. She’s great for exercising to and just dancing around to. Funniest moment last week was watching my 13-year-old’s face as I sang along when “I love You So Much Better When You’re Naked” came on while we were eating dinner.

7. Holly Williams: Here with Me. She’s country royalty (granddaughter of Hank and daughter of Hank Jr.), but she’s so down-to-earth that you can stop and shop at her store in Nashville and she’ll help you pick out clothes. Nice clothes. Really nice ones. Nicer than anything I’ve seen in New York City (comfortable, stylish, fabulously designed, etc.). But more important, her record is the one to listen to when you are in a certain mood and you need a sweet and tired crooner to remind yourself you ain’t the only one feeling a certain way.

8. Court Yard Hounds. This is the Chicks without the Dixie (Natalie Mains), and they are good. Real good. Songs with stories and melodies that are deeply satisfying to listen to. I’m still mad at country radio for banning the Dixie Chicks. In fact, it makes me sick. But until they get back together, this subgroup’s self-titled record is worth buying, in support of some of the most courageous women in music.

9. The Antlers, Hospice. It’s a deeply depressing album if you listen to the words, but the eerie melodies and music fit a certain mood. Sometimes, we do have to deal with these sorts of issues, and it’s amazing to hear how this band has created a whole album around the vast complexity of death and dying. As dark as it is, when I hear it I get a happy feeling. Go figure!

10. Kenny Chesney, Hemingway’s Whiskey. Go ahead, make fun of me. I love this guy. This album isn’t his all-time greatest, but there are enough great songs on it to satisfy me. I can listen to “Seven Days” over and over and over again. He’s famous for his arena rock songs and beach-y drinking songs, but it’s the slow ballads that get me every time. Plus, I am an island girl at heart, and Kenny Chesney fans know what I’m talking about.

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18 Responses to Music I Love Now: My Current Top 10

  1. Mike Lieberman January 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I love seeing what other people are listening too.

    Most of the bands out today all sound the same to me. I recognize songs, but not necessarily artists.

    Thanks for sharing your list.

  2. Lori January 24, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Right on, Maria!!! Love the Avett Brothers!!! :)

  3. Ray Saadi January 24, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Have you not heard of Pandora.com? It allows you to create your own radio station, playing only the kind of music you want. Enjoy.

  4. maria (farm country kitchen) January 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Pandora can’t really handle me.

  5. Katina Williams January 24, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Love the Avett Brothers also…and Bruce of course..!!..thanks for the picks… all are great.

  6. Sonya January 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    love this particular blog….I’m a huge Music fan..it’s like blood to my veins ;) Thanks for sharing!

  7. Dana from Maria's Kitchen January 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Coldplay. Their older stuff, especially the song “Shiver”. It’s great to uncover music you loved years ago, it rejuvenates me with the same mood it once did when it first came out.

  8. TV Journo January 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Thanks, Maria! I love discovering new bands, but I’m not bleeding edge; I’ve got to be referred. Lately I’ve been overdosing on Kings of Leon. Besides the singles, there are some great atmospheric tunes, and the new album is terrific to work out to! (The people in the gym must think I’m nuts :)

  9. Bryce January 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    Lost in the Trees became one of my favorite bands! I have seen them a couple times here in Chapel Hill. I suggest you look into Mandolin Orange as well…

  10. Sue January 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Joanna Newsom

  11. Sue January 24, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban = HEAVEN! Love them, love them, love them!

  12. Lisa S January 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Love ‘The Rising’. Hauntingly beautiful, forever.

  13. Amanda January 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    Ditto, Sue: Joanna Newsom. LOVE Keith Urban! Looking forward to trying out your list, Maria. When you’re ready to start that radio station, call me–my hub is an incredible music programmer!

  14. Bev Barnett January 26, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    Maria… you should host house concerts! With wonderful food, of course! There is a Web site, http://www.concertsinyourhome.com , that can get you started. These aren’t loud parties, they are listening events, live in your living room, for a group of your friends.

    Fabulous independent musicians are cris-crossing the country every day, playing in private homes, as the coffeehouses and small venues have mostly gone away.

    We’ve hosted wonderful artists including David Wilcox, Kenny Edwards (RIP, Kenny was the main force behind Linda Ronstadt’s and Karla Bonoff’s sound in the 7os) and many lesser known but incredibly talented fellow independent musicians.

    And you can find us at http://www.bevandgreg.com.

  15. Laura K. January 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Sufjan Stevens is magical. Great eclectic playlist!

    Also LOL at “Pandora can’t really handle me”

  16. Sue January 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Just downloaded Hemmingway’s Whiskey and can’t get enough of it. Thanks Maria!

  17. Kalpini January 28, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    Go to You Tube and download “The Nothing Song”…. the music hauntingly beautiful and the lyrics are, well… nothing if not awful! Worth the listen.

  18. maria (farm country kitchen) January 29, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    I LOVE< LOVE< LOVE Sigur Ros!!!!! Thank you Kalpini for reminding me. This song (called the Nothing Song) on Youtube is from Sigur Ros album () and it's untitled track 4. Strange, yes, no title, no song names but a use of parentheses which I love (of course!). This is one of my favorite records to listen to with headphones when I'm flying. So ethereal, relaxing and heavenly. Also, I was just telling a friend that Sigur Ros is my favorite to listen to when I am getting a massage. If you love Sigur Ros you all have to go to Iceland to swim in the blue lagoon. And then you will understand everything. Everything.

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