Recent Listens

Happy weekend, everybody!! I’m so excited for the next few days – I’ve got a lot of fun stuff planned with new and old friends and I think it will be one of those weekends that is good for the soul. Plus we are having a block party at my church and I think that will be a blast! But along with all the fun stuff, I have a lot of less exciting things to do, too, like cleaning and running errands and finally unpacking from my last trip so I can start packing for my next trip. (One of these days I’ll actually unpack like a normal person but this is not the day.)

Next weekend I’m going to Boston with some of my very favorite people for a weekend of fun! We don’t really have an agenda except for to enjoy each other’s company and eat as much delicious food as possible and it will be amazing. Part of the trip will include a little mini road trip around the surrounding states to do some good leaf peepin. And you know what every road trip needs?! An awesome playlist!

I’ve started adding songs to a list and it is making me even more excited for all of my girlfriends to be together again! I’m trying to make sure I add songs that I know each of us like, but I’m also just adding some really fun songs that I’ve been listening to lately and I know the group with love (or love to quietly have playing in the background while we chat nonstop!) So I thought I’d share some of these great songs that I can’t get enough of with you all! I’m always looking for fun, new artists to listen to, and so maybe this will give you some fun, new artists to check out!

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A Wake-Up Playlist for Your Mornings

Mornings are tough. I wouldn’t call myself a morning person at all, but I actually think I’m sort of a morning person. I’m a fake morning person? I’m not sure how to explain it. I hate waking up early, and I often accidentally sleep through my alarm (oops), and I’ll gladly lounge in bed for an hour after actually waking up. But on the flip side, I feel like my whole morning is wasted if I don’t get moving, I’m most productive first thing in the morning, and my “sleeping in” is still getting up hours earlier than my friends. I once suggested meeting friends for 10am breakfast (which seemed crazy late to me) on a Saturday and was told that is unacceptable, how about noon?

So while I have mixed feelings about the mornings, especially weekday mornings, I try to have some sort of noise going while I’m getting ready. Podcasts make an appearance from time to time, but I usually get distracted by what I’m doing and I miss out on a solid 4 minutes of the episode and have to try to go back and find where I tuned out, and it’s a bit time waster. I decided that I needed a solid, energetic playlist to keep me pumped up in the mornings and keep me bopping along while I’m getting ready. I put together a list of some of my favorite songs and hit play as soon as my feet touch the floor.

It’s a fun mix that really helps wake me up in the morning! This playlist takes about 50 minutes to get through, so my goal is to be out the door by the time I get to the last song. It helps me to stay on track in the morning, which is never a bad thing. Do you listen to anything in the mornings while getting ready? What are some of your go-to favorites?

My Favorite Wordless Music

Great suggestion for wordless music to help you focus and concentrate!

If I’m sitting at my desk at work, you can safely bet that I’ve got my earbuds in and I’m listening to music or a podcast. 95% of the time. My office environment is very “modern” which really means that it’s completely open and you can hear every conversation, every conference call, every noise. Not to mention that we have concrete floors and unfinished ceilings, so every noise kind of echoes. At times I do try to sit and work without music or something going in my ears, but it never lasts long.

I have playlists that I listen to (like my musical Friday playlist!), I’ll listen to soundtracks from TV shows sometimes (right now I’m LOVING this playlist I found with every song from Grey’s Anatomy. It is AMAZING.), and I’ll listen to podcasts (see some of my favorites here and here), but sometimes I just REALLY need to concentrate and people talking or singing just won’t cut it. I’ve tried listening to white noise, but what I really like to do when I need to focus is listen to music without any words.

I love that there is still some variety in what I’m listening to (unlike just plain white noise) but I’m not subconsciously trying to sing along to anything or figure out what the lyrics are. I have a few favorite music/playlists that I love to listen to, and I wanted to share!

Great suggestion for wordless music to help you focus and concentrate!

So many good ones! I’m actually listening to the La La Land score right now as I type this – I recently saw the music played live at the Dallas Symphony while the movie played behind the orchestra and it was one of the most magical evenings! They just did such a good job – there were times where I was watching the movie on the screen, and my eyes would glance down at the musicians and I actually was surprised – I totally forgot that I was listening to live music! That’s how spot on they were!

So what do you do to drown out the noise at work? Just deal with it? Ear plugs? Do you have any go-to music or noise to help you focus? I’d love to hear!

Great suggestion for wordless music to help you focus and concentrate!

Playlist: Dashboard Confessional

This past weekend I got to hop in a time machine and all of a sudden I was 16 again… I got to see Dashboard Confessional in concert at the House of Blues!!!

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My friend Kyle and I went and it was so much fun! Dashboard was one of my all time favorite bands when I was in high school, and hearing them live brought back all the nostalgia. Kyle and I were both telling high school stories all night and joking that the music was making us think “so… I should probably call my ex… right?!!?” (Don’t worry, no exes were called over the weekend!)

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Everywhere we looked before the concert, we saw “7:00.” Dashboard Confessional, 7:00. Dashboard Confessional at House of Blues, 7:00. So naturally, we thought the concert started at 7. SO WRONG. We showed up at 6:40 and got to wait in line because the doors opened at 7. Once we got in, we got to wait till 8 for the first opening band to start. And then the second opening band started at 9. And then Dashboard Confessional finally started at 10.

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The first opening band (This Wild Life) was pretty great, and Kyle and I actually both got their CD on the way out. The second opening band… umm… I actually don’t remember their name… they were just ok. But guys… Dashboard was SO GOOD! They’re still rocking ALL these years later and they just sounded as amazing as ever!

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I have been listening to them pretty much nonstop for a week now, and I put together a little playlist with some of my favorite songs! I made sure to add at least one from each of their CDs, and it was so hard to choose on some of them! Give it a listen and enjoy spending some time mentally back in 2006. It’s pretty fun! Let me know what your favorite song is!

Best Concert Ever!

As I’m sure you all know by now, going to concerts is one of the great joys of my life. They’re just so much fun and each one has a different vibe and hearing my favorite songs performed live right in front of me really puts me in such a great mood! While I’ve been to some pretty amazing shows, I think the concert I went to this past Friday night seeing Matt Stell perform was one of the best concert experiences I’ve ever had. You know why? Because it was basically a private show – there were only 8 people in the audience!

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I know what you’re thinking- “wow that sounds so sad” and “man, I feel bad for the performer” but it was really ok- he still had a lot of fun. I dragged my friend Karl along to the concert with me (he loves country music and is always up for a random adventure) and we walked into the small venue and were the only ones in there at first! We chatted with Matt for a little bit while he finished tuning his guitar and getting ready for his acoustic set.

About 10 minutes after the concert started, some more people finally showed up. They were people that Matt knew personally, which made him loosen up even more. It was like he was just hanging out with friends for the evening, and you could tell that he was having a lot of fun while playing, chatting with all of us in the audience, and telling funny stories.

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Matt played a few of his own songs, a lot of fun covers, and he even played a song that he wrote that might show up on Montgomery Gentry’s new CD! It was called “The Better I Drink” … or something like that… it was super catchy, so keep an eye out for it, though!

I bet you might also be wondering “Hey Kelly- if this guy had such a small concert turnout, how did you even hear about it?!?” That’s a great question! He and I went to college in the same small town and I had gone to see one of his concerts about 4 years ago. Look at us back then- so young!

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Since then, I had followed him on Instagram and saw that he would be in Dallas.

He has a beautiful voice with an old school country vibe and some serious guitar skills. If that sounds up your alley at all, you should look him up and listen to a few of his songs! Here are a few of my favorites!

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Have you checked out these posts?
I Got a Record Player!
Jimmy Eat World – A Slightly Emo Playlist
The Mae-List