My Music Picks

I am including selections from three very different artists in this round of Music Picks.  As usual I’m showing the wide range of interests that I guess I’ll always have in music.  I start the playlist off with tUnE-yArDs and her album, W H O K I L L.  This artist is very unique and quite different from anybody I’ve heard out there lately.  A lot of her songs have a very dissonant quality, somewhat like jazz music.  But the way she pulls it all together makes it work.  The first song that punched me in the gut was “Gangsta”.  The beat alone was enough to engage me.  After that song, I started to ‘get her’.  She has a killer voice which is highlighted in “Powa”.  After a song as strong and violent as “Gangsta”, “Powa” is a beautiful and welcome little surprise.  The whole album is full of strong beats and even stronger attitude. I know I’m a little late to the party since this particular album was released in 2011, but I definitely plan to get her latest album after discovering what a unique and ultra-cool artist she is.


Shakey Graves is not new to my playlists.  He’s a local Austin artist that is on the verge of hitting it big.  I fell in love with his music the first time I ever saw him perform live back in January of 2012.  Even then I knew he was a special artist.  I’ve continued to be a fan of his music and have followed his music career closely.  He performed for the first time on Conan O’Brien on 10/14/14 and had a guest spot singing on the canceled TV show, “Revolution”.  These songs are from his latest album, And The War Came, which was just released last week.  I love it!  He’s obviously grown so much since I first heard him play.  It’s great to see his music progress in such a natural and organic way.  The collaboration that he has with the female singer on “Dearly Departed” is my favorite song on the album.  What a GREAT song!!!  He is worth checking out even beyond this playlist, so please do!

And The War Came

What a trip to see that The Afghan Whigs are back and still putting out great and interesting music.  I was a fan since their first album, “Gentlemen” came out in 1993.  I appreciated Greg Dulli’s dark and bitter lyrics very much.  And while his lyrics aren’t quite so dark, the music on this latest album, Do To The Beast, still has a deep and moody quality that I like very much.  I included these particular songs because they show the range of music on the album.  I hope you like all the songs I chose to include in this playlist and continue to Listen2MySmile!! :)


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My Weekly Sports Rant…10/9-14/14

My dual screen set-up to catch both college ball games.

My dual screen set-up to catch both college ball games.

Alshon after a long catch in the end zone

Alshon Jeffery after a long catch in the end zone

Chicago Blackhawks @ Dallas Stars…10/9/14

Scan 1This year the Hawks only play the Stars three times, twice in Dallas and once in Chicago.  We chose this date because it was first game of the season for both teams and the home opener for the Stars.  Can’t beat that.  Originally four of us were planning to go.  But at the last-minute, our friend Kacey (a fellow Hawks fan) had to back out because his boss wouldn’t give him the time off from work.  SUCKS!!  We all have work, but somehow Jeannie, Chris, and I made it work.  My boss already knows what a freak I am about my teams, so she’s actually super cool about giving me time off for my games.  I know I’m very lucky in that respect.  Jeannie and I drove up to Dallas that afternoon.  We got there in time for some food and a little power nap before the game.  We got to American Airlines Center at about 7ish.

1621915_10152896862066886_263074810389041537_nBefore we headed in, I had to grab this picture.  Once again there were a lot of Hawks fans at the game.  In our section we had Stars fans around us and I told Jeannie, just wait till I scream for the first time for the Hawks…I’m sure someone will give me a look.  Before the game actually started the guys skated around the ice to warm up.  I only took one photo since we were so high up.

10636031_10152896879296886_2993804145659922944_nBut I was super excited for the game to start.  The Stars had an elaborate opening ceremony which was pretty cool.  The only part I didn’t like too much is that they never even acknowledged that they were playing against the Blackhawks.  I was like…hello???  Oh well, we put them in their place for that.  Chris hadn’t arrived yet because he left work at around 5 to come to Dallas.  Austin is about a 3 hour drive, but he cruised, so he made it in less.  He missed the whole first period, but he didn’t miss much till the very end.  The Hawks got off to a VERY slow start.  They only had 3 shots on goal by the end of the first.  But luckily one of those shots included a sweet goal by Duncan Keith!!  The second period was more of the same. Chris made it just as the first period ended.  I had been fairly quiet before he got there, but as soon as he sat down the shit-talk commenced.  That was until the second period started. For some reason the Hawks had a very hard time getting out of their end.  It was more about defense for most of the game. But I had a feeling of dread.  When I’m at a game and my boys are playing bad, I get very quiet.  And thank GOD Crawford was so amazing.  He kept us in the game, for sure!!

1st Star of the game

1st Star of the game

The other player that got off the most shots was Sharp.  He just couldn’t get them in the net.  I remember saying during the game, “Keep hitting ‘em, Sharpie…eventually you’ll get one in.”  And thank god, in the the third period, he scored the tying goal.  MAN!  I was on my feet screaming when he tied that game.  But believe me, I feared that OT.  My two worst moments in hockey are overtime and shootouts.  And here I am at my first Hawks game of the season and I have to endure overtime.  And then nobody scored!!  So I was freaking out because now it was shootout time and I was so unsure of how this would play out.  Let’s just say Kaner was the hero of this shootout and the only player from either side to score!!

His amazing goal led to the Hawks first win of the season.  I was super happy!!  I loved hearing all the Hawks fans screaming “Let’s go Hawks” in the halls of the arena after the game.  Of course I had to join in.  The Stars fans didn’t look too happy, but who cares.  HAWKS WON!!!