Lennon and Maisy

Yesterday my friend Kate Farrar showed me this video of sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella. They are 12 and 8 years old, respectively, and are crazy talented. I’d never heard this song before (neither Robyn nor Erato’s versions), but I’m definitely into it. And I’m not exaggerating when I say I can not stop watching it.

Remembering Whitney

I’ve been a pop music fan as long as I can remember. When I was 7 my dad took me to Sam Goody where I picked out two of my first CDs. The first was the soundtrack to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and the second was the soundtrack to The Bodyguard. I didn’t particularly love the film at that age, but boy did I love Whitney Houston. Her powerful, soulful vocals got me hooked on sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs music. Her version of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You is iconic, legendary, and has become a litmus test for every diva singer to participate in a television singing competition. (Remember the Taiwanese kid?)

When I was in third grade, my teacher Miss Leitzen created an end of the year slideshow set to touching background music like Dionne Warwick’s That’s What Friends Are For and Whitney’s The Greatest Love Of All. Even now, that song makes me tear up, remembering all the potential we knew we had. Whitney Houston’s voice was powerfully distinct, incomparable to many for several decades. With a surprisingly short discography list, she’s the most awarded female artist of all time and the 4th best-selling female artist in the United States. And although the end of her life and career was turbulent, she left us with some of the greatest pop songs ever recorded that I’ll be singing for the rest of my life.

My X-Factor Top 5

I’m usually hesitant to support contestants on these singing competition shows. My favorites always lose. But, I’m kind of crazy about the U.S. version of the X-Factor. It’s like how American Idol used to feel, but way better. I’m excited for the live shows to start and to see all of these amazing talents. These are my favorite five acts. I hope they go far!

Drew Ryniewicz

Phillip Lomax

Chris Rene

Josh Krajcik

Brewer Boys

New Fountains of Wayne

Fountains of Wayne’s new album Sky Full of Holes is finally being released this Tuesday. It’s currently streaming on Facebook and, after only one listen, I’m in love. They’re playing in L.A. in October and we’re already planning a trip. Hopefully they’ll book a Phoenix date, but in the meantime I’ll just listen to this song over and over.

New Fountains of Wayne. Finally.

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Fountains of Wayne is one of my very favorite bands of all time. Over thirteen years ago I first heard their music and ever since, I’ve been hooked. Adam Schlesinger is an astonishingly good song writer and poet and Chris Collingwood’s voice perfectly brings these creations to life. It’s pop music storytelling at its finest. Their last studio release was in 2007 with Traffic and Weather and I am absolutely thrilled to see a new album, Sky Full of Holes, is finally being released this August. Not long ago my brother and I drove out to Los Angeles to see them at the Troubadour. The handful of new songs they played were amazing and I can’t wait to hear them recorded. They’ve unveiled a new website, a more active Twitter, and alluded to some heavy touring come fall. Hopefully they stop in Phoenix, but I’d be more than willing to make the drive to California again. While I haven’t heard it yet, I can already confidently say it’s an album not to be missed.