Roadies :: Episode 2 :: “What Would Phil Do?”

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Roadies (2016)
Episode 2 :: “What would Phil do?”

What would Phil do, and how do you replace a “legend” like Phil? Poor Bill, his name might rhyme with Phil, but he isn’t Phil, and the harder he tries the more it seems to not work at all for him. His anxiety is palpable, and makes it all the more difficult, and yet he doesn’t seem to be able to ask for help. This plays out so believable to me, at reflects even more on the family dynamic that goes on within the Staton-House Band crew.

Meanwhile, shenanigans are afoot with games of hide and go seek with equipment, and Dirty Sanchez-ing Mr. Potato Head. Is this really the work of The Head And The Heart? With the openers possibly villains, and leaving the tour, who will come to take their place?

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Hurrah for Reignwolf (who oh my stars I never knew before and BLEW ME AWAY) who come to the rescue, but oh no, for one night only!

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So, the opening bands will be like Murphy Brown’s assistants then? Ever changing? I’m digging that, especially since it means more musical guests every week! With that, and the “Song of the Day” to look forward to, I’m even MORE in love with this show.

Speaking of the “Song of the Day”, this week’s was “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ on but the Rent” by Gwen Guthrie.

Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ on but the Rent :: Gwen Guthrie

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Kelly Ann still doesn’t have a nickname, but Reg does (Double D, as in Douchebag Dawson). Kelly Ann does have some significant moments though. One is a bit of a “meet-cute” with Reg (yes, I see what’s going on here…what’s to come) over grits, and the other is a unexpected moment of enlightenment with Christopher from Staton-House Band when they have a conversation about raisins (yes, raisins).

“The grape was already perfect and shouldn’t be changed…raisins are not always the answer.” ~ Kelly Ann

It was great to see more of Christopher, and to glimpse a bit of his relationship with Bill (not the best, if being sent to clean the bathroom is any indication). I hope we get to see more of the band in upcoming episodes.

Speaking of Christopher, he’s taking to doing this finger-kiss thing that the crew finds unsavory. Bill is to speak to him about it, but can’t seem to do it (cue again the moment between Christopher and Bill), but in the end the finger-kiss wins it seems, as the fans have adopted it, and are using it to show their Staton-House love.

Long live the finger-kiss!

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Reg has a moment of redemption when its revealed that the WWPD (What Would Phil Do) tee shirts were his doing, though they do meet an untimely end when Shelli uses them to sop up the overflowing toilet.

Oh, and the music in the episode? Brilliant, as usual. My favorites being Reignwolf “Are You Satisfied?” and The Replacements “Talent Show”.

Are You Satisfied? :: Reignwolf

Talent Show :: The Replacements

Yay for Winnie Holzman who wrote this episode.

My wishes for next episodes? More of Christopher and the rest of the Staton House band, more of Donna, more of Wes and Kelly Ann’s past (and can I please have a Wes-presso?) and just more of this show that I’ve fallen so in love with.

If you aren’t watching yet, what the hell are you waiting for? Go now go, there’s time to catch up before Sunday!

So many different people to be :: Under the Covers

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Season of the Witch :: Karen Elson

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Keep Art Alive :: Art by By ljzoelle on deviantART

So many faces to put on every morning, so many girls to be each day, a new mask replaces an old one, as the hairs grey, as the skin crinkles, as the eyes darken from all she can’t yet un-see. Every lover takes a different view, a perspective crooked off to the side, like a raised eyebrow, or a case of vertigo. Some deem the girl an angel, the other a harbringer of a great evil, yet none of them leave ever knowing her at all. It isn’t mystery, it’s a type of surgery to stitch together wounded pride with all that abandonment, a trick no doctor plastic can pretend to understand. She’s a chameleon, a recluse, a rebel with a torn dress, a witch. She’ll go down like a charm, but leave you on the sidewalk with nothing but car exhaust as her death rattle.

But, c’mon, you knew she was the wrong one all along.

Season of the Witch :: Donovan

tumblr_myzxr5wLED1t1p9jzo1_500One time she’s the muse you can’t stop writing about, the next she is the pictures you tear up and throw into the back alley bins. She’s the one you still long for in the sticky Summer nights, hand clasped tightly around yourself, whispering her name to the muted television. But, isn’t she also the one you say was your worst mistake, your cautionary tale, the one who made you choose a mundane life as someone’s mister? She would have been brilliant in the French Quarter, naked and dancing in the pale moonlight. She would have been brilliant lying naked in your bed for one more night. 

But she has to keep moving, changing masks and skirt lengths and spells, or her magic will go away for good.

All I wish is gone away :: As Heard on TV

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Remember how it used to be,
when the sun would fill up the sky,
remember how we used to feel,
those days would never end.”

All at once the story shifts, and the scenes go between the happiest of moments, and the lowest of disappointments. There is someone having what seems like a dream realized, while another someone is let down by the one person they trusted, causing what may be fatal consequences. The lighting shifts between the glow of a bright, sunny day, to the harsh, unforgiving hospital florescent lights.

All at once I did not know whether to celebrate, or despair, though both moments, both sides of the story, brought tears to my eyes.

This gorgeously, moody, emotionally-charged song from The Cure was one I had passed by before. But this series of moments held me close, and the music both soothed and struck me, all at once. And this song, now it lives inside of me in that never-ending soundtrack of songs that move me, and songs that I love. I welcome it, and I am grateful that My Mad Fat Diary got me to take notice.

On a side note, if you have not seen this amazing series, which is just about to have its Second Season, check-it out. It is a heartfelt tale of adolescence that is honest and straight-forward, funny at times, heartbreaking at others, and told from a very real set of voices. I could not recommend it more, even if you are not a “young adult” story fan.

To Wish Impossible Things :: The Cure

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I’ll take the long way ’round :: As Heard on Television

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And, you’ll find loss,
and you’ll fear what you found,
when weather comes,
tearing down.

There’ll be oats in the water.
There’ll be birds on the ground.
There’ll be things you never asked her,
oh, how they tear at you now.”

Unlike many television shows, The Walking Dead uses non-score music sparingly, holding out for those moments that are wordless, where a song at that moment works in a way that leaves you shaking, and often, emotionally gutted. Their use of music is stunning, moving, and never wasted. This past season it was Ben Howard’s Oats In the Water that gave Hershel’s solitary breakdown that extra heft of feeling (Season 4, Episode 5, Internment). The song haunted me for days after, until I hunted it down and played it, over and over again. It still gets to me, gives me those all over body chills, and hits me hard in my musical heart. Well done, The Walking Dead, and thank you for the introduction to an amazing song that led to the discovery of  a great album, Every Kingdom.

Oats in the Water :: Ben Howard

My Weekly Top Ten :: The Week of October 21

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1. Books and Nachos Podcast

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I have a significantly long commute to and from work in which I combat the horror of Los Angeles freeway traffic with playlists, audio books, and my new addition/addiction, podcasts. I am new to the podcast world, or at least to the auditory enjoyment of them (I have known of them being around for quite awhile) and am on the look out for good ones (please share your recommendations in the comments). I recently discovered “Books & Nachos”, and enjoyed two of their installments on my way home tonight – one on the Stephen King book, Carrie, and one on the Robert Bloch book Psycho (both movies I love, but both books I have yet to read – but now very much want to); I can’t wait to listen to more.

2. Sons of Anarchy :: Season One

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I go back and forth between reading and watching Netflix on my phone during my lunch hour. I recently finished the Netflix series Orange is the New Black (loved it, please come soon Season 2), and was in the mood for something a) a little rough around the edges, b) well-written, and c) with more than one season. I had heard good things about Sons of Anarchy, and I have always liked Ron Perlman and Katy Sagal, so onward with Season one. I am one episode in and am already hooked, some incredible performances already, and it is more than rough around the edges – also, who knew the British kid from Undeclared would grow up into someone so talented, and well, easy on the eyes?

3. Wicked Game :: Emika

I love a good cover song, and this one certainly qualifies. Haunting, ethereal and gorgeously lush, this cover of Chris Isaak’s 90’s staple (which I love enormously) was used to play over the end of this week’s episode of The Blacklist. A friend and co-worker sleuthed it out today and shared it with me, and I have been hitting replay ever since.

4. Orange is the New Black :: My Year In a Woman’s Prison by Piper Kerman and audio by Cassandra Campbell (Audiobook)

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After finishing Rob Sheffield’s latest I needed a new audiobook, and I honestly was not ready to let go of Piper and the gang, so the choice sort of made itself. So far, I have noticed the changes/liberties made, and some of the initial similarities. Piper has just surrendered and is meeting with who is Healy in the show, where there has been line-by-line same dialogue, though prior to this there has been a great deal more Piper backstory, and six years between being finding out she was going to have to serve time, and actually starting to serve.

5. The One That Got Away :: The Civil Wars

I stumbled on this song while perusing EW.com’s Spotify Playlist, TV Jukebox and I feel pretty hard for it. I love the unexpected twist to the “one that got away” sentiment. I know there are a few people that I wish had gotten away, for certain.

6. Gillian Anderson & David Duchovny

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It makes me unspeakably happy to see pictures of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in the recent Reunion themed issue of Entertainment Weekly, as well as all the photos and sound bites from their appearance at the New York Comic Con. It makes me want to have a marathon re-watch of the series, though I know what a huge undertaking that is. They still hold such a special place in my heart, yes, yes they do.

7. Carol, The Walking Dead

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Added to my list of all-time fictional heroes is Carol from The Walking Dead. A survivor in more ways than zombie apocalypse wise, she is strong and brave, takes action, follows her heart, has a moral compass and a sense of humor, and takes a leadership role with confidence and intelligence. We need more female characters like this one.

8. Devil in the Details :: Bright Eyes

It has been awhile since I lost myself in Bright Eyes’ Digital Ash for a Digital Urn, but it was time, yes, I think it was time again. This is the song that I cannot seem to shake this week. It keeps calling to me, sticking in my head, asking to be replayed again, and again.

9. Piper Chapman, Netflix’s Orange is the New Black

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I don’t want to like Piper most of the time. She makes bad choices, acts selfish, is careless with love and has issues being alone and feeling abandoned, oh, and she wants everyone to like her too much. Truth is, though, I see a lot of myself in Piper, more than I care to admit, a lot more, actually (is that why I don’t want to like her so much of the time?).

10. Misty Day, American Horror Story Coven

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So what if I already mentioned Misty Day in a past week’s Top Ten, she is still in my Top Ten this week, too. Oh my, do I love this character, her relationship to music, her obsession with Stevie Nicks, her vulnerability and raw loneliness, she is my favorite this season, and the most complex (so far) of the characters. And admittedly, I have quite a character crush on her (how can I not?)

They used to dance in the garden in the middle of the night :: SOTD

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Keep Art Alive :: Art by Tara McPherson

Oh you were a vampire,
and baby,
I’m walking dead.”

Prior to the Twilight sparklers and the diary writers, I fell in love with the story and overall lore of the vampire. I was a very young girl when I caught my first classic vampire movie, Dracula with Bela Lugosi, followed soon after by the vampire story arc on the short-lived television series, Cliffhangers.

I was not scared by these fanged undead, instead I was intrigued, and as I grew older that intrigue continued, coupling together with attraction and passionate interest. I became a voracious reader of vampire books, and went out of my way to watch any and all vampire themed movies that came around, an interest that continues even today.

I may not love every offering and I may not embrace every story, but I tend to take them all in still, and remain a vampire fan, despite the reputation being one sometimes garners. This is a neverending, immortal kind of love, one that never seems to wane, nor do I expect it to.

Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) :: Concrete Blonde

My So-Called Life :: Favorite TV Thursday

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My So-Called Life
Favorite TV

A Little History:

My So-Called Life is an American teen drama television series created by Winnie Holzman and produced by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. It originally aired on ABC from August 25, 1994, to January 26, 1995 and was distributed by The Bedford Falls Company with ABC Productions. Set at the fictional Liberty High School, it follows the emotional travails of several teenagers who are all in the social circle of main character Angela Chase, played by Claire Danes. The critically acclaimed but short-lived show ended in a cliffhanger with the expectation that it would be picked up for an additional season, but it was officially canceled on May 15, 1995.

The show was praised for its portrayal of adolescence and the commentary of its astute central character, Angela. My So-Called Life was named the second Best School Show of All Time by AOL TV. It placed # 33 on Entertainment Weekly‘s “New Classics TV” list of shows from 1983 to 2008, and then, in 2012, at # 9 in that magazine’s “25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years,” with the praise,

It was the first teen drama that didn’t feel like an after-school special. No one ever learned a very important lesson or uttered the phrase ‘I love you, Dad.’ Angela acted like a real 15-year-old, with all the crying jags and Buffalo Tom concerts that implies. What’s even more impressive is that anyone who watched the show back in the ’90s, when angst and Manic Panic felt totally of the moment, can now enjoy it on a very different level. Suddenly, Angela’s parents are relatable.”

In 2007, it was listed as one of Time magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME“, and TV Guide ranked the series # 16 on its 25 Top Cult Shows Ever list. and ranked it # 2 on their 2013 list of 60 shows that were “Cancelled Too Soon“.

My So-Called Life dealt with important social issues of the mid-1990s, including child abuse, homophobia, teenage alcoholism, homelessness, adultery, school violence, censorship, and drug use. Many shows at the time used these themes as a one-time issue (a “very special episode“) that would be introduced as a problem at the beginning of an episode and resolved at the end, but on My So-Called Life these issues were part of the continuing storyline. The title of the show alludes to the perception of meaninglessness that many teenagers experience and encapsulates the main theme of the series. The show depicts the teenage years as being difficult and confusing rather than a light, fun-filled time.

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Personal Recollection:

I have so many memories and so much personal connection to this show that I am actually finding myself choked up thinking about it. I am still so connected to things that came from the existence of the show, from my memories, to my writing, to my online presence, and to my best friends. This show marked my first encounter and experience with an online community and with a passionate fan base that spanned more than the company of a few friends. This was my first time experiencing how connection can form and fuse in a capacity that spread across the globe, yet felt like the closeness of a family. In many ways what the show led me to, in a fandom sort of way, changed my life.

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I could write for days and days on the community I found through this show, the memories of times spent with them, the mail-list days and how we all connected over this one season show, and our own “so-called lives”, but I want to take a moment to write something about the show itself and what makes it one of my all-time favorites.

Adolescence and young adult stories have always been of interest to me. There is something about that time in life, with all its enormous emotional upheavals, changes in hormones and bodies and all of the stresses and self-confidence issues that come into play. It is that time where we all wrestle with who we are, what we like, who we like, and where we fit in. We may not all have the confidence to yell and shout about who we are, but we find it during that time, or at least we find the first bits and pieces of it. Hearts get broken, friendships lost and found, and our parents tumble from the hero-heights we have them on as children, a necessary fall in order for us to separate eventually and become our own heroes, so to speak.

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My So-Called Life was one of the few television shows about teenage life to tell it like it is. There was no glossy sheen to the characters, the issues presented were not tied up in a bow and solved at the end of the hour, and everyone, without exception, had flaws. The characters were fully flushed out, well written, and realistic. I was not a teenager when the show came around, but I could see myself in Angela Chase, as well as in Rayanne and Rickie, and to some extent, Sharon. I was not old enough to be “the parents”, my oldest daughter was two years old, and I was a young Mom at that, but I still saw things in Patty and Graham that I understood (though admittedly, I relate more to them now then I ever did back then).

My point is, you could feel these characters, you could see yourself in them, you could understand them to the point of finding parts of you in them, which is not always the case with television. The show, lasting an unfortunate one season only, was powerful enough to stick with me, and with many others, enough so that on each and ever re-watch I am still experiencing the characters on an emotional level, and I still relate, often in different ways, as they evolve in my perception and consumption as I evolve in my own life.

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There is humor here, sadness, heartbreak, giddy firsts, sexuality, religion, friendships, lovers, marriages, loss, love, fantasy and reality, in the series. The soundtrack is phenomenal, too, an musical snapshot of the mid-nineties that in itself will transport you back to flannel and baby doll dresses and crushed velvet leggings. That said, the show never really feels dated, as the characters navigation of adolescence resonates even as the years go by (much like some of John Hughes’ 80’s teen movies still hold true).

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Who is my favorite character? My answer has changed, changed back, and changed again over the years. Today it’s Rickie. Am I a team Krakow or team Catalano? I have always leaned toward Catalano, but today I would want to say I am team Rayanne. Do I still wonder what would have happened if there had been more seasons, and thus more to the story? Always. But, in some ways, I think I cherish that like in our own lives, we never quite know.

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The Book Song :: Frente!

Soda Jerk :: Buffalo Tom

Everybody Hurts :: R.E.M.

Dawn Can’t Decide :: The Lemonheads

Make It Home :: Juliana Hatfield

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Orange Is The New Black :: Favorite TV Thursday

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Orange is the New Black
Favorite TV

A Little History:

Orange Is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan that first aired on Netflix on July 11, 2013. The series, produced by Lionsgate Television, is based on Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman, a memoir about her experiences in prison. Orange Is the New Black stars Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman, a woman imprisoned for transporting drug money. The series also stars Laura Prepon as Alex Vause, a drug dealer and Piper’s ex-girlfriend; Michael J. Harney as prison counselor Sam Healy; Michelle Hurst as Miss Claudette, a fellow inmate; Kate Mulgrew as the inmate cook “Red,” and Jason Biggs as Piper’s fiancé, Larry Bloom.

On June 27, 2013, Netflix renewed Orange Is the New Black for a second season to be aired in 2014.

Orange Is the New Black generated more viewers and hours viewed in its first week than either of the other high profile Netflix original series, House of Cards and Arrested Development.

Personal Recollection:

I am not sure what hit me harder about this show, the writing, the characters, or the amazing actors that make up a primarily female cast (hurrah!). Each episode is packed with a roller coaster twist and turn of emotions that has me laughing at one moment, intrigued the next moment and in tears the next. Each and every character is incredible, from the main focus characters to the supporting cast – seriously some of the best acting and characterization I have ever seen on television.

The back stories are moving and a constant reminder that how we perceive people initially is rarely who they really are. We all have our stories. We all have our commonalities. We are all flawed and beautiful and ugly and violent and kind and a million things in-between.

I also have an admittedly big character crush on Alex Vause (Laura Prepon).

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Beyond that, though, the show is inspiring to the point that it makes me want to do something to help, in the real world kind of way. It does not just make me feel, but makes me want to take action. It also lights that never quite out fire in my belly to want to teach, too, not just from books, but about seeing past exteriors, and about how your past and present can impact your future, and that every choice, and every action, matters.

Netflix released the entire season at one time, which is their original programming policy. Because of this “binge watching” has become “a thing”, and though I have partaken in binge watching television series, I do think that some of the enjoyment and reactions to the art of the writing, plotting and acting is diminished by racing through episode after episode. For this series I have taken my time, and even have three more episodes left to enjoy. That said, I am already restless for the release of a second season.

From a music perspective, the opening theme song, Regina Spektor’s You’ve Got Time, delivers an emotional gut punch, especially paired up with the eyes and mouths of inmates that flash by as the song plays. It is chill-inducing, and at times, brings the feeling of tears to my eyes.

Some other great inclusions have been Jem’s Keep On Walking (episode 10), Leagues’ Walking Backwards (episode 9) and Glósóli by Sigur Ros (episode 4).

Keep On Walking :: Jem

Walking Backwards :: Leagues

Glósóli :: Sigur Ros

You’ve Got Time :: Regina Spektor

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The Blacklist :: Television Review

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The Blacklist (2013)
Mondays on NBC
Pilot, September 23

Trailer

Though I know it is too early to call, as I still have more pilots to review, if I had to say today this would be my favorite new show of the season. Pilots are tough, you have to cram in introductory plots, characters and somehow have enough action and emotional punch to hook a viewer in. I have a list of pilots that I have seen that have done that, but it is not a long list – the Blacklist pilot belongs on the list, for certain.

Reminiscent of Alias and Silent of the Lambs, we are introduced first to Raymond “Red” Reddington (so comic book alliterative villain of a name, isn’t it?) who turns himself in to the FBI, suited up with a dapper hat and a coy, raised eyebrow bravado, and demands that he speak to Elizabeth Keene. Let me just say here that “Red” is a role that James Spader was born to play. In the first few moments he made it his, to me.

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We are then introduced to Elizabeth (Megan Boone), who has overslept on her first day as an FBI profiler. She has a bespeckled, geek cute husband who has also overslept on his not first day as a teacher. He is off to a field trip to the zoo, and later Elizabeth and husband Tom (Ryan Eggold) are to meet with someone about their pending adoption. They are the picture of a typical young married couple, pet dog bounding about the apartment, and a warmth and understanding passed between them. All this “normality” is shaken up as soon as helicopters and official government vehicles come to pick her up for work.

A lot happens in the pilot – a lot. It nearly feels like a movie’s worth of plot and by the end I knew I was hooked. I have a list of questions and a pocket of theories, and I cannot wait until the next episode.

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99 Problems :: Hugo

The song was used brilliantly to end the pilot episode.

You promise me you’ll always do right :: A Playlist

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You promise me you’ll always do right :: Lori Grimes :: The Walking Dead Character Playlist Collection
Listen here on Spotify

This Woman’s Work :: Greg Laswell
Coming Home, Pt. 2 :: Skylar Grey
Blackberry Stone :: Laura Marling
Your Winter :: Sister Hazel
Angel of Death :: honeyhoney
Set Fire to the Rain :: Adele
Born :: Over the Rhine
Playboy Mommy :: Allison Crowe
Val Jester :: The National
Our Hell :: Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton
She’s Always a Woman :: Billy Joel
The Ghost Who Walks :: Karen Elson
Graveyard :: Feist
Dreams :: The Kills
As Much As I Ever Could :: City and Colour
Sweet Child O’ Mine :: Taken by Trees
Love Will Tears Us Apart :: Jose Gonzalez
Hold Me Now :: Duncan Sheik
Landslide :: Fleetwood Mac
Ain’t No Sunshine :: Bill Withers
Dirty Rain :: Ryan Adams
She Cries Your Name :: Beth Orton
Lime Tree :: Bright Eyes
Delicate :: Damien Rice
Carry Me Away :: Concrete Blonde
If Love is a Red Dress (Hang Me in Rags) :: Maria McKee
Breathe Me :: Sia
Glory Box :: John Martyn
Wherever You Will Go :: Charlene Soraia
To Build a Home :: The Cinematic Orchestra