6 Songs Say A Lot

I’ve seen this on a few blogs around the web and figured I’d take a shot at the meme. The premise originated on NPR and asks you to basically define yourself with a few songs. I’d love to know your songs, too.

What was the first song you ever bought?
One Christmas I received two copies of Huey Lewis and the News’ Fore! and for the first time in my life I was given the choice of what music I wanted. Of course, I opted for Wang Chung’s Mosaic because of the song “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.” I have no regrets. It’s still a great song even if no one knows was it means to Wang Chung tonight.

What song always gets you dancing?
I’m not a dancer, but it never fails that any time I hear Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky” I lose control and have to move to it. I dare you to try and sit still while you hear this song.

What song takes you back to your childhood?
Star. Wars. Theme. What you expected depth?

What is your perfect love song?
Since 1987, the answer’s been the same. “With or Without You”

What song would you want at your funeral?
They wouldn’t be my all-time favorite band if they didn’t show up on this list more than once. U2’s “Bad” has always been on the short list for favorite song ever. One of my favorite performances of it was captured in Rattle and Hum.

Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.
Maybe I’m being a little nostalgic, but underneath the overwhelming 80s influence, The Boss will always make me think of lifelong friends, growing up in the ‘burbs, and make me wish I could write songs. “No Surrender” brings it all.

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Another Chapter

January is a time to look back at the previous year and also to look ahead to the new year.  I’m determined to put some effort into MKinMotion.com in 2012 and get back to my blogging roots a little.

Since my last post here, I’ve moved from Anchorage to Austin, Texas. Quite a transition, indeed! While I’m considering the climate a definite improvement, I can’t say that the transition has been smooth or enjoyable. I’d come to the realization that I was comfortable, but wasn’t happy with most everything to do with my life in Anchorage. Luckily, my move to Austin came with a promising job and a healthy relocation package, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. There was plenty of stress surrounding closing out my time at my job in Alaska, packing, and leaving. I’m getting closer and closer to feeling like I’ve settled in, but there’s still plenty of transition to be done.

That being said, I’m excited and hopeful about where I am now. I see a lot of promise in my new job, the company, and I enjoy the people I work with. I’m living just across Lady Bird Lake from Downtown Austin. Being the “Live Music Capital of the World”, I will have plenty of opportunities to get back to one of the key features of the old MKinMotion blog; telling you about great music. Austin is a new chapter in my life and I look forward to sharing some of it with you.

These aren’t New Years resolutions, but they’re goals I’ve made for myself to focus on in 2012. Maybe you can help me with them.

Blog Long Form
Back before Twitter and the short bursts, I took the time to write out entire sentences and paragraphs about things. I’d like to get to back to that. This should go hand in hand with a few of my other 2012 goals. Long form blogging may have gone out of style, but I still think there’s value in putting some time into it.

Be More Social
With all the tools available to keep up with friends and family, I do a terrible job of actually keeping up with friends and family. 2012 will be a year of Skyping, returning emails, phone calls, and generally connecting more with people.

Take More Photos
If I tell my Apple TV to stream the last 500 photos I’ve uploaded to Flickr, photos from 2009 show up in the slide show. While I’m not going to put a number on it, I want to take more photos in 2012.

Explore
This is the furthest East and furthest South I’ve ever lived. There’s a whole new territory of the US to be explored down here. Daytrips, long weekends, road trips, etc. Airfare is so much cheaper than Anchorage, that I’m putting more short trips on my calendar for 2012 to see new and old places. With the photo goal and the long form blogging goal, this should make for a great subject.

Be More Active
With very mild Winter temperatures in Austin, I’ve noticed that I do a lot more walking. I’m not committing to running a 5K or anything, but I am committing myself to do a lot more walking, biking, and paddling (heck, I live on the banks of a lake…) and raise my activity level.

Unexpected: Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside


It’s pretty rare for a lower 48 musician to release an album and immediately be playing a show in Alaska. In fact, I bet this is a first, but that’s exactly what happened this week with the full length debut from Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside. On Tuesday, they released Dirty Radio with lots of deserved praise. I started hearing some buzz about them early this year, mostly because I try to keep my eye on the Portland music scene.

When listening to Dirty Radio, a strange sensation of both feeling like it’s something new and something classic at the same time. It’s retro with an edge. Unique to today’s landscape with shades of 50’s and 60’s pop music with a little Regina Spektor or Thao Nguyen mixed in. Dirty Radio is definitely worth adding to your collection.

Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside – I Swear from Matthew Ross on Vimeo.

I happened to see a Brandi Carlile Facebook post mentioning she was playing Anchorage and when I clicked the link to Whistling Swan, I saw that Sallie Ford was playing Snow Goose.  Putting the pieces together it looks like they were previously booked for the Trapper Creek Bluegrass festival and were looking for somewhere else to play while they were up here. I’m grateful that they came to town and the show was pretty fantastic. Sallie has just the right amount of goofy to offset how seriously she takes her songs when she’s playing them. The band is solid, too.

SALLIE FORD – “Rock & Roll” from More Dust Than Digital on Vimeo.

U2 Albums

A few weeks ago, Patton Oswalt was performing in Anchorage and told a story about being in Alaska in 1994 and referenced Zooropa. He said Zooropa was U2’s worst album. In my head, I objected, but then I went through the exercise of listing them in order…well, shucks.

1. Achtung Baby (1991)
2. The Joshua Tree (1987)
3. Boy (1980)
4. The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
5. October (1981)
6. All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
7. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)
8. Rattle and Hum (1988)
9. War (1983)
10. No Line on the Horizon (2009)
11. Pop (1997)
12. Zooropa (1993)

Bands I’ve Seen Open for U2

  • 1992 ZooTV Tacoma Dome (Tacoma, WA)  The Pixies
  • 1997 Popmart Autzen Stadium (Eugene, OR)  Rage Against The Machine
  • 1997 Popmart Kingdome (Seattle, WA) Smashmouth
  • 2001 Elevation Tacoma Dome (Tacoma, WA) PJ Harvey
  • 2001 Elevation BC Place (Vancouver, BC) PJ Harvey
  • 2001 Elevation Rose Garden (Portland, OR) PJ Harvey
  • 2005 Vertigo Sports Arena (San Diego, CA) Kings of Leon
  • 2005 Vertigo Rose Garden (Portland, OR) Kanye West
  • 2009 U2360 Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA) Black Eyed Peas
  • 2009 U2360 BC Place (Vancouver, BC) Black Eyed Peas
  • 2011 U2360 Qwest Field (Seattle, WA) Lenny Kravitz
  • 2011 U2360 Busch Stadium (St. Louis, MO) Interpol

My Ten Favorite Albums of 2010

2010 was a great year for music. While seven of these ten albums were previously featured in my Everyday Album series, I wanted to do an official top 10 list. These are my ten favorite albums from 2010.
I created an 8tracks mix of 10 songs from the 10 albums, so go ahead and press play now.

10. Best Coast, Crazy For You ($5 on Amazon)
When I heard that Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward were releasing a second album as She & Him, this is what I expected as a follow up to their first album. Sweet syrupy pop with an edge.
9. The Head and the Heart, The Head and the Heart ($7.99 on Amazon)
A wonderful group you probably haven’t heard of. I hadn’t until this year when their self-titled album started getting a lot of buzz.
8. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More ($7.99 on Amazon)
This album has a lot of great sounds on it and fits into a lot of genres. I heard it on the Adult Contemporary radio station in Portland, and streamed on the Adult Alternative radio station in San Francisco. Plenty to like and plenty to look forward to from Mumford & Sons in the future.
7. Kasey Anderson, Nowhere Nights ($8.99 on Amazon) (Everyday Album)
6. Broken Bells, Broken Bells ($5 on Amazon) (Everyday Album)
5. Mates of State, Crushes ($6.99 on Amazon) (Everyday Album)
4. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs ($7.99 on Amazon) (Everyday Album)
3. The Black Keys, Brothers ($9.99 on Amazon) (Everyday Album)
2. The National, High Violet ($7.99 on Amazon) (Everyday Album)
1. Josh Ritter, So Runs the World Away ($8.99 on Amazon) (Everyday Album)

(Prices subject to change, of course)