Reflecting on the Message of Isaac Watts…

 

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

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Delta Rae is My Musical True Love

Delta Rae - the Name in Lights Allow me to introduce you to my absolute favorite band, Delta Rae. Now, as soon as I say favorite, I feel guilty, because there are lots of bands that I love quite dearly who compete for the lead, but I think that, after seeing them perform live,  Delta Rae has moved up to first place. Delta Rae is, hands down, the best group of performers I have ever had the privilege to view live. The amount of talent, passion, energy, and no-holds-barred musical enthusiasm that is embodied in their work left me speechless. I really really liked their music before going to their show. . . now I am obsessed! Delta Rae Magnificence

What kind of music do they play?

They’re generally referred to as “American Folk Rock“. Interpret that as you will.

Who are they?

There are 6 band members in Delta Rae: Ian, Eric, Brittany, Liz, Mike, and Grant. Three of them are siblings (Ian, Eric, and Brittany Holljes) – WHICH IS JUST RIDICULOUS. I mean, one family should not be allowed to have that much talent. EVERYBODY in the band does some percussion work, but Ian Holljes  plays guitar and does vocals.  Eric Holljes also does vocals, plays the guitar, piano and keys. Brittany Holljes does insane vocals , as does Elizabeth Hopkins. Mike McKee does percussion, and Grant Emerson plays one awesome-looking-and-sounding bass guitar. With their powers combined, they make musical beauty.

Brilliance of Delta Rae

What makes them so awesome?

There are a lot of ways to answer this question, most of which could come from more qualified individuals – so I’ll just share one of my personal reasons. One of the major elements that makes Delta Rae stand out to me (as something of a vocalist) is how complex and diverse their vocals are. It’s rare to have that many strong lead vocalists in one band, and they don’t just pull it off – they kill it.

What should I listen to first if I’m new to Delta Rae?

I humbly recommend this sampling:

 

If you live in the greater Boston Area (or in reasonable driving distance), you can go to their show this Friday (June 20th!) as part of the Lowell Summer Music Series! I’ll be there!!!

Not So Happy. . .

My nieces and nephews are an endless source of delight. . . and also ridiculously fickle water-works.

Anybody who spends time with kids aged four-and-under probably knows exactly what I mean. As easily as they are delighted, they are enraged and as much as they enjoy life, they also become frustrated by it on a very regular basis! SO, as near-constant paparazzi to four of the coolest kids I know, I have gathered my fair share of upset-kiddo footage alongside the happier moments I usually share. Just to keep things in perspective,I am sharing some of those more . . . dramatic moments.

Keep in mind that no children were actually in pain or hurt during the filming of footage used for the following montage. Their reasons for crying are listed at the end of the video, for those of you who are interested.

Also, I obviously make no claims to the music (Happy, by Pharrell Williams) that accompanies this video – all rights and such remain with the original artist.

I might be a horrible person, but I think I’m hilarious.

Sick of the Frozen Hype? GIVE UP!

Okay, if you are tired of people endlessly talking about how much they love Frozen and posting videos and comments about it . . . well, I’m sorry. You should probably not read on.  Because the longer we obsessed creative fans have ahold on something, the more incredible the results, and the more inspired I feel to share them. I’ve already posted how my sister and I got her little child who can’t even talk to imitate Oaken’s Yoo-Hoo, and I’ve already shared my adorable neice’s rendition of “Let it Go”, not to mention the one by the Cincinnati weather guy. TODAY, I’m sharing another. This is a video of what happens to the song Let it Go when the lyrics are put through google translate language filters a multitude of times before translating back into English and sung to the original score. It is HILARIOUS. Major kudos to Malinda Reese for making and recording this:

Frozen: The Must-See Movie of 2014

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I am an ENORMOUS fan of Disney’s newly released film, Frozen. I have officially seen it four times in theaters, and have it pre-ordered on DVD. Some of this might have to do with a certain little 3 year old niece of mine and her deep love of the film. . . but only a small part. This is one of the best animated movies I have ever seen. It goes right up there with The Emperor’s New Groove, which I’m fairly certain is my favorite animated film of all time. Frozen is 100% on-par with the greats. The music is incredible, the characters are endearing and surprising, the animation is beautiful, the humor unbeatable.

My adorable 3 year old (almost 4!) niece has been with me three of the four times I’ve had the pleasure of viewing the film in question. Unsurprisingly, she loves to dress up in a princess dress and pretend to be Elsa. Her favorite song?

I hope you watched that, because it will help you fully and truly appreciate what comes next. Without further ado, here is the REAL must-see video of 2014:

My niece is the most amazing of all the nieces. 

Christmas Music!

In my family, growing up, it was treasonous to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. For some reason, even though I hated this as a kid, it’s something I hold to pretty firmly in adulthood. Thanksgiving deserves to be observed without Christmas getting all up in its business, you know?

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That said, once the Turkey has been served and the clock strikes midnight, when others are hauling rear-end to the malls for Black Friday deals, I am queuing up the KING of all Christmas playlists. In honor of this tradition, I thought I’d share some of my absolute favorite Christmas songs, just in case you need to expand your own playlist this year.

#1 – Christmas Lights by Coldplay

#2 – Carol of the Bells by The Pentatonix

#3 – Baby It’s Cold Outside by Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone

#4 – Petit Papa Noel by Julien Neel

#5 – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing by Vince Guaraldi (from the Charlie Brown Christmas Album)

#6 – The Twelve Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser

#7 – Silent Night/ Away in a Manger by Relient K

#8 – All I Want for Christmas Is You by Olivia Olsen (from the Love Actually soundtrack)

#9 – Blue Christmas by Elvis

#10 – Cool Yule by Louis Armstrong

#11 – Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt

#12 – White Christmas by the Drifters

#13 – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee

#14 – Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms

#15 – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland (from the film “Meet Me In St. Louis”)

#16 – Carol of the Bells by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

#17 – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus by The Jackson Five

#18 – The Little Drummer Boy by The Jackson Five

#19 – God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman by ScottBradleeLovesYa (Acoustic Electro Swing Hip-Hop Version)

#20 – O Holy Night by The Glee Cast

Hopefully that is a good bit to get you started, if not through the next 9 days until Christmas music again becomes off-limits! Happy Advent to you all!!!