Artist Rec :: Jax

Today’s Artist Recommendation is Jax.

Musician Jax
Jackie Miskanic, known professionally as Jax, is an American singer from East Brunswick, New Jersey. She finished third on the fourteenth season of American Idol. (Wikipedia)

So let me preface this by saying I’m an ‘Old’. I resisted TikTok because when it started, it was marketed to me so heavily through my language learning app (Duolingo) and I found it stupid. I even complained about it on Facebook saying “Stop trying to make TikTok happen! It’s just annoying!” and the comments I got were mostly “what is TikTok?” and “I don’t get those ads, they must be targeting you for some reason”.

Then a certain someone who shall not be named started hating on it, and I thought, that’s good enough for me; I will check it out. And now I’m hooked. I am especially loving all the posts from doctors, chiropractors, nurses, and psychologists with their tips and stuff (see, I told you I’m old). I’ve actually realized that I likely have ADHD though it was never diagnosed. But that’s not why you’re here…

One day while I was scrolling through all the medical posts I happened upon this loveliness. A cute young lady was playing the piano and singing a silly parody song. I just loved her voice. I believe it was THIS ONE 

She writes a lot of short songs from people’s point of view that we maybe haven’t heard: “Bohemian Rhapsody” from “mama’s” perspective; a parody of the old Fountains of Wayne song, “Stacy’s Mom” from the mom’s POV. Very clever.

For a bit, she asked people to comment with their friend’s name or a song prompt and she’d write a song about them. It was really cute.

She doesn’t just do parodies or song prompts though. She has some great full songs. “Bitchcraft” could easily be on the radio. When she posted it on TikTok she said: “Wrote a song called bitchcraft when my best friend’s boyfriend cheated on her. Hope he hears it “

Some of my favorite Jax songs:
“Papercuts” gives me Sia vibes.
“Come Home To Me” (on TikTok)
“Ring Pop” (on TikTok)
“Teenage Dirtbag” – this is with Post Modern Jukebox


I hope you check her out, follow her, etc.

Instagram 
Twitter  
Facebook 
YouTube
TikTok 

 

I found her on Amazon and Spotify, but I think there must be more than one artist called Jax because some of these songs sound nothing like her. 

Podcast Res :: Heavyweight

Today’s Podcast Recommendation is Heavyweight. Your host is Jonathan Goldstein and he is more than willing to help you solve that problem or question that’s been bothering you.
heavyweight logo
This Gimlet Media podcast one is one of those that will make you feel really uplifted or quite sad. People are invited to reach out to the podcast for help in resolving some issue or misunderstanding, or some mystery about their lives.

For example, One woman wanted to know why she was kicked out of her sorority back in college because she knew the reason that they gave her was bullshit. So Jonathan reached out to her former college and sorority sisters to get some answers. (10: Rose)

One where Jonathan wanted to know why his father and uncle (father’s brother) weren’t speaking to each other. So they went on a road trip to bring the two together. (1:Buzz)

“Why is Mason Reese Crying” (no number but it was released Oct 8, 2020) was originally done for another Gimlet Media podcast, Reply All. It was about a child actor who was seen sobbing uncontrollably on the Mike Douglas show back in the 70s. So he tracked down the actor and interviewed him. It was very interesting.

Another nice tip is that each episode begins with Jonathan calling his friend Jackie and she’s hilariously mean to him.

All the episodes are fascinating, but be sure to check out…aside from those listed above:
16: Rob (Rob Cordray wants answers on his childhood broken arm)
27: Scott (a man who has a huge regret about a choice he made in his past)
25: Becky and Jo (sisters want answers about why their favorite babysitter disappeared)

Links:
Official 
Instagram 
Twitter 
Facebook 

Listen on Spotify

Artist Rec :: Taylor Swift

Today’s Artist Recommendation is Taylor Swift
Before you come at me, hear me out…
Taylor Swift
I wouldn’t say I was ever anti-Taytay, I just wasn’t a fan. I basically don’t care for 99% of country music so I never really paid attention to her. Then I heard her song “Mean”. For some reason it really hit me. I wasn’t really bullied as a kid, so it wasn’t that. But it made me feel for those who have been and I suppose for her as well, since I assume it’s autobiographical. I loved that song so much I bought the album, Speak Now. I think there was some kind of digital deal where her albums were $5 a pop or something and I think I bought most of them. I just put them in my rotation and didn’t think all that much about it, but was always surprised when I’d hear a song I liked and when I checked it was her. So I had to admit I was a fan. I mean, not on the scale of her actual fans, but I admire her, and I had to admit she’s the real deal.

Once she broke out of country music I liked her even more. Then I saw her documentary, Miss Americana. SOLD. I just love everything about her.

I love her humility, she’s on Tiny Desk Concerts, which I would think she’s too “big” for, and she seems genuinely honored to be invited and equally surprised that a lot of people wanted to show up to the space to see her. I’m sure there were 8 million people on the edge of madness because they DIDN’T get in, but it’s cute that she pretends she’s not that big of a deal.

This year she put out Folklore and it’s filled with gorgeous folk songs and I couldn’t be happier. I actually PRE ordered it. There’s a documentary special on Disney+ right now about the making of this album. I watched it the other day and I was mesmerized (barely even played on my phone), brought to tears, soothed, and charmed. I loved listening to her talk about the making of the songs, the recording of it, (virtually, since it was after the Pandemic hit), and hearing her and two of the writers (one is from The National) play them together for the first time. It’s a great doc if you can access it. I had a trailer all queued up for you, but NBC took it down. Here’s a video of “Exile”. Hopefully, that won’t be removed.


I started writing this on December 9th. On the morning of the 10th, I got the news that she was releasing a surprise new album! She is calling the sister to Folklore, called Evermore. So of course I ordered it and listened right away (well, OK not RIGHT away, I didn’t stay up until midnight to hear it. I’m old.)

It’s equally as good as Folklore. She’s got The National’s Aaron Dessner on board again and I really can hear his influence in these songs, especially in Coney Island (honestly, I didn’t even see the name of the song or that The National was on this one, LOL). She’s got HAIM guesting on a song and Bon Iver (Justin Vernon) is back too.

I really wonder what her long time fans think of this shift in her. I for one, am here for it. If you’re a lifer Taylor fan, let me know your thoughts about her evolution.


Some of my favorite songs:
“Mean” (Speak Now)
“The Man” (Lover)
“Death by a Thousand Cuts” (Lover)
“You Need to Calm Down” (Lover)
“Welcome to New York” (1989)
“The 1” (Folklore)
“Exile” with Bon Iver is amazing and heartbreaking (Folklore)
“My Tears Ricochet” made me cry. (Folklore)
Willow (Evermore)
..I’m sure there will be more Evermore songs the more I get to hear it.

Discography (Studio albums)

Taylor Swift (2006)

Fearless (2008)

Speak Now (2010)

Red (2012)

1989 (2014)

Reputation (2017)

Lover (2019)

Folklore (2020)

Evermore

She also has a Holiday album!

 

Official 
Instagram 
Twitter  I got curious why the actual person would have to have a number after her name, why can’t she be ‘taylorswift’? I checked and that account has been suspended. I’m sure there’s a good story there, that a proper fan would know. If you’re that fan, feel free to post it in the comments.
Facebook 
YouTube 

 

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Amazon Music

Amazon links NOTE If you are using an Adblocker, you’ll need to pause it for this site, so you can see the albums. It considers these links to be ads. They’re just links to products, but it is through an affiliate program.

 

 

Podcast Rec :: True Crime Brewery

Today’s Podcast Recommendation is True Crime Brewery.

True Crime Brewery logo

What I love about this one are the hosts, Dick and Jill. The premise is that they discuss true crime stories while sitting at the “corner end” of their favorite crowded bar, drinking a beer that has some sort of connection to the story at hand. Jill doesn’t drink beer, so she leaves it up to Dick to give his review of the beer he chooses for the day.

When I first heard it I was like, “who the hell are these people? they sound like kindergarten teachers but they talk about gruesome murders and say f8ck a lot.” Their voices are very soothing and comforting, and then Jill will throw in, “yeah, he was a real sh!thead”.

It’s not exaggerated, fake, folksy either. This is how they are, and they sound very honest and pure. They cover well-known cases (such as Lori Vallow Daybell/Chad Daybell case, and The Delphi Murders) that are covered on other podcasts or True Crime TV shows as well as some hidden gems. So, this is great for either a new take on a case you already know (we all do that!) or to learn about cases new to you.

Dick is a doctor so often he is able to give some medical expertise and perspective on the cases, whether it be psychological or physical. I believe he’s a pediatrician. Their company is called Tie Grabber and the story behind that is cute, but I’ll let you find it on your own.

Their newest episode, “Bedroom Betrayal: The Case of Leann Fletcher” you will be familiar with if you listen to/watch Forensic Files. This is the one where the woman “shot herself” in their bedroom after they’d been to target practice (real sneaky there, Mr. Fletcher).

I also like how TCB puts their episodes on YouTube and create a slide show to go with it. So, you’ll see pictures of the people and locations in the stories.

For those who have issues with how people speak: Jill pronounces words that begin with “un” as “on”, as in: “an on-expected death”. In case that bothers you. You’ll get over it. I did.

One of their ads ends with Jill saying, “I’m sorry for swearing” (she said sh!t earlier). Dick sweetly and cheerily says, “Not a f8cking problem.”

I love these two.

True Crime Brewery Hosts

Dick and Jill

Official
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook
Patreon – you can get ad-free episodes for as little as $4 per month

Listen on Spotify

Youtube

 

Artist Rec :: Gregory Douglass

Today’s Artist Recommendation is Gregory Douglass.

Gregory Douglass

Photo By Natalie Williams

I “met” Gregory online about a million years ago when he wrote to me and gave me a very heartfelt and convincing argument for why I might want to feature him on a ‘women in music’ site (Collected Sounds featured only women back then). It was a sweet, and funny email and I immediately loved him. What a relief when I got his music and fell in love with that as well.

Not only did I feature him, but he came to our house to play a house concert. A few of them over the years, in fact! Each one a special, fun night filled with amazing music and great friends. And one not-so-great friend who got drunk and kept shouting “Play __**!” over and over again. We had a good laugh once the friend passed out. Oh, I miss those times. (**I don’t remember the song, it might have been “Freebird”)

I’m listening to Gregory’s music again today and realize that even though I am on his mailing list (and read all the emails) I somehow missed that he has an album I still don’t have yet. So, I’m listening to that as I write this. Sometimes I space on an artist and forget to listen to them on the regular. I regret that I did that here. A week or so ago he did a Livestream which I “attended” and realized how much I’d missed his music in my life. So, I made sure all of his albums are on my rotation playlists (I honestly don’t know why I missed some before).

I also realized he has a Patreon account so I am now supporting him there, I suggest you do the same!

Gregory not only produces beautiful music, but he has also developed some workshops. One of them is called Create Your Own Opportunity and it’s THIS coming weekend! Click on the name to register. It’s Sun, December 13, 2020, at 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM CST

Opportunity Workshpp promo

He also leads workshops on his unique brand of Intuitive Songwriting.

 

Some of my favorite songs:
“I Wanted to Run” (Pseudo-Rotary)
“Crazy Love” (Stark)
“The Garden” (My Hero, the Enemy)
“Broken Through” (Battler)
“Day of the Battler” (Battler)

…and I think all of Up & Away, honestly they’re all good.

He does some amazing covers as well (Florence + the Machine, Adele, Brandi Carlile, etc.)

I hope you check him out, follow him, etc.

 

Links

Official
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
Patreon

 

Listen:

He has a Spotify Holiday playlist that features songs from his 2009 holiday album, Merry as well as some lovely tunes by other artists.

Listen on Spotify
Complete playlist

Listen on Amazon

Live video of the song “Point of View” Live at The Chapel in San Fransisco with a full band including Lisa Piccirillo, on vocals, who joined him for one of our house concerts.

 

 

Discography

Gregory’s Store

If I Were A Man (1998)
Gregory Douglass (2000)
Teeter (2001)
Pseudo-Rotary (2003)
Stark (2005)
Merry (2009)
Up & Away (2006)
Battler (2009)
Lucid (2011)
My Hero, The Enemy (2015)

Amazon links
NOTE If you are using an Adblocker, you’ll need to pause it for this site, so you can see the albums. It considers these links to be ads. They’re just links to products, but it is through an affiliate program.

Disclosure: This page provides Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Podcast Rec :: Armchair Expert

Today’s Podcast Recommendation is Armchair Expert with Dax Sheperd.
Armchair Expert artwork
Dax shared the hosting with his friend, Monica Padman. They have a really special relationship. I just love “seeing” them interact and love how they treat each other. I’ve long been a fan of Dex’s acting work (who doesn’t want to be a Braverman?), and I was a little dubious about how he might handle interviewing people. Not to fear, he’s a natural.

His co-host Monica is wonderful as well. She mainly stays silent and lets Dax and the guest do all the talking. But she is the fact-checker so she is taking notes and then the last part of the episode is her going over things that were said, lending some clarity to the interview if needed.

They interview some really big names. Sean Penn, Bill Gates, Esther Perel, I mean the list goes on and on. Check out my favorites below.

They interviewed Dr. Laurie Santos who is a professor at Yale and teaches a course on Coursera called The Science of Well Being. I took this course and I love it, and recommend it to everyone! Here’s the link to it, (it’s free).

Some of my favorite episodes:
Susan David – She is a psychologist and has some great ideas about emotions and growth
David Farrier – he actually has two episodes, one regular interview, and another one called Armchaired and Dangerous where he explains the Lizard People theory. I loved both episodes.
Jason Bateman – there’s a very lengthy discussion about which direction they each wipe. Yes, that’s what I said.
Hilary Clinton – I told you they get big names.
Keith Urban – “no whining on the yacht.”
David Chang – one of my favorite chefs
Esther Perel – therapist extraordinaire (has 2 of her own amazing pods too)
Beanie Feldstein – you know her if you watch TV at all; she’s very charming.


Actually, there’s only been one episode I’ve found boring and I don’t even remember who it was!

I love this show, and even if you think you are not a fan of Dax, you will be in love with him after listening. He’s a beautiful human. So is Monica.

Dax Sheperd and Monica Padman

Official 
Instagram 
Twitter  (Show)  (Dax)


Listen on Spotify


PS: Dr. Santos and Susan David each have their own podcasts too, I’ll talk more about them another time.