Saturday, August 2, 2014

If We're Gonna Talk About Music: Regina Spektor

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In my second year of high school I discovered Regina Spektor through her 'On the Radio' film clip on Video Hits. Yes, for those Australians reading this you might remember VH with Fuzzy on Saturday (And Sunday) mornings. At the time there was a lot of quirky music making it's way into the Australian Charts and it was all music that I was extremely interested in listening to and buying. The likes of Feist, Kate Miller-Heidke, Little Birdy and Lisa Mitchell  all made it onto this music video show either shortly before/after the Regina Spektor clip did. While I have made an effort to keep up with these musicians and their newest CD releases, Regina Spektor is the one artist that has remained a constant favourite with me. 

Regina Spektor has definitely had a big influence on the way that I listen to music and choose new music to listen to. She definitely thinks out-of-the-box and I think it encourages her listeners to do the same. She reminds us that singing is a form of story telling and not just a way to express emotion (though there is plenty of that too). She creates interesting stories with curious characters and her amazing vocal range, And musical style is what makes it work. 

She has been the subject of many art assignments in high school and if I ever were to get a tattoo it would probably have Regina lyrics on it. I think she's really great and really inspiring, but obviously I try not to put her on a pedestal too high because musicians are musicians and they always dabble in social issues and politics when they are really probably not meant to.

Maybe you have heard of Regina Spektor before. Maybe you have heard her sing on the soundtrack of a movie and didn't know it was her. Maybe you have heard a contestant on a singing contest use a Regina song for an Audition. Regardless of whether or not you do know who she is or have heard her music, I hope you will enjoy this post  and hopefully check out some of her music.

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THINGS I LIKE ABOUT REGINA SPEKTOR:
  1. Whether or not you like her music, you have to admit that she has a tremendous voice. I know a lot of reviewers have actually complained that the songs she writes don't show off her vocal range as much as they would like. 
  2. She is a singer/songwriter. Most of the songs she has sung have been her own.
  3. She is not afraid to be different and has never changed to suit anyone. She's really not afraid! Some of her music is actually quite experimental and as much as I love the songs I am surprised that she ever ended up on VH (And I am grateful for the people that allowed this to happen!)
  4. She has multiple talents and she can multi-task well. Regina can play the piano, play the guitar and make some pretty interesting sounds with her mouth (not just singing!). She also plays 'Poor Little Rich Boy' live with one hand on the piano and the other hand drumming on a chair while she sings. 
  5. She has good taste in music. I think it's cool when musicians actually have an ear for music, because it says a lot about them. Regina Spektor not only has wide and varied influences (such as The Beatles, Joni Mitchell and Radiohead), but she has recorded duets with Ben Folds and The Strokes!
  6. Her Russian accent occasionally comes through when she is singing. 
  7. She does this thing that Wikipedia calls the Glottal Stop. Basically it's the pause that you make when you say "uh-oh" and it's not super common in the English Language. Regina uses this pause to make extra syllables in a word and it sounds pretty rad. It also makes it hard for people to copy her exactly.

Non- Music Related: I like that she keeps her clothes classy without deviating from her true style.


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SONGS I REALLY LIKE:
-'Ghost of a Corporate Future' because it's super catchy, a little bit silly and kind-of true.

-'On The Radio' because the lyrics still make me go WOW after all this time, And because it introduced me to Regina's music.

-'One More Time With Feeling' because it would have to be one of the most Inspiring songs.

-'The Party' because it's the sort of song you could play for any occasion. It's the sort of song you could use to describe a decent human being.

-'Small Town Moon' because again with the true lyrics and catchy catchy tunes.


SONGS I LIKE TO SING/PLAY:
(Again more great songs, obviously Regina does a better job than me, but these are so much fun)

-'Folding Chair' is a song I mentioned in my Summer/Sea themed playlist. Some might find the Dolphin sounds a little off-putting though.

-'Us' is the song from the beginning of the '500 Days of Summer' movie. I loved it before the movie came out and I still love it now. 

-'Braille' is a song that unfortunately came out before the Regina was slightly popular (for a while) and I think it's a shame more people didn't get a chance to hear it.

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MUSIC VIDEOS I LIKE:
-'Us' and 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' are both such fun music videos.

-'On the Radio' obviously.

-'How' because it's so dang pretty.

-'Dance Anthem of the 80's' Just because...

ALBUMS I LIKE:
(I own all of them. Even the ones you can only buy from CD Baby... )

-'Begin to Hope' is my absolute favourite album. It's probably the lease experimental so if you are unsure about buying a Regina album you should probably go with this one first.

-'Far' because the songs are awesome and the pic on the back of the album cover is awesome. 

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Overall, I hope you enjoyed this post! I haven't gotten too great a response for my music posts yet so I am not sure if you guys actually enjoy them or read them or anything. 

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

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