music note 5.2.11 

bird in the hand



man eyes closed headphones

                                                                                                                 just listen.                            


val eyes closed half face

                                      Close Your Eyes...      (note by Val)



I went to see the band Junip last week. I love this band, especially front man Jose Gonzales whose voice takes you to another planet.  The minute the show began an energy emanated from the stage;  instrumental at first - setting the mood - ready to frame: the voice. Then it came: Jose. The room got still - no chatter, no movement, no cough.  Just that voice. Their music is described as "pastoral contemplation, haunting serenity..." It's like an angel swept down, took your hand and transported you to another place. Ask anyone in that room, they will agree. Jose's voice is very distinctive; a smooth, effortless vibe like liquid, "organic, melodic, hypnotic,"  it fills the room, then it fills your soul.  


I caught myself throughout the entire show closing my eyes and lowering my head so I could listen even better. I smiled to myself - because I always tell people, "close your eyes and you'll hear the music better." It's a visceral reaction to music.  And it works;  if you close off one of your senses, the others are heightened.


I've included a video of Junip below.  When you hear it you'll see what I mean.  (Rather, you'll feel what I mean.)   To prove my point, do you have a minute?  Watch the video twice.  Once while watching, once with eyes closed.  Note, do you hear more the second time?  


I'm sure you've heard, there's a new show in town.  The Voice.  Chances are you were one of the millions who tuned in; their ratings were off the charts. In essence, four famous musician coaches will select singers to mentor into artists. First rule of the show: blind auditions. Coaches cannot see the artists, they judge on voice alone.  So I played along.  I didn't look.  I've included one of my favorites, Rebecca Loebe, below.  Wait til you see what she does with her Nirvana cover - I've included the original for you to compare. 



One good thing about digital music is you only need to buy what you like. One track at a time. So close your eyes ~ ~ before you click Buy.  You'll know when it's right.





Val Haller












( you  can  close  your  eyes  now )







featuring Jose Gonzales 


New album:  "In Every Direction"     2.22.11   


see album & download this song  

Junip - Without You
Junip - Without You






one of my picks from TV show The Voice 


Her cover of Nirvana's  "Come As You Are"      (orig version below)


download this song

Rebecca Loebe - Come as you are Nirvana cover
Rebecca Loebe - Come as you are Nirvana cover





featuring Kurt Cobain  (1967 - 1994)


 Original Song:   "Come As You Are"   


download this song    

Nirvana - Come as You Are (Live Acoustic) HD
Nirvana - Come as You Are (Live Acoustic) HD






~ my friend (music promoter) Tom Oakley 

turned me onto this artist  ~ 


download this song

Mieka Pauley - All The Same Mistakes - Music Video
Mieka Pauley - All The Same Mistakes - Music Video






one of my top 5 favorite voices 


she quietly delivers  (like Jose) directly to your soul   


download this song

Pieta Brown
Pieta Brown "Faller"





July 17, 1950 - April 26, 2011


~ The music world mourns the loss of another great ~


I grew up on this song and I'm figuring so did you

close your eyes and listen

 you won't forget this voice.


download this song

Phoebe Snow Poetry Man
Phoebe Snow Poetry Man



he says it better than me:   "Listen to the Voice"  


(note how quiet and still the audience is)


download this song

Todd Rundgren - Healing Part I -  2010
Todd Rundgren - Healing Part I - 2010         










generally pronounced  "chk chk chk"   


Dance-punk / Indie rock band - Seattle


Frontman Nic Offer's trademark:  off the wall dance moves and short shorts


download this song

Chk Chk Chk -  AM/FM (Live on KEXP)
Chk Chk Chk - AM/FM (Live on KEXP)








American rock band - San Diego


New Album:    Augustana    4.26.11  


see album & download this song


Augustana - Steal Your Heart
Augustana - Steal Your Heart








American indie-rock band from Duluth, MN  


(their music is commonly described as "lowcore" -

a rock subgenre characterized by slow tempos and minimalist arrangements -

the band doesn't like this term - but they're early adopters of this style)


New Album:   C'mon   4.12.11


see album & download song


Low - Try to Sleep (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
Low - Try to Sleep (OFFICIAL VIDEO)






Guadalajara Jalisco 


Latin rock / pop rock band, with a touch of calypso, reggae, and ska


3  Grammy, 5 Latin Grammy,  5 MTV music video awards ...


New Album:   Drama y Luz    4.8.11    


see album & download song


Maná - Lluvia al corazón (Foto Video con letra)
Maná - Lluvia al corazón (Foto Video con letra)







Close Your Eyes


 listen & download playlist



Artists new to Valslist: 

Rebecca Loebe, O'Death, Beth Jeans Houghton, Paul Kelly, Eastern Conference Champions 


Valslist faves:

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi, Mirah & Thao, Mat Kearney, Okkervil River, Alela Diane, Low, Manchester Orchestra, The Waterboys 


Vintage tracks:

The Cars, Bob Dylan, Neil Young








(click on title to read)



 What Do You Believe?     4.30.11


Dear Artist:  Surprise Me.      4.17.11


Small Is Good:   Small Venue vs. Arena    4.10.11


Why Vintage Tracks on Valslist?   4.3.11


Music Heals:  Playlists for Japan Earthquake Relief   3.27.11


I'm A Music Freak ~ And I Love It    3.20.11






              Visit for much more music:  Playlists ::  New Album Releases ::  Videos                                        








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