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The Minnesota State Fair has come and gone and we are on a crash course with winter here in Minnesota, so I figured why not share a little bit about what is catching my eyes and/or ears right now as we move from summer towards fall.

Top 5 Artists/Tracks/Albums

1.  Kishi Bashi
As I mentioned before, I was tipped off to this artist by the lovely folks over at You, Me & Charlie.  I had never heard of him before and I’m pretty sure not many people have (at least my friends around here).  I will admit, this music will not be for everyone, but the worst you can do is give it a try and if you don’t like it, switch to something else.

Tracks not to miss? Bright Whites and Manchester

2.  New Albums from my Favorites!
Two groups I am a fan of – Ben Folds Five and Mumford & Sons – recently released albums.  Both are great, but quite different.  This is the first Ben Folds Five album in like 10 years and they really haven’t lost “it”, in my opinion.  As for Mumford & Sons, they just released their sophomore album “Babel” and I’m smitten with it as I was with their first.

Tracks not to miss? Do It Anyway (BFF) and I Will Wait (M&S)

3. The xx “Coexist”
Confession: I bought this for 2 reasons – it was on sale at Best Buy and Florence of the lovely Florence + the Machine raved about it on Twitter.  I wasn’t disappointed.  As with Kishi Bashi, this isn’t for everyone, but I like their vibe.

Tracks not to miss? Reunion and Angels

4.  Melissa’s Megamix
This is just a playlist I’m curating on Spotify.  Some could call it “the best of the worst” since it reflects my love for Glee covers and campy pop music, but it makes me smile.  Plus, I often sing along to this playlist or dance around like a fool so fodder for people to mock me a bit. 😉  Oh yeah, I also use this list when I feel like drumming in my basement.  I “play along” with the tracks (which really means just play some sort of beats that kind of go with the song).

Tracks not to miss? Party in the U.S.A. and One Hand, One Heart

5.  Random stuff I’ve been finding on Spotify
So, this is pretty self-explanatory – I check the What’s New section on twitter or the feed of what my friends are listening to can find some stuff that way.  Or I subscribe to lists other people share and let them point me in the direction of some good tunes – either new to me or reminders of old favorites.

Tracks not to miss? Cruel by St. Vincent and Save Part of Yourself by Brandi Carlile

Top 5 Things to Look At

1.  “Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling
Clearly I got this the day it was released.  It may not be Harry Potter, but early reviews say it is still really good.  I’m hoping to get started on this soon and since I’ve had some requests I will post a review here.

2. Who needs cable when you have TEH INTERNETZ?
I don’t have cable, but this doesn’t cause me to miss much of anything, really.  Most shows are on Netflix (or Hulu+) a day or two at most after they air and I can watch whenever I want.  Also, who doesn’t love a multi-season marathon of a show?  I know I do!  (I think I need new hobbies. . .but I digress)

What have I been wasting away on the couch watching?
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family)
Revolution (NBC)
Greek (ABC Family)

I suggest any and all of them.  (P.S. Lockup also streams on Netflix, so you can recreate MSNBC weekend programming on your own ANY day of the week!)

3.  My new cat, Gus
I’m officially on my way to being a creepy cat lady and/or spinster!  I recently took in a stray that was wandering the neighborhood and was hanging out in a neighbor’s porch.  I took him to the Humane Society in Como Park and he wasn’t chipped so he joined the happy gang of animals at my house.  The other cats are warming up to him (which means no longer hissing and getting big tail all of the time) and Scout has stopped trying to play with Gus all of the time.

How could anyone say no to a face like this?

4. The extra row of icons on my phone
I totally scored an iPhone5 on the day it came out.  Judge me all you want, but I’m really liking the new phone.  Granted, it’s not all that different from my iPhone4, but the processor speed, better camera, and LTE make it just a joy to use.  And since the screen is a bit taller, I get a whole extra row of apps on my home screen.  Now I can have Instagram on the first page next to the main camera app as well as Scramble with Friends so I don’t have to scroll to access then.  (yes, I realize this is a #firstworldsolution to a #firstworldproblem)


5. New iOS apps
I have a lot of apps on my phone and iPad, but I like to think I find the best of the best and that I’m not an app hoarder.  My phone has a TON of photography related apps (one can never have enough filter options or color correction apps at their fingertips) and my latest addiction is casino apps with slot machine options.  Why I feel as if this is a good use of time, I don’t know, but to each their own I guess.

Some apps I’d suggest:
Google Drive (you can now edit google docs on your mobile device!)
GSN Casino

As always, I’m open to suggestions for new music, shows, movies, books, etc to enjoy so feel free to comment below or send me an email with a tip.

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