DJ Toaster Biscuit

If Music Be The Food Of Love, Play On…

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Sam Smith & the Gay Male Body Archetype

by Ellie McHale

“If we all took a second to appreciate ourselves and others for who they are and what they look like, and praise them instead of tearing them down due to some [unspoken] standards, maybe, just maybe, we might be better people and respect ourselves a little bit more.”
YES! Amen. I couldn’t agree with you more.
I absolutely love this post. Of course, because I love Sam Smith and believe he is an epic talent. Also because I appreciate that this post is reminding us not to focus on what a person looks like, but to focus on what they have to offer the world. When I look at Sam Smith, all I can see is a wonderful man with amazing style. And, more importantly, this man has talent. He can deliver a tune (that he had a hand in writing) flawlessly. So, everyone who has anything negative to say about his physical appearance, please stop. Your words are futile. They mean nothing. Be aware of Mr. Smith’s awesome talent and aspire to be half as talented.

Steven Salvatore

You may or may not have heard about Sam Smith yet. If you haven’t, you need to know two things:

1.) He has the voice of an ANGEL. But not just any angel, like a fucking first sphere seraph angel (which, according to this Wikipedia page, is like, the highest of angels; I don’t know how accurate that is because I know pretty much nothing about angel hierarchy.) Check out these videos to acquaint yourself with his majesty:

(His orgasmic and life-changing debut single “Stay With Me”)

(His impeccable collaboration with Disclosure, “Latch,” which is totally contender for my personal Song of the Year award) 

(His cover of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know,” which recently went viral and is guaranteed to make you fall in love with him/make your soul cry for a man like him to come into your life)

2.) He’s pretty much the elusive unicorn of gay males: he’s…

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Where In The World?

by Ellie McHale

Love me, love me, saaaayyy that you’ll love me!

A Life In Paperback

Actually, where in cyberspace??

I just wanted to update everyone on my social media presence. When you have a moment, please take a gander and hit like or follow or subscribe!

DJ Toaster Biscuit on Tumblr
Ellie McHale on Instagram
DJ Toaster Biscuit on Facebook
Ellie McHale Photography on Facebook
DJ Toaster Biscuit on Twitter
LoveNugget on Twitter
Ellie McHale on Bloglovin’
Ellie McHale on Kickstarter
Ellie McHale on Etsy
Ellie McHale on Klout
Ellie McHale on Linkedin

Also, please swing by my two other blogs I seem to post more often at:
DJ Toaster Biscuit
Daily Ellie

The more followers, likes, subscribers, etc. I get, I’ll actually start posting vlogs on my YouTube channel! The channel exists, but there’s one embarrassing video. If you’d like to actually hear & see me talk, support me these other ways! And I am always open to suggestions as to what you’d like…

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Small Business Bookshop

by Ellie McHale

I’ve never not wanted to be a writer. It’s in my blood. But, I would like to do something more than just write…

A Life In Paperback

During my childhood, my goal in life was to be a writer and own a small bookstore that sold used books and independently published books and magazines (that were forward thinking and world peace positive). At 31, I still have that dream. But, in the technological, economically rough time we are living in, I understand how difficult and unlikely that dream is. During my teens and early twenties, I wanted the bookstore to also be a cafe & meeting place for students, radicals, progressives, anarchists, and all people non-mainstream. I wanted a place for people to feel safe, have a coffee, and somewhere comfortable to sit with a book to read or a conversation to be had. In Menlo Park, Kepler’s was the place to be. It started as a counter-culture meeting place a couple decades before I was born and became the intelligent, independent, book selling hub of the…

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Treat Yourself Thursday!

by Ellie McHale

Go out & walk, y’all! Make a playlist that will keep you moving and motivated. And, switch up the playlist every single time you go for a walk. Variety is amazing.

With Love, Ellie

I’m not sure if anyone else does this, but I’m going to start! Every Thursday, I will offer something fun you can do for yourself to lift your mood & take care of your wellbeing (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.). And, if you keep watch, something might just be in store for a lucky reader!

Today’s Treat will be a playlist to be played during a leisurely stroll. Walking, no matter the pace, is an amazing action pretty much anyone can do. Taking 20-30 minutes out of your day to go for an intentional walk is not only great exercise, but a way for you to process your emotions. If you’ve had a particularly stressful day, taking yourself on a walk by yourself allows you to take inventory of why you feel stressed & formulate a way of letting go. Also, exercise is a natural stress reliever in general. It regulates…

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music for the summer

by Ellie McHale

This mixtape/playlist is awesome! I can’t wait to get in my car and drive with these tunes filling my car.

Band to Watch: Delta Rae

by Ellie McHale

I love me some soulful, southern, folky rock… Enjoy y’all.

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Band: Delta Rae

From: Durham, North Carolina

Members: Ian Hölljes (vocals and guitar), Eric Hölljes (vocals, guitar, piano and keys), Brittany Hölljes (vocals), Elizabeth Hopkins (vocals), Mike McKee (drums) and Grant Emerson (bass)

Their sound: In theory, Delta Rae’s music is Americana folk rock. In practice, it’s a bit more complicated: bluesy and soulful, sometimes gentle and melodic, sometimes aggressive and visceral —and always rich with textured four-part harmonies. From howling gospel-inspired choruses to mellow bluegrass-tinged guitar riffs, everything’s fair game.

3-Minute Bio: Delta Rae has already built up a fan base devoted to their infectious, festival-friendly aesthetic. Following the release of their 2012 debut album Carry the Fire, the band has spent the past year on tour and just played their first set at Bonnaroo. At the cornerstone of the band are the Hölljes siblings, who grew up singing together. The trio eventually teamed with Hopkins, McKee and Emerson to form…

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by Ellie McHale

This is why people smile when a baby laughs and cringe when a baby cries. Get people started early. Make a baby laugh.

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How To Listen To a Ton of Free Music from South By Southwest (SXSW)

by Ellie McHale


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Is TIME’s complete coverage of SXSW 2013 not enough for you? Yeah, we know, it would be nice to be there in person, but—at least when it comes to the music portion of the festival, which runs through Mar. 17—there are plenty of ways to tune in at home to the nearly 1,300 bands who are playing over the course of this week.

(MOREHey, Musicians: 10 Ways Not to Screw Up at South By Southwest (SXSW))

For the Listener Looking for a Guaranteed Good, Potential-Next-Big-Thing Experience:

NPR’s All Songs Considered is pretty much the top tastemaker at SXSW at this point, and the showcases they put together are a good mix of already-hip names and those you’ll hear about soon. Last year, their live shows included Alabama Shakes, Dan Deacon and Sharon Van Etten. This year, the big showcase—which takes place tonight, Mar. 13, at 8:00…

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Return, Good Son

by Ellie McHale

Sometimes, I really enjoy it when brothers can put aside their squabbles & rivalry and give back to those around them. And, it just so happens that a favorite fraternal team of mine has decided to reunite and give their fans a good time. That’s right. The Black Crowes are touring in 2013. I read the news on Consequence of Sound, a site I just discovered today. (I’m kinda bad at this being hip to the skip for the music scene, I know.) There is something very unfortunate… My boys aren’t coming out to California. And, they would do so well at UC Berkeley’s Greek Theatre. (I saw them there when they opened for Tom Petty, and enjoyed every single nanosecond of it.)

The tour starts in Manchester with five UK dates, then head over to to the East Coast to do a bunch of shows that go nowhere near any West Coast states. The ultimate plan would be to go to one of their shows in London on March 29th or 30th. But, that’s a long shot. A cheaper, more feasible would be to go to any of the New York, Chicago, Texas, Florida, or New Orleans shows. And, I am really hoping I can do this and take a mini-vacation while I’m at it.

I’ve mentioned The Black Crowes before. They were a crucial band for me at a pivotal time in my life. In about 1993, I started to fall for them just before I moved back to London (’94). During the two years in London, I was coming into my teenage years and starting to form an identity. Of course, I feel in time with the grunge, almost nihilistic way of life. The Black Crowes were these white boys who took rock music and peppered it with soul and blues. What more could a teenage girl want? My body was changing. I had been uprooted from my close knit group of childhood friends and was put into an entirely different way of life and expected to start all over. Yikes. PAINFUL!! So, turning to music was a natural way to help me express myself. And, these white boy rockers with miles of soul and what seemed like basketfuls of sad things to sing about were able to speak to me through their lyrics. I’ve been hooked ever since.

So, when the Robinson brothers have “artistic differences” and say they’ll break up forever, we all safely say to ourselves, it won’t be long before they get back together for the hell of it, play some music, make some fans happy, and get some dollars along the way. In 2005 (2006?), when they agreed to open for Tom Petty, I was stoked when my friend texted me with the news he had an extra ticket if I had some cash. I went to the bank, got some money for the ticket and a few beers, then it was up to Berkeley to spend an amazing night at the Greek! In all the years I’ve loved The Black Crowes, I never took a chance to see them live. Finally, it was my turn. I got to see one of my favorite bands live. And, as an opening act for one of my favorite musicians. Amazing…

I’m sure that you can imagine how excited I am about another possible chance to see these boys again. Total Oh Squeee moment!!!

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Kelsey Rottiers, Keepin’ it Real

by Ellie McHale

You can find Kelsey Rottiers on ReverbNation, Tumblr, FaceBook, and YouTube.

Through her  ReverbNation page, Ms. Rottiers has twelve songs available to listen to, which is an amazing offering to potential fans. I appreciate when musicians offer listeners the chance to really get a feel for their art.

As per Ms Rottier’s website, her bio states: “Sometimes uplifting, sometimes heartbreaking, always fresh and real, singer/songwriter Kelsey Rottiers’ all-original music tackles concepts from Forgiveness to Sex Trafficking.  Whether it’s the catchy “Red Wonder Boots,” the furious “Bear Hope,” or any of her dozens of other tracks, Kelsey Rottiers’ songs fuse folk and indie substance with a pop simplicity that will linger in your mind like a brilliant sunset.” I really like the sound of that…

As I listened her music for the first time, this lovely lady reminds me of the possible love child of Missy Higgins, Neko Case, and Jenny Lewis. Total “indie” girl singer-songwriter genre. And, that’s a good thing. We need more fun, smart female artists making waves in the world. Of the songs I listened to, I feel that “Goliath” is my current favorite. While I love upbeat, tenacious songs, I really enjoy a mellow, emotional song. I guess I’m a lil’ emo on the inside. At the end of the song, we hear a “hallelujah” sung out that caught me off guard. I heard a sliver of Brandi Carlile in Kelsey’s voice. If anyone can be unique, but have a rare moment of likeness with another amazing musician, I know I’m likely to enjoy what’s to be heard.

I’ll admit it. I’m very much a Bay Area white girl. Many of us have dreams to be that adorable girl with a guitar jamming out at the beach. We dream of writing our own music and aspiring to be the next Tori Amos. At least, that’s the dream I had. Unfortunately, not everyone has songwriting abilities. And, writing a good lyric was beyond a lot of us… That’s why being the next Tori or Ani or Fiona was out of the question. So, when women like Kelsey Rottiers come along and create songs that are all very unique and are full of well versed lyrics, I get excited. It is refreshing to hear lyrics written by a woman that are tasteful, imaginative, and intelligent.

My biggest takeaway from Ms Rottiers is her passion & desire to fight for what she believes in. Music, photography  and film are the quickest & most effective ways to relay information to large quantities of people. Through her music, she is able to deal with her own feelings towards the worldwide issue of sex trafficking, while getting her fanbase informed & active in awareness and advocacy. Her song, “Bear Hope” is her touchstone song about the issue. Her lyrics are strong, furious, and have an air of mythicism. The image of a bear taking control of their life is amazing. She gives this bear a unique voice that is rather enchanting.

Kelsey Rottiers has music available on iTunes: a full length album & two EPs (Extended Plays, in case you wanted to know what that stands for). After listening to her tracks on ReverbNation and watching some of her videos on YouTube, I know I’ll be purchasing her music. Please, check out her music through ReverbNation. Please check out her YouTube page. And, even if her music isn’t your cup of tea, please join her in the fight to end sex trafficking. Seriously. Follow her lead! Do good in the world!

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