Music

Best New Music

Whether it’s my laptop, phone, or singing in my head I’ve always got something playing. I woke up this morning with The Rock Show by Blink 182 stuck in my head. I don’t remember the last time I heard it and I have no idea how it got there, but I wasn’t exactly mad about it. I’m always looking for new songs to listen to. I have a bad habit of finding a number of new songs I really like and playing them over and over. The good ones I don’t even get tired of, but with even those eventually I realize it’s time to move on. Mostly these days I spend my time on Spotify. I think it’s really fun to see what other people are listening to, I get alerts when new music from artists I follow gets added, there’s a massive selection, I have the ability to make my own playlists as well as listen to others, and the radio option is nice to listen to more music similar to an artist or song of my choosing. There are other benefits of Spotify, but I’m not trying to sell it to you and that list covers how I use the program/app. One problem I have with Spotify is that it doesn’t have everything I want to listen to and because i have the power to build my own playlists, it empowers my complacency in song selection. I find myself listening to the same songs on my playlists all the time and even if I’m happy with it, I’d like to be finding new stuff. I very rarely listen through iTunes these days. I have a lot of music there and they also have the radio option, but there is a very limiting factor to my free music enjoyment there and thus it appears as though I’ve moved on. In the past I’ve spent a lot of time on Hype Machine. I’ve found a lot of good music here, but as of late I seem to have had less luck and there is decreased searchability. One plus is that it pulls in music from all sorts of other music blogs so finding a song you like may lead you to a blog that constantly posts similar music. Pandora seems to be on it’s way out, replaced by Spotify. With so little control, it can be hard to find much of what you want. I will say though, every once in a while you’ll find a station that really hits its marks. You’ll need the all the planets to line up, but I’m saying it can happen. CHVRCHES is a band I’ve taken a lot of interest in and that station tended to do really well for me. Frank Ocean radio had some highlights as well. I’m trying to figure out where my next source or sources of music will be. There are so many blogs and websites out there, I just need to find one that impresses me enough to stick around for a while. My first step should probably be giving one of these sites a chance… For the moment I’ll leave you with a few newerish songs, at least for me, that I’ve been listening to. I’ve been listening to a heck of a lot of Tove Lo the last week or so. Everyone seems to know her song Habits (Stay High), and that was my first introduction to her work as well. Most of her previous success came as a ghostwriter, but Habits seems to have put her on the map and I think she’s looking to start touring soon. She doesn’t have a ton of music out now to my knowledge, but my favorite is Not On Drugs. Alt-J released their first album in 2012, but I wasn’t familiar with them until last year. I really liked the album especially Something Good and Breezeblocks. Very recently they released a single from their upcoming album called Hunger Of The Pine.This is their first music since their last album and I don’t like the new song quite as much as I liked many of their older ones, but I’m still excited to hear the new album. Lastly is a group called Broods which I only just found while writing this post. I found a blog post about their new single Mother & Father which I enjoyed so I decided to look into them some more. Never Gonna Change was my favorite out of the other handful I listened to and the accompanying music video is my favorite kind of weird. Check it out. That’s it for now. Feel free to let me know of any other good sources of music or some of your favorite songs you’re listening to right now. END

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Uncategorized

Band Names

How do you come up with a band name? In blogging content is king, and obviously for a musician their content is the main focus as well, but I figure the name has to play a pretty pivotal role as well, right? There are all sorts of studies, some that seem to stretch more than others, that suggest our lives are heavily affected simply by the decision our parents make in naming us. It makes me realize that I definitely need to change the name of my own blog. Sometimes artists choose to use their given names or use only a slight variation. Examples include Kanye West, Christopher Francis Ocean (Frank Ocean), Elena “Ellie” Goulding, and plenty more. Sometimes these stage names transform from real names to nicknames. While not completely changing their identity, they differ more so than just shortening a name or using a middle name (see Kendrick Lamar Duckworth). Some examples may include Chancelor Bennett who goes by Chance The Rapper, or Dwayne Carter Jr. who you likely know as Lil Wayne. Next are the artists who don’t even pretend to include their given name in what they go by on stage. Whether or not this decision is used to separate their on stage persona from their daily life personality is completely up to the artist. Something like Childish Gambino, Gentleman Contender, Clams Casino, Ghostface Killah and more. So far I’ve only talked about solo artists. When it comes to band names, group acts tend to be my favorite. There has always been the combination of ‘frontman’ and the ‘blanks’. You got Florence + The Machine, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, and Bob Marley & The Wailers. I suppose that name formation might be a little more old school, but certainly not out of the question. My favorite band names tend to come from group acts that pass on highlighting a member and instead just come up with something they like. Every group has their own story so I’m sure plenty have relevance, but I’d wager just as many were completely random. Groups like The String Cheese Incident, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, or Bowling For Soup. There isn’t a limit to naming your band and I appreciate everyone that continues to validate that statement. I’ll leave you with a few band names I’ve come up with on my own that I may or may not eventually come up with music to accompany: Simultaneous Combustion, Who Put The Remote In The Fridge Again?, Campfire Bat Mitzvah, Lemonade Sit, Accidental SkyDive, Our Vests Are Ironic, Tom Bousquet, Anticipatory Breakfast, Escalator Seance, 2:30 Dentist Appointment, and Frida Kahlo’s Sunrise Rodeo. END

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Music

Describe Me In Music

Do you remember when you first heard that song on the radio? It seems like my mom can tell me the year of every song that comes on the radio from when she was growing up. I can give you a decent guess most of the time, but I really don’t think songs stick out to me like that. It’s kinda funny all of the different phases you go through in your musical preferences as you grow older. Maybe you’re embarrassed about the days when you only listened to bebop jazz or you laugh when you remember the week when you listened to Led Zeppelin played backwards trying to catch all of the subliminal messaging. The music you listened to can tell you something about what you were going through during that time of your life. Maybe you were dealing with the aftermath of a break up or you were training to make a sports team. I think I have a pretty wide music appreciation. I can’t really tell you my favorite songs, although Kiss from a Rose by Seal comes to mind, or favorite bands, but I can tell you what I’m listening to at the time. One thing I don’t like about music is genres. I hate em. Of course they have a perfectly legitimate reason for existing in that they categorize music and make it easier to sort and keep track of. The issue is there has become an incredible surplus of them and people like to argue about them. To me good music is good music, but that isn’t how everyone feels. Go ahead and Youtube any ‘techno’ song, for lack of a better word. Maybe computer generated. Make your way through the comment section and it won’t take you long to realize that you aren’t in fact listening to a ‘techno’ song, but rather a terrible trip hop song, or one of the best indietronica songs of all time. You know what, I take that back actually. Genres are fine by me, because the time people have put into differentiating their favorite artists from everyone else is hilarious. Go ahead and stop by the Wikipedia list of electronic music genres. some of my favorites include nintendocore, acid jazz, liquid funk, terrorcore, tribal house, and japanoise. I might have gone a little overboard there, but it really gave me a chuckle. I took the liberty of linking my favorite song from each genre so you can check them out. I’m just kidding, I picked the first Youtube hit for all of them, but I did know the tribal house one. I don’t remember how I stumbled on that one, but I actually kinda dig it. On an unrelated note, speaking of one of my other favorite Wikipedia lists. I was going to try to work my way back through the years recalling different songs I was listening to at the time, but that required a lot more thinking than I realized. I’m still gonna give it a go, but maybe not quite year by year. These days Spotify has me being a pretty complacent music listener. I find something I like, add it to a playlist, and keep that playlist running on repeat. Honestly I need to diversify a little bit. A recent find of mine has been a group called Young Wonder. Before them and a few other similar artists I was going through one of my powerful female voices phase. I’m a sucker for a girl with pipes, she’ll get me every time. Give me some Alicia, Whitney, Florence and even Lorde can impress. At the beginning of college, Macklemore came out with his first big album and played at a local concert venue. I couldn’t get enough of the album. Even got to buy the dude chicken wings after the concert which is another post in itself. In between graduating from high school and starting at UNC was a time of celebration and one last strong display of teenage angst. I can always rely on Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton for what I refer to fondly as angry chick music. And let’s be honest we all know this is the Vanessa Carlton you wanted. The wristbands make me swoon. I’m realizing all of the bands and songs I’m jumping over and I hate leaving so many of them out. I’m gonna make a few pretty huge jumps to keep this post a little shorter, but this has made me realize I’ve definitely got some more material for the future with this type of post. We all loved those middle school days. A period of success for some, failure for others, and trials and tribulations for all. I’d be lying if I didn’t fall victim to bands like Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Relient K, and All American Rejects. Wow, there’s some really spectacular angst right there, too. Can’t leave out Sum 41 around 4th grade. I took the All Killer No Filler cd from my older brother. One last final jump. This one takes us all the way back to kindergarten. More often than not I was running around singing Smash Mouth. Then comes the holy grail. For my birthday in kindergarten I was gifted a cassette tape. This wasn’t just any ordinary cassette tape though. This was the Eiffel 65 cassette tape. Funny enough, this very album ended up being revisited my senior year of high school. Even more funny is that the uneducated Eiffel 65 listener may think that Blue (Da Ba Dee) was the best song on that album. I’d venture to say it isn’t even top 5. Try on Too Much of Heaven for size. So that’s it for now. A quick summation of my life through various song selections. Hopefully you don’t think any differently of me based on what I’ve chosen to put here. Or at least if you think differently it’s because you are thoroughly impressed with the vast spread I’ve gifted you here. I’ve always enjoyed listening to music and especially these days I’m probably listening to something during the majority of my activities whether it’s school work or mowing the lawn. This post ended up being a little haphazard, but it was a good first go I think and I know I’ve got plenty more music for you in the future. I think fewer songs at a time and more description of the songs/related memories would likely make for a more captivating post, but this one is kinda fun due to the chaos that is the 20something links I’ve included. Maybe there are some readers out there that needed a shake up to their listening. What are some songs that you’re listening to now or really take you back? END

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