Monday, December 21, 2009
Anchor & Braille
Armor for Sleep
Bedlight for Blue Eyes
The Besnard Lakes
The Coral Sea
The Dangerous Summer
Dear and the Headlights
The Early November
Empire of the Sun
Explosions in the Sky
Faded Paper Figures
Funeral for a Friend
He Is We
The Helio Sequence
A Hero from a Thousand Paces
Hidden in Plain View
High Flight Society
Jars of Clay
The Junior Varsity
Land of Talk
The Last Goodnight
The Local Tourists
Marina & the Diamonds
The Main Drag
The Mars Volta
The Midway State
The Morning Of
The Most Serene Republic
The Mother Hips
New Years Day
Nine Black Alps
One Star Story
Portugal the Man
The Promise Hero
Ra Ra Riot
The Rural Alberta Advantage
See The World
Sleeping at Last
The Sophomore Attempt
the Sound of Animals Fighting
The Sparrow and the Crow
The Starting Line
Story Side B
Ten Falls Forth
Test Your Reflex
This Beautiful Republic
This World Fair
Time and Distance
The Upstairs Divine
Way Out West
Haha, there's most of my iTunes library. I have no doubt that I'll be touching on many of these bands separately in future posts, but feel free to check them out now.
"Wherever you are is my home"
1. Don't get me started on the outstanding music of Seabird. This is a band for everyone, and it makes me sad that other dumb groups and songs can steal the popularity that these guys deserve. They had some excellent Christmas songs released this year, which you should definitely search for, but they also released a new album this week. Having been overwhelmed by tons of good music, I kinda forgot to add their new album to my Christmas list. Still, I was able to recently purchase their single from the cd, Don't You Know You're Beautiful. Seabird is the sort of band that never has a bad song. In fact, they are all fantastic and noteworthy in one way or another. This song is no exception. The message is great, the beat, the instruments...it's all amazing. Don't miss out.
"I turn on my radio and every single song I know is so devoid of meaning, inside my head I'm screaming for a star that I can reach to. Brothers, sisters, I beseech you, don't become these songs that numb the soul."
2. ^Best lyrics ever, no joke. Kiros is one of, if not the most inspirational band that I know. With a strong Christian background, I'm convinced that these guys know the meaning of life inside and out, or at least have one of the best ideas of it out there. Heaven showcases this beautifully, with its softness and sincerity. If you don't appreciate this song, you're crazy. I'll leave the first impression up to you.
"I'll wait for you. I'll become something new. I'll sing for you until this dream comes true."
3. Brightwood is a band that I've been keeping an eye on for a long time now. I finally decided to buy one of their half-albums (six songs) and I'm amazed. The emotion in In Memory is beyond explanation. The piano/vocal duet section is perhaps one of the all-time most beautiful moments of music in existence. Everyone needs to hear music like this every once in a while.
"I'll always love you, no matter how far you run"
4. So I said that Seabird makes every song excellent, but The Midway State takes that to the next level. Every one of their songs is jaw-dropping. It's been tough getting their stuff because they are a Canadian band, but I've been listening to them a ton on the internet. Here's one of my favorite from them, Never Again. Not many people can sing nearly as well as this guy can. He is amazing and he puts all of his heart into his vocals and lyrics. Check it out.
"Every kick, every snare, every line i write, it's cause you are my light."
5. I admit it guys, I can no longer hate on rap...at least not completely. It took forever, but I finally found some true rap that I absolutely love. Manafest is the cause of all this. They call him the Christian Eminem. I never thought it could happen, but he makes every one of his songs inspirational. Rap music and inspiration!?!? I know, I didn't think such a thing existed either, but seriously, this is good music right here. It's got that good beat that hip-hop/rap listeners love, with the amazing, encouraging messages that they rarely find in their music. See what you think of So Beautiful.
"Am I nothing more than a wasted casualty?"
6. Until June is a band with the type of music that fits any situation. It's mellow, yet heavy. Happy, but sad. Their songs always bring about some mixed emotions from me and I don't always know what to think of the songs, but this always leave me craving more. Sound of Defeat is from a half-album of the same title, which I picked up off iTunes a couple of weeks ago. It's a lot different than music from their previous album, but I love it just the same. Here you go.
"Let's make our getaway, just you and me babe. The rest of the world can wait cause I've been waiting for you."
7. Between the Trees...wow, where to start? So this was one of the the new albums on that gigantic list that I was able to buy now that I have a bit of a job. Let me just tell you...album/band of the year, period. I've listened to this album so much that its ridiculous, and I'm still not the slightest bit sick of any of it. I honestly want to share every song with you, but I'll choose Spain for now. If you're the lovin' type, this song and this album are perfect for you. I look forward to sharing this amazing music with that future special someone of mine. Spain is so beautiful musically and in meaning. Just escaping with the one you love...awesome. This is the one you pay careful attention to.
"One spark among the embers. One voice against surrender. One dream that's worth defending. One love that's never-ending."
8. Assemblage 23 is way different than the rest of these artists, but I'm tempted to say that it's my favorite out of all of them. I got this new album too, the last of the three I told you I was headed for first, and it matches the amazingness of the other two. Tom Shear is the man behind this techno project, and he has quickly become one of my heroes. This song, Spark, is one of the most empowering songs I've ever heard. It's got that drive to it that makes me feel invincible, which is always an awesome feeling. Caution: you might be overtaken by an overwhelming urge to dance like a robot, the effects of which may be extremely hazardous to your well being. I warned you :) (PS: scroll down on this site to find Spark, but feel welcome to check out some of the other amazing stuff from Assemglage 23)
"Be careful what you wish for."
9. I have a strong emotional attachment to The Myriad. Their drummer developed bone cancer about a year ago and things aren't looking good for him, but the entire band devoted everything to raising money for him. Having strong Christian beliefs, they asked all of the fans to pray for their drummer and he is now to the point where he can actually play drums with them again. Through this whole experience I've acquired a ton of respect for these guys. Even though I haven't heard anything new from them, I want to share some of their stuff with you. Throwing Punches is one of my top ten most played songs on my iTunes (out of 2500, I might add). So yeah, I basically love this song and it's pretty dang special to me. I'll leave the description of it up to you this time. Oh, and I found these guys through Rock Band, heck yes! (At the link here click on the "The Randy Miller..." thing on the right to see a cool video they made for their drummer, and then click on the one next to that for a live version of the song)
"Will we ever take a chance on peace?"
10. Girls, this one is for you. Paramore is pretty dang awesome, and so is Evanescence, but I think The Material (found these guys through Rock Band too!) has them both beat in the world of female-vocal rock. I got a half-album from them a couple of weeks ago and I love it!Every song has so much going on, and they are all like marathons of amazing music that you just can't get enough of. I've never heard anything much like With One Voice. If the word got out about this band, people would go crazy for it. Here I am, hoping to start such a craze. Help me out!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
"Time is so short, and I'm sure there must be something more."
1. Now I really like Coldplay, but for some reason it's taken me two years to get around to listening to Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends which my dad has had since its release. Sad, I know. Anyway, I've finally gotten around to it and absolutely love it. I've heard some of the songs on the album many times before due to their extreme popularity, but a few of the ones that were new to me really impressed me, such as this one, 42. The structure of this song reminds me of a lot of other Coldplay songs with the slow start and then the build-up to the end, which is my favorite part of the song. I also love the piano throughout, real brilliant stuff.
"The world I love, the tears I drop to be part of the wave can't stop. Ever wonder if it's all for you?"
2. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are another band that I've liked for wuite some time now, but I had missed this album of theirs when I had searched my dad's collection in time before. Fortunately, I found it this time around. From this album I'm including the song Can't Stop, a tune that I've loved since before I had any albums from the Red Hots. For me, this song is the epitome of the Red Hot Chili Pepper mood with its not-so-melodic singing, vocal backups, and amazing drum part and bass line. I'd recommend you also check out the music video for this one to see a little bit of the quirkiness and awesomeness that is RHCP.
"What time is this, to trade the handshake for the fist?"
3. A Perfect Circle's album eMOTIVe is a collection of powerful, war-themed covers. Fiddle And The Drum is particularly amazing. I love how it can achieve such a musical beauty through voice alone. The absence of instruments somehow gives this song more meaning for me, and I've grown to treasure this song because of how unique it is in my own collection. I suggest you watch the video I've linked here, it really adds a new perspective to the song. See what you think
"Silence is another way of saying what I wanna say."
4. So I was finally able to get one of the dozens of albums I've been wanting, and its from one of favorite bands Porcupine Tree. Their new album, The Incident, came out two months ago. It's an extremely unique album because it is all one big 55 minute song split into sections that tell an interesting, amazing story about an unspecified tradegy (The Incident). This song, I Drive The Hearse, is undeniably one of my favorites from this list and from the album. It's the last track of the gigantic song, and it ends the story quite nicely with some interesting lyrics that bring about a sorrowful conclusion.
"You and I fit together so beautifully."
5. Faithless is a group I wasn't so sure about at first. I really don't like rap, but this unique techno style has me hooked. It has expanded my musical tastes a lot, and now I'm interested in exploring similar music in the future. For now, I'll maintain my addiction to No Roots, part of a smoothly flowing album of the same title. With a lot of their focus on love and peace, this lyrics have already taught me quite a bit, and the British-rap vocals of Maxi Jazz somehows furthers their impact. And yes, that is Dido accompanying him in this song. Her voice is a strange, yet cool addition to the song. Check it out.
"I can't shake the thought of you."
6. Speaking of Dido, here she is with a song of her own. I've loved her song White Flag for a while now, but I'm now disappointed that I never felt inclined to look into her other tunes until now. Sand In My Shoes wonderfully displays Dido's unique voice. I don't really have any particular liking for the lyrics or instrument parts in this song. I just really like the overall mood of it, relaxing and carefree, the sort of stuff for a boating trip or an evening drive. If you like this, you'll love the rest of Dido's stuff.
7. Never in a million years would I have thought I'd like something like what Explosions In The Sky has to offer. They are a strictly instrumental alternative band, the likes of which I've never heard before. With my first listen through some of their stuff I thought it was simple and boring, but I gradually came to appreciate the true talent and musical genius these songs hold. The Birth And Death Of The Day is a real treasure. I never thought a story could be told so effectively without words. As the seven minute song plays out, you can easy distinguish the different sections of the song as different parts of the average day. Beginning with a glorious sunrise, the song passes through a pleasant morning, an exciting afternoon, a busy, thrilling evening (at 4:35, this part is amazing), and a calm night eventually taken over by sleep. This is truly amazing music right here, as it should be.
"The best thing that you can do is take whatever comes to you, cause time flies."
8. I'd have to say that this one is my favorite of the bunch. Another one from the new Porcupine Tree album, Time Flies is probably the most uplifting song of The Incident. I was delighted when it was featured as the free music video of the week on iTunes, because it gave me an early taste of the album and ultimately convinced me to pick up the whole thing before the dozens of others that I desire. I think everyone can relate to these lyrics and the universal concept of time passing too quickly. They speak of old memories and the regrets and satisfactions that go fit into each of our pasts. I know I'll be listening to this song for the rest of my life, as countless new memories find their way into my personal connection with it.
"Don't defend a silver shining around the halo of what is already shining."
9. When I bought the new Porcupine Tree album, my dad bought a new album by a band that is new to us: The Dirty Projectors. I'm finding it really hard to like these guys. Most of their songs just seem annoying, but I'm hoping they'll grow on me. There is one however, that instantly caught my attention. I think Two Doves stuck out to me because of the singer in it (The Dirty Projectors have a few different vocalists), who I didn't find as irritating. This song is actually incredibly sweet. There isn't really any strong meaning behind this song, its just another of those tunes with an enticing mood, perfect for those evening walks and other relaxing times.
"Would you go along with someone like me?"
10. I've known this last song for a while now, and I've loved it just as long. Young Folks by Peter Bjorn & John is strangely alluring. The male-female duet really makes this a cool song, almost a love song. This is one of those songs that reminds you of your best times with your best friends. I know many good memories will go down with this song as I look back years from now. It's hard to explain it much further than that, listen for yourself and tell me what you make of it.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The Silversun Pickups
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Mars Volta
Between the Trees
The Mother Hips
A Fine Frenzy
The Coral Sea
Portugal the Man
So I have 8 out of 40, and that's just 2009 albums. *Prolonged sigh of sincere exasperation* What will I ever do...
I think my top three are Porcupine Tree, Assemblage 23, and Between the Trees...I guess I'll start there.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
1. Muse is one of the craziest, hardest-rocking bands I enjoy listening to, and Assassin is their craziest and heaviest song. This song will always get the energy flowing through you, the extent of which may or may not be hazardous to your mental health. Assassin is all about rebelling and venting frustration, and it can easily assist you in doing both. Fortunately, I'm not the type to get too crazy, so I'm able to keep down to minor whiplash. You might not be so lucky, so use caution when listening to this song.
"Why do we live this life with all this hate inside?"
2. Where Assassin is crazy, Bullets by Creed is insane. Believe it or not, my first favorite song, my first personally owned album, and the title of my first favorite band all belong to Creed. Pretty good taste for a second grader, eh? Honestly, Bullets isn't even close to my favorite song from Creed and its message is actually kind of disturbing, but I can't get enough of the energy behind it. Be careful when listening to this one as well.
"In my own heaven, I'll be gone forever."
3. I regret not having ever paid much attention to The Rasmus, because the more I listen to Dead Promises and their other songs, the more I realize how amazing they really are. There is cool, dark theme in this song which is a bit dreary, but the hard hitting beats of the chorus turn this into a more uplifting, action-inspiring song for me. Let me know if you agree.
"We know that we'll never walk alone."
4. I've recently been addicted to Image of the Invisible by Thrice, a song I wouldn't have found without Rock Band. It didn't interest whatsoever the first time I listened to it, but Image of the Invisible grew on me, and I gained a unique view of it after watching the music video, which is amazing. The story of the music video gives incredibly strong meaning to the lyrics of this song, and it helped me realize that this song isn't just cool to listen to, its also emotional enpowering. Really wonderful stuff here, don't miss out on this video.
"Now I'm lost."
5. Inertiatic E.S.P. is like an explosion in my mind. The guys in The Mars Volta are such amazing musicians, not to mention extremely unique in their musical endeavors. I can't believe they aren't more popular. Their energy never dies, and the craziness seems to go on endlessly. Their albums are unorganized and messy in a brilliant way, with songs ranging from 30 seconds to 13 minutes. These guys are just messing around with weird sounds, but they're awesome at it.
Don't expect much structure or meaning here. This one is all about the passion for rocking hard.
"When everything is going wrong, turn around and carry on."
6. Rides Again, not to be confused with Rise Against, is one of the more obscure bands I've included in this post, but even they have a few official music videos. Infected is their heaviest song, but far from their most powerful. I have a ton of respect for these guys because of their musical diversity and the well thought out messages contained in their powerful lyrics. Nevertheless, Infected is well worth the listen, but I recommend that you check out Rides Again entirely because there is much to be gained from their masterful work.
"Don't just stand there; its about to rain."
7. Here it is, the only female vocal song on this list, as opposed to last week where their were only female singers. The Material got in on some "next big thing contest" on MTV (which one of my favorite bands actually won) and, therefore, were featured in Rock Band with their song Moving to Seattle. This song is crazy good. I once listened to it twenty times in a row, no joke. Sure it might have only been because we were driving to Seattle for vacation, but still, this song never gets old for me. The Material isn't only amazing, but with only two EPs released, they're also economical for those of us with relatively empty pockets!
"We have got to fight."
8. Blacktop Mourning follows their band name by putting focus on the more depressing side of thinking, and My Only Heart is no exception. I don't let this stuff get to me. I can learn about different perspectives from these words of pain and regret, but I never let them become my own views. Blacktop Mourning, however, is a little different from other dark bands because they frequently take a depressing thought and turn it into a reason to rebuild and fix up issues, as with the lyrics I've included above. Don't shy away from this one, it really is spectacular stuff.
"You're going home; you're running free."
9. There aren't many words to describe Coheed and Cambria. Their rapid gain in popularity is proof enough of their unique style, interesting words, and raw talent as musicians. I've known Coheed and Cambria for a few years now, but I, once again, owe Rock Band for recently introducing me to The Running Free. I personally can't find meaning I can apply to my own life in these lyrics, but I still really like them, and not only because I've sung this song on Rock Band dozens of times. The video is a bit freaky, but this is the kind of quirkiness that makes Coheed and Cambria so awe-inspiring.
"We are young, but we have heart."
10. Hollywood Undead seems really cool with their song Young. It's too bad this is their only song that doesn't swear profusely. That knowledge aside, Young is probably my favorite out of these ten songs. It's emotionally powerful, brutally honest, and unrelenting in purpose. It's particularly meaningful and easily applicable for me and for my generation (you guys) with it's undeniably truthful words: "We are strong, but we don't belong", along with every other line. I'm inspired to write a book about this concept, because Hollywood Undead has given me so much to work with in this masterpiece of music. Please don't skip this one!!! And oh yeah, I found this song through Rock Band :)
So there it is, a perfect representation of the less serene side of my personality. I hope you don't think of me too differently now. Just know that I like this music because it pumps me up, not because it makes me feel like I want to hurt someone. Check back in a week or so to explore a stranger, quirkier side of me, and then possibly the week after that for a more passionate side of me.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
4. The Preservers
While Amy is interacting with other humans in the dreamworld, another person, a man named Blaise (working name), also learns to control his dreams. However, Blaise is completely disconnected from and unaware of the other humans (the dreamworld is infinite in every way). He begins to find that things are appearing in his dreams that he has no control over. Strange alien creatures begin to appear, and Blaise believes it is all some lost part of his imagination that is causing these dream experiences. He gradually comes to find that these aliens actually exist in the real world somewhere in our universe. Representatives from several civilized alien races (one from each) have been brought together in dream by an unknown power. They learn that they are each to strengthen their own homeworld, and establish an alliance between their races for an oncoming invasion by a mutual galactic enemy. They slowly learn to trust each other, even as different as they are. The strange force running the show teaches them all how to solve problems back on their own planets. Blaise, specifically, learns how to cure cancer, how to find effective alternatives for fuel. He learns how to invent things to improve transportation, construction, and military equipment to prepare humans for the attack. Blaise's rebellious and ignorant past motivate him to make something of himself, and this determination turns mere dreams into reality. No one knows how Blaise does the countless miraculous things he does, but he is renowned across the world for perserving his own planet and his own people, alongside the other heroes from across the universe.
This idea might be a little confusing for you, even I kind of struggle remembering exactly what this one is all about because I've yet to sort it all out in my mind. Probable future changes aside, this story has some very interesting aspects in its plot that I would hate to throw away. I love the idea of a main character who begins as incredibly rebellious and careless, but eventually recognizes his desire for a purpose and ultimately becomes a great hero. Blaise is also pretty unique because while in most of my stories there is a full team working together, Blaise generally stands alone.
5. The Champions
As Blaise and only a handful of others had been warned, Earth is attacked by an extremely powerful alien race. These aliens begin the attack by obliterating our moon to showcase their strength, then they begin to crash land on earth. Soon after, a few completely different alien races begin to appear on the planet, equally prepared for battle. Humankind is extremely confused by the chaotic situation and all hope it lost. Contrary to their assumptions, people slowly begin to realize that these newcomers are fighting against the former attacker, they have come to protect the humans. As this knowledge spreads, more and more humans come out of hiding to join in the fight, becoming extremely valuable allies for the friendly aliens. An elite group of human soldiers arises, given access to the advanced military technologies created by Blaise. These gifted fighters join elite forces from the other races and become collectively known as the champions. They continue to fight as the frontrunners in this conflict as an even larger intergalactic war unfolds.
I'm really liking this idea because it is a cooperative effort between myself and my best friend, Trevor Wilson. Since we spend so much time together, we figured creating a story together would give us something to talk about when everything else seems boring. I tried my best to explain this story, but some of what I just said about it was made up on the spot. We know that we've got the whole intergalactic battle taking place on earth, but we have no clue what the story is actually going to be about or what the purpose of the fighting is. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what direction this story will take, because it has a ton of open ends that Trevor and I have yet to discuss.
6. The Cyborgs
The center of the intergalactic war is moved away from Earth, but it continues to hurt the human race a great deal. Blaise's son, Drake, now carries his father's legacy as the ultimate creator. He decides it is time to rise to the next step in military technology: robotics. He designs a procedure that will allow for the creation of cyborgs, powerhouse soldiers. At first, Drake draws up a list of only 23 test subjects, including himself, in order to test the technology before pushing it to large-scale implementation. He begins to question whether it is right to compromise a soldier's humanity in order to add a little more firepower. Drake decides to call off the experiment, but it is too late. The operations proceed against his will, and he falls victim to them. Each procesure is successful, and for a while the cyborgs function extremely well with their mixture of human judgment and cybernetic advantages. Unfortunately, they begin to rely on their mechanical features too heavily, and gradually lose their human identities. They are separated and continue to fight among the human armies with no memory of their past experiences or true origin. Some begin to find objects in their adventures that cause flashbacks to important events in their lives. Slowly, they begin to remember who they are and what has happened. They begin to seek out each other and assist each other in reclaiming their identities. Vengeful because of their current state, they unite and seek to destroy the monsters who carried out their transformations.
I'm extremely proud of this idea because it involves a very interesting conflict and deep emotions. This has a much better foundation than the other two ideas here, and I don't think anything I've included in the summary will ever change in any way. The details are still missing, but this general idea is set in stone. When deciding which story I wanted to start writing first, I almost chose this one. I decided that I wanted to gain experience as a writer before I start so I can really nail this one because I feel that it has tons of potential. If I do end up sticking with my dream of being a well-known, well-rounded novelist, this idea is sure to be one of the stories I choose to write.
I apologize for all of the uncertainty surrounded these stories, and I hope they all make enough sense. Writing all of this down helps me to see which aspects of these stories I need to sort out, and hopefully these ideas will be clarified soon due to this simple post. If you have recommendations for ways to carry out or extend these ideas that you think would be cool, I would love to hear them. Your input and care is what motivates me to keep on writing!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
"I was feeling lonely, feeling blue, feeling like I needed you"
1. First is A&E by Goldfrapp. I found this song while looking through some music videos online. This one caught my attention, and it turns out my dad had bought the cd a few days before. What luck! This song really shows off Goldfrapp's (yes, that is her real last name) amazing vocals and is surprisingly energizing for me with its optimistic mood and message. Check out the video for this one, it allows for an interesting view of the song, plus its pretty quirky.
"I never want to see you unhappy. I thought you'd want the same for me"
2. This song is close to my heart. Fortunately I can't relate to it, because it describes a tragic failure, a lost hope. Still, the powerful emotion in Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy is something truly special, and it's hard not to be touched by these words. Be careful when approaching this one, because the connection I have with it is delicate and I'd hate for it to be threatened. I hope you can find a similar feeling for this wonderful piece of art.
"I'll be a moment closer to the brightest hour, here with you"
3. The Submarines sure are a sight to behold. They were simple musicians, introduced to each other through mutual friends. They have become romantically involved and write amazing music that they are both incredibly passionate about. Both are very talented singers, and Brightest Hour is only one of the many unique songs in their only released album, Honeysuckle Weeks. The atmosphere this song creates is really cool. I personally imagine a walk through a meadow in the dark of the night, an escape from the world and everything in it.
"All of the things that I thought were so easy just got harder and harder each day"
4. Next is Calendar Girl by Stars. This is the only song I know from Stars, but just knowing this song allows me to assume they are equally fabulous in all of their musical endeavors. The message is simple, yet complicated. In my eyes, it's all one long way of telling us to enjoy life, whatever comes. Take the days as they come and make something out of each one of them. Give me your interpretation.
"If somebody's got soul, you gotta make the move"
5. Metric is a awesome band. Their stuff is generally full of energy and a bit raw and unpredictable as far as the lyrics go. Watching their performances and even their music videos, you can tell these guys love to just have fun with their music. Knowing about these guys before hearing Collect Call, I was surprised by the feel this song has. The electronic sounds are a great addition in the background, but this song also proves that Emily Haines can sing amazingly. I'm sure you'll agree.
"Let your dreams run free"
6. Here's Imogen Heap returning with an earlier song of hers, from her debut album as a solo artist, actually. Come Here Boy is one of the most straightforward, honest, and sincere songs that I know. The lyrics aren't too fanciful, but they are filled with powerful words. There aren't any exaggerated metaphors or drawn out expressions. Imogen Heap is just telling us what she wants, plain and simple. If only we could all be this honest and open.
"I can fly, but I want his wings"
7. Every once in a while, I write up a list of my most favorite songs, ranked by how much I like them, because I think it is interesting to see how much my musical preferences switch around over the years. Out of my now 2,234 songs, only three have ever claimed the highest position as my most favorite song. Gabriel is one of them. Whether you see it as a song of love, hope, or grace, this song is a masterpiece. Too bad Lamb has stopped with their fabulous music, because I don't know any group that sounds anything like them. They know how to create good music.
"A calm heart will break when given a shake"
8. How My Heart Behaves is another important piece of music for me, and has been since the very first time I heard it. The cool thing about this song for me is that I remember the exact moment when I first heard this song, and I had an emotional attachment to it right from the start. Usually it takes me much longer to get much feeling out of a song like this, but because I became close to this song so quickly, I have a special connection with it now. Try not to miss out on this one.
"Be my friend"
9. Sia is an amazing singer if I've ever heard one. She can play around with her voice like no other, doing things I didn't know were possible. She can seem extremely crazy at times, but I think she's just being expressive. Breathe Me took a while to appeal to me. The music video honestly helped me to realize how amazing this song is. There's another simple, yet powerful message to be found here. Once again, I highly recommend you watch the official music video for this one.
"Forgetting the things that could have been"
10. Sia and Tina Dico are artists who sang for a group I love called Zero 7. I'm glad to see them pursuing solo careers because they definitely deserve to be known as individual musicians. Warm Sand came up when I had my iPod on shuffle while we were boating one Saturday. The relevance was an amazing coincidence, and I have loved this song ever since. Check it out.
So there it is, a softer side of me, but don't think it ends here. When thinking through the song that have been the most important in my life, I find that most of them are more toward the mellow, even deeply emotional side. I guess you could say I'm a sensitive guy, especially when it comes to music. Now you know a little more about me...
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
So two of these albums I purchased myself. They are from bands that are new to me, those chancy purchases that you can't help but worry about. The other two are CD's my dad got. They are from artists we have both enjoyed for some time now. Fortunately, none of the four dissapointed, they actually all really raised the bar for me. I would put up the entire albums, they are that fantastic, but I'll share three songs from each album so as to not bore you.
"Our love is gorgeous"
1. Dear and the Headlights is one of the new bands I've found. I included Sweet Talk from them a few weeks ago, which, as I said then, was in Rock Band and introduced me to Dear and the Headlights. This first song, Hallelujah, is more on the soft side and is a good example of the rest of DotH's songs. I love the freedom in their lyrics, they aren't structured and their incredibly honest, depicting the life of any average person. This allows for easy connecting with the messages of these songs. Hallelujah is just like this, a story of a young couple just going through daily life together. I honestly can't wait for the day I can share tunes like these with that special someone.
"Perfect, but no feeling left, happy in love"
2. Happy in Love fits really well with Hallelujah, it's just another song of love. It's so simple, yet so full of purpose and meaning, just like this statement will be: Enjoy.
"C'mon now, now it's not so bad. I'm sorry that you feel that way no, you're not useless. You don't even have to think about it. Things will work out just fine."
3. ^These words^ have single handedly not only helped me get through this weeks, they have single-handedly changed my life, as has this whole song. I've had it up on this blog for some time now, so you have no excuse for missing out on it. Run in the Front is a musical masterpiece if I've ever heard one. It's one of those songs that was meant for everyone to hear, so please give it at least one listen.
"You know you'll never be lonely, no you'll always be loved, and maybe you never need more than that"
4. These next few songs are from Imogen Heap, the Finlandic vocal prodigy. You might have heard "Hide and Seek" from her previous album. Her brand new album, Ellipse, is just as good, if not better. This one doesn't have as many loud sounds going on as the last album, which, although it created a cool atmosphere, is equally matched in this one. This album is more about the pure vocals, Imogen's words, and has a unique outer space feel to it. This song, Half Life is really something spectacular. It's the other song that has really gotten to me over these past fews days, and is a little bit more on the emotional side for me than Run in the Front. If I listened to this song over and over for two hours straight, I would still want to listen to it more. It's indescribable, so just listen for yourself. Thank you so much Imogen Heap.
"While we're here, let's see what happens. What we got to lose?...It'd be a sure shame not to."
5. Alright this one is just cool with the flute and video game sounds and everything. Tidal just has a cool mood, plain and simple. It also has a fantastic message: go for it. Check this one out here:
"Where do we go from here? How do we carry on? I can't get beyond these questions..."
"The one life that we've got"
6. Wait it Out proposes another cool concept. What is this life about anyway? Maybe we should just wait it out, see what happens next. The little cello bits in this song are really nifty, and adds even more variety to the already diverse sound that is Imogen Heap. Don't wait it out with this one, listen now.
"Close my eyes and be screamin "freedom""
7. Matisyahu is my man. He's a rappin' reggae former Jewish rabbi, how can you get better than that? If anyone knows about peace and freedom, its Matisyahu. His words are so much more powerful just because he is the one singing them. Matisyahu is a treasure to behold, you won't find anything like this anywhere else. On Nature is a bit religious, but in a universally acceptable way. See what you think.
"So when negativity surrounds, I know someday it will all turn around"
8. This one is One Day, which, as you can clearly hear, is the song I've chosen to welcome you to my blog. This song can only be viewed as inspiring, unless you're heartless. If we're ever going to achieve world peace, I think Matisyahu is doing a much better job than any president or religious authority I've ever heard of. This is a song for the whole, a song to celebrate, a song to remember. Most of all, its a song that just ought to be listened to, do it now.
"Dream awake, make no mistake, strive to be alive most every day"
9. I'll be honest here. This song is only here because of how purely awesome, and it has an awesome message to boost. Smash Lies is just for fun, perfect for cheering you up and getting you pumped up for any situation. This is the only rough rap song I like at all, and it's kind of become my guilty pleasure because this song is far from any impression I would want someone to have of me. It's too cool to pass by though, so don't pass it by yourself.
"Love, crash, heal. Less I feel."
10. The last artist is Soular, a cool band from Albuquerque :). This group is fairly obscure, in fact, I can't find their official lyrics anywhere so I am taking a guess with my quotations here. You should be glad I'm taking the time to share them with you, because their amazing. They've got the pump-up factor, they've got the mellow stuff, and lots in between. This first, Love Crash Heal, has a great blend of instruments. I particularly like the feel the bass guitar gives the whole song. Let me know if you like it.
"Self inflictions: this is how you fall."
11. This one actually has an official music video! So, This Is The Way It Feels is genius, you'll soon agree as soon as you hear the bass part right at the beginning, it's epic. I'm running short on time here and it's getting late, so I'll let your mind do the rest of the thinking.
"All I've got is what I am. It's in my heart, in my head. It's in my blood, makes me turn to you."
12. I was going to share "Once in a While" with you, but I can't find any samples on the internet to share with you. Talk to me in person if you want to check that one out. Instead, here's Take Me Away, quite a strong song. If you need a song for you're special someone, do yourself and them a favor by sending this one their way. But first, take a listen.
I really do feel the effort of doing all of this writing just to share songs is worth it. These songs give me unique perspectives I couldn't acquire in any other way. At least spend a few minutes of you're plentiful life to give some of these songs a shot. I would really appreciate. Thanks -Kyle
1. The Dreamers
The book I'm writing now, which only a few people know about, is about dreaming. A seventeen-year-old girl named Amethyst (Amy, for short) is nearing the end of her junior year at school. Despite the enjoyable life she shares with her four incredibly close friends, Amy yearns for something more. Planning to be a fiction author (much like myself), Amy turns to her imagination (dreaming, in particular) in hope of making her routine life seem more exciting. She begins to have dreams that are increasingly lucid, and in one dream a figure pulls her into the dream. From this point on, she actually enters her dreams as if they were reality and can control everything around her. The figure that pulled her into the dream turns out to be an actual person, one of an in-dream community of 24 dream-controllers from across the world. Interacting with this diverse population helps Amy acquire new perspectives about the world and its cultures. The group, spending every sleeping moment together, becomes very close, learning to trust and even love each other. When a problem erupts back in reality, the dreamers join together to save the world in a way only they can.
This story means a lot to me, and I know it can mean a lot to potential readers as well. It is the ultimate story of world peace/unity and it connects teenage life/desires to international issues to music. In a more aesthetic view, this plot allows me to include a lot of emotion, while this dreamworld setting allows me to explore endlessly, possibly involving a lot of action and other assorted moments of quirky randomness.
2. The Angels
While Amy is caught up with her dreams, actually becoming trapped inside the dreamworld for a long period of time, the real world is caught up with a severe problem. A strange disease has taken the entire population of the world at once. This disease, originating from an unknown source, isn't fatal, but rather drains the mind of all emotion, leaving only a feeling of importance when it comes to daily routine and bodily necessities. The population continues to work, to go to school, to sleep, to eat, and carry out all of their other usual tasks, but there is no conversation, no affection, no passion, not even courtesy. Habit rules life. Amy's friend Tristan, unknowingly overtaken by the ailment, finds through his habit of listening to music before bed that music temporarily reverses the effects of this blight, bringing emotions back to the mind. The next day, he brings his guitar to school and sings in the school's halls, bringing his schoolmates out of oblivion. With a group of his friends, Tristan begins to travel from city to city, uniting the populations through music, and leaving each community with advice to keep listening to the music to stay free from the disease. Tristan and his band grow to be nationally acclaimed, starting a chain reaction by encouraging other musicians to share their talent with those taken by the disease. Though things begin to turn for the worse for Tristan and his friends, they go down in history as "The Angels", their band name.
This story is probably my most realistic idea. Sure, there is an impossible blight that takes over the whole world simultaneously, but the characters don't have any special powers or abilities. They suffer through tough times much like the average person would in such a situation, and see as much, if not more failure their success in their endeavors. I plan to write this series in journal format, from the view of the characters. This might put restrictions on my ability to effectively explain what's going on, but it will allow for a deeper connection between the reader and the characters/content of the story, one that is greatly strengthened by music (as always with me).
3. The Harbingers
Several aliens arrive on Earth, camouflaging themselves to easily stay hidden among us, while they learn about our ways. They are on a mission to discover who we are as humans, each focusing on one individual person. What is our purpose? What do we care about? Why do we live like we do? They plan to meet together after they have had enough time to explore Earth. At this meeting, they will decide our fate. Either their race will perceive humans as worthy allies and friends, or they will infect us with an instantly fatal disease and take Earth for themselves. Though they lean toward destruction after witnessing our wars with each other, both on a large scale and on a small scale, they are fascinated by something we have, something they have never seen before: emotion. When these beings discover the influence of love, the power of happiness, and the strength of anger, they see these emotions as gifts to be treasured. The focus of this story is on a young woman named Grace, whom is the chosen point of interest for one of the aliens. This being not only learns everything about Grace, but Grace learns everything about it, because it is fully honest and open to her. Though she knows her every action and word represents all of humanity, she lives no differently than before. She impresses the being simply by being herself, and eventually becomes romantically involved with the humanlike being.
I'm crossing a lot of boundaries with this one, but if it counts: I think a young woman falling in love with a strangely attractive, friendly, sensitive, humanlike alien is far more reasonable and interesting than a young woman falling in love with a cheesy, awkward vampire that sparkles and devours harmless woodland creatures regularly (*wink wink*). This idea is still early in development and to prove it: I decided the character's name would be Grace a few hours ago.
I was going to continue, but my time for the night is wearing thin and this post is getting quite lengthy. I still have six stories to go that I can count now, so check back for a part 2 and probably a part 3 to see a little more of what goes on in my head. Thanks for reading, and please let me know your honest thoughts!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
1. First is A Fight of Light and Darkness from Prince of Persia, the game I've been playing most lately. With the Middle Eastern setting, the game's need for suitable Middle Eastern music is fixed with a wonderful blend of traditional instruments from the area. I'm glad this music plays often in the background throughout the game, because I can't get enough of it.
*2. Next is Baba Yetu, which plays in the main menu of Civilization IV. I would seriously just leave this game on in my computer so I could listen to this song over and over while doing homework and other things. With Civilization IV being a game that involves civilizations from all around the world, I'm thrilled that they chose a Christian African(Swahili) tune to represent the world. In fact, a zoomed out view of a rotating Earth is the image that accompanies this song and all in all, its a really neat mix.
3. The Battlefield Theme is from a game I bought fairly recently called Battlefield: Bad Company. It's short, but powerful with the strong cello and drum beats, and it sets a very good tone for the warfare setting of the game. This is probably my favorite string quartet piece ever, and I'm not just talking video games.
"Just so I can be with you, and I'll know how it feels for me to live like you do, and to die like you too"
*4. Dreamfall: The Longest Journey is one of the coolest games I've ever played. It has one of the best stories I've seen in a video game. In fact, the whole game is about the story, there is hardly any action, no racing, nothing but a bit of puzzle-solving and anticipation for what will happen next. It's almost like you just took control over the main character of one big, 3D storybook. Anyway, this game has extremely powerful music, and it's the only game that's contributed two songs to this list. The first is Be With You by Magnet, the alias of a Norwegian singer/songwriter. One of the few here with lyrics, Be With You accurately depicts the feelings of the main character in this game. It caught my attention right away, unlike a lot of these pieces, but it was almost tortuous because of how scarcely it appeared in the actual game. Nevertheless, I've tracked it down for our enjoyment.
"If he shoots ya, it's gonna hurt"
5. Alright this next one in the Donkey Kong Theme Song from the N64 version of the game. At one point my sisters and I had these lyrics memorized and we'd play it over and over and could never stop laughing. This song really is just a big joke with a lot of effort behind it, but it still rules.
6. Never before have I felt so pumped up by the music of a game then with the Dungeon Siege Theme. Unfortunately, it's much too short-lived, by the composition is still one of the most amazing I've heard.
7. Ok this song is crazy. The F-Zero GX Theme is incredibly unique and is perfect for the futuristic setting of the game. Being a racing game(my favorite one, at that), F-Zero does well to have music like this. Traveling at 100's of mph with this kind of music has never felt so awesome.
*8. Not much needs to be said about this next song, the second I've included from Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. I honestly hesitated to share this song with you guys because it is so emotionally personal to me. Short and simple: the moment toward the end of the game where this song plays is the only time I've ever cried during a video game. You'd have to play the game to have a shot at the same effect, but here's a taste. It's called Faith, don't miss it. (The track is over nine minutes longs, but the actual song only plays for the first three or so)
"To walk in the dark, carrying the light of tomorrow"
*9. Wow, don't get me started on how fantastic the music in Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is. Basically, it's so good that it's the only game soundtrack I've actually purchased. Unfortunately, I got the Japanese version of the soundtrack, which only messes up the two songs that have lyrics. Kaze No Ne plays during the opening credits of the game, another segment I would repeat over and over just for the song. Don't worry, this is the English version.
*10. Never Forget is from a game you might actually recognize: Halo 3. This song is chanced upon in the main menu and I'm always caught hoping it will play. I loved the Halo Theme, with the beautiful string instruments, but then in Halo 2 I really think they messed it up by replacing the violins with an electric guitar for the melody. I'm glad that in Halo, they returned to the softer compositions, and the use of the piano makes this song so much more powerful.
11. Next is from one of the coolest games ever. It's the Oblivion Theme. Unfortunately, it's only the first twenty seconds of this composition that really get to me, but the rest is very good as well. This soundtrack was made available online for free. Once I snagged it from the internet, this short piece got a lot of play time on my i-pod. See what you think.
12. Oh goody, it's World of Warcraft, one of the most amazing, fun, and addictive games on the planet. Listening to this song is extremely hard for me because I have actually stopped myself from playing it for over a year and a half because it took so much time out of my life and it has a monthly cost. Still, it's probably the funnest game of all time, and Seasons of War from the cinematic trailer hardly does justice to the dozens of amazing tracks that play depending on your location in the huge world of the game. This trailer gives me the chills for many reasons.
"I will move fast. I will move slow. Take me where I have to go"
*13. This next song is a big deal, and not just for me (you might notice it's the song I've chosen to play first on this page). This song was sung by a Finnish singer, written for an amazing video game, and has a music video to combine the two. Still Alive plays during the credits of Mirror's Edge, an incredibly unique, yet underrated game. This song works very well when matched with the game, but is still fabulous on its own. Don't miss out.
"Anyway, this cake is great. It's so delicious and moist"
14. Pick #14 was a major hit, I mean huge, like so huge that it was actually released on Rock Band, yes the actual Rock Band. This song from Portal, also named Still Alive, is largely accepted as the best song to ever play during credits of any kind. You absolutely have to play to the game to understand the numerous inside jokes and what's going on with the singing robot. Fortunately, Portal is extremely easy for anyone to pick up and play and you should definitely give it a try when you get the chance.
15. The largest scale game I know of, Supreme Commander knows how to make you feel like a supreme commander. With beautiful landscapes and unbelievable battles and even wars are enhanced by the games soundtrack, and the Supreme Commander Theme gets puts you right in the zone when it plays as soon as you start the game up.
*16. Half-Life 2 has the best story and mood I've ever experienced in a video game. Taking place in City 17 (haha!), the thrill never ends from the moment you enter the city to the end of the game. For some reason, this song, Triage at Dawn never made it into the final released edition of the game. However, I was lucky to find it when searching for the game's soundtrack and I even plan to put it on constant repeat when I play the game again, because I know it fits perfectly.
*17. As a part of my amazing luck, the song that ended up with the spot of my lucky number simply due to my alphabetization of the list also happens to be from my favorite game of all time and the song I've heard more times than any of these others. It's the Unreal Tournament 2004 Main Theme. The person who composed all of these instruments to blend together so well is a musical genius. This song gives me so many good memories of playing with friends and family, and just of playing the game in general, which has so many other good tracks. It seriously makes me want to hurry and finish up this post just so I can play it this instant. I think I'll do just that.
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy all of these amazing songs and this lengthy post. I spent a ton of time thinking through all of my games to find every tune I might want to include here, but I'm still sure I missed many. I'm sure this hefty list will keep you busy though. You're welcome!
Monday, July 27, 2009
"I only think about her, must get to her, cannot lose her. You know that I will not let this die"
1. First up this first time around (gee, I'm so excited) is F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X. by The Fall of Troy. You may know this song from Guitar Hero 3...well lets be honest, who has ever discovered this song if not through GH3? Having played this game thoroughly during the past few weeks, I've officially decided that F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X. is my favorite in the game, so here you are!
2. Up next is Hello Seattle (Remix) by Owl City. I was introduced to Owl City recently through the iTunes single of the week: Fireflies, but it turns out my uncle had a copy of the entire CD (Ocean Eyes) ready for me at our family party the next day. Out of the bunch, I definately like this song the best and yes, it is much better than the original.
"I keep on forgetting how the last two years of my life have been wasted, golden opportunities that I could have tasted"
3. Third is Living a Lie by Aqueduct, one of the 23 (yahoo!) songs I was able to buy last weekend with an iTunes gift certificate. With the purpose of finding new talented bands in my mind, choosing this song did not dissapoint and I was lucky to stumble upon Aqueduct when looking at a list of recently released albums. David Terry is already an awesome person in my book. His blend of rock and electronic is so unique that you'll have a tough time finding anything like it. On top of that, this song is just so catchy and it still refuses to leave my head.
"I believe in our romances, 'cause I believe in second glances"
4. Elevation is next with their beautiful song: Maybe Tomorrow. Thanks to Pandora for introducing me to this band. Usually it takes several or more listens for me to feel any kind of emotional attachment to a song, but this one had me from the first play through. I'm a sucker for a good love song, and this already among my list of the best. Check it out.
"I remember hoping you would stay, didn't wanna dance with someone else and can still see you walk away. When I'm not with you, I'm not myself"
5. Foolproof is a band that I discovered almost a year ago, but never really got into. I decided to revisit them by purchasing Railroads and now I'm filled with regret for leaving them unnoticed for so long. Although a very obscure band, Foolproof is amazingly varied in their music and, even though they only have released one album, they could arguably be described as alternative, rock, screamo, or possibly something else. Railroads is one of their softer songs, so don't hesitate to take a listen.
"Snow falls in slow motion as you go. Destination: San Francisco"
6. One thing you should about me and my musical taste is that violin/viola/cello part=excellence in most cases. With that in mind, its no surprise that San Francisco by This World Fair had my attention from the first few seconds of the song. It's another love song, though more on the sad side, so for me it can't get much better than this. Don't miss out.
7. This next one is from one of my all-time favorite artists: Moby. His new album, Wait for Me, is as incredible and impressive as any of his others. I'm not exactly sure why, but this new album strikes me as simple, like Moby just wanted to do what he loves and not have to care about what anyone thinks. This pure honesty in expression often brings out the best of one's talents, and Moby remains one of the very few people who can bring me to tears without words. Here's proof of his magnificence. Check out Shot in the Back of the Head if not any other song on this list.
"It's ok not to be the same"
8. I owe the wonderful folks at Harmonix for introducing me to this next song through their weekly-released content for Rock Band (my favorite!). Sweet Talk by Dear and the Headlights is one of those songs you first listen to without any strong impressions, but then you find it stuck in your head later and can't help but to wonder: "What in the world is that song? I need it now!" A few people I've had listen to it think its just annoying, but I love it. See who you agree with.
"Every moment bleeds into one. We're falling apart"
9. The Lake House by Hidden in Plain View not only has an awesome band name behind it, it's also amazing. The chorus is truly something special, and is the sort that can always calm you down and help you feel a sense of peace. This is one of those songs that was meant to be played during a date or a party or something because it is just so incredible that it has to get out there somehow. So help me out by not passing this one up.
"Sleeping during the day. Why lack of living from what we're eating?"
10. To finish off, I'd like to share The Men Who Live Upstairs by The Most Serene Republic with you. Sirius radio introduced me to this wonderful band. The Most Serene Republic has a cooperating male and female voice, one of my favorite variations of music groups. What's unique is that the voices are used more as instruments than as dominating harmonies. I'd love to see more of these guys in the future because they are benefitting the music world with their unique style. Here it is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t771WaoJNVw
If any of these songs catch you're attention, give the bands a shot. I'm not telling you that this is some the best music out there, I am saying that for me it is, and I want to know if you agree. If anything, give these songs a try and I'm more than happy to listen to some of your own favorites. Thanks for reading/listening! -Kyle
I am a dreamer by day and by night
I am a craver, I savor the flavor
I am a music zealot
I am a Rock Band fanatic
I am a hardcore gamer
I am an imagination addict
I am a creator with words and sounds
I am an aspiring bass guitarist
I am a growing singer
I am a skilled violist
I am a future author
I am a visual photographer
I am a freak for the number 17
I am "the smart one"
I am an outsider
I am a frequent user of the dictionary and the thesaurus
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
I am a lone dancer
I am a jokester
I am a seeker of fun
I am a listener, not a talker
I am a world explorer
I am a culture lover
I am a pioneer for a better future and for a more exciting reality
I am a hopeful husband and father
I am a passionate speaker
I am a constant thinker
I am a treasurer of artificial and natural beauty
I am someone who cares, so let me hear it
I am a pretty fairly decent guy
I am Yanusun
I am Kyle
Who are you?