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2013 In Review: Music

Usually I break my music review into two posts because there’s so much to say, but sadly this year it seems like all the people I found great music from in the past few years stopped talking about the music they loved so much, leaving me to find new music on my own (and I sort of didn’t). I didn’t necessarily need to this year, though because there were so many great bands I already loved releasing new content!

 

Fun Fact: I added 517 songs to iTunes in 2013!

 

Best New Band of 2013 (New to me)

 

Of the new bands I did manage to discover on my own this year, I The Mighty easily wins best band of the year. In my top 20 most played songs of the year, I The Mighty owns 6 of them. They’re a band I listened to a ton while writing Dreamsters and a band I don’t see myself growing bored of anytime soon. If you somehow missed all the posts I made dedicated to them this year, now’s your opportunity to hear what they’re all about. Check them out!

 

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Top 10 Most Played Tracks of 2013

 

And now, some of these tracks might be predictable if you’ve followed Music Friday at all, but here are my top ten most played tracks of 2013! (Titles are clickable)

 

#10: Secret & Whisper – “Lovers”

#9: The Material – “Skin & Bone”

#8: Hands Like Houses – “Fountainhead”

#7: I The Mighty – “Speak to Me”

#6: Everything Everything – “Cough Cough”

#5: Dance Gavin Dance – “Doom & Gloom”

#4: The Neighbourhood – “Sweater Weather”

#3: letlive. – “That Fear Fever”

#2: Family Force 5 – “D-I-E- 4 Y-O-U”

#1: 78violet – “Hothouse”

I’m always up for music recommendations so what were you listening to in 2013?

 

2011 In Review: Music (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of my reflections of music in 2011! This one pays homage to the bands themselves (*new bands that really stood out to me this year over all the others) and to the people who turned me on to them (sometimes that includes myself)!

*New to me, not necessarily new to the world

Note: Clicking the image of each band will take you to their site and music. You should totally click their images to check them out!

Corruption from Heather

Even though I’ve known Heather for a couple of years now and we talk literally every day via email, chat, etc…, it wasn’t until this year that our game of music corruption really began. I honestly don’t remember exactly how it started. I think it was a song by The Hush Sound that might have been the beginning of what has been an awesome year of sharing music with her. I remember sending it to her via email because it was currently living on repeat for me and discovering that she abuses single songs just as much as me. Within a few days we’d both listened to the song so many times it was ridiculous and it spawned something wonderful. A year later and we’ve shared an uncountable amount of music with each other, almost all of which we easily fell in-love with. Sharing music is always fun, but it’s so much better to share it with someone who’s ears are so attuned to the same thing as yours! Of all the bands Heather has turned me onto the two that consistently get the most plays are:

Sick Puppies

According to Heather, the first two songs she ever sent me were “Survive” and “The Bottom” because they’re her favorites. I just know that I loved Sick Puppies so much based on just those songs that I pretty much pestered her until she sent me more. As you saw in my previous music post that I loved this band enough to make one of their tracks the most played track of the year. If I had posted the top twenty most played tracks of the year five of them would have been Sick Puppies songs. I’d say that says a lot about how much I ended up loving this band this year!

                    

RED

When I was growing up, I was into quite a few Christian rock bands, but for a while there the sound just wasn’t compatible to the other rock music I listened to and I stopped giving it a shot. So, I was surprised when Heather introduced me to this band and I fell in-love with their sound instantly, to then discover that they were a Christian rock band. I guess religious rock has made a comeback? It doesn’t really matter that they’re a Christian group, but I have to admit that the lyrics of their songs move me a little more than most and I love how they can so cleverly weave those powerful words into a sound that’s so hard and unlike most Christian music. Needless to say, this has become a band that has not only helped me write, but filled my soul with comfort when I’ve needed it most. They’re a really great band that I doubt I’ll grow tired of anytime soon.

         

Corruption from Steve

Mine and Steve’s friendship began solely because of music. Originally he was a friend of Heath’s, who heard I liked Atreyu and wanted to see if I’d heard of some of his other favorite bands. Turns out he had a heck of a lot more bands under his belt in this genre of music than I had even heard of and his influence on me was crazy-strong. Since meeting him in August, I’ve added almost 4GB of music to iTunes. That’s almost half of the entire year’s additions. I would like to say I may have equally corrupted him with some of my favorite music, but our relationship is pretty one sided unfortunately. He gives, I take. Luckily, he’s a good sport and seems to enjoy getting me into something new!  While many of the bands he’s turned me onto deserve recognition, the following two are by far my favorites:

Artifex Pereo

Very rarely does a band have such consistency for me that I can listen to anything they put out and love it all equally. Sure, I’ll still have songs I’m more drawn to and particularly based on my mood, but if I can listen to every song without skipping a track it says a lot about a band. This group qualifies as one of those rare few. While I suppose their music generally has a harder sound, they also have these brilliant moments of softness too. Their instrumentals can be beautifully complicated or perfectly simple and still amaze you. They have potential to be around for a very long time if they stick with it, in my opinion. They’ve recently acquired a new singer and I just hope he helps the band bring as much to the plate as they have before. I can’t wait for new music in the future and I truly hope I get to see a show one day!

      

Dance Gavin Dance

This band can be a bit difficult, but not because of their musical ability. They’re difficult because of the way they flip-flop singers. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. The singers they’ve featured have been equally skilled, but it leaves each album holding a noticeably different sound. Again, though, that’s not a bad thing. To me, they mix singing and screaming in a really entertaining way and their screaming isn’t so muffled that you couldn’t scream along (which happens too often unfortunately with screamer bands). This is the type of band that I imagine I’d go crazy to in a pit at a show and I really hope I get to see them live one day to test this theory.

          

Rediscovered Bands

Sometimes I have a tendency to forget about bands I love. I blame this partly on the fact that I don’t listen to the radio and rely greatly on others to corrupt me musically. Because of social mediums though it’s been easier to stay up to date with music I like, but before it, sometimes it was pretty easy for me to be distracted by something new and let the other bands I like fall by the wayside. This year I found a few bands I used to love again and “catching up” on all I’d missed over the year was far too fun! Reliving my memory of why I loved them before certainly won’t let me forget about them again!

Mindless Self Indulgence

Maybe the year was 2002 when I first got into MSI. I was wearing face paint a lot back then because I was “down with the clown” and MSI was a fairly popular band with the Juggalos. I wouldn’t have had to be a Juggalette, though, to like MSI. The problem was, I stopped hanging around those clown kids in 2004 and lost my connection to this semi-underground band. When I got into that The Left Rights song that was the most played track of the year last January, I felt compelled to check up on MSI and see what they’d been up to for the last few years. Turns out, it was a lot! Quickly, I just had to buy everything I’d missed and was also blessed with the re-release of Tight as Tighter this year. Needless to say, they were my favorite “rediscovered band” of the year.

         

Thrice

Thrice is one of those bands that I always liked whenever I heard them, but never actually owned anything by them which made it even easier to forget about them when I wasn’t around people who also listened to their brand of music. This year, though, Steve can take credit for re-introducing them to me and just in time, too, for their latest album. Sadly, shortly after the release of Major/Minor they announced that they’d be on hiatus for a while to enjoy their home lives. While I’m disappointed that just as I’ve acquired all of their music, they’ve left the scene, I also have a lot of respect for talented people who don’t let their talent take away from their real lives too. I’m sure they’ll be back one day and when they return, I’m confident it will be stellar!

           

Dead Bands*

Stumbling onto bands that totally rock after the fact can be fun because they usually come with a hefty load of music to keep your ears occupied. The downfall, though, is that that’s all you’ll ever get out of them. You’ll never have an opportunity to see them live, you’ll never hear new music from them, and you’ll probably never even be able to find a t-shirt or decent memorabilia unless they were super famous. That part sucks. Being dead or not, though, doesn’t mean I won’t still love them. This year’s favorite “dead bands” include:

He Is Legend

Again, Steve can take credit for turning me onto He Is Legend. In fact, the first song he ever sent me was “Do You Think of Pretty.” He had said he knew I’d like this band, without doubt, because “girls think Schuylar’s pretty vanilla.” That didn’t really have anything to do with why I ended up loving them, but it did make me laugh. Anyway, many albums later and I was hooked to He Is Legend and sad to know that they were on hiatus with no future in the works.

                      

Morningwood

I blame the fact that I had forgotten about MSI for the past couple of years on not knowing about Morningwood. I mean, the lead singer is Jimmy Urine’s wife. There’s no way if I’d stayed up to date with MSI that I would have missed out on the awesomeness that is Morningwood. In fact, finding them at all this year is completely because of rediscovering MSI. YAY for social mediums and bands pumping up their buddies! :) Anyone that knows me, knows I love rocker chicks and when you’re as talented as Chantel and your band reminds me of 90’s rock, well… it’s a no brainer, I’m gonna love you.

                          

(*Apparently, despite believing both of these bands would never make a comeback all year, I’ve just recently discovered that there may be hope for them both after all! He Is Legend has already announced they will be releasing a new album in 2012 and Morningwood is currently listed as the opening band for Mindless Self Indulgence this year on tour. This makes me incredibly happy.)

Want to see if you can corrupt me musically in 2012?

I dare you. 😉

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In Which I Bitch…

A lot of things have been getting on my nerves. So much so that I feel I may burst if I don’t voice them aloud in some way. Since no one reads this journal anyway, voicing my angst here seems like the best solution. Here I go…

1. I love music. It is as important to me as breathing. Anyone that knows me must know at least this one thing about me. And yet, I cannot get one freaking person to accompany me to a concert. Not one! And it doesn’t even matter who the artist is at this point. No one’s willing regardless. The only people who might be interested or at least act interested in going live out of state. How is it possible that I know no one within a reasonable distance that wants to go to a concert with me? Even if they don’t love the music, is the idea of attending something with me really all that appalling? Am I honestly that pathetic? I will be missing both the Arctic Monkeys concert and Dance Gavin Dance concerts coming up and I’m not sure whether to be pissed, upset, or both.

2. My truck died. Okay, well it’s not entirely dead, but driving it anymore is putting my own life at risk for the brakes only stop now whenever they choose to (which isn’t often). This makes driving scary as hell. The item causing this issue costs on the upward of $500 bucks and while that could be a manageable repair cost, it is not the only malfunction my truck is currently experiencing. I suppose with it being 10 years old now and being minimally maintained over the years, I shouldn’t expect so much of it, but I’m not ready to buy a new vehicle! I’m not prepared for an additional bill every month. I barely get by as it is. It also doesn’t help that I have a serious aversion to change, of any sort. I mean ideally, I’d LOVE a new vehicle – something shiny and pretty and more modern, but knowing I have to is making me freak out. Mom is currently letting me driver her truck, but I imagine this new vehicle purchase will be happening within the week. I’m just praying it happens with ease.

3. I haven’t written in…? It was so long ago I don’t even know when now. It might be an easier pill to swallow if new ideas were still bombarding me or if my characters were still up there toying around with new story lines, but it’s all gone. I’ve had very minimal creative activity occur lately and it’s making me feel insane. Of the moments I’ve actually had time to write I sat there with a pencil and paper and a blank page continued to stare back at me. Randomly strange lines from sporadic stories will pop into my head, but nothing of substance or that even fits in a particular place. I’m attempting to write a Halloween Short Story like I did last year, but who knows if that will even happen. It’s a story I’ve known for years, one that used to be a script so it shouldn’t be all that hard, but there is seriously some sort of disconnect from my brain to my fingers these days. It’s an awful feeling with every day that passes thinking: Maybe I’m not a writer after all.

4. I don’t read books anymore. Or at least I haven’t in months now. And it’s not that there aren’t books in my possession that I really want to read because there are (so many of them), I just feel zero drive for it. Like focusing enough to make it past a few pages and retaining what I’ve read feels like an impossible feat. Sigh. What is happening to me?

Okay, I could go on, but I’m getting annoyed by my own rant so if there is actually anyone reading this you’re definitely done hearing me bitch.

Peace – Sarah

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September: On Repeat

This month’s “On Repeat” just might be the strangest collection of music yet. A lot of new music from August bled into September and one of my corrupters in particular was determined to outdo the others (he succeeded, btw). Also, this month my sister can be added to the corrupters list and like last month, I’m only responsible for one of the finds in this month’s list. We’ll start with my find…

Hayley Williams of Paramore posted this on her tumblr and I instantly fell in-love. In addition to this video, they also revealed another song via soundcloud called, ”Can’t Explain” which was equally as awesome. This album comes out in October so there’s a very strong possibility that States will make next month’s “On Repeat” too!

States – “Timebomb”

The next track that got a lot of plays came from Heather (edgyauthor), but technically I’m the one who turned her onto this band; I just didn’t have this song yet. :) I have GOT to get the rest of this album!

The Hush Sound – “Honey”

The following two songs came from my sister. The first of which was used for her wedding and since we had to edit the track to fit our walk down the aisle I listened to it a boatload of times. I wasn’t even sure I liked it initially, but now I’m positive I do especially with the extra meaning it will always hold. And the second song is something my sister hums and sings to herself so much when I’m around her that I found it stuck in my head before I’d ever even heard the real song.

Bibio – “Lovers’ Carvings”

(The wedding party walked in to the beginning, slower part, and then my father and sister walked in when the beat changed. It was awesome!)

Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”

Everything from this point on is from Steve! Some are new, some leaked over from last month (sorry).

So remember how last month I posted a bunch of Chiodos songs and said that sadly they’d kicked the lead singer out of the band, but were still making music? Well if you don’t, that’s what happened. New Chiodos doesn’t exactly sound the same. In my opinion they have more mainstream feel and the mastering sounds more refined, but I like them regardless of these things. In addition to the video below, quite a few other tracks got a lot of love including: ”His Story Repeats Itself”, ”Let Us Burn One”, and ”Notes in Constellations”

Chiodos – “Hey Zeus! The Dungeon”

Maybe now you’re wondering what happened to the old Chiodos lead singer? Maybe you’re not, but I’m going to tell you anyway. He created this band which also doesn’t exactly have the same sound as old Chiodos, but it’s pretty damn great in my opinion! In addition to the embedded track ”Graveyard Dancing” also got a ton of plays!

Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows – “My Swagger Has a First Name”

This next artist is the former singer of two bands I love, Emarosa & Dance Gavin Dance. I really hope he returns to the latter at least, but at the moment he’s currently in rehab or some nonsense like that. (It makes me sad when talented people waste their talent on addictions) Anyway, aside from the song embedded a couple other tracks got a lot of love too like: “I’ve Been Hearing that You’re Freaky” & “Children of Divorce”

Jonny Craig – “So Many of Us Hide Our Black Hearts”

This band isn’t really new to me, I’ve known OF them for quite some time, but until Steve came along, I didn’t actually own any of their music. I still don’t own a ton, but of the stuff I’ve bought since being reintroduced to them, I’ve been very pleased. Outside of the video below I also listened to ”Sink into Me” a heck of a lot too!

Taking Back Sunday – “Catholic Knees”

This band is the kind of band you can’t hate a song by. Everything I have by them is just so easy to listen to altogether. With that being said, picking a favorite is a little difficult, but there were a couple that got more plays than others like the track shown below as well as ”His Silent Film” & ”Cars.”

Lower Definition – “If We Speak Quietly”

Okay and last but not least is Dance Gavin Dance. I realize I posted about them last month, but gosh, they have SO MANY GREAT songs that I just can’t get enough right now. The song embedded was actually the most played song this month over everything I’ve listed above, but in addition to it the following got a crazy number of plays too: ”Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex”, ”Nasa”, ”Don’t Tell Dave”, ”Powder to the People”, & ”Strawberry Swisher Pt. 2”

Dance Gavin Dance – “Reprogramming Mental Preprogramming”

That concludes September’s music “On Repeat.” Who will corrupt me next month? 😉

Peace – Sarah
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August: On Repeat

August was a seriously big month for music in my world. I’ve acquired and loved so much new music this month that putting together this list proved difficult, so, like I’ve done in the past when there were far more than 10 songs for the month, I’m going to list them by artist instead of just certain songs.

I’ll start with the only band I actually found on my own…

The Burning Hotels

The most played track was a song used on the BandSlam soundtrack and because I loved it so much, I went ahead and bought their two albums. I was not let down.

Other songs that lived on repeat include: “My New Romance”“Hey”“Austin’s Birthday”

Everything else in this list was introduced to me by my two favorite corrupters (one old and one new).

*OLD Corrupter* From edgyauthor (aka: Heather):

Sixx:A.M.

Sure, I’ve posted a Sixx:A.M. track before, back when I was listening to “Pray for Me” ad nauseum, but I didn’t own anything else by the band and it wasn’t until Heather sent me a track off their latest album that it made me realize it was time I should check out the rest.

Hurt

While chatting about another series of mine and sending drug themed tracks to her that I felt fit the tone of the book, she turned me on to Hurt because of this song:

I still have plenty more Hurt tracks to check out, but what I’ve heard so far is great! And that track is so great that my book quickly snatched it up for its soundtrack!

Heather left for vacation early on in the month after this and our ability to chat daily disappeared. In her absence, I buddied up with another music lover and his ability to corrupt me is so on point it blows my mind. Over 300 new songs later and I haven’t been let down once. Give that boy a gold star!

*NEW Corrupter* From Steve:

He Is Legend

This is the first song Steve sent me and 3 albums worth of He Is Legend later and I’m in love with them. While all of the songs got a lot of love, the following got just a little more than most: “That’s Nasty”“The Creature Walks”“Eating a Book”

Just Like Vinyl

A band so good that every track on the album could potentially be a favorite. A band so great it sucks that there is only one album so far, BUT another is in the works which is happy news for anyone as in love with them as me! Most played was the first song he sent me:

Other songs that were played an insane amount include: “Cardiac Harassment” and “Death of a Sheep”

The Fall of Troy

Technically I already knew this band. I totally destroy “F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X.” on Guitar Hero and the band has always interested me, but I was foolish in not owning anything more than a handful of songs before.

Other songs that would not leave my ears… “The Dark Trail”“Quarter Past”“Chapter IV: Enter the Black Demon”

Emarosa

What can I say about this band? What do I really even have to say? Jonny Craig’s voice is like “sex on a stick” and well the music is just the perfect backdrop for such a voice.

You want more? Yeah, I did too and I listened to the following almost as many times as the embedded track. “Heads or Tails? Real or Not?”“A City Called Coma: Pt 2”“Pretend. Relive. Regret.”

So sad this band is no more, but…. At least there’s….

Dance Gavin Dance

Okay, so yeah, they’re definitely heavier, but such a wonderful clash of screaming and Jonny Craig. This bands name just totally suits them, in my opinion. I want to dance (or jump around at least) whenever I hear them!

Other fun songs you should check out include: “And I Told them I invented Times New Roman”“Spooks”“Uneasy Hearts weigh the Most” (which actually has a different singer)

Chiodos

This band sadly kicked their singer out and will no longer be as great as the songs I’m going to share. The new stuff isn’t terrible and something will probably pop up in next month’s post, but it’s just not the same. Their use of both the piano and violin in such “hard” music just amazes me.

Other songs that got lots of love: “If I cut my hair, Hawaii will sink”“Lexington. (Joey Pea-Pot With A Monkey Face)”“Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered”

*Their ridiculously long titles amuse me.*

Of Mice & Men

A band I wasn’t totally sure I liked initially, but with a few more listens I suddenly found myself picking favorites!

Other tracks played ad nauseum include: “My Understandings”“Second & Sebring”

Honestly, there is so much more music I’ve been turned onto in the last month, but since I haven’t stopped listening to any of it, I’ll let it bleed into September. I don’t foresee my corrupters cutting back anytime soon. I think they enjoy their musical power over me and I’m totally fine with that!

Until the next time,
Sarah

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