Saturday, August 21, 2010

Getting To Know You...

... Through Music!
As a writer I am constantly on the prowl for new amazing music to inspire me. I've always been a huge music fan. I was in choir back in high school (and part of college) before Glee made it cool (I LOVE that t.v. show!) and am singing almost every second of the day. When my husband and I discovered Rock Band, I even taught myself to play the guitar and sing at the same time. It sounds silly but it's a great party trick and makes me feel like a "serious musician" (who plays a fake instrument while looking at the t.v. to give me the right buttons to play, but I digress).

What I'm getting at is, I draw on music for all my inspiration and feel like my music tastes say a lot about me. For this reason, I wanted to post my top 6 favorite bands (not in any order, I love them all equally).

    1.  Incubus- I like to joke with my husband that this band is my first love because I've loved them longer than I've even known my husband (which is saying a lot since we've been together for 7+ years and considering I'm only 23...). Everything about their music is right for me. The moment I stopped and listened to their lyrics I fell in love. Brandon Boyd (the lead singer) has such a way of seeing the world at its most basic form and writing lyrics that encompass it. Their albums Make Yourself, Morning View and Light Grenades have been on my playlist on repeat since they came out and each song still speaks to me. I mean, check out these lyrics from "Monuments and Melodies":

"My past is perilous
But each scar I bear sings
Monuments to where I've been
And melodies to where I am going...
You make me happy
You magnify my better half"

Those lyrics set behind the slow, swaying music and rolling drumbeat as Boyd crones how happy his lover makes him is enough to set the room on fire. Most everything they sing is poetic and beautiful and as simple as saying "you make me happy". You probably know them best for: "Drive", "I Wish You Were Here" and "Love Hurts"

     2.  Jimmy Eat World- I call these guys the poor man band. My reasoning is because most of their lyrics speak to middle class America and the experiences everyone has growing up. Like Incubus, Jimmy Eat World has this wonderful way of making deep and complex observations about the world and then cutting away the excess fat to make incredibly effective and simple lyrics for their songs. Unlike the band in my number spot, Jimmy Eat World always has this amazing almost 50's sock hop sort of feel to their music. Every time I hear them, I feel like I should be hanging out with my guy at a diner, drinking milkshakes. You probably know them for their songs: "In The Middle" and "Big Casino"

    3.  Paramore- I stumbled across Paramore through good old fashion work. I'd been hoping to find some pretty great Panic! at the Disco songs and downloaded one that sort of sounded... like a girl singing. Completely in love with the song, I typed in the word that came up the most in the song "Emergency" and came up with a picture of a petite orange-haired pixie with lungs the size of Texas. I downloaded a few more songs and i was hooked! Since I found them, they've released a bunch of new stuff and their music keeps evolving. It's upbeat, fun and thoughtful. Their newest album Brand New Eyes has been out for a long while now and it's still a favorite on my playlist and in my car. They also happen to have one of my favorite lyrics ever in a little song called "Playing God":
"If God's the game that you're playing
Well, we must get more acquainted
Because it has to be so lonely, to be the only one that's holy
It's just my humble opinion but it's one that I believe in
You don't deserve a point of view
If the only thing you see is you"
Because of their great rock sound, Haley's amazing vocals and awesome lyrics, Paramore is definitely part of my top 6. You know them best for: "Decode", "Misery Business", "Ignorance" and "Only Exception"
   4.   Mutemath- So, you know those guys that are always tucked in the back of the music room, actually studying their craft? This band is comprised of them. These guys are musicians first and foremost. I want to one of their concerts and they blew me away, switching instruments, providing long instrument interludes and even improvising during songs. It was incredible. I realize that this band (perhaps the most out of all the bands I list here) is an acquired taste. They put singing on the back burner for the music but when they do, it's SO good. All of their songs are incredibly basic but they still are able to capture such wonderful emotion. Check out Lost Year:
"'Cause nothing's a breeze, we suffer, we bleed
For two hearts to beat as one
We learn as we go, at least now we know
Something we can't become, become"
It's a song about a couple breaking on but holding on to the years it was good. It sounds depressing but my husband and I used this as the last song at our wedding. Coming from divorced families, we both know how easily things can crumble but it can still be happy. You know this band best by: "Typical"

    5.  Flyleaf- As I'm typing in this band's name, I'm already singing a song from their newest album. When I first heard Flyleaf, I thought Kittie was making a comeback. "I'm So Sick" is heavy and features little Lacey (the lead singer) screaming her voice out at some parts and I still found a way to fall in love. Their newest release has strayed away from their heavier roots to tell an amazing story. At a concert, Lacey explained how most of their newer songs are loosely based on people they met while on tour who told the band their stories. Every song on Memento Mori is heartfelt and beautiful and Lacey voice always sounds so desperate like she's trying to reach out from the speaker and warn you even though it's too late. You know them best for: "I'm So Sick" and "Again"

    6.  The Material- So you want a band that rocks, with a singer so awesome she'd give the rest of the popular bands today a run for their money and with lyrics so great I'm completely jealous I didn't think of them? If so, then you are looking for The Material. I stumbled across them while playing Rockband and knew i could take on their song. I'm ashamed to say I failed out the first time but just kept trying. With every listen, I feel deeper in love with their song "Moving to Seattle" and had to find out who this awesome band was. Then I discovered that they are still trying to make it into the business and that I was lucky enough to be one of the few towns they were coming to play in. I met the band, bought a few c.d.s (which sadly only had 6 tracks) and had a great time. If you get a second, seriously consider looking into this band. They are incredible!
Colleen from The Material and I

So those are the bands that dominant my playlist and always leave me wanting more. I've always felt that art inspires art and these bands really do the trick for me. I hope you've learned a little something and maybe found an awesome new band to check out!

What about you? Which bands can you not get enough of? Let me know in the comments below or if you do your own post, link it here!


  1. Jimmy Eat World is amazing. I love "Hear You Me." Glad to know you like them, too!

  2. You are a girl after my musical heart. I love the pulsing music of all those groups--and their great lyrics, too. Perfect for editing (but I can't draft with lyrics!).


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