And the beat goes on…
In my last post I shared my 1st and 2nd top 15 album lists which included more current artists as well as iconic classics. I consider my taste in music to be very eclectic and ever-growing. While I have my all time favorite “go-to” tunes in my library, I am on a continuous search for up and coming artists and also find excitement in discovering established artists that I haven’t been exposed to previously. There is no genre that is off-limits; no artist I’ll exclude; giving each song or artist a try at least 3 times before I can truly wrap my brain around its significance or insignificance in my world.
The “NEW” 15 that made the cut…
Again, I find it difficult to only list 15 but here it goes…
- Ian Axel, This Is the New Year (Thanks to J. Puleo for giving me the heads up on this up and comer from New Jersey)
- Citizen Cope, Every Waking Moment (Just happened to stumble upon this SICK cat on itunes…one of the best finds EVER, even if he’s been around for a little while!)
- Current Swell, Trust Us Now (A friend of a friend recommended)
- Flobots, Fight With Tools (Thanks to J. Schoeller for this one…)
- Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest (My girl, JLRK, shared this one with me….Love it.)
- Jack Johnson, To The Sea (I must admit, I have listened to Jack for a while now but it took me a long time to jump on the bandwagon with this one…I simple didn’t hear it the first time around. I am a lover through and through now for the last couple years.)
- Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days (My little bro gets props for this one…Not sure how I had never heard of them but glad he suggested him to me.)
- Jason Mraz, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things (I absolutely could not GET IT for the LONGEST time with Mr. Mraz. Love, love, love it now…funny how that happens.)
- Amos Lee, Last Days At the Lodge ( I honestly haven’t the faintest recollection how I started with Amos Lee. It may have been a suggestion on itunes…maybe someone reccommended…if it was you, THANKS.)
- The Avett Brothers, I And Love And You (JLRK gets the credit again here)
- Deftones, Diamond Eyes (N. Breitenstein gets fives on this one. A long time, all time favorite of his…I am finally on board)
- Dirty Heads, Any Port In A Storm ( Stumbled upon completely accidentally when checking out Coldplay covers on YouTube. You MUST check out their cover of Viva la Vida)
- Elliot Yamin, Elliot Yamin (For a brief time I was on the American Idol train. I really related to some of the songs on his debut album)
- Feist, The Reminder ( not 100% positive on this one either…JLRK or L. Bee)
- John Butler Trio, April Uprising (not positive about this one either…listened to for a good while but know that my bro and some friends as well as mutual friends are fans and have been for a while also.)
There are similarities amongst them, while each “new” find has its own quality or quirkiness that caught hold of me in one way or another.
There are times, after a “1st listen” I am not quite convinced that I can relate or respect the artist or song. First impressions aren’t everything they’re cracked up to be when it comes to music. Music has the power to grow on you and get you hooked. I am a firm believer of having an open mind when searching for new finds. Even if they’ve been around a while, they’re still new to me and need to be given a chance. Some of my “new” favorites didn’t quite have me convinced after the first listen…after the 2nd, 3rd or sometimes, even 4th listen, I can begin to see, hear, and feel something that speaks to me in a way that I didn’t hear the first time around. Some of this I believe comes with age. For example, about 15 years ago, I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to country music. I didn’t think there was anything good about it at all. With time however, I began to realize that not all country music fit the stereotypical perception that many, including myself had about the genre. I can say today, that I am a listener of some country artists and even own cd’s or have purchased mp3’s.
Musical stereotypes have been around for as long as individuals have been composing and writing. It’s funny to think the perception some people have of you based on the music you listen to, while it may be true in some cases, mine is definitely an exception. I am a lover of all music…But perceptions of some of the music I listen to can be misleading. I am a huge lover of The Grateful Dead, Phish and Pink Floyd. One can make an assumption of how these bands have been perceived at one time or another by the media as well as the general population. Dead heads and Phish heads all around the world have been pictured as free-spirited, fun-loving, partiers who loved nothing more than partaking in a few illegal extra curricular activities so to speak. Some automatically assume psychedelics would have to be at hand to partake in the scene. Let me tell you right now, if you know me at all, even in the least, you know first hand that I have NEVER partaken in any of these activities. Simply put, I love good music without the aid of outside influences. I have LOVED this music for as long as I can remember and have never even so much as experimented in the “scene” as some may call it, nor will I ever. Do I wish that I could have seen the Dead perform live at least once? Absolutely. My point in this rant about stereotypical perceptions in the music world is this…Music has no boundaries. Music is what you want it to be. It is what you make of it and what you get out of it.
For me, music is a release. It’s a voice that helps me speak when I cannot find the words. It helps me to breathe; allowing me to “deal” with all that life throws at you. It helps me celebrate successes and remember those who have gone. Music is something that I truly don’t think I could live without. Some may think that statement is ludicrous or over-dramatic, but it is what you make of it. For me, music is one of the most influential and inspiring contributions humans on this planet share amongst each other. There are no rules; it brings people together; it heals or inspires.