NOTE – This is really outdated. I’ll have to update it one of these days. The game section is up to date, though.
Music has been a major facet of my livelihood, even at a tender age. I listen to three forms of music, primarily – rock (I don’t really wish to boil down what subgenres of rock I dig most, since I don’t really care to follow such labels, so I’ll just leave it at that), gaming music (original and remixed), and anime music. I’ll break down each section with its own descriptions, so they don’t quite lump all together:
Rock’s always been at my side. I didn’t start collecting cassettes (ah, the archaic tech!) for my own purpose until I was 10 or so. I don’t remember what tape I first bought, but I do remember the first that just floored me. The album that captured my attention, that made me sync with its shreds, and sing along to its lyrics. That was The Colour and the Shape, and the band was the Foo Fighters. To this day, despite the Foo’s not ranking so high with me these days as they used to, I continue to adore this record. It was the first CD I bought, and one of the few I’ve bought twice (damn special editions with bonus content XD ). I used the acoustic version of Everlong in my wedding playlist (and damn, is that a beautiful cut of such a gloriously good song). It remains a perfect sonic wave of joy to me.
As for my favorite songs, I have two that I rank highest, and several that are just below it. The first is Our Lady Peace’s 4am from Clumsy. I first saw OLP (who are my favorite band, and will get to why they are soon enough) on M2 (back when it aired music videos…remember that? Man, I miss it so much) performing 4am, and the main thing that I took from it was how wide Raine’s mouth was when he sang. I didn’t really connect with it then and there – there were other noises and other people around, disrupting the song’s impact. My junior year in high school, a friend of mine had a burned copy of Clumsy, and I remembered that 4am was from it. I asked if I could borrow it, and, despite a small hole that distorted Clumsy and Hello Oskar, I listened to the disc over and over again. And 4am, as its powerful lyrics seared into me, became much more to me than a song. 4am, the entire Clumsy album, and the band itself, as I would discover as I purchased their CD’s, got me through high school. I felt empowered, more able to face down the insecurities and dilemmas of the social awkwardness and degradation that I faced in my final four years in public school thanks to OLP. As they and I have gotten older, they’ve moved away from that edge, and I’ve been blissfully away from the bullshit of high school, so while they’ve not maintained that level of connection with me since Spiritual Machines, I find myself content with their direction as of late (Burn Burn had several awesome songs that I feel stand among their finest, as well as a few that I don’t care for much at all, and I’m okay with that).
Tangent over there, let’s move to song #2. Living in Clip, Ani DiFranco’s live album, is jaw-dropping. The passion, the conviction…she believes in her lyrics, and this is no more obvious to me than in her soaring Adam and Eve. The emotion that drips from her voice is beyond compare. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so drained from a song after truly grasping it like I did with Adam and Eve. Incredible stuff. I am more than a little baffled as to why it was omitted from her Canon GH album…
If I were to make a list of my twenty favorite songs, those two would be tops. These would be closely behind, in no particular order:
1 ) It’s Nice to Know You Work Alone, Silversun Pickups, Swoon
2 ) Little Round Mirrors, Harvey Danger, Little by Little…
3 ) February Stars, Foo Fighters, The Colour and the Shape
4 ) Hazing, Throwing Muses, University
5 ) Only in Dreams, Weezer, Weezer (Blue Album)
6 ) Nothing to Lose, Billy Talent, Billy Talent
7 ) In Repair (live), Our Lady Peace, Live DVD
8 ) Good Time (live), Counting Crows, New Amsterdam
9 ) Carolina Drama, The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely
10 ) Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, The White Stripes, White Blood Cells
11 ) The Navy Song, Billy Talent, Billy Talent II
12 ) Dizzy, Jimmy Eat World, Chase this Light
13 ) 23, Jimmy Eat World, Futures
14 ) In My Life, The Beatles, Rubber Soul
15 ) Braille, Regina Spektor, 11:11
16 ) Carbon Monoxide, Regina Spektor, Soviet Kitsch
17 ) Didi (My Doe Pt.2), The Matches, Decomposer
18 ) The Rainbow Connection, The Muppets, The Muppet Movie
My favorite bands right now include Our Lady Peace (see above for why), Billy Talent, Jimmy Eat World, Brand New, 50 Foot Wave, Throwing Muses, The Matches, Silversun Pickups, Foo Fighters, Counting Crows, Harvey Danger, The Raconteurs, The White Stripes, Flogging Molly, and Magneta Lane. These are bands that I can listen to practically anything by them and like for the most part. Some of my other favorites include Regina Spektor (love love LOVE her pre-Begin to Hope songs, hate that album, but like Far), Weezer (Blue and Pinkerton are the bomb, with a few later songs that I like), Modest Mouse (I love anything post-Good News…but for some reason, The Moon and Antarctica irks me…I believe it’s the distorted vocals…I like Issac’s voice, too, so it bums me out that I don’t get into this album), R.E.M. (prefer the Bill Berry work far over anything post, outside of Accelerate, which was mostly great, but hate Out of Time, which had Berry, so go figure), Incubus (Light Grenades was a stinking pile of disappointment, and I’m deeply afraid to listen to anything of theirs that follows that…SCIENCE to Crow Left of the Murder are fantastic, though), Ben Harper (well, I haven’t really heard anything I disdain, but I haven’t listened to him enough!), The Beatles (I really dig a lot of their later work, and some of their older stuff, but I’ve barely scratched the surface of their back catalog), and Collective Soul (first three are great, Dosage is fine, Blender is terrible, Youth and Afterwords are okay, and “Rabbit” is the most promising album of theirs in some time).
What other albums are my favorites, you ask? Here’s 19 others, in no real order:
1 ) Clumsy, Our Lady Peace
2 ) Spiritual Machines, Our Lady Peace
3 ) Billy Talent II, Billy Talent
4 ) Clarity, Jimmy Eat World
5 ) Decomposer, The Matches
6 ) The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, Brand New
7 ) Consolers of the Lonely, The Raconteurs
8 ) Soviet Kitsch, Regina Spektor
9 ) Swoon, Silversun Pickups
10 ) Throwing Muses (2003), Throwing Muses
11 ) Automatic for the People, R.E.M.
12 ) Disciplined Breakdown, Collective Soul
13 ) Weezer (Blue Album), Weezer
14 ) Make Yourself, Incubus
15 ) Gambling with God, Magneta Lane
16 ) White Blood Cells, The White Stripes
17 ) Good News for People who Love Bad News, Modest Mouse
18 ) Billy Talent III, Billy Talent
19 ) The Joshua Tree, U2
Some other bands I enjoy are Blur, Gorillaz (Plastic Beach is bad, though), Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Deftones, Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, OK Go, Dave Matthews Band, Queen, Tom Petty, Mirah, Tori Amos, AFI (mostly Sing the Sorrow), Motion City Soundtrack (Commit This to Memory is a solid album, but I’ve hardly listened to anything else of theirs), The Pixies, U2, Jamiroquai (not anywhere near as much as I used to), Daft Punk (ditto), Crystal Castles, Ani DiFranco, Dredg, The Get-Up Kids, Jaglet, John Lennon, Morningwood (their rocking stuff, not so much the poppy), Smashing Pumpkins, The Verve, Pearl Jam, and others I am going to remember and put down VERY SOON. XD
I’ve always enjoyed gaming music, from my wee days as a lad up to the present days of being a bigger lad. :p Mega Man 3 was the first that really resonated with me as a whole soundtrack, but I’m quite fond of the original Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda themes, which predates my MM3 exposure. It wasn’t until 2001 when I got my first PC that I had the capability to more fully appreciate video game music as something outside of playing the games themselves, and since then I’ve been collecting and building up a library that is full of stuff I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve done some posts in 2012 that better reflect my current tastes in gaming songs and soundtracks, so check those out. See also my Song Highlights.
Some day I’ll flesh this out, but for now, some favorites:
FLCL, Cowboy Bebop, and Princess Mononoke are my three absolute favorites. I also like some/lots of the music from Trigun, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai X, Witch Hunter Robin, Serial Experiments Lain, Outlaw Star, and others I can’t remember at the moment.