I don’t have the space here to address all my favorite bands and musical influences. Suffice it to say that my musical taste is all over the place. I like just about anything with lyrics and a melody. Here’s some of the bands and tunes finding their way into my head these days.
Nov. 16, 2009
Rodrigo y Gabriela – 11:11. If Satan didn’t have another gig, he’d probably be on tour with these guys. Classical guitar duo from Mexico! This guy and girl used to be heavy-metal players and then, for some reason or another, they decided to start playing classical guitar. The result is something in between flamenco and glam rock that, if you play it loud, might just catch your speakers on fire!
Punch Brothers – Punch. This whole album is like a Homeric epic. Chris Thile’s mandolin twists and turns through an impressive soundscape, all the while reminding the listener that; yes, these are professionals; and no, you can’t do this at home. Thile has really set the bar pretty high here with his new band. Not that I wasn’t a fan of Nickle Creek. Nickle Creek is great. They are like the first time you get to take your parent’s car out on a Friday night. It’s a thrill for a while. Listening to the Punch Brothers album is a markedly different experience. It heads in all directions at once, leaving you, the listener, wondering how this is even possible. I wasn’t around for the first broadcast of Neil Armstrong’s first moon steps, but I bet it was stunning – in a “Punch Brothers” sort of way.
Nov. 23, 2008
The Killers – All The Things That I Have Done. This song is one of those songs that just leaves you buzzing. A true anthem in places. I can’t really figure it out but the part in the middle where they start low and build, singing, “I got soul but I’m not a soldier, etc” always gets me. It makes you want to get up wherever you are and start singing along with the choir (which when you’re out on a rollerski by yourself is fine, but when you’re listening to your iPod in an airport terminal… that’s another story). Ever wonder what people are listening to when you’re waiting in the airport lounge? Interesting.
The Killers – Can You Read My Mind. This song is just haunting. I’m not usually one for lyrics (I’m usually the guy that remembers the guitar parts and can’t remember anything of what the song was about). But this song hits you right out of the gate.
“On the corner of Main Street, tryin’ to keep it in line. You say you wanna move on and, you say I’m fallin’ behind. Can you read my mind?”
It’s loss, loneliness, despair, frustration, indecisiveness all wrapped up in a few lines. And they get the melody just perfect to fit that sentiment. Genius. Anyone heard the new one? Any good?
DJ Nickodemus – Turntables On The Hudson (Album Title). Again, I’m not the “DJ” type-of-guy, but this stuff is awesome! It’s got all these loops from all over the world, ramped up with some really interesting beats. It can really put you in a trance if you let yourself go. I’m pretty sure this happened on the flight over to Europe where I fell asleep with this album on… Had the strangest dreams and woke up in Sweden. Hmmm.
Phish – Wilson (from some bootleg show). Just pure crazy, jump-in-the-air, play-air-guitar, crazy. This version just takes off. Trey (and yes I can refer to him as just “Trey” without being a long-haired, putule-wearing, ex-dead-head… which, by the way, isn’t such a bad thing… I mean this group of society was witness to some awesome music [and extracurriculars] along their so-called “trip”), in the words of JimiJames, absolutely MUTATES on his solo. Picture Godzilla rampaging through the streets knocking over buildings like they are made out of paper-mache (which, come to think of it, they probably were when the original movie was filmed) and you’ve got the idea!