Inspired by fellow book reviewer extraordinaire Amanda’s Music Passion Post at her blog, I decided to list a few of my own faves. Each shall be accompanied by a video for your perusal.
I have an eclectic taste though, so look out:
(old) Tori Amos
Tori Amos first two albums LITTLE EARTHQUAKES and UNDER THE PINK saved me, at 14, from my parents divorce and the subsequent years of nutty family squabbles. They took me away to a fantasy place where snow fell, mittens were worn, lights were left on for loved ones, and it was okay to rail against the upset and ask not to be crucified, or why you were the weirdo. Note: I haven’t liked her music since her 5th CD To Venus & Back though.
30 Seconds To Mars
I get SO made fun of for liking this group, and quite frankly I don’t care. Everything they ever released has blown me away. Consider it epic rock. I’ve seen them twice live and will be seeing them on my actual birthday this year! The ridicule probably comes from the fact that the lead singer is actor-musician Jared Leto (and the drummer is his brother Shannon) and people think they are a throw away actor’s band. Well to me they aren’t, because I love their music. It always makes me feel epic when I am down.
I discovered Californian folksy, raspy voiced, be-freckled singer Lissie early last year when I stumbled across her cover of a hip-hop song about excess which she took and made her own, while also making it be about the opposite of its intent, and it amazed me. She also does vocals for Canadian DJ MORGAN PAGE (see track: The Longest Road).
My favourite Dutch symphonic metal band. Yeah, for all those people who liked American goth rockers Evanescence….they stole their sound from WITHIN TEMPTATION who are by far superior in every single way. Lead singer Sharon is gorgeous and has one incredible voice. Their music is always interesting, epic and has classical tones sharing the stage with grinding guitars. Sharon also has done some trance vocals in her day.
Above & Beyond
I admit that in my earlier days I was an electronic music fanatic. It is pretty much all I listened to for about 6 or 7 years. Then electronic music took a nose dive and started to…well suck…so I got off the scene for a long time. Then sometime in my late 20’s there started to be a bit of a resurgence…only faintly, but that all went south when all these emo-indie artists started adding synths and drum machine beats to their sad bastard music and started calling it electronic (and it is what currently, sadly dominates the category on iTunes). Sigh. Well, thankfully through all this emo-infused crap shines a few heavyweights on the scene (like Armin Van Buuren, BT, and Tiesto). The one that always tops it for me is Anjunabeats, Oceanlab founders ABOVE & BEYOND. These guys are without a doubt keeping alive the music I used to love from the late 90’s whilst keeping it fresh and reinventing it…without changing the core of the idea and sound. That’s key. They continue to release relevant music that stays true to its roots and I love them for it.
Back when I was in my early 20’s, I used to listen to the regular radio feed of an Internet radio station that used to exist (1groove.com) for a house show called The Cathouse hosted by Madame Lynx, and a downtempo show. I used to wake up at 4AM (before I got up for work) to hear these shows. Well the dowentempo show played a lot of very blissed out music that always impressed me. Well the one that stands out is downtempo masters THIEVERY CORPORATION, their simple beats and synths can take really take you somewhere special and always invoke the cinematic.
Nine Inch Nails
I became a fan of NIN at 15. I have never ceased to be a fan. Trent Reznor continued, through his varied, career to release unflinchingly real and gritty music that speaks to those dark parts inside us. I am very thankful to have been at the last NIN show in Canada ever on their farewell tour (he’s now given NIN a well deserved rest in favour of other projects) this past summer. Trent had a cold and was stuffed up and still managed to put on a spectacular show.