Thursday, June 16, 2011

Music for the Masses

I am a self proclaimed music junkie. I listen to everything. Yes, everything, even country. I cannot function without music. Music makes the world go round for me, as much as love made the world go round for John Lennon.

When I was growing up, as messed up and chaotic as my childhood was, music was everywhere. Music was food and water and air and shelter. Music was what we had when nothing made sense. Music was how my father communicated when he was too sick to find his words. It makes you feel. It makes the little moments in life that pass before our eyes and touch our very hearts and souls, seem real. Seem tangible and immortal. You can say anything with a song.

I like everything from Frank Sinatra to AC/DC to Tim McGraw, and a million bands and artists in between, and nothing makes me happier than sharing new music with people who haven't heard it before. Helping them discover a new genre or a new artist or a new song that changes their life in a place they didn't expect it. I'd like to share with you today a list of songs and artists you may have never heard, or may have never heard of period, who can infinitely change your life. Even if it isn't your type of music or something you would normally listen to, give it a chance. You never know when the moment is right and the right door opens, when something new might shake you to your core and help you see the world in a whole new light. Enjoy.

Bonobo- a.k.a Simon Green. A one man show consisting of amazing instrumentals and techno undertones. Black sands will absolutely chill you out and expand your mind in ways you didn't think possible. Don't worry, it's nothing like doing acid.

Hybrid- Much like Bonobo, but more advanced. If you already know you like music like Bonobo's, then you need to listen to Hybrid.

Bright Eyes- This is poetry in motion. Sure his guitar is out of tune and his voice is a little twangy and hoarse, but his lyrics are mind blowingly real and raw and completely open. If you can't find a single song of his to relate to, you've never ever lived.

Florence and the Machine- This band gained some fast popularity with their single "Dog Days" but their entire album is truly incredibly and sadly overlooked. Their sound is unique and entrancing, and the lead singer is truly gifted in a way that no pop star that has emerged in the last ten years is. She has soul and body and force behind her voice and the product leaves you completely hypnotized.

Chris Garneau- Heavily melodic and much like a lullaby his songs are relaxing and peaceful on the surface, and deep and meaningful when you get into the lyrics. He sings from the heart, and his delicate piano notes and soft voice take you to a place inside where we as a society rarely venture. A place of quiet introspection and solace. Listen, and reflect.

Manchester Orchestra- Again another band that got some radio play for their single "I've Got Friends" and then was widely overlooked. While "I've Got Friends" is a great song, it is not nearly, not by any means their best song. With deep Catholic childhood roots, their songs tell a story of angst, love, sin, loss, guilt, grief and the torment we all go through (especially those of us who went to Catholic school) while coming into our own. These are stories of sex, love and pain. What other stories are really worth telling, anyway?

The Airborne Toxic Event- With "Sometime Around Midnight" being overplayed to the point of making potential fans truly hate the song, it was sad to see nothing else really come "above ground" with this awesome band. Definitely one of my favorite bands of all time. Each song is different, yet similar to the others in such a way that listening to a whole album all the way through is like weaving a delicate and mysterious pattern. You can't see the whole picture until it's over, but once you do, you can see into the very heart of this band. Putting it all on the line, and writing honest, biting and touching songs with kick ass beats and a wonderful use of violin makes this band truly truly special in my so humble opinion.

I hope you've enjoyed this installment of "Sarah and her iTunes". Listen to some new music today. Go change your life.

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