Music Monday: Dream Theater’s “Panic Attack”

There was a time that my husband and I were into the game Rock Band for the PlayStation, and through Rock Band, I discovered a great many songs and bands that I really enjoyed. The game was a gateway, of sorts, and one of the songs I really enjoyed hearing (I couldn’t play to save my life), was “Panic Attack” by Dream Theater.

Dream Theater is metal, but it’s also progressive rock. There’s a lot of complex instrumentation happening in this song, but what hooked me first and foremost were the vocals and the melody, which I wish we got more of. I’ve since explored more of the band’s music, and I’ve fallen for some of their later stuff, but “Panic Attack” will always be my first and favorite. The video below isn’t a video at all, so you can hit play and do other things on your computer, but go ahead and hit play, and tell me what you think!

Like it? Love it? Hate it? Sound off below!

Reminder: Music Monday is about the music, not the videos. Videos are just the medium I’m using to share the music, and some videos aren’t actually videos at all. Enjoy the songs, but if YouTube forces you to watch some sort of advertisement before you can get to the music, please be patient.

 

Music Monday: Ghost’s “If You Have Ghosts”

This is a song I’ve been wanting to share for weeks now. I’ve hesitated though, because unlike everything else I’ve posted, where if you like what you hear, you feel free to start listening to the band/singer’s catalogue with abandon, Ghost comes with a bit of a warning: if you’re easily offended, you may not want to listen to their original work, even though the music is fantastic.

What type of offended? Well, you know those bands that sing nothing but Christian contemporary music and it’s all devoted to God and Jesus and the worship and praise? Well, throw in some metal, and replace God and Jesus with the Devil, and you’ve got Ghost.

No, I’m not kidding.

I’ve seen them perform in concert twice now. The second concert was fantastic, and it didn’t hurt that I was more familiar with their material than I was the first time. But what made it so great was the pure spectacle and show: there’s so much charisma during the performance, especially that of the lead singer, that I alternate between thinking what that they REALLY believe what they’re singing about versus it’s just a gimmick that they’re REALLY dedicated to. Then again, they’re from Sweden, so it may very well be the former.

Toward the end of that second concert, after all of their original work, so much of which has fantastic melodies and haunting chords, they performed a cover by Roky Erickson: “If You Have Ghosts.” And it was gorgeous.

You don’t have to worry about your soul if you listen to this cover: this cover absolutely has nothing to do with the band’s beliefs and everything to do, I suspect, with the delightful use of being able to sing their own band’s name in a rather ironic way. And if you like what you hear, and you’re not easily offended and appreciate great music despite the lyrics, try giving “Cirice” a try, and if you really feel like having a laugh and want to hear a song deliberately styled as a contemporary Christian ballad, try listening to “He Is.”

But for now, if you just want to hear what the band sounds like, and if you want to hear an amazing cover song, listen to “If You Have Ghosts” and tell me what you think.

Like it? Love it? Hate it? Sound off below!

Reminder: Music Monday is about the music, not the videos. Videos are just the medium I’m using to share the music, and some videos aren’t actually videos at all. Enjoy the songs, but if YouTube forces you to watch some sort of advertisement before you can get to the music, please be patient.

Music Monday: Muse’s “Madness”

Happy Labor Day! Today’s Music Monday takes the letter M to the fourth power: Muse’s “Madness.”

I’ve been a big fan of Muse, and one of my most favorite albums is Blackholes and Revelations, which I have listened to WAY too many times. However, their newer stuff doesn’t quite stick with me. So why is today’s Music Monday devoted to a song off one of their recent albums? Because this song is AMAZING. It has the kind of groove that lets you put it on repeat and it just feels like it’s supposed to be played over and over (or is it just me?), and it just builds in a fantastically minimalistic fashion. You get this fun, groovy little chorus, and then before you realize it, it’s built into something so much bigger that it explodes into a climax that would make U2’s The Joshua Tree album proud. It’s such a profound change from the beginning that when it settles right back into the ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-mad-mad-madness, you have to hear it again because it just wasn’t enough.

Take a listen (and a look, this video is dystopianly impressive), and tell me I’m wrong.

Like it? Love it? Hate it? Sound off below!

Reminder: Music Monday is about the music, not the videos. Videos are just the medium I’m using to share the music, and some videos aren’t actually videos at all. Enjoy the songs, but if YouTube forces you to watch some sort of advertisement before you can get to the music, please be patient.

Music Monday: Karliene’s “Become The Beast”

Today’s pick is a unique beast. It’s a fan song. And of course, it’s for Hannibal. Because if you’ve followed this blog for any time in the past four years, you’re probably wondering why I HAVEN’T yet devoted a Music Monday to Hannibal.

I discovered Karliene‘s “Become the Beast” last year. When I first listened to it, I didn’t like it as well as Halia Meguid’s “Ravenstag.” But I downloaded it from iTunes anyway (because my Hannibal love knows no bounds), and I quickly fell in love. It’s often a go-to song when I’m driving my super-short commute to and from work, and I don’t want to think about what I’m going to listen to. What’s great about “Become The Beast,” in addition to its addictive and haunting melody, the lyrics have no spoilers and they’re fantastic to boot. You don’t have to know a thing about the show to enjoy the song, and while I was thinking about this week’s pick, especially in light of the trend that’s been going on this month, I figured this had to be next.

What’s more is Karliene does cover songs and original fan songs for all kinds of fandoms: The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Labyrinth, The Hunger Games…. you name it. She’s got a ton of interesting material to listen to and purchase, and every time I visit her page on Soundcloud or iTunes, I’m tempted to pick up yet another song or album.

But for now, I’m happy listening to “Become the Beast,” and if you’ve enjoyed any of my recent picks, I think you will too.

Like it? Love it? Hate it? Sound off below!

Reminder: Music Monday is about the music, not the videos. Videos are just the medium I’m using to share the music, and some videos aren’t actually videos at all. Enjoy the songs, but if YouTube forces you to watch some sort of advertisement before you can get to the music, please be patient.

Music Monday: The Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow”

So I stumbled on this song quite by accident, but I’ve had it on repeat ever since. See, I use my iPhone’s Bluetooth to play my iTunes music through my Sync system in my car. There are quirks, one of which is if I happen to close out iTunes on my iPhone, then the next time I drive, Sync just picks something somewhat at random. And on Monday, it picked “Barton Hollow” by The Civil Wars.

I almost skipped it in favor of another song/album I’m used to hearing, but then I said, “Eh, why not?”

This song…. it just sticks in your head, and I think what really does it for me is the tension in the harmonies. It probably doesn’t hurt either that I’m rewatching Justified with my husband and my in-laws, and this song just absolutely belongs on that show.

So yes, “Barton Hollow” is a little more folksy, a little more bluegrass than I usually listen to, but oh, it’s an earworm.

Like it? Love it? Hate it? Sound off below!

Reminder: Music Monday is about the music, not the videos. Videos are just the medium I’m using to share the music, and some videos aren’t actually videos at all. Enjoy the songs, but if YouTube forces you to watch some sort of advertisement before you can get to the music, please be patient.

Music Monday: The Lumineer’s “Stubborn Love”

Last week’s post got me nostalgic, and that got me thinking about another song/video that really punches me right in the gut. By itself, The Lumineer’s “Stubborn Love” is a good song, with a particularly profound lyric, “The opposite of love’s indifference.”

But when I saw the video for this song, and every time I’ve seen the video since, it kills me. Because the story told feels like my story. Yes, the little girl in the video is older than I would’ve been, but this video/song combo taps into my unconscious memory, because I feel like I’ve been here (and based on what my mom has told me about growing up, I have).

This is the rare case where the video really elevates the song into something more. At least for me.

Take a listen:

Like it? Love it? Hate it? Sound off below!

Reminder: Music Monday is about the music, not the videos. Videos are just the medium I’m using to share the music, and some videos aren’t actually videos at all. Enjoy the songs, but if YouTube forces you to watch some sort of advertisement before you can get to the music, please be patient.

Music Monday: Lindsey Stirling’s “Something Wild”

After a couple of weeks of possibly obscure, progressive rock, I wanted to do a little something different this week, and the perfect opportunity arose with the release of Lindsey Stirling’s new video for “Something Wild,” which features Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, and is part of of the soundtrack for the 2016 remake of Pete’s Dragon, which I’m still not sure I’m okay with them making, but here we go.

I’ve been listening to this song off and on, as it was part of my pre-order for Stirling’s new album Brave Enough, so I had no idea it was part of Pete’s Dragon until I watched the video. And frankly, this is one of the cases when the song and the video goes pretty well together, and I love the way scenes of the movie are intercut with the story of the video, which features two children diving deep into the world of pretend. I admit, I get a little choked up, but I’m just going to chalk it up to nostalgia and move on.

Like it? Love it? Hate it? Sound off below!

Reminder: Music Monday is about the music, not the videos. Videos are just the medium I’m using to share the music, and some videos aren’t actually videos at all. Enjoy the songs, but if YouTube forces you to watch some sort of advertisement before you can get to the music, please be patient.

Music Monday: The Dear Hunter’s “Waves”

So last week was so much fun that I couldn’t resist coming back this week and subjecting you to the music I put on repeat and listen to for hours. You’re welcome.

This week: “Waves” by The Dear Hunter. It’s an easy, accessible pick, one of the few songs that, when the outro is removed like it is in the video, it easily stands alone. But the song, like the album it’s part of, is part of a six act story told all through music: the birth, life, and death of a boy known only as “The Dear Hunter.” It’s fascinating, and the music, as expected for progressive rock, is a study in complexity and differing music styles, and if you really want to dig deep into the lead singer/songwriter and the story behind these albums, then click here, but then come back, because you have a song to listen to.

“Waves” is one of those songs that gives me very distinct visuals, and naturally, those visuals don’t line up with the video. That said, it’s a compelling and catchy song, especially in context of the greater album.

Like it? Love it? Hate it? Sound off below!

Reminder: Music Monday is about the music, not the videos. Videos are just the medium I’m using to share the music, and some videos aren’t actually videos at all. Enjoy the songs, but if YouTube forces you to watch some sort of advertisement before you can get to the music, please be patient.

Music Monday: The Black Queen’s “Ice to Never”

That’s right, IT’S BACK! The Music Monday column fell away back in 2014, but my husband was watching videos from The Black Queen, and it occurred to me it’d be fun to bring the column back. Maybe not WEEKLY… I have SEKRIT PROJECTS I’m working on (stay tuned for an announcement on WEDNESDAY!), but every once in a while? I thought it’d be fun.

So without further adieu, take a listen to “Ice to Never” by The Black Queen. The voice you’re hearing is Greg Puciato, who is also the leader singer of Dillinger Escape Plan (one of my favorite band names ever, but Dillinger’s music, while complex and intricate, is an acquired taste) and the supergroup Killer Be Killed. The Black Queen is far more accessible than his heavier stuff, and quite frankly, far more addicting. There have been times when I’ve put “Ice to Never” on repeat for hours, and it’s just one of many great songs on the album.

The video is delightfully retro-eighties, but as always, this column isn’t about the video, it’s about the music. So enjoy.

Like it? Love it? Hate it? Sound off below!

Reminder: Music Monday is about the music, not the videos. Videos are just the medium I’m using to share the music, and some videos aren’t actually videos at all. Enjoy the songs, but if YouTube forces you to watch some sort of advertisement before you can get to the music, please be patient.

A Common Language

My husband and I have started watching season four of Louie on Netflix. Season Four has been a somewhat interesting departure from what I’m used to from the show, which has always been a comedy that specializes in moments of absurd. Season Four, however, has often felt more like a surreal drama, with absurd, when it occurs, hitting an 11 out of 10 (I’m still shaking my head over episode 4.02, “Model”).

The current arc kicked off with Louie helping his neighbor, who got stuck in an elevator. Helping this elderly lady led to meeting the lady’s niece. Both are Hungarian, but only the elderly lady speaks English. The niece does not, but Louie is smitten with her, and seeing them communicate brings a certain joy to the show.

But then came this scene in episode 4.06, “Elevator Part 3.” It’s one of the most beautiful and moving scenes I’ve seen on the show. It has it’s tiny moment of comedy/absurd (that Louie’s daughter knows enough Hungarian to greet Amia properly, and Louie just has no idea on so many levels), but then the scene blooms into this gorgeous moment where words aren’t needed, but the the music says it all.

As both a writer and a musician, this just gives me all the feels.