Music Monday: Of Monster’s and Men’s “I Of the Storm”

After the past couple of weeks of progressive, hard rock and heavy metal, I wanted to dial it back and bring you back into the fold and attempt to share my favorite song from one of my favorite albums, Beneath the Skin from Of Monsters and Men. There’s just one problem with that. I can’t pick just one.

You have to understand. I absolutely love this entire album. I would share the entire album with you if I could, so picking my favorite song is asking me to pick a favorite child: I can’t. Or I can, but it depends on the mood I’m in on any given day. Usually, sophomore albums aren’t as solid as a band’s debut, because so much blood, sweat, tears, and years goes into the debut that there just isn’t enough time to put the same effort into the second album. That’s not the case here. And I had no idea which song to pick.

I went to YouTube, thinking the videos would decide me. And I noticed there were quite a few lyric videos, each with a funky geometric shape as its preview. I don’t personally care for lyric videos unless they’re cleverly done, but I like the lyrics on this album, and I figured as long as you heard the song, who cares, right?

You guys. YOU GUYS. What they’ve done for these lyric videos is genius. It’s profound. It’s mesmerizing. It’s unsettling at first, until you realize what’s happening. What IS happening, you may wonder?

Each lyric video is actually a performer. It’s a person, filmed from the waist up, in the middle of the screen, lip-syncing the song with the lyrics showing below. But that’s not all: these videos are the most moving pieces of performance art I’ve ever seen. These people (and each video has a different person) aren’t just lip-syncing their songs, no. They’re performing them, as if the songs represent the very music of their souls.

I couldn’t stop watching videos. I had to be awake for work in six hours, and I still couldn’t stop watching. Some videos were better than others, and still, I had to wonder: which song would I share?

I decided on the song that I couldn’t tear my eyes from at all.

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.

Welcome to the Trip: The Great Orphan Black Rewatch Begins!

The funny thing about being an editor: the very things you hound your writers into doing are often the very things you forget to do yourself. Or maybe that’s just me. But I tell my writers to promote their posts wherever they can, including their blogs if they have them, and what to do I do?

I utterly forget to do so.

But only for a day.

Over at Speculative Chic, my rewatch of Orphan Black has begun with the very first five episodes of season one. The plan is to do 5 episodes every month, and by time I finish season four, I’ll have the fifth and final season to freak out over. Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men, yada, yada, yada, but so far, so good, and if you’re a fan of Orphan Black and you’ve watched the first five episodes, I’d love to have you join the discussion.

How Many of Us Are There? Orphan Black Rewatch Episodes 1.01 thru 1.05

There will be spoilers, of course, but nothing past episode 1.05. I’ll be discussing episodes 6-10 for October 19th, so you’ve got plenty of time to catch up, especially if you’re watching the show for the first time. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

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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.

Culture Consumption: July 2016

So Happy August! I bring you the belated Culture Consumption for July, but at least this month, I know where the month went: Speculative Chic! So far, so good, but starting a fanzine meant less time for other things, like…oh, I don’t know…READING. I still managed some movies and television though, so let’s take a look at what July had to offer, shall we?

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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.