Look! It’s a music post!

It occurred to me it’s been a while since I did a post on music. Let’s rectify that, shall we?

My mp3 player has had a number of additions over the past few months. Probably the most recent of the recent was Bassnectar’s VavaVoom. I’d never heard of this group until The Following featured their song “Butterfly” in an episode. And if you pick up the album based on that one song, you’d be in for a shock. The majority of it is like…Ronisize meets Atari Teenage Riot. Heavy on the bass (of course), augmented by electronic blips more suited to an old skool NES game, you get a song like “Butterfly” every so often, with its ethereal, floating notes. And then there’s “Pennywise Tribute”, which sticks out like a sore thumb. A great song, and does an excellent job of bringing to mind the seminal punk band, but why the hell is it on the album?

Keeping with the electronica, I downloaded BT’s Emotional Technology and was a little disappointed. It’s like it was a transition album between the shorter, radio-friendly songs of Movement in Still Life and the more true to electronica-form of These Hopeful Machines. There are a number of good songs, such as “Animals” and “The Force of Gravity” (featuring JC Chasez), and he landed himself in the Guinness Book of World Records with “Somnambulist (Simply Being Loved)”. But it didn’t have the punch I’d gotten from Hopeful Machines, which I still listen to on repeat. Repeatedly.

When I haven’t been indulging in my love of club music, I’ve been on a folk rock kick. It’s been out for a few years, but I finally picked up The Decemberists The King is Dead. I’d tried one of their earlier albums (The Crane Wife) and didn’t enjoy it. I kept hearing about their single “Down By the Water” and out of curiosity (and wondering if it was a PJ Harvey cover) I gave it a spin. And it is good. “Water” is a good song, but I preferred “Calamity Song” and “This Is Why We Fight”.

After indulging in some Decemberists love, I tried The Lumineers self-titled debut album on a suggestion from my sister. She’s been getting into country music over the last few years (I blame her husband), so I was a little leery. I shouldn’t have been. The Lumineers are more folk than country, and in those rare moments I actually listen to the radio, I’d heard one of their songs (“Ho Hey”). For some reason I kept thinking it was Jack White’s solo project, even though the voice didn’t quite match. I was gloriously wrong. Besides “Ho Hey”, I loved “Dead Sea”.

Then on Saturday, I was at a write-a-thon with my local RWA chapter, and to drown out some of the noise and focus on a fight scene I was attempting to write, I decided to try some classical music. I’ve said before I can’t actually listen to music when I’m writing, but I needed to do something. I’d borrowed Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach: The Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites from my mother some time ago. This was a revelation. Writing fight scenes to the flowing, weeping notes of these suites made me realize a battle is like a dance: a tightly choreography piece that moves from frenzy to calm to frenzy again, without pausing for breath. Visualizing how people would move in the heat of a fight like they were moving in a dance made the scene so much stronger than it would have been if I’d struggled with each word. As for the songs? Well, there’s the obvious (“Prelude”), but really, I can’t pick one over another. They’re all brilliant. That’s probably because they’re written by a brilliant composure and played by a brilliant musician.

You know, I just bought this mp3 player a year or so ago, and it’s already getting full. Maybe I can convince the BF to buy me a bigger one…

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