This post has no lesson. This post is simply an opportunity for me to share what I’m listening to, and why I’m listening to that. My favorite song seems to change by the day, and I often find myself transitioning between genres.
Before I joined SoR, my favorite songs were the ones played the most on the radio. I essentially assumed that whatever was popular was the best music. And that’s not to say that it isn’t good music, but I’ll get to that.
Once I joined SoR though, I was exposed to a completely new type of music. The world of classic rock was opened to me, and I went overboard with it. I found every popular classic rock band that I could, and added several of their albums onto my Spotify account in an attempt to consume as much as I could. This proved to be a mistake, as too much classic rock can bore you very quickly, but it opened my eyes to a ton of different genres and styles.
The type of music that I listen to is divided into five groups.
I used to listen to this the most of anything when I was first learning the songs for this season of performance group and this year of houseband. If I had any free time, the playlist of songs I needed to learn was coming on. I haven’t talked much about performance group, but right now I’m enrolled in a Southern Rock program and a Hair Metal program. That means the songs that I’m learning range from Georgia Satellites to Mötley Crue. I listen through my houseband songs once before that rehearsal on Monday, and my performance group playlist for rehearsals on Wednesday.
Acoustic or Laid Back:
I’ve recently been listening to a ton of acoustic music lately, whether it be covers or just more laid back artists. One of my favorites right now is Jason Mraz who is an absolutely incredible live performer. He has an acoustic album on Spotify that I listen to sometimes when I’m doing homework or just trying to relax. Some of the other artists that I’d classify under this category that I’ve been listening to are Train, Walk Off The Earth, Hozier, and The Lumineers. As a generally nervous who also is pretty relaxed, I find myself listening to this type of music more often than not.
A lot of the SoR songs would also fall into this category. Higher tempo classic rock or alternative music. I’d say this probably makes up the majority of my Spotify library, because that’s the natural style of classic rock, alt-rock, alternative bands etc. One of my favorites right now, and who has been for a while, is San Cisco. I first heard about them from Sean during my first show at SoR, bands from Lollapalooza. This is the song that we played in performance group, but both of their albums from the past couple years are great and upbeat. A few other examples are Two Door Cinema Club, Vampire Weekend, Weezer, Fleetwood Mac, and The Killers.
Harder Rock, Borderline Punk
For the times when you’re angry and you just want walls of sound coming at you. One band that comes to mind is System of a Down, the sort of cop out metal band that’s on the fringe between rock and metal. Probably my favorite artist right now is Frank Turner, who I easily could’ve never heard of had I not heard his song on the radio one time. His songs are always either very laid back and meaningful or fast and exciting. If I could pick an artist to see live, he would be one of them. Other examples are Led Zeppelin (A heavier rock band for their time), and The Offspring (Again, somewhere between rock, punk, and metal). I could very easily be offending someone who considers them a fan of metal or punk, but this is about as heavy as the music I listen to gets, so we’ll classify it somewhere around there.
Guilty Pleasure Songs:
Everyone has them, don’t even try to deny it. Bands/Artists that I view as “guilty pleasures” are generally ones that are the most popular, or commonly known pop artists. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with these bands, they clearly produce great music, but you don’t want to be caught hearing Bieber, T-Swift, or this in public. Another area of music that I randomly find myself listening to is musical soundtracks, partially influenced by my girlfriend who eats, sleeps and breathes musicals, and partially influenced by the fact that I really like musicals. No, I haven’t seen Hamilton, don’t ask about it. But when in London for the New Year’s Day Parade that I had the opportunity to be in, we saw Jersey Boys, and I thought it was incredible. A musical about musicians? Perfect!
So that’s a simplified version of the music that I’m listening to right now. There’s a ton of bands/artists that I didn’t mention, those are just some of my favorites right now. Each type of music has its claim to fame, in that something can be learned from every genre. Acoustic music is all about tone and spacing, creating an atmosphere. Upbeat music is about consistency and feel. Heavier music teaches about power and endurance, as well as stage presence. And those guilty pleasure songs, well, those are all about creating a catchy melody. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that every acoustic song is about lying in a hammock, drinking out of a coconut, and every punk sock is about angst and anger. Frank Turner, for example, often writes songs about love and simply enjoying life, and a laid back band like Walk Off The Earth has their fair share of angry songs. It all depends on the artists and their style.