Quit Taking My Musical Icons

Michael Jackson’s death in June of 2009 was so shocking and painful for me that I still feel profound sadness over his passing. I grew up listening to his music, so his voice and artistic vision helped to define my entire life from childhood. David Bowie had a similar impact on my growing years, and I was so passionately moved by his musical genius that he remained a favorite artist from the time I was very little through today. Though Bowie was ill from cancer, his death was shocking as well, and my heart has been heavy from it.

When I heard that Prince was dealing with poor health, I began to worry. Surely this 57 year old multitalented musical god wasn’t near death’s door? Alarm bells went off in my head when I heard about the emergency plane landing on April 15th. Then on the morning of Thursday, April 21st, I flipped to Sirius XM’s Z100NY and thought it was very odd that a Prince song from 1984, “When Doves Cry”, was playing, since the station runs current hits. I pulled into a gas station and turned off the ignition to pump my gas. When I started up the car, “Purple Rain” was playing on Z100NY. I groaned and thought, “Oh no…”, grabbed my phone and looked up Prince. Sure enough, news of his death had hit the world.

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It’s been seventeen days since Prince’s death, and I still feel like I was punched in the solar plexus. I have been listening to The Groove to soak up Prince’s music, and my iPod runs Prince tunes while I am training at the gym. Admittedly, though, I already had a collection of Prince songs loaded onto my iPod for many years, so jamming to something like “Sexy M.F.” was a regular occurrence. There is no doubt that I am one of the many millions of Prince fans who are in mourning, who appreciate the enormous talent this man had. Prince was daring, controversial, brilliant, innovative, original, and charismatic, and had a profound influence on my teen years and early adulthood.

R.I.P. Prince.

Oh To Feel Music Again…

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I am completely sick of pop and Top 40 music and have been for a very long time. Most of it is filled with vacuous lyrics and modulated voices, and the only visceral response which it triggers in me is disgust. The worst offenders for me in recent years have been Katy Perry and Meghan Trainor, but I am also underwhelmed by the fact that every song by The Weeknd sounds exactly the same, and that other artists are starting to bore me to tears.

Even some alternative bands have been on my banned list, such as Walk The Moon and Florence + The Machine. I swear, if I hear “Shut Up + Dance” by Walk the Moon ONE more time, I will rip out my eyebrow hairs one by one! I also do not see what the fuss is about Florence + The Machine, because that excessive female vibrato and operatic quality in Florence Welch’s voice absolutely grates on my nerves. The only song I like from this band is “Heavy In Your Arms” because it is dark, and Florence keeps her ridiculous vibrato under control:

However, because I have been diving deep in the musical waters of alternative music lately, I have been pleasantly surprised by the incredible talent which lives there, and I have been finding some amazing songs and unbelievably talented artists. Alternative music has always been a favorite genre, and it has always appealed to my quasi-goth, vampire loving self. If music is dark, murky, disturbed, and off the beaten path, I am far more likely to enjoy it (however, I love R&B, blues, and Motown as well). There are old school alternative bands I will always adore, including Radiohead, NIN, and Rage Against The Machine, but there have been some new additions to my iPod lately. I have been eating up music by Satin Jackets, Phantogram, Wolf Alice, Muse, AWOLNATION, Coleman Hell, Royal Blood, Dorothy, B├śRNS, and I could definitely go on.

I kept hearing “Trip Switch” by Nothing But Thieves over the last few months and was intrigued by the fact that the more I listened to that song, the more I wanted to hear it. Usually I get tired of hearing a song all the time, but this one grew on me and tugged at my spirit until I broke down and investigated the other songs by this band. When I did, I was completely blown away, and can honestly say that I absolutely love every single song by this massively talented band. I feel like I want to crawl inside every song and live there, that’s how powerful their music is.

In case you want to explore music by Nothing But Thieves, you can check out their official website here:

http://www.nbthieves.com/

Nothing But Thieves is one of the best bands to come on the scene this decade, and I am convinced that they will be HUGE. May their talent and their energy take them to the very top, because that is where they belong.