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Horror Film Music

       Horror movies are, of course, made to make you jump or to sit on the edge of your seat but, if you were to watch one of today's 'scary movies' (this does not, necessarily, work with classics) while your television was muted, there would not be much, on the screen, that would cause you to jump. The film's music supplies you with that fist of fear that balls up in your stomach when the orchestra's string section kicks in, when the bass drum begins to be played, or when the oboe section starts their low, eerie, solo. Actors do not have to be good (even marginally) to make a horror film, the lighting does not have to be good to make a horror film, but the musical score better be good, or you will just have a lot of half clothed teenagers getting killed by crazy people (that's the difference between slasher and horror films; music, rather than tones or silence). I mean, I love laughing at Final Destination (all of them) just as much as the next person and Zombieland is one of my favorite films, but there is nothing like a good classical horror film score to scare you when it comes time for Halloween.
       Those classic films all rely on a leitmotif (a theme) in their musical scores, and you will always associate that sound with that movie. When you hear the Halloween theme song, with that steady piano, that feeling of fear begins to creep in as the horn section begins their piece. The film relies on the music to give it something that will trigger real emotion in its viewers; everyone knows that it does not matter how fast Jamie Lee Curtis runs, Michael Myers will still catch up to her just by walking. This idea is reflected in the film's music as, no matter how loud or unsteady the horn section appears to play, the piano keeps the same beat, and notes, throughout the piece; plus, the unease created by the horns is a perfect juxtaposition of the otherwise nice piano piece (if you had never seen the film there would be nothing frightening about those notes). When I was seven, I had no idea how intricately the music was tied to the film (I just knew that my fear of clowns had been further cemented and that I would never trust a man in a white mask again), but the composition is genius.
       Something that would make other people appear awful has made John Williams one of the best composers. Jaws is one of the scariest movies of all time, but there is nothing scary about a mechanical shark; Williams took two notes and turned them into an entire piece that matches your normal heart rate, then gradually speeds up. Williams designed a piece that, initially, matches the rate of the human heartbeat, evoking a physiological response that would gradually increase someone's heart rate, essentially, forcing you to experience fear; and when those horns chime in, you know your heart rate picks up just a bit. Picking up the leitmotif discussion from the previous paragraph, this piece is used so often in each of the Jaws films, without varying from that same leitmotif (two notes that mimic your heartbeat) that it has been ingrained in your memory. You automatically associate sharks with that song; if you walk in the tunnel at Seaworld or see a fin at the beach, that song will come to mind.
       Nightmare On Elm Street is one of the best horror movies; if you can watch it without having trouble sleeping for a month, you're kind of amazing (or you were older than seven when you first saw it...). The idea surrounding the film is great (you can never escape your worst nightmare) but the music is the thing that makes your skin crawl. Sure, it is gross when that guy's blood is all over his bed, but that is only gory, not scary; the fear comes from those discordant sounds created by any modern keyboard; the vocals backed up by the ever present shrill sound, with the drums kicking up just enough to sound like an echo in the background of the song, before those ever present violins kick in; the music is creepy without the film so, when you see a burned man with knife hands walking through a boiler room while the piece is played, it becomes terrifying. Then, of course, there's the use of a nursery rhyme (something we once considered 'safe'); nothing will make you more afraid of children singing than this song.
       There is nothing more discordant, with the hyper trumpet sounds, warring violins, and the underlying 'breathing' sound, than the theme song from Friday the 13th. The breathing picks up every time that Jason is about to appear (you associate the breathing with someone's impending 'death'), and the music follows soon after that. This is one of the most iconic horror films of the 80's, because the music and character are so deeply entwined with one another. If the breathing does not make you sit on the edge of the seat and begin to chant "you're going to die, don't do that" at the television, then the music which chimes in and pricks at your heart rate will.
       Psycho may not be as terrifying now as it was in 1960 (especially that iconic fall down the stairs which was so amazing at the time, and is now little more than laughable) but it is one of the best horror films. There's the fact that nothing is scarier than a cross-dressing guy spying on you through a whole in the wall, then killing you while you're defenseless in the shower, but those strings that chime in just in time for the actual crime to take place, continuing throughout the scene and ending with the ominous sound of the horns, was the first time that the musical score of a horror film became so iconic. 
       There's the fact that horror films just are not as scary today as they used to be; 28 Days Later is classified as horror, and the only scary thing about that movie is when that one zombie-esque guy appears in the window (but he's about to attack a 'bad' guy so you end up rooting for him anyways). People might be afraid of The Grudge or The Ring, but the only scary thing about The Grudge is the sound which the dead woman makes and the only thing alarming about The Ring is how quickly that creepy chick climbs up that well. The fact that these films are not scary is not only because they are missing that aspect of an actual fear (if you do not play on someone's real fears, then you just cannot get a response. There's a reason that the Paranormal Activity films have done so well; I act cool the whole time I'm watching the film, but when I am the only person awake the next morning and I hear a sound, I just know that an entity is going to kill me in the shower.), but because they have no real music. The films have tones, chords, which may be played, but there is no significant theme song which you associate with the villain.
       On the other hand, there are those Halloween films which have those hauntingly beautiful compositions; they are just tragic enough to make it into a film that will make you feel something besides fear during Halloween, with their swirling melodies and swelling (rather than striking) violins. Edward Scissorhands and The Corpse Bride (two of Tim Burton's best) have amazing soundtracks, but they are played at a time in the year when you want gore and fear, not tragic loneliness and the combination of a 'happy,' yet pathetically empty and slightly sad ending. Movies like this follow the same rule as the original character pieces; Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique" may have been put together wonderfully, with the character's joy and excitement of being with the woman he loves bounding through the orchestral piece, but the song still ends with the anger and fear of the main character being walked to his death before you hear the guillotine drop and the head roll, twice. No matter how beautiful it may be, it's awful and, while inspired, provides the listener with nothing more than a disheartened response of "well, that was nice...".
       The use of a leitmotif in each of these horror film scores provide those films with that everlasting creep factor; who does not hate it when those children begin to chant "1,2, Freddy's coming for you..." or when they hear that breathing sound from Jason (the sound which my dad tormented me with for years when I convinced him that five was old enough to handle my first horror movie [I was wrong, do not let your child watch that movie or they will forever be bound to two/three person canoes and will never again go in a kayak]). Honestly, describing some of these film scores as the 'best of horror' is not difficult, per say, because I know them so well, but odd because, growing up, they were the theme songs of my October's and I have grown so used to them; I still cannot justify Halloween as being over unless I have seen Nightmare On Elm StreetHalloween, and Friday the 13th
- E


Hurricane Prep

       To any readers who are on the east coast, stay inside and safe when Sandy hits tonight. Most people whom have never been in a hurricane do not take it seriously enough and, though the news does over exaggerate quite a bit for ratings, for the most part, they are trying to warn you. Living in Florida gives you just a few chances to experience hurricane weather and, anytime someone believes they can handle mother nature, they end up getting back-handed by her. Stay inside and if you can report later that you are fine and everything the news said was an exaggeration, that's great, but it is better to make fun of your over-reaction than to lament your poor judgement after the storm has passed.
       Charge your iPod or dig your old battery powered CD player out of your closet. If you like rain and thunderstorms, Iron & Wine or Band of Horses are both great to listen to (and I can't help but think that Momma Holler or Snow Patrol [Final Straw and Fallen Empires Snow Patrol] would sound good in candlelight). If you want something to counteract the storm, Fun. and Panic! At the Disco are both just great enough to keep your mind distracted and, if you really want to get away from the storm, Taylor Swift and Matt & Kim are perfect.
I use humor as a deflection, not a crutch.
- E


End of an Era

       For those of you have read this blog before, or listened to any of the playlists (or known me for any period of time), you know that Lady Danville will, forever and always, be my favorite band. Their music was the singular reason for which I returned to music a few years ago after shutting it out of my life; I can never promote them enough for giving me a reason to return to a point where I was able to, once again, fall in love with the entire process of making music, finding great bands, and discovering that one song you can relate to, perfectly.
       That is why I find their most recent facebook update to be so disheartening:
Dearest Friends, 

It is with extremely heavy hearts that we announce we have recently parted ways with our drummer and friend, Matt Frankel. Matt has been an integral part of Lady Danville and we will miss him deeply. Out of respect for him and his contribution, we will be announcing a change in our band name shortly. Suggestions are welcome.....

As we look ahead to the future, we are excited to say we will be releasing our first full length album in February. The Troubadour show which was scheduled for November will now coincide with the release date of our debut and will now happen on February 12, 2013. Please keep your tickets, as they will be honored by the venue for this new date. If you can't make it, you can contact the Troubadour starting Monday for a refund. We are excited for these new songs and what the future holds.

Much Love,
Michael and Dan
       Were it not for Lady Danville, I would have never met Michael Franti or Ratham Stone, or gotten so excited over touching Isaac Slade's hand; I would have never sang "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" in the pouring rain and I would not have fallen in love with Tokyo Police Club all over again when they called "Tessellate" an "oldie". I would have never cared enough to find out about artists like Sleeperstar, Momma Holler, Passenger, or Andrew Belle; and, of course, you would not be reading this right now. 
       Regardless of their band's name, I will continue to support Dan and Michael's (and Matt's) musical endeavors, much as I have since first hearing "David" back in 2008. It is, literally, the least I can do for the band and, honestly, they will be great with or without a drummer (or cajon player), but there is always something bittersweet about the end of an era.
- E


Update- Bands to Watch

       I have done updates on a few of the bands below but, for most of them, I just threw them out there and let them either get read or ignored. Now that my little sister is getting excited over the fact that a commercial featured a song by Youngblood Hawke, I thought I should go through and update you guys on each band. Each of the bands were good enough to listen to and write about initially, they should be good enough to spark someone's interest now ( and they all deserve that).
       WALK THE MOON has already been updated once before but, since then, the band has returned from the European portion of their tour and have performed at the iTunes Festival. That's not a lot of new news, is it? Their previous update was more exciting; read that.
       Youngblood Hawke is now on their US tour (opening for Passion Pit), they have made an official music video for "We Come Running," and they were mentioned on Ryan Seacrest's website (I may be the only one who thinks that's cool, but the band does deserve to have someone influential support them). Check out their tour dates and see if they're going to be near you; besides, Passion Pit always puts on a good live show.
       Sleeperstar is another band that I recently updated and, honestly, you're going to hear more from me about them. They're like Lady Danville, in that they will always be my favorite band and I will always be sharing some sort of song or information about them that you don't care about. Considering the fact that I only posted an update on the band about a week ago, and that they have been in the studio during the time since that update, the only new information is that they are releasing a video from their EP on December 31st; I believe I said that as calmly as I could, but I am really excited for it. The only music video they currently have is associated with, yet another, vampire franchise (though this does not make the song, or the band, any less great).
       Timmy Curran has made the least amount of musical career moves over the last few months, but that's the type of artist he is. He gives away his albums for free, does free shows, and is more interested in supporting causes than in making money. You can't not like Timmy Curran; it would make you a bad person (not really, just, he's so relaxed and good).
       Tokyo Police Club has been in the studio working on their next album, rumored to be released in 2013. All I have to say, is that the band needs to release a new album and go on their next tour, because my last Tokyo Police Club shirt is getting worn. You can let this tide you over until I come out with an overly excited post about Tokyo Police Club's newest album. I mean, if you're in Canada you can see them at one of their December shows, but otherwise, well, this is kind of a let down. Listen to Wright's newest project.
       Kodaline has been on tour and working in the studio. Stay in touch with the band by liking them on facebook or following on twitter; it will make you like them more. (Compared to the updates on other bands, Kodaline's is kind of sad, but I honestly have no new news from the band. Like WALK THE MOON, they have been so consumed with touring that it (the tour) is, really, the only newsworthy information about the band).
       L.P. is one of the few "bands to watch" that people really seemed to like so, of course, she has been updated (I'm not going to deny you your right to L.P; she's amazing). She has done interviews and shows to promote her album, which will be released in 2013, and has recorded her performance of "Fighting With Myself"; though she has been performing this song since, at least, her tour this past summer, this is the only clear recording of the song (it's great and, a reiteration from other posts about her, if you have the chance to see  her live, do not pass it up; she's an amazing performer and you will love her music by the end of her show). Other than that, the last update talked about her Letterman performance, her new video, and the announcement of her album release 'date' and covered everything which she has been up to lately.
      Momma Holler has released their first EP (which is, finally, available on iTunes) and have done a lot of marketing along the way. If you like the band, read their facebook posts (it only makes them more endearing) and listen to some of their performances (they are amazing live; talent like this is not common today).
        Two Gallants just released their latest album, The Bloom and the Blight (which was amazing, by the way), and will be all consumed with touring for the next year or so. If you're in Europe, you can look forward to their numerous tour dates; if you're in the US, you can fly to Europe (it's bound to be cooler there anyways).
       Paper Route has just ended their tour (they have two shows left) and released an amazing album in September, so you can expect to listen to that album for another year or two before the band gives us anything new. Keep checking the band's website and twitter to make sure you don't miss any new songs or shows.
- E



       A few weeks ago, I featured "Let Her Go" as a song of the day, but never got around to finishing this post. Mike Rosenberg (stage name Passenger) is one of the best kept (though quickly climbing into popularity) secrets. Though this UK singer/songwriter released his first album in 2007 (Wicked Man's Rest), he is just now beginning to gain momentum as a popular indie artist in the US. This may be due, largely, to his touring with Ed Sheeran because, who could tour with Ed Sheeran and not garner a few fans? His voice is slightly reminiscent of Sheeran's, in that it is soft and, just, really pretty (is there a better way to describe Sheeran's voice?) while still sounding solid.
       He has released five albums during his musical career, including Wicked Man's Rest, Wide Eyes Blind Love (2009), Flight of the Crow (2010), Divers and Submarines (2010), and All the Little Lights (2012), as well as an EP, The Wrong Direction (2012). After releasing his first album, Rosenberg gained popularity for his second album by performing on street corners in the UK and Australia, before putting together his third album (basically, a collaboration album) with various, and great, Australian artists. His fourth album was a "fan album," while the EP he released this past summer was only a preview of all of the great songs which would be on All the Little Lights
       The first song I heard from Rosenberg was "Let Her Go," and he ruined me for all other English alternative artists. "Keep On Walking" and "I Hate" are wonderful with how awfully true his lyrics are; with all of Rosenberg's lyrics ringing so true, I can't help but play his albums on repeat. "All the Little Lights" and "Patient Love" make my heart ache for him, a bit, and kind of makes me upset that I only found out about Passenger this year. Even though "What Will Become of Us" and "My Heart's On Fire" are melancholy, I cannot help but love them because of how beautifully they are put together (the simple composition juxtaposed with the thoughtful lyrics). If you don't smile when his voice breaks off and he begins the first verse of "Let Her Go," or when you hear the way Rosenberg sings the chorus of "Holes," then listen to this instead, because you probably just don't like alternative/indie music. 
       No matter how creepy the song may be at times, I really love "Walk You Home"; I mean, if a guy did this to me, I might buy some pepper spray or some other only slightly effective stalker repellent, but the song is catchy and it only gets better when you see Rosenberg's dancing. After all, "Hey there Delilah" had stalker-esque qualities and look at how well that did on the charts. (eMusic and I had a slight falling out, so this is how I listen to this song, If you ever need to listen to a song or watch a video on repeat, just type "repeat" between "youtube" and ".com" as in,
       Regardless of the type of music you normally listen to, any artist who sounds just as amazing live as they do recorded deserves recognition. If an artist is comfortable performing acoustically, it is only because their voice is amazing.  You can buy, should buy, all of Passenger's albums on iTunes or Amazon, but Wicked Man's Rest, is currently available only on eMusic or Passenger's band website.
Passenger's facebook
- E

Halloween Playlist

    I love Halloween, so I think that spending most of my time making a playlist dedicated to the holiday is a pretty good idea. Besides, some of these songs are only good at this time of year; it's about time they were resurrected.
"Bones" The Killers
"Superstition" Stevie Wonder
"The Other Side" Bruno Mars featuring Cee Lo Green and B.o.B
"Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)" The Wombats
"Killin' It" Foxy Shazam
"The Time Warp" Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Charles Gray
"Reno" The Gods of Macho
"(Don't Fear) The Reaper" Blue Oyster Cult
"Saturday Superhouse" Biffy Clyro
"You Raised A Vampire" The Moog
"Monster" Skillet
"Snake Devil" Scary Kids Scaring Kids
"House of Wolves" My Chemical Romance
"Perhaps Vampire Is A Bit Strong But..." Arctic Monkeys
"Thriller" Michael Jackson
- E



       I have alluded to this band quite a bit (like here, or here, or any of my various playlists or songs of the day) because the band is great. Though the band is on a hiatus (for medical reasons), you can still listen to, and become addicted to, their 'old' songs. They're all great; nothing can make me feel better on an especially awful day than a song about Mario Brothers or one that is just stuffed full of techno beats.
       ALL CAPS, an electronic pop band, is comprised of Kristina Horner and Luke Conard. The duo has announced that, though they are taking a break while Horner recovers from her vocal nodes, the band is still together and they will begin making more music after Horner's voice is healed. I, of course, cannot wait for the next ALL CAPS album to be released (hence, this post).
       There is no other band that is going to make love songs about The Office relationships, robots in love, or zombies who worry they will not find love. My oldest sister still claims that "Lumos Flies" is better than "Fireflies" (she's not wrong), and ALL CAPS is the reason her husband and I first became friends (my sister decided to leave her, then, fiance in the same room as me while she took an interminable shower and, after some awkward conversation starts (and pauses), he turned to me and said something like, "oh, hey, I was listening to that music you gave M and I really liked that song 'World of Warcraft Ruined My Life'"; and thus, a friendship was born). No song is as blatantly adorable as "Your Song," and there is nothing better to blow out your car speakers than "Can't".
       Check out all of the music by the band and Luke Conard's and Kristina Horner's youtube channels (and watching Conard's channel always ensures that you will see other good youtube artists), and keep hoping for the release of a new album.

- E


Album Releases 2

       September and October had a new album being released nearly every other day; the flow of new music was slightly overwhelming, especially after the (relative) summer album slump. This past weekend alone there were album releases from Momma Holler, Taylor Swift, and Bridgit Mendler (she may have started as a Disney star, but her music is not dripping with that sickly, sweet Disney sound). Though this year is coming to a quick end, there are still plenty of albums left to be released (and two more to be released October 30th; Cee Lo Green's Christmas album, Cee Lo's Magic Moment, and Andrew Bird's Hands of Glory). Here are some albums to look forward to for the remainder of 2012, and some to get you excited for 2013. 
11/13 Green Day Dos!
         OneRepublic Native
11/20 Pitbull Global Warming
         Porcupine Tree Octane Twisted
11/27 Alicia Keys Girl On Fire
12/4   Ke$ha Warrior
         Wiz Khalifa O.N.I.F.C.
12/11 Bruno Mars Unorthodox Jukebox 
   MGMT and Panic! At the Disco have both announced that they will be releasing their third and fourth, respectively, albums before the end of 2012, but the release dates have yet to be set. Many of the release dates for 2013 have yet to be set, but you can look for some of these band's albums in 2013.
1/15 Green Day Tre!
1/28 Biffy Clyro Opposites
1/29 Sleeperstar Blue Eyes EP (Just Another Ghost Extended Sessions) and their new   
       album, Lost Machines, will be released later in 2013
   Kalnoky has announced that Streetlight Manifesto's next album, The Hands That Thieve, has been pushed back from a November 6th release to a January 2013 release
   L.P.'s first full length album will be released early in 2013
   Rage Against the Machine has hinted at releasing an album in 2013
   Corgan has announced that he hopes a new Smashing Pumpkins album will be released by December 2013
- E


Songs That Make Me Happy

Each song is great for its own reason, but they all work pretty well when stuffed together in a playlist. 
"Grow A Pear" Ke$ha
"Blame It On the Girls" Mika
"Texas Rain" Sleeperstar
"I'll Be Your Breeze" Andrew Belle
"You and I" Paper Route
"All At Once" The Fray
"The Ballad of Mona Lisa" Panic! At the Disco
"Summer of '09" ALL CAPS
"Postcard" Bridgit Mendler
"Frames & Moulding" Lady Danville
"Summer of '69" Bryan Adams
"Count On Me" Bruno Mars
"Let Her Go" Passenger
"I Knew You Were Trouble." Taylor Swift
- E


"I Cry"

"I Cry" Flo Rida
       I know that I am in dire need of sleep when my mouth starts letting whatever crosses my mind come out without first censoring itself. This became apparent to me about five minutes ago while trying to put up a quick song post, but I wanted to put up something before the end of the night. This is how I prepare for a quick Flo Rida post after a little less than two hours of sleep in as many days.
   Me: "One day, I'm going to be a rapper like Flo Rida. I'll be Indi Ana. Or, ha, or Mont Ana."
   Sister: "That makes no sense. Your name isn't Ana."
   Me: "Or, OR, Dela...WARE."
   Sister: "What? That doesn't. That makes less sense than the first two."
       Between work, school, and personal obligations, I have been awake for nearly forty-seven hours. Just watch the video.
- E


Foxy Shazam

       This band is so deliciously different that I can't help but love them. They have that classic rock band sound (making them the best modern rock band today) with six of the craziest (and most energetic) performers (Eric Sean Nally, Loren Turner, Sky White, Daisy, Alex Nauth, and Aaron McVeigh) I have ever seen. They've released four albums (The Flamingo Trigger, Introducing, Foxy Shazam, and The Church of Rock and Roll) since forming in 2004, but those recorded songs do not do them justice; you have to see the band live to truly appreciate their musical abilities; honestly, there is nothing like your first Foxy! experience.
       Nally smokes while performing (then eats the cigarette), somersaults, lays down on the stage, runs around and dances emphatically, and tells entire stories, in the way that only he can (he has a very distinct, and suspenseful, way of story-telling). Nauth (trumpet/backing vocals) swings his trumpet around, even throwing it into the air at times, without missing a beat. Turner (guitar) dances the whole time while managing to refrain from getting horribly tangled in the cables, Daisy can balance a bass better than anyone I've ever seen, and even though McVeigh is back on the drums, he maintains the same energy as the rest of the band while performing. White, on the keyboards, is definitely my favorite; if you can spin around, dance, and stomp your foot on the keyboards, without missing a note, you're amazing (and he's the only guy that can make that beard work). I aspire to play the piano half as amazingly as White does, one day.
       Writing about the songs they have done will give you an idea of the band, but the band is the energy which they exude in all of their performances, be it on the stage or in a music video. So, instead of my normal routine, I'm going to post some great performance videos: This is the best video to show Nally's interaction with the crowd, as no one does it better (or scarier) than he does. I don't believe any band is as energetic as Foxy Shazam during a performance (one of the reasons they are so great). This is a video (not my own) from my first Foxy Shazam experience; how could I not fall in love with them? When the band first comes out on the stage, they attack it, and you can't deny that you don't like Nally's ridiculous stories. This may be the best introduction to a song about America, and "The Only Way to My Heart" is quite possibly my favorite song by the band (although "The Streets", "I Wanna Be Yours", "Wanna-Be Angel", and, of course, "Killin' It" are all pretty amazing).
        Though I did not care for the band too much before seeing them live, listen to their music and watch their live videos because it is quite likely that they will grow on you; they're kind of irresistible once you get started. They're ridiculous, odd, fun, and, most of all, they're just Foxy; that, in and of itself, makes the band fantastic.
       Their music may not be for everyone, but you cannot write it off completely until you've seen a live performance (attended one, I should say). It's ridiculously energetic and so, so weird, but in the absolute best way possible. I truly cannot put into words why I find them so wonderful, but I kind of love them. Foxy Shazam is the craziest band and I hope they never change. 
- E


Update- Sleeperstar

       Sleeperstar announced the release of their Blue Eyes- EP today! With all of the great albums that have come out in the past two months, and all the albums still set to release, none of them hold as much excitement as the new Sleeperstar EP does, for me. It may just be an 'extension' of their Just Another Ghost album, but considering that the band first announced that the EP should be available by last May, finally having an official release date (January 29) makes me really happy. On their facebook page, they also announced that their next full length album, Lost Machines, would be released sometime in 2013. When I wrote about them for my freshman music class, I had no idea that their songs would be featured in television shows and movie trailers, and I am so proud of them for continuing to come out with more great music. If you do not already love the band, listen to their songs, because they are amazing; I am so excited for this new album to be released.
- E

Band Break-Ups

       There is nothing more frustrating than really falling in love with a band, investing time and money into their music for years, then having that band break up.
       The summer I turned nine, my dad got me Nickel Creek to keep me pre-occupied (silent) during our drive to Virginia's coast. I fell in love with the band; I listened to "The Lighthouses Tale" so many times that I can still sing it from memory, "When You Come Back Down" is so much better to me now than it was back then, and for some reason I used to really love "The Fox" (it's kind of an awful song, but I think, i hope, nine year old was more interested in the music than the lyrics). This band was amazing, and then they disbanded in 2007.
       I first heard Meese when iTunes offered their song, "Next In Line," as the 'single of the week' sometime during my high school years, and loved it. The band had so much potential and had toured with so many 'big name' bands before releasing their first full length album in 2009, then they broke up in 2010. Seriously? At least try to make it a full year before throwing away your music careers.
       I would be more upset about Love, She Wrote breaking up, but I really only had one album from them and, though I really did adore "Bling Bling Baby" and "Outlaw Josey Wales," the other songs, like "That Girl is Fierce," sound reminiscent of any other boy group in the 2000's, like Never Shout Never or All Time Low. It's a little sad that they broke up, but their sound was not especially unique.
       Someone gave me Hey Monday my freshman year of college (one of the best things about living in a shitty dorm is that you will get a lot of different music) and "I Don't Wanna Dance" became my new, go-to I'm-angry-so-leave-me-the-fuck-alone-while-I-ruin-my-cochlear-hair-cells-and-get-over-it song. So, when I was watching The Voice (I was not in control of the remote at the time) and found out that Cassadee Pope was a contestant because the band was on a hiatus, my only thought was "well, that was a nice short run". Does anyone try to make their band last long enough to have a five year anniversary anymore?
       ALL CAPS may not have broken up, but the band has gone on an indefinite hiatus due to Kristina Horner's vocal nodes. While she has been unable to sing, Luke Conard, the other lead singer of the duo, has been working on projects with different singers and many have taken this to mean that the band officially broke up. I adore this band; if I had to choose a band that I loved more than Lady Danville, it would be ALL CAPS (who doesn't love songs about robots/zombies/summertime romances?) I'll just continue to check their band and youtube pages, in hopes that they get back together soon.
       The Hush Sound went on hiatus a few years ago, but they might be getting back together (?). The band has not made any announcement on a band reunion, but they have announced that they will be going on a short 'reunion' tour (only eight shows) and Bob Morris has made comments on Twitter suggesting that the band get back together. The Hush Sound is some sort of great equalizer; everyone, no matter their music style, seems to like the band, or at least one of their songs. "A Dark Congregation" was all I listened to for months when I was fifteen, and the piano on "You Are the Moon" is just beautiful, while "Sweet Tangerine" and "Honey" take a less (composition-wise) serious route, while being just as great as the aforementioned songs. It's difficult to even choose a favorite song from their albums, as each song is so different from the previous one (my immediate answer is "The Artist," then I take "Magnolia" and "Echo" into consideration, and then start thinking about "We Intertwined," "Wine Red," and "Not Your Concern"). Somewhere along the way, this turned into an advertisement for The Hush Sound, but they are amazing and, if you did not already miss them, this should help. I'll just keep hoping for some footage from their first concert after October 26th that features a new song and a re-uniting of the band. 
       If your favorite band breaks up, just hope that they'll pull some sort of Guided by Voices or Creed thing and get back together after they realize their solo careers aren't working out too well; not that I'm hoping for them to fail, it's only that, when you like a band, you never want them to break-up.
- E



"I Knew You Were Trouble." Taylor Swift
"Die Young" Ke$ha
"Our Song" Matchbox Twenty
"Let Her Go" Passenger
"Clarity" Zedd featuring Foxes
"You and I" Paper Route
"Oh, Emily" Jukebox the Ghost
"Sleep Alone" Two Door Cinema Club
"It's Alright" Matt & Kim
"No Words" The Script
- E


Paper Route

       Paper Route formed in 2004, after the indie rock band's members, J.T. Daly, Chad Howat, and Gavin McDonald, met at Greenville College. If you have never heard the band, their sound is reminiscent of what would come from mixing Sleeperstar with The Script; an alternative band with good back beats, honest, anthem-esque lyrics, and a truly satisfying final sound. Their songs have been featured in (500) Days of Summer, CSI: NY, One Tree Hill, and World of Jenks. The band did receive some immediate recognition after their first album (Absence-2009), reached number thirteen on the Billboard Heatseekers charts and their initial success after touring with Paramore, Jack's Mannequin, Passion Pit, and Owl City, but during their break between albums, the band seemed to fall into obscurity. They have returned (better than before), three years later, after touring with Mutemath and, currently, Switchfoot, regaining some of that hype which magazines (RELEVANT, Rolling Stone) had first created a few years ago, with their newest album, The Peace of Wild Things (9/11/12).
       The band described themselves, in their first EP (Are We All Forgotten-2006) and Absence, as writing their songs to, or about God, attempting to find answers and put their own faith into words; being, possibly, the least religious person I know, hearing that the song, "No Sudden Revelations," is supposed to sound reminiscent of someone getting baptized, starts to set me off the band a bit. The band, and the intricacies of their compositions and honesty of their lyrics, is great, but I did not start to really appreciate the band until they released The Peace of Wild Things
       The album is centralized on the idea that "everyone can relate to hurt" (Daly), but that constant push for hope is the thing that keeps us each moving forward. The members have said that it is the most honest, and unified, album they have created and that, the more personal the lyric, the more universal the sound is. Though the band was prevented from releasing their album as early as they had wished, their first single from the album, "Better Life," was released November 1, 2011, and "Sugar" was released on Valentine's Day (2012). "You and I", my favorite from the album, was released as a single on August 14, only two weeks before the song's music video was released. All of the songs, regardless of personal taste, are great though. "Rabbit Holes" has that hard and haunting rock sound that you just need some nights, while "Letting You Let Go" sounds like an 80's synth-pop song was given an alternative make-over, and it came out great. "Two Hearts" and "Love Letters" may have the most anthem-esque sound and lyrics on the album, while maintaining the synthetic, indie rock sound that the band so adeptly produces. And there is no better song to wrap up this album than "Calm My Soul," sounding just trippy enough to pull you in, and somehow working wonderfully with the rock beats and deep lyrics, showcasing the best of each member's talents in one song. 
       I'm a sucker for a good voice and beat, and Paper Route offers exactly that. They may also be the only band that can produce an album whose songs all maintain a hopeful, uplifting quality, despite the fact that each song is more morose than the last. I may not be the biggest fan of their previous albums, but this new one has got me hooked, and hoping for more. Buy the album because, regardless of your favored style, you'll find a song that you really like on the album.
- E


The Script

       The band's new album came out this week (10/9) and, though I was going to try, for once, to abstain from buying anything by The Script, I now own #3. I got addicted to the band one summer, somewhere in Utah, when I heard "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" (a lot; Sirius radio does not have much variety on their stations) and thought that would be the end of the band. Then, of course, "Before the Worst" and "Break Even" began assaulting the radio stations and there was no escaping the band.
       I'm not complaining about the band's popularity, but the fact that their music has become such a mainstream item had me worried that it was going to have a poor effect on anything they produced after their initial success. For a while, I continued to hear only the songs which they had released from their first album; my friend was addicted to "Break Even" (and playing it with the bass ALL the way up) the summer before our first year of college, and my roommate and I could not stop playing "If You See Kay" (watch from 8:40 on if you're wondering about the 'pronunciation' (intentional mondegreen)) for nearly an entire semester. Then "For the First Time" invaded our airwaves and, a few months later, I had bought Science & Faith. When I got hooked on "Nothing" and "If You Ever Come Back," I realized that my addiction to The Script was very close to the one I have to Taylor Swift (except The Script has better lyrics and melodies). The thing was, all of the songs were just as well written and put together as they were on the bands first album, even when they changed it up a bit on "Walk Away," featuring B.o.B (of course, I liked the song because I kind of love B.o.B). 
       I was actually planning on just buying one or two songs from their new album, thinking that, by now, they would definitely have become too mainstream, with the fame going to their heads and ruining their songs; I was wrong. I saw them perform "If You Could See Me Now" and thought, "crud, that's good," and now I have the entire album. It's worth the $10 to just buy it on iTunes or Amazon, with songs like "Hall of Fame," featuring Will.I.Am, pulling them out of their comfort zone (in a good way), and "Glowing" and "No Words" to remind you of the sound on the band's first album. The other songs, like "Millionaires" and "Gold 'Ol Days," have the indie lyrics that The Script is so good at putting forth, but infused with the pop sounds that overlay the basic piano in each track. If you think that you're going to skip over The Script's new album because they're famous now and their music cannot possibly be as good as it once was, forget your preconceptions and buy the new album; it's a little different, but it's good. 
- E


Taylor Swift

       I hate that I like, at times love, Taylor Swift; abhor it, really. She does not have an actual genre; she cannot decide between country or pop, and she can be placed in neither of these categories. Her songs are usually about the same thing and, every once in a while, she tries to write a song about something she has no real grasp on. I apologize to anyone who might think it's pathetic to like Taylor Swift, but I'm sure that person is secretly addicted to her and, as disappointing as my love of this pop country singer may be, it cannot be as bad as the gaffe I made when announcing I loved Ke$ha; or when, in the future, I admit that I am addicted to anything by, or that features, B.o.B (that future is about eight songs down).
   "Picture to Burn" I might like burning things a little too much, but this is the first Swifty song I bought and it is so fucking stupid and her producers hadn't yet decided to autotune her voice, but it is so damn catchy. Plus, guys who love their trucks that fucking much make me want to run them over with my Daewoo. Same goes for "Should've Said No"; the 'first song' thing, not the vehicular homicide bit.
   "Love Story" Even though Taylor Swift obviously never read "The Scarlet Letter" or the end of 
"Romeo and Juliet," the song is still awfully catchy. "You Belong With Me" falls under that same category; it may be about an unhealthy stalker-esque relationship, but it is the best song to sing in the car with your friends. 
   "Forever & Always" This song is kind of great and it's about time someone let Swifty know that happy endings don't exist. "Last Kiss" and some of the songs on her newer albums allude to that fact, but Taylor Swift spent a lot of time in a happy, all-is-perfect, world.  
  "Enchanted" I actually really love this song. A lot. The same goes for most of the songs on her album, Speak Now. "Back to December," for instance, was played on repeat for about half an hour on the highway once, and "Sparks Fly" is somehow great to me; I think it must be that line about "green eyes". And though I don't think Taylor Swift has ever been in an abusive relationship, "Mean" is still ridiculously addictive. 
   "Mine" She kind of fell a little short on the (previously stated) album here, because she does not know what she is talking about; we all know Taylor Swift did not recently live in some small town and fall in love with a guy, have kids, and live happ-fuck-ily ever after. 
  "Better Than Revenge" She redeemed herself on Speak Now with this song; I think I played it more than any other song my freshman year (no one likes the first sorority girl they befriend in college, unless maybe they're in a, those girls are all bitches; they'd be the type of girl that would hate other girls...). "Speak Now" was also kind of awesome, I mean, completely unrealistic, but in a slightly good way. And I love "Long Live"; I have no explanation for this.
   "If This Was A Movie" I listened to this song far too often last year... around winter break? Anyways, Swifty does sing about waiting for guys in the rain an awful lot, but the song is too catchy and was a nice hold over between her album in 2010 and Red. The same goes for "Ours," even though it's sickeningly adorable, you have to love the music video. 
   "Both of Us" It's actually B.o.B's song (he is great; his lyrics are better than Taylor Swift's, and so much more fun to sing), but Taylor Swift's appearance should not be overlooked too much; it's her first really good summer release song and she has to be given credit for being anywhere close to B.o.B. Honestly, I fucking love this song. 
   "I Knew You Were Trouble." It's one of those songs where I sit there with iTunes asking me if I'm really sure I want to buy the song thinking, "why do I like Taylor Swift," but damn this song; I love it. And all of her singles, well, most of her singles, coming from her new album. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is awful, but Rolling Stone describes why I love it, perfectly, as they usually do. I held back on purchasing "Red" for a while actually, but when I listened to it again while writing this, I broke down. 
       Taylor Swift is the epitome of an abusive relationship; I don't want to love her, but I'm sucked in by the promises she makes with her catchy songs and lyrics, so I forget all of the shit she gave me on her first album and a few of the other songs along the way. Her songs have gotten progressively better over the years though; there's a big jump from "Picture to Burn" to "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". Judge me if you want, but if you listen to any of these songs, you'll be singing them for a week. Red comes out October 22nd, and there is no doubt in my mind that I will be just as excited to get this album as I was to get Lightening
- E