Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Night Randomness... The Music Edition

So, here's the thing. I dig music. No, scratch that, I fucking live and breathe and shit music. For as long as I can remember I shared my joys and sorrows and triumphs and failures with bands who probably would think I'm totally off my shit for even saying that.

I live for sounds and lyrics and noise; the way the steady crescendo of an army of guitars wraps around me or the poignant timbre of a verse. I know it might sound crazy but I've always been able to relate to lyrics and beats, even if I can't actually figure one out on my own.


I will be the first one to tell you that I am not a professional music-y person, whatever the fuck that means. I have to squint and listen really heard to tell the difference between a viola and a violin. I'm only pretty sure I know what a "hook" is but if I'm right, when bands bang that shit out, it's fucking amazing.

In my two years of being with this community, I've found that many of you share my profound addiction of not just all things Twilight but music as well. Because there is just SO much out there - so many bands, so many different sounds and genres - I wanted to take the time out to share a few of my favorites with you.


Of course, we all know Iron & Wine from the Twilight soundtrack but Samuel Beam is one of the most talented singer/songwriters I have come across in a very long time. His words are poetry, painting whimsical and sometimes melancholy scenarios. With a soft, haunting and wistful voice backed up by acoustic guitars (among other instruments), his songs hail of a time long since passed. There is no hustle and bustle in his music. It's a slow, steady and winding fusion of music and words.

Sun Kil Moon - Glenn Tipton - unfortunately couldn't actually find a video of this song but it's one of my favorites and the entire album - Ghosts of the Great Highway - is on my steady rotation of favorites. There is an underlying sadness that resonates in the Mark Kozelek's voice and lyrics, which are wound seamlessly and simply around the earnest strumming of an acoustic guitar.

The National - Anyone's Ghost. There is a little reverb on the sound in this video but it's still worth a listen. I saw this band a few months ago and they were so amazingly tight and energetic.

I hope you enjoy! I plan on making a huge list of "Must Listen To" when I come back from SXSW but in the meantime, check out Earplugs Not Included. The MP3's of the songs are easily accessible and the writers are some seriously in-the-know kind of gals with tons of information and opinions. If you have a hankerin' for some new tunes, this is the site to check out. I was even asked to write a guest post, which I made me pee my pants a little.


  1. Hope you have a great time at SXSW!

  2. Thanks for the clips...I think it's funny I can tell it's you writing because "shit" was in the first sentence :)

  3. I love band recs. Thank you so much! I've been meaning to get some Iron & Wine (love love LOVE "Flightless Bird"), and I will check out those others, as well! Have a kick-ass time at SXSW!

  4. Sounds like you are in a mellow mood. I would recommend Bowerbirds (indie folk duo) - very nice acoustic and vocal harmonies. If you're going mellow/depressed, check out Wye Oak (indie rock duo (man, i love duos)). Every time I listen to Take It In, I want to slit my wrists, but, you know, in a good way...

  5. I love music too, although it sounds like our music tastes diverge a bit. I'm more into the harder side of "alternative". This last year I've turned into quite the concert junkie. I think I might've gone to 15 concerts last year? And without counting that's a conservative guess since I know I went to 4 MUSE concerts and 5 Adam Lambert concerts.

    This year I've already got tickets to see Linkin Park (in fact I just found out I was selected to get backstage meet-and-greet passes for this Sunday... WOO-HOO!), Brian Setzer, Civil Twilght, of Montreal and My Chemical Romance. And that doesn't include the Taylor Swift tickets I bought for my daughter for her birthday and the Ricky Martin concert my friend is dragging me to.

    Has anyone heard of Esben and the Witch? They're pretty cool too. There is this DJ out of Europe somewhere named Bynar that has the best taste in music. He highlights cool bands and always has links to download a tune.

  6. I just went and checked out the Earplugs Not Included blog. THANK YOU for rec'ing it!

  7. I am so used to having to beg, plead and nag people to go listen to music with me that I forget that there really are other kindred spirits out there. I so wish you were all in Seattle so we could go out together!

    Did I say that I am about two steps removed from being a total headbanger? Music was made to be played loud. The biggest insult I can think of: "It's too mellow."

    I saw the reconstituted Gang of Four last night and it was nearly a religious experience.

    I honestly could not exist without
    music. The writer John Sanford had a great sentence in his first Virgil Flowers book along the lines of how there were times when the right song at the right time was even better than great sex.

    My current rotation of existing bands: !!!, Dead Weather, Spoon, Franz Ferdinand,Black Angels(Coming to Seattle in May!),DIOYY(see below)and the Dance Party (Ok,that's nepotism - my cousin's kid is in it). The rest of my list is a pile of post-punk or goth from the 80's that I missed out on the first time around. (Like Gang of Four, Fugazi, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy)

    And a giant shout out to radio station KEXP which is available on the internet and is the best music source ever. I have to keep a pad and pencil next to the computer so I can jot down all the great songs I hear. (Like most of the above)

    @Lila - I think we would be awesome pals! If Does it Offend You, Yeah is still opening for Linkin Park I am totally jealous!

  8. Definately need a Music To Listen To list from JJ. So far I have added White Rabbits, Doves and a little Man Man (must get more) thanks to the music guru that is JJ... Also working on my 15 Step Playlist...

  9. A lot of the bands you guys are mentioning are actually going to be at SXSW and are on my list to see - Wye Oak, Ebsen and the Witch, etc.

    I'm going to have to do another post because there are tons of other bands I'd love to rec.

    @Kintail - I grew up in the mosh pit in the 90's. Fugazi, Sick of it All, Snapcase, Shelter... man I loved those bands. In fact, if you've ever seen the Fugazi documentary, my brother and two girlfriends are in it. My bro wouldn't let me consent to being recorded because I was only 15. Asshole. But I was at that show and it was awesome!

  10. Have you seen Iron & Wine recently? I just went a couple months ago and I was utterly confused. The first part of his show was just him singing acoustic (he actually opened with singing flightless bird am. mouth acapella) and so fucking awesome but I was so turned off by the second half of his show where a band came out and played with him and it was a different genre and almost like an entirely different concert. I would venture as far as to say I hated it. Just wondering if you or anyone else had attended a show from the latest tour and had the same opinion or if I am just losing my keen ear for good music.

  11. I know I've said it before JJ, but I do think you should be thinking of writing about music professionally. But if I have to say it again, I will.

    Thanks for the rec's love earplugs not included.

  12. @kintail I think we could be great pals too, but lately I'm really enjoying being a SoCal girl. The stuff that goes on around here is sick. I accidentally went to a pre-Grammy party on Friday... complete with swag, open bar and catering by Wolfgang Puck. It was like I was in some sort of awesome dream.

    Actually Prodigy is opening for LP here in San Diego, but the email I got from LPU says we'll miss the opening band at the meet-and-greet. You should check out Bynar, he has an entire Post Punk play list. Having "come of age" in the 80's, I lean more towards the 80's sound which I am hearing more and more right now in current music. My favorite station is 91x (who also streams).

    @JennyJerkface - Last year I saw that MUSE did a last minute show at a tiny venue at SXSW. To bring this all back to Twilight, the reason I started going to concerts was that I saw MUSE on the Twilight DVD back in '09 when I first ran into Twilight. I had heard of MUSE through my recently acquired love of Adam Lambert (he sung a MUSE song on tour) but that concert video of Super Massive Black Hole made me realize I HAD to go to a show. Coincidentally, MUSE had just announced a single show in Las Vegas at a small venue. I scored tickets and it was the best concert of my LIFE. For a little while I thought I might loose my life (the entire audience was like a giant mosh pit) but all-in-all it was amazing. After that I had to start going to more and more concerts.

  13. Listen up ladies!! You need to start stalking this blogger twi-guy. He looks a little like Rob, so that alone makes him awesome.



  14. Love it! Music has the ability to move me in ways that not even my husband can. Is that bad?
    Pandora has introduced me to some great bands - one of them being Iron & Wine.
    Can't wait for your SXSW music list!

  15. Oh JJ, how I bow down to your music prowess... please teach me the ways oh Obi Wan!

  16. @Lila - Prodigy would be pretty great too!

    I'll check out your recces.

  17. Oh JJ, I could write forever on this topic and could give endless recommendations based on the artists you posted. But I'll contain myself and just say that I too live, eat and breath music. If I have an extra $20 at the end of the month, I'm either buying a album or going to a show.

    "Without music life would be a mistake."
    ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

    A few of my faves I'd recommend are The Low Anthem, Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and The Felice Brothers. Love 'em all.

  18. @Rachael1042 wow, that guy is pretty cute... and that article was really funny.

    Oh yeah, Rob... and music. Check out Civil Twilight. The lead singer looks like Rob so much he has to occasionally field the question at interviews. posted the Twilight related parts of the interview here:

    This music video of theirs is pretty amazing. The imagery of the lead singer at the grand piano is very reminiscent of seeing Rob at the piano. I love this song.

    By the way, if anyone is going to the Twilight convention in LA in March, Civil Twilight is playing twice in the area, once on Thursday night at the Troubador in Hollywood and on Friday night in Pomona at The Glass House. I'll be at the Pomona concert in lieu of the "prom" thrown by the convention people.

  19. JJ, for me, writing and films are my passion. But music, is my therapy. I am ALWAYS looking for new music. You should consider doing a weekly post on a new group. And yes, I'll check out the other blog. I think I need to subscribe to it, so I can get the updates.

    Btw, I hate you all for going to SXSW! So jealous!

  20. you left some bands off of this list of amazingness. they include but are not limited to shelter, black train jack, and floorpunch. please jen, don't forget your roots (and by that i mean, listen to H2O)

  21. Being South African I also have to push Civil Twilight (altho it seems N. America sees more of them than S. Africa) & also Seether. I am a relatively new Seether convert cause their songs that get played on the radio were 'too mellow'. But I was pleasantly suprised when I was accidently introduced to the rest of their music. & thankfull... eternally thankful. Anyone over there know Seether? Opinions?

  22. JJ you always have great music recs. I can't wait to hear all about SXSW!


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