Over the last three years or so my  musical taste has shifted.  I don’t want to say evolve and even shifted isn’t the right word because I still love all the music I loved ten years ago.

The difference is that I now spend a lot more of my time listening to electric/remixed music than before.  Ironically I think I owe this to dub step.  Dub step is heavily remixed and has had a strong influence on dance music in general.

But more and more I hear top 40 and pop songs not first from the radio or television, but from remixes online.  I won’t even know a song is a remix of another until I look in to it for myself.  And most of the time (not all) the remix is better than the original.

I almost think these artists write decent songs and then hope to collaborate with another artist to remix the original and make even more money off it.  If that’s the case I can hardly blame them.  The next step in the musical create process seems more and more to be including another artist in the recreation of your work.  This has the effect of  both creating more good music as well as giving the original musical piece a longer shelf life, so to speak.

What’s come along with this shift in musical taste for me has also been a newfound appreciation for female  artists.  Not that I didn’t listen to them before but all my favorite artists were male.  Sure, the occasional Taylor Swift Christmas song was awesome but I wouldn’t have put her in my top ten artist list or anything.

Now I’m loving me some Ellie Goulding, yes Taylor Swift, and even some Tove Lo.  Not that I’m buying albums but it seems every song I hear from these artists, even if it isn’t remixed, is awesome.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

And at the time of this posting this video has 443 million views!

Believe it or not my buddy runs a landscaping company and they love blasting music while they work, when possible.  He said they’ve very, very slow started to evolve in their musical choices in a form similar to mine.  Imagine that, a bunch of yard workers blasting AC/DC one day and then Taylor Swift remixes the next?!  What a sight to see.  And I’ve seen it actually and I love it.

They work on my yard once a week and I encourage them to crank up the music.  The best part is they do good work of course.  You can check them out here if you’re in the area and need some landscaping done.  And feel free to have them change or turn off the music of course!

All this musical evolution makes me wonder- what’s next?  Music is fluid and always changing.  Old topics are recycled and given new tweaks and new instruments are given voice.

I’m already feeling a desire to start cranking up some of my old favorites.

The journey continues.


What happened to it?

It seemed like for a few years it’s all anyone was listening to.  Yes, I know it started with a small cult following which probably still exists.  Those listeners likely begrudged it’s booming popularity.  But it seems like overnight it went from best music ever to common punchline.

The problem with dubstep was that it turned out to be too gimmicky.  Sure, the drum is amazing.  It’s exhilarating, exciting and unique.  But when all you have is the drum, or when it is responsible for carrying entire songs and albums, it’s appeal fades.

Properly used the drum is a perfect accent to a good song.  Remix a top 40 piece or some new pop, or whatever you want really, with some tastefully placed drum and you have yourself some serious dance music.

But the drum shouldn’t drive an entire genre.  And while I was in to dubstep for a few years when I listen to those original Skrillex remixes they just sound silly.

Ah, the passing of time and the changing of opinion.  We laugh at 80’s clothes and culture.  Maybe our children will laugh at our dubstep.  Or will it be super cool?!?!?


Ok, this is admittedly similar to my last post about fire flames, but every time Rage Against The Machine comes on…

More flames.

So amazing.

You see, I typically workout slash work while listening to pandora radio so there can be quite a bit of variance even within a single station.

But boy let me tell you Rage Against The Machine is in a league of their own.  I don’t know if any other band makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck as well as Rage does.  Their fury and passion is unrivaled and even if you disagree with their political views you can’t deny that you’ve felt comparable rage before.

Whether it was at traffic, taxes, the DMV or your mom you know you’ve felt it.  That righteous, swelling anger that feels all too just.  You’re filled with energy to right the wrong you’ve experienced or witnessed and feel you could become almost maniacal in your pursuit of justice.

And let me tell you, anger is one of the most powerful emotions that justice has.  Anger is energizing, motivating, and necessary to produce change.

Everyone thinks Jesus was a passive, quiet, gentle man who helped the poor.  He sure helped the poor but he also had a fiery tongue and a hot temper.  Ever wandered into a public place of commerce and started flipping tables and insulting the sellers?

Ya, me neither.  And while I doubt Rage Against The Machine are religious I believe in the most religious among us can relate to their rage and fire against injustice and  of course racism.

So next time you hear music that offends you, consider the emotion being conveyed and be honest if you can relate to it or not.  Often times we’re offended at something not because deep down we disagree with it but because we hold, suppress and hide the very same idea or emotion deep down.  Artists sure don’t have license to do or say whatever they want but there is a time for anger and rage, and that’s ok.

Fire Flames

One of the greatest qualities music has is its ability to inspire.

Music turn to music for inspiration for endless endeavors, like working out, schoolwork, processing internal emotions or ideas, and dealing with stress.  Music has the amazing ability to speak to whatever a person is going through.  We might find an emotion or idea shared with a particular artist or song, or might discover emotions or ideas in ourselves we did not know were there until music spoke to it.

Music truly is powerful.

I personally love working out.  I’ve always been a very active person and as I’ve entered adulthood and the school sports and things have come to an end I’ve developed quite a love for fitness.

Music and fitness are closely related, of course.  Go to your average local gym and nearly everyone will have headphones in, grooving to their personal playlist that motivates, drives, inspires or energizes them.

What I’ve always thought is funny about myself is that my energy levels, motivation, inspiration or whatever you want to call it hasn’t ever been strongly connected to the music I’m listening to.

I’m sure I’m not the only person like this,  but rather than needing high energy, loud, fast-paced music to fuel my intensity I need either music I like or no music at all.

I can legitimately get super hyped and fired up by a song or album or artist not necessarily because it is hyped and fiery, but because I just like the music in general.  I’ve been known to work out very intensely to classical music or jazz.  I do have some heavier sounds I’ll turn to on occasion but it’s definitely not the norm.

I’ve even had some of my best training sessions with no music on at all.  Depending on my mood music may even just annoy me, preferring the sounds of the weights and the company of my own thoughts and emotions to fuel my focus.

A buddy of mine is the exact opposite.  He does a similar training regimen as I do but also does mixed martial arts.  He’s truly a fighter in the gym and life.  He goes hard in everything he does, 110%, even in his landscaping business he owns.  He’s like most exercises I know.  He loves and feeds off face paced, high energy, loud and even angry music on a regular basis.  If we trained together and I pumped so Beethoven or Louis Armstrong he’d laugh in my face or maybe even get frustrated.

I guess I’m a weirdo in that respect.  But that’s the beauty of music.  It truly has the power to reach any type of person.


The Grain

When beginning any creative endeavor a crucial choice must be made.  The artist must decide how to navigate the world of risk.

It’s pretty easy to see what success looks like in the creative realm.  Movies x, y and z followed this template and everyone loved them and they made tons of money.  Authors x, y and z followed this story arch and everyone loved them and they made tons of money.  Musical artists x, y and z made songs in such a way that delivered catchy, like-able sounds.

But what if you want to break away?  Most artists genuinely do.  Nobody pursues an art in the hopes of simply mimicking some other artist.  Inspiration and copying are different things.

The risk/reward paradigm of breaking away is extreme.  You could start a new trend, break new ground, speak to an emotion or idea in a completely unique way that touches the masses.  If this happens you’re sure to make millions.  The reverse is also possible.  Ridicule, scorn, and misunderstanding potentially await you.  You could be broke and lonely for a long time.  Of course your work could become famous when you’re old or deceased but what good does that do you or your kids now?

When it comes to music I love music that pushes the boundary.  But by its very nature of pushing the boundaries I also don’t like a lot of music out there!  As you may have guessed from the video on my homepage my favorite band is Mewithoutyou.

Mewithoutyou  definitely pushes the boundaries.  while their Pandora Radio station is pretty solid there isn’t a single band on it that sounds like them! This is a true testament to both their ingenuity and their brilliance.  They’re a very successful indie band but are not millionaires by any means.  They have a powerful cult following but never transcended into the next stratosphere of success (don’t think they wanted to).

Another testament to Mewithoutyou’s uniqueness is it legitimately took me two years before I began to appreciate their music.  My friend would tell me how awesome this next song was, what it was about and why, and I just couldn’t get into it.  Like the finer things in life the taste for Mewithoutyou was acquired, something musicians and artists in general fear too much.

So next time you hear music you don’t like try and appreciate that the artist is trying to actually create something unique (unless it’s country music that doesn’t count it’s not creative or good).