Helen's Audio Consumption (Music)

Last concerts and musical events attended:
4/11/10 Blue October @ 9:30 Club
1/16/10 Brian Fallon (Gaslight Anthem) and Dave Hause @ Black Cat
Sometime in 2009 - Ladyhawke, Ida Maria, Semi Precious Weapons @ 930 Club
9/23/08 Le Loup @ Iota
8/30/08 Kaskade playing @ Ibiza Nightclub
August 2008 : Ting Tings @ 9:30 Club
4/29/05 Ivy / Astaire and Stars at Black Cat
7/3/05 Brice Woodall/Revival/Cassettes/Cartel at Iota

my favorite previous memorable concerts and bands
Lavajet!!! / lots of gigs in the DC/Northern VA area
The Dandy Warhols / 9:30 Club, DC
Saxon Shore / The Galaxy Hut, Arlington, VA
DJ Scratch Tour / 9:30 Club, DC
The Cassettes (missed the Aquarium...damn) / Common Ground coffeehouse, Clarendon, VA
Stellastarr* and Placebo / 9:30 Club, DC
Five Maseratis, Come Down, Woolly Mammoth / Black Cat, DC
Asylum Street Spankers / Iota, Clarendon / 3-8-04
Aquarium / Warehouse, DC
Quannum Tour / 9:30 Club, DC
Broken Social Scene / Black Cat, DC
Maritime / Black Cat, DC / 6-3-04
Curiousa Festival / summer 2004

I haven't been clubbing as much as I used to, but when I went it would be to Lemur Lounge, Club Five, or Red.

onto the music...

April 2010
Time for a change in my life, but in the past three days I've been obsessed with the band, Blue October, after I saw them play live at the 9:30 Club a few days ago. I found this interview with the lead singer which really spoke to me. There are definitely times when I'm drawn more towards people who have gone through big struggles in their lives and come through on the other side. The ones who swam a different path and see things differently than most. People who treasure traits and strength and also tenderness in you that others don't or won't see.
January 2010
It's been a good long five years since I've written about the latest music loves and passions. I guess I've kept up with the concert listings...at least sorta. These days my music tools are hypem.com or last.fm. With my recent acquisition of a Samsung 40" LCD tv however and the Samsung blu-ray player, I've started using pandora.com a lot more again. I had heard through the grapevine that some guys that I know who ostensibly love music even more than me but who I no longer communicate with have a love of the website, lala.com. I'm giving it a try right now, but am in the long slow process of attempting to upload all my digitized music into their library. It fails on my home PC and I've tried to communicate with the lala support about it, but for the moment I'm attempting to upload the 22.59 GB of music that I have on my work MacBook Pro laptop into lala.
July 2005
John Adams and Esmerine.
There are few things in life like hearing the first few bars of a piece of music and being instantly transfixed. I would have to say that those experiences have happened with me with John Adams' Road Movies album and Esmerine's 'if only a sweet surrender to the nights to come be true'. With John Adams, I had just put the CD in the car while driving the 40 minute commute to work. The experience was exquisite. There was nothing quite like that drive and listening to that music on a beautiful spring morning. And as I listen to esmerine, I am hearing a summer storm in the background which seems to compliment the mood of the album so well and it is amusing to try to wonder of what I am hearing is it the piece or the pounding rain or the thunder. Somehow both pieces made me feel extremely alive, and in being alive I was very aware of nature.
November 2003.
I'm totally deep into indie rock/pop now. I saw some cool guy's personal ad on salon.com, but that never panned out. Never mind that though, I saw that the guy liked Broken Social Scene and he also mentioned being in love with "The Sea and Cake", so I decided that I had to check them out. I own their first album, eponomyously named, and their most recent album "One Bedroom". I like their first album the best. Not sure if I really like the direction that their music has taken. I can listen all the way through with the first album, but on the latest album, I only like tracks 5 and 10 and track 10 is their cover of Bowie's "Sound and Vision". I trolled around on mtv.com (yeah I know for shame, but it is one of my few ways of acquiring new music as I don't watch MTV, VH1, or listen to the radio anymore) and found stellastarr*'s song "In the Walls". I love that beginning sound. It reminds me of the beginning of the Dave Matthews Band song, "Two Step".

(the get over a guy music) (sometime in 2004)
The Walkmen's song, The Rat
Sense Field's song, Save Yourself
Ben Lee's song, How to Survive a Broken Heart
Ivy's cover song, Digging Your Scene, and song, Quick, Painless, and Easy

Love Letters 6/13/04
So a number of my friends over the past year had lamented about the lost art of writing and exchanging love letters. PJ Harvey has captured this sentiment perfectly in her single, "The Letter" off of her new album, Uh Huh Her. Gotta love PJ Harvey. Raw and sexy.

These days I mostly get new music by voraciously downloading mp3s from these mp3 blogs. This is just a small cross section of the 40+ mp3blogs that I follow. The rest of them are on my bloglines account that I just haven't bothered to put on del.icio.us yet.

So the update is 2003.
I'm now living in Northern Virginia and have been turned on to live indie rock music. Woo hoo. I've gotten into Dismemberment Plan. Damn that lead singer is hot. I also have albums by local bands like Metropolitan...and out of town bands like Pilot to Gunner (NYC), Asylum Street Spankers (Austin), and Alla (Buffalo). Before the indie rock music though, there was a period when I was trying to resist listening to precocious young girl singer/songwriters like Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch, and Vanessa Carlton. I now own albums by all of them. Besides the indie rock music, I've also gone a tad bit country/folk in that I like Shannon McNally (having heard one song of hers on the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack). She is so sexy and soulful. My favorite songs of hers are "Down and Dirty", "It Could've Been Me", "I'll Always Be Around", and "Bolder than Paradise". I had a brief obsession with Evanescence. I also like a bunch of Pink and Kylie Minogue and OSI and Porcupine Tree too.

I heard Broken Social Scene's song "Lover's Spit" (yeah interesting lyrics, eh?) on a Queer as Folk episode and I loved it. I started listening to some of their songs and I really like them a lot. I think that I really like the atmospheric sound; Chicane is my new age equivalent of Broken Social Scene. I also started thinking that I tend to like artist's collaborations. Bran Van 3000...which come to think of it is another Canadian incarnation... is wonderful too.

And another great musical "aha"...and "oooooh" was when I went to Spring Carnival in April 2003 at CMU. I went to go listen to the a cappella concert that they always have during Carnival...and instead I was irresistibly drawn towards this fledgling band called Monarch that was playing. They are currently out in LA recording with Northern Records. I can't wait until their album comes out.

Last indie rock music shoutout for the moment is for Lavajet. My friend, Rachel, plays keyboards and flute in this band. I've taken to taking tons of photos of them when I can get to their gigs. You can check them out on my photos page.

And in the year 2001
when the fate of Napster is being decided...I have fallen in love with bands like Coldplay, Lifehouse, and past geniuses like Nick Drake. What I want in the music/media industry is access to live versions of songs and remixes that aren't always available for purchase. So then you blame the music fans for trading them on Napster? I support the music industry by buying CDs despite the increasing MSRPs. And I would go to more concerts, but for the fact that the ticket prices are too high for my taste.

My taste in music has changed dramatically through the years. From when I was very young, in say junior high, I was listening to Michael Jackson and Madonna, but only listened then for fun and enjoyment and still following pop culture to the tee. These days, the music that I listen to has much more of a personal meaning to me, where I listen more for moods, messages, and lyrics. It wasn't until high school when I felt that I really needed to own the music that I heard on the radio. That started my CD and tape and DVD collection.

Recently, my appreciation for music has changed, but I believe that I'm not yet going through another transition in my appreciation for music, but that I am simply too stressed out by my academic work. If I had to put a finger on it, though then I would say that my taste in music was tending towards a more folk or grass-roots music. I'm searching for poets and lyricists and muses... the ones with something to say... and bands who know how to jam. I often listen to music to soothe me and often to get a feeling that I'm not alone in feeling the way I do sometimes.

In high school, my main favorite bands were NIN, Pearl Jam, and Tori Amos. At that time alternative was becoming "mainstream".

I spent many hours during my high school years, raiding the radio waves for different kinds of music. I had a few favorite radio stations that I would listen to most of the time, but I liked to experiment every once in a while and listen to music from different ethnic groups and genres. The radio program that I stumbled upon below is still one of my favorites.

In college, my music tastes remained relatively stable with my favorites tending to be: Tori Amos, Dave Matthews Band, Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls, U2, and Sting.

task3 -- a page in progress... semi-explanation of how I came to like some of the music that I listen to and why I like it -- In a fit of frustration, I started this page about what it is that I like about these artists and bands.

However also at college, friends have influenced me by letting me listen to their CD's and hence I now own CDs like "The Wall" by Pink Floyd, "Roll the Bones" by Rush, "Time Machine" by Joe Satriani, "Signify" by Porcupine Tree, "The Divine Comedy" by Milla, "Post" and "Debut" by Bjork. Honestly when I say "friends," I mostly mean men. I have this tendency to absorb whatever music men that I hang out with listen to. Of course it probably helps that I had a tendency to hang out with a lot of men in college. Heh...even out of college I am still listening to a lot of music that guys that I know introduce me to. Currently it is brit pop and dance music. I become so obsessed with their music that it becomes my music...to the point where friends start to wonder if I am sacrificing myself. Do I really love their music for the music itself...or just to be in their favor? Good question. I don't have a good answer. I do think that I'm not nearly as picky as others.

Even my current obsession with MPB (Musica Popular Brasileiro) was sparked by "Mas que nada" covered by Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 that a male friend had played for me. Since then I've bought a few compilation albums and watched a PBS special on the Brazilian Music Festival that was in NYC earlier this summer of '99. Currently, I'd have to say that I'm the only one of my friends that has this peculiar obsession with Brazilian portuguese pop.

My brother has also had a large influence on my music tastes. When I was younger he would literally force me to sit in front of the stereo and listen to endless hours of classical music asking me questions like "What composer? What symphony? How can you tell by the style?" And after hearing great classical works for hours at a time, I've come to admire a few of those pieces. I like Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Gershwin, Tchaikovsy, etc.

If you look in my collection of music, you will also notice that I have a pretty significant number of works from musicals and soundtracks. I also have a great passion for movies and I love the way that some movies can blend the visual (cinematography), verbal (dialogue), non-verbal (body language), and audio (music, sounds). One of my favorite movie soundtracks is "The Piano" where the music was written by Michael Nyman and the piano playing was heartfelt and played by Holly Hunter. Some of my favorite musicals are "Les Miserables" and "The Phantom of the Opera."

Lyrics are often very important to me; therefore you will often find lyrics and quotes in my .plan file. My interest in poetry should come as no surprise given my love of lyrics. :)

On a last note, I would like to say that although I have favorite artists and bands, in general, I appreciate all kinds of music and love to explore new moods.

Post-college: I've been influenced musically by the people that I live with in one way or another. If it wasn't for them I'd never get into bands called Modest Mouse or even have grown to like Belle and Sebastian. I also listen to more ambient/dance music like BT, Underworld, and Junior Vasquez. I'd like to think that Moby is enough of a musical genius that I'd have discovered him at some point in my life. I'm also completely addicted to MTV where I love songs like Sisqo's Thong Song.

A page for This Picture -- an obscure band that few people have heard of

hlh, hlh@snurgle.org

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