stuck on Task 3 of assignment #6 for 15-211...
so I'm sitting here on my self-made high horse believing "there's nothing wrong with my code. why doesn't it work right?" Sigh...

Tori Amos

So what about her music moves me? Well for one her voice is incredible. She has the ability to roar like a lion and meow like a new-born kitten at other times... Intense, intimate, powerful. She has the ability to express feelings with some of the most liquid lyrics...

I identify really well with the song Silent All These Years from Little Earthquakes . I've often felt that the real me has been hidden inside me all along. That I've been bursting with emotion that I would love to scream out at the top of my lungs, except for the fact that I'm a turtle/clam by nature.

So I lead into thoughts and feelings about putting my poems up on the web. People say that I write bad poetry and that may be true. And with that thought in mind they wonder with incredulousness why I should bother to put them up on the web (or as they might put it -- torture other people with senseless words with no possible meaning in whatever time and whatever place). My reasons for putting them up on the web are varied but all sarcastic and selfish. One it's a "fuck you I won't do what you tell me to" attitude. That just because you think it's not fit to be around...I'm going to stick it around. It's a "I don't care what the fuck you think about my poetry" kind of attitude. Although that one ends up being rather false. There's a "have pity on me my poetry sucks" kind of attitude as well. Or perhaps I am just trying to express myself in ways that I can't seem to when I talk since I mumble a lot.

So back to that melodious pianist...her words bring out such powerful emotions at times with me. I can identify with some of her past/present struggles and pursuits that she sings about. I think that I like her sarcastic tongue as well :).

I have all of her albums except for Y Kant Tori Read from her heavy metal days. I like Little Earthquakes the best. And then in descending order the other albums. It oftentimes seems that the first album that you buy of an artist seems fresh and exciting, full of dreams and a message to get across. But then the other albums that the artist or band puts out seems to lack the raw energy of the first. It's ironic how the newer albums "sound" better in terms of sound quality, but the older ones have that charm, that real emotion to them. I feel the same way about Nine Inch Nails and Pearl Jam, although I like PJ a lot less than TA or NIN.

On Under the Pink I like the songs, Past the Mission (Trent Reznor is a backup vocal!) and The Cornflake Girl. For Boys For Pele, I like the songs Mr. Zebra , Father Lucifer, Caught a Lite Sneeze and Way Down.

I have quite a few Tori Amos singles, you can see them on my cd list page. I have a few favorites like Take to the Sky on her Winter single. I also like the Dakota version of Hey Jupiter.

Tori's newest album, from the choirgirl hotel is great. It's been a while since I've bought a new album that has reinspired me to love music as I did in the past. My current favorite songs on the album are Raspberry Swirl, playboy mommy, and iieeee. This new album definitely sounds distinctly Tori, however it has a different sound than her other albums. And her lyrics still sound like pure poetry to my ears when I hear them.

It's funny to write all these reviews about albums, because as time goes on all my reviews are about such and such's "new" album. :) But here goes another review. My favorite songs on Tori's double album to venus and back are riot poof, Bliss, and 1000 oceans. And to be perfectly honest I hate the song Suede. Usually I prefer to focus on the positive when it comes to album, but somehow that song just unnerves me so much that I just had to mention it. The live stuff on the second album is pretty good although most of them are not my favorite Tori songs.

Nine Inch Nails = Trent Reznor

Ahhh... Well I even wrote about Pretty Hate Machine in a free writing assignment for english. In that rather lengthy spewing of words I mention about my first experience with NIN. I also own Head Like A Hole single, Broken, The Downward Spiral, and Further Down the Spiral. Of all the albums I dislike Broken the most. TDS actually has some redeeming songs like mr. self destruct, a warm place , and hurt on it. Although PHM has been referred to as his most "pseudo-industrial" album, it's my favorite one. As I was mentioning before he seemed to be more genuine in his expression. This was the album that eventually led me to him.

I had originally heard his music when I was still in junior high, but at that point I was still the "good obedient girl" and I hadn't lashed out with any angst yet. In looking back, I listened to his music along with the likes of Nirvana and Metallica the most during that one period of heavy depression during freshman year. That's also when I started writing prolifically for a while and I'd say that it was one of the most dramatic/drastic periods of change and realization and shock in my life. It was complete reorientation of thought. I had somebody make me a copied version of PHM because I had heard that NIN was a cool industrial band. So I listened to the music and I felt that anger/vulnerability in the album and completely identified with it. My favorite song on PHM at the time was Something I Can Never Have. I also liked the song Ringfinger because it was cut off and I could never hear the ending of it.

Over the years, Trent's style has changed a lot. I don't really like the direction that he's taken his music. But hell what say do I have in it?

Indigo Girls

I have a bunch of their albums, Indigo Girls , Rites of Passage, Swamp Ophelia, 1200 Curfews,Shaming of the Sun, and come on now social. I like most of the songs on all of the albums. I love their sweet melodious music. They have such a good blending of voices.

My take on what they are like:

Amy Ray

Emily Saliers


Put together they are a good mix. Each of them writes and sings about half of the songs on the albums. Some songs are light and friendly, like Galileo ; others are dark and intense, like Touch Me Fall . The songs are about friendship, romance, love, and memories. Overall they have a very full, rich acoustic sound. I love the contrast between my listening to NIN computer-generated music with its powerful aggressiveness (although in PHM shows a slightly endearing vulnerability factor) with it many layers and soundstaging to listening to songs by the Indigo Girls that feature at times only two singers and two guitars. Like themselves, the songs are delicate and beautiful in their own right. Whenever I listen to their music I feel that they are reaching out to me and saying offering me some company on this journey of life that we all must travel. I don't think that either one of them is better, although I have heard about A-E or E-A debates, fights, and arguments.

Favorite songs of Emily: Power of Two, Ghost, Prince of Darkness, Virginia Woolf, Closer to Fine, Least Complicated, Burn All the Letters

Favorite songs of Amy: Blood and Fire, Joking, Three Hits, Touch Me Fall, Chickenman, Secure Yourself


I think that musicals in general are really great. Some of my favorites include Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and Fiddler on the Roof. For Les Miserables and Fiddler on the Roof, I like to see the struggles of these people. In many senses it often humbles me whenever I think of my own measly problems in comparison to the tragic stories of these people. I have a lot of favorite songs on Les Miserables; too many to list :). I especially like All I Ask of You and Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from The Phantom of the Opera. I've listened to parts of Miss Saigon and I like The Heat is on in Saigon, Movie in My Mind, and Sun and Moon. I've seen The Phantom of the Opera now. Recently, I bought the original Broadway Cast Recording of Hair and I like the song Easy to be Hard .


I have three albums of his. I have Ten Summoner's Tales , Fields of Gold (best of stuff), and his new one Mercury Falling. He has a very nice mellow jazzy sound to his music. I also have Every Breath You Take: The Singles by The Police. I guess that I like his sense of style. He has a peculiar sense of sarcasm, irony, and wit.

I much prefer Sting's new album Brand New Day to MF. It has a much more positive tone to it.

Sarah McLachlan

I have Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and her single I Will Remember You. Her music is very sensual (or is it sensuous?). The first time I ever heard a song of hers was when I was in a car. I later on found out that what I had heard was Possession. I was so taken in by the song even after only hearing the first few measures of music that I wrote down as many of the lyrics as I could so that I could one day identify who that mysterious woman was. I had heard many people who also liked to listen to Tori Amos recommended Sarah McLachlan...but I didn't go out right away and buy the album. Actually I listened to my brother's CD of Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. From the very first song on there I knew that I had found the singer who had entranced me about one and a half years before. I was very happy :) Recently I bought two of her earlier albums, Touch and Solace. So far the songs that I like from each of them respectively are, Out of Shadows and Path of Thorns. I just recently rented a music video of Sarah McLachlan. She has such different looks. I've also listened to her earlier albums more now and like more of the songs.

Since I write these in time order of when I buy CDs, I'll now discuss how I bought Surfacing months ago and how much I really like it. My favorite songs are Sweet Surrender, Black and White, and Angel. I like most of the other songs as well, but those are my favorites. I've also found that in certain moods, I really love here album Solace. It's a rather dark album, much more so than Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, which is still my favorite album of hers. I listen to it when I need to be consoled on the problems in my life. I look for it to cheer me up, despite it's slightly dark music.

Oh come on...did you really think that I wouldn't buy Mirrorball, Sarah's live album? Of course I did :).


I have The Joshua Tree, Rattle and Hum, Achtung Baby, Zooropa, Pop and the Discotheque single. Lately I've been listening to The Joshua Tree a lot and have really gotten to appreciate it. I have many favorite songs of U2's. I think that I have been listening to that particular album almost constantly is because to me the album conveys a message of youth and hopefulness.

Dave Matthews Band

This semester I have really gotten into the Dave Matthews Band. I got Crash for my birthday and I liked it so much that I later on got both Under the Table and Dreaming and Remember Two Things. I finally stared at the cover for R2T (Remember Two Things) for a long time and saw the 3-D image! :) Anyways I'll go on about how I really like this band. I had heard a lot of their songs on the radio like What Would You Say, Ants Marching, Satellite, and Too Much. But at first it was not enough to get me to buy the albums. Well I saw them playing live on the "Crashing the Quarter" show that played on MTV. And I really dug this one song that Dave and the band played about "tonight let's be lovers." So I looked at all of the albums and looked up the lyrics to the songs on them on the web and decided that the song that I was looking for was on the Crash album. Well I was really amazed the first time I heard the album. I really liked it a lot. The music is incredible. The lyrics have a lot of meaning for me. Dave seems to me to be a very sensitive guy who can be really sweet and also knows how to jam. Probably my favorite songs on Crash are #41, Say Goodbye, Two Step, Crash Into Me, and Lie In Our Graves. What I like about Dave is that his lyrics and the way that he sings makes you think that he is personally singing for you. That you are the one getting all of his attention. And I need to mention how great the rest of the band is as well. I like the little melodies that they'll add in or the solo parts when they are jamming to the songs. I think what is really great is that they can play anything from soft and intense to loud and energetic.

Under the Table and Dreaming is also a good album. My favorite songs on this album are The Best of What's Around, Typical Situation, and Dancing Nancies. I really like the lyrics on all of these songs. For Remember Two Things, I like the songs Recently, Minarets, Seek Up, and I'll Back You Up. Just a comment in general about their songs. I like their intros to the songs. Some of them are mysterious and haunting.

I also now have the Recently EP and Live At Red Rocks. I love the live album. Although some of my favorite songs aren't on there, this album goes to show that Dave Matthews Band is incredible when they play live. I have a great deal of respect and awe for artists/bands who can bring something different, although unique, to each playing of a song. Although it is nice to hear the same song over and over again, it's almost like discovering a jewel when you hear an artist/band add a little something extra to a song. Artists like this include Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, and Dave Matthews Band.

The newest album out On These Crowded Streets is okay, but I definitely wouldn't say that it's my favorite DMB album. I haven't really listened to it all that much which goes to say how much I like this album. To me it's too noisy...I like the quieter moments that the album Crash had.

Another live album with Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Live at Luther College. #41 is by far my favorite Dave Matthews song.

Recenty, I bought their new live album called Listener Supported.

Movie Soundtracks

Within the past few years, mostly since I've been here at CMU, I've gotten to see more movies now than ever before. And with those movies, come beautiful, breath-taking, energizing, etc soundtracks. Some of my favorites include The Piano, The Fifth Element, The Rock, and Trainspotting. Other classic movie themes that I like are those from the James Bond and Indiana Jones movies.

Diana Krall

Two summers ago when I was working in Boston crashing at my brother's place, I would wander around the huge 3 story Tower Records stores on Newbury Street and Harvard Square. I started noticing a particular postcard/poster that was prominently displayed in the classical/jazz section. I wondered who the blond woman sitting by the piano was and thought that the photography was kind of pretty. So two years ago, I took a free postcard because I liked the colors (black & white with orange highlights). It was only this summer, when I actually rediscovered this woman. However this time, I found out what a wonderful musician she is. She can sing (what a voice) and play the piano... and boy can she jam :). I was introduced to her by a friend that I met over the summer (who I had also known of, but had never really talked to for any great length of time). He would play these rather bizarre mixes of music (guys seem to like to have weird tape mixes....girls tends to have more 'mood' tape mixes) that would have anything from Ben Folds Five to Simon and Garfunkel to 20th Century minimalism to Diana Krall to Dr. John on them. Well Diana Krall's music intrigued me so much that I looked up her album on the web. I saw the cover to her album and thought, "no way. it's the same blond woman. but am I sure? her voice and her looks don't match." So my friend assured me that the blond woman was indeed the beautiful singer so I bought the album. It's such a wonderful album. Some songs on it are fun: I'm an Errand Girl for Rhythm, Frim Fram Sacue, Hit that Jive Jack, and Deed I do. Others haunt me as I walk the halls sometimes like: Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

I have her other two albums, Love Scenes and When I Look In Your Eyes as well now, although I don't like them as much as All For You.

VAST: Visual Audio Sensory Theatre

I really should be doing some database programming right now, but I'd rather work on my webpage. I heard this album playing in the car of an acquaintance when he came back to CMU for spring carnival. Another guy in the car said that he had heard of VAST before and that it sounded like NIN. Well it's been a while since I've listened to NIN, but I gave it a listen and to me it didn't sound the same. I liked what I heard so much that I went out and bought a CD of it the next day. Now that I've heard it, I can understand the references to NIN. The guy's voice isn't too great, but I like the underlying music. The lyrics are pretty dark. Not something that I'm used to now since I've been headed in a more pop direction recently.


So I have a little bit of an obsession when it comes to Jennifer Anniston. For some reason I really like to watch all the chick flick movies that she is in, in particular "Picture Perfect." And how does this all relate to the band Texas? Well the song Say What You Want is on Texas' album White on Blonde. I loved the song so I bought the album and like the other songs on the album as well. I recently bought their new album called The Hush and think that it's a really great uptempo pop album.

Claude Debussy

how's this for a change? Classical music. Something calm, peaceful, and beautiful to calm me and get my mind off of coding and compiling. I remember in my 20th Century Music History class that Debussy didn't like to have his music compared to impressionism. But his Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun evokes such langorous imagery of a warm spring afternoon in the woods. Lazily dancing around and watching the scenery. The Girl with the Flaxen Hair is also wonderfully light and airy and calming. I really like his piano pieces.

Polly Jean Harvey...better known as P.J. Harvey and Aimee Mann

I've been on a PJ Harvey kick for the past three weeks or so. My first introduction to her was through a friend in college. He was playing Rid of Me. And as for Aimee Mann, I liked a song of hers even before I got to college because it had been made popular by the tv show, Melrose Place.

So for PJ Harvey, I first bought To Bring You My Love because of the song Down by the Water. I soon grew to love the whole album. But for some reason or another, I didn't look into buying any of her newer albums or her groundbreaking older albums. I heard The Wind and Angelene in movies recently and that inspired me to buy Is This Desire?. And because Rid of Me was my first introduction to PJ Harvey, I bought that earlier today. From what I've heard of it so far, I definitely like it. Some of her songs have this very dark, sexual tension.

Aimee Mann is a great singer/songwriter. A friend of mine in college liked her songs a lot. For some reason or another, I never made the plunge and didn't buy any of her albums. In a way, I still haven't :). I did buy the Magnolia soundtrack however. Her lyrics seem so simple, but they also ring resoundingly clear.

Manic Street Preachers, dance music, and crooning men

It looks like this page has become my musical journal of my current obsessions (aka my latest musical purchases). Well I'd heard Manic Street Preachers on a local Eatontown radio station. I really liked the song If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next. So I recently went out and bought their latest album, This is my truth, tell me yours, and I love a lot of the songs on it like Everlasting and My Little Empire.

As for dance music, within the past few months I've bought a few soundtracks for movies like Blade and The Beach. I really like the dance music tracks in both of the albums. Most of the music/artists on Blade I had never heard of before. I really like The Beach soundtrack, especially since the producer was the same one on the Trainspotting soundtrack. This album intrigued me further since it had some artists on it, Barry Adamson and Angelo Badalamenti, that were also on the Lost Highway soundtrack which is also another one of my favorites. So even though I have not yet seen the movie, when I looked at the artists on the album in the store, I knew that I had to buy it. The Moby track Porcelain is great and for the All Saints track, you can definitely tell that William Orbit produced it since it had a very similar sound to Madonna's album Ray of Light which I also own and enjoy. Probably my favorite track on the soundtrack is Underworld's 8 Ball.

As for the crooning men comment, I think that I stuck that in because my recent trend has been to buy music by bands fronted by men. And on most albums you're going to have one or two love songs. I've been obsessed with Filter's single Take a Picture, Manic Street Preachers' Everylasting, Train's Meet Virginia, and Vertical Horizon's Everything You Want.

To add more to the male fronted bands are my recent (yesterday) additions of Guster and Travis. When I went to CMU for Spring Carnival, I became obsessed with Spy and Morcheeba.

Some guy at my local CD World store told me that Air's soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides sounds very similar to Pink Floyd's album, Obscured by Clouds. Having heard some of Floyd's older music, I think that it's a pretty good observation.

For some reason or another I haven't been buying as many CDs as I usually do. Maybe it's because I'm trying to save up to buy more DVDs. My latest musical obsessions have been BT, Harry Connick Jr, and Bjork.

Taiwan, Mandarin, and Asian pop music singers

When I was in Taiwan for two weeks, after I bought the Chinese NOW CD (who would have thought I would ever buy a NOW CD?), I became obsessed with finding and buying CDs by Coco Lee and Wubai. When I finally got to a CD store that my professor uncle convinced me was the definitely the cheapest place in the area to buy CDs because all the college kids bought CDs from there, I ended up buying about 20 CDs or so. I bought maybe 3 asian imports, and the rest were mandarin singers.

My favorite Coco Lee songs are Love You If I Want, DiDaDi, and Beautiful Bimbo.

My roommate played Pizzicato Five for me in January. I might get into listening to them at some point too. But for now they are too happy for me.

last updated: 2/20/01


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