1. Lamb of God: As the Palaces Burn
2. Mariachi el Bronx: Mariachi el Bronx
3. Pantera: The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys' Vulgar Hits!
4. Aesop Rock: Alchemy
5. Fear Factory: Obsolete
6. Chimaira: The Impossibility of Reason
Granted, Metal is the predominant genre here (I loves me some Metal), but with the wild cards of Aesop Rock and Mariachi el Bronx thrown in the mix, it's easy to to get an idea of my musical a.d.d./schizophrenia/whatever.
Metal is my favorite form of music, period. No other form of music makes me feel so "god damn electric" (Chocolatey Kudos to those of you who caught that reference). It's empowering, to say the least. But any kind of music that is written and performed with style, imagination, creativity and above all heart, is like ambrosia for my soul. And by "ambrosia", I mean "Food of the Gods", not the tasty dish or a certain book about psychedelic mushrooms... Though I suppose great music has the same effect on me, regardless of the word's definition or usage.
To me, true art is Divine. True art is moving. If a song, a movie, a book, a painting, a photograph, a sculpture or whatever moves you? That right there is something to praise the Gods about. It doesn't matter if it makes you angry, makes you happy, makes you laugh, cry or rage; that piece just moved you. Art, at it's core is an external, often times physical manifestation of emotion. Everything else? All that emotionless, souless, gutless and trite nonsense that gets widespread notoriety and critical acclaim? Just another product. Sorry justin bieber, lady gaga, miley cyrus and all the rest of those other talentless-hack, corporate bitches. You've all sold your souls and there's no turning back. You have forever removed yourselves from the realm of Art and became a permanent fixture in the world of BANALITY. And in case you're wondering, yes. I intentionally neglected to capitalize their names. Ha! Take that!
Without Music, the world would forever live in silence.
To quote JoJo from the incredible movie Across the Universe, "Music is the only thing that makes sense anymore, man. Play it loud enough and it keeps the demons at bay..." God damned right. Music has helped to keep me sane and filled my life with joy, laughter, strength and many amazing memories (good and bad) in my 27 years on this planet.
Throughout high school, there were a couple of albums I can think of that helped me through that ordeal. I can remember listening to Tool's epic AENIMA whilst in the depths of depression... The incredibly sculpted music and the deliciously ambiguous lyrics contained within helped me to feel better about myself and the world around me, even during the lowest of lows. Slipknot's frantic (might as well say schizo) and aggressive self-titled debut made me feel like I wasn't alone in feeling helplessly and hopelessly angry at a world that didn't accept me for being who I was. It even made me feel like it was ok to be angry. It gave me a healthy outlet for that aggression. Those two records helped carry me through those 4 years of social hell. Sonic Therapy. Gotta love it.
I've been to hundreds of live shows, each with their own little adventure, along with the pleasure of seeing some of the greatest (in my not-so-humble opinion) bands to ever grace this Earth. And of course, all of the shows that I personally had the honor of performing with 2 completely different groups of awesome musicians that I'm still proud to call my friends. Not to mention all the time I spent with those guys, writing, practicing and just having fun. Plus, being in a band is one hell of a networking tool and the friendships and experiences that came of all of that could fill one big ass book.
Thousands of hours have been spent listening to music throughout my life, beginning with my brother Augustine constantly listening to and playing the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone (amongst other greats). And of course my Dad, who's impeccable taste in music from the late 40's to the early 70's instilled a deep rooted love, respect and I'll admit, an out-and-out obsession with music. I remember being about 8 or 9 and my Dad getting upset with me for continuing to steal his tapes (specifically Otis Redding's and Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits and Cream's Disraeli Gears. And not to forget Dennis Leary's No Cure for Cancer, but we'll talk about stand-up another time).
Music (and Art in general) is a universal language. Ever wonder why that is? It's because Music speaks not only to your conscious self, but also to your sub-conscious and more importantly, Music speaks to your soul.
Music, sweet music. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways... Well, honestly I don't have enough time and you probably don't have enough patience for a list like that! With that being said, here's some of my favorite tracks from each of the previously mentioned albums in all of their incongruous splendor. Enjoy!
Lamb of God:
Mariachi el Bronx: