For as long as i can remember i've had an insanely close relationship with music. it may sound a bit weird or corny to put it that way, but it's the best wey i know to describe it. different types of music, different bands or styles or whatever, even before i knew anything about that stuff, would elicit different emotional responses from me. when i was a kid, it was usually happiness or excitement.. i remember listening to my cousin's stereo when we were visiting them and i had him just repeating this one song over and over "the danger zone," from Top Gun. i was maybe 5 at the time.. and i guess it was the first time i'd ever gotten that feeling. i suppose a lot of it was... inspiration. or, at least, inspirational. like, when i was about 13 or 14, and i would go to a show and see a band along with a crowd of 30 people, and they would just be incredibly intense, and amazing; i'd never known bands/music like that existed.. so this fascination developed along with my musical tastes and all while broadening my horizons, finding new bands at every turn (most punk rock / hardcore kids know what it means to really go search for good music; you're not gonna find it on the radio, or on TV, where you're essentially sold whatever the people are shelling who gave the most money for ad time)...

anyway, i thought i would list a few bands out of randomness and because it is a big part of who i am. some i haven't listened to in maybe 10 years or so; some only released a single 7" and then disbanded.. but all were a major influence on me in some way or another:

codeseven, managra, circa survive, chiodos, the receiving end of sirens, the weak link breaks, jonah, kid dynamite, engine down, avail, boy sets fire, cursive, get up kids, owltian mia, my chemical romance, 400 years, insidious, inkwell ('95), alkaline trio, the doors, fugazi, get up kids, trigger quintet, muse, nirvana, smashing pumpkins, sponge, spirit assembly, our lady peace, thursday, texas is the reason, mineral, hot water music, the dear hunter, fun, fall out boy, vendetta red, brand new, coheed & cambria, sleepytime trio, i hate myself, the black keys, cold war kids, protest the hero, yaphet kotto, twelve hour turn, hero of 100 fights, forstella ford, the decemberists, chuck ragan, deftones, emarosa, dance gavin dance, isles and glaciers, darkest hour, thrice, the bled, dashboard confessional, pink floyd, gameface, radiohead, tool, breaking benjamin, AFI, mumford & sons, zegota, rush, brett dennen, taking back sunday, tintoretto, we came as romans, of mice and men, from autumn to ashes, further seems forever (chris carraba), from first to last (w/ sonny moore).. these were off the top of my head. i'm quite sure i missed at least a few dozen. i'll try to keep the list updated if anyone likes the same kind of stuff and would like to find more bands they might like. also, please let me know if you have any suggestions based on what i've got listed here.

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Comment by jay H on February 23, 2014 at 9:24am

Music can have interesting side effects. I was a cloistered young JW in the early 60s when I encountered some Leonard Cohen. Something about his mystical erotic approach caused me to suddenly step outside my Biblical tunnel vision.

There is such a range of music that I really like from opera and classical to the the gritty blues of Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf and Bessie Smith.

[Animals mostly seem to ignore music, but some parrots seem to have a keen sense of rhythm and tone. As I was typing this, our African Grey went into a delightful whistling solo in response to Miles Davis on the radio]

Comment by Randall Smith on February 20, 2014 at 7:29am

We live in different musical worlds, for sure! I've heard of only a couple of the groups you listed. I suppose it has to do with the fact my father was a jazz pianist, mother a classically trained pianist. That and I'm an old geezer! One thing we do have in common: our music sends us!!

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on February 19, 2014 at 1:41pm

A few days ago I read that fMRI scans show that music and mathematics increase blood flow to the same part of the brain.

In 1939, Disney's Fantasia fired my love for classical music. In 1951, electrical work resulted in a BA and some post-graduate credit in mathematics.

Comment by Loren Miller on February 18, 2014 at 8:46am

I see you mentioned Radiohead as one of the bands you are interested in.  Referencing my comment about classical music, there is a classically trained pianist - Christopher O'Riley - who is a considerable Radiohead fan, to the point where he's taken their music and done piano transcriptions of many of their songs.  He has released them on two CDs - True Love Waits and Hold Me To This.  I have them both and as a big piano music fan myself, I find them to be excellent.

By way of example, please have a listen to the Christopher's cover of "Airbag":



Hope you enjoy.

Comment by Michael Penn on February 18, 2014 at 8:19am

I've loved music my entire life, but I absolutely HATE hip hop! None of it is what you think it is here. I hate hip hop because you can't buy a decent pair of pants anymore. Pants I buy in Walmart or JC Penney all work down on me and fall off my hips! I'm serious! People tell me you can still buy "normal" pants but I don't know where? I'm working in the yard and my pants keep on working down. I'm imagineing that rappers drive by to point and laugh at me, then speed off. I can't find pants like they used to be made anywhere. My wife is black and trying to help "whitey" find a decent pair of pants here. Nothing works! No pants fit me anymore. I hate hip hop!

Comment by Loren Miller on February 17, 2014 at 3:53pm

I'd be curious to know if you've ever explored classical music, and if so, what composers or works promote a similar reaction.

Comment by Clarence Dember on February 17, 2014 at 3:44pm
What of executing your own musical resonances and phrasings in this process of meditation. Have you an instrument where these very emotions may be explored actively?

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