Music Monday

Music Monday is a meme created by Drew the Tattooed Book Geek where he features a song he likes. Here in the dying embers of November, I’d like to share with you a tune quite outside the usual metal and rock that I typically go for. It’s but one of the several string bands I’ve had running through my head in the past few weeks. It bears a moroseness to it that summarizes the mood around lately.

Music Monday – Fav American Local Bands

Music Monday is a meme created by Drew the Tattooed Book Geek. If you’d like to hear his chill (or otherwise) vibes, head over here.

I believe there’s already a term coined for this, but I don’t know it. So let me explain real quick: first off, these are American bands. They mostly release singles and EPs, though occasionally spring for full-length albums. They play shows, and even tour, but only within a certain radius or area of the country, usually the one they live in. None of them are located up where I am, but that’s not unusual. Not a whole lot of non-country, non-bluegrass, non-folk bands are. I listen to a fair amount of music from bands like this, which is much easier than it used to be thanks to sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud, or even Amazon. And while I do love Spotify, if I really like a song by one of these little-known bands, I usually try to buy it. Below are a few examples of my favorite local bands from around America.

Æther Realm (Asheville, North Carolina) – Folk Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Viking Metal

Cold Kingdom (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – Rock, Hard Rock

Daybreak Embrace (Miami, Florida) – Alternative Metal, Fusion Metal, Rock

I-Exist (Indianapolis, Indiana) – Electronic Rock, Inspiration Metal, Post-EDM

Fivefold (St. Louis, Missouri) – Heavy Rock, Alternative Rock

I know these are mostly hard rock and metal, so I’ll try to incorporate something else next time. What d’you think—folk or hip hop? Or maybe punk or pop? Bluegrass? Ummmm…

Music Monday

Music Monday is a meme created by Drew the Tattooed Book Geek. If you’d like to hear his chill (or otherwise) vibes, head over here.

Okay, so this week I was going to do the Best Soundtracks in Video Games list, following up my favorite individual video game tracks list from last week. But since I kinda forgot (hey, there’s been a lot going on)… instead I randomly choose a track from my fav’s list.

Veer Union, best band out of Canada! Go check them out, or don’t. I’ll get back to books at some point, promise. And, since I haven’t addressed it yet, regardless of your feelings on the police, the government, or any kind of politics, do support the movement happening. And try not to be a dick with the “All Lives Matter” thing. I mean, yeah, they do, but that’s not the point. The point of #BlackLivesMatter is specifically how they matter no more or less than anyone else’s. It’s about equality. And while all people should be treated equally, we’re not right now. And that needs to change.

Music Monday – My Top 5 Video Game Tracks

Video games are great. Some games I’ve completed with a sense of accomplishment, others with a sense of relief, and still more feeling a mixed bag. Some games I never even complete. But it’s the best ones I keep coming back to. Those with a wonderful sense of fulfillment, amazing gameplay, an immersive and incredible story—among other things. A kickass soundtrack may not get me to play a game, but it definitely doesn’t hurt.

Music Monday is a meme created by Drew the Tattooed Book Geek. If you’d like to hear his chill (or otherwise) vibes, head over here.

Anyway, here are my Top 5 tracks from games:

  1. After the Crash / First and Last (Michael McCann) – Deus Ex: Human Revolution

If you checked in on last week’s post, you may know that I play this soundtrack a lot. Like, a lot.While my favorite song remains After the Crash, the other standout for me is First and Last. After the Crash plays in the background during a fight that determines the fate of Faridah Malik, an instance that can result in the trophy ‘Good Soul’. Now if you were to, say, try for this trophy on the hardest setting, while simultaneously attempting the ‘Pacifist’ and ‘Foxiest of Hounds’ run-throughs (achievements where you can’t kill anyone or set off any alarms, respectively), you may very well hear this track played a lot. So it’s even more important that it’s amazing.

First and Last plays at the very start of the game, during the opening sequence. It’s my runner-up here—as I’ve listened to it second most to After the Crash—but it really could’ve gone to any other song off the soundtrack.

2. Honor for All (Daniel & Jon Licht) – Dishonored

Another of my favorite games, at least in the most recent generations of consoles, is Dishonored. Another game featuring a run-thru on the highest difficulty, featuring a play style that rewards you for not killing anyone, and just stealthing through the entire game. Honor for All comes during the credits, and is one of the songs I started listening to on repeat then immediately went and bought the download. As far as I know, the track was written specifically for this game.

3. Song of Storms – Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Ocarina of Time is a revered game. It’s probably my favorite of all time, and not just because I’ve completed it half a dozen times over the years. The exploration, the story and the soundtrack alone rank highly all time—not just in its era. There are many great tunes within, but my all-time fav has to be the Song of Storms. Found in Kakariko Village, the dude within the windmill teaches this song to Link to play on his ocarina when he wants to summon rain. Released in 1998, this song has been stuck in my head for 22 years, and I still love it.

4. The Nathan Drake Theme (Greg Edmonson) – Uncharted

Uncharted is one of the best-selling franchises of all-time. And was the driving force behind me switching from Xbox to Playstation about a decade ago. The series is combat heavy, which isn’t usually my thing, but—first and foremost—aims to tell a story. A story of a man, of a journey. And that journey is incredible. While the music may not be telling in its own right, listen to it along with the games and it takes on a narrative of its own. For fans like moi, even hearing it outside the game is often enough to send chills up my spine.

5. Erana’s Peace – Quest for Glory: So You Want to be a Hero

Whether you’ve played the original or the remaster (or, most likely, neither), Quest for Glory is a true masterpiece of Sierra adventures. A point-and-click game with a text-parsing interface and fairly decent (for the time, at least) combat system. Now, I was too young to actually play this when it came out, but when I did, it was the original I played, and therefore the soundtrack from Erana’s Peace—which features a tranquil meadow complete with a tree of juicy, color-shifting, totally not weird fruit—strikes a cord in me. Even if it comes out of crappy speakers that never seemed to work right and were always getting broken. The guitar rendition from the remaster is okay, but though I’ve been through the game maybe a dozen times, I’ve never played that version. So the original soundtrack remains my favorite.

Anything to add? Anything to subtract? Anyone else play QFG? Or maybe you’ve played any of these other games? If so, let me know. Otherwise, maybe just listen to video game soundtracks for the rest of the day 🙂

Music Monday – Songs Stuck on Repeat

Music Monday is a meme created by Drew, the Tattooed Book Geek (as far as I know), as a way to share a song that he’s fond of. As I’m not sure how long I really want to run with this, figured I’d start with a week’s worth of my current favs, then maybe tone it down from there.

So, these are the songs that I’ve been playing the most during the COVID crisis and quarantine. This list could’ve been a ton longer, but I figured I’d just make the list manageable, because otherwise it’d be too overwhelming. As it is, I would expect anyone to do pretty what I’d do in this instance—click on one or two songs, listen a minute or so to see if I like them, then like them on Spotify to wait for later. Also, silently judge anyone’s taste in music based on whatever odd links I chose. Feel free to judge me on one or two, as my taste in music is… eclectic.

Monday – Divine – by Ember Falls

A single from 2019, it is my most played song of the last month by far. And probably the year.

Tuesday – Loser – by 3 Doors Down

Off the first album I ever bought, 3 Doors Down’s debut The Better Life, back in 1999. Yeah, it’s not Kryptonite, but I’m sure that’ll be in next week. I’ve played Loser just as much over the past 20 years.

Wednesday – After the Crash – Michael McCann

My favorite ever song from a video game, off my favorite video game soundtrack, from my favorite game of all time—2011’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Thursday – Take the Day – Turisas

I got into Turisas earlier this year, and there’re two songs I’ve pretty much been obsessing over: Stand Up and Fight is one, but especially Take the Day, both from their 2012 Battle Metal.

Friday – 1955 – Hilltop Hoods

This is my breakup song. Not that I broke up with anyone this year, but several friends have. It’s a lively, happy bit of hip hop. Always makes me feel better. 2016 Single version.

Saturday – Raido – Wardruna

A lovely, dark folk ballad. Off their 2016 album, Runaljod – Ragnarok.

Sunday – Masters of Destiny – Delain

I’m usually bingeing something AusHop, something Folk Metal, something Sympthonic, and then something by 3 Doors Down. Delain—along with Within Temptation—are my go to for Symphonic, though both have transitioned past this genre in recent years. This was released as part of their 2019 EP Hunter’s Moon.

I realize the irony here is that there’s a single song from an American on this list. One—3 Doors Down is from Mississippi. Which… right? And in case you were curious: Ember Falls is Finnish, as is Turisas; 7 Mazes is German; Michael McCann’s Canadian; the Hilltop Hoods are native to Adelaide, Australia; Delain is from Zwolle, Netherlands; Wardruna is Norwegian.