Posted by: chartroose | March 13, 2009

Favorite Bands Meme – Part 3 (M-R)

I really had to fight with myself over “M” because there are several “M” bands that I like, but only one band really stands out for me.  It seems so juvenile that I enjoy listening to these guys, but what can I say?  One gal’s dumb band is another gal’s yum band.  Here is my “M” pick:

M – My Chemical Romance

This group has been around for about seven or eight years by now, and they’re still going strong. I think they represent the best of the current pop-punk/emo scene because they have the best frontman (Gerard Willams) and the best songs. Their music is dark and disturbing and strangely beautiful. Here are some lyrics from “Welcome to the Black Parade:”

“When I was
A young boy,
My father
Took me into the city
To see a marching band.
He said,
“Son,
When you grow up,
Would you be
The saviour of the broken,
The beaten and the damned?”
He said,
“Will you
Defeat them,
Your demons,
And all the non believers,
The plans that they have made?
Because one day
I’ll leave you,
A phantom
To lead you in the summer,
To join the black parade…”

————————————————————————————————————————-

N – Nine Inch Nails

I think the criteria for choosing favorite bands should be determined by one’s continuing enjoyment of their music throughout the years, even after the band has become history. I was thinking of choosing Nirvana for the “N” category, but I don’t listen to Kurt Cobain anymore. I do occasionally listen to Nine Inch Nails, though, because of this man:  Trent Reznor.  He is one of the most innovative singer/songwriters out there.   Johnny Cash sang a cover of the following song (Hurt, 2002) shortly before he died:

“I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel.
I focus on the pain
the only thing that’s real.
The needle tears a hole,
the old familiar sting,
try to kill it all away,
but I remember everything.

What have I become?
My sweetest friend.
Everyone I know
goes away in the end.
You could have it all,
my empire of dirt.
I will let you down.
I will make you hurt.”

————————————————————————————————————————-

O – Ok Go

This fun band has been together for about 10 years, and I believe they’re finally gaining some well-earned recognition.  Their songs seem cute and upbeat, but many of them have dark undercurrents and are surprisingly intellectual.  Following are lyrics from the song “Hello, My Treacherous Friends.”

“With regard to my newborn arachnid kids,
there’s something we must discuss:
perhaps we should sit them down and explain
how not to be saved.
Perhaps you could help me to demonstrate
how your center can keep up its sickening spin.
Thank you, my treacherous friends.
Perhaps, for my children, your surface will smile.”

Here is a great video they shot back in the day:

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P – Pink Floyd

This is annoying because I also admire Pearl Jam, Placebo, The Police and Phoenix, but all of them pale in comparison to Pink Floyd.  My all-time favorite song is “Wish You Were Here.”  If the lyrics fit the occasion a little better, I’d choose it to be sung as my eulogy at my funeral (if I have a funeral).   Dark Side of the Moon was on the Billboard top 200 album list for 14 years.   Even now, Dark Side still sells around 7,000 copies a week.  There will never be another band to surpass Pink Floyd.

Wish You Were Here
So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skies from pain,
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail,
A smile from a veil,
Do you think you can tell?

Did they get you to trade,
Your heroes for ghosts,
Hot ashes for trees,
Hot air for a cool breeze,
Cold comfort for change.
Did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground,
What have we found?
The same old fears
Wish you were here.

—————————————————————————————————————–

Q – Queens of the Stone Age

I’ve mentioned these guys before in a couple of other posts.  They’ve been around since the late ’90’s.  I liked them the first time I heard them, due to the fact that I became an instant fan of their lead vocalist, Josh Homme.  Queens has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, and has received much critical acclaim due to the band’s ability to continue cranking out great new sounds with every album.  Here is part of one of my favorite …Stone Age songs:

She said, I’ll throw myself away,
They are just photos after all.
I can’t make you hang around.
I can’t wash you off my skin.
Outside the frame is what we’re leaving out.
You won’t remember anyway,
I can go with the flow.
But don’t say it doesn’t matter anymore,
I can go with the flow.
Do you believe it in your head?
It’s so safe to play along,
Little soldiers in a row,
Falling in and out of love,
With something sweet to throw away.  (Go With the Flow, 2002)

————————————————————————————————————-

R – Rush

I‘ve never been a big Rolling Stones fan, so my “R” pick has to be Rush.  These guys have been together forever, and they’re still producing new music.  I’ve seen Rush in concert a couple of times, and I’m always totally blown away by Neal Peart’s drumming ability.  He’s considered to be the best of the best, and has even produced several drumming videos and a couple of biographies.  Singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson are also masters of the craft.  Here are some lyrics from “Subdivisions” (1982):  I love this song; it’s an existential ray of light.

“Drawn like moths we drift into the city,
The timeless old attraction,
Cruising for the action.
Lit up like a firefly
Just to feel the living night.

Some will sell their dreams for small desires,
Or lose the race to rats,
Get caught in ticking traps.
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight.

Somewhere out of a memory
Of lighted streets on quiet nights…”

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a video of  “Subdivisions.”  Enjoy!

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Responses

  1. Hey! I’ve heard of all of those except Ok Go. I’m not as out of it as I thought I was.

  2. I feel kinda dorky liking My Chemical Romance, but imo they are the best of the current emo/pop bands. They just seem a little bit more serious about the music.

    NIN – every cd I make has at least 2 of their songs. I’d have trouble choosing between them and Nirvana though since I listen to both bands a lot.

    The P is so obvious – who doesn’t admire their music (it makes me feel a little more dead inside when people complain about Floyd being over-rated)

    I’ve mastered Here It Goes Again on Rock Band expert – this is while I am bouncing madly around the room 😛 However, I don’t look very cool playing the DDR one.

  3. Ah, NIИ. Quality band. Trent Reznor was a far better lyricist than he’s generally been given credit for.

    Coincidentally enough, I’ve just released my S-Z for this meme…

  4. You have such fantastic taste in bands Chartroose! I love NIN and Pink Floyd…and I adore that you mentioned Placebo and Phoenix!! They’re two of my favorites. I didn’t know anyone else even knew who Phoenix was! I saw them in concert about 4 years ago and there were like 50 people there…it was great 🙂

  5. RUSH! One of the best concerts ever. EVER! I’m loving the rest of this list too. We have very similiar tastes.

  6. Thanks everyone!

    Kathy–You’re not out of it; you’re totally coolaphonic!

    Joanne–I’d love to see you bouncing madly around the room. I need to try that, although I’m terrible at all instruments, including virtual ones.

    Jack–Reznor is so creative! BTW–I heard that our military was playing “Closer” over and over again to torture Iraqi prisoners. Now, that’s just not right…

    Chris–I love that you love Phoenix, because they’re wonderful! I think they have a new album coming out in May or June. Hooray!

    jenny–Great minds think alike, right? And, Rush has remained one of my favorites because they never sold out.

  7. Oh my gosh! This is a fabulous idea!


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