Sunday, April 24, 2016

Penny's Music Recommendations: April 2016 (Special Edition)

Welcome back you particular demographic that enjoys both quirky indie music recommendations as well as snarky reviews of books. You're probably wondering why this post is late. In fact, you might have entertained the thought that there were no April recommendations. You were almost right. For whatever reason, there weren't a significant number of songs this month that caught my attention. It was either cobble together a list of songs I liked, but didn't actually listen to this month or just skip the post all together. 

Then I got a rather awesome, last minute, dare I say, narcissistic idea. Since April is the month that I was born, why not share with you a list of songs that have some special meaning to me. They mark some particularly great moments in my life or they conjure up happy memories. Why not present this mishmash of songs and share why I like them so much. Sound good? Good!

  • Chevaliers de Sangreal by Hans Zimmer

Didn't think the list would start out quite like this did you? Hans Zimmer and his compositions signaled one of the more important periods in the development of my music taste. While watching The Da Vinci Code with rapt attention (because I had to know how the movie compared to the book), I heard Chevaliers de Sangreal and I came to the realization that instrumental music can be just as interesting and addictive as the pop rock music I was listening to at that time. I started to pay attention to movie soundtracks, which in turn became the soundtrack to many a bus ride to school and study sessions. This very first song, and Hans Zimmer in general, taught me that music has the power to evoke a great deal of emotion. Now a pretty substantial part of my music library includes movie soundtracks, with Hans of course featured prominently.

  • Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind) by Panic! At The Disco


There you go. Back in the realm of the expected. Out of all of the Panic! At The Disco songs that I love, and there are quite a few, this one is associated with some of my best memories. As part of our advanced spanish class in high school, one of the incentives for completing the course was a trip to New York City near the end of the year. Despite living in New York State my whole life, up until that time, I'd never been to the city. We had to get up at the crack of dawn to get on a bus on a Saturday morning. The ride was long, there weren't enough food and bathroom breaks, but it was worth it as soon as you saw the skyline. This was the song that was playing on my mp3 player when we arrived. Now I associate this song with new experiences and traveling to exciting places I've never been. After that, I listened to it on my senior trip as well as on my way to academic conferences in college. It will continue to be one of my road trip staples.

  • Can't Take That Away From Me by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers


I've mentioned a couple of times on this blog that I'm a huge fan of classic movies and this song reminds me of that summer in high school when I first decided to watch a couple of classic movies on TCM. Astaire and Rogers were my first classic movie loves and this is one of my favorite songs from their movies. As a general rule, I hate love songs and anything too sappy, but this song is the one exception. It's romantic in a simple way and we have the Gershwin's to thank for that.

  • A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me by Fall Out Boy


Yep, there was no way we were going through this list without at least one Fall Out Boy song. Prepare yourself. Think back to the early 2000s. It was a weird time my friends. Pop punk was all the rage and yours truly was on the cusp of discovering and loving all of the emo music of the time. This is what started it all for me. During the summer, in between reading books faster than I could buy them and get them from the library, I used to watch a show on tv (whose name escapes me) that just played music videos. Those half hour slots introduced me to a lot of great music, including my first favorite band: Fall Out Boy. Now that I look back on this video, it's so corny in all of it's guyliner glory, but I loved it and still do. 

  • Lifting the Sea by The Hunts 

This is one of my more recent music picks. Whenever I listen to The Hunts, particularly Lifting the Sea, it reminds me of my last term of college. The song is tinged with the sort of finality I felt at that time, but it also reminds me of all the happy memories I made on the day The Hunts came to our college and played during our May Days celebration. It was just a lazy day full of hanging out with my friends and eating a ton of greasy and sugary food.

  • Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet by Fall Out Boy


The last song on this list is of course another Fall Out Boy song. Whenever I listen to it, I'm reminded of Fall Out Boy's Believers Never Die Tour. For my sixteenth birthday, I got tickets to go see one of their shows with my best friend. It also happened to be my first concert. I remember the excitement at seeing my favorite band live, singing along to their songs, and being drenched in sweat from all the dancing and jumping around I was doing. This concert took place on a Sunday night and the exhaustion I felt on Monday at school was completely worth it. 
That's it! Now you've read a couple of snapshots of my life and the music that accompanied all of those great moments. Give it a thought. I bet some of your most cherished memories are associated with favorite songs.