Tag Archives: mumford and sons

Best of 2015

by Cherie

When it comes time to compile my favorite albums at the end of this year I always have a hard time. Even though I try my best there’s usually at least one or two albums that get missed – whether because I didn’t have time to listen to them during the course of the year or because I simply forget about them. I try my best to listen to new artists but I also tend to stick to a lot of the same ones, so there’s a lot of familiar names on my list: Frank Turner, Laura Marling, and Mumford and Sons just to name a few. There’s also some new names, though, like Willy Varley, George Ezra, and Halsey. Don’t be too surprised to see a lot of Xtra Mile bands on the list either. One side effect of repping the label is that you tend to listen to a lot of amazing music. And so, without further ado, here are my favorite albums from 2015.

Top Ten Albums

maxresdefault

#1 Catfish and the Bottlemen – The Balcony

Okay so technically The Balcony was released in 2014 but it wasn’t released in the United States until early 2015 when it was put out by one of my favorite record labels – Communion. If you haven’t heard of this band by now it’s time you stopped to give them a listen. The Balcony is only their debut album but it’s a surprisingly solid album for a freshmen release. The Welsh rock band have won the admiration of critics and fans alike, including Ewan McGreggor who became friends with the band after helping them shoot a video for their song “Hourglass”. The entire album is amazing and every time I listen to it I end up putting the whole thing on repeat.

Favorite Tracks: Hourglass, Tyrants, Cocoon, Kathleen

frank-600x300

#2 Frank Turner – Positive Songs for Negative People

As the title suggests, Frank Turner’s sixth studio album, Positive Songs for Negative People contains a mix of optimism and pessimism. “Mittens” is typical Turner song where he laments about a past relationship that “I once wrote you love songs, you never fell in love.” The entire album is a classic example of Turner’s unflinching honesty. Each song rings true even when Turner is being critical of himself and his past relationships. If I had to pick one song that best represents the entire album it would have to be the first single from the album, “Get Better” which proudly proclaims “I’m trying to get better because I haven’t been my best….we can get better because we’re not dead yet.”

Favorite Tracks: Mittens, Josephine, Silent Key, Get Better

lauramarlingshortmovie2j9e2j

#3 Short Movie – Laura Marling

Some things only get better with age. That seems to be the case with young Laura Marling, who released her fifth studio album this year. Short Movie is the first album to feature Marling on an electric guitar, and the album features a completely new sound and a sense of confidence that is striking in someone so young. The album was released after Marling took a year off from music and traveled around the United States by herself. The experience seems to have left a mark on her for she returned with a fifth album that is more mature, more confident, and louder then any of her previous albums. The album is about a woman learning who she is and accepting herself for that person. “Little boy, I know you want something from me / yes I may be blind but I am free / don’t you try and take that away from me,” she warns on the last track, “Worship Me.” Watch out world. Laura Marling is back and this time she’s taking no prisoners.

Favorite Tracks: False Hope, Short Movie, Walk Alone, Gurdjieff’s Daughter

mumford-and-sons-wilder-mind-e1425308971584

Wilder Mind – Mumford and Sons

I think the world as a whole was probably taken aback when the London based quartet announced a new album in 2015 but warned fans ahead of time that would not feature a banjo. Many people only associate the band with their distinctive banjo backed brand of folk that they’ve become famous for. The truth is, however, that the band was ready for a change for their next album and so this time they opted for a sound more grounded in rock than the folk they were previously known for. They may have swapped the banjo for the fiddle (played live by Noah and the Whale’s own Tom Hobden) but the heart and soul of the band remains the same. The faster tracks are probably the band’s strong point but each song on the album is a reminder that the band is back and stronger than ever.

Favorite Tracks: Ditmas, Tompkins Square Park, Just Smoke, Hot Gates

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_9673u3sgnw8wosss8g8oggg4s_640

#4 Blurryface – Twenty One Pilots

Tyler Joseph and Joshua Dun have no concept of genre limiting boundaries. With every song they put out they push the boundary a little further, refusing to be pingeonholed into a traditional genre like pop, rock, or rap. Each song on the album is a different journey with it’s own flavor and sound of it’s own. Blurryface could be considered an anthem for today’s youths – for those who don’t quite fit in or for those who struggle with mental health. It’s an album for the misfits and for people who feel like they are growing up too fast. A lot of people can relate to the songs in some way or another and it’s refreshing to see a young band being open and honest and still be embraced full heartedly by their fans. Despite consisting of only two members the duo put on a fantastic live performance as well, and watching them live you can see their passion first hand.

Favorite Tracks: The Judge, Ride, Tear in My Heart, We Don’t Believe What’s On TV

Honorable mentions

assets

Glitterbug – The Wombats

Favorite Tracks: This is Not a Party, Your Body is a Weapon, Give Me a Try, Greek Tragedy

2582x2582sr-e1444321372247

Anthems for Doomed Youth – The Libertines

Favorite Tracks: Gunga Din, Fame and Fortune, The Heart of the Matter, You’re My Waterloo

landscape_maccabees-marks-to-prove-it

Marks to Prove It – The Maccabees

Favorite Tracks: Spit it Out, Something Like Happiness, Marks to Prove It

unnamed

Down on Deptford Broadway – Skinny Lister

Favorite Tracks: What Can I Say, Cathy, Trouble on Oxford Street, This is War

george-ezra-cover_edited-1-580x244

Wanted on Voyage – George Ezra

Favorite Tracks: Budapest, Casey O’, Can You Hear the Rain, Listen to the Rain

Will-Varley

Postcards From Ursa Minor – Will Varley

Favorite Tracks: Talking Cat Blues, Seize the Night, Outside Over There

1c7bac571d97556502532cf0c73e1f76

Badlands – Halsey

Favorite Tracks: New Americana, Colours, Castle, Ghost

EsmePatterson_talk-700x400

Woman to Woman – Esme Patterson

Favorite Tracks: Never Chase a Man, Bluebird, The Glow

5b2f1bad2cb07f1c51f2099f1e03c360.710x400x1

Froot – Marina and the Diamonds

Favorite Tracks: Blue, Happy, Savages, Better Than That

dawes-770x470

All Your Favorite Bands – Dawes

Favorite Tracks: All Your Favorite Bands, Things Happen, I Can’t Think About It Now

passenger-whispers-ii

Whispers II – Passenger

Favorite Tracks: David, Fear of Fear, Nothing’s Changed

banner-beans-on-toast-2015

Rolling Up the Hill – Beans on Toast

Favorite Tracks: The Great American Novel, God is a Cartoonist, I’m Home When You Hold Me

Back-on-Top-feature-image

Back on Top – The Front Bottoms

Favorite Tracks: Cough it Out, West Virginia, Help

mqdefault

To Us, The Beautiful – Franz Nicolay

Favorite Tracks: To Us, The Beautiful, Marfla Lights, Imperfect Rhyme

1501_San_Cisco_Gracetown_Artwork_DIGITAL_V2_large-630x354

Graceland – San Cisco

Favorite Tracks: Run, Snow, Bitter Winter

Leave a comment

Filed under album review, Cherie, editorial, musical roundup, retrospective

New Music // Mumford and Sons – “Snake Eyes”

Mumford & Sons have already released two songs from their upcoming album Wilder Mind but it seems like the band are so excited about their new music that they had to release one more. The band have released a live video for the song “Snake Eyes” which features Tom Hobden, formerly of Noah and the Whale, on violin.

mumford-and-sons-wilder-mind-628

 Wilder Mind will be released on May 4, 2015 and is currently available for pre-order through the band’s website. The band has also announced a series of Stopover Shows as well as shows in the US and Canada.

Leave a comment

Filed under music video, new music

Despite Attendance at Glastonbury Festival the Mumford & Sons Hiatus Continues

Though the Mumford and Sons hiatus continues, the band continues to tease fans with their presence.

The band curated a line-up of performers at the Avalon Cafe at Glastonbury this past Saturday. Though claiming that the GOTR would be in attendance and hinting that there would be special surprises, the band made it very clear that Mumford and Sons themselves would not be performing. Humorous, if slightly exasperated ,signs posted at the mixing table confirmed this.

 mumf

But the band did take the stage to perform two songs with their good friends HAIM, including two Rolling Stones covers, “Dead Flowers” and “Honky Tonk Women.” Banjo player Winston Marshall Winston Marshall also performed another cover with HAIM; Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well.”

In typical GOTR fashion the band (minus Winston) joined Michael Kiwanuka as well as member’s of The Staves and Bear’s Den for a cover of Neil Young’s “Dance Dance Dance.”

You can also check out a video of Marcus Mumford performing along with friend Johnny Flynn.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Mumford and Sons Tease Fans with Release of “Gentlemen of the Road Part 6”

Mumford and Sons have been on an indefinite hiatus for a couple of months now, but today the band gave new hope to their fans by releasing the sixth part in their ongoing “Gentlemen of the Road” documentary series. The series, which is produced by Fred & Nick, was first released on the deluxe version of the band’s debut album, Sigh No More. This latest chapter features the band looking back on a series of shows they put on for the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Tour.

Leave a comment

May 28, 2014 · 2:59 pm

Measuring a Year in Music

by Cherie

Image

I kicked off the year with a bang, going to see the Vaccines play a headlining show at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston. The Paradise Rock Club is one of my favorite Boston venues, because its just small enough that there’s really no bad spot in the house. The openers for the show were a (relatively) unknown band from Australia named San Cisco. I looked up their music ahead of time and was impressed by their catchy first single, Awkward. San Cisco is group of young kids, just barely out of high school, but they put on a great live set. I was an instant fan after seeing them live. The Vaccines put on a tremendous set as well. Some might criticize Justin’s vocal performance, which was less than perfect, but he puts so much energy into his live sets its hard to not be won over by his passion and enthusiasm.

 Image

Next I got the chance to see English folk artist Benjamin Francis Leftwich play a set for Radio BDC at Naga in Boston. The venue was beautiful, with hanging glass above the bar; but the crowd was less than respectful during the show. Leftwich is a very mellow artist, its just him and his acoustic guitar, and there was a group of obnoxious people over at the bar who were disrespectfully loud throughout his set. He made sure to call them out on it though, causing the rest of us to laugh. I got the chance to meet him after and he truly is a sweet guy.

 Image

Not long after I saw San Cisco open for the Vaccines I was thrilled to hear that the band was coming back through Boston for their first US Headlining Tour. They played Great Scott in Alston, another one of my favorite venues. The support bands were great, and I discovered a great local artist (Steph Barrack) when she opened for the band. My fellow concert goer was more impressed by Chaos Chaos, who won me over with their live vocals but also for having a oboe in their backing band. San Cisco put on a great live set, and we even got to meet the band afterward. The band swung back through one more time in July, and we were there front and center once more. Mark my words, they really are a fantastic band and they have such a bright future ahead of them. It will be fun watching them grow over the years.

 Image

It was a long, hot July, but the hottest day by far was the day I saw Frank Turner in Portland, Maine. There’s no reason the show should have been as hot as it was, the day was actually cool and rainy but for some reason the temperature inside the venue was off the charts. After just a couple of songs Frank was drenched in sweat and joked about it being the hottest show he’d ever done. It was an amazing experience getting to see Frank perform songs off of Tape Deck Heart which is one of my favorite albums of 2013.

 Image

I also got the chance to see the amazing Ben Marwoos, sorry Ben Marwood, open for Frank Turner; which ended up being a more momentous experience then I realized at the time. After every show I go to I try to find the setlist and burn a copy of the setlist onto a CD. I make personalized art work and everything (though its really nothing that special to be honest). When I realized that I probably wasn’t going to find Ben’s setlist on setlist.fm (my usual source for the information), I felt like I was facing a brick wall. On a whim I reached out to Ben via e-mail, not expecting to ever hear back from him. To my surprise he responded almost instantly, revealing that he actually keeps a notebook full of setlists and promptly sent me the information I had asked for. Realizing what a great opportunity I had I immediately thanked him and asked him if he’d be willing to do a short interview for my music blog and he instantly agreed (you can read the article here and the full interview here). It was the first “big scoop” for the blog, and I will always be proud that my first interview was with Ben (seriously, he’s such a talented guy, you should check out his music if you haven’t yet).

 Image

August brought one of the biggest concerts of the year. Mumford and Sons had announced a show in Queens, NY and with the help and company of some good friends, I had the chance to go. It was an unbelievable experience. The crowd might have sucked, but the company I was in certainly didn’t. Forest Hills Stadium was an incredible venue, being a converted tennis stadium, and despite the hiccups I hope they finish the restoration project and restore it to a concert venue in the future. I fell in love with the opening band, Bear’s Den, who put on an amazing set despite only having three members. The Vaccines came next, and the highlight from their set was when Winston Marshall, from Mumford and Sons, came out to play guitar on a couple of songs.

 Image

Mumford and Sons themselves were, of course, amazing. Words can’t express my love for this band. They are such a great band, and their songs have helped me through some really hard times. Their Gentlemen of the Road Stopover shows are such an amazing experience; I’m glad I got to experience not just one but two of them. When news broke a few weeks later of their temporary hiatus I was sad, but happy I got to see them twice before they went on break. Rumor has it the boys will be back in the studio in February working on the new album. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t take them as long to write album #3 as it did to write their second album!

 Image

My last concert of 2013 was Noah and the Whale, and what a fitting way to close out the year. This was my second time seeing the band, but this year they were playing the House of Blues; a step up from their last show at the Paradise Rock Club. They blew me away once more. NATW are one of those bands that are made to perform live. Not only did they sound fantastic, but they also dug deep and played songs off their debut album that don’t get played much more. A highlight for me had to be hearing “Mary” played live.

 Image

After the show we stuck around for a little bit hoping to meet the band. We picked a time to hang out until and decided that if they didn’t come out by that point we would give up. It was cold and windy and with our light jackets we were soon freezing. The time came and passed and no band. I didn’t mention the time to my friend, hoping she wouldn’t realize it and we could stick around a little bit longer. Eventually our patience paid off and the band exited the venue. They seemed surprised to see so many people waiting for them, perhaps because of the weather, but they cheerfully stuck around for pictures. They were the band that really introduced me to British indie folk music, and getting the chance to meet them was truly awesome.

 Image

But the biggest highlight of 2013 for me had to be Lyrically Addicted. For years I’d had the idea to start some sort of music project, though the specifics were always vague in my mind as to what exactly that project would entail. In May I finally solidified the idea, creating Lyrically Addicted as a sort of music blog, and inviting two of my closest friends to take part with me. It’s been difficult at times, trying to come up with new ideas for stories and debating the relative merits of various albums that were released this year. The whole thing has been a blast so far, and if you’re reading this right now, thank you so much. Your support (even if it’s just silent support) means a lot to me and the rest of the team. I’m proud to announce that by the end of 2013 we reached 2,023 views!

Leave a comment

Filed under concert recap, editorial, retrospective

Lyrically Addicted’s 2013 Musical Superlatives

Let’s face it. Most end of the year lists consist of only ten to twenty albums. Ten or twenty spots aren’t really that many when you think about how many fantastic albums are released each year. Sometimes an album gets left off the list by a slim margin; not because it wasn’t good, but because there were so many other good albums that weighed slightly heavier than it. Here are some awards we’ve given to albums that may not have made our individual top lists for the year, but still deserve a mention.

Sickest Live Album

Image

Cherie’s pick: Road to Red Rocks – Mumford and Sons
Vas’s pick: Kill It Live – New Found Glory

Best Split EP

Image

Vas’s pick: Our Voices – Adam Lazzara/Chris Conley/Anthoney Raneri/Vinnie Caruana

The “Welcome Back” Award

Image

Both: Fall Out Boy for Save Rock and Roll

The “They Still Got It” Award

Image

Cherie’s pick: Tegan and Sara for Heartthrob
Vas’s pick: Bad Religion for Due North

Weirdest Album

Image

Vas’s pick: Heat Thing – Shone

Hardest Working Artist

Image

Cherie’s pick: Frank Turner (solo, Mongol Horde)
Vas’s pick: Evan Weiss (Into It. Over It., Their / They’re / There, Pet Symmetry)

Most Disappointing Album

Image

Cherie’s pick: The Bones of What You Believe – CHVRCHES
Vas’s pick: Young New England – Transit

Most Overrated Album

Image

Cherie’s pick: Pure Heroine – Lorde
Vas’s pick: What You Don’t See – The Story So Far

Best Acoustic Album

Image

Cherie’s pick: Live From Brooklyn – Laura Marling
Vas’s pick: The Hand That Thieves – Toh Kay

Most Listened to Album That was Not Released in 2013

Image

Cherie’s pick: The Age of the Understatement – The Last Shadow Puppets

Leave a comment

Filed under editorial, retrospective

Happy Birthday, Babel

by Cherie

Image

It’s officially been a year since Mumford and Sons released their second album, Babel. Just this month the band revealed that they are going on a (temporary) indefinite hiatus. The break is understandable; they’ve been touring the world for six years and performing at countless festivals and shows. Lead singer Marcus Mumford got married to actress Carey Mulligan last year, and the rest of the band has family and friends off the road who surely miss them as well. All signs point to this being a temporary break, though of indeterminate length, but it’s hard to reconcile the fact that there won’t be any shows or new music for the foreseeable future. M&S have always been one of those bands that leak new songs at their live shows. Many such songs live on only in the youtube videos they are recorded in, without any studio versions existing.

 Image

But let’s be thankful for what we do have. Two fantastic albums, where the band stayed true to themselves and never tried to be something they were not. Countless interviews that will forever live in infamy (including the Ted is jet lagged interview, the Shania Twain appreciation video, and the “it’s a mirror!” incident). Countless live videos of fantastic quality recorded by fans and available to watch at one’s leisure on youtube, as well as full festival sets spanning several years and various festivals. Their Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers were a huge success, bringing together fans, local businesses, and great music. And, as someone who’s been lucky enough to go to two M&S concerts (three if you count the Bull Moose in-store), I’m thankful that I got to see them live in person.

 Image

Let’s not dwell on their absence for the next few weeks/months/years. Let’s be grateful for what we have gotten from the boys. And let’s await whatever the band has in store for us next.

Leave a comment

Filed under editorial, retrospective

Mumford & Sons Invade Forest Hills, Queens

by Vasilis, contributing writer

    I was born and raised in Queens, New York and have lived here my entire life. I went to elementary school and high school within a 10-minute walk from my house. Despite my many criticisms of Queens, I still love this place and can see myself living here my entire life. My favorite baseball team plays here, my favorite places to eat are here, my girlfriend lives here, and it’s also conveniently located near buses and subways that help me get to New York City whenever I want. The only thing I’ve always longed to see in Queens is live music. Citi Field holds almost no live concerts, and all my favorite places, including Irving Plaza, Webster Hall, Music Hall of Williamsburg and The Gramercy Theater are over an hour away in the heart of New York City.

Image

So when I heard Mumford & Sons would be playing a show 15 minutes away from my house in Forest Hills, Queens I was ecstatic. Live music returning to Queens has been a long time coming. I have always half-joked about building my own mid-sized music venue (1000-3000 capacity) in Queens and having all my favorite bands play there, so to actually have a concert in my home borough was a dream come true. Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, which hosted the U.S. Open before Arthur Ashe Stadium existed, is a little less modest, holding over 16,000 people, but it’s still live music nonetheless, and to actually see a band I like perform there only made it better.

Image

I won’t go into too much detail on Gentlemen of the Road’s history or the show itself, as Cherie already did that, but I will say that all three bands were fantastic and Mumford & Sons completely blew me away live. Each band came from England, which made sense as the tour was dubbed the “Full English Tour”. Bear’s Den featured a very mellow acoustic sound akin to Mumford & Sons, banjo and all, while The Vaccines (who I’d gotten to see open for Arctic Monkeys in Central Park) play a faster, garage rock-fueled indie rock similar to Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, and the aforementioned Arctic Monkeys. Mumford & Sons tore through a 2-hour long, 19 song set that included 10 songs off their latest hit album Babel and 8 songs off their critically acclaimed debut Sigh No More. Being in the tri-state, they treated fans to a quiet Bruce Springsteen cover during the encore, which brought out chants of “BRUUUUUUUUCE” from the New York crowd, and they ended with their biggest hit “The Cave”, which inspired dancing, clapping, stomping, and singing from the sold-out Queens crowd.

Image

Unfortunately, seeing as how this was the first show in this venue (and area) in over 20 years, inevitable problems arose that will need to be fixed for next summer’s anticipated shows. For one, way too many tickets were sold, and some people with tickets weren’t even allowed to enter the venue. Additionally, with only one exit for 17,000 attendees, exiting the stadium was a nightmare and took almost half hour, made worse by very crowded train platforms. Lastly, on top of overcrowding, so many people who attended the show did so because it was the “trendy” or “cool” place to be on a historic night for the community, meaning a lot of the crowd were not real fans. This led to a number of people who came just to drink and talk loudly and take pictures, even while the band was playing, which was beyond annoying. There were many disrespectful people at the show in certain areas and it did take away a little bit from the music itself.

Image

Negatives aside, the show was a huge success for Forest Hills. Many businesses were positively affected by the boom in people and traffic and with the potential for future shows at this famous venue, it could be a huge boost for the community. The city added a lot of extra police directing people to the stadium so finding it was no problem at all. The people behind the show admitted to “growing pains” which I think is important because they see the challenges and the problems that need to be fixed and I have full confidence that they will do so to make the next show even better. In the end, Queens New York had the musical moment it’s always deserved.

Leave a comment

Filed under concert recap

Gentlemen of the Road presents…

Image

by Cherie

Not content to let their ever growing popularity go to waste, London based quartet Mumford and Sons have started a new tradition. Instead of visiting the same major cities, they’ve made it a point to visit places off the beaten track. These shows have became known as Gentlemen of the Road Stopover shows (Gentlemen of the Road being a nickname for the band that originated in a documentary distributed with the band’s first album Sigh No More). Last year the band held Stopovers in Huddersfield in England and Galway in Ireland before heading to the US cities of Portland, Bristol, Dixon and Monterrey. A last minute addition took the band to Australia where they played the town of Dungog. Each Stopover show was a day long music festival, planned and curated by the band themselves. Working closely with local vendors and authorities the band helped promote local businesses and provide a boost to local economies by featuring their goods and services. The band also sponsored various after shows around town that concert goers could attend after the end of the festival, some of which were attended by the Mumford lads themselves.

 Image

(Mumford and Sons performing at the Portland, ME Stopover 8/4/12)

Due to the huge success of the 2012 Stopovers, Mumford and Sons expanded the format in 2013 to a two day event with an even bigger support lineup. They also added more shows between Stopovers. These newly added shows were presented by the Gentlemen of the Road and had the same basic concept as the stopovers but were much smaller in scale. These smaller shows, typically featuring just three bands, were just one day affairs but they still had the local focus of the original Stopovers.

Image

(Portland, ME Stopover 8/4/12)

In July Mumford and Sons announced that they would be playing a show in Queens at Forest Hills Stadium, a former tennis venue that also doubled as a concert venue. Past artists to grace the stage included The Beatles, Jimmi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan. The horseshoe shaped stadium, which was built in 1923 to facilitate the crowds attending the US Open, fell into disrepair when the US Open moved to a newer facility in Flushing Meadows in 1978. In order to facilitate the August show, the first in over twenty years, the stadium underwent a major renovation. The Mumford show was meant to be a test run of sorts for the venue, with the intent of adding a few shows a year to the schedule.

 Image

(entrance to Forest Hills Stadium show 8/28/13)

The show was an instant success, selling out almost as soon as tickets went on sale through an invitation only basis. Three blocks around the venue were shut down to facilitate the influx of people to the venue and there were police and volunteers directing crowds both before and after the show. The only major problem of the show was caused by overcrowding, with some claiming the show was dangerously overcrowded. However, Front Gate Tickets owned up to the problem and offered full refunds to anyone who was unsatisfied with their experience at the show. Growing pains aside, it was a great experience for the community to get behind and benefit from. The Forest Hills show is just one more example of Mumford and Sons using their growing popularity to affect positive change in the people and places they come across while touring.

Image

Leave a comment

Filed under concert recap

Musical Sharing, Parental Edition

Image

by Cherie, contributing writer and editor

Music is my passion; I live and breath it. In fact, I listen to it almost constantly. It makes the forty minute commute to work bearable, and there are very few things I love more than rocking out in the shower. When you love music as much as I do, its only natural that you want to share it with the people you love. And when you are a twenty-three year old who, for better or worse, lives at home while working full time and going to school, your closest audience is your probably going to be your parents. Now, my parents are fairly young but I understand that there’s something of a generational gap. So I try to pick and choose my battles, introducing only bands I think that they will like and not wasting time with others. Even with a careful screening process I find that my luck has been 1/4 when it comes to introducing my parents to new music. As a rule I’ve found that mother despises the banjo, so any band that uses banjos heavily is out (alas, this means she doesn’t like Mumford and Sons, something I still can’t quite comprehend). She also isn’t a fan of mellow music, and that kind of music can be a hit or miss with my dad as well.

My mom tends to be more accepting of younger indie rock bands than my dad. Years ago I discovered that she liked My Chemical Romance and we spent one memorable car ride blasting The Black Parade together. She has recently started listening to fun and The Format (though Steel Train she doesn’t seem to care for). One year I found out that fun was playing a free show in Boston but I had no one to go with so I invited my mom to go with me. I don’t think she even listened to the band atthat point, but like a good sport she tagged along anyways. I think that night probably converted her into a fan if she wasn’t already. I don’t think it hurts that she probably has a crush on the lead singer either (in her defense, he is pretty adorable). The next time the band rolled through town she bought tickets with a friend and saw them again. I recently introduced her to the Lumineers, who, despite their Mumford & Son’s -esque sound, do not have a banjo and thus seem to have passed her approved listening test. Actually, she told me the other day that she is “obsessed with them” (her words, not mine). She actually hijacked my CD of them for the longest time and only gave it back recently. When I was growing up she literally could not stand to have music being played in the same room with her, so she’s come a long way since them. I’m so proud of her (sniffles).

As for my dad, he has more of an eclectic taste like my own. I remember when I was middle school de had a Linkin Park CD that my brother and I were forbidden from listening to because we were too young. Linkin Park went on to be one of my favorite bands of all time, thanks to him. Most of the music I’ve gotten him to listen to is very, very different from Linkin Park though. Unlike my mother, he doesn’t seem to mind banjos and he loves Mumford and Sons. He loved Sigh No More, but I have to admit I haven’t heard any feedback on Babel yet. For his birthday I burned him Daughter’s first album which was just released and he seems to have liked it so far, though only time will tell. I also got him to listen to Tegan and Sara, though the only album he cares for is The Con. And I can kind of understand that, because each T&S album has a completely different sound and they aren’t for everyone. My mother, for example, can’t stand them (in case you haven’t notice my mother tends to have extreme reactions to music; she either loves it or hates it and you can’t really fault her for that).

Despite all the small minor victories, there are two bands that have appealed to both my mother and my father and hence are counted as major victories. The first band that all three of us love is The Airborne Toxic Event. I think my parents fell in love with the band when they did their live CD/DVD. My dad loved the live DVD so much we actually bought him a copy as a present one year, and my mom bought the CD of it and that used to be her go-to album to listen to in the car. The second artist we all love is Laura Marling. I mean, what’s not to love? She’s an incredibly gifted musician and I have yet to meet someone who isn’t won over by her music. I’ve been lucky enough to see her in concert a few times the last few years, and hopefully when she swings back around for the new album I can get my parents to see her live. She is absolutely incredible live. I count the Airborne Toxic Event and Laura Marling as major victories because they are something all three of us can enjoy together. And there’s nothing I like more than to have my favorite people sharing the things that make me happy.

1 Comment

Filed under editorial