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  • Elijah Ricks

A Word About Music

Hey all,

As you may or may not have noticed, I have slowly been putting together a playlist on my blog. In fact, if you’ll shift the focus of your eyes ever so slightly to the right of this post, you’ll probably see it. Yeah, right there.

Anyhoo, I wanted to share just a bit about the playlist; why I chose to share my love of those songs with the world, what they mean to me, etc. So here you go. I recommend plugging a quality set of headphones into the computer and spending a couple of hours reading this, then studying the songs with the volume turned all the way up. WARNING: this may change your life.

Let’s start with the first song I chose for the list, shall we?

Coldplay – “Fix You” This is pretty much the most amazing song Coldplay has ever written, and if they never write a better song, I will still put them on my “Greatest Bands of All Time” list. I chose this song because it not only has an epic feel to it, but the lyrics have come to mean a lot to me personally. I’m normally not one to pay much attention to lyrics – takes too much brain power – but Coldplay seems to have unusually uplifting messages in their songs. I find that whenever I’m down, wondering what it’s all for, why hard things happen to people I love, why life is such a struggle, and why I’ve gone through dark times in my life, this song understands that. Each of the lines is or has been applicable to me, and for that I feel almost connected to it. I only wish that it had been written years ago during the darkest time of my life; “when the tears come streaming down your face… when you lose something you can’t replace… when you love someone, but it goes to waste…” And the hope is clearly there, the light at the end of the tunnel; “Lights will guide you home.”

Muse You’ll notice I have several songs by Muse. They are the most recent addition to my iPod, and a very welcome one at that. Not a whole lot of sentimental meaning behind these, but they are high on my recommendations list for anyone looking for a fantastic band. My playlist here includes some of the tracks of theirs I think everyone can enjoy. For more specific recommendations, email or call me day or night.

The Beatles/John Lennon Ahh… what can I say? “Imagine” is probably Lennon’s most poetic and beautiful song and part of his legacy as a musician. The message is clear, and really what separates us from the animals, I think; we have the ability to think of things as they could be. I’m a dreamer.

Pearl Jam – “Wishlist” Most poetic PJ song ever. “I wish I were a messenger and all the news was good.” Brilliant. This one speaks for itself.

The Smashing Pumpkins My personal favorite band in history. Billy Corgan wrote the best version of “Landslide” in history, and has written some of the most poetic and meaningful lyrics I’ve encountered in my life. My favorite line of his is in the song, “Muzzle”, his greatest poem to date: “My life has been extraordinary; blessed and cursed and won.” Doesn’t that just say it all? We will win. Making it through all the hardships and all the wonders makes us who we are, and it is because of them we are extraordinary. And we will win. “Medellia of the Grey Skies” does not have explicit lyrics. For some reason that’s in the title to that link. I have shed more tears to this song than I like to admit. It has a very personal meaning to a particular time in my life, and often still does. I think it captures perfectly the longing and desperation a person can have to be what a loved one wants. It used to have more romantic meaning to me, but has taken on new meaning to me as a father. The lines, “If I could, I’d dress you all in pearls, I’d give you what you wanted. You’re all I notice in a crowded room… If I just could be anything for you, just anything at all…” capture, I think, the pressures I feel as a husband and provider to be what is best for my wife and daughter. They are the reasons I do everything I do. And I constantly struggle to be the husband and father they deserve, yet fall short at times because of my humanness.

Radiohead I hesitate to start this one; I might end up writing a novel. My experience is either that you love Radiohead, or you haven’t heard enough of their stuff. Some of their stuff is a bit of an acquired taste, but once you take a bite, you’re battered and fried. In my opinion, Radiohead is the second greatest band in history. Have a listen. It’s hard to explain.

Keane These guys are also a fairly recent addition to my iPod. I actually know of very few bands or albums I sincerely liked upon first hearing, but their album Hopes and Fears had me hooked from track 1. Their sound is so melodic and rich, and Tom Chaplin has one of the purest voices I’ve heard in a long time.

Marcy Playground – “America” Remember these guys? Probably not. They had a big hit back in the 90s and have had a small fan base ever since. I thought their first album was pretty good, and saw them in concert where I fell in love. John Wozniak has a dark sense of humor about his music half of the time, but writes deceptively almost humorous music for his lyrics. I personally hold MP as my third favorite band of all time and I hope they never stop making music. I chose “America” because I think it’s a beautiful anthem and tribute to the country. It matches my feelings well, and the music is full of emotion.

Ben Folds I hated this guy about the first 20 times I heard him. I’ve grown to really enjoy his music over the years though. His voice is more real than a lot of artists out there, meaning that it’s not real flashy, but genuine. Through his music, he seems like a fun guy; the kind of guy I’d like to chill with. And judging by his covers of other artists, I think we have pretty similar taste in music.

I think that’s enough for now. As I add more music, I just might make a comment here and there about them. I hope you enjoy!

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