Monday, April 21, 2008

too many sad words make for sad, sad songs

I've been listening to a lot of great music lately that has done nothing whatsoever to improve my mood (Ryan Adams, The Frames, Tom Conlon, Copeland, Imogen Heap, Iron and Wine). I love this music, but I feel like I need to do everything I can these next couple of weeks to keep my mood and energy up. So, today, I switched to some peppier music, which today was the Decemberists, and tomorrow will probably be Ben Folds. After that, I'm not sure. But I really need to listen to happy music right now, not necessarily fluffy pop, but good songs that make me feel alive, that make me want to dance and sing along and make me believe that I can conquer the world. What are some songs/musicians/albums that lift your spirits and bring you life? I welcome any recommendations.

On the topic of music, what do you guys think about the ACL lineup? I'm considering buying tickets as my birthday gift to myself this year. And a good wine stopper. Last year, my self-given birthday gift was getting my hair colored. Maybe next year it'll be a tattoo. But I digress . . . which bands would you be excited to see at ACL? What's the probably that you will be attending?


Ben said...

The Decemberists to cheer yourself up? Don't get me wrong, they're among my absolute favorite bands, but their songs do have a tendency to be about rape, murder and revenge (often on the high seas).

Poking through my iPod, I realize that most of my music is in fact depressing and no help to you. Maybe Andrew Bird? He's more weird than sad, and I think a lot of his songs have more humor to them than a lot of what I listen to. Really interesting musical style too.

Of course, if I really need a pick-me-up, I can always rock out to Journey's greatest hits, so I'm covered.

Anton said...

Yeah, you gotta pep up the tunes when you're feeling down. 75% of my music is depressing and sometimes I just have to turn off the ipod and jam to top 40. But that usually depresses me even more when I start listening to the words.

I reccomend Jack Johnson as a healthy in-between, Muse's album Black Holes and Revelations and Switchfoot.

kyle said...


Good starting point would be Ladies and Gentlemen We're Floating In Space. Although that is actually a little sad. His past two masterworks might be a little on the peppier side: Let It Come Down or Amazing Grace. They're both fantastique.

They're great for what you need AND they're playing ACL this year. I'm getting tickets just to see them, everyone else on the list is just gonna be filler.

nate said...

Ben Folds is a great wife and I met at a show in KC. There is an old song called "alive" from the mid 90's by a Canadian band named 'Edwin' I always listen to when I need to remind myself that Everything is ok.

ACL...the line up is a little weird, but glad to see Silver Sun, Vampire Weekend, Beck, Band of Horses, Colour Revolt, and a bunch others. I'd go if it weren't so far away and someone volunteered to babysit our four kids.

I like your blog! Stumbled across through StrangeCulture.

if walled in climb up said...

Whew, I can't believe ACL passes are $170! Maybe I don't know about a lesser-priced pass or something, though. Also, I hadn't heard of many bands in the lineup. The only one I really want to see was Iron & Wine. I'm not saying I won't go, but I'l probably have to think about it more. I also am a little iffy about committing before I know what's going on with school, but I don't know if that would be too late to get a pass...

A few peppier artists: Seu Jorge (a Brazilian, plays minor singing part in Life Aquatica), some Keane (I'm thinking "Crystal Ball"), the Postal Service, Rascal Flatts (do you like them at all?), and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole ("Over the Rainbow") are some that come to mind.

Martha Elaine Belden said...

everyone's given great advice here... and i'm with ben on the decemberists... THAT'S what you picked to cheer you up?? hahah... love those guys, but definitely not a cheerful bunch.

jack johnson is one i would have said if anton hadn't beaten me to it.

i would say... the avett brothers, the white stripes... maybe ingrid michaelson (have you heard her? greatness), regina spektor... any of those :)

and stear clear of snow patrol or the fray right now... they might SOUND more cheerful, but their lyrics are like a romantic comedy in song form... at least for me.

if walled in climb up said...

Hanson ("Mmmbop").

; )

crackers and cheese said...

Ben and Martha - I should have qualified my statement. Many of the Decemberists' songs are depressing, but many of them absolutely lift my spirits, including July, July, 16 Military Wives, The Sporting Life, the Soldiering Life, Sons and Daughters, and even O Valencia. Yes, those songs are about death, war, rejection, dismemberment, humiliation, etc, but their tunes are so darn catchy and singable and dancable, and some of them really do have hopeful messages embedded in them. I'll definitely check out Andrew Bird and the Avett Brothers.

Yesterday morning, I listened to Jack Johnson (thanks Anton) and The White Stripes, and that was before Martha even mentioned the White Stripes, but I certainly have fond memories of us driving around Dallas enjoying Iggy Thump together :)

Kyle - I absolutely love that Spiritualized song you put on a Music Monday Mix once! It's definitely the song I listen to when I want to feel at peace and at one with God and the universe. I'll have to check out more of their stuff.

Nate - Hmm, never heard of Edwin, but sounds quirky and fun! I also need to check out Silver Sun and Colour Revolt. Thanks for stopping by! These other bloggers who have left comments are pretty cool also, and probably better bloggers than me, so check them out too!

Britt - You should definitely check out the bands we've mentioned at ACL, and consider coming :) But I understand the hesitation. I absolutely love Keane, but their music kinda depresses me, though sometimes in a good therapeutic way. I'll check out Seu Jorge and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.

Thanks for all the suggestions! I really have enjoyed checking my email and finding new music suggestions from each of you guys :) Yay for happy music and great friends!

Ben said...

"16 Military Wives" cheers you up?




crackers and cheese said...

Ben - Am I some sort of sicko? Someone callous to the devastation and sometimes senselessness of war? I sure hope not. I just love a song that I can sing, "La de da de da de-dadedade-da" to, and it cheers me up. Is that so wrong?

I'll take my doses of cheer wherever I can get them.

Ben said...

Sicko? I don't know. But, I mean, it's a protest song. The "la dee da" bit is quite clearly dripping with outraged irony.

It really is catchy, though, I'll give it that.

P.S. I took my own advice yesterday and rocked out to Journey extensively.