Saturday, July 18, 2015

Musical Musings: Favorite Musical Artists (Part 1)

Musical Musings is a new feature where I'll be talking about music! There'll be two posts a month---the first of which (like this one!) will be about some random musical topic, and the second post of the month will be a recap of my month in music. To learn more about this feature and whatnot, click here to check out my introduction post! :)

This Month's Station

I was answering the questions for the sign-up of #OTSPSecretSister, and that led me to the reminder that it is pretty much IMPOSSIBLE for me to choose a favorite band. Or musical artist in general. There is so much I love, and yeah. I definitely I have some I prefer over others. I have a LIST of favorites. But no way could I pick just ONE. It all depends on so much---my mood, things I've seen/heard/read recently, time of year, and so on. Because music is so linked to that kind of stuff for me, my favorite changes constantly. And even while it's changing, there can never be just ONE.

So today, I'm going to tell y'all about ten of my favorite musical artists. You could probably say these are my "top ten" favorite, but really any of these could change tomorrow. I love them always, but putting an order to all the love I have for so many artists isn't easy or concrete.

Ten Favorite Musical Artists


Paramore had the label of my favorite band for YEARS. Pretty much from when the Twilight movie came out through my first year or two of high school. Even if I had other bands that I loved at the time, if anyone asked which one was my favorite, I'd always say Paramore without hesitation. And I still love Paramore today. But I don't think I'd say they're my #1. Mostly because I've given up on CHOOSING a #1. But really, I love their music. They first caught my attention just by being on the Twilight soundtrack, though I liked "I Caught Myself" better than "Decode"---the one everyone seemed to focus on. From there, I got Riot! and obsessed over it. Then Brand New Eyes came out, and I obsessed over that. I'm most likely going to have a specific post about that one sometime, because I can link that to several reading experiences (and thinking about that now gives me the happiest of feelings). I backtracked when I got All We Know is Falling for Christmas my freshman year of high school, since I hadn't owned that album yet. Lastly, of course, was their self-titled album, which I got for my eighteenth birthday and so enjoyed. Of them all, though, I'd have to say Brand New Eyes is my favorite. And of all Paramore's songs, "Turn it Off" is probably my favorite.

Creedence Clearwater Revival

My favorite movie is Remember the Titans---which also coincidentally has my favorite movie soundtrack. (Really it's great---James Taylor, CCR, Temptations... I'll probably write a post about it!) I want to say my favorite song in the movie is by CCR, but really I just can't choose. I can say, however, that I've branched out my Creedence listening ever since I realized Creedence Clearwater Revival WAS Creedence Clearwater Revival. You know when you like a song but don't know who it's by? That was me for a very long time until my brother told me who CCR was. I especially started looking into them---and LOVING them---ever since Sawyer Fredericks (and Noelle Bybee!) from The Voice performed "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" My favorite song by them is still that song that I loved from my favorite movie, "Up Around the Bend."

Panic! at the Disco

I've loved Panic for longer than I've loved Paramore, actually. I got into Paramore in middle school, but I've been into Panic since fifth grade. Which now makes me feel REALLY old because that was so long ago. I remember when the only songs I knew by them was "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" and "Time to Dance." But I've expanded my Panic knowledge SO MUCH since then. I love how catchy their music is. Total sing along material, which I always love. I couldn't choose a favorite album by them is my life depended on it, though A Fever You Can't Sweat Out of course has a special place in my heart. (But I'm such a fan of Pretty. Odd. too! and Vices & Virtues!) Vices was actually the first album by them I actually owned. Got it for Christmas one year and loooooved it. Now, I'm sitting here trying to figure out which song by them is my favorite, and I cannot choose. Whatever I put here will probably be different tomorrow. But I'll go with "The Only Difference Between Suicide and Martyrdom is Press Coverage" (their song titles, y'all) because it kind of popped into my head when I was trying to figure out my favorite, and I think it's fitting. And catchy. PERFECT. (I feel like I need to sing along to it like ten times before I move on to the next artist. Ahhhh. This was a good choice.)

The Killers

Oh, The Killers. Predictably, the first song that caught my attention by them was "Mr. Brightside." It was my absolute favorite song for a very long time. It might have carried over to be my favorite song to this day had it not been marred by the time of my life where I'd loved that song like no other. (Bad, bad, not fun memories.) I DO still love the song, but it's been knocked down a few pegs. Not so many that I don't sing along whenever I hear it (like right now as I type), but it's not my #1 favorite. Plus, I've listened to so much more of their music since then and do legitimately have other songs I like better. So many, apparently, that they made this list. The Killers were actually the second concert I ever went to (I've only been to two in my life). They were FANTASTIC live, and I definitely recommend seeing them. It was for Battle Born, and oh how fun it was. My favorite song by them now is actually one from that album, because it's in my mind so often. (Though their cover of "Romeo & Juliet" by the Dire Straights is one of my favorite things.) For The Killers, I'm gonna pick "Miss Atomic Bomb." Which is a surprise to me, because I really thought I was going to choose "The Way it Was" but then "Miss Atomic Bomb" started playing and I can't NOT choose that one. Maybe tomorrow will be the day for "The Way it Was." BUT NOT TODAY.


I grew up hearing lots of rap music because my dad loves it. And it's kind of funny Eminem is on this list now, because I used to HATE rap music. I thought it was sad and violent and I just could not listen to it. But then I got older, and I actually listened....and then it grew on me. Eminem was probably the first, though many more have, and really that whole genre of music is great. Of all Eminem's songs, it's difficult to choose a favorite. (I'm saying this about almost everybody, I know, but choosing is hard!) I have a soft spot for "Sing for the Moment" and love "Without Me" and so many more. But my current favorite it probably "Headlights," which features Nate Reuss from Fun. (I enjoy Fun. very much, so that's a serious plus for the song.) ...And now that I'm listening to it, "Headlights" is definitely my favorite. It's so sad but so freaking GREAT.


You know, I never paid much attention to Queen until my senior year of high school. Two things happened that year: 1) I took Calculus, and my teacher showed us the video, Calculus Rhapsody. (Yes, I just linked to it and yes, you should watch it.) It was fun and funny and something I listened to several times studying for things, like the AP Calc test. But I couldn't remember ever hearing the original version of the song---which led me to "Bohemian Rhapsody." 2) James Wolpert performed "Somebody to Love" on The Voice and it. Was. Phenomenal. (Yes, I just linked to that as well, and yes, you should watch it.) I got super interested in Queen after those two things. Then my brother got a Queen CD for Christmas, which helped out my interest. And now, I just super enjoy Queen. The song I'm caught on by them (currently, because this changes often) is "Killer Queen." Because it's fun and my brother and I watched the Family Guy episode with the same title recently, so it's all up in my brain. But my favorite song by them is "Somebody to Love." I just can't shake my love for it.

Taylor Swift

T-Swift. OF COURSE T-Swift. I've been a Swiftie for a very long time. Like with Paramore, I actually started at her second album, Fearless, and worked my way forward...and then backward...and then forward again. I'm pretty sure my favorite of her albums is Speak Now. This very well may be because I went to her concert for this one (my first concert ever!) which means I heard a bunch of the songs live, plus I spent so much time listening to that album PREPARING for the concert. I wanted to know all of the words. And in doing that, I realized that "Last Kiss" is an amazing song that so many people overlook. I feel like it's a tie between that one and "All Too Well" as my favorite by I'm not going to choose! I'll link to both. (Kind of makes up for not having anything to link to at the end of last month, yeah?)

"Last Kiss"

"All Too Well"

Billy Joel

My most recent musical obsession, right here. I don't even remember HOW it started, but I know the song it started with was "Piano Man." I think it played on Pandora, I loved it, and then I dove farther into the awesome that is Billy Joel. I don't even know what to say here. I just adore it all so much. It's funny how many Billy Joel songs I knew and had heard without knowing BILLY JOEL was the one who sang them, and without connecting them all to one person I'd end up enjoying completely. He's not passing my attention now, though. My favorite song by him is kind of a tie, depending on the day, between "Piano Man," "Vienna," and "She's Always a Woman," but I'm going to go with "Piano Man" because it's getting me right now.

The Beatles

I mean, duh. Who doesn't like The Beatles? (Actually, my brother doesn't. I don't think I'll ever understand why.) But honestly, I adore them. Never has a Beatles song come on and I DIDN'T get extremely happy. Never. Whenever I happen across one on the radio (luck shining down on me), I freak out and turn it up. When I come across one about to end, I do the same thing, but then feel bummed because DUDE. I don't know when my love for them started, but it doesn't even matter. I adore them, they deserve a place on this list, end of story. As for my favorite song, I'd say probably "Hey Jude."

Dave Matthews Band

My oldest brother and his wife are 100% the reason for this. THEY love DMB, which means we listened to it in the car a lot back in the day (when I was in high school), especially for road trips. They grew on me, and now I love them. Such awesome songs, and Dave's voice makes my soul happy. My junior year of high school, all the titles of my short stories were titles of DMB songs. (Which actually WASN'T intentional at first, but then I noticed and laughed and titled my last story after one of their songs on purpose.) Picking a favorite here depends so much on my mood, but I think the one that's my favorite more often than not is "Grace is Gone." (Though really, "#41 is fantastic, and "Crush," and "Ants Marching," and... I could go on forever.)

Honorable Mentions

BECAUSE LIMITING MYSELF TO TEN WAS A TERRIBLE IDEA. I got to ten, realized I had so many more I wanted to list and facepalmed. Here are a couple honorable mentions!

- James Taylor. His music makes me feel calm and my heart feel happy, and I love it so much. It's so simple and gorgeous. He also has a song on the Remember the Titans soundtrack ("Fire and Rain"), which is another reason that soundtrack is a favorite of mine. Currently, my favorite James Taylor song is "Carolina in My Mind," thanks to Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally. (If you haven't read it, you so should.)

- REO Speedwagon. I heard a couple of their songs on the radio, but didn't recognize WHO they were. So once I found out, I of course went into more of their songs. And then Family Guy had a part at one of their concerts, and they wormed their way into my brain to stay. I can't really explain my enjoyment of REO. I just DO. And I regret nothing. "Take it on the Run" is probably my favorite from them.

I AM NOW THINKING OF MANY MORE TO MENTION. But I'll leave it at that for now. Chances are I'll do another post like this sometime! ;)

Those are some of my favorite artists! Now I'd LOVE to hear from you! What do you think of my favorites? Who are yours---and do we share any? Are there any artists like the ones I listed that I need to check out? Let me know what you think! :)

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