Every time I use my laptop, the first thing I do is open iTunes and press play. It’s become a habit that I cannot see being broken any time soon, if ever. This is the world we live in – one full of noise, little silence, and songs that become the background music to our lives.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate silence, but music is everywhere. It is on the radio. It is in television commercials. It is in video games. It is down at the ballpark to welcome baseball players to the batter’s box. It is in subway stations. The corner of the street. Your basement. Your ringtone. Your head when you’re in the shower. The list can go on forever. Music is so prevalent in our lives that I would include it in the next tier of essentials right after food, water, and shelter.
Most of the songs that I have in my collection remind me of a specific moment or bring me back to the first time I heard the song. I’m glad these songs trigger a memory or make me think of something. I find songs – that have no meaning – are pointless. With the new music out there today and all the artists and bands begging for attention on Twitter or through their performances at award shows, I think the true meanings of songs get lost. The lyrics don’t matter anymore. I think people lose a connection to the song and just listen to it because it is the “song of the summer” or because it’s on the radio twice every hour.
I don’t own an iPod or any other MP3 device. People used to always ask me what kind of music I listen to. I never had an answer because I didn’t really know how to define it. So I would just say, “I’ll listen to anything as long as I like it.” Which is true! Then I’d get the rebuttal, “so you like country music?” I don’t know why my answer needs to be funnelled into a specific genre or a specific band. Quite often, I don’t like more than one song from a band or singer.
Therefore, a better question to ask would be, “what songs do you like?” There, that opens the floodgates and allows me to answer. I’ve realized that, no matter what, someone will always dislike a song that you like. People can be so unreasonable sometimes. “You like THAT song?” “You listen to THEM?” “They’re awful.” Great, thanks for your undesired opinion. Of my two best friends, one is like this, the other doesn’t care what I listen to and we have shared numerous songs with each other over the years, without judgment.
Everyone will always be biased towards their taste in music. Older people will like the songs from their youth – the 70s and 80s. Teenagers will like the current music and all the hoopla that goes along with it. It sickens me to see “musicians” who are teenagers or in their early 20s, that have an ego the size of their fanbase. I can’t tolerate it. I don’t understand how some people do. I’m still waiting to see a celebrity who is humble.
Anyways, here are some of my favourite songs and a brief backstory to them.
Where The Streets Have No Name – U2
I consider this to be my favourite song. Strong meaning, great tune, and one of my favourite versions of this song was when U2 played it during the 2002 Super Bowl halftime show while the names of the victims of 9/11 scrolled on the screen behind them.
Closer To The Edge – 30 Seconds To Mars
This has become my favourite band. I have 16 songs by them on iTunes and this one is the best of the bunch. I discovered this band during the exam period in my second year of University. Three or four of their songs were the only songs I listened to for two weeks. Great music video, too.
Sleeping Sickness – City and Colour
I was introduced to this song via a great NHL Playoff montage done by CBC in 2009. Just a simple song that I could listen to for hours, and have.
Feels Like Tonight – Daughtry
Daughtry is another band from which I have many songs. This song brings me back to 2009. For some reason it became my “prepare yourself for University” theme song. Whenever I thought about what it meant to move away from home, this song was in the background.
Better Days – Goo Goo Dolls
I incorporated this song into my Grade 12 English presentation and related it back to the novel I was discussing. It worked beautifully.
45 – The Gaslight Anthem
I found this song on the soundtrack of the video game NHL 13. If this song is playing in the background while I am on the menu screen, I will wait until it is over to press start and begin a game.
The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows – Brand New
This one is from the NHL 2004 video game. I always liked it, but never really delved into the lyrics and tried to learn what they meant. Over the last two weeks, it’s the only song I’ve listened to and I finally understand it.
September – Daughtry
Me and my best friend from University decided that this would be our friendship song. As I’m writing this description, I am listening to it for the first time in four months. If it came on over the course of the last four months, I quickly changed it to a different song. It brought back too many memories and made me miss school and my best friend more than I already did.
Always – Neverending White Lights
Running Up That Hill – Placebo
Tonight, Tonight – Smashing Pumpkins
These Walls – Trapt
So that’s a small sample of the songs I listen to. It’s worth noting that I don’t listen to any of that EDM stuff. Honestly, until this month I didn’t know what EDM stood for. To me, when I see those three initials, I think of Edmonton.
If you’re a fan of that genre, good for you. I’ll keep listening to what makes me happy and keep my ears open to songs that will make me go, “hmm, I like the sound of that!”