I’m so excited because I am going to be able to use the same idea for both today’s Daily prompt, as well as, the Weekly Writing Challenge. [The links to both are at the very end] Daily Prompt asks me what is the last thing I was surprised about the intensity of how I felt towards something. The weekly writing challenge is about being moved by music. Well, Daily Prompt, to answer your question; the last time I was surprised about how intense my feelings were was when I was starting my piece for the Weekly Writing Challenge; trying to explain to people my love for Rock music. It’s so hard to explain to people, for me, why I love something the way I love rock music. Here I go….
I believe that “intense” is one of the best words to describe the rock genre of music. Without a shadow of a doubt, Rock, both modern and classic, are my absolute favorite, go-to, genre of music. Anyone who reads my blog knows how much of a fanatic I am for this beautiful evolving masterpiece of art. As I typed that sentence, my classic rock Pandora station, blasted out Kansas’s “Carry On Wayward Son,” and I just had to halt my typing just so I could sit for a minute in awe and adoration and belt out the words with Kansas. I had no choice, my body compelled me too. No other genre of music has more feeling, beauty, tragedy, hope, or strength. Rock has taken me, as a former unbeliever, and molded me into a jukebox who can practically sing [albeit not very well] and name every song, while rocking the shit out of an air guitar, for anyone willing to listen. I grew up raised on two very different genre’s of music. From my father’s side was bluegrass and country, and from my mother’s side was classic rock. For a little while, I was all about country and blasphemed in the face of rock. Not that you can’t like both genre’s; I still enjoy country music, but not even half as much as Rock-N’-Roll. I remember thinking, obviously mistakenly, that Metallica were “devil worshipers,” and denied myself the pleasure of actually listening to them.
I was allowed to delude myself all the way through elementary school, even though country could never diminish my interest in my mother’s classic rock. I looked forward to the trips with Mom, where I could jam out to her favorites. It wasn’t until I entered into middle school, and was introduced to modern rock that I truly became a convert. A Day to Remember and Breaking Benjamin were the bands that made my whole life change. These, ironically, were not bands that either of my parents approved of. Being a smart, chubby, shy girl in middle school is just a recipe for disaster and bullying. Allow me to introduce myself. I was so uncomfortable in my skin, I wore the same black hoodie for practically a year. Not only did I escape into books, but I started a real love affair with music. I never could really relate my every day experiences with rap or country. I wasn’t ever into sex and drugs, nor was Country that touching to me. Rock made me cry. Rock gave me the chance to let my heart bleed by simply listening to a song. Rock gave me an outlet to let my frustration out. The beautiful anthems, the heartfelt lyrics, the spine chilling guitar solos; it just all opened my eyes to a people who understood me and accepted me. It was the voices of rock that wiped my tears, gave me perspective to my life, and made me think of the bigger picture.
My favorite bands to escape to now include Rise Against, Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Three Days Grace, A Day to Remember, Breaking Benjamin, Avenged Sevenfold, Hollywood Undead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chevelle, Shinedown, Parkway Drive, The Used, Sick Puppies, Atreyu, and Bullet for my Valentine. Of course, these are all modern rock. With Classic Rock, I can simply put on the mix on Pandora and be content for the rest of the day. I have a special love for Paul McCartney, The Beatles, Def Leppard, Queen, Poison, Kansas, Boston, Journey, Van Halen, The Eagles, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Joan Jett, Kiss, Skid Row, etc. I think my classic rock extends majorly to 70’s and 80’s. I’m much more of a “hair-band” than a follower of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, or Pink Floyd. To a lot of people, that is just plain blasphemy, but I really just can’t get into their music. It’s totally personal preference, and I have no problem skipping over those bands…no disrespect. I believe the 80’s hair bands is where the real guitar solo started standing out and blowing people’s hair back. Today, guitar solo’s are pretty common, but quality is important and rarer to find.
Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for my Valentine, Five Finger Death Punch, Rise Against have some of the most beautiful guitar solos, EVER. Parkway Drive has by far some of the coolest and deepest lyrics I’ve ever heard. I really can’t explain the genre of rock to people. It truly is a bunch of dirty, grungy, tattooed, hardcore, and just plain awesome artists. When words can not compare or do justice, you just have to listen to understand. If I were to be debating to someone why rock is the best genre of music out there, I would of course lead with, “Rock makes me want to be a better person; Rock fits any mood I have whether I want to get pumped up and work out or sit and cry.” Then I would just play the music for the people, and let the artists speak for themselves; they don’t need my words to defend them. Below is a list of my some of my favorite songs by bands both modern and classic. Sit back, listen with an open mind, and enjoy the ride.
1. Paul McCartney-Maybe I’m Amazed. Go ahead…try not to sing your heart out.
2. Kansas- Carry On Wayward Son. Turn it up, shut your eyes, and just shiver with the joy of it.
3. Def Leppard- Rock of Ages. Pure, unadulterated, art.
4. Twisted Sister- I Wanna Rock. Crazy as hell, but anthem for all rockers.
5. Skid Row- I remember you. Talking about mind-blowing about guitar solos. Try not to remember your long-lost love, I dare you.
6. Bob Seger- Old Time Rock and Roll. I can NOT listen to this song without blasting my speakers out, and going crazy.
7. Journey- Faithfully. The vocals on this man are insane. Literally, certified crazy. This song is so beautiful, I get weepy every time.
8. Styx-Renegade. Epic. Period.
9. AC/DC-You Shook Me All Night Long. Opening solo is one of the best out there, including the music today. You just can’t beat that song.
10. Guns N’ Roses- Paradise City. Oh-M-G. I challenge you not to rock your socks off with this song.
11. The Eagles-Life in the Fast Lane. I will never stop loving this song.
12. Queen-Somebody to Love. This is a live version, and I’m constantly blown away. This is real fucking talent.
13. Joan Jett-I love Rock N Roll. Yes ma’am. The song is timeless. I’ll be 90 and rocking my socks off to this song.
Now…let me introduce you to my generation of badasses…
14. Avenged Sevenfold: You literally cannot go wrong with this band.
14.1 Seize the Day. Just wait for the guitar solo; it’s one of my favorite of all time.
14.2 Dear God. Beautiful.
14.3 Hail to the King. I can’t listen to this at work because if I did I would get in trouble for dancing in a professional setting.
15. Rise Against: This is my all time favorite band. Seeing them live has been the best concert I’ve ever seen. I literally can not express how much I adore them. Picking three songs is torturous.
15.1 Ready to Fall. First song of theirs that I fell in love with…I owe it all to this song.
15.2 Dancing for Rain. Get ready for goosebumps. Every. Damn. Time.
15.3 Blood to Bleed. Ever had a break up that just ruined you? Listen. Now.
16. Five Finger Death Punch: Damn it these guys are hardcore. Amazing vocals, amazing lyrics, amazing meaning, and just listen to those solo’s…
16.1 Bad Company. Redo of a song to a ‘Generation Kill’ music video. Epitome of epic. Just watch and enjoy. Oh and if you haven’t watched ‘Generation Kill’, go rent it and do it. NOW!
16.2 Far From Home. Emotional.
16.3 Remember Everything. Remember what I said about all that meaning? This is a masterpiece about bullying. I can’t listen to this song enough times.
17. A Day To Remember: This band is one of the bands that opened me up to modern and, more importantly, hard rock. Thanks, guys!!
17.1 If It Means Alot To You. No this song is not hand banging material, but it hits your right in the ‘feels’. Wait for 2:55, will never stop blowing me away.
17.2 Have Faith In Me. One of my favorite songs from them. “I said I’d never let you go, and I never did.”!!!!!!
17.3 I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of? Weird name-sick song. This is where the rest of my songs will have a harder edge to it. If you can’t handle it, stop listening here. I’m warning you….
18. Hollywood Undead: I’ve seen them twice, and they were flawless both times. These boys are fantastic. They can be hilarious, hardcore, and deep. Just because it’s six men singing songs together doesn’t mean it’s a boy band. Just listen, you’ll see what I mean.
18.1 Undead. This will be my hardcore pick for them. Ooh just hearing it gets me pumped up and want to go work out. I love it!!
18.2 Everywhere I Go. My hilarious pick. One of their most favorite songs, and it is as great as it gets.
18.3 Coming Back Down. Their deep side. Don’t let them fool you; they are a serious group here to stay and change music forever.
19. Atreyu: I wish they were still together. I just think they are FANTASTIC. I would give anything to see them live.
19.1 The Crimson. This is one of my favorite songs of theirs. I listen to it at least 5 times a week. Definitely their harder side.
19.2 Becoming the Bull. The first song I heard of theirs, and it’s been a beautiful relationship ever since.
19.3 Lead Sails and Paper Anchor. Softer side. Just to show you what they can do. Not just “screaming.” I’ll always love this band and hope they come back.
20. Parkway Drive: For any of you who think the rest of the bands are too metal for you…I promise you won’t like this band. I know their style isn’t for everyone; I respect that. This band is from Australia; they were professional surfers before they were like, “Hey let’s go shred on the guitar and kill everyone with our sick breakdowns.” I think they are amazing. Also, just for the record, they have the most amazing meaning in their lyrics I’ve ever seen.
20.1 Deliver Me. The first song I heard of theirs. Immediately became a fan. I put the lyrics so you guys can see what I mean. 2:00 = insanity.
20.2 Deadweight. More amazingness.
20.3 Carrion. From beginning to end this song just has it all.
Whew. Look guys and gals, the most important thing about music is that it means something to you and genuinely moves you. I think the pop music today is a bunch of meaningless crap. There is no heart, meaning, or soul in it anymore. Whether or not your style is rock, or country, or gospel; find something that can give you goosebumps, make you want to be a better person, or speak to you on a level nothing or no one else can. That’s the magic of music; it’s a language all of its own when words just aren’t enough.