10 Shards: My Favorite Bands

Here at Audioshards, I’m going to be writing a lot about what’s going on in the making of my new album. But there will be times in which the creative process will be a little slower but I’ll still want to blog. That’s when I’ll post up one of these 10 Shards lists, revolving around some topic (like my 10 least favorite Kanye West lyrics, 10 things about the Billboard charts that baffle me, etc.). In keeping with introducing myself to my readers, I decided to start off with something simple like my top 10 favorite bands. Well at least, I thought that would be simple.

I started compiling this list and got to thinking “What is a favorite”? Is it a band/musician that influences you? Is it the one with the most songs that you like? It became tough to decide what the criterion would be. So I decided for me, my 10 favorite bands would be the ones that have the most personal meaning for me. So here they are, in no particular order (as well as some songs that I think exemplify what I love about them):

MADE OUT OF BABIES

For me, MOoB exemplifies everything that makes music amazing. Julie Christmas’s voice goes between beautiful and blistering. The band create such sonic landscapes with their songs. They go into wild lyrical places. They are my favorite band.

Definitive song: “Stranger” (from The Ruiner)

AFI

I went to an AFI concert on a whim, knowing only about 4 songs. I came out of that concert blown away. I have never seen a band as tight on stage as them. Their live show is a thing of wonder. Following that experience, I dug into their discography and found a band who was very skilled at the art of crafting a song.

Definitive song: “End Transmission” (from Crash Love). 

BERKELEY SOCIAL SCENE/ ZINKLINE

You could say that it’s cheating to put them on my list, seeing as I have written 30+ songs for them. BSS are such talented musicians. They have a penchant for playing with time signatures and doing all sorts of experimental things but still can wrap it up in a pretty bow.

Definitive song: “Please Stop” (from Little Cuts)

RASPUTINA

There is no band that I have seen live more times than the Ladies Cello Society. What a brilliant idea- alternative rock done with just cellos and drums (with some dulcimers on occasion) done in period dress. They also find new and interesting things to write about. What other catalog includes songs about the Donner party, biblical giants and Howard Hughes?

Definitive song: “A Quitter” (from Cabin Fever)

TOMMY HEAVENLY6/ THE BRILLIANT GREEN

Probably the toughest choice for the list because they are the newest to me. But hearing Tomoko Kawase for the first time sent me headlong into a love of J-Rock. Despite finding many other bands from Japan to enjoy, Tommy Heavenly6 has stayed my fave with its plays on American alternative rock. And her other band, the Brilliant Green, is just plain amazing with their flawless pop rock.

Definitive song: “Heavy Starry Chain” (from Heavy Starry Heavenly)

THE DOORS

There are many bands which have a large mystique around them. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who… the list is quite long. For me, the band from that list that means the most to me is the Doors. I’m not as enthralled as some are by the whole Jim-Morrison-Died-Too-Soon dynamic. I’m more interested in the songs based on wild poetry built over these organ & guitar grooves.

Definitive song: “Not To Touch The Earth” (from Waiting For The Sun)

CONCRETE BLONDE

I’m often driven by strong female vocals, talented guitarists and well done lyrics. This preference started when I fell hard for the song “Joey” and then realized they also sang the amazing Leonard Cohen cover in Pump Up The Volume. Long time favorites of mine, Bloodletting ranks among my top 5 albums of all time.

Definitive song: “Jenny I Read”  (from Mexican Moon)

Bjork

In reading this blog, you’ll find out that making my dream album means more than just creative 10 great songs. I like multimedia presentations. Bjork does that. Her videography is just as great as her discography. She also likes to experiment which has impressed me. Not many people could pull off an a capella album with the same success as she did.

Definitive song: “Joga” (from Homogenic)

AEROSMITH

I grew up listening to the bad boys of Boston. They were the band that got me to cut class so I could get an autograph at the local record shop. Sure, in recent years they have a treaded a line into glossy pop rock. What’s so wrong about that? It’s like eating a plate at the Olive Garden. It may be mass-produced. It may not be like the greasy dive or the fancy joint but sure hit the spot.

Definitive Song: “What it Takes” (from Pump)

THURSDAY  

Currently living out in New Brunswick, they are the hometown band. I even once lived on a street they sung out. But my adoration for the band goes far beyond that. They aren’t the run of the mill emo band. Their lyrics tread in different waters. Their antiphonal sections are gruff and powerful. When I hear Thursday, I can feel the emotion that they put into the song. I aspire with all the songs I make to find that kind of delivery where it resonates with the listener.

Definitive song: “War All The Time” (from War All The Time)

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