My Non-Indie Pleasures


Jun 6 2008, 4h25

The 'Indie" genre is quite the oddity to say the least, so many things can fall under the genre and the term 'indie' is used as freely as 'rock' these days. If you look at my top 50 artists, a lot of them would fall under the classic 'indie' genre. Bands like Belle and Sebastian, Bjork, Eels, Modest Mouse, Yo La Tengo, etc, but you will also notice some oddities in my top 100 or so artists, I want to tell a little bit about my these non-indie pleasures of mine:

Enter The Haggis (72 plays)

I discovered Enter the Haggis on Launchcast radio a couple years ago, and after several songs of their album played and I rated all of them 4 stars, I had to order their CD. I always describe them as "Irish Folk Rockish Stuff", using violin, bagpipes, and guitars in their songs, with a bit of a 'bluegrass' sound in their singing voice. Their uniqueness was appealing immediately with a variety of upbeat 'single-worthy' songs such as Gasoline and Another Round, a couple of very good instrumental songs where violin and bagpipes dominate, such as To the Quick, and several heartfelt songs that make you close your eyes as you listen, especially Life for Love, and She Moved Through the Fair. Enter the Haggis is one find I cherish, and everyone who I have introduced them to loved them from the start.

Afro Celt Sound System(aka Afro Celts) (74 plays)

The Afro Celts' ethnic diversity creates a unique sound and appeal. Their members are of Irish, African, and Middle-Eastern Decent. Some of you may remember advertising on tv for a music compilation called 'Journeys', it came out probably around 10 years ago, and had an odd selection of songs. A song that appeared on that compilation was the song "Amber" by Afro-Celt Sound System. I was pretty young when i first listened to the album, and I knew I liked the song but didn't really develop any strong liking for it. I placed it on my old Nomad Jukebox ( one of the first MP3 players that looked like a cd player.) After the song played a couple times on shuffle, the song began to blow me away. The variety of moods it represents and feeling that it evokes. This is the one song that I thing everyone should listen to at some point in their life, and to the day I still debate with myself if it is my #1 favorite song of all time or #2. Either way, that song provoked several listens to several of their albums and plenty of mp3 purchases of their songs. Their sound is special, and I enjoy every second when it plays on shuffle.

Yanni (87 plays)

I love Yanni. He is magnificently gifted, but unfortunately has placed against his will in the wrong genre and often times people pre-judge his music before they ever listen. This is one pleasure that definitely originated from my parents. They would play the album 'live at acropolis' and I would always listen with them when really young. As I got older I began to appreciate the genius of his music more and I began purchasing his albums for myself. His best albums are definitely the live at the acropolis ( which may be my favorite album of any artist of all time ), Tribute, and In the Mirror, which contains some magnificnetly beautiful piano songs. I would always hear people in high school how yanni is lame and he sucks, but I always felt sorry for them , to be able to appreciate a truely gifted human. To not be able to read or write music and to be able to compose what he did is spectacular. Although his more recent albums have lacked the appeal as his 90's albums, he still will always be one of my top favorite artists and I hope I never lose my appreciation for his talent.

Pearl Jam (99 plays)

Although it was short-lived, their was a period of time where I listened exclusively to alternative rock. Pearl Jam is really the only survivor of that period of time. They are your typical guitar/drum/bass only alternative bands, but the stories told and the passion in their songs have kept them on my mp3 player for years. Their first album 'Ten' is astonishing because of the high quality song on every track. Many singles came from this album, including even flow, black, alive, jeremy, and porch. Even though they played on mainstream radio, their songs stood out amongst the other alternative crap. I know I wont be buying any more pearl jam albums any time soon, but I know I will enjoy the songs I grew attached to in that small time period for the rest of my life.

Loreena McKennitt (127 plays)

Among the first cd's I ever bought was a single of Loreena's famous song "The Mummers Dance", soon after I bought the full album "The Book of Secrets" and I was hooked immediately. She is one artist that no one ever will be able to copy, because her sound derives from years of personal experience from traveling the world and discovering a collection of unique sounding instruments no one has ever heard of. Her songs are powerful, beautiful, and full of instrument sounds you wont hear anywhere else. Oh and she has an unbelievably beautiful and powerful voice as well. Her songs are an experience that take you to the places she has traveled to and the culture she has taken in, and she makes you feel the poignant emotions of a single moment in time that the people of the culture may have experienced in the past. She makes songs from poems and stories that are passed down for generations, and makes them her own. Her other albums, "The Mask and the Mirror", "The Vist", and "An Ancient Muse" also take on amazing adventures. You can look at her similar artists, but there will be no comparison, she is the sole member of a genre she created herself, and I will enjoy her stories for the rest of my life.

Secret Garden (139 plays)

Secret Garden is a violinist and a pianist who have created the most beautiful music I have ever heard. My Dad introduced me to them when he purchased their album "Songs from a Secret Garden" and asked me to record the cd onto a tape for him so he can listen in the car. At first listen, the songs sound very alike, but after listening multiple times, the beautiful nuances of each song comes out. That album is just gorgeous. If you think of the most beautiful waterfall surrounded my the greenest trees and the most colorful flowers, then you would know how it sounds. They have several albums, and for one of my dads birthdays I got him "Once in a Red Moon" and put it on tape for him immediately, and we both enjoyed listening to the album. Six months later, my dad passed away from cancer, and every Secret Garden song immediately became special to me. Soon after, I bought their other three albums and am pained whenever I listen to them because I know that he never got to hear them. I may have discovered them if it wasn't for my dad, but nevertheless I am thankful to my dad every time I listen to their songs as one of his biggest gifts to me was passing on his love for a variety of music. I honor and think of him every time I hear a Secret Garden song, for he was as beautiful on the inside as Secret Garden's Music is. I don't really believe in heaven, but I can't help but hope that he happy and healthy, standing right next to the waterfall, right by the greenest trees you ever see, and amongst the beautiful colors of the flowers, and somehow is able to hear the songs by Secret Garden that he didn't hear when he was alive.

In conclusion, those are some of my non-indie pleasures that are in my top 50 artists! Thank you for reading.


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