Music Soothes the Soul

I’ve had a few opportunities on this trip to just sit back and immerse myself in music. Most of it has been from my iPod, but a few times I’ve been able to relax and enjoy some local fare.

In Ubud, Bali, we were across the street from a business that made drums. At various times throughout the day, they would have demos or something and for half hours at a time there would be this wonderful medley of drums. In Petulu, Bali I was able to sit and listen to some traditional Balinese bells in the distance. In New Zealand, I heard a great local reggae band tear the house down.

Throughout my journey, my iPhone has been a faithful companion. It’s only an 8 gig model, so I can’t have all of my music on it at once. There are a few albums I keep coming back to that I would like to mention:

ELO Greatest Hits: Typically, I stay away from ‘Greatest Hits’ compilations but given my limited space I have several on my device. This one gets the most play out of any other album, and I need to give a special mention to Lorrie (my mother-in-law) for letting me snag it before I left. The Electric Light Orchestra is the band that really kickstarted my love of electronic influence in music and this whole set of songs is fantastic. There isn’t a bad song here, which is a rare thing for me to say.

Neon Bible: The newest album from Arcade Fire. Oddly, several people tried to get me into Arcade Fire for awhile but every time I heard a clip I was severely unimpressed. Flash-forward to a trailer for Benjamin Button that had ‘My Body is a Cage’ playing. I was haunted by it and was floored when I discovered who it was singing. I’ve been a die-hard fan since. It’s a shame the karaoke joint here doesn’t have any of their music, I can sing some of it.

Turn of a Friendly Card: This is an oldie-but-goodie from Alan Parsons Project, another early influence in my love of electronic music. I used to listen to this on CASSETTE. As a matter of fact, I can hear the little magnetic blip in the middle of ‘Games People Play’ from my hundreds of listens on cassette, even though it doesn’t exist anymore in the digital copy.

End of the Innocence: This 1989 record from Don Henley is the first CD that got multiple plays in the Scorpio (I miss that car, still!) and I kept it on hand almost always. Another one passed down from my folks (or taken from them, I don’t recall now…but I bet they do) that I enjoy top-to-bottom. The message it carries regarding consumerism and the ‘Land of Confusion’ style booming of population and humanity still rings true.

None of this includes many other favorites that have gotten multiple listens, like Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Daft Punk, Genesis, Foo Fighters, and others. These are just a few I picked out today. Speaking of which, I think I’ll go listen to some now.

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