Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Time for My Return has Arrived

Did you all miss me? I think Jared did. I'm back from vacation. I got back yesterday from my family's annual trek to South Dakota. Pictures and stories will be forthcoming over the next few days, but since I'm trying to catch up on work and whatnot, it may be somewhat slow in coming.

This is actually the one thing I really hate about vacations--it always takes you so damn long to catch back up with everything you left when vacation starts. Unfortunately, the world continues to spin and function while I'm off vacationing, so I'm stuck catching up. And to think, I always assumed the world revolved around me... ok, so I still feel that way. Live with it.

It's amazing how much stuff builds up while you're gone for only a week's time. I had tons of emails come in, but very little actual snail mail arrive, which is weird. I simply left the construction of my computer and of a friend's computer in limbo when I took off. I have to pick the up again. From vacation I've accumulated tons of laundry to go with the couple of loads I didn't do before I left. I have a road race this Saturday in Rochester to get ready for and I haven't really trained very much while on vacation. I need to get back into the swing of updating this site. I've got work from work to get going on. I have to adjust to Kristin being back up in St. Cloud again. It'll take me a week or two to get reoriented to my everyday lifestyle. It's this period of time after a vacation that I loathe.

So, I'm back and I feel like I should have so much to say, but the only thing I keep thinking about today is my musical abilities, or lack thereof. In traveling to SD and back from there I listened to a good chunk of music. I also listen to music on my 40 minute commute to and from work and for most of the time I'm at work so needless to say, music is a pretty important part of my day.

What I wish I had most, in terms of musical abilities, was a great singing voice, or even a decent tenor singing voice I suppose. As it is, I have a very low baritone voice that lacks in range. I also have problems with staying in tune at times, which annoys the hell out of me (and others that might here me sing as well).

Anyone that knows me, though, knows that I listen primarily to metal, screamo, and punk. From that, most people would think that it's odd for me to want a melodic voice, but part of the reason I love these genres of music is that alongside the screaching screams and gravel-filled yells are also some beautiful moments of melody. Some of my favorite bands of the moment such as Alexisonfire, Dead Poetic, Underoath, and From Autumn to Ashes, all employ wonderful melodic moments to set up the more aggressive portions of their songs. It's these moments that really pull at me and make me wish that I had some type of singing voice that could reproduce vocals such as theirs.

I think part of my longing for such a voice has fueled my rabid music accumulation, which, I would like to note, now consists mostly of promo copies of cds that I get for reviewing from decoy music, the online music mag I write for. I rarely buy a cd anymore because I hate the RIAA and it's just too expensive to buy a lot of cds. Anyhow, it seems I'm always clamoring at my editor's feet asking for more cds to listen to and review. No matter how many I have to listen to, I always want a couple more new ones. I used to think it was simply consumerism getting the best of me, but as my longing for musical abilities grows and grows, so does my longing for new music, as well as an appreciation for what I do get to listen to.

Since I'm talking about music, here's a list of the top 10 bands that I can't get enough of at the moment:

* Alexisonfire
* Strata
* Nonpoint
* From Autumn to Ashes
* Atomship
* Kittie
* The.Switch
* Dead Poetic
* He Is Legend
* Time in Malta

I'm sure that most of you who read this site don't really know many of these bands, but if you like heavy rock, metal, or screamo then all of these would be good bands to check out. I can't count how many times I've listened to each of these bands in the last couple of weeks, but each time is just as good as the last.

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