This week’s prompt is Books and Music. These are two of my favourite things, but I rarely put them together (except for the thing I wrote here). So I’ve decided to make a list of songs that are based on literature/authors and/or make literary references.
I know there are a lot more out there – especially David Bowie and Radiohead and The Cure and whatnot – but I limited the list to songs I’m really familiar with.
1) “Resistance” – Muse; based on George Orwell’s 1984
2) “Time to Dance” – Panic! at the Disco; based on Chuck Palahuick’s Invisible Monsters
3) “Legendary” – The Summer Set; references J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan
4) “Painting Flowers” – All Time Low; references Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
5) “Weight of Living (Pt. 1)” – Bastille; based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
6) “To the End” – My Chemical Romance; based on William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily
7) “Win Some, Lose Some” – You Me At Six; references Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games
8) “Back to Life” – Paradise Fears; references S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders
9) “Bukowski” – Moose Blood; refers to the author, Charles Bukowski
10) “Sowing Season” – Brand New; the second verse is inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”, and the title of the song comes from Stephen King’s Secret Window, Secret Garden
I’m positive I’m missing really obvious ones from my music collection, but those were the ones I came up with (of course, there would have been more if I repeated artists, such as All Time Low’s “Somewhere in Neverland”, Bastille’s “Icarus”, and Paradise Fears’ “Stories in the Dark”, etc).
Let me know in the comments if you think of other songs that could make this list!
Well, #wafflesaturday is my favourite day of the week (that’s when my sister makes waffles for breakfast), so I’m going to say WAFFLES!
6) Left or Right handed?
7) What was the last movie you saw?
In theatres: The Peanuts Movie, which I loved. At home: Legally Blonde Two: Red, White & Blonde which I couldn’t remember at all.
8) Where are 3 places you’d like to visit?
Ireland, Greece, and San Francisco!
9) Would you rather have your favorite character come into your life or be inserted into your favorite novel?
Ooo, this is a tough one! I’d say be inserted into my favourite novel; I’ve always wanted to visit Hogwarts, and the world in Ella Enchanted is just as magical, full of goblins and fairies and attractive princes. Audrey, Wait! takes place in LA, which I wouldn’t mind visiting either!
10) Favorite beverage?
Tea! I have a large, almost ridiculous, collection (mostly from England, because the Brits really do know their tea).
I <3 Helena Bonham Carter.
11) What are your goals for 2016 (if any)?
My goal is to read at least 120 books, finish a manuscript (any of them that are currently in progress), and possibly start querying agents (once I finish writing something!).
Thanks again, Katie!
I’ve done the Liebster award twice before, so I won’t nominate blogs (mostly because I don’t have the brain power to come up with questions), but here are the last eleven blogs I followed – you should check them out!
There was lots of other good albums this year, including Knuckle Puck’s Copacetic, The Wonder Years’ No Closer to Heaven, Young Guns’ Ones and Zeros, Muse’s Drones, We Are Harlot’s self-titled debut, and Nate Ruess’s solo release, Grand Romantic.
Since they haven’t come to Toronto yet this year, I haven’t had a Paradise Fears post in a while. But I’ve remedied that by talking about my love for the band over on Mind the Gap – you can read it here!
This year, Ro and I hit 30 concerts. 30!!!! This was a personal best for us, and it was our goal for 2014 (we were unbelievably excited when we bought tickets for that last show). There were a couple of duplicates – some favourite bands that came to town on more than one tour – but we also saw a few bands we’ve never seen live before.
This list is pretty much in order, but the lines sort of blur once you get past the top ten. Yay live music!
Okay, so I’ve done books and albums, but now I’m challenging myself to come up with the top ten songs that have stayed with me. I didn’t come up with this challenge by myself, it’s something else that’s been going around the Facebook.
This is going to be hard because I can barely pick a favourite song by any one band and I’m going to force myself to not repeat bands (I hate myself already). Some of these aren’t “favourite” songs, but are songs that have influenced/inspired me in some way.
In no particular order:
1) Take Off Your Colours – You Me At Six
Take off your colours, who are you wearing them for?
I originally put “Reckless” on this list, for obvious reasons (mainly the tattoo on my wrist). But then I remembered that I probably wouldn’t have even heard “Reckless” if it hadn’t been for “Take Off Your Colours”. Finding this song (before seeing YMAS for the first time when they opened for The Academy Is… in November 2009) was the reason I gave those five boys from Surrey a chance. And I’ve never looked back.
2) There’s a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought of it Yet – Panic! at the Disco
When you’re in black slacks with accentuating off-white pinstripes, whoa-oh; everything goes according to plan.
My love affair with Panic! at the Disco is an ongoing saga. It’s not an exaggeration to say they changed my life, or at the very least, they changed the way I listen to music. This was the first P!ATD song I heard, and it immediately opened my brain to a whole new branch of music that I had previously never explored.
3) All the Small Things – blink-182
Say it ain’t so, I will not go…
When this song came out, I was about 9, and all the other girls in my class made fun of it, while I sat quietly thinking, “I don’t know what he’s singing about, but I flippin’ love it”. If Panic! at the Disco was the band that really cultivated my love for pop-punk, then blink-182 was the band that first planted that particular seed in my heart.
4) Bruised – Jack’s Mannequin
So read your books, but stay out late some nights…
This was the first Andrew McMahon song I ever heard. I owe it so much for introducing me to such an incredible, inspirational singer-songwriter-human. I may not have been a fan since the early days of Something Corporate, but I have faithfully followed Andrew on his musical journey over the past seven years and, as long as he keeps making music, I’ll keep on following him.
5) Color – The Maine
I’m just trying to find some colour in this black and white world…
This isn’t my favourite The Maine song (I have a hard time picking my top 5 TM songs, so I can’t choose just one), but I love the lyrics and the overall sentiment.
6) Slow Down – The Academy Is…
Then we’ll turn it up and we’ll play a little faster…
The first TAI… song I ever heard, it sticks with me because I have such strong memories of hearing it for the first time and learning about this amazing band.
7) Sanctuary – Paradise Fears
Even broken wings can fly away…
The first time I saw Paradise Fears – November 2011 – I remember them playing a great cover of “Stacey’s Mom”, and then, a few songs later, diving into “Sanctuary”. I didn’t know what it was called but it struck a chord with me. By the time I saw them a second time, four months later, I knew that I had stumbled on a very special band. I will never not feel emotional while shouting the words to the “speech”.
8) Bed of Roses – Bon Jovi
I’ve got nothing to prove for it’s you that I’d die to defend…
I spent a lot of time trying to decide which Bon Jovi song would end up on this list. At first I thought “Blood on Blood” because I love how relateable the lyrics are; then I thought “Born to Be My Baby” which is one of my favourites, or “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night”, which is one of my other favourites. But I ended up with “Bed of Roses” because I have these vague memories of listening to it a lot with my oldest sister, Vanessa, when I was little (it came out when I was about 3).
9) Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty
I wanna free fall, out into nothing, gonna live this world for a while…
I remember loving this song as a kid. I still really like it (sidenote: the cover by The Almost is also excellent). I don’t have any fun stories surrounding this song, but I can definitely remember singing along to it.
10) Take it to the Limit – The Eagles
So put me on a highway, show me a sign…
For most of my life, this song ended every other mixed tape (and later, mixed CD), we listened to on family road-trips. Once, I tried throwing it into the middle of a track list to mix things up, and it just didn’t work. It’s an end-of-the-night sing-along song, and is, essentially, my family’s anthem.
I accidentally posted this yesterday when I was saving a draft, so I apologize if you receive duplicate notifications.
It’s August, which means it’s time for my traditional second Paradise Fears show of the year (the first being back in February).
I don’t remember the name of the person who opened, mainly because he mumbled a lot and I couldn’t quite understand him. But it didn’t really matter because William Beckett was up next.
I’ve been meaning to do a WB Music Monday post but haven’t gotten around to it yet. He was the singer for The Academy Is… who I loved (and still love). He’s always been one of my favourite singer-songwriters and his live performances are always entertaining: even though it’s literally just him, a guitar, and his laptop (or “band in a box” as he calls it). A highlight of his set was when Sam and Michael (from Paradise Fears) joined him on stage for a new song.
Just putting it out there: William instagramed this shot which was taken by my good friend, Jane.
Next was Against the Current. I’ve never heard of them before, so I was surprised to find out they had a female singer. Their songs were quite catchy and I’ll probably look them up (eventually). They – rather boldly – covered “Chocolate” by The 1975; while they made an admirable effort, I feel like that’s a song that’s uncoverable – you can try, but you can never quite mimic Matt Healy’s way of slurring the words together (but maybe I’m just biased). They did an excellent job covering Paramore’s “Ain’t It Fun”, though.
Finally, the moment I was waiting for: Paradise Fears.
As I tweeted yesterday, I could see them live a thousand times, and I’d still be awed. They are incredibly talented and their live show has only gotten tighter in the past few years (take it from someone who’s seen them 7 times as openers and headliners).
They put so much passion, energy, and enthusiasm into their live shows and it’s amazing to watch. They’ve always been good performers, but each time I see them, they seem to take it up a notch and just keep on improving.
The setlist was one of the best (though I think I say that after ever PF show): old songs and new, including my current obsession “You To Believe In”:
They haven’t released the official video yet, but I like how Sam makes the others start clapping. An acoustic performance like this also shows their raw talent.
Aside from three new songs – “You To Believe In”, “Color” (which has a Jack’s Mannequin vibe to it and I mean that in the best way possible), and “Reunion” (a song so new, I’ve never heard it until now – plus it featured Sam solo on the piano which was wonderful) – they played quite a bit from 2011’s Yours Truly, and, of course, a lot off of 2013’s Battle Scars. They also did two covers: Macklemore’s “Same Love” and Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap”. Both are songs that I had never heard before PF released covers, so I automatically prefer them to the originals.
There’s no video for their “Boom Clap” cover either, except for their tour trailer.
Before the show, I had meet & greet, and the guys were as sweet and welcoming as they always are. They took pictures and stood around for an hour listening to fans; Jordan, Sam, and Cole also did an acoustic version of one of their first songs, “Fall On Me”, which was beautiful. Another fan had made hearts with the band members’ names on it and was handing them out, asking people to hold them up during “Battle Scars”. It was a heart-lifting (no pun intended) moment, especially seeing the looks on the guys’ faces when they saw the crowd.
This picture was also taken by Jane. Look at how big Sam’s smile is!
Sidenote: Since I haven’t mentioned her before, you might has guessed that this was the first time Jane came to a show with me. I introduced her to PF about 2-3 months ago (when I was wearing my “Battle Scars” t-shirt and she asked where it was from), and, being a long-time WB fan, she decided on a whim to join me at last night’s show. I’m happy to say that she – in her own words – is now a “Paradise Fears convert”.
Sometimes I see an opening band and end up becoming just as obsessed (if not more) with them as I am/was with the headling band. Once was seeing You Me At Six open for The Academy Is…(and we ALL KNOW how much I love YMAS); and then it happened again when Paradise Fears opened for The Ready Set.
I’ve talked about PF before, when I saw them for the fifth time in August. Yesterday, I saw them again.
I like how boy-band-esque this picture is: Cole, Sam, Jordan, Marcus (standing), Lucas, and Michael.
The show was at the Hard Luck Bar. I have never been there before and – if Google Maps is to be believed – it technically doesn’t even exist. But I can tell you for a fact that it is a real place. It is also in the sketchiest part of Toronto known to man and I was so scared despite the fact that it was 5pm and still fairly bright outside.
The venue itself is small (probably about 200 people capacity) and has excellent acoustics which is probably why everyone and their brother announced acoustic shows there (I’ll be back there March 1 to see The Maine). Also of note: doors opened at exactly 6! Which was great, except they did a very thorough bag check which took a while to get through (as Ro said “could they have at least bought my purse a drink before violating it?”).
For their “Acoustic and In the Round” tour, Paradise Fears were specifically looking to play intimate venues and – rather than using the actual stage – had set themselves up in the middle of the room on an elevated platform so that they were playing in the middle of their audience.
Opening band, Sunderland, were pretty good: they had a similar vibe as Paradise Fears which made them a good fit. Plus Sam (PF’s lead singer) came bounding out for a guest verse on one of their songs!
PF came out around 7:40 and played straight until 9:20. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a Sam Miller fangirl, but he is honestly is a charming frontman – in between songs, he joked with the crowd and explained that he was purposely trying to make eye contact with everyone and to please not look away even if it was creepy/awkward. Tons of audience interaction, including when they brought up a random fan to sing “Yours Truly”. Towards the end of the set, they played my favourite Battle Scars song, “Lullaby”, which is just as good acoustic as it is plugged-in:
If you’re sleeping alone tonight, let me be your lullaby.
They played a great mix of old and new songs, including a really new one that I don’t remember (though it’s possibly on the extended version of Battle Scars), plus a couple of covers: “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band, “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol (fans had to vote for a song at the merch table and this won with flying colours…much to my chagrin, since I was pushing for a PF original, “More Than Lust”) and “Photograph” by Nickleback which they referred to as the “Canadian National Anthem”. There was also a beautiful version of “Hallelujah” (featuring verses sung by Cole, Michael, and Jordan) which seamlessly segued into “Sanctuary” (cue the single tear rolling down almost everyone’s faces).
I mentioned this before: the Sanctuary speech – one of the defining moments of every PF show and made more poignant by the size of the room. At one point, Sam sort of leaned away from the mic and I imagine it was a proud moment for him to hear his words chanted back at him with just as much passion and enthusiasm as he usually shows.
After the show, the guys hung out – they called it a “gala” – meeting as many fans as possible. I’ve met Sam before, so this time I made sure to meet the other 5 before circling back to where he stood surrounded by fans. All 6 guys were pleasant and excited and you could see that connecting with fans is one of the things they love (unless they’re all exceptional actors).
I’m already looking forward to the next time they come to town.