I Love Several Songs (Music Tag)

As you probably know already, I love music (like, a lot). I’ve written about it in the past, everything from my favorite music videos to analyzing specific songs like a nerd (but I embrace it). Naturally, I never pass up an opportunity to talk about music, and so this week, I’m participating in the Music Tag! No one actually tagged me to participate in this, but I found it on Wanderer’s Pen and decided it would be fun to just chat about music for a bit. Without further ado, on to the questions!

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The Poetry of Metal: “Wake Up”

A few months ago, I started a series called “The Poetry of Metal,” where I analyze the lyrics of metal (or metalcore, if you want to be picky) songs in an effort to show that there’s more to them than just screaming. I believe that there is a lot of fantastic and even beautiful writing in this genre – you just have to look beneath the surface a bit.

The last time I did this, I covered the song “Panic Room” by Silent Planet, which was written about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This time around, I’d like to look at a song by one of my favorite bands: “Wake Up” by Wolves At The Gate, from their album VxV. You can listen to the song below, or just keep reading to see the lyrics.

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The Ultimate Summer Setlist

Summer. A time of freedom, excitement, and adventures. No one’s telling you what to do – your time is your own. You can do anything you want!

…Well, unless you’re like me and you’re working a full-time job. In that case, you still have some responsibilities.

Even if you’re working a 9-to-5 though, there’s still something to be said about the free feeling of summer. Things are a little more laid back, maybe you take a vacation or pick up a new hobby. Summer is a time for adventures and doing things you wouldn’t normally be able to.

Of course, every summer adventure needs an awesome soundtrack. Whether you’re taking a trip to the beach or playing basketball with your friends, you’ll want some background music, something that just screams “Summer.” Well my friend, you’re in luck today, because I’ve compiled a Summer Setlist, just for you!

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Maggie’s Concert Checklist

I still remember the first rock concert I ever went to (okay, that’s not saying much, but bear with me). My parents took me to WinterJam in 2012 to see Skillet, one of my favorite bands at the time. Now, WinterJam probably isn’t what you’d consider a “traditional” concert experience, but it was awesome nonetheless. Since then, I’ve gone to a lot of other concerts and festivals to see my favorite artists, and I’ve always had a wonderful time.

When I first started going to concerts (WinterJam notwithstanding), I was definitely a bit overwhelmed. While concerts are awesome, they can be confusing for people who’ve never been to one before. I’m certainly no expert, but with concert festival season coming upon us, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned from going to concerts.

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Sophomore Year Soundtrack

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you might know that music is a big part of my life, despite the fact that I’m probably tone-deaf and can’t play any instruments. I love listening to music pretty much anytime, and it’s one of the things that encourages me on a regular basis.

Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post about my Freshman Year Soundtrack, where I just had a list of songs that inspired me, motivated me, or I just listened to them a lot over the course of the school year. I thought I’d do something similar again at the close of my second year of college, since my music tastes are always changing and new songs are always being released.

If you’d like, you can listen to the full soundtrack on YouTube here. Otherwise, keep reading to see my list and why I picked them!

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The Poetry of Metal: “Panic Room”

It’s no secret around here that I love metal music. I’ve written a couple of blog posts about it, after all.

I personally think metal is a great genre of music, but it often gets a bad rap – understandably so, in some respects. It’s certainly not a genre for everyone (much in the same way that country music is not a genre for everyone), so I’m not here to try and convince you to listen to it. However, I do think we need to give it a chance. Metal often gets brushed aside because, “it’s just senseless screaming,” but beneath the screeching guitar riffs and pounding bass lines, there’s some really beautiful artistry.

I’m also an English major, so analyzing words is kinda my thing.

That’s why I decided to start this series on my blog, which I’m calling, “The Poetry of Metal.” Every so often, I’ll pick out a song I like and analyze its lyrics, showing how the artist uses the words to create art and meaning. Maybe by the end of it, you’ll still think that metal is loud and annoying, and that’s okay. What I do hope is that you’ll come away from these posts seeing that metal, like any other genre of music (yes, even CCM) deserves to be treated like the poetry it is.

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Freshman Year Soundtrack

First year of college? DONE. Now I only have three more to go…

Anyway, this past year I listened to a lot of music. I mean, I don’t have over 500 songs on my phone for nothing! Plus, I think music can often provide motivation, encouragement, and support all through life, and it expresses things that sometimes can’t be described in just words.

This week, I wanted to share a handful of songs that I’m calling my Freshman Year Soundtrack. Although I listened to much more than this list, these are the songs that I think most describe my year and are also some of the songs that most encouraged me all through the school year. You can listen to the whole playlist on Spotify, but if you want to hear my explanations of the songs, keep reading!

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A Case for Christian Metal

You probably know by now that there are many things I’m passionate about – books, writing, video games, stories, mental health, photography, the list goes on and on. One of those things is music.

I love all kinds of music – everything from the poppy electronic beats of The Jellyrox to the rapping of Manafest to the heavy riffs of Wolves At The Gate. This is also evidenced by some of my previous posts, like my favorite music videos (Part 1 & Part 2) and my favorite lead vocalists (Part 1 & Part 2).

As a Christian, I tend to listen to music that has a Christian message, or is at the very least appropriate and not disrespectful. One of the genres I’ve learned to love over the past year or so is Christian metal which is a vague term, but I basically mean metal/metalcore music that has a Christian message (if you’d like a longer explanation of my thoughts on “Christian music,” you should read my Beginner’s Guide to Christian Rock). Even though I dislike using “Christian” as a genre, I’m going to use it in this post because it will (hopefully) clear up any confusion.

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Nick Detty of Wolves At The Gate

Christian metal bands are often the recipients of a lot of criticism because of the style of music they play. Forget the message. I’ve seen everything from “How do you know it’s honoring God if you can’t understand what they’re saying?” to “The music is too worldly.” Responses to these comments will wait for another day. Today, I’d like to explain to you why I think Christian metal is important, and why, even if you detest the musical style itself, you can at least respect these bands for what they do.

It all started when I went to see Memphis May Fire a few weeks ago…

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A Beginner’s Guide to Christian Rock

Or, “Another Excuse for Me to Talk About My Favorite Bands.”

Want to start listening to Christian rock, but don’t know where to start? Well, I’m here to help.

But let’s get one thing straight first – I’m not the biggest fan of the term “Christian rock,” or whatever genre you feel like shoving in there. First off “Christian” isn’t a genre, no matter what your local Christian bookstore tries to tell you, and second, bands can’t actually be Christian. To quote Blimey Cow for the second time in the past week: “Bands don’t have souls! DC Talk didn’t go to Heaven when it died!”

However, musicians can be Christian, and lyrics can have themes related to Christianity. Musicians and bands use their platform to share the Good News, which I think is wonderful! That’s really what I mean when I use the term “Christian rock” – a rock band that’s using their music and their platform to spread the Gospel.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll explain this list: I know from experience that discovering Christian rock is both incredibly exciting and very overwhelming, so I decided to come up with a reference for those new to this “genre.” I’ve included the bands I think are pretty accessible to everyone up to metalcore and heavier artists. There’s a place for everyone, so read on!

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5ish Christmas Covers

Around this time last year, I posted about my favorite original Christmas songs. It actually went out on Christmas day, since that was when I was still posting on Fridays, of course.

As a lover of Christmas music, I couldn’t resist the urge to do that again, except this year, I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite Christmas covers. These are songs that you’re probably familiar with in one way or another, though these covers might be a little different than what you’re used to. You’ve probably noticed that I love a variety of music, including what you might call “headbanger music.” I know this isn’t everyone’s favorite, so I’ll do my best to denote the genres with the song!

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