New Digs: Discovering Music in the Internet Age

Music hunting is something we all do. Though you might not actively pursue it (but you probably do since you read this blog), you had to find your favorite music somewhere. Whether it came from your friends or from the depths of the internet, your music taste is something you’ve crafted from years of exposure to different sounds and styles.

In the digital age, hunting for music is barely a hunt at all. Whether you turn on the radio, open up your favorite Spotify playlist or Shazam what’s playing on the speakers of your local Starbucks, discovering new music is something everyone can do with ease. With wider exposure to new artists than ever before, anyone has the ability to find songs they love but may not have otherwise found. In recent years, accessibility to new artists and genres is at an all-time high; most of the time, we are inundated with so many new names it’s hard to keep them straight.

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Nate Banks’ Debut Single a Valentine’s Day Treat

Today belongs to the love songs.  And with his debut single “Some People,” Nate Banks has made his play to make his way onto your playlist.

Nate Banks, a Vanderbilt junior, released his debut single "Some People" today.
Nate Banks, a Vanderbilt junior, released his debut single “Some People” today.

The junior from Fairfax, VA has been involved in the Vanderbilt music scene since a brief stint with the Melodores as a freshman, but this is his first foray into the world of solo artistry.  And “Some People” makes a strong statement about his potential.  The song is driven by a playful, carefree ukulele riff that causes your mind and muscles to relax upon first hearing it.  Banks’ smooth, youthful voice beckons to you over the jaunty beat, entreating you to forget worldly troubles and stay by his side, where you’ll inevitably find the most comfort.  It’s the perfect message for a song being released on Valentine’s Day, particularly if you have a significant other in whose love you can lose your worries until you fall asleep.  And if you are celebrating Singles’ Awareness Day instead, perhaps “Some People” will remind you not to fret, and that as long as you have friends to keep you company, you too can find a way to release the worldly troubles that might be bothering you.  Check out the song on Nate’s website, or just listen via Spotify right here!

I had a chance to talk to Nate about the release of his single and his place within the Vanderbilt music scene.  Read on for the full interview:

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11 Minimally Cheesy Love Songs For Your Valentine’s Day

Originally this was going to be titled “12 Non-Cheesy Love Songs” but as I have come to realize, there is no such thing as a completely non-cheesy love song. Here are my picks for the best love songs to listen to this Valentine’s Day.

1. The Moldy Peaches - “Anyone Else But You”

Anyone who is a fan of Juno probably added this to their playlists the second the film ended (I know I did).

2. Ryan Adams – “When the Stars Go Blue”

A lot people may be familiar with Tim McGraw’s recording of this song, but the original Ryan Adams version is a lot more stripped down and romantic.

3. Coldplay – “Yellow”

This may be one of the more cheesy songs on the list, but there’s no denying that it’s beautifully written.

4. Vance Joy – “Georgia”

Not as upbeat as his hit “Riptide,” but definitely more sincere.

5. The Lumineers - “Dead Sea”

Almost any Lumineers song could easily fit on this list, but “Dead Sea” is by far my favorite from their album.

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Welcome to Nashville!

With all students — both old and new — arriving back on campus this weekend, our e-staff curated the last playlist of our summer series based on our favorite songs from and about the bustling happy bright shining wonderful happy city of Nashville.

Enjoy, and stay tuned for the return of our live shows September 1st!

Music and Memories

“Taxman” always makes me think of this. (Photo courtesy of Zachary Willis)

I’ve read over and over again that olfaction is the strongest sense at evoking memories. I think it has to do with the amygdala or something — hey, I’m not a neuroscience major. There are certain smells that bring up memories for me, some specific and some general; the smell of pine and sugar cookies makes me think of Christmas; the smell of “Midnight Pomegranate” hand soap, weirdly enough, makes me think of playing Call of Duty 4 back in 8th grade. Growing up in the plains of Northern Indiana, I always looked forward to the first day of summer — not June 21, but rather some Saturday in late April or May when I’d wake up, open the window, and smell the first faint, sweet, loamy scent of soil carried across the fields on the constant breeze. Every once in a while I’ll catch a brief whiff of it in Nashville and it still makes me excited.

Despite all this, one sense evokes more memories than scent for me: hearing. Specifically, hearing music; nothing else so vividly conjures up the events of my life as it does. [Read more...]

8 Songs That Are Hauntingly Beautiful

Image courtesy of Shadow Mill Productions

Halloween is only a week away.  Many people would say that it is a haunting time of year.  Haunting is defined as “poignant and evocative; difficult to ignore or forget.”  In that spirit, here are eight songs that are haunting in some or many aspects, but at the same time leave you in awe of their beauty; a different kind of Halloween song. [Read more...]

My Top 5 Road Trip Albums

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

I go on a lot of road trips.  I have to drive between Albuquerque, NM and Nashville, TN twice per year so I can have access to my car in my two homes.  I drive to retreats and district events for Tau Beta Sigma, the band service organization I am a part of.  I drive to various music festivals.  I’m going to be driving to Mardi Gras this spring.  And while some people may not understand it, I love all of these long drives, and one of the main reasons for that is having a good road trip playlist.  Having been fortunate enough to be travelling to festivals for two of the past three weekends, I’ve decided to share a few of my current favorite road trip albums.

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Atlanta’s Music Midtown Festival is a Can’t-Miss Weekend

Image from Music Midtown

This past Friday and Saturday marked the 3rd year of the return of Atlanta’s Music Midtown Festival to Piedmont Park.  The two-day festival included three stages and a diverse line-up ranging from rap genius Kendrick Lamar, to classic rock titans Journey, to live show titans Red Hot Chili Peppers.  I attended the festival with a friend who is a graduate student in chemistry at Georgia Tech.  In short, it was an amazing weekend.  After the jump, I’ll be giving you a look at it day-by-day, and then summarizing the festival experience as a whole to wrap things up. [Read more...]