I don’t care if that’s not a word.

When I say “conservationalism,” I’m referring not only to the concern for welfare of natural plants and animals, but the conserving of all resources we, as humans, make use of.

I get intrinsic satisfaction from conserving.  I remember recently my dad forced me to buy new shoes because my old ones had holes in them.  I resisted.  I figured that my old shoes were fine.  I would just wear them until they fell apart.  My dad won, however, and got me new shoes.  The biggest advantage to this is that now I can walk through puddles without getting my socks wet.  Other than that, my new shoes look nicer, but I don’t think I care enough to merit me paying for them with my own money.

There are a few reasons I like to conserve.  The first has to do simply with money.  I tend to prefer to buy very few but expensive possessions that will last rather than cheap possessions I will have to throw away sooner than I would like.  A good example that illustrates this principle is my love for LEGOs.  Not only are LEGOs versatile, colorful, and inspiring, they will pretty much last forever.  When I much younger, my mom actually gave a few LEGO pieces that she had from when she was a kid.  They were in very good shape for being 20 or more years old.  Despite years of use and abuse, the worst things that have happened to my LEGOs are them getting lost.

That being said, LEGOs are expensive.  There’s a reason they last forever.  However, I would rather have high quality yet costly LEGOs than Mega Bloks or Best-Lock for cheap.  Although quite honestly, I would rather have nothing than Mega Bloks or Best-Lock.

What does this have to do with conservationalism?  I like to use things for as long as possible.  When I can milk the most use out of my possessions before it starts getting impractical, I can potentially save money otherwise used to replace them.  I’m sure I overvalue money a bit, or at least I used to.  When I was a kid my parents used to pay us for doing chores, and they usually payed us in quarters, maybe dollars.  I’m not saying we deserved more, but because it took so long for us to earn one quarter, we valued that quarter much more than we might otherwise.  I think we can trace a lot of the crazy things we do back to our childhoods.

In addition to getting intrinsic satisfaction from saving money, I feel like I add to the productivity of the world every time I save resources.  If you think about it, every light you turn off to save electricity, every scoop of food you dig out of the bottom of the jar, every mile you walk in your holey shoes along with everything else you do eliminates the need for someone else to produce that electricity, food, or shoes to compensate.  Instead of replacing what you wasted, that person can produce for somebody else.  I think there was an example somewhere of a person who thought that because they broke a window in a building somewhere, they are creating a job for a glassworker who can come and fix the window.  However, if that person didn’t break the window, that glassworker would be able to use their skills and materials to produce something else with more use.  They would be pressured to be creative and innovative in order to find customers rather than rely on maintenance for work.  If that person never breaks the window, the glassmaker would be a better person, and the world would have the unbroken window as well as an additional glass product to make use of.

Everything you do affects the productivity of the earth’s population as a whole, down to a very small level.  I even try to be neat in places where waiters or janitors will clean up after you because I know that if I am neater, there will be less demand for janitorial workers, and they will be pressured to find more sophisticated jobs.  At the same time, the environment in which I reside will be cleaner because I took time to be careful.  Preventative action will do a lot.  “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Or something along those lines.  (Googles in background)  Oh okay – Benjamin Franklin said that.

I like to recycle too.  It’s harder now that I’m at BYU and they make you sort different materials yourself, as opposed to California where you just stuck everything in the same blue trash bucket.  Plus, you can’t even recycle glass on campus.  What’s up with that?  It makes me feel guilty every time I throw something glass in the dumpster.  Unless it shatters, because breaking things is fun.

I recycle because it eliminates the need to do extra work to obtain raw materials.  Every piece of plastic, metal, glass, paper, or cardboard we can save for someone else to use lessens the stress on an oil well, mine, factory, or forest somewhere in the world.  The less we have to use raw materials, the more we can let the environment be free from human effects.

There you go.  That’s why I’m obsessed with recycling and overusing things that you might think should be thrown away.  Not because I’m super concerned about the environment.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s good to be aware about environmental problems and the effects humans have on their surroundings, but I am more concerned about one of the main causes of environmental problems, which is wasting resources, rather than the symptoms, which are extinctions, unnatural evolution, and destruction of habitats.  I support individual action and example much more than I do government policy.  If we all choose to make individual sacrifices to conserve our resources (which protects the environment), I would feel much better about myself and others than if we were required to pay extra taxes for some overpaid committee to decide what’s best for us and make decisions we can’t influence.  With exception, the majority of organizations whose goal it is to protect the environment should be privately owned and funded.  Understandably, the government is needed to deal with large scale problems and needs to set some regulations on the people and firms affecting the environment, but we should try to do as much on our own as possible.  By doing so, we can show that we can take care of ourselves and the environment without the help or coercion of anyone else.

–Brandon

But mostly introversion.  Why?  Because I am an introvert.

I’ve become much more knowledgeable on this subject recently.  Assuming Wikipedia is a scholarly source, which it kind of is.  A friend of mine in high school actually did a report on the reliability of Wikipedia good enough to convince his English teacher to allow their class to cite it as a source.  Or something like that.

Learning more about introversion has helped me to be more comfortable with the decisions I make in life, which are usually influenced by my introversion.  However, at the same time I have surprised myself by becoming somewhat more extroverted.  I like to spell extroversion with an “o.”  I’m not quite sure why this is.  My unexpected extroversion, not why I like to spell it that way.  Although I honestly couldn’t tell you that either.

I think that learning about things in general, though particularly things that bother or concern you, help you to be more at ease with your environment.  After all, fear is only not knowing, right?  When you are afraid of the dark, it is uncertain whether or not a monster will eat you.  When you are being chased down a narrow alley by a crazy person wearing a hockey mask and carrying a chainsaw, you are unsure as to whether you will escape or become inspiration for a cheesy horror movie.  Therefore, because I am more at ease with my environment, I am more open to garnering attention through extroversion.  At least that’s one explanation.

I suppose I ought to admit that I’m somewhat shy as well.  Shyness usually has a negative, weaker connotation than introversion though.  That’s partially because introversion is more of a choice – introverts tend to avoid company because they don’t like it, not because they’re afraid of it.  I have some of both, which is very detrimental when I try to make new friends.  That’s why I tend to stick with friends I already know rather than meet new people.  I’m fine if you come up and start talking to me, I’m just not very likely to go up and talk to other people if I haven’t already gotten to know them.

Introversion is also a good excuse for my apathy.  If you know me at all, you know that I don’t often get very excited.  Sure I’ll laugh a lot, and I’ll crack a grin if I really like something, but other than that my expressions are pretty neutral.  At least from what remember.  Generally extroverts tend to be happier people period.  Possibly that’s because they’re so engaged with loving life, getting attention, and focusing on others that they forget about negative things they experience.  Because I’m not easily distracted from myself when in the company of others, I tend to think very realistically.  I have come to terms with a lot of my talents and flaws, as well as the positives and negatives of life experiences.  I would like to think I know myself and my environment rather well.  Because I know myself and where I am, I don’t have as much fear, so I don’t get excited.  Excitement is part of fear, right?  Excitement is also positive, and because I remember more negatives than others, my feelings are more neutral.  Maybe I should do something about that.

Additionally, I am most emotionally vulnerable (as in, likely to show emotion) when I’m by myself.  I’m not sure why that is either.  When I’m with others I tend to be rather guarded, but when I’m alone I’m more open.

I can think of two environmental reasons that might affect my level of introversion.  The first has to do with a number of experiences where I’ve said something stupid and have become embarrassed.  Because of the negative response I received from speaking up, I refrained from doing so more though out my life.  Even today I refrain from saying some things that I might would have otherwise because I think that they’ll be stupid.  Sometimes I find out I was right, and it would have been embarrassing, and other times I realize I had nothing to be afraid of.  And then there are those times where I actually do say stupid things and regret it.

The second reason is my extremely sheltered life.  Not only was I the first child of two devout Latter-day Saints, I was the only child for three years and lived with only boys (besides my mom) for nine before my first sister was born.  Because of this, I knew nothing about girls besides what the last generation told me, and even less about anything immoral when going into school.  All my survival knowledge I had to learn the hard way.  My little brother doesn’t know how lucky he is to have me tell him everything important that he needs to know.  As it is, he’s getting along with his social life a lot better than I am.  Yes, I’m jealous.  Luckily I came to BYU, where I’ve learned the majority of my social skills from friends I’ve made here.  Maybe I’m not prepared to meet the rest of the big, bad world, but at least I have someplace to start.

So there you have it.  If you’re ever wondering why someone (like me) is usually more quiet, neutral, or disinterested, I’d wager it has something to do with introversion and shyness.  The best thing you can do for them (me) is involve them (me) in your conversation.  Asking them (me) direct, thoughtful questions and giving them (me) time to answer is exactly what they (I) want.  That’s why I’m best at talking to people one on one – there is more time to gather my thoughts and say something more carefully.  If you feel guilty because you haven’t done this, good.  You can still repent.

–Brandon

This post is about communication.  For some reason I get intrinsic satisfaction through stating the obvious.

Communication is essential to life of all forms, especially those pursuing happiness.  Which is most life forms.

Personally I believe that all of life’s problems (from relationship trouble to employment issues to war)  could be solved with effective communication.  Let me give an example of each: in a relationship, if both people involved communicated perfectly, they would know that their relationship would be successful or fall apart before it started due to their respective personality flaws and dedication, and would therefore be able to avoid any rough incidents.  Employers hiring people to work for them would know immediately if employees would profit the company or not if they communicated perfectly, allowing them to drastically reduce worker turnover and employer dissatisfaction.  Those who would otherwise fight wars would either work out the problem through effective communication or realize who would win said war and then work out a compromise.  In each case, perfect communication would save considerable emotional travail and lots of time.

Of course, perfect communication is impossible.  Sometimes, getting close is impossible.  Going back to our examples – how likely is someone to openly admit their flaws to someone they’re interested in?  What potential employee would intentionally discredit him or herself?  And what nation would unanimously and willingly secede without a fight despite the fact that they would probably gain nothing from a conflict?

Effective communication is difficult.  Often, this difficulty centers around honesty.  I know I often have a hard time being honest.  Not so much in my being fair to other people, but in letting people know what I think of them.  Sometimes this is good (if I don’t like them, they won’t be offended) but sometimes this is bad (if I appreciate a favor someone did and didn’t thank them, if I’m attracted to someone and don’t tell them).  Usually if I’m asked directly I’m more likely to be straightforward.  Additionally, if someone not involved in my opinion asks me a question (someone who I’m not judging) I’m even more likely to tell the truth.  If I am given a mask (I get to conceal my identity) then I am completely and brutally honest.

Unfortunately, each of these precautions that add to the truthfulness of communication detract from the effectiveness.  Better communication would be unsolicited, and both parties would know who the other was.

I’m sure many of those reading this could come to the same conclusion I have concerning communication after some thought, but it is important to remember these points when interacting with others.  If you think your honesty could benefit someone, do something about it.  Tell your family you love them.  Ask that boy or girl you like on a date.  Say thank you to that person that just did you a favor.

I realize I’m probably writing this to myself more than others because I’m rather introverted.  I tend to put excessive weight on everything I say, and therefore refrain from saying quite a lot. While other people throw around words like “love” and “beautiful,” I try to save them for special occasions.  This isn’t necessarily good, but it is an accurate description of my personality.  See?  Effective communication.  I’m working on spontaneously communicating with other people, but it’s difficult.

I do find that writing allows me to be more honest.  Because I don’t have to worry about constraining to a certain time limit, allowing others to speak, or finding the write word (yes, I’m just going to leave that there), I can say everything I want to say without interruption using vocabulary best suited to what I want to communicate.  Hence, this blog.  I’m also getting better at writing in my journal.

If you have any thoughts, please share.  Be honest.  If you’re unsure about commenting, be bold and comment.  I won’t judge you (I only say that because that’s what I think when I comment on other people’s blogs, so if you’re not unsure, just ignore these last few sentences).

–Brandon

I have been to very few music concerts.  Nevertheless, I think I can comment on what I have observed from the few I have attended.

Probably the most notable concert I went to was performed by Lifehouse.  Previously I had not owned any Lifehouse music and only recognized a few songs they played from the radio. However, I must say I enjoyed the concert very much.  Besides the volume.  I always think that the volume could be lowered in music concerts, especially if the sound system is poor quality.  Music should be loud enough to pulse through your body, but not so loud it hurts your ears.  It’s fine balance, though I think that in general I tend to mind volume more than other people.

Besides Lifehouse, I’ve seen a tribute band cover a bunch of Pink Floyd songs rather well.  Other than that, the rest of my concert experience has been with bands who haven’t “made it” yet.  To name a few, I’ve seen the Brocks, Evicting Eden, Proving Ground, Eli Whitney, and Raven Watch (all of which are based around Provo).  I’ve found that going to concerts almost always makes you think better of the music being played.  You are more willing to forgive mistakes and poor sound quality when someone is performing live than when listening to an MP3 or CD (do people even have those anymore?)  I’ve gotten excited about quite a few of those startup indie bands before listening to their CDs.  While they might not have access to the best recording equipment/software, I think that if the sound suffers when it transfers to a recording, the band is not worth listening to outside of concerts.  If I’m going to pay for music, which I do, I want to be rewarded adequately.

Concerning prices – concerts are fun to go to, but unless I really like a band (I would name some but I would get carried away; just see my last few posts) I’m not sure it’s worth the cost.  If tickets sell for more than $20, my college sized wallet complains rather painfully.  Maybe I’ll become a concert junkie when I’m older (and somewhat richer).  That seems to be working out pretty well for my parents.  Unfortunately, by that time a lot of the bands I like might be disbanded or dead.  That’s what happens when you’re a fan of classic rock.

Despite my dislikes about concerts, I still enjoy attending them.  Additionally, it is one of my lifelong dreams to perform a concert (with original music) to a crowd of more than 10,000 people.  I think it would be really cool to be on stage with thousands of people who came and paid to appreciate your music firsthand.  The way my life is headed right now this is not likely to be a reality, but I won’t write off the possibility quite yet.

Right now?  Until I become either very rich or very famous, concerts are likely to take their place further back on the stage of my life’s priorities.

–Brandon

I’ve made music on my own in addition to listening to the work of others.  In fact, I love music so much, I was planning on majoring in music at BYU.  This plan fell apart when I realized I was headed for four years of music theory, conducting, history, and practicing of an instrument.  I’ve since switched to animation (which is going well so far; BYU is actually noted for its excellent animation program) which seemed to be a bit more fun and much more likely to get me a job.  Instead I’m planning on taking a few music classes in addition to my major, minor, and general education requirements which will cover songwriting, drums, guitar, recording technology, and probably some theory.  I’ll talk more about college in another post, however, as this one is devoted to music.

As a kid (especially as a Mormon kid), I took piano lessons starting in 1999.  I have since developed a reasonable skill in playing piano, and while I no longer take formal lessons (not for about 3 years or so) I still practice by playing hymns out of the LDS hymnbook and by improvising.  Improv is quite fun, as a competent improv player can supply all the interesting, emotional sound of a finished piece with none of the practice.  I still practice written music so I can steal techniques other artists, but I think I can hold my own rather well with my current music level.  In fact, in a few weeks I plan on performing in a ward talent show without practicing what I’m going to play beforehand at all.  I find that if I am emotionally overwhelmed (positively or negatively) it is much easier to find creative things to play.  I live in a college dorm now, but because it’s at BYU there is a piano in the basement that is usually free for me to use.  If you live nearby and hear someone playing music that sounds like improv downstairs, it’s probably me.

Besides piano, I’ve tried my hand at recording music as well.  At first I tried to get together with some of my musical friends back home in Newbury Park.  We had a few jam sessions before I realized that 1) my leadership capabilities weren’t nearly developed enough to handle directing a band and 2) we had no idea what our end goal was concerning music.  One of my friends got together with some of his family and started Baldwin Games.  It looks like they’re doing rather well.  On my own I released music under the pseudonym Light Matter before changing it to Creator.  Essentially everything I have was recorded using the built in mic on my MacBook Pro and a PSR-E413 MIDI keyboard.  I’m not sure if my voice sounds different now; since I recorded “Galaxies” I have had my tonsils taken out.  I’m also not quite sure that song was in my vocal range when I wrote it, and I still feel embarrassed sometimes when I listen to it.  Maybe I’ll record over it later.

Before my mission I’m planning on releasing whatever music I make for free.  I don’t want to try to manage money earned over my mission or anything like that, so you can download my music if you like it.  I’m not sure how much time I’ll have after my mission to make music, what with college and getting married and all, but if I ever develop something reasonable I might try to squeeze some money out of it.

I really hope I can make some good music simply because I want to give back to the world.  Sure I pay artists (and Apple) when I buy music through iTunes, but I want to return something less replaceable than money.  I want to add to the world’s repertoire of creative expression through sound.  I have in a small way already, but I want to take it further.  Maybe someday I will.  Even if it is after my kids have left the home and I have retired – I’m pretty confident I will always enjoy music.

–Brandon

If only people today knew how to make music like they did in the 80s.

Okay, that’s not being completely fair, there’s a lot of good music out in the world today.  However, I seem to like a much higher percentage of music from the previous generation.  It’s possible that’s because I’m only exposed to the best of it, because they only play the best music on the radio, because my parents only bought CDs with the most popular songs, or a host of other reasons.

When I use the term “Classic Rock,” I’m referring to all genres close to rock (as opposed to classical music) with music released before the last decade.  Yes, the 90s is now classic rock.  I’m getting old too.

I find that older music tends to be lighter than modern music in that it is not quite so crisp or full sounding.  Van Halen does a good job of breaking this trend, but bands like A-ha, Duran Duran, the Beatles, the Monkees, and others sound more muted.  This is okay, they still produce great material, but it is different when you listen to it.  This could be due to the quality of recording instruments they had at the time or simply the style; I do not know for sure.

The acoustic sound of classic music is great.  The limitation of sound recording technology I think did them a lot of good.  Bands had to be creative when making sound effects.  Classic synth has a distinctive feel

More bands and songs/albums.

U2 – “Bullet the Blue Sky” (my favorite band of all time based on volume of good music)
Boston – Boston
Van Halen – “Can’t Get This Stuff No More”
Bon Jovi – “Prayer ’94”
Duran Duran – “Ordinary World”
A-ha – “Hunting High and Low” (the song, though the album is good too)
Men At Work – “Touching the Untouchables”
Kenny Loggins – “Danger Zone”
The Thompson Twins – “Lay Your Hands On Me”
Pat Benetar – “Shadows of the Night”
Tears for Fears – “Head Over Heels”
The Smiths – “How Soon Is Now?”

Believe it or not, there is a lot of modern music that I do like.  By modern, I mean anything produced in the past decade.

If you are familiar at all with my music tastes, you will know that I generally do not listen to pop music.  That is true.  I have no idea why pop music is popular, but I suppose it must be by definition.  Let me go over a few reasons why I don’t like pop music:

Vocals

I’ve discovered an interesting phenomenon.  I seem to enjoy music with male vocals much more than I do music with female vocals.  I’m not trying to be sexist, and I’m not saying that I don’t like girls (because I do like girls), that’s just what my general impression is.  From the few girls and other boys I’ve talked to about this idea, and from what I know of others’ music tastes, the same seems to be true with others, where they prefer songs sung by their own gender.  I think this is because they can relate to it better.  Even if boys sing songs addressed to girls, the songs may be more popular with boys because boys are more familiar with the perspective that the song was written and sung by and therefore have greater appreciation for it.

The reason I’m making a big point of this is because quite a lot of pop music is sung by girls.  This is not true in all cases, but in general I believe it is correct.  I think men tend to gravitate towards rap as well, taking away from them making pop music.  As for Justin Bieber, he sounds like a girl (or at least used to), so I’m going to use the same justification for him.

Lyrics

A lot of pop lyrics are really dumb.  There are a lot of words in songs that just don’t say anything worth listening to.  Justin Bieber is a pretty good example of this, but it’s not limited just to him.  If I’m going to listen to music I’m already unsure about because I don’t like the instrumentals, the lyrics really need to make up for it.  Usually they don’t.

There are also some lyrics that I disagree with on a moral standpoint.  Some people would say I would be “offended” by these lyrics, but there’s no way that’s possible; I’m way to proud to be offended by anything.  A couple examples include “Born this way” by Lady Gaga and “Your love is my drug” by Kesha.  No, I’m not putting a dollar sign in her name.  “Born this way” ticks me off because it basically says we have no freedom.  We can’t, or rather shouldn’t, change.  We just are who we are, meaning that we are and will remain imperfect people with no reason to fix our imperfections.  I have a strong belief that while I am imperfect, I can learn and act better.  Every single day I can do something to make myself a better person.  Who is some pop artist to tell the world that they should just wallow in their flaws?  Kesha does no better with her song.  How could anyone compare something so pure, inspiring, everlasting, uplifting, and mutual as love to something so tarnishing, restrictive, short-lived, withholding, and one-sided?  Yes, I’m a guy, but I have a deep respect for love.  Some people may think it’s fine to belittle the beauty of love in jest, but I think it deserves more respect than that, and certainly more respect than it is given in that song.

The best part about these songs (as well as Justin Bieber) is that they are frequently played at our Church dances.  You know, the Church that supports Prop 8 and has uber high standards?  Not that I’m trying to knock the Church or anything (the Church is true!), but I do find it ironic.

Repetition

Is it just me, or do all pop songs sound the same?  I think that just happens when you don’t like the music in general.  I can say the same for basically all country and rap, which are my two least favorite genres, so it makes sense to me.

Play Count

The more songs are played, usually the less I like them.  Especially if it’s someone else playing the song.  There are some songs which I can and will listen to several times in a row, and I don’t mind because I am making the choice and I really do like the song.  If someone else plays a song, for example, at every Church dance I go to, then because it probably isn’t one of the 10 or so songs that I can play over and over, I will end up hating it.

Back to music that I do like.

I don’t have a set of standards that define good music I like.  Even what I dislike about pop music is only a list of general trends.  So instead of making another list of what I do like (it is much harder for me to find I enjoy then what I hate for some reason) I’m just going to list a few recent music artists and their best songs/albums like last post.

MUTEMATH – MUTEMATH (self-titled album, my favorite album of all time)
Angels and Airwaves – “Secret Crowds”
Hoobastank – The Reason (listen to the whole album, there are better songs than “The Reason” on it)
Mat Kearney – Young Love
Linkin Park – “Points of Authority,” “Robot Boy”
Fictionist – “Great Escape”
30 Seconds to Mars – “Edge of the Earth” (if I could pick one word to describe this band that word would be “epic”)
Coldplay – “Paradise”
Boys Like Girls – “Heart Heart Heartbreak”
Muse – “Map of the Problematique” (Black Holes & Revelations is a pretty good album though)
Anberlin – “Miserabile Visu (Ex Malo Bonum)” (this song is pretty epic too)
Jimmy Eat World – “Bleed American”
Pheonix – “1901”
Dido – “See The Sun” (one of the very few female artists I like, so I’d recommend checking it out)

I would put U2 in this list but I’m going to save them for my classic rock post.

So there you have it.  I do like contemporary music, just contemporary music no one cares about.

–Brandon

I’ve liked electronic music for as long as I can remember.  When I first started seriously listening to music (during middle school) I would often play music from the band Monolithic.  I’m not sure if he publishes by that name anymore; he is probably better known by the pseudonym Midihead.  That was a link to his website in case you were wondering.

While I have an appreciation for acoustic sound, electronic music has the advantage of freedom.  Yes, acoustic music can integrate techno effects, but nothing is comparable to the complete synthesized experience that electronic can provide.  This genre is often better about adding atmosphere and layers to music, two things that almost always help me to enjoy a song.  Synth has great options for chords, pads, and other ambient sounds that engulf me in a song.  Layers are more difficult to come by, but if done successfully, the overlapping of complementing vocals and instrumentals can add a lot of variety and excitement to music.

In the broad range of electronic, I have most appreciation for trance, progressive, dance, and synthpop.  I enjoy dubstep as well (particularly chillstep) and I do like when acoustic bands incorporate synth or vise versa.

While most of my electronic music comes from reasonably popular bands, I do enjoy the work David Bergeaud has done for Ratchet: Deadlocked.  At least I’m pretty sure he did the music for it.  I don’t often listen to video game music, but for this I’ll make an exception.  You can find a download link here.  If you feel guilty about not paying for it, buy the game, which includes all the music (and is quite good too).  At any rate, they don’t sell CDs.

As far as dancing goes, electronic music is the best for dancing.  At least it is the easiest for me to dance to.  One of the best sources of dance music is The Glitch Mob – the powerful bass and atmosphere combined with irregular beats and beautiful synths make for a great experience where it is difficult to keep still.  Unfortunately, I have yet to hear Glitch be played at a dance (I doubt they’d even play it if I requested it).

A few of my favorite electronic bands along with their best (or only) album or song that I have:

Midihead/Monolithic – Special Otakucon Edition (good luck finding this)
Zeta – “Gift” (my favorite song of all time; good luck finding this too though)
The Glitch Mob – Drink the Sea
Blue Stahli – Antisleep
David Bergeaud – Ratchet: Deadlocked OST
Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy OST
Blackmill – “Lucid Truth”
Owl City – “Vanilla Twilight”
Binärpilot – “Goof”
The Qemists – “Stompbox”
Teddybears – “Zero Gravity”

–Brandon

I don’t know how many parts there are going to be to the music series, but I know there will be more than one.  I’m choosing to talk about music first because it’s something I’m very open about, and I think it will be a good start for someone new blogging about their life.

To begin: I love music.  Music is my favorite medium of entertainment.  No, I don’t listen to it all the time, but I don’t think that quantity of enjoyment should dictate appreciation.  I do, however, often do nothing but listen to music.  As in, I will sit down, close my eyes, and stream sound through my headphones.  I appreciate music as providing an interesting background to life (indeed, at many times I wish my life had its own score) but there are times when I want to just listen to songs with no other distractions.

In addition to the quality at which I try to enjoy music at times, I believe that I have a good appreciation for music across several genres.  I enjoy alternative, electronic, classic rock, classical, and even experimental music.  I will listen to dubstep just as soon as I will listen to a movie score, depending on the quality.  I believe that good music can come from anywhere.

For a brief moment I would like to draw attention to the fact that despite my love for music there is not an annoying song player at the bottom of this page.  You’re welcome.

I believe my music preferences are one of the most unique things about me.  Few other people that I have talked to seem to listen to the same breadth of genres I do.  I am very selective about the music I listen to, but if I like a song, I will listen to it.  Even if it’s rap.  Or country.  Or pop.

I don’t like to generalize my preferences.  That goes with most things in life, not just music.  I feel like I could miss out on an opportunity if I eliminate it with a stereotype.  That being said, I will generalize in that I summarize the average distribution of my music preferences.  I have to.  Otherwise I’ll need to explain everything you just read to every person who asks “What kind of music do you like?”

Concerning dancing – I used to not be a fan of dancing at all, much to my detriment at stake dances.  Recently I came to an important realization – the more I like a song, the more likely I am to dance to it.  Very recently I have discovered some things to like in music that is played at Church dances, and so I am able to dance along reasonably well to it.  All my dancing is interpretive, so I usually don’t care how “danceable” a song is (for example: to me, “Edge of the Earth” by 30 Seconds to Mars is very danceable).

I’m not going to set down a solid outline for the future (things never go according to plan anyway), but here are a few things that I want to talk about in the music series: 

  1. Genre breakdowns (picking apart major genres I like with sub genres and lists of artists)
  2. My experience making music (including music tracks and improv)
  3. Concerts
Hopefully you like music too.  If not, come back in a few weeks and I’ll be writing about something new.
–Brandon

Alright.  I already have a few page views despite my lack of content, so I’ll satiate your obvious thirst to creep on my life with the following disclaimer:

I have no obligation to tell the truth.

That’s right.  Because this blog is public (which I’m fine with) I’ll very likely refrain from sharing the whole story of my life.  That’s subject to change of course, so we’ll see.

There are some topics which I will be more likely to speak about with honesty.  These will be general discussions of philosophy, people, life, music, etc. which do not involve me personally.  The more intimate parts of my life such as relationships, character flaws, family, etc. will likely have pieces missing.

That being said, my first real post will have to wait until I find it convenient (when more of my homework is complete).

Until then,
Brandon