FT5: Songs Not To Play At Your Wedding

Over the course of spring and summer, I feel like I’ve already attended enough weddings to fulfill some sort of lifetime achievement award.  As most people say, “I’m at that age”, that age when it seems like everyone is either getting married, recently married, or making their first offspring.  Frequent wedding goers will reluctantly agree with me when I say that our favorite pastime at weddings and wedding receptions is to judge the shit out of every little detail.  Come on, we all do it.  Don’t try to lie to my face and tell me you aren’t talking trash about the way too long ceremony, the annoying wedding DJ, or why your friends decided to get married outside in the middle of July.  We all do it people.  Today I’d like to focus on the music side of things (we are a music site BTW) and point out 5 songs that should be banned from your reception while giving you an acceptable alternative.  Everyone is thinking the same thing… I’m just the A-hole prepared to call you out.  I apologize ahead of time if anyone is offended that I think their choice of “Wonderful Tonight” as a first dance number is way too cheesy.  Follow the jump for more.

Friday Top 5: Live Set Design

When attending a concert, the music can often be only a part of the overall equation. Setting is an enhancement or detriment to the overall experience. With the blissfully tranquil setting of  Sasquatch Fest around the corner, my mind began to wonder. Setting in a natural area is often the easiest way to enhance a mood. However, sometimes an artist wants to personally expand on the themes written through song in a live setting, and that’s when the set design becomes more and more elaborate. When the design just comes out as self-aggrandizing and strange, it distracts the audience from the show. Take for instance Kanye’s theoretical Ferrero Rocher Gold wrapper design or Bowie’s giant spider. There is certainly a fine line here. Nevertheless, in some instances bigger, brighter, and complex structures work to frame a show that can be talked about years after the fact. On that note, here’s the FT5 of most badass, over the top Set Designs.

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Friday Top 5: Ska-Punk Bands

There are several things that most people associate with music bloggers; either we’re super arrogant about our tastes, or just have loads of free time and connections.  For the most part, I think people tend to put me in the first category, considering I have a full-time job that isn’t this web site, but I feel like I always have to justify myself, proving I’m not a snob.  I’m pretty sure my love for this genre establishes my inability to escape mockery in all instances.  It’s true, I love ska/ska-punk, whatever you call it. I spent loads of weekends as a teen dancing at Liberty Lunch or Voodoo Lounge.  I figured in admitting my lack of cool, I’d also admit my favorites.

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FT5: Bands the Radio Should Ban

Honestly, I’m not a huge connoisseur of the air waves in our nation, but occasionally there are those days when I rush out the door without my iPod and I have to suffer the pain that is radio.  Recently, with my hectic schedule, this has happened more and more, so it left me to ponder why on Earth some bands still get ready play, and more so, some certain songs.  I thought of my top five, and while some are song specific, others just need to leave the airwaves in general.

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FT5: Austin Dive Bars

Now that the east side seems to be exploding with a new bar popping up daily and hordes of people everywhere, I’ve started to seek refuge in some of my favorite old haunts from years past.  These are places that were frequented by me a lot more towards the end of college and into early post-graduation, but are increasingly becoming apart of my weekend routine once again.  Before I reveal my list of top dive bars, let us point out what I feel qualifies as a “dive” bar.  For starters, ease of parking and access is a must, so you won’t be seeing bars on 5th-7th street (sorry Side Bar).  It’s also important that these bars have that old rundown feel about them to create a nice atmosphere for drowning your sorrows in booze.  I also require that my dive bars have unique jukeboxes with not a single hint of a 101x ready song inside.  Plenty of seating, familiar clientele/staff, bar games, drink specials, and uncrowded places are also a must.  Bonus points can always be awarded for random ass decor, crazy old ladies, bikers, distance from downtown or good food.  These are places you want to go to get away from the downtown hastle, sit with friends and enjoy each others company (or being alone).  My list has also been broken up into regions so you can pick your poison based on where you live in relation to these dives.  Follow the jump for list.

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Friday Top 5: Indie Songs That Make Girls Swoon

I take advantage of the fact that I’m the only female Top 5 contributor, and I like to add my lady perspective to the male dominated ATH crew. What better way to lend my girly advice to you boys out there looking to win over the ladies with a musical selection. Ladies, you will probably just agree and be awaiting a mixtape with the following tracks on your playlist. So here are a handful of love songs for all you indie-romantics.

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Friday Top 5: Meditative Albums

Happy Birthday to a real, badass dude: the Buddha. Without getting into a religious discussion, I feel that some albums are better at relaxing the listener and in some ways engage them at a deeper level. In these cases, the music serves as a map to guide the listener along a journey of self-discovery. In our modern, hectic lives, consumed by outside distractions and never-ending suffering around every corner, few of us can truly turn within and for just a moment, think deeply. As soon as we turn on our favorite album or mix-tape from someone special, we are transported to a meaningful place; there in that moment, enjoying it for what it is. So, in honor of the birth of one of the most influential people to ever grace the earth, here’s a list of the top 5 meditative albums to help get you in a thoughtful mood and let the world around you melt away.

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