Nate’s Mix Tape Monday – 9/3/2012 – Simon Wilcox

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday

Artist featured: Simon Wilcox
Song: Empty Sky

It’s a rainy day here today. Depending on the situation, the rain can bring a sense of calm or relaxation to those who have the opportunity to do so. When this opportunity arises, take advantage of it. We work our bodies hard non-stop and the truth is many of us don’t treat our bodies the way we should. So when you have a few minutes to give your body do it. This week’s Nate’s Mix Tape Monday song goes to a great song to just lay back and listen to by Simon Wilcox it’s called Empty Sky.

The opening intro to the song actually reminds me a lot of Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam. I like the blues influence given to the riff and as the song progresses it really morphs into more of a pop sound while keeping that intro guitar riff present. You might hear this song and think “I’ve heard this before…” it was in the movie Brothers. If you have the opportunity today, do yourself a favor and play this track while laying back relaxing every part of your body. Don’t think about anything else, just listen and relax.


I’d like to SUPLEX the word COMPLEX

I’d like to SUPLEX the word COMPLEX

Has this situation ever happened to you?

You: Oh, have you heard this band? I love their stuff!

Mr. EgoMusician: They suck, I can play all their stuff with my eyes closed while sitting on an airplane in coach AND eating the 7 peanuts they gave me.

Ugh… I’m not going to lie, I’ve been in Mr. EgoMusician’s shoes, I’ve said those exact words… in high school. But I’ve grown to realize musicianship is NOT about complexity or the ability to play an instrument using complex and difficult progressions. It’s about the sound you generate that can form a pleasing melody to ones ears…That’s it.

Now before all you guitar club people jump on my back, I’d like to say complexity can be an awesome feature if used correctly, emphasizing the word correctly

Let’s think about this a little bit. Sure, there are those music lovers who enjoy the science of music, they seek out those musicians who are way above par and innovators of an instrument or genre. I can get into that, and I understand your quest. But to most listeners of music, it’s all about connection and entertainment. Those two words can essentially group almost everyone who enjoys music together.

I think this is why I love Pop Punk so much… It’s usually quite simple to play, but so catchy! I think it’s a necessity to have music you can roll your windows down to and just rock out. Simplicity is often liberating. Most don’t realize how many songs are based off the same melody/progression as Pachelbel’s Cannon D, check out the video below it’s funny but so true. Is this a problem? I wouldn’t say it is, as I’ve said many times before connection is music. If you hear a song that grasps you then the musician did his/her part.

Let’s stop being music snobs, analyzing music is one thing, attempting to bring someone down based on how easy their power chords in their song that everybody knows is another.

Saying Goodbye, Way too Young.

I’ve been fortunate enough to really only be around death with warning, until recently. Although very painful, the grief of losing a loved one to old age is not the same as something that is just unexpected. For my first post back, I’d like to honor my cousin, Nick as well as a friend Josh whom have both passed away way too young. This song is by Iron & Wine his music is some in which you can easily fall into a trance. Connection is music for me. A musician who has the ability to take hold of their listener and really feed them a story or expression is amazing.

Josh and I were on the same page when it comes to music, both musicians of different types with the same longing to feed our passion through to the listener. Josh would often send me some of his music to listen to because every time we got together we’d have deep conversations of more than just lyrics or melody. Sometimes it wouldn’t even be about music anymore, it would be so much deeper. I think he would appreciate the fact when I hear this song, I think of my fallen (or risen depending on your perspective) friends/family.

Nick was the most outgoing amazing kid I’ve ever known. His social ability is one I never even knew was possible. It’s been a year and I still think about Nick all the time at random times a wave of his light just fills me up.

In honor of Nick and Josh, I give you this song. Listen, and feel their presence (song is below the pictures).

Artist: Iron & Wine
Song: Homeward, These Shoes
Homeward the new road meanders
Washed out the old road as to what did I bring
Flowers, a verse about springtime
Perchance in the treeline she’s awaiting for me
Homeward these shoes worn to paper
Thin as the reason I left here so young
Homeward and what if I see her
There in the doorway I walked away from

White house asleep on the hillside
Firm as a habit I struggled to shed
Homeward with heaven above me
Old road behind me, a door up ahead

Thank you Jacob Atchley for the video.

The battle of the mind…Some work out tips.

I’ve been running a lot recently (how else am I going to maintain my figure?) and I’m one of those people who must have music to run to. My personal preference recently has been running to pop punk because it’s upbeat and easy to sing along to in my head.

Working out is mostly a battle between you and your mind. It’s about working through mental barriers that are naturally present. Your mind does not want to work the body like this, it wants to conserve it’s energy as much as possible which is why I don’t have to fight it sitting on the couch like I do running a mile.

This post is essentially taking a look at some possible negative outcomes to having a “work out” playlist and ways to counter them, along with some advice I have for you.

As I said above, the battle between the mind is a lot of what makes working out hard. There’s always that voice in your head that taunts you, you’re too tired, something is wrong, you’ve gone far enough… the list goes on and on and on. How do I counter this attack of the mind? Usually with music, which is why I like running to something familiar that I can get lost in the melody, or sing along in my head. BUT there is some things you want to watch out for if you’re like me…. You might want to write this down.

Our minds like to connect certain things to experiences. Ever break up with a girlfriend/boyfriend and there’s that song or album that just always reminds you of it? Well the same thing can happen with working out. Let’s be honest, working out is not the funnest thing to do in the world… If you listen to the same songs while you work out, your mind will connect it to that horrid experience of sweat and pain to the songs on your playlist (ok maybe not that dramatic but you get the point). How to counter this? Either make your playlist very large and diverse, or get rid of it all together and just go with bands (switch it up, or the same thing will happen).

Use the music…

What I mean by that is when that song (you know what song it is) hits and you find yourself moving with the music as you run use that energy and crank it up! Crank up the speed… The whole point of working out is to work your body right? If you’ve been given the gift of energy via melody why not use it?! When that song hits, I often turn up the speed, or raise the incline (if applicable) and find the energy the song produces makes it almost easier than the previous speed or incline. And as a bonus, you’re working even harder and showing your mind who’s boss!

When push comes to shove (and it will… trust me), as you do your workouts remember it’s a battle against yourself. Next time you feel yourself saying you’re tired, you’ve gone far enough remember that’s just your mind using gorilla warefare… I suggest increasing the speed and taking a stand against the mind. Own it, and see the results… It feels good.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday – 7/26/2010 – Alkaline Trio

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday

Featured Song: Crawl

by Alkaline Trio


Happy Monday! It’s been quite an eventful week for me, I finally finished my project (Stormtrooper armor) and I found a lot of the time I worked on it, I was listening to this band. So this week’s edition of Nate’s Mix Tape Monday goes to Alkaline Trio, “Crawl” off my favorite album From Here to the Infirmary enjoy!

Thanks Alkaline Trio…

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday – 7/19/10 – New Found Glory

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday

Featured Song: 2’s & 3’s

By: New Found Glory

I apologize for missing a couple of Monday’s! This week we have an ultimate high school song for me. I absolutely love it every time this song comes on my iPod. This album was a soundtrack to my high school years, I can vividly remember walking down the halls blasting this is my disc man (remember those?!). New Found Glory is without a doubt the kings of pop-punk.

Enjoy, and remember….


PS: this YouTube video is wrong it was actually released on Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Shout it Out by Hanson Official Review

Official Review

Shout it Out by Hanson

I know I promised this awhile ago and quite some time has passed. To be honest, this review was a little difficult for me. I had a hard time forming a concrete opinion of this album that I could put into a blog post. In fact, I’m still not really sure where this will go; this is going to be an on the spot flow so prepare yourself…

If you know me at all, you know that I have always loved Hanson. They were my musical influence and Zac Hanson was one of the reasons I wanted to play the drums. Most of this review will reflect a lot of Zac in it.

If you don’t really know about Hanson’s situation, I suggest you go read my post about it Here.

Let’s get the bad news out first… And I say this with great respect to Zac. I’d like to take you back in time to around the Middle of Nowhere era. Zac was a crazy little kid who always had a smile on his face. If you watch a performance from back then, and one now, there’s a big change. He’s just not as lively and charismatic as he used to be…. And below, you will find my opinion why I believe this is happening.

I don’t think he’s challeging himself as a drummer. Using this album, Shout it Out, as an example, this problem is apparent. Almost all of the drum beats are very basic and straight forward, the only real exception to that is the track titled “And I Waited” where Zac uses some off beat accents.  This is really my only negative critcism of the album.

The album is definitely sticking to the matured Hanson theme. Taylor’s vocals give it some what of a Motown feel to it. Every song we get the recognizable Hanson harmony. Upbeat, romantic, over all I think this album is absolutely worth buying. My favorite track on this album is “Carry You There”.

Is it their best work? Given the circumstances of their position in the industry, I’d say it’s definitely quality.

Official Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

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