|Photo by: Katie O'Leary|
There's something about certain songs that spark an extraordinary amount of emotion and camaraderie amongst friends. Sometimes it's listening to a band you liked when you were much younger and realizing you still remember every lyric they wrote. Other tunes instantly make everyone sing along as loud and exuberant as they possibly can. There are also moments when you're alone hearing a song where you feel so inspired that you can only talk about that particular tune for days.
So whether you were jamming out in the car with some buddies or struggling to learn the chords to your favorite number, everyone at some point has looked at their pals and uttered the phrase, "Dude, we should start a band!"
1."El Scorcho" by Weezer
Honestly, this whole list could be Weezer, but I will refrain for the sake of variety. These guys sound so laid back in the track; from the drifting guitar to their rousing, shouted chorus. You can just picture them playing in a garage down the street, jamming out because that's just what friends do.
2."Cherry Bomb" by The Runaways
I can safely say that in my entire life I will never be as badass as these chicks were in just their teens. Growing up in the Spice Girls era, I thought "girl power" meant platform boots and pigtails, but watching The Runaways perform this song in Japan in 1977 taught me differently. Real "girl power" is forcing the world to see that chicks can rock out harder than any guy, especially in the male-dominated music world of the 1970s.
3."Wake Up" by Arcade Fire
This song sounds like what people mean when they say that they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. With so many voices and instruments layered, this song swells with emotion from its every note. I truly believe that seeing this performed live would be a religious experience.
4."Time To Pretend" by MGMT
Such a hazy, synth-filled dream could only be made up by a couple of college kids, and that's what makes this track so perfect. Sometimes trying to sound deep, other times just saying random, fantastical shit, this song captures the spirit of kids our age. You'll find yourself listening to this and thinking, "If they could do it, why not me?"
5."Boys Don't Cry" by The Cure
And so "emo" was born. Lead singer Robert Smith shows that the best part of a breakup is the angsty rock songs that follow. His confessional lyrics are so beautifully simple and relatable that it's hard to join in and dwell in the heartache.
6."Save Ginny Weasley" by Harry and the Potters
These guys took fandom to a whole new level. In creating the "wizard rock" genre, they inspired nerds everywhere to dress up and sing about their favorite characters. What they lack in musical skill they make up for with clever lyrics like, "Are you petrified of being petrified?"
7."Clint Eastwood" by Gorillaz
As cool as Dirty Harry himself, these guys combine hip-hop and rock quite seamlessly to make a track that's just chill. Playing off the old cartoon bands of Hanna-Barbera like "Josie and the Pussycats," Gorillaz take the "virtual band" into the 21st century with mellow beats and sick rap skills. Repeating these relaxed rhymes and golden phrases, like "I've got sunshine in a bag," will give a bit of attitude to even the most mild-mannered people around.
I find it impossible to sing along and not feel like a glam-rock god. From the iconic opening bass part to the snaps fading away at the end, this tune is genius. Between Freddie's ringing falsetto and Bowie's steady tenor, these guys solidified their existence as music legends.
9."Nothing Better" by The Postal Service
For some, it's a lot easier picturing themselves doing this sweet, indie duet than a rock 'n' roll classic. Drawing you in with airy, electronic beats, Ben Gibbard and Jen Wood sound so earnest playing a couple on the brink of a breakup. Despite the bright, poppy background, Gibbard's words sums up the melancholy, vulnerable side in us all.
10."London Calling" by The Clash
Joe Strummer kills spitting out bitter tales of his screwed-up society. This classic punk anthem carries the same amount of aggression and anti-establishment sentiments that it did over 30 years ago. Every band wanting to belt out rocking, political statements has spawned from this one howling track in one way or another.
ACRN staff writer Xavier Veccia was determined to make it to a live show every night of spring break. And, somehow, he accomplished his goal.
Jéan P has been rapping since the eighth grade, and he doesn't plan to stop anytime soon.
Once upon a time, signing with a major label ensured a band both creative liberty and a steady paycheck. However, with the changing face of the music industry, such security seems out of reach.
ACRN looks back at the artists that we may have missed their first time around the block, but were able to catch in 2012.
There's nothing like attending a concert that you never want to end. From Jack White to Big Freedia, ACRN's staff members detail the best shows they attended in 2012.
ACRN's staff couldn't help but going Thrift Shopping or worshipping Jack White in 2012. And some of us even revealed weak spots for the likes of Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen.
Groups like the Ohio University New Music Ensemble and the Nobrow Music Collective are challenging what it means to create music in Athens.
ACRN's writers, editors, directors and more put together our lists of the best albums that 2012 had to offer.
The Burning River Ramblers and Jones for Revival are two up-and-coming acts who are struggling to make it big--or, really--to make it at all.
A previously unreleased interview series recorded from 1969-1972 offers insight into the minds of some of the greatest musical icons of their time.