Becca & Mars – Other Influences – Music

This week you get a peek inside things that inspire Steff and Erica.  First up, music!  (Note: this is an Erica post, Steff will be up next) I made my first mixed tape when I was 6 years old by holding up a tape recorder to the radio.  Ok, that probably dates me.  The highlights were Andy Gibb and James Taylor.  I spent the next 10 years heavily influenced by pop, except one ‘cool phase’ in 8th grade courtesy of a German exchange student.  When puff metal came into vogue, I was right there, rockin’ it out to Bon Jovi, Europe and Def Leppard.  But then I grew up and things looked up; first it was the obligatory Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd/70s phase (a must) and then it was onto bigger and better things like grunge, ska, punk, and alternative.  Music has been a huge part of my life and I truly admire the skill of being able to write melodies and lyrics. So, back to now: literally, the first thing that Steff and I do upon stepping in our ‘studio shed’ in the mornings is turn on our mini stereo.  There are two choices, my ipod, or WTMD from Towson. (Plug for WTMD! Best station in Baltimore).  Anyone who knows me knows that Wilco and Spoon feature heavily in my music rotation, but today is about the new and the old. The new (to me): Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  Here’s a description from a NPR review: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros' appeal defies documentation, let alone description. On paper, the group doesn't sound instantly appealing — a hippie version of Arcade Fire with 10 members and a dreadlocked, frequently shirtless frontman? — but it's not much easier to capture its appeal on a silver disc or a digital file. See the band live, though, and it's another story: The group is absolutely beloved in the L.A. press right now, which has everything to do with the fact that L.A. is where the group has been playing concerts. A madly joyous clatter, the Magnetic Zeros' sound radiates the feverish intensity of a revival show, but with a loving relationship at its center: Singers Edward Sharpe (a.k.a. Alex Ebert) and Jade Castrinos sing to each other with the winning warmth of Johnny and June Carter Cash, and that counts for a lot.A hippie Arcade Fire?  I’ve got no problem with that.  I am in love with the song “Home”.  Here is the video so you can get a true feeling for the song. And, the aforementioned Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs from Merge Records on Vimeo.

And now to the old, my affection for the late ‘80s, early ‘90s “alternative music” has never ended.  I recently began re-listening to the Hoodoo Gurus, Pylon, Redd Kross and Firehose.  So I will leave you with the video for Redd Kross’s Jimmy’s Fantasy (slightly, slightly NSFW).  I hope you enjoyed the first peek into the minds of Steff and Erica.


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