Summer School of Rock: Leftovers

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My soul: old but fabulous.

There are several aspects of my life that make me think that I’m an old soul, such as the fact that I like to crank Otis Redding in the car, my wish list for Christmas consists of a Polaroid camera and a record player, and, until recently, my favorite possession was my old, clunky, slow but lovable Toshiba laptop.

It was going on three years old and was unimpressive enough that I could load it up with every sticker I was handed at the Activity Fair, drop it off my bed onto the hard floor of my Duchesne dorm room and not even have to think twice about leaving it in the library while I went to get lunch/coffee/go work out/take a nap/handwrite the next great American novel. Lockless and out in the open, it would always still be there waiting for me a week later with a loud, deep, warming up rumble from within its ancient innards.

But, as we all know, good things must come to an end. We broke off our relationship after I realized that, sadly, I could do better and he just couldn’t handle me. He took it pretty hard but, lucky for me, my rebound is MIND BLOWING.

I don’t care how naïve and nerdy this makes me sound, but bringing my new Macbook home from Best Buy was truly like bringing home a child. I cradled him, fed him some charger juice and stroked his beautiful silver casing over and over again in shock and awe.

Those of you who have been on the PC side understand this all. Having a Mac is like stepping into a whole new world, where the same motion on a touchpad can do five different things, depending on how many fingers you use. Don’t even get me started on the battery life. I swear I could take this thing out into the woods for a couple of days and I would die before it did.

spotifyAs much as I reminisce about my old PC sometimes, the one huge perk about having a Mac is having Spotify. To put it plainly, I LOVE SPOTIFY. I dream about it. I worship it. I would marry it if I could (I mean, who could deny that sexy lime green color….Mmm.) Why has everyone been keeping it a secret from me this whole time?! Selfish, all of you.

However I must admit that Spotify has completely opened up what I already thought was a very open mind to the gigantic, infinitely massive world of music. Suddenly you have every artist known to mankind, ready to be clicked and dragged into your music library along with every song they’ve ever put out and every artist that is slightly like them. And then there are playlists with hundreds of bands you’ve never heard of, EPs that you were sure didn't exist, and remixes on mashups on covers of every song imaginable. Let me speak for all of us when I say: OY.

Lesson #13: When it comes to music, you can’t have it all.

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 4.40.19 PMYou can sit there on your couch all day watching "Friends" and dragging every single band in the history of music into your music library and you still won’t be halfway there. There is an unseen amount of music out there, which is both beautiful and depressing at the same time. As much as I would love to say that I’m an expert on all things musical, the truth of it is that I’m not even close. Life isn’t fair, I know.

Because of that harsh reality, it’s no surprise that in thirteen posts this summer, it was impossible, no, beyond BEYOND impossible to cover every band out there that’s good. I failed as a teacher.

For example, I was forced to leave out Pearl and the Beard, a beautiful little folk band from NYC that lays claim over the kingdom of magical harmonies.

I can’t believe I forgot about The 1975, who restored my hope in the British boy band scene (sorry 1D, you’ve been replaced).

https://soundcloud.com/the1975/chocolate

I didn’t have time to tell you about Paolo Nutini, who will melt your heart with his suave voice and remind you to “Put some new shoes on and everything’s right.”

I feel bad for not introducing you to City and Colour, the acoustic soloist who is perfect for those days when you just feel like being sad.

https://soundcloud.com/cityandcolour/city-and-colour-the-hurry-and

Dr. Dog didn’t get to make an appearance, even though their lo-fi, laid back rock sound is perfect for those last few dog days of summer.

https://soundcloud.com/lulu-ania/dr-dog-heart-it-races

We Are Scientists is a must-listen, who, along with a one-of-a-kind awesome name, belongs on any 90s rock revival mixtape.

We didn’t get to experience the mystical nature of Explosions in the Sky, whose pure, emotional instrumental guitar tracks are just what you’ll crave when studying gets tough around midterms.

The Novel Ideas barely missed the cut, even though their warm and comforting raw sounds will be needed when times get tough.

What’s a music blog without Walk Off the Earth? Besides being Canadian, which automatically makes them awesome, they belong to a unique group of big-sound bands that always manage to deliver songs of car-blasting quality.

It should have been a given that we include Tokyo Police Club for their high energy indie rock sounds that always manage to put a smile on our face.

A homegrown Texas family band, Wheeler Brothers sticks to its roots with a classic Americana sound that makes for the perfect country road trip.

https://soundcloud.com/atx-music-mag/wheeler-brothers-portraits

Make sure to check out Lorde, a New Zealand native with Regina Spektor-esque attitude and, at the age of 16, a hell of a head start in the music industry. You go girl!

https://soundcloud.com/lordemusic/royals

You’d be missing out if I didn’t let you in on Passenger and his downhome folk-pop melodies that are delightfully intimate. Break out the candles and the wine!

https://soundcloud.com/mmmusic/passenger-let-her-go

Haim will have you up and dancing in no time, with a funky mix of 70s rock, folk and R&B. Nothin’ but love for the sistas.

https://soundcloud.com/haimtime/haim-dont-save-me

And then there’s Smallpools, an electro-pop band that reminds us of our tweeny-bopper days of middle school but makes us feel young and alive all the same.

But alas, it's a cruel, cruel world. Despite my shortcomings (so sorry kiddos), I hope this sampler slightly makes up for it. As I hope you've learned, leftovers can be equally as delicious as the meal. Don’t get too lost in the music out there. Live long and Spotify, music lovers. Erm, I mean prosper. Yes, that’s the right saying.

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Mary Yuengert