Very Long List of Musical Entities…

I listen to music every single day, whether by streaming or just the radio and a couple CDs. I’m even listening to music as I’m writing this! You could say I’m legitimately addicted to the stuff. And, as any other music addicted individual could tell you, the list of artists and bands I have listened to would probably be sevel feet in length if I wrote one title in each margin of a normal sized page. Or it might be because my handwriting is larger than most peoples. Point is, the list is long!

Most of these titles are ones that play over the radio, so the average 18 year old would know most of them…

  • One Republic
  • The Script
  • The Fray
  • Maroon 5 (My mom confiscated one of their CDs from my posession. Inappropriate lyrics, she said. I was 6.)
  • Coldplay (Forever one of my all time favorites!)
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Emeli Sandé
  • Bastille
  • Adele
  • Taylor Swift (I was fourteen, okay?!)
  • Justin Bieber (Mostly his new stuff)
  • P!nk
  • One Direction (Yeah, not so much anymore…)
  • Shawn Mendes
  • Twenty One Pilots (I wish I could rap like these guys!)
  • Ecosmith
  • Lorde
  • Bruno Mars
  • Sam Smith
  • Zedd
  • Avicii
  • George Ezra
  • Vance Joy
  • Sheppard
  • Ariana Grande
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Kūngs
  • Nick Jonas
  • Sia (What an amazing voice!)
  • Swedish House Mafia
  • Sigma
  • Labrinth
  • Birdy
  • Florence And The Machines
  • Galantis
  • X Ambassadors 
  • Megan Traynor
  • The Lumineers
  • Pentatonix

Easy right? Lots of familiar names there. Now we move on to the titles that I believe don’t quite get the recognition they totally deserve…

  • Kaleo
  • Matthew Mole (A South African artist who manages to write the most touching lyrics ever!)
  • Adam Young
  • Owl City (yes, I know Adam Young IS Owl City)
  • Circa Waves
  • Mystery Jets
  • Billie Marten (For those rainy afternoons spent in a hammock…)
  • Amber Run
  • MisterWives
  • Milky Chance
  • Relient K (I wouldn’t be stretching the truth if I said they probably have 200 songs!)
  • Lindsey Stirling (Violin + Dubstep + Dancing = Happy Me)

I love a good Rock album, or an Alternative Mix streaming session. These are my favorite Rock / Alternative titles so far…

  • Hozier
  • U2 (Classic!)
  • TOTO (Yet another classic!)
  • The Downtown Fiction
  • Anberlin (This is the closest to metal that I have ever gotten myself.)
  • Mutemath (These guys are crazy good!!!)
  • Nothing But Thieves
  • Matchbox Twenty
  • Our Last Night (Hard rock cover band)
  • Kongos
  • The Kooks (According to a friend of mine, my voice suits British Rock? Mmmm, I don’t know about that…)
  • Brooke Barrettsmith (She’s a Christian Rock artist. Very cool.)
  • Blink-182
  • The 1975

Now we’re getting to the Jazz genre, which includes not only jazz, but also jazzy pop and rock and a little R&B.

  • Dirty Loops (‘Stabs’ galore!)
  • Dave Brubeck (Take Five is a classic masterpiece.)
  • Jamie Cullum
  • John Mayer
  • Paul Desmond (Dear Lord, can I please play as good as this guy one day?)
  • Lianne La Havas (This woman’s voice is like silk, and her guitar skills are crazy…)
  • Béla Fleck And The Flecktones (I grew up listening to this because my dad’s band was obsessed with them.)
  • Sting (Good ole Sting, the man’s a legend in the music world. My dad’s band also loved his music.)
  • Jack Johnson (For the most ‘feel good’ music, this is your guy!)

And last, but certainly not least, Gospel. I love this genre so much, it’s jam packed with inspiration!

  • Bethel Music (I am obsessed. Completely. Bethel is plain amazing!)
  • Planetshakers
  • Hillsong United (Because come on, who doesn’t just love Oceans?!)
  • David Crowder
  • The Afters
  • Leeland (Lion And The Lamb is an awesome song!)
  • Matt Redman
  • Chris Tomlin
  • Passion
  • Switchfoot
  • Tenth Avenue North
  • Israel Houghton (The chord progressions this man comes up with blows my mind…)
  • Jesus Culture
  • Downhere
  • Lincoln Brewster
  • Newsboys (Miracles is still my favorite song of theirs, be it however old.)
  • Duis:Lig (A great South African duo, even if you mostly don’t understand what they’re singing!)

Well! There we have it. My extensive list of favored musical entities. I know I probably just bored the light of you, but I had fun revisiting my musical past, so I don’t really care if you found it dull. But I would LOVE to hear from you if it somehow struck a chord with you! Leave a comment, if you must.

Plectrumgirl out! 🐒🎶

How to write a song? Good question…

I have tried countless times to write a song, and countless times I have failed. See, it’s easy to come up with two or three catchy phrases and a melody, but the real challenge is getting those few phrases to make sense within one song. Most songs, in fact I think every song, has a topic or theme around which the lyrics revolve. The song tells a story or explains a feeling, and all the words tie in with that story or feeling. I get a couple phrases related to my chosen theme, and then my mind starts running off in the opposite direction, throwing around words that sound good together but don’t make sense if I put them in the same song. Eventually I end up with several songs with a single verse or chorus each and nothing else!

Another problem I have is getting the words to rhyme. It’s harder than you’d think! What pattern do I go with and am I allowed to change it after verse one? What if my verse consists of five lines, and messes with an equal rhyme scheme? I guess I’ve decided that writing in free verse is my style because sheesh, rhyming and making sense is a little advanced for me still.

More issues with lyrics:

Rhythm, oh rhythm! The first two lines are in the bag and feel good, now you gotta move on and create the second and third lines. Not so easy to keep the rythm the same, huh? Not for me, at least. Thus I have resorted to writing the music and melody first, eliminating the need for intense concentration on rhythm when words are the issue at hand. I found that if I already have a melody line and the accompaniment, then lyrics that won’t fit are identified faster and better ones come to mind a bit easier.

Language barriers. When you are a bilingual individual attempting to compose a piece of poetry for song, it is problematic when you can only think of that one expression (that would so perfectly depict whatever you’re trying to get across to your audience) in your home language when you are writing in any language but your home language. Why?! The only reason you know that expression is probably because your mom used it the past week. This is incredibly frustrating to me. It’s about the only time I feel that speaking two languages is a disadvantage, that I would rather speak only English and be stuck with it!

Writing a song, at least a good one, is proving more difficult than I first anticipated. How do bands like Relient K and Mutemath come up with all those hundreds of songs?! It is frustrating and inspiring at the same time. They’ve had years of practice and experience and I not, I tell myself. 

I will keep hacking away at my brain until it delivers something I can use. And then I will repeat the process until I have enough lyrics for an entire album! The idea fascinates me, that my messages and stories set free into the world in the form of songs. Surreal, isn’t it? What’s more is that I could possibly be the same inspiration to someone out there as an artist like Lianne La Havas is to me right now. Crazy!!

If the idea of playing your music to the masses gets you as excited as a little kid gets about riding the merry-go-round at Disney World, and if that same idea scares you half to death at the same time, then you gotta go for it!! Don’t ever let a little writer’s block stop you from sharing what’s in your heart. If lyrics get you stuck in the mud, play your way outta there and into some inspiration! And if music gets you good and lost, stretch some words into walking sticks and a compass!

Plectrumgirl signing off. 🐒

P.s. Please comment your favorite genre and bands or artists!! I’d love to go explore new territory in music land. And, if you’d like (but I’m gonna do it anyways😜), I can compile a list of a bunch of songs and artists that have inspired me as my next post? And you can even send me a message (via the comments section) with things that inspire you to write or compose, howbow dah?

Sibling Rivalry

My brother is about two and a half years younger than me, so you can probably imagine the kinds of fights we had! For two and a half years I had both my parents’ full attention and adoration, not that I was bratty or anything. In fact, I was content with just sitting in my baby chair and staring at the people around me, or to sleep at my dad’s feet on stage. But my world got flipped upside down when dearest little brother arrived. He was hella cute, too. Chubby cheeks and short legs, dark eyes and brown hair, the whole deal!

Everyone loved the dude, he was funny and clumsy and everything the perfect baby should be. But all I saw was an attention thief. So, naturally, I wanted to get him out of the way. Of course we had our sweet moments of shared laughter and fun, and lots of golden memories in foreign countries and local locations, but it used to be war from my side to his…

One time I almost succeeded in drowning him in the bath. Fortunately my mom decided to just turn back around and check that we weren’t destroying the ceiling with soggy toilet paper bullets again, which was a frequent pastime for us. She walked in on me trying to keep his head under the water. I guess you could say she was a little surprised by my violence. She took me to a children’s therapist within the year. 

I had this game I played with my brother, I sat on one side of a closed door while he sat on the other side. I would stick the long edge of a clothes hanger underneath the door and tell him to grab onto it before it gets away! Then of course he’d go for it with those sticky, chubby little fingers of his, and I’d pull the hanger towards me really hard. This caused his fingers to get rammed into the sharp wooden corner of the door, and sometimes blood was involved. He’d cry and I’d feel sorry, then go out to make amends, only to play the same game two days later. I could’ve sworn I was a psychopath.

He was five and I was seven, we were renting an apartment in Nashville, Tennessee. He seriously annoyed me and I decided that I’d had enough of his jumping about and being loud. See, when two young siblings are forced to share a room, things can get ugly real fast. I have always been fond of my peace and quiet, and he just couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to play hide and seek or tag at every possible opportunity. Bath time games were a hit, though. Bubbles and toilet paper could serve as shields and amo on the battlefield of our imaginations for hours. One afternoon we discovered the marvelous noises we could make with our newly acquired Kazoos. We drove our parents mad with the stuff! Later we found out that with the right ratio of soap and water, we could blow bubbles with the Kazoos. Now, I can’t remember what exactly happened that night at bath time, but he must’ve pulled some or other crazy stunt like blowing soap water in my face. And I remembered all the noise he made and irritation he caused me that day. All I know is that somehow, not by accident, my Kazoo ended up in his eye. Mom was furious and my brother was bawling his eyes out (yes, he still had both and no, I didn’t do permanent damage). I was crying, too. My Kazoo had been confiscated and the same justice had not been given to him. I was convinced that my mom was out to get me, and also convinced that my actions were justified. In my mind, he was getting away with murder and I was the one getting punished for it.

That situation never repeated itself, and we also never owned Kazoos again. And we got seperate bathing schedules, which was great! We ended up not living in Nashville for much longer and moved back into the house where we had our own rooms and space to make noise without disturbing anyone else’s mood. Our relationship is great now, and we rarely fight. Only when he insists that his opinion is the best one, and obviously he’s going to oppose any competing suggestion. That’s annoying. 

“Hi, is this the toy store? Do you stock Kazoos? Great!”

Hellooooo WordPress!

Man, I have so many ideas on what to write about, yet I just couldn’t decide how to start on my first post ever! Sooooo… I decided to just say hi and kinda introduce myself to the masses. Well, to whoever sees this by chance, accidentally, coincidentally, maybe, possibly, likely not… You get the point. So without further ado (is it just me or did any of y’all also have it that ‘ado’ was some fancy French word spelled ‘adeux’?), here’s my introduction…

Hi! I’m Plectrumgirl, not because I play guitar and aspire to be the next Jimmy Hendrix, but ratger because I recently started wearing a plectrum around my neck. It has been given to me by a close friend, we’ll call him Captain, and now it’s hanging around my neck on a previously rejected silver chain. Thank you Captain, I love it!!

Even though I don’t play guitar, I do have a love for music. I am crazy about Jazz, Alternative Rock, and Indie also! I play piano and a bit of saxophone, and I hope to also learn a truckload of percussion instruments. Why not, right? The more the louder, and the louder the better!

Have you ever heard of henna tattoos? Well, I’m totally obsessed with the stuff! I don’t have a clue how to make it from scratch, and I also don’t know where to buy it from, so I just use permanent marker in a brownish color. Hey, if it works, it works! But in all seriousness, I really need to get me the real thing before I acquire some rare skin disease or something. That would suck.

I’m scared of the deep blue sea. But I love the bay! If you got a jet ski or a speedboat, I wanna be your friend. Just don’t think you’ll see me on one of those TV shows where a guy sets out in a yacht to sail around the Pacific. Big nope. Only way I’m sailing around in catastrophic sea storms is if I go with Captain, see, I trust the guy and he knows how terrified I am of the ocean. Baby steps, Captain, baby steps.

Now, I’m no professional writer or anything, after 11 years of school I still don’t know what an adverbial clause is, but I thought that starting a blog could be a cool way to entertain willing subjects. (That’s you)  Even if I just vent the stuff I’m going through, maaaaybe one of you can relate to that and it could be the coolest thing ever! I find that a sucky situation feels miles better when you know there’s somebody out there who feels the same way you do right now, it’s a weirdly comforting feeling. I’d love to be that for someone. 

Wow, enough deep stuff! Take a deep breath and let it go. Sheesh, sorry about that. Well, that’s all from me for now, but I hope to be back soon! I think I feel like writing about the time I stabbed my brother with a kazoo🤔 But first, ice cream or something cold!

🐒