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30 Days of Truth Day 13: A band that has gotten me through tough times.

This is Day 13 of the 30 Days of Truth series. (Day 1234567891011 | 12).

What is a band that has gotten me through some tough times?

I’m not really a music person.  My parents weren’t big into music so as a kid, I didn’t really listen to the radio until I got into high school.  For the most part, music is useful when it’s catchy and shallow so that you can dance without paying any attention to it.  There are very few songs that speak to me, and even fewer bands that have ever affected my life in any capacity.  These are those exceptions:

Toad The Wet Sprocket’s “Fear” and Nine Inch Nails’s “Pretty Hate Machine” were two albums that seemed to speak to my soul when I first heard them at the age of 14.  I never found another TTWS album to be nearly as good as their first studio one, but Trent Reznor’s love ballads convinced me to track down every single “Halo” album that he’d ever created.  To this day, I have to avoid rolling my eyes at people who discovered NIN with “Closer”, because his earlier music was rawer and more evocative than anything he’s done since.

As I grew older, I found myself drawn to emotionally damaged musicians like Sinead O’Connor.  Her sophomore album still gives me chills.  Even young artists who are able to tell stories of love lost and broken hearts touch a chord with me – both of Taylor Swift’s albums are on constant replay in my house.  I think that as a romantic, I identify with the female protagonists in many of these scenarios.

But out of these bands that have affected me, a list that includes U2, Billy Joel, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Cyndi Lauper, there is only one that I would say really affected me to any great degree.  I heard his first album when I was 8 years old, and I’ve purchased every album he’s made to this date.  I saw him in concert for the first time this summer, and it was everything I could possibly imagine, and more.  His imagination, intelligence, creativity, and approachability has inspired me on many occasions.  My respect for his ability to perform his craft without lowering his standards or opening himself up to the lowest common denominator increases every time I hear his music.

I’m talking, of course, about “Weird Al” Yankovic.  Lest you think I’m joking, I’ll assure you that I’m completely serious.  The man is a lyrical genius – it takes tremendous skill to be able to create parodies across so many disparate genres while also creating original songs that “feel” like songs you know and love.  He never fails to make me laugh, and I don’t think I stopped smiling for hours after seeing him perform live.

Thanks, Al.

Weird Al in Concert 2010 from Adam Avitable on Vimeo.

Weird Al in concert 2010 from Adam Avitable on Vimeo.

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36 Replies to “30 Days of Truth Day 13: A band that has gotten me through tough times.”

  1. Loukia

    Damn! There is a typo is my comment above and I wasn’t finished ! I blame the wine, the time, my iPhone and my bed. Anyway. I
    Will email you a list of good songs soon. It’s never too late to increase (and improve!) your taste/love of music. 😉

  2. Biz

    I like NIN Fuck You Like an Animal personally. Taylor Swift makes me gag, but I’ll forgive you, male emotion is a gift. Peter Gabriel is an old fav…love Cindi Lauper, Sinead is good for some emotion, Weird Al is hilarious. Time after Time, In Your Eyes, and Crash (Dave Matthews Band) make me feel. I’m with Loukia on the wine issue. Crash makes me feel like being in love is supposed to…whatever that means.

  3. Dave Syzdek

    My first concert was seeing Weird Al open for the Monkees in 1986 in Vegas. I went with the same group of friends in 2008 to see Al and I have seen him several times in-between then, and most recently, saw him last summer. He always puts on a great show and is utterly hilarious. It’s great seeing young kids enjoying him as much as I did over 20 years ago. Getting though tough times is easier with laughter, and Al has been with me through a lot.

    Also, be sure to check out his movie, UHF. It’s a cult classic.

  4. Average Jane

    I love Weird Al and his band and I’ve been following them since I had to stay up late to listen to Dr. Demento. During the “In 3-D” tour, a bunch of us invited him and his band to Shoney’s Restaurant in Independence, MO for dinner after the show and they actually took us up on it. We got to go on the bus and see a rough cut of the “Dare to be Stupid” video.

  5. muskrat

    I’ll never forget watching MTV for hours, waiting to see the “Fat” video when it came out, and then when it came on, calling my friend Josh to let him know that “THE ‘FAT’ VIDEO IS ON!” and to turn on his TV. I laughed hysterically.

  6. Rachael

    I completely agree with you. Weird Al is a musical genius, and a super smart comedian. I’ve seen him twice, the most recent was this summer at the county fair here. It was awesome. It was so cool to see 10 year olds singing along to stuff, and the age range of fans. My husband and I had an amazing time.

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