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'Top Hits' Lacks Passion of Obscure Artists  
David Lloyd
Staff Writer


I open up my iTunes (this is a daily action, music happens to be my drug), take a glance over at the “Top Songs” list, and decide to take a listen to a few. First, Adele. Not my thing, but people seem to enjoy her, so I’ll take a rain check.

Next, “Gangnam Style” by PSY. What is this? Can you even understand him? Is this really music?

As I shake my head with disgust, I move down the list to Taylor Swift, whom I generally can stand. But she seemed to drop the ball on this one… “We-eeeee.. are never ever ever ever ever getting back together. Like, ever.”  I will never ever ever (etc) listen to this song ever again.  Yes Taylor, we understand boys have done you wrong. A lot. But how about you get original and write about something, anything else?

Oh well, enough about musicians who can scratch a chalkboard, slap their name on it with some auto tune and call it a hit. Let’s review some bands and artists that actually deserve some recognition. Beautiful music is music that evokes some kind of emotion within the listener, be it happiness, sadness, anger, love, whatever. Now I’m sure “Call Me Maybe” really sparked some emotion… but really.

For anyone in need of some variety for his or her music playlists, Sleeping With Sirens definitely deserves some attention. Featured in USA Today for the impressive stint on “Vans Warped Tour,” and their recent acoustic release, “If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack,” the Michigan quintet has been working hard to earn a spot on “Ellen” as they continue touring. Rather than charter buses, bands like Sleeping With Sirens travel in vans with a small trailer behind them, cramming like sardines just to get to their next show.

Now, who would you trust more with your music? Bands and artists that travel in large, comfy, chartered buses, pampered with whatever they desire, or bands that travel in vans, earning only enough money that they need a second job outside of touring and make music because they love making it, not the spoils they receive?

Easy answer, right?

Then why do we continue to support music acts whose only claim to fame are trivial pop songs like “Call Me Maybe” and some weird dancing man yelling “Gangnam Style?” Why is Lil’ Wayne even relevant anymore? Nobody knows.

For most bands, starting off in vans and suffering through “Warped Tour” won’t even lead to financial or radio success, just hardships to endure while doing what they love. The Cab, who have had stints on Warped Tour as well as numerous others, have finally experienced the sweet success of radio stardom, gaining their first radio hits and supporting Maroon 5 this fall. Not that Billboard artists haven’t experienced their own hardships, but how many bands release a cd, get dropped from the label, take three years to write their next cd, then make it on the radio?

This is a band that deserves to drag your attention from the Lil’ Wayne’s, Flo Rida’s and Drake’s of the industry, churning out song after song, sounding eerily similar each time. The Cab, whose last release was titled “Symphony Soldier,” defined by the band as “a person engaged in the service of fighting for music they believe in,” was truly a masterpiece. Not many bands can title an album so beautifully, let alone back it up.

The aim of this piece was not to bash musicians, nor attack anyone who listens to said musicians. The aim was to open eyes and minds to different genres of music, to find bands and artists that write music because they love it, not because they know they’ll make money. These people deserve recognition for what they do, for living out of a suitcase and working numerous jobs to make music for their fans. This was a public service announcement; open up your musical horizons. Find something that inspires you like it inspires an artist, and support their dreams as they enable yours through their music.

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