THE GASLIGHT DOGS, was published through Orbit Books USA. Learn more about Karin at www.karinlowachee.com and follow her on Twitter and GoodReads.
These are 5 musical artists that I consider to be on permanent rotation
in my life. I might listen to them more some weeks then not at all for
other weeks, but they're artists that will never fall out of favor with
me. I think I've grown into them and will grow along with them. (A full
"never fall out of favor with me" list of musical artists would be
longer than just 5, but here you get 5.)
In no particular order:
1. John Mayer
I got into his
music pretty late, considering his career is about a decade long now.
It's only been in the past 2 or 3 years that I've really given his music
a go and I love it. You can really hear a progression -- even a lay
person like me -- and I like that in artists, that growth in their art. I
especially love the music he did with the Trio. I prefer his more
bluesy songs (I love blues music, it gets me in my soul area), but I'm
now addicted to his latest album "Born and Raised", which is definitely
more Dylan/Young in sound. I've seen him live a few times now and enjoy
those performances sometimes more than his studio recordings. He's truly
a virtuoso guitarist and it's amazing to see him play. His album
"Continuum" (and "Born and Raised") are desert island albums for me.
"Slow Dancing in a Burning Room", "In Your Atmosphere", and "Covered in
Rain" are 3 of my all time favorite songs. Find them and give them a
listen -- I think you'll hear why.
2. Keith Urban
If Mayer's music appeals to a more
bluesy/melancholy/laid back side of me, Keith Urban's music is pure
energy and pep. He's a master melody writer, also a virtuoso guitar
player, and I'll admit I got into him after seeing him perform with
Mayer on Crossroads. There's such an honest joy in Urban's music, a
hopefulness in his songs, and even the sad songs have such spot-on
melodies that you somehow still feel uplifted (or at least cathartic)
after listening. I've seen him live a couple times and he's got to be
one of the best stage performers in the business. He puts his all into
it (over 2 hour long shows). When people say they don't like country
music, I tell them they haven't been Urbanized. On Youtube check out
"Stupid Boy" (live).
Talk about honesty. He scours your eardrums with it. As
a wordsmith, I completely appreciate and admire how Eminem plays on
words and concepts through his rap. I think he's a musical genius, and
part of that genius is in how he both undercut and elevated the genre of
rap music in his own way. His "personas" are as varied as any actor and
how he melds that with his music in order to tell his story is
fascinating and entertaining. From the scathing aggression in "White
America" to a empowering "Not Afraid" off his album "Recovery".
4. Jeff Buckley
What else can be said about Jeff Buckley that
hasn't already been said, honestly. Just if you've never heard his
music, you need to find it right now. I had a Moment the first time I
heard "Grace" and "Last Goodbye" ... then eventually his version of
Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". That album is definitely one of my
favorites of all time and it never, ever gets old.
Her music can be both beautiful and odd, ethereal and
gutterral. There isn't another artist on the planet quite like Bjork.
Some of my favorite songs by her are "Violently Happy", "Army of Me",
and "All is Full of Love". But this paragraph would be extremely long if
I listed all the songs I love from her. She has this primordial
quality, especially in her earlier work, where you feel her music truly
must have existed when the continents were just breaking apart. Her
unique vocals probably have something to do with that. Nobody sounds
And because I want to cheat, here is a Fast 5 for anyone interested
to look them up: 1. David Usher, 2. Matthew Good, 3. Jason Mraz, 4.
Massive Attack, 5. Ryan Adams.