David Ames' Monday Motivation Shuffle

Every Monday, David Ames will let a machine decide what we listen to, as he hits shuffle on his iPod and writes about the first five tracks he hears. No matter what they are...

Total Songs on iPod: 10, 375

1. Christophe Beck – “Massacre (from “Becoming”)”

Track 1 from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Score (2008)

Hey everyone! It’s been a while but life happens. Actually, a lot of life happens and this first song kind of perfectly captures that sentiment. This song is intense and violent sounding with deep horns and quick strings. Those coupled with ambient noise and sound effects, punctuated by tympani and cymbal crashes round out a very intense piece. This song comes from the season two finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Angel and Buffy sword fight and through Buffy’s heart-wrenching decision to kill Angel, her only love, to save the world and close a portal to hell. The song ends with the Buffy and Angel love theme coming back in all of its beauty.

2. Silver Snakes – “The Loss”

Track 10 from Saboteur (2016)

Silver Snakes was a band I discovered at a Coheed and Cambria concert a few years ago. They were completely unknown to me but as soon as their set started I was drawn in. They embody the classic feel of a mid-nineties alt-rock band but with an edge. I love the vocals and the music. The entire album has a driving, recognizable feel and as the songs all build, you find yourself going back to a time when music seemed to be at its upper tier, before boybands ruled again. This song has a driving rhythm that doesn’t quit and the vocals lay perfectly in a pocket constructed from multiple guitar and bass layers. The whole song builds until Alex Estrada shouts “The dream is dead” and then the song kicks in full force. I really enjoy this track and if you like that grungy, mid-nineties feel from bands like Bush, Soundgarden, or Alice in Chains, this band may be for you. They are a perfect representation of that time but their sound has some of that and I truly enjoy it.

3. As I Lay Dying – “Forsaken”

Track 5 on An Ocean Between Us (2007)

If you have ever thought to yourself: “Man, I wish I had something super heavy to listen to but I also want somewhat of a powerful message,” than As I Lay Dying is for you. Before Tim Lambesis, the singer and frontman, when insane and try to have his wife killed, As I Lay Dying was at the forefront of Metalcore. They were a Christian metal band but if you aren’t religious, don’t let that deter you. I have been to countless metal shows but I can say with complete certainty that I have never seen a crazier, more intense crowd than at an As I Lay Dying concert. This song is off of their critically acclaimed and Grammy nominated album An Ocean Between Us, and like most As I Lay Dying songs, it is heavy as hell and trades screaming and singing. As with most AILD songs, there are also a number of moments that harken for you to raise your fist and pump along and of course, there is a breakdown, just so that you can punch whoever is in your vicinity.

4. Jewel – “I’m Sensitive”

Track 9 on Pieces of You (1995)

This is a weird transition but, as has become pretty regular with the playlists, I am okay with that. I love to just hit random and see what comes up. As I Lay Dying is a perfect bridge into Jewel if you need a palette cleanser. This song is a peaceful little ditty full of Jewel’s trademark introspective and folky lyrics. The music is a simple finger-picked rhythm with her beautiful vocals overtop. I can’t say a lot about the song because it speaks for itself. It is a fun little song that my daughter loves to listen to and it is happy and also somewhat thought-provoking.

5. Marilyn Manson – “The Dope Show”

Track 2 on Mechanical Animals (1998)

YES! I was never really a fan of Marilyn Manson growing up. I came from a pretty religious family and so he was outlawed basically from his break onto the scene. On a side note, I was still permitted to listen to Nine Inch Nails which didn’t really make any sense, but whatever. I guess it was all image based. As I got older, I didn’t really lose my faith but I learned to differentiate between image and message and when a friend of mine told me to give Mechanical Animals a listen, I didn’t turn away. I put it in and was blown away by how much I enjoyed his work. His vocals are unique and I really enjoyed the industrial sound of his music. This song in particular has always been a favorite of mine. It is unbelievably catchy and the video, as was stock for Manson, was both weird and disturbing. It was an art piece and at a time when I was really expanding what I viewed as art, this song hit a note with me. All of you probably know this song as it was immensely popular but if you don’t, or it has just been a while since you have listened, click the link and enjoy.

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