So The Twilight Saga has exactly two things that keep the films from being absolute torture. The first is Ashley Greene in all her pixie-hotness, and the second is that there really are some excellent bands that end up on the soundtracks.
Case in point, the Features were featured recently in Breaking Dawn in the form of their song "From Now On." The cut, like most of what we've heard from the Tennessee natives, is bleakly optimistic, like a couple trying to achieve simultaneous orgasm on a plane with both engines dead.
The speed of the track's drum hurls Matt Pelham's falsetto from the twang of indie guitars to total musical elegance. You might want to catch the Features while they're still playing venues the size of Fitz, since it's not going to be long before they graduate to less intimate engagements, thanks to that sparkle-vamp push.
We asked the band what sort of music they listen to on the road, for those long expanses of nothingness, when you need something to take your mind off the road -- unless you are in fact driving -- and stimulate your brain, while you take in all the mustiness and fartiness of a traveling band stuck in a metal box.
This covers a lot of ground for me. The ambient albums are really nice to zone out to and the vocal records are all solid top to bottom and all very different. My favorite vocal album jumps back and forth but I usually go with Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) or Another Green World.
Some favorites are Judas Priest's Sad Wings Of Destiny, Voivod's Nothingface, Celtic Frost, To Mega Therion, Blue Oyster Cult and any early Iron Maiden or Metallica.
I've been listening to Sulk for years and still haven't gotten tired of it. I've never heard another record remotely like it. It has a strange combination of melody and abrasiveness. My wife went from hating this, to being curious about it, to loving it within the course of a few weeks.
One of my favorite lyricists. He's a funny dude.
This is the band that really got me into a lot of music. My favorite is probably the first record and for anyone that hasn't heard them it's a good place to start, but I like the adult contemporary sounding stuff too.
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It's hard for me to think of another artist whose albums cover more ground stylistically. My favorites are Hunky Dory, Station To Station, Low. Some people turn their nose up at it(mainly people that hate the 80s) but Let's Dance is an under appreciated record.
Neu! 75 is a good one to start with. The first side is nice and mellow and the second side is ahead of the post punk thing by about three years. I hear that records influence in a lot of better known bands that came after it. If you're into the second side, La Dusseldorf's Viva is a poppy offshoot of it.
The Dungeons & Dragons/Science Fiction of the music world. Some of my favorites are Genesis' Selling England By The Pound, King Crimson's Red, and of course, Yes' Close To The Edge.
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Another band that progressed heavily from album to album. I like it all. My favorite overall is Radioactivity. It has a good combination of the early experimental sounds and the melodic stuff they moved into.
Duran Duran's Rio, Simple Minds' New Gold Dream, Scritti Politti's Cupid & Psyche, Devo's Freedom Of Choice, Echo & The Bunnymen's Ocean Rain. The list goes on.
With the Live Lights. 7 p.m. Thursday, January 26, at Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak Blvd., 713-862-3838 or www.fitzlivemusic.com.