What’s your go-to writing music?
There’s actually a space on the profile portion of nanowrimo.org where you can answer some fun questions about yourself, and this is one of them. My response to this has changed each of the six years that I have participated in NaNo. This year: Russian Circles.
Russian Circles is an instrumental post-rock/post-metal trio from Chicago. I’m not even going to pretend to understand what that very specific genre designation means; it’s just what Wikipedia told me.
I adore this band. I first saw them perform close to two years ago at the Conservatory in OKC (now called the 89th St Collective). It’s a run-down looking place with surprisingly good acoustics on NW 89th and Western. I’ve only been there a couple of times, but both shows had a nice intimate feeling and very loud rock music.
The Russian Circles show was actually my first encounter with the venue. I don’t remember the two opening bands very well. I do remember thinking that my feet were seriously beginning to hurt from standing for two hours on concrete. However, when the three guys from RC took the stage, I forgot about my feet and the fact that I was getting really thirsty. I just stood there rocking with the music for their 45 minute to an hour set hoping they would just keep playing.
I now have a Pandora station for this group. I used to really need lyrics when listening to music or I had trouble connecting to it, but in the past couple of years, I’ve really grown to appreciate instrumental rock.
It’s also particularly good as writing music because there isn’t a singer to distract me. I can focus on my words instead of the words of a song.
The albums are designed to flow (I mean, they sound like they’re designed that way, at least) so I find it’s best to listen to an entire album rather than skipping around for songs. But even solo the songs are enthralling.
Moral of the story: Go listen to Russian Circles. The most recent album is Memorial (2013), but my personal favorite is Empros (2011).