Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jay's Playlist: Explosions in the Sky

Welcome to my playlist, where I discuss the music which is currently entertaining me. Below you will find a video, press play to begin the song and then read my feelings on the album.

Today's playlist is music by "Explosions in the Sky"

I first heard the music of "Explosions in the Sky", a Texan band, in the soundtrack of the movie "Friday Night Lights", a movie about the effect of football in a small town in Texas (the movie is based on a book written by a Texan). A few years later a phenomenal TV show based on the movie (based on the book) debuted and once again Explosions in the Sky was used to great effect in the series. Although, surprisingly, the theme song to the TV series was not written by Explosions in the Sky; instead the theme was written in their style by a famous TV theme writer.

If you are listening to the music and wondering when the guitar intro will stop and the actual chorus begins, well, it won't. That is the chorus. Explosions in the Sky rests in the niche of "lengthy, solemn, vocal-less guitar solos and ambiance". And I love it. Their album "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place" is 45 minutes of solemn guitars reverberating various riffs into night sky. The album only contains 5 tracks (roughly 9 minutes each) and at present I still can't tell the difference between one track or another even though they all have different themes. I consider the album to be one beautiful, 45 minute track (the tracks don't have and ending, the end of one is the beginning of the next). Also, the titles of the pieces are pretty esoteric: "Six Days At The Bottom Of The Ocean", "First Breathe after Coma", and "The Only Moment We Were Alone" which makes it even harder to remember a track's title.

I love this music for the nostalgia it creates. Thanks to its association to Texas created by its use with Friday Night Lights (which plays the music during scenes of beautiful Texas landscapes and sunsets) I am reminded of my own childhood in that state. Whenever I hear this music I am reminded of my youth exploits: climbing to the base of the water tower on the large hill to watch the sunset in the west and seeing the rolling hills of prairie to the east slowly disappear in the purple shadow before being lit by the faint glow of the lively metropolis 25 miles away.

Would I still love this music if it wasn't used on a nostalgic show, or if I had never lived in the state it represents? I don't know. But I can't help listening to this music and picturing a beautiful sunset over the prairie...

...and that positive emotion means this music earns its place in my playlist.

Bonus song
The aforementioned TV show theme that is not by EitS but is a TV songwriter's interpretation of their style:

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