cave canem

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Top Ten Songs To Write Epic Things To

When I went to bed last night, I had the best idea for a post ever. Then I woke up this afternoon to find that the Nostalgia Critic stole it from me. I'm still going to do it, though.

When I write, I don't usually listen to music. It distracts me too much. But sometimes, there are scenes where you just need to be full of energy, those big, emotional moments when shit is about to go down. And when that happens, these are some of my go-to songs. They are great, epic and make you want to just go out and do something awesome.

Why top ten? Because I want to prove that I'm not ripping off the Nostalgia Critic. (Hmm... Maybe I should delete that last line?)

First, honorable mentions:

HM 1: Discord (Eurobeat Brony Remix) 
HM 2: Resonance (Soul Eater Season One Theme) 

Now, onto the list!

10. Cascade (Homestuck)

Homestuck has a lot of great music, but Cascade is without a question the most epic of all the Homestuck songs. Introduced in the Cascade flash, which is one of the most mind-blowing parts of Homestuck to date, it goes perfectly with the amazing, game-changing action taking place.

Why is it so low on the list? Well, look at the time. It's over ten minutes long. While it works extremely well when played along with the Cascade flash, it has a hard time keeping up momentum for so long on its own, especially with all the slow moments in the music. Still, it's an awesome song- I mean, just listen to the way it smacks you in the face with those opening notes. Fuck yeah. For best effect, listen to about the first four minutes, although the rest is pretty awesome as well.

9. This Year (The Mountain Goats)

You might not expect the folksy, acoustic guitar-playing Mountain Goats to appear on a list of epic songs. If so, then you've clearly never heard them play before. I mean, damn. This Year is a loud, punch-you-in-the-gut song. When singer John Darnielle says that he is going to make it through this year if it kills him, you not only believe his determination, but you damn well believe that it just might kill him. Basically? Fuck yeah. This song probably works best with something set in the real world, not so much the epic fantasy I had in mind while writing this list. Nevertheless, it is a great song of determination and awesomeness. 

8. The Call (Regina Spektor)

This song is probably the softest one on the list, but it is no less epic because of it. It's a song of loss and sadness, but also of hope for renewal. Regina's vocals are beautiful, the piano and strings are understated and soft but pervasive, and, all in all, the song just gives me chills. Short and sweet, but amazing. Perfect for sending your soldier off to the war to, or just for writing something sad.

Note: I made a point, for variety's sake, of only including one song per artist, but her song Blue Lips receives and honorable mention. Check it out some time.

7. Black Unicorn (Voltaire)

I had to push a couple other songs off the list to make room for this one, but god damn was it worth it. The full title of the song is Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano as I Drink from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children. I mean, seriously, that is so epic that it punches rainbows and makes pimp hats out of their spleens. How can you not appreciate this sort of epic? The song is on the slower side, but it is pretty cool and the words alone pretty much guarantee it a spot here. Do what you like with it, but appreciate its majesty.

6. Goin' Back to Hogwarts (A Very Potter Musical)

If you ever doubted that I was a nerd, well, doubt no more. This song is amazing. Really, the whole musical is amazing, but this song is truly the most epic of them all. (You should also check out the reprise at the end of the musical.) This song builds slowly, starting with Harry alone and slowly adding in Ron, Hermione, and finally the entire the cast, slowly getting everyone pumped. For those of you who, like me, grew up with Harry Potter, it's also loaded with nostalgic value and tons of laughs. The song is made of badassery and hilarity. It just fills you with fun and anticipation. I'm not sure what it would be best to write to, but it's so fun and awesome that it has to be good for something.

5. How Far We've Come (Matchbox Twenty)

Some of you may remember that this song was really big in 2005/2006. When I was in San Francisco in summer of '06, it was playing almost constantly from every store in Chinatown. Well, sometimes songs are popular for a reason, and this song is just damn epic. I dare you to try listening to the chorus without singing along. Great for revving yourself up for that big climax.

4. This is War (30 Seconds to Mars)

I didn't realize that this song existed for a while, but when I heard it, well, wow. The husky voice of the lead singer? The persistent hum of the guitar? The slow build to the screaming chorus? This is war. This is just kind of awesome. It builds and builds. This is a song for an epic battle. It just....gah, it's awesome.

3. Battle Cry (Ludo)

Ludo is often dismissed as being "too weird". You may or may not have noticed, but I like weird. Weird is great. And I think that Ludo proves it with this. It's weird, and silly, and somehow still gloriously awesome. It gets your attention from the opening riff, and it never lets it go. It has a truly big feel to it- goddamn it, this is our motherfucking battle cry. Let's go kick some enemy ass! Perfect for when your commander rallies their troops after a defeat.

Note: Remember the one song per artist rule? Ludo is the reason for that. This could very easily have become 'Ludo's Top Ten Awesome Songs' if I hadn't cut back. Check them out; they're amazing.

2. Legend of Zelda Theme (25th Anniversary Orchestral Version)

The Legend of Zelda series has some incredible music. While this is not my favorite LoZ song, it is certainly one of the most epic. Multipurpose and majestic, the full orchestra really helps to bring out the nuance and grandeur of the piece. Just listen to it! Doesn't it make you want to go fight evil and rescue princesses? (If you said no to that question than you might be Ganondorf. Do you want to be Ganondorf? I didn't think so.)

1. I Am the Doctor (Doctor Who)

This is truly deserving of the number one spot. The action theme of one of my favorite Doctors of all time, I Am the Doctor is badass, uplifting and triumphant. There's danger here, yes, but also great adventure and fun. Come with me, the song promises, and great things will happen. The world is scary, but it's also thrilling and beautiful, and I'd love to share it with you if you'll let me. It's a song that has a lot to offer, and I could sit listening to it on replay all day. (That is not exaggeration. I have done that before.)

Well, that was my list! I hope you liked some of the songs on here. These are songs that I personally listen to to get pumped up for writing, and not everyone is the same. If you think there are some that should've been on here, feel free to say so in the comments!


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