The Killers and Mika

I’m taking this cold and lazy Sunday morning to consider and learn more about the recording artists I have added to my list of favorites over the past ten years or so – since I moved to Chicago.  I’ve only been able to come up with two – The Killers and Mika.  I guess I’m not too surprised about that.  The whole point of this blog is that music has not been an integral part of my world.

I honestly don’t remember how I first heard The Killers.  At some point, I heard then saw a video of their song “Human” and really fell for it, so a few years back I purchased their album Day and Age.  I listened to it on repeat for a while, and have also since purchased Sam’s Town.  I prefer Day and Age, and have continued to listen to about 6 or 7 of the tracks from that album on my iPod while running, to the point that I know all the lyrics.  I only know the lead singer’s name, Brandon Flowers, and I also know they are from a small town outside of Vegas.  They are quite popular, especially in Britain, but I think not so much with the radio listening crowd in the US.  I just learned that the chorus line from “Human,” “Are we human, or are we dancer?” was inspired by a Hunter S. Thompson quote, “We’re raising a generation of Dancers.”  To me The Killers’ music is hauntingly beautiful – musically complex with an interesting lead vocal, the two primary characteristics I generally like about music.  It’s also narrative – many songs contain characters the music brings to life.  Here’s “Human.”

Before writing this post, all I knew about Mika was that I love his music and that somehow we have one of his albums.  I didn’t even know what the album was called; I’ve looked it up, and it’s “The Boy Who Knew too Much.”  It’s pop music that has catchy rhythms; you can really dance to it (though what I’ve done is run to it!).  On the album he deals with subjects like race and body image and sexuality in an accepting and loving way.  His voice reminds me of Freddy Mercury’s, one of my all-time musical heroes.  I would have guessed him to be African American, but when I looked him up he’s actually Lebanese by birth to a Syrian-Lebanese mother and an American father, but has lived in Britain since age 9.  I also know that he has appeared in concert at a small but popular venue that’s in the middle of my stomping grounds here in Chicago, but I have yet to seek tickets.  I’m going to try to see him next time he’s nearby.  Here’s, “Big Girl.”

Hope you liked them.  I’m moving on to Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony then practicing my violin.

Thanks for reading.

Ryan

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