50 Songs That Make me Wish I was in a Band or Orchestra

Keep Calm and Listen to MusicSo I thought I would take a little break from Musings by the alphabet and do a little fun post. Well, they are all fun but different inspiration this time. I played the trumpet from 4th-8th grade and to be honest, I was pretty good. I was in either 6th or 7th grade when I went to a competition at Royal Palm (when it was a grade school) and earned a Superior Distinction for my play. The problem was by the time 8th grade rolled around I was tired of playing and tired of practicing. Typical boy, sports and goofing around with my friends interested me more than playing the trumpet. Bad mistake though. My 8th grade year I actually attended Royal Palm since it became a junior high that year. The school band was huge, I think it was bigger than Sunnyslope High School’s. We were large enough that the school had to have two classes, then every other day both classes would get together and practice as one large marching band of over 100 kids. The class I was in I was 2nd trumpet, which meant in class competitions there was only one guy that performed better than me for the #1 spot. When the two classes were combined I beat out the #1 trumpet player from that other class, keeping my #2 spot overall.

I tell you this because I brought my trumpet to school the very first day and never took it home all year. I quit practicing away from school yet still played well enough to hold the #2 chair. I know that irritated my teacher and she wanted me to practice in order to make a legitimate run at the #1 chair. I didn’t care though!

I believe it was not until I started teaching high school that I realized what a mistake that was. Today I am a firm believer that when a student is in grade, junior and high school that he or she should participate in as many activities as possible. I took a lot of flack my last year at Cortez High School for “allowing” a senior who happened to be one of my top wrestlers time away from practice to try out for the school musical. Nine years later I stand by that decision. I’m glad he didn’t think it was necessary to just focus on one thing, he made a point of enjoying high school for what it should be, a four-year opportunity to not only prepare for college but enjoy as many activities not academic related as possible.

I wish I would have kept playing and more important, wish that at the age of 45 I had maintained some of that musical talent and could play in a band or orchestra today. I listen to music from many genres and there are times I hear a song or piece and wish I had played on the track.

That is what this post is about, 50 songs that make me wish I was in a band or orchestra. It’s important to say that just because a band or song may be one of my favorites I was not necessarily inspired to pick up a bass, jump behind a drum kit or play the cello as a result. Also, it is not always a case where my favorite song from a band is going to be the one causing the inspiration. Cases in point? “I Melt With You” from Modern English is my all-time favorite song, Dead Can Dance is one of my favorite bands and either “Neat Little Rows” or “Newborn” my favorite song from Elbow. None make me want to play an instrument. But these 50 songs? You betcha! Enjoy!

  1. Agent Orange
    “Bite the Hand That Feeds pt. 2”
    When You Least Expect It and Sonic Snake Session
  2. Band of Horses
    “The Funeral”
    Everything All the Time
  3. Big Country
    “1000 Stars (live)”
    King Biscuit Flower Hour
  4. Black Flag
    “Six Pack”
  5. The Brother Kite
    “Hold Me Down”
    Waiting for the Time to be Right
  6. Catherine Wheel
    “Black Metallic”
  7. The Chameleons
    “Second Skin”
    Script of the Bridge
  8. Phil Collins
    “In the Air Tonight”
    Face Value
  9. The Cure
    “A Forest (live)”
    Concert: The Cure Live
  10. Echo and the Bunnymen
  11. Editors
    The Back Room
  12. Elbow
    “Station Approach”
    Leaders of the Free World
  13. Explosions in the Sky
    “A Poor Man’s Memory”
    Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever
  14. fIREHOSE
    “Brave Captain”
    Ragin’ Full-On
  15. French Kicks
    “Knee High”
    Two Thousand
  16. Frightened Rabbit
    “State Hospital”
    Pedestrian Verse
  17. Gang Green
    “Sold Out”
    Sold Out EP and Preschool CD
  18. Gang of Four
    “He’d Send in the Army” live
    Solid Gold and Urgh! A Music War
  19. Helmet
    “Bad Mood”
    Strap it On
  20. Helmet
    Betty and The Crow soundtrack
  21. Hey Mercedes
    “The Frowning of a Lifetime”
    Everynight Fire Works
  22. Jets to Brazil
    Orange Rhyming Dictionary
  23. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
    “Bad Reputation”
    Bad Reputation and Urgh! A Music War
  24. Juno
    “Leave a Clean Camp and a Dead Fire”
    This is the Way it Goes and Goes and Goes
  25. Juno
    “Venus on 9th St”
    This is the Way it Goes and Goes and Goes
  26. The Mary Onettes
    The Mary Onettes
  27. Metallica
    “Damage Inc.”
    Master of Puppets
  28. Mew
    “Circuitry of the Wolf”
    And the Glass Handed Kites
  29. M.I.A.
    “Modern Way”
    Murder in a Foreign Place album and Lost Boys CD
  30. Modest Mussorgsky
    “Night on Bald Mountain”
    Fantasia soundtrack
  31. Bob Mould
    “I Hate Alternative Rock”
    Bob Mould (Hubcap album)
  32. A Place to Bury Strangers
    “I Lost You”
    Onwards to the Wall
  33. The Posies
    “Solar Sister”
    Frosting on the Beater
  34. Ron Pratt
    “Mack the Knife”
    Forever’s as Far as I Will Go
  35. The Pretenders
    “Pack it Up”
    Pretenders II
  36. Scream
    “New Song”
    Still Screaming
  37. Shattered Faith
    “Short Haired Thugs”
    Vol. II album and Bootleg CD
  38. Howard Shore
    “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum”
    The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack
  39. Howard Shore
    “The White Tree”
    The Return of the King soundtrack
  40. Slayer
    “Raining Blood”
    Reign in Blood
  41. Snowden
    “Stop Your Bleeding”
  42. Sonic Youth
    “Rain King”
    Daydream Nation
  43. S.S.D.
    Get it Away album and Power CD
  44. Sugar
    “The Act We Act”
    Copper Blue
  45. Swervedriver
    “Volcano Trash”
    Son of Mustang Ford single
  46. Swervedriver
    Mezcal Head
  47. The Twilight Sad
    “That Birthday Present”
    Forget the Night Ahead
  48. We Were Promised Jetpacks
    “Quiet Little Voices”
    These Four Walls and E Rey: Live in Philadelphia
  49. We Were Promised Jetpacks
    “Short Bursts”
    These Four Walls, The Last Place You’ll Look and E Rey: Live in Philadelphia

  50. Stevie Wonder
    In Square Circle

This post was a blast to put together. Took a few days because of all the links and videos but I loved every second of it, hope you like it. Cheers!


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