Bands We're Thankful For

For the Thanksgiving Holiday, the team here at Alt Revue wanted to share what bands we are thankful for this year. Whether it's an favorite that we've been jamming to a lot this year, or a new comer that has caught fire with us, these are the acts that have we are glad to have in our lives.

(Photo Credit: Craig Scheihing)

Michael La Torre - Japanese Breakfast

This year I am extremely thankful for the music of Japanese Breakfast, the solo music project of Michelle Zauner. Japanese Breakfast has had a career that has come out with a bang releasing 2 albums in 3 years (Psychopomp in 2016 and Soft Sounds from Another Planet in 2017). Her unique sound has a mix of alt-pop and lofi that just appeals to me. Not to mention she is one of the most underrated guitarists on the alt scene and her vocals are simply fantastic. This year she released a cover of The Cranberries "Dream" that was an absolute masterclass of how to do a cover. She also played Austin City Limits this year and easily outshined the headlining acts. Her talent is limitless, and so is her potential to rise in the alt ranks.

Nicholas La Torre - The Killers

This year, I am thankful for The Killers with special mention to Brandon Flowers for his solo work. I have been listening to them since their first album, Hot Fuss, when I was in college. They were the soundtrack of my freshman/sophomore years and so many memories I have involve them playing in the background. I feel I’ve learned everything about love and loss from this band. They have always been there to pick me up, even on the hardest of days. Despite major commercial success, they have maintained their cool factor while putting out a serious catalogue of work. I am proud to call myself a musician because of folks like these.

Elise Chandler - Muse

This year, I am thankful for the band Muse. Muse and I go way back. They were my first introduction to alternative music. My opera singer cousin Jaime introduced me to them, and I never looked back. I assumed if someone musically trained could have such an appreciation for them, then how could I not? Their sound made my adolescent heart sing.

However, the story gets better from there. Muse is the reason my husband and I are together now. We met in marching band in high school (I know, nerdy cute), and we both mentioned we had a MySpace account (#throwbackthursday). I waited for weeks to hear from him, but never did, so I looked him up on MySpace. As soon as I went to his page "Knights of Cydonia" began playing, and I'm not going to lie, I felt like this was meant to be from the get go. No one else in school had even heard of this band, and then, the one guy I had an interest in had it playing on his MySpace playlist? Yes!

That is how I started our first chat:

Me: like Muse. I like Muse.

Him: I do like Muse. You like Muse?

Me: I do.

From that point on, we began dating, and now, ten years later, we are happily married and still listen to Muse on the regs. I'm always impressed by their complexity and goals to keep improving. Thanks, Muse for being awesome!

Jesse Stowe - Radiohead

Although at times I try to deny my love for this band (I guess I am afraid to commit)…

This year, one of the many things I am grateful for is Radiohead. Although I do not have an actual relationship with them, I would like to thank them for the thoughts and creative energy they release into the world. Because of their album A Moon Shaped Pool, I was able to gather my creative ideas and write a thesis that I am extremely proud of it. Then near the end of August, I wrote my first post for Alt Revue. It was titled, “On Radiohead.”

In a year dedicated to finding my position in the world as a writer, I relied heavily on the words and creative drive of the band. I study their relevance and appreciate their dynamic qualities. Although they have found great success, as a band and also as individual artists, they continue to push the boundaries. They are quiet examples of how to live as artists, and I am grateful for the lessons I have learned from them.

Susan La Torre - Shakey Graves