Years ago, a talented musician named Anthony Rankin started out doing shows in his native Pittsburgh. After a number of albums, he took off to continue his career in the East Coast music capital of Nashville. This is the video from his latest release “Pony Tail.”
If you’re an avid music fan, or even if you aren’t but just enjoy discovering some new bands or artists once in a while, I just came across a tool you might find enjoyable and useful.
Here’s how it works. Just click this link to Music-Map and from there enter the name of an artist whose music you like. Click the search button and you will be shown a list of artists who might appear to you. the closer they are to the name of the original search you put in, the more likely (at least in theory) you might be to like their songs.
Music has always been a powerful resource for me. As a kid, I was always writing songs in my head, daydreaming about producing my own musical with original songs. But songwriting proved to be instrumental in helping me discover my own voice again after my life took a dramatic turn.
As a child, the arts were my passion and identity. When my traumas occurred, they became my lifeline. I grew up all my life in theatre. I was singing, dancing, acting and creating since the time I could talk. I lived my life believing I would carve a beautiful career out for myself in the world of musical theatre, be on Broadway, and conquer the world. However, at 18, and a week before my senior prom, I found myself in intense pain – very suddenly and randomly. I was rushed to the ER, and to summarize very briefly, my stomach exploded, I was in a coma for six months, and I was unable to eat or drink a drop of water for over three years. After 27 surgeries, I was miraculously reconnected with whatever I had left. However, to persevere through those tumultuous years took great inner and outer strength. I relied on my creativity to get through. My therapy was purely based in the world of theatre, art, writing, dance, music, and whatever else I felt was an area that I could express myself appropriately. The arts were a way for me to express whatever felt too painful and overwhelming to put into words. They also helped me process what I was feeling. But most importantly, they served to be the greatest reward acting as a medium where I could still engage with my community, reach out to others, and make a difference in this world while utilizing my passion. Arts were my way of connecting with the world, sharing my story, and spreading my message of hope, strength, and finding beauty in whatever life brings you.
To find myself again after so many medical interventions, I painted, I danced, I wrote, I sang – but it was the act of writing and putting those words to music – to sing them from my gut – this was what allowed me to accept my body again – a body vastly different from the one I grew up in.
Songwriting was my therapy, and within a month, I had written over thirty songs. This song was based on some journal writings I had done when reflecting on life in the hospital. I wanted the world to know what I had been through – to give the outside world a glimpse of my story, to explain why I came to be who I am, to “justify” why I may seem a “madwoman” after so many years of trauma…this song was my way of letting people in.
From time to time we all get caught up in a particular song or two that for some reason or another seems to stand out a bit from the rest. It might not be the best piece of music but it has something about it that just makes your day or causes it to become an “earworm” if you will.
Here are a few that have had that impact on me recently that I would like to share.