Top Six Favorite Artists To Listen To At Any Time

Top Six Favorite Artists To Listen To At Any Time

Whether I've had good times or bad times, these six artists are always great to listen to and sing along with.
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Let's face it: the world is kind of a terrible place these days. Most news outlets and media are filled with news of crime, terror attacks, and modern-day Nazis (among other things). You can barely turn on the television or go on the computer without seeing or reading about the most recent string of negativity that is being presented. So what are we supposed to do to bring any bit of positivity to these bleak and troubled times?

Admittedly, this can be a rather personal question. What you do to make things in your life less negative is entirely up to you. As for me, I'm one of the people who always turns to music for every occasion. If I've had a good day, a bad day, or a whatever kind of day, music is always the answer. For me, the following five artists are always perfect for any occasion.

1. *NSYNC

Alright, I'll admit it. Like many other people of my generation, I had a "boy band" phase. However, mine started about seven years after *NSYNC went on hiatus, and it didn't start because I heard their music on the radio or found it on YouTube. It actually started with a series of parody videos called the "Wimpy Boy Band Series". These videos made me laugh, so I decided to look into the source material to see just how good it was. Of course, I recognized some of their songs since I had heard them throughout my life, but I just hadn't gotten into their music before. It didn't take long for me to really get into it, and now songs like "Pop" and "It's Gonna Be Me" are some of my go-to songs to give me a mood boost, no matter what.

2. Backstreet Boys

Since I was horrendously late to the battle of the boy bands that dominated the late '90s and early 2000s, I didn't pick one group over the other. For me, the main difference between the two comes from the fact that the Backstreet Boys are still an active presence in the music world. When I started getting into their music (again, thanks to the "Wimpy Boy Band Series"), they had recently released their album This Is Us and some of the songs from that album dominated my "Recently Played" playlist, especially "Straight Through My Heart" and "Bigger." Of course, I couldn't ignore the sheer domination of some of their older hits, like "I Want It That Way" and "As Long As You Love Me."

3. Billy Idol

During the days of my childhood, the music of my house was dominated by various artists of the '70s and '80s. Some of my favorite artists growing up included Mötley Crüe and Twisted Sister (which I wrote about at length here), and these artists will always hold a special place in my heart. One artist who holds a permanent place on my "Recently Played" playlist is Billy Idol. Why? I honestly don't know. It could be that some of his biggest hits are great to dance to, especially "Dancing With Myself" and "Rebel Yell." It could also be that some of his songs are just extremely catchy. I still can't hear the opening riff of "White Wedding Pt I" without taking the time to listen to the whole song.

4. Def Leppard

One of my favorite bands since roughly the age of 12, Def Leppard is always playing somewhere in the back of my mind. Sometimes when I am asked what my favorite band is, I think back to when I was in sixth grade music class and we were asked to name our favorite artists. When it was my turn to answer, I thought for a moment before decisively answering "Def Leppard", which my classmates all giggled about. Despite the fact that their first album came out in 1980, Def Leppard is still an active group in the music world, promoting the 30th anniversary of their album Hysteria and actively touring. Like them, I will always jam out to songs like "Photograph" and "Hysteria." Of course, who can't forget one of their most well known songs, "Pour Some Sugar On Me," which has been covered by countless bands, including...

5. Ninja Sex Party

Despite the silly and sexual nature of their original works, Ninja Sex Party is an awesome band. I have written at length about NSP and their songs, so I won't sit here and repeat myself. Any of their songs are guaranteed to improve my mood and make any time better, especially their cover of "Take On Me" or their original song "Attitude City." With a new original album, a new cover album, and a tour in the works, NSP is one of my favorite bands that isn't going anywhere any time soon.

6. Sonata Arctica

It's a funny story... My discovery of Sonata Arctica was something of an accident. One random day when I was in my early teens, I was browsing YouTube and came across a series of videos called the "Legend of Zelda: The Abridged Series" by a Youtuber by the name of adamwestslapdog that was a comedic parody of the main story of the video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Once this series was completed, the series continued by covering the plot of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
I'm sure you're wondering what on earth this has to do with how I discovered my favorite band. Well, for "Majora's Mask: The Abridged Series," adamwestslapdog decided to change the theme song to be something more fitting to the plot of the game. This song happened to be Sonata Arctica's "FullMoon." I looked into this band even more afterward, and they quickly became one of my all time favorite bands. Songs like "Paid in Full" and "Blank File" dominated my "Recently Played" playlist, and whenever they release a new album, I exclusively listen to it for at least a week afterward. There are often times where I will sit and listen through their album Pariah's Child featuring songs like "The Wolves Die Young" and "Cloud Factory" just because I enjoy it that much.

Listening to music can drastically affect peoples' moods, and more often than not, it improves mine for the better and reminds me that there are good things to be enjoyed in the world. In these troubling times, we need to focus on the things that bring us joy to remind us that there is good around. Hopefully by sharing the things that bring me joy, I have brought you some as well.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."
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Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."


3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."


4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.


"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.


“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.


Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."


25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.


"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.


"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."


30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.


"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"


32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."


34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."


35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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The End Of An Odyssey: My Time As A Writer

Like all chapters in life, there has to come an end. This ending is by no means easy, but rather one that is bittersweet. But, like all odysseys, it is time for this one to end.

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When I first decided I wanted to write for the Odyssey, I was going into my senior year at the University of Maine. I had always been an avid reader of Odyssey articles, whether it was to seek advice, comfort, or sole entertainment. I was always inspired by how raw and honest each article was, and I really wanted to have the chance to write such types of articles as well. When I applied and later got the call that I had made it onto the Odyssey team at UMaine, I was ecstatic! I felt like now was finally the time I could share my innermost thoughts and feelings publicly and work on becoming a better writer.

I have always loved to write. Since the day I first picked up a pencil, writing has been a passion of mine. Now as an Odyssey member, I knew this was my chance to be truly heard.

I began by writing solely political articles, as I was a political science student and loved to shed light on controversial topics. My first article was about the then-recent presidential election. I was full of nerves the day it got published, and rightfully so, as my post drew in many critics. Facebook is a shark-tank of sorts, everyone there is waiting for just the right bait to come out and attack. However, I loved the fact that my opinions were being formally materialized for everyone to see. Pretty much anyone in the world could read my article, which served as an inspiration to keep writing.

What started as a political-only "blog" of sorts slowly evolved into a diary-like platform. I found that writing about whatever hardship I had been going through at the time helped me process it and move forward. Writing is very therapeutic, and I wasn't ashamed or embarrassed to put my private emotions out in the open, though I had received much backlash for it from many.

Yet what kept me motivated to keep pushing the envelope and staying true to my word-literally, was my amazing, influential Odyssey team. We all would share our topics for the week and vent about any criticisms we may have received after one of our articles had been published. I have been very fortunate to have such a supportive, caring team of Odyssey writers, else I likely would've regressed back to writing neutral articles.

So as weeks turned to months, writing for Odyssey felt like second nature. The pride I would feel once an article went public was indescribable. Looking back now at the 70+ articles I wrote, I can literally be transported back to a certain point in my life with every past article. I can see how much I've grown as a person and can acknowledge that I successfully was able to overcome certain obstacles I never thought possible.

Writing, just like time, heals everything.

The Odyssey saw me through the toughest times of my life, and no matter how uncertain things may have seemed at the time, what was for sure was the fact that I had the written word to fall back on. With each article that I wrote, I felt like a weight had been lifted. And not only that but also knowing that any particular article may have served to help someone else who may have been going through a similar situation, only inspired me more.

So, my decision to stop writing for the Odyssey came with great difficulty, as it has become such a huge part of my life. The adult world is very hectic, and responsibilities pile up as fast as bills. Lately, I just felt like I haven't been putting the time and effort into writing articles like I did during college. I owe it to the Odyssey community to be honest, as a privilege like this should never be seen as a chore.

I am so unbelievably grateful to have had this experience for the past year and a half of my life. Now, I have a permanent online library that represents who I truly am, and for the rest of my life I can look back at these articles and relive some of those memories. The Odyssey helped me to grow emotionally, and I met so many amazing, inspiring people along the way.

But, like all odysseys, it is time for this one to end.

Thank you to everyone who has supported my writing and read my articles. You have no idea how happy it made me feel to hear someone say how much they loved a certain article or how relatable another one was. Thank you to my Odyssey team for always encouraging me to write from the heart and never be too afraid to speak my mind.

And lastly, thank you to Odyssey, for serving as a safe, encouraging place for young people to voice their opinions and ideas freely. I will forever be thankful for this journey of growth, reflection, and expression.

Off to the next odyssey.

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