Every so often I make up a mix CD of my favorite songs at the moment; mostly new songs, but with some old songs sprinkled in for flavor. I thought it’d be a neat feature of this new blog to go through, song-by-song, and explain a little about why it appeals to me.
Many famous actors have their own bands. Keanu Reeves has Dogstar, Russell Crowe had 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, and Kevin Bacon has The Bacon Brothers. But perhaps the most successful of these is Jared Leto‘s band 30 Seconds to Mars. Leto, best known for his roles in “My So-Called Life”, “Fight Club”, and “Requiem for a Dream”, largely scaled back his acting in 2003 to pursue a musical career. He and his brother formed the band in 1998, but became successful only after 2005’s A Beautiful Lie was released.
Jared Leto mainly does the singing and songwriting for the band. 30 Seconds to Mars fits better into the emo mold than Fall Out Boy does, with abstract, pretentious, and many times nonsensical lyrics and videos. The first single, “The Kill”, is apparently about confronting one’s own fears, and the video certainly reflects that, but it seems to be more of an homage to “The Shining” than anything. The second single, which appears here, is “From Yesterday”, which repeats some of the same themes. Its mediocre video holds two distinctions: not only is it the only American music video ever to have been filmed entirely in China, but it’s also the most expensive ever made ($13 million).
Next time: the CD ends with the closing cut of one of the best albums of the decade.