music therapy

Tales from the Womb

by Bill Brenner September 21, 2015 Gratitude

For a few years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was one of my favorite places on Earth. My late friend Sean Marley built the room in his basement, a couple doors down from my house. If we weren’t in my basement, we were his. Mood music: Sean called it The Womb because he likened the peace one felt in there to being back in the womb. It was a fairly accurate description….  [Read More]

Metal Made Me Smarter Than I Appeared

by Bill Brenner April 1, 2015 Heavy Metal

I was never considered a particularly smart kid. I didn’t care much about my school work and was written off by some teachers as a waste of space. But according to a new study about smart kids listening to heavy metal, I was apparently just pretending to be stupid. Mood music: A study of more than 1,000 of the brightest five percent of young people found that intelligent teenagers often listen to heavy metal music to…  [Read More]

Rock and Metal Christmas Songs

by Bill Brenner December 12, 2013 Music therapy

I dislike most rock ‘n roll Christmas songs. The Kinks asking Father Christmas for money? Not a fan. Billy Squier singing that Christmas is a time to say I love you? Hate it. I love those artists, just not those songs. Though I’m a heavy metal fan, I have to admit Christmas songs of that genre aren’t much better. But occasionally, rock and metal musicians manage to pull off something special — songs done so magically…  [Read More]

On My Sixth Birthday, the Ramones Changed Everything

by Bill Brenner August 27, 2013 Music therapy

I’m tickled to discover that my birthday is a special day to The Ramones, too. Turns out, yesterday was also the 37th anniversary of the band’s debut album. They were always an important band for me, especially after I learned that Joey Ramone was a fellow OCD sufferer. Mood music: I owned multiple Ramones albums on vinyl, and wore them out from playing them so much. A favorite was Halfway to Sanity. Back then I…  [Read More]

Black Sabbath and the Sick Bed

by Bill Brenner June 12, 2013 Coping tools

Wherein the author stays still and rocks out. Only a week into the new job, I got blasted with the stomach bug from Hell. It started coming on Monday night and kept me up all night and in bed all day Tuesday. Those who know me will tell you I get up before 5 a.m. and am usually working by 6. To spend a whole day in bed is unthinkable. Yet that’s what I did….  [Read More]

Review: Pop Gun’s “American Soul”

by Bill Brenner June 6, 2013 Music therapy

Music is one of my main coping tools, and I’ve latched on to a new CD from some old friends that I know will get me through the stresses of a new job and the slow commute that goes with it. I’ve already determined that Pop Gun’s American Soul is an excellent soundtrack for ensuring the painful wind from the Longfellow Bridge across Storrow Drive and onto I-93. I could swear at the drivers around…  [Read More]

Is It Better That They Died?

by Bill Brenner May 22, 2013 Music therapy

A conversation with friends last night about Ray Manzarek’s death led to talk about Jim Morrison and other musicians who died young. The question we asked aloud was what would Morrison, Kurt Cobain and others have done with their music had they been afforded longer lives? Mood music: [spotify:track:5FlBGGwGuqYmqr0qeBWrxe] Would John Bonham still be producing those menacing drum sounds? Would Randy Rhoads be blessing us with rock infused with classical as he had desired at the…  [Read More]

A New Addiction Takes Hold

by Bill Brenner February 21, 2013 Music therapy

During my vacation this week, I’ve been playing a lot of guitar. I picked the instrument back up over the summer after a 20-year break, and I haven’t looked back. My addictive personality has latched onto it like a starving lamprey. But it may be one of the best outlets I’ve ever had for calming the mind. Mood music: [spotify:track:56oTnXlr7xFw2lmoi3g0o3] I now own two electric guitars and an acoustic. I’ve acquired a Marshall amp and…  [Read More]

I Wish Hard Rock Stations Had More Class

by Bill Brenner October 22, 2012 Music therapy

It’s not easy being a rock ’n’ roll fanatic some days, especially when it comes to the choices I have on the radio dial. Oh, don’t get me wrong: The Boston area has plenty of great stations, especially RadioBDC and Rock 101 in Southern New Hampshire. But some radio stations, in the Boston market and beyond, that play my kind of music have to ruin it by appealing to the lowest common denominator. Mood music:…  [Read More]

Led Zeppelin Gets Me Through the Rain

by Bill Brenner October 10, 2012 Music therapy

A while back I wrote about how Van Halen’s music helps me through  the winter blues. Too much rain can depress me, too, and for that I’m finding a remedy in Led Zeppelin. Mood music: Like most teenage rock fans, I listened to Led Zeppelin nonstop, studied every lyric and guitar solo and read any book in which they were at least mentioned. I remember reading Hammer of the Gods when I was 15, and…  [Read More]