When I think about my time here in Columbus, OH, A few things come to mind—things such as Donatos Basement, The Clippers, The Crew, The Short North (when I first moved here in 2009), and Marco Castro. If you are local to Columbus and don’t know that name, shame on you. I met Marco in the spring of 2010, and I can honestly say my world has not been the same since. That is the type of person he is, that is the effect he has on people.

I met Marco through a mutual friend who was supposed to attend a show with him, and at the last minute he couldn’t make it, so he mentioned me. I had never met him before he showed up at my apartment. And, as they say, the rest is history. To be honest I don’t recall too much about the show that night; I just remember chatting with Marco about life, religion, and music. Ten years later he is still part of my life, and I’m beyond thankful for that. A little side note, he is how I know Ryan Getz and how I came to start writing for Tuned Up. He bugged me for months about writing, and I would tell him no every time. I eventually caved, and 7 years later I’m still here. Thank you, Marco!!!!

Besides being just an all-around good human, he also plays in a group, The Castros, a pop-folk duo with his wife Sara. Sometimes they have others join them, but mostly it’s just the two of them, and they are amazing. When I talk about the Columbus music scene with family and friends back home, they are one of the first acts I always mention, and they always will be. They write good ole joyful, fun, inspirational music. And, honestly, right now we all could use a little of that in our lives, so if you don’t know The Castros, now is the perfect time to start listening to them. And, Marco, we have to go to Riot Fest together next year. If you promise to go hard for Thursday with me, I’ll do the same for Thrice.

Five albums to find peace amongst times like these

***I added select tracks that relate to the topic***

Thrice – Vheissu

Dustin Kensrue’s lyrics explore the mundane and spiritual in such a beautiful way, and the end result always helps me put things in perspective. This album helped me transition after moving to the USA from Costa Rica (alongside Neginot’s EP), and one of my favorite memories is listening to “Red Sky” on the long bus ride to my weekend job at a Flea Market in Savannah GA.

Tracks: Music Box, Between the End and Where We Lie, Stand and Feel Your Worth

P.O.D. – Satellite

This album was fundamental to me and holds a special place in my heart. It helped me see things from a different perspective and inspire me a lot. Sometime I recite the lyrics of “Alive” while waking up to help me focus. Definitely an album worth checking out.

Tracks: Alive, Portrait (wait until the ending), Without Jah Nothin’ (ft. HR of Bad Brain)

Elliott – False Cathedrals

Elliott is one of those bands that can soothe you and lift you up at the same time. Chris’s vocals are a rare amalgamation of melody and aggression, while the band feels like is holding back the intensity, but it works. This raw and emotional album will definitely help you get in touch with your feelings.

Tracks: Voices/Calm Americans, Blessed by Your Own Ghost, Dying Midwestern

Joseph – Native Dreamer Kin

This sister trio hailing from Portland, OR is an amazing treat to your ears and feelings. They craft songs that touch the heart, and they dive deep into emotional personal stories that can resonate with many. The other albums are great too, but this one in particular always helps me find peace.

I remember listening to the track “Cloudline” right before their show at Big Room and being mesmerized by the lyrics and melody. Their live performances are intimate by nature, and I can’t wait to see them again!

Tracks: Cloudline, Eyes to the Sky, Lifted Away

Boy – We Were Here

The girls in Boy have crafted a special brand of indie pop that feels authentic and fresh. This album always reminds me of touring in Germany, and every time I listen to it I start to long for the future when all this is over, and we can tour again.

Tracks: We Were Here, Fear, Into the Wild

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