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Sunday, December 26, 2010

The 30 Day Music Meme All In One Go

Rather than draw this out over a whole month, here's my answers all at once:

Day 01 - Your favorite song

Asking me for my favorite song is a lot like asking me for my favorite movie, favorite food, or favorite anything. I'm not entirely partial to one particular track versus another, but in the spirit of the meme I would have to choose "In My Time Of Dying" by Zeppelin.

Granted, this is a cover of a Bob Dylan track, but Zeppelin made it something wholly original and thought provoking. It's blues layered with solid grooves and a passionate vocal turn from Robert Plant that proves why Zep still remains the greatest band of all time.

Day 02 - Your least favorite song

Again, there are far too many choices for this one as well. Virtually everything from the modern country genre as well as any and every Zydeco track ever recorded. But, if I have to be pressed on this one I would have to say it's a three way tie between "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Deon, whatever Kanye West single is being played on Top 40 Radio at the moment, and that Brian Adams song from Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood" that all the preppy girls in my high school were intent on singing at the top of their lungs.

Day 03 - A song that makes you happy

Here's where we get into territory that I consider "the guilty pleasure". My first choice would have to be "The Boys Are Back In Town" by Thin Lizzy, as it reminds me of trips to comic conventions in Chattanooga when I was younger. But then there's "Swing Swing" by The All American Rejects - the guilty pleasure. It's a really catchy track that just demands that the radio be turned up to capacity.

Day 04 - A song that makes you sad

Not sure what it is about Sigur Ros' track "The Nothing Song (Njosnavelin)" that is so depressing, but it certainly strikes a chord with me that is both pleasurable and painful all at once. I saw them perform this live at Bonnaroo a few years ago and I left the show with a sense of emptiness and cleanliness that I hadn't felt in quite some time. I think the fact that I all too often struggle with finding ways to make myself happy when I should just let the music do it's proper job causes me to feel this way.

Day 05 - A song that reminds you of someone

"Shrine" by The Dambuilders will always remind me of my first tragic romance when I was in college. It's actually quite a pleasing memory now that I have the benefit of hindsight and proper perspective on the whole messy debacle.

Day 06 - A song that reminds of you of somewhere

"Toxygene" by The Orb will always remind me of working at Gadzooks in the Greenwood Mall in Bowling Green when I was in college. Each month, the store would get VHS compilations of music that the corporate office thought typified who our customer base was. This was around the time that "rave culture" had taken somewhat of a center stage spot in American culture, and not from the perspective of the music so much as the stereotypical portrait of what a "raver" was. Naturally, Gadzooks - and retail outlets like Hot Topic - had to take advantage of the "movement of the moment" and try and market it into the mainstream.

Day 07 - A song that reminds you of a certain event

First off, I have to consider what is meant by "event". While some will think about tragic events in relation to our country, I all too often think about the unpredictable and haphazard moments in my personal life. With the later in mind, the song that immediately springs to mind is "Skylined" by Prodigy from their "Music For the Jilted Generation" LP. Rather than go into the gory details, let's just say that it was early 1998 and I was attending my first 'warehouse party' and the night was taking a very interesting turn.

Day 08 - A song that you know all the words to

Considering the fact that I grew up in a family that listened to everything from pop, country, metal, gospel, and soul, I had a very unique musical foundation to build off of. Couple that with living in a very rural area of Kentucky and having few friends other than the music that I discovered, I learned a lot of lyrics. Upon leaving home and finding new forms of music and new lyrics to fill my brain with, it became almost reflexive nature to learn all the words to everything I heard. I can't possibly name just one without wanting to name a thousand.

Day 09 - A song that you can dance to

You can dance to just about any song, it all depends on your mood at that particular moment. But when I think of dancing, considering that I have been a DJ in one form or another since 1995, I would have to opt for something from the electronic genre. A few choices right off the bat would be "Pearl's Girl" by Underworld, "Circles" by Adam F, or "Atlantic State" by Dieselboy and Tech Itch.

Day 10 - A song that makes you fall asleep

In addition to provoke a visceral emotional response, just about anything by Sigur Ros is good music to help one travel into REM sleep. I don't often get there right away myself, but it certainly provides good atmospherics that helps one relax.

Day 11 - A song from your favorite band

We'll stick with Zeppelin for this one too, so my choice would have to be "The Wanton Song".

Day 12 - A song from a band you hate

I can't say that I completely hate Oasis, but their attempts at mimicking the Beatles and their overtly pretentious posturing certainly didn't make me laud them as ahead of their time or groundbreaking in any sense. While most would immediately think of "Wonderwall", I think of "So Sally Can Wait", as the piano riff is a blatant and unvarnished rip off of "Imagine" by John Lennon.

Day 13 - A song that is a guilty pleasure

Already let this one slip earlier.

Day 14 - A song that no one would expect you to love

Wouldn't this be the same thing as a guilty pleasure? Not entirely. The way that I read this is that people have preconceived notions about what people do and don't like. But moreover, I think this could be a way for some people to pretend to be more "cultured" in music in order to one-up the person next to them. While I have been accused of the later more than a few times, I rarely - if ever - let my taste in music color my perceptions of another person, unless that person is an unapologetic cockstain that operates under the assumption that they have the answers to all of life's mysteries. But rather than blather on in a seemingly endless preamble, I would have to say that my affinity for Tori Amos has thrown people for a loop more than a handful of times.

Day 15 - A song that describes you

I don't there has been one written yet. And oh how I did hate those moments at house parties where the "girls who's had one too many" loudly proclaims "this song is about me" just before she passes out on your couch spilling her strawberry daiquiri all over your carpet.

Day 16 - A song that you used to love but now hate

This is actually a rather tough one. I can't say that there is one, though there are enough that I have grown quite weary of as the years have passed. If I have enough passion for a track to say that I love it, it generally isn't going to fall too far off my person chart into the category of "hated musical nonsense".

Day 17 - A song that you hear often on the radio

I do my best not to listen to the radio unless it's NPR or the off occasion that I tune into "Bob and Tom" if I'm out early enough in the morning. But when I car-pooled with some friends I worked with a few years ago, it seemed that no less than 5 times a day I would hear that wretched track by Gwen Stephani where she thought it would be clever to chant out the spelling of "bananas" during the hook. But, such is the nature of modern Top 40 radio.

Day 18 - A song that you wish you heard on the radio

Why would I wish to hear something on the radio when I can easily find it online and play in my car CD player or MP3 hook-up?

Day 19 - A song from your favorite album

And we go back to Zeppelin again and "In The Light" from their "Physical Graffitti" double LP.

Day 20 - A song that you listen to when you’re angry

I don't often find myself angry long enough to warrant listening to something that would ultimately make me amplify that anger or assuage it to any reasonable extent. If I get to that point, I generally try to channel it through some form of artistic expression.

Day 21 - A song that you listen to when you’re happy

There's really a lot of these that end up resulting in hundreds of song titles running through my head and me being either unable to name one or having to just throw one out just so I can move onto the next number.

Day 22 - A song that you listen to when you’re sad

I have often wondered by people will listen to music that further pushes them into a sour mood when they are already deep into one. Perhaps it's just a form of punishment that we feel we have to engage in - kind of like aural flagellation. I have to admit that I have taken part in this practice for the better part of my life. I think the song that most typifies this practice, as well as being one that further amplifies a sullen mood, is "That Song" by Big Wreck.

Day 23 - A song that you want to play at your wedding

My wife and I had Billie Holiday and The Cure played at our wedding.

Day 24 - A song that you want to play at your funeral

There was a point in time where I wanted to have "Amazing Grace" played on bagpipes at my funeral. Upon further reflection, I don't want any music at my funeral, as I don't want a typical funeral in the least. There will, however, be lots of drinking I hope.

Day 25 - A song that makes you laugh

As odd as it may sound to some I would have to say, without fear of retracting my answer, "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf is probably the only non-comedic song that can make me laugh.

Day 26 - A song that you can play on an instrument

I'm not the most adept person on guitar, as I have fallen out of practice over the course of the last 10 years, but I can still crank out more than a few Metallica tracks, some Van Halen, and even "Roundabout" by Yes. Of course there are more, but I'm getting to the point where this meme is wearing me thin.

Day 27 - A song that you wish you could play

Always wanted to be able to play anything on piano. Sure, I can plunk out a slow melody now and again, but nothing that can be considered a legitimate composition.

Day 28 - A song that makes you feel guilty

I don't think there's a song in existence that makes me feel guilty about anything. That's a rather odd query actually. Would be interesting to see another person's reaction to this one.

Day 29 - A song from your childhood

I can clearly recall my mom listening to Queen when I was a kid. She had a "greatest hits" album that was constantly on the turntable Sunday afternoons. Either that, or it would be country radio playing in the background while she cleaned the kitchen. Nothing that stands out immediately really.

Day 30 - Your favorite song at this time last year

Can't recall if there was anything new out this time last year that caught my fancy or not.

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