Friday, September 07, 2012

Six Songs of Me

The Guardian has been doing a rather jolly series of posts titled "Six Songs of Me." So, being an obsessive music listmaker, I had to do it, too.

What was the first song you ever bought?
Adam Ant - Goody Two Shoes
Well, it's not like I personally actually bought it, I don't think, but my parents bought it for me.  So that counts?  Maybe?  In actual fact, I can't remember the first thing I bought with my own money.  I really can't.  So I'm going for this.  I played it all the time, on 7", in my mum's front room.  I absolutely loved it.

What song always gets you dancing?
Slum Village - Forth & Back / Bel Biv Devoe - Poison

This answer is another contingent answer - you see, there are numerous songs that will get me out to the dance floor.  Numerous.  But if by "dancing" you mean literally unable to stand still, then Forth & Back is the one.  It is insanely danceable.  The only downside - there is just nowhere that this gets played out, which is a travesty.  For a guaranteed dance floor jaunt, out of songs that are likely to be played, then Poison wins, although similar results come from This Is How We Do It and No Diggity.  Because, well, obviously.

What song takes you back to your childhood?

Wishing Well by Terence Trent D'arby. My mum LOVED him, and anything by him reminds me of trips in our blue cavalier and the tape deck. Many, many tapes.

What is your perfect love song?
Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
It's short and to the point - I don't like my life when the person I love is not around.  It's beautifully undemonstrative, showy, or ostentatious; his delivery is perfect and does not detract from the simplicity of the song and its message.  However, a far more emotive singer, Jeff Buckley, would have my next two.  Lover, You Should Have Come over rarely fails to make me sob at least a little at the yearning, mourning, and melancholy within as he lists what he would give up to have her back; Everybody Here Wants You has a sparse arrangement which works wonderful with the beautiful richness of his voice. 

What song would you want at your funeral?
LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends
Because it makes me happy beyond all measure, it's about getting old and spending time with people you love but it not always going the way it should. And I've listened and danced and jumped and cried to it more times than I can count.

Time for the encore. One last song that makes you, you.
Orbital - Chime.   
This is my happy place song.  No matter where I am, what I'm doing, what mood I'm in, this is what lifts me up.  Every single time.  It works everywhere and anywhere.  We were zooming along the road in Kefalonia on our last night, sad to be leaving the beautiful place and our wonderful holiday, and yet, this song did not feel out of place. It never does.  


There is a great bit in High Fidelity - I'm talking about the movie, but presuming it's in the book, but have never read any Nick Hornby (overwhelmingly put off by his Goonerness which is, weirdly enough, relevant to this post) - where Jack Black's character points out that what is important in a person is not what they're like, but what they like.  This is a prejudice I share - hence refusing to read Nick Hornby, it seems.  If his judgment about a football team is so wrong, how could I trust him on other things?

This little bit was brought to mind by the flight back to NYC after a couple of weeks in Europe (more on that later, possibly).  The gentleman in front of TOH was alternating between doing work, and watching movies.  The work appeared to be some sort of presentation on encouraging adults to learn and participate in education (their own, I think).  The problem was, I could not take that work truly seriously, because I'd seen him voluntarily watch and laugh at American Reunion, the latest installment in the American Pie series, and pretty bad, according to a wide variety of pretty reliable sources.  Then, however, he chose to watch Battleship, and all his credibility leached out - why on earth would you voluntarily watch that?

On the other hand, I should be a tad generous, because I am a subscriber to the belief that the usual rules about what one should watch moviewise are shifted while in the air.  For example, although I would never usually watch anything with her in while on the ground, Sandra Bullock movies are not only fair game but welcome while aboard.  So, really, I can't talk.  But given that I watched a Danish thriller (total schlock, but whatever, subtitles, and it's not Battleship) and a gritty, surprisingly good slice of an ex-con's life in Wild Bill, I could at least feel morally superior on that one flight.