Archive for August, 2012

6 songs part 2

After last week’s post on the Six songs of me, top tweeter Janet Davis ratcheted up the difficulty by proposing an alternative set of questions. I like a challenge so here goes.

1. What song do you remember best from college/university?

I hung out with some slightly offbeat people at Uni. The song I remember everyone listening to most are “Ain’t no Friend of Mine” by The Sparkles (although a number of different versions did the rounds if I remember correctly, which I probably don’t). I’m not really in touch with any of those people any more and just now was the first time I’ve listened to it since. I really hate it.

The other song that reminds me of this period of time is “Stand” by REM. In my final year I hid away a bit to get studying done and discovered late night radio. I remember the first time I heard this song and it’s been a favourite since. I’ve never done the dance though.

2) What song best evokes your experience of a study or work trip?

Difficult. I’ve not been on many study or work trips where music has featured much, and I’m racking my brain. Null response on this one.

3) Which song is most likely to bring a tear to your eye (or to make you weep copiously)?

I’ll cry at virtually anything except music. Some of the Mozart piano concertos (especially number 20) remind me of my Mum and that makes me go a little bit, though.

4) What is the best song to kickstart your most creative thinking?

Difficult to choose just one here. Technically the answer is “anything I like”, but if I had to choose just one it would be something quite sparse. Portishead’s “It Could Be Sweet” fits the bill.

5) Which song helps you work when you really need to concentrate?

If you want to concentrate you need something quite long. “Close to the Edge” by Yes does it for me. Sorry.

6) When you’re angry, on which song do you want to turn up the volume?

Hoo boy. I’ve learned that anger is really a cover-up for something else. At those times I meditate. Preferably to Spiritualised. “Pure Phase“, “Sway“or “Angel Sigh“are best.

7) Which song sums up the person you would like to be?

I’m quite content with who I am, really. If anything I merely struggle towards being better-adjusted. For this song I am going to pick “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” by The Flaming Lips because a) I think the Lips are well-adjusted, and b) who wouldn’t want to be a black belt in karate? 🙂



Six songs

The Guardian website (disclaimer: I am a bleeding heart pinko liberal leftie) has set out a challenge: to select six songs that sum you up. There’s a full article here explaining why it’s an important project and a link to the project website, for people to record their own list. The difficulty is ratcheted up beyond the usual “epic mixtape” level by the project asking you very specific questions: unfortunately, not all the songs that were ever recorded are selectable using the site.

My problem is that the answers to some of the questions that  wanted to use weren’t there and in some cases I wanted to add some narrative, alternatives and/or explanation. So I’m blogging it instead.

Here goes then.

1) What was the first song you ever bought?

Embarrassing. It was January by Pilot. So sue me. I was 7 or something.

2) What song always gets you dancing?

Lots of options here.  I like pop music and I don’t much care how trashy it is. On the other hand, I like to think I can appreciate something that’s well-crafted and for sheer energy I have two favourites: Talking Heads Crosseyed and Painless (this live performance is particularly groovemungous) and the poppy punk of Angel Interceptor by Ash which never fails to put me in a good mood.

3) What song takes you back to your childhood?

Only one option here – Funky Gibbon by the Goodies. Although most of my family played musical instruments, I wasn’t born humming Bach fugues. No YouTube link because I don’t want to lose *that* many readers.

4) What is your perfect love song?

My lovely other half used to have an MP3 alarm tone on her phone of Weird Fishes / Arpeggi by Radiohead. So that song always makes me realise I need to make her a cup of tea. Also, it’s just musically and lyrically beautiful. Some people think Radiohead are miserable. Those people are losers.

5) What song would you want at your funeral?

One funeral is too many to go to, but the ones I’ve been to have had two songs: one when people are going in and another when the coffin is going out. So I have two selections here, which are actually written in my will so they will happen.

On the way in, it’s Pyramid Song by Radiohead. Preferably performed by a choir, but we can’t have everything.

On the way out, Zombie Woof by Frank Zappa. I want to make some people smile plus it has the most epic guitar solo in the middle. And like one of the commenters, I have lived for the riff at 3:56.

6) “One last song that makes you, you.”

Difficult. But I was listening to the Beck album Odelay the other day and thought how much I loved the way he cuts up styles and how the songs don’t really end, they sort of collapse. I love that. I could name any one of the songs on that album, I love them all. I would love to be half as eclectic and dare to just meander off instead of being crisp and “professional”. But I’m going to select “Loser” (which isn’t on that album) because he isn’t one. But then again, aren’t we all? Or something like that.