Saturday, February 12, 2005

A Music Meme

I don't usually use music-themed memes when I'm starved for content, for the same reason that I don't use techie memes... my musical knowledge is so limited; and though I am something of a music addict (insofar as I have music playing all the time, twenty-four/seven as they say), my tastes are peculiar and my collections are pretty boring.

Nevertheless, I came across this meme at Green Duckies (which has been sitting at the top of the page all week... are you OK, Dana Marie?) and thought I'd reproduce it here for you, since I have nothing better to do at the moment (besides the work I brought home with me and the laundry and the fiction-writing and taking the Grandmother to Target to return the pink twinset she bought for her great-grandaughter... who just turned twelve but to our surprise wears a women's size large).

Music Meme

1. Song that sounds like happy feels: In my usual manner, I refuse to answer a simple question with a simple response... I will instead give you my top five from my 20-song "Happy Songs" iTunes playlist:
    "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music
    "Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
    "Una voce poco fa," from Il Barbiere di Siviglia
    "Long As I'm Here With You" from Thoroughly Modern Millie
    "Queer as Folk Theme" (the British version, natch) by Murray Gold
Have you ever noticed that happy songs are always up-tempo? But I'm usually supremely calm when I'm happy... yet the up-tempo feels happier somehow.

2. Earliest music memory: Grandmother used to play The Nutcracker Suite for us on a little portable phonograph when we were little, but I'm not sure if I really remember the occurrence or if I'm just remembering Grandmother's description of it; I do remember "My Darling Clementine," which Mother used to play on the piano at her parents' house, the only piece she knew how to play, which always made my sister cry (it's a pretty fuckin' twisted song, and Suzie thought it was sad that Clementine drowned, though I figured that's what you get for wearing fish tins for sandals); about the same time, maybe earlier, we used to beg my uncle to play "Puff the Magic Dragon" on his guitar, and we would all sing along.

3. Last CD you bought...
    In person: I haven't been in a record store in eons... I think the last one I bought was the Camp soundtrack, for which I uncharacteristically paid full retail at Borders the day after I saw the movie on DVD.

    At Amazon (I added this portion myself, since that's where I buy most of my CDs): Let Yourself Go by Kristin Chenoweth with Rob Fischer and the Coffee Club Orchestra.

    On iTunes: The soundtrack to Wicked... kind of a combination of both of the above, being a soundtrack and featuring Kristin Chenoweth.
4. Reminds you of school...
    Grade school: "Mary Had A Little Lamb," which we learned to play on the 'song flute' (which is essentially a recorder, but smaller and plastic, for which in 1977 every parent at Willow Creek Elementary had to shell out $3 per child [which is how much they cost now, twenty-five years later, so somebody was making a killing on that scam] and then had to listen to their children blowing on for the next six months).

    Junior High/Middle School: "You Light Up My Life" (Debbie Boone) which we learned to perform in American Sign Language. That song is so sappy that the mere memory of it makes me physically ill.

    High school: any and every song in the Top 40 between 1982 and 1986. I had my favorite songs at the time, but really, any song from that period sends me straight back to Pimple-and-Hormone Land.

    College: Opera... it's when I started to listen to opera. In particular, my Maria Callas La Divina albums always remind me of my days at SF State, sitting on a bench in the cedar grove watching the people go by and reading books and taking notes, drinking double lattes and eating rasperry-ring pastries and smoking my nasty sinful cigarettes, all at the same time with my headphones on.
5. Total music files in your PC: according to my iTunes status bar, I have 389 songs (I'd better load in eleven more so I can have a nice even number) in my library, which takes 23 hours and 10 minutes to play and uses 1.33 gigabytes of memory (to give you some perspective, though, my porn and beefcake files number in the high thousands and take up more than 1.89 gigs).

6. Song for listening to repeatedly when depressed: That would depend entirely on why I was depressed. Is it a Billie Holliday depressed or a Showboat depressed or a "Defying Gravity" depressed or a Mahler's Fifth Symphony depressed? Depressions come in a hundred flavors, and each different flavor clamors for a different piece of music. But in general, when I am just overall depressed, I listen to my Happy Songs playlist. I don't really like to wallow, you know?

7. Song that sounds British, but isn't: Like Dana, I don't think I understand this question. But it does call to mind the weird fact that anything you sing in English has no accent, but it is impossible to speak English without some kind of accent. What is it about singing that precludes all but the most burlesque foreign or regional accents? Even ABBA, who on their first two albums had no idea what the hell they were singing about because they didn't speak a word of English, sound exactly the same (accent-wise) as, for example, the Mamas and the Papas, who all grew up in Southern California. Something to think about, no?

8. Song you love, band you hate: I can't think of a band I hate... I mostly don't notice whole bands, only individual performers. And I tend to hate everything about an individual performer I dislike: I generally come to loathe that performer based on the complete unlistenability of his/her music; if the performer has even one song that I like, I can usually forgive the rest of his/her oeuvre on the strength of it. The exception (and the answer to the question, and about time I got to it, what?) would have to be Madonna, whom I loathe strenuously but who used to produce songs I still like (anything from her Blonde-Bombshell/Breathless-Mahoney phase), and every now and again will drop a track that I can listen to without gagging... but I don't know the tracks, I refuse to know the names of the songs. Because I hate her, you see.

9. A favorite song from the past that took ages to track down: Songs I loved in the past are generally quite easy to track down, if iTunes doesn't have it I can always find it on Lycos Music. Even the really obscure ones. What I'd really like (from the very recent past) but can't find is "Why Not Me?" from the film Die Mommie Die, which I cannot find as a single or a soundtrack anywhere on the net.

10. Bought the album for one good song: I never pay good money for a CD unless there are at least three songs I know I'll like on it. This is the magic of iTunes... you can get just the one song without buying the whole damned album. But recently I got a CD from Amazon that has only one song on it that I do like, but I bought the album for the performer without any knowledge of the songs on it: the Darling Lili soundtrack, composed by Henry Mancini and starring Julie Andrews; but the whole thing is boring and down-tempo (there's a reason I'd never heard of this movie before), and the only song on it I like is "The Little Birds" sung by the École Française de Los Angeles Children's Choir (it's really cute).

11. Worst song to get stuck in your head: "It's A Small Small World," of course... you can't get it out. And I once got the theme from The Flintstones stuck in my head for three months and couldn't get it out. I have found the cure to brainworm songs, though: "Once Upon a Dream," a waltz originally from the ballet Sleeping Beauty by Tchaichovsky but reworked and supplied with words by Sammy Fain and Jack Lawrence for the animated Disney feature Sleeping Beauty; you sing it three or four times, it cleans out everything else and then sort of fades away on its own.

12. Best song to dump a beer on someone's head to, then storm out of the bar? Does somebody sing a song called "Go Fuck Yourself, You Loser?" If not, how about Loretta Lynn's "Mad Mrs. Leroy Brown" from her fabulous Van Lear Rose album? Or Lil' Kim's "Suck My Dick." But really, I would never pour a beer on someone's head... it would just make his hair shiny. If I wanted to pour something on somebody and then storm out, I'd choose something that stings, like cheap gin or a bottle of Absolut Peppar.

13. Who should do this next? Nobody ever does memes after me. I am the Meme's Last Stop.

14. Worst love song to sing to a first date? You should never sing a love-song on a first date, it looks too needy. But you should certainly never sing "My Man," unless you're really into that sort of thing.

15. Which of these three performers is a guilty pleasure? Celine Dion, Phil Collins, or Michael Bolton (come on, they make money from someone!): Don't look at me, bub, I wouldn't be caught dead. I kind of liked Celine, though, before she did that horrid song from Titanic and somehow convinced everyone in the world that she was some kind of Superdiva, or the next Barbra Streisand, when in fact she's just a shameless no-talent Canuck hog-caller. I've never bought any of these people's records, nor would I.

16. A band you hate that everyone seems to like: Again with the Madonna. I stand in danger of losing my Queening License over my hatred for this gay icon. But the way I see it, I hate her for really gay reasons (slaughtering the Evita soundtrack, making dreadful movies that aren't even bad enough to be camp, and displaying really bad style on several of her latest albums and tours), so I should be safe.


Well, that was instructive, wasn't it? I guess I'd better get started on writing those minutes, which I had to bring home from work because I still can't get my ethernet to work, and I can't get to the internet without the ethernet, and there's no way in hell I can write minutes without recourse to the internet for entertainment and release when the minutes-writing threatens what few shreds of sanity I still possess. And I am in the middle of a ten-load laundry project; fortunately the Target trip has been called off, so maybe if I get my minutes done, I can get some fiction written. I have the next few scenes well-rehearsed in my mind, but the glittering prose isn't as easy as it looks.

So I'll shout at ya later, and hope you're having a super day!

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