Jeff tagged me for six songs I love, so here goes:
Duh. (Run, Run, Run, Run, Run – The Velvet Underground) Three cords at its finest, bumpin’ bass line, catchy lyrics, drummer absolutely out of her mind. One of the common themes you’re going to find in my favorite songs is variations on a theme – I absolutely love listening to musicians take a riff – blues, jazz, rock and/or roll, hip-hop – twist it beyond all recognition, and then re-converge on the same riff at the end.
Take Five – The Dave Bruebeck Quartet, Time Out. Same elements as the Velvets, ‘cept Jazz. I got to see Dave Bruebeck with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra a few years ago – absolutely insane to think I had a chance to see one of the greats.
Up Against the Wall – Jerry Jeff Walker, Viva Terlingua. Captures the Texas with which I grew up. Granted, it was mythology even as I was growing up, but it was living memory to my folks and grandparents. Mind numbing stretches of two lane, small towns, people larger than life. Knowing a bar-b-q joint or a store with an ice-cream cooler at just the right time on every trip. Fishin’ in farmer’s tanks. Heh – maybe my cycling fetish has something to do with a desire to shrink the world into knowable chunks.
Twofer – Rhymin’ and Stealin’ – Beastie Boys, License to Ill and When the Levee Breaks – Led Zepplin, (The Stairway to Heaven Album). Guess it’s time to place me within a year or two. I got a hold of License to Ill back in middle school. My parents found it, listened to about 30 seconds and pitched it. Hmm, that’s got to be a cool album. Dubbed a copy from a friend, hid it under my mattress, and listened to it every night. Everyone else thought that Fight for Your Right (to Party) was where it was at – I was captivated by the big drums and references. Towards the end of high school, I figured I’d try to see what the stoners and heads saw in Zepplin (as an “Alternative” kind of guy, if it wasn’t English, or if it was played with a melody, or rhythm other than “bangbangbangbangbang”, I wanted none of it). Dropped my jaw when I heard the big, booming drums at the beginning of When the Levee Breaks, and in one fell swoop had a huge appreciation for “classic” rock, hip hop’s re-interpretation of everything (hey, three in a row for taking a theme, bending it, and returning to the beginning), and finally understood what piano and violin teachers couldn’t push through my thick skull – the difference between melody and rhythm (Yeah, I’m a slow learner).
Fat was a Feminist Issue – MJ Hibbett and the Validators, This is Not a Library – Uh, yeah. I’m also a lyric guy – these are priceless. Plus, these guys are, like, normal types. You may have heard their “Hey, Hey, 16K” tribute to old computers a while back – someone did a Flash animation for it. Sweet horn section. Did I mention good lyrics?
Superfly – Curtis Mayfield, Superfly Soundtrack – Sweet mix of funk, jazz, and soul, and a kickin’ horn section. Plus, ripped off by the Beasties. AND another epiphany and appreciation for both Funk and blaxploitation flicks. Heh. Archeology through audio.
Special Bonus – 40 – U2, Under a Blood Red Sky. I’ve always struggled with faith. You may not have noticed, but I’ve got a pretty analytical mind. Faith, true faith, does not lend itself to analysis. Patience, likewise, is not something I’m inclined to. “Waiting patiently for the Lord, incline and hear my cry …” Likewise, redemption, promise, and hope – “I will sing, sing a new song.” Vertigo had a very similar effect at a tough time in my life last fall.
So, that’s that. Dear god, I hope no-one tries to psychoanalyze me over this.
I’d like to tap – well, someone, but I’m about 3 generations down on this one, so it’s tough to find people. Kind of like multi-level marketing.