After achieving a bloggy highlight to the first off-season timekilling meme with the story of my Dad's declaration of war against a beef stroganoff baked potato, we're excited to get after this meme on music. Prepare for the ramblings of someone whose musical tastes typically match those of a Baby Boomer who thinks that a blog is an amorphous alien that became the subject of several bad horror movies. On with the fun:
By the way, if you want background on most of the songs I'm sure to list, this link will be a great help.
1. A favorite political track.
Shit, this seems to be right in the wheelhouse of your average Dylan fanatic. I suppose I should say "Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" or "Hurricane", but instead, I'm going with "Only a Pawn in their Game." Dylan's "folk" phase is not my favorite epoch of his career, but this song never gets old, mainly because Dylan can write about the murder of Medgar Evers while still not blaming everything on rednecks as most folkies of the era were wan to do. When I try to explain why poor whites have it almost as bad as blacks in the South, this song does a lot of the work for me.
2. One of those tracks that will make you dance on the dancefloor no matter what.
"My Own Worst Enemy" by Lit. In my memory palace of being a star striker for Barcelona, this is on my I-Pod before heading out onto the pitch at the Bernabeu, putting a hat trick past Real Madrid, kissing the badge on my jersey, and then derisively giving David Beckham a peck on the cheek. I defy anyone to listen to this song and not start shuffling their shoulders like a whitey with no rhythm.
3. The song you’d use to tell someone you love them.
"Love Minus Zero/No Limit" by Bob Dylan. You can have all your songs that'll be forgotten in ten minutes; you won't do better than this for the opening verse of a love song:
My love she speaks like silence,
Without ideals or violence,
She doesn't have to say she's faithful,
Yet she's true, like ice, like fire.
People carry roses,
Make promises by the hours,
My love she laughs like the flowers,
Valentines can't buy her.
I had to talk myself out of using this song for my vows at my wedding. It seemed a little unoriginal to use another Jew's words under the Chupah. "In My Life" by The Beatles would also be a good choice.
4. A song you know would sell lots of VWs (or ipods, or whatever) if they paid for it. (One that hasn’t already been used).
"Electrolite" by REM. Call me crazy, but I can see a woman washing her hair in a commercial with Stipe singing over a piano and Andrea immediately deciding that she needs that conditioner on her next trip to Publix.
5. A song that forced you to sit down and analyze its lyrics.
"Black Diamond Bay" by Bob Dylan. I've spent more time trying to figure this one out than any other song, with the possible exception of "Desolation Row" and "Visions of Johanna." It's one of the only songs that Dylan has not played live, which has to be telling that it's personal. Is the female character his ex-wife? Is there significance to the fact that the bay has the same initials as Dylan himself? Is the final verse Dylan's way of saying that he's tuned out of what's happening in the world? And is anyone reading this familiar with anything I'm saying?
6. A song you like that a 2 year old would like too.
"Rocky Top." I'll admit that it's catchy and fun to sing while drinking, but it's repetitive simplicity is something that a two-year old could truly appreciate. Well, maybe they won't understand what it means to drink corn from a jar, but that's not a bad thing.
7. A song that makes you drive too fast.
"Original of the Species" by U2. I can make this statement from personal experience, as I listened to this one three times in a row last May when I was driving up to Charlottesville for my five-year law school reunion. The combination of a sunny day, a scenic ride on US-29 north of Danville, the fact that I was missing work for a day, the prospect of seeing other lawyers more beaten down by life than me, and this soaring song (isn't that the mandatory adjective for U2 guitar-heavy songs?) got Guderian into high gear.
Note of disclosure: my car is German and I named it after the Wehrmacht's Panzer ace from WWII. And yes, I'm Jewish. Welcome to a human contradiction.
8. A song that makes you feel like kicking someone’s ass.
"Take this Job and Shove It" by Johnny Paycheck. Nothing makes me want to kick ass quite like being frustrated at work and this song always comes in handy. "Oney" by Johnny Cash comes in as a close second and has the advantage of not having been destroyed by a million covers.
9. A song that both you and your grandparents (would probably) like.
"1812 Overture" by Tchaikovsky. The song was almost destroyed for me when I figured out that it figures prominently in the menu offered by the Notre Dame Marching Band, but then I figured out that it's about a massive defeat for a predominantly Catholic army and it became amusing to me. Anyway, I suspect that my grandparents like classical music more than music that they shouldn't criticize because they can't understand.
11. The song you’d send to someone you hated.
"My Humps" by Fergie. I defy any future boy bands or Barry Mannilow's to come up with anything as insipid as this pile of crap. If the recipient is a small-chested woman or a large-chested feminist, then all the better.
12. A sad instrumental song that would be in the soundtrack to a movie about your life.
I've often thought that Steve Earle's "Transcendental Blues" would be a great opening for my life on screen, although I don't do enough drugs (or any, for that matter) to justify being transcendental. But it isn't sad or instrumental. So instead, "I'm So Tired" by The Beatles is going to have to do. This'll be playing after I've stayed up all night obsessing about Lloyd punting on 4th and three from the 38 when nursing a narrow lead, shortly before I come to the realization that there are more important things in life...the same that every Cameron Crowe protagonist reaches.
13. The peppy song that would start the opening credits in the soundtrack to a movie about your life.
"No One Left to Run With Anymore" by the Allman Brothers. This song gets the nod, in part because the Brothers are from Macon and in part because the movie is going to be about me coming to grips that the days of working as Camp Judaea's sports director and lording my mad skillz at NHL '94 over the rest of the staff have sadly faded to black and been replaced by TPS reports.
14. An a cappella song.
"Imagine" by Neil Young. I'm just not a John Lennon fan, so I'm opting for Neil's version on "America: a Tribute to Heroes." It's not exactly a capella, but it's close enough and it's one of those songs that nails a time and place for me. My friend Bob and I were having beers at Smith's Olde Bar shortly after I had returned from being stranded in Europe after 9/11. I was pretty unsettled by the whole experience and in just the right emotional spot to be hit by Neil Young singing the right song. We'll return to Oxygen after this short commercial break.
15. A good song from a genre of music that no one could guess that you liked.
"Express Yourself" by NWA. I guess it isn't that surprising that a suburban kid who grew up in the 80s would like NWA, but it seems to surprise other cars on Peachtree Street on a Saturday night to hear this one coming from the redhead in the A4.
16. A song you think should have been playing when you were born.
"Jumpin' Jack Flash" by The Rolling Stones. It seems appropriate that I should have come out of my mother's womb to the line "I was born in the middle of a crossfire hurricane."
17. A favorite artist duo collaboration.
"Gone" by Kanye West with Consequence and Cam'Ron. "It's my sweet brutha' Noompsie!"
18. A favorite song that you completely disagree with (politically, morally, commonsenically, religiously etc.)
"If That Ain't Country" by David Allen Coe. I want to use this line in conversation all the time, and then I remember that this is the song that Coe drops an n-bomb and I stop myself. Such a shame, because it's a catchy tune and yet DAC just can't help himself. He might be the only artist on earth who drops a racial epithet on his greatest hits album. Normally, that sort of mistake is saved for some underground bootleg where Band X have been drinking gallons of turpentine moonshine and someone slips up and forgets that they're not in "Crash."
19. The song that you love despite the fact your IQ level drops several points every time you listen to it.
"Behind these Hazel Eyes" by Kelly Clarkson. I honestly contemplated putting my head in the oven when I downloaded this to my I-Pod. And yet it's on the mix I use when I go running. There's nothing quite so humiliating as spending $.99 on a song by the winner of a gameshow.
20. Your smooth song, for relaxing.
"Something in the Way" by Nirvana. Just avoid paying attention to the actual subject of the song and it's a wonderful companion to a glass of Baker's after a long, hard day. "I Shall Believe" by Sheryl Crow isn't bad, either. Why that song never took off as a teenager slow dance song I'll never know.
21. A song that you like but would play loud to annoy the neighbors.
I hate my Republican, trust fund, FSU grad, loud music at odd hours while probably high on Bolivian nose powder downstairs neighbors and have fond memories of the Spurrier era, so whatever the Florida fight song is actually called, I'll roll with that. And speaking of fight songs...
22. A favorite song that’s about a sport or sports.
Louis Elbel, take it from here:
Now for a cheer they are here, triumphant!
Here they come with banners flying.
In stalwart step they're nighing.
With shouts of vict'ry crying.
We hurrah, hurrah, we greet you now, Hail!
Far we their praises sing
For the glory and fame they've bro't us,
Loud let the bells them ring,
For here they come with banners flying
Far we their praises tell
For the glory and fame they've bro't us,
Loud let the bells them ring
For here they come with banners flying
Here they come, Hurrah!
Hail! To the victors, valiant...
23. A favorite track from an outfit considered a “super-group.”
"Tweeter and the Monkey Man" by The Traveling Wilburys.
24. The song that makes you want to drink more beer.
"I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink" by Merle Haggard. If we aren't just limited to beer, then I have a whole setlist ready, bitches:
"Jack Daniels if You Please" by David Allan Coe
"Gin and Juice" by Snoop Dogg (especially to follow a song by an open racist with one by the pride of South Central.)
"Roll Another Number for the Road" by Neil Young
"Hypnotize" by Notorious B.I.G.
"Loving Cup" by The Rolling Stones
"Copperhead Road" by Steve Earle
"Beginning to See the Light" by The Velvet Underground
"Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" by Bob Dylan (especially the version from the "No Direction Home" soundtrack, which I like more than the "Blonde on Blonde" version.)
"Rudie Can't Fail" by The Clash
"One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" by George Thorogood
"Mr. Brownstone" by Guns 'n' Roses