Thursday, August 09, 2012

that solo's awful long, but it's a good refrain

The Guardian and some friends of mine pointed me towards a project that tries to capture the essence of a person through the songs with which they identify most. It was a good excuse to dust off the blog, and also, I found the assignment a little stupid because some of the questions/categories are not reasonable to distill down to one song. So I cheated as usual, but at least I'm posting for a change.

The first song I ever bought:
Thriller, Michael Jackson- Obviously, because of my impending senior citizen status, I did not purchase a first song, I bought a first album. And of course, given my age range, and how old I was before my parents would allow me and my brother records, we were united in our desire to obtain Thriller with the money we'd amassed over months. We were not sorry. Even though it heralded an increasingly commercial and ridiculous time that would culminate in Jackson morphing into a completely bizarre entity, this album will never seem like anything less than a revelation.

Song that always gets me dancing:
Just can't get enough, Depeche Mode- A silly one but true. I should point out, though, that it doesn't take all that much to get me dancing. There are a number of guilty pleasures that I could include in this list (It takes two comes to mind).

Song that takes me back to childhood:
Centerfold, J Geils Band- Look, I was probably seven or eight when I heard this song on the radio. It was one of the first songs I heard on the radio. I had no idea what the song was about, and probably even after it was explained to me, I didn't really get what it was about. But it always reminds me of being a kid, sitting on a bus, with a bunch of other kids, singing along to a song we didn't understand.

Perfect love song:
A tie between Thank You by Led Zeppelin and Nice work if you can get it by Ella Fitzgerald and I believe by Stevie Wonder and about a million other songs- just tell me that you wouldn't swoon for someone who said 'mountains crumble to the sea, there would still be you and me.' On the other hand, Fitzgerald's song lacks all angst, is so matter-of-fact about love that in some ways it is more perfect than anything else could be. And on the other other hand, Wonder's song is breathtakingly beautiful and hopeful. But honestly, I feel like there are so many songs I could include and then maybe I would have covered every good love song out there.

Song I would want at funeral:
Wishlist, Pearl Jam- if it were really my funeral, I wouldn't want dirges. And this song has a lot of yearning associated with it, which I've always related to life in general. Because I've always thought that's what this song is about- that life is all about wanting, even if it's something as simple as breathing, even if it's ungrateful to keep wanting more (thus my favorite line of 'I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me').

A song that makes me, me:
Galileo, Indigo Girls- the obvious Cornershop song also comes to mind, but first and foremost, holy smokes, I am a f***-up. That's what I'm all about, underneath whatever facade I may be able to pull off in public. I am a failure. I am that person who falls in potholes, who trips right into ravines, who slips on black ice and lands smack on her bottom. But the thing about all of that failure is that it's made me who I am. You can smash me into a million pieces on the sidewalk, and I'll emerge like that oozing metal of Terminator 2, reformed, revived. I like to think all of those rather graceless face plants led me to who I am and what I am doing now. And somehow, all of that makes me think of this song.

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