Because I Never Write About Music
Bubs over at Sprawling Ramshackle Compound knows me well, knew that I’d get into a music-centric meme. I’m clapping my hands as I fill in my answers!
What was the first recorded music you bought?
The Beatles’ Help! soundtrack. The sister bought Revolver at the same time.
What was the most recent?
The last physical CD I bought was Sounds Eclectic: The Covers Project, which includes covers performed on KCRW by the beloved R.E.M. (“Gentle on My Mind”) and other Cup favorites — Flaming Lips (“Knives Out”), Paul Weller (“Wishing on a Star”), Rufus Wainwright (“Harvest”), Damien Rice (“Creep”), and others. The most recent electronic-format album I downloaded was Andrew Bird’s Armchair Apocrypha (a nod to Scrivener for turning me on to Mr. Bird).
What was the first professional music show you ever went to?
My parents took us to a Willy Nelson concert, with Waylon Jennings and Leon Russell on keyboards, in the mid-1970s. Great show — and the first time I smelled pot.
The most recent show?
Rickie Lee Jones, at Variety Playhouse (good show). I was supposed to see The Decemberists last Friday with the young groovies ... but damn if I didn't get sick. I'm still pouting.
What's your desert island album?
R.E.M.’s Murmur. What? You were expecting the Time-Life series on 1990s pop?
What's your favorite album/song title (not the actual album or song)?
“Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(again),” by Wilco. I love the strength, the determination of the phrase-cum-word. I love the hell out of the song, too; playing it full blast right now and singing as loud as I can and dancing in my chair. Runner-up: R.E.M.'s Fables of the Reconstruction/Reconstruction of the Fables; the ambiguity always entertained me.
What's your favorite album art (include an image of it if you can)?
The Clash’s London Calling — a vibrant, violent, visual homage to Elvis’ first album. The Elvis cover was sweet and innocent, splashed with great color and typography. The London Calling design uses that color scheme and typography, but it communicates the energy and rawness of the music inside, thanks to that iconic photo of Paul Simonon a nanosecond before he smashes that guitar.
What’s your ideal choice for a karaoke song?
The Fifth Dimension’s “Wedding Bell Blues.” It’s one of those songs I simply. Must. Sing (read: butcher). At full ear-splitting volume. Every time I hear it.
You hate that song … but it won’t leave your head if you hear it.
“Seasons in the Sun.” I can even tell you that Rod McKuen translated Jacques Brel’s lyrics. Gawd, I hate that song … and now it’s playing over and over in my head. Must queue up Wilco again — fast!
Which is cooler — vinyl? CD? cassette? 8-track?
Hands down, vinyl. I miss being able to read liner notes (who can read 5-point type on CD covers?). The 12-inch square format lent itself to great design. I couldn’t wait to walk out of the record store, get into my car, rip off the plastic, and pour over every inch of the cover. Back then, I knew session musicians and song titles. Now, not so much. And don’t forget the cool things done to vinyl. Remember the laser-etched record for Split Enz’s True Colors? Still have it, still cool. I even miss the pops of the vinyl; it was like your personalized recording of the song. And don’t get me started on 45s …
And now I tag:
Scrivener, because music is as much a part of his life as it is mine (and because he turns me on to at least one new band a month) …
Haahnster, because the boy always has something interesting to say about music …
Land-o-Lulu, because she always writes beautifully about her music passions.
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