12 April 2007

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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At 4/12/2007 10:38:00 PM, Blogger Nat said...

Speaking of soundtracks. I think other than relating songs to your life, I love when great songs are used in specific scenes in movies. Nothing is better than amplifying a scene in a movie with a great tune.

At 4/12/2007 10:53:00 PM, Blogger Nat said...

Hahaha. Thanks for the comments Beth! I tell you when I see a great scene and song combo I get the chills! Glad someone feels the way I do. Love your blog by the way. Would love to link to some of your work and if you ever would like to suggest or write a ranking I'd be very interested in presenting your ideas. You can feel free to email me. Thanks again!

At 4/13/2007 12:05:00 AM, Blogger lulu said...

Fun! Thanks for the tag and the kind words!

At 4/13/2007 01:25:00 AM, Blogger Bubs said...

I'm surprised to see R.E.M. in there.

At 4/13/2007 01:27:00 AM, Blogger Bubs said...

I'm glad you're a vinyl person. I'm waiting to see the first retro-hipster who responds to this and claims the 8-track is the superior format. I'm embarrassed that I don't think I ever noticed the London Calling/Elvis Presley homage before. Surely that must be one of those things that I knew at one time and later purged from my memory, right? I mean, I had to know that.

At 4/13/2007 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Splotchy said...

I never noticed the London Calling homage either.

Pretty freaking cool!

As far as the R.E.M. album, when I am feeling a little silly I find myself saying Fables of the Reconstruction of the Fables of the Reconstruction of the Fables of the Reconstruction etc.

At 4/13/2007 10:39:00 AM, Blogger Splotchy said...

That was me who deleted the comment, by the way.

I had a misspelling that was a-buggin' me, and couldn't figure out how to edit the comment to fix it.


And sorry for this post that is saying sorry!

Okay, peace out!

At 4/13/2007 11:59:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

NAT: Your post had some great soundtrack moments. One of my faves is from About a Boy — Badly Drawn Boy's "A Minor Incident," during Toni Collette's suicide attempt. I'm going to enjoy your blog, BTW.

LULU: I enjoyed your answers. Rawk on, Billy!

BUBS: I know; that R.E.M. was a surprise, huh? I actually worked at making it as non-R.E.M.-centric as I could.

BUBS/SPLOTCHY: Glad I educated you on the London Calling design. Even if you didn't know about the Elvis connection, it's still a great cover.

SPLOTCHY: Don't you hate it when you find a typo after you've left a comment? Keeps me awake at night ...

At 4/13/2007 05:24:00 PM, Blogger haahnster said...

Hey, I just got your tag (all-day training at work today--a Friday, even--GASP). I'll be sure to get on top of it as soon as possible.

At 4/13/2007 09:40:00 PM, Blogger Scrivener said...

Thanks for the tag. I had no idea about the London Calling/Elvis connection.

At 4/13/2007 09:49:00 PM, Blogger chelene said...

I miss vinyl too. Remember the little scratchy pops when you put the needle down and how you could actually see the details in the cover artwork (okay, now I feel old)? Anyway, I still have all my vinyl records but unless I can woo a DJ I've got nothing to play them on.

At 4/14/2007 12:55:00 AM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

"who can read 5-point type on CD covers?"

And what happened to artwork? Not to mention, if you really hated a record, you could use it as a frisbee.

At 4/14/2007 01:24:00 AM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

Beth, I was looking at your upcoming shows and noticed Todd Rundgren. Can I come with you?

At 4/14/2007 04:17:00 PM, Blogger mellowlee said...

That was such a cool list, I tagged myself heeeheee! Vinyl IS the coolest! I wish I had a turntable! I almost bought Harry Nillson's The Point on vinyl just because it has the comic book attached to the inside cover ( I have the CD, but it's just not the same) Then I realized, I have nothing to play it on DAMN

At 4/14/2007 04:40:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

HAAHNSTER: Corporate bastards. Who plans a training day on a Friday?

SCRIVENER: Can't wait to read your answers.

CHELENE: I loved those opening pops on the album; you knew exactly when the song would begin by listening to that pattern. Love the hair, BTW.

WRITE PROCRASTINATOR: Forgot about the frisbee bennie!

TEN S: Not on this one. I'm going with a boy. A cute boy. But the show hasn't sold out, so c'mon down and join us.

MELLOWLEE: OOOH! I'm glad you self-tagged! I'll read it this weekend. Don't you love The Point?

At 4/15/2007 05:25:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

I read through Bubs' list and did mine. I then went back and checked Splotchy's and saw we'd commented similarly on the 8 track and then your comment went along with mine too! Love the coinkydinks.

I remember the Split Enz vinyl Beth!

Excellent answers and great idea for karaoke song too.

At 4/16/2007 05:24:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

How do you know it was pot that you smelled?

Thanks for the Elvis/Clash comparison. I own both albums but had completely forgotten how the album art was super cool.

At 4/16/2007 11:37:00 PM, Blogger Artful Dodger said...

That is such a cool post. I'm going to have to answer these too. ^_^

At 4/17/2007 11:20:00 AM, Blogger gizmorox said...

I love that Clash cover. Good choice.

And really? Pot at a Willie Nelson concert? Who would have thought. ;)

At 4/17/2007 11:22:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

DALE: No coinkydinks; we're just damn cool. One of these days, we'll get drunk in NYC and sing "Wedding Bell Blues" together.

GRANT MILLER: My mama told me. As she blew smoke in my face.

ARTFUL DODGER: Glad you self-tagged; I enjoyed your list.

GIZMOROX: Can you believe it — marijuana????


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