Monday, January 7, 2008

Sad little iPod.

I need some new music.

My iPod is crammed with favorites of the “I’ve heard this album 937 times” and “I bought this one song off of iTunes because it makes me think of going to the pool with my mom in 1978” varieties. While there are a few songs of the “I bought this single on iTunes and it makes me feel hip” variety, mostly, well, my music feels tiresome.

I need your help.

What saucy songs put a spring in your step?

In exchange for your kind generosity, I offer some of my favoritest songs. And none of them are of the “It was 1978 and my mom drove a huge brown Buick” variety.

Distant Sun – Crowded House
I love this song on the original record, but it made me cry in concert. The heavens exploded. I had the good fortune to catch this most brilliant of overlooked bands on Austin City Limits this weekend. They kept me up late. I would totally be their roadie.

Our history: I went to an actual record store and bought Crowded House’s greatest hits on an actual CD after I broke up with my first serious boyfriend, the BMG Tape and CD Club. I drove to the mall with the express purpose of this purchase. It did not disappoint.

Angel of Montgomery – Bonnie Raitt
I have the live version of this John Prine-penned tune on my ipod, but the original recording is still the most moving. “How the hell can a person get up in the morning, and come home in the evening and have nothing to say?” Those lines and her delivery break my brittle little heart.

Our history: I first heard this song my freshman year of college while working in the theatre scenery shop. Yes, I was operating power tools. And I put down whatever it was that I was mangling and I listened.

Not Ready to Make Nice – Dixie Chicks
You go, girls. I got nothin’ more to add.

Our history: I heard this driving one late afternoon with the sun in my eyes. They were playing it on the alternative station because no one else would touch it. And so, I began a love affair with the rush hour dj.

Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight & The Pips
“Mmm … LA.” Indeed. No list of favorites would be complete without a little classic Motown. When I grow up, I want to sing like Gladys and dance like a Pip. Sadly, the best line trails off at the very end: “My man! His girl …” This song is about that dedication that rips your heart out and you just don’t give a damn.

Our history: Are you kidding? I’ve probably been grooving to this song since the womb. (Hence why I need some new music.) My adult appreciation, though, started when I saw an old clip of the Pips performing. The arm-up-fist-“woo-hoo!” move gets me every time.

Statue – Low Millions
“Ain’t nothing going on here but the rent.” Ah, yes. This lovely little heartbreak song is good for wallowing … but lives on past those raw feelings because the lyrics paint such vivid pictures. It’s the sort of song you’d write if you were talented like that.

Our history: Post-heartbreak. Had to buy it. Had to listen to it approximately 4,396 times. Still love it, post-post-post-heartbreak. Feel it should be standard issue to incoming college freshmen about to get their hearts destroyed for the first time. Repeat listens much healthier than chain-smoking to The Cure.

I Love to Hate You – Erasure
Try not dancing and singing to this one. I dare you.

Our history: At some point in college, I memorized this entire song. I don’t know when. I don’t know why. But last summer, I scared the bejesus out of Mr. Wonderful – and myself – when I belted the entire thing as we prepared to see Erasure in concert. And really, I was sort of bummed when I wasn’t asked to sing back-up at the show. Don’t they know I know all the words?

So. Your turn. What’s playing in your head? I mean, besides the multiple voices.

7 comments:

Newquist said...

Gotta load "Chicken Fat" by Robert Preston on there. Not only is it a catchy tune that manages to guilt me into working out, but it rekindles visions of my fourth grade when relentless gym teachers played Chicken Fat every damn day to start class. The vision of chunky kids trying to keep up with the situps, pushups, touchdowns, twist trunks, pogo springs, jumping jacks, arm twists, bicycle rides, and deep breathing (believe me, they're all on there) still haunts me. I had blocked this song out for a good 25+ years when it all came back last year. And now, it lives in my adult psyche. I have an odd dream of having the song play as a Bellagio Fountain performance in Las Vegas, with all of the viewing public doing situps on the pavement of the Vegas Strip as the fountains dance.

You can hear it at http://www.clubcourtyard.com/ChickenFat.html. Nuts to the Flabby Guys!

Sara said...

I've never heard Chicken Fat, but if it's the song I'm thinking of, it's quoted heavily in my all-time favorite book from childhood, The Real Me by Betty Miles!

My recommendation is "Hey Princess" by Popsicle. I also love "Tomorrow'd Be a Good Day" by Mike and Amy Finders (or "I'm Down to My Last Cigarette" - http://cdbaby.com/cd/mafinders2). Also "Gone at Last" and "Old" by Paul Simon. You know I couldn't leave out Paul Simon.

JeanGenie said...

Oh holy Jesus. You saw Erasure in concert? Their greatest hits CD was like the second one I ever bought (I had tapes forever). "Who Needs Love Like That" remains a favorite of mine.

My latest favorite music (besides the soundtrack to Music & Lyrics...shh, don't tell!) is The Pierces' 13 Tales of Love and Revenge. Give it a listen on Amazon. "Secret" and "Boring" are especially entertaining.

Cha Cha said...

Newquist, I am speechless. Chicken Fat wasn’t a part of my elementary school’s torture program, err, I mean phys ed, but it should have been. I’m also pleased to note that this bit of musical triumph was penned by none other than Meredith Willson … who wrote The Music Man, which starred Robert Preston. Wouldn’t you think all Iowa schools would have been required to incorporate this into their curriculum?

I would pay cash money to see a Bellagio fountain performance to this song. Cash money!

Sara and Jeangenie, thanks for the recommendations!

Mrs. G. said...

You don't want my suggestions as my iPod is stuffed to the gills with broadway musical tunes. For some reason, they get me through the day.

Favorites:

Rent
Music Man
Wicked
Caroline or Change
Avenue Q
South Pacific.

Some have suggested that I am a gay man trapped in woman's body.

Cha Cha said...

Mrs. G., that explains your exquisite style. Would you be impressed to know that my grandpa wore a tuxedo to direct traffic in front of the world premiere of The Music Man film?

Yeah, I thought so.

Sara said...

OMG - Did you see them do Midnight Train to Georgia on 30 Rock?!?