This was too fun for me to pass up.
Following an idea I read about on Julie Davide – Book Reviews and Other Musings, I put on the “My Top Rated” playlist from my iTunes library with shuffle selected, and I vow to honestly post the resulting list of 15 random songs.
I did limit shuffle to this one playlist because, as a parent, there’s a fair amount of “stuff I loaded to please other people” in my library. “My Top Rated” is all music that I’ve chosen for my own pleasure, much of which I can’t even play when the kids are in the car due to mature content…
My results are below this excerpt from—and link to—Julie Davide’s blog.
The Playlist Shuffle Tag Happy Thursday y’all. I’ve seen this tag around on other blogs and decided to join in the fun! I have a feeling that this will turn out quite the array of my musical taste as my musical palette has a wide range. Without further ado, and while avoiding any duplicates, I hope […]
15 16 Really Wonderful Things that shuffled up from my iTunes Library.
- “Rare Child” by Danielia Cotton, whom I first heard being interviewed on NPR (i.e., National Public Radio.) She’s got a soulful rock & roll sound, and I enjoy the whole album, also titled Rare Child.
- “Taking a Liking” by Melissa Ferrick was included on my Out Loud compilation CD/album for the human rights and freedom of lesbians and gays. It’s a love/ wanna-be-in-love song for someone who admits her faults but also her desires.
- “The Lady in Red” by Chris de Burgh, a sentimental favorite from my pop radio listening childhood that now reminds me of my doting and superlative husband. I can’t help but assume his thoughts echo those of the singer of this love song. It helps that I heard de Burgh interviewed on the radio when I was a girl, and he spoke of how he saw his own wife across the room at a party and came to write this song. If they eventually broke up, don’t tell me: I love this sweet story.
- “Miz Thang” by Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women from their album Broad Casting; I saw them live in college. This song celebrates the powerful woman. My favorite lyrics: “It ain’t about an ego/ and I’m not being rude/ but Lord, Lord, Lord, I’ve got a new attitude/ If you like my peaches/ come on and rub my fuzz/ I’ll share with your the power, the wonder and the love…” Also consider checking out “Shake the Dew off the Lily” if you’re willing to hear another great bluesy song about a commonplace, slightly off color occurrence in the WC but draped in a lot of floral metaphors.
- “Fur” by Jane Wiedlin. She’s a former Go-Go, so it’s the bounciest song about protecting animals from cruelty and vivisection on the PETA organization’s 1991 compilation Tame Yourself.
- “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon. I doubt Mr. Simon needs further introduction, but this came from his album, Graceland, which was my re-introduction to his artistry post-Muppet Show guest appearances. He and Chevy Chase are hilarious in the music video for this song.
- “Money Changes Everything” from Cyndi Lauper‘s debut studio album, She’s So Unusual. This vinyl record was one of the first albums I ever purchased; I bought her greatest hits via iTunes to include these all time favorites in my digital catalogue.
- “There She Goes” by Sixpence None the Richer. It is a pleasant song. I rarely choose to search it out, but I almost always let it play through when it pops up. I didn’t know this band was a Christian one until I read their Wikipedia page for this post.
- “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds, because The Breakfast Club was absolutely my favorite Brat Pack movie of the 1980’s and this song made me feel like we could fight authority’s labels for us all and even break free from them. It still sums up that emotional climax for me. Maybe now I have more in common with the principal than the rebellious teens, but my heart doesn’t realize it.
- “Must Be Crazy For Me” by Melissa Etheridge. Her 1992 album Never Enough was one of the vital soundtracks of my college years, but I listen to it more from nostalgia than excitement today. This song always was my favorite from this album, but I find “You Can Sleep While I Drive“* her most beautiful work.
- “Speed and Velocity” by They Might Be Giants. You could call Here Comes Science a kid’s album, but adult TMBG fans should enjoy it, too. I really do! Plus, it’s so educational: “Motion, direction, acceleration/ I’ve got speed—that’s how fast I am moving/ I’ve got velocity—that’s my speed and direction.” If either of my kids ever misses this question on a Physics test, they’ll be subjected to hours of non-stop listening to this tune.
- “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys. Slightly sheepish about this one, but I bought their Greatest Hits album last summer when I wanted to listen to… summer music. I bought a bunch of Motown singles that day, too. You feel like you should be riding in a convertible on your way to the beach listening to this stuff. And I don’t even like the beach!
- “San Francisco” by Brett Dennen is a catchy pop song I got for free from Starbucks back when they had those little cards on the checkout counter. My young son collected Starbucks cards like other kids collected Pokémon. It’s a catchy tune, and a helpful travelogue for visitors to the City. Our SF hotel concierge carefully cross-hatched over the entire Tenderloin district as a place to avoid at all costs, but Dennen had warned me “Deep in the Tenderloin/ you can have anything you want.” That does sound dangerous. Don’t tell the concierge, but I ate at a Tunisian place at the edge of the Tenderloin. The food was fantastic, and a bargain in an expensive city.
- “Little Red Corvette” by Prince. Here’s a conundrum: I’ve been meaning to reduce my rating of this song so I hear it less often. I like it, but… I’ll skip the track if I’m not busy doing something else when it comes on. For that reason, I’m going to list 16 tracks instead of the fifteen I promised up front. I hit the button to advance to the next track, which gives us:
- “Light My Fire” by The Doors. Does this one require any discussion? It’s an oldie, definitely a goodie, and remains a fun listen. Watching the film, The Doors, back in 1991 left me with a more melancholic reaction to all of the band’s songs, however, draining much of the counter-culture exuberance from the work. Jim Morrison and Val Kilmer are all tangled up in my mind. I’m left with a vague fear of bathtubs, at least when rock legends or hard drugs are present.
- “American Idiot” by Green Day. I wish I never felt a connection to lyrics that include “Don’t want to be an American idiot/ One nation controlled by the media./ Information age of hysteria/ It’s calling out to idiot America.” I’d like to be a more thoroughly positive person. I do find angry punk music a great balm for my existential crises, though, and this song rocks. I fundamentally reject the notion that this song is about the real America, much the way I rejected my older relatives dismissal of youth (in 1992! regarding my generation! X! <snicker>) as incompetent or wayward. There are incompetent youths; there are moronic Americans. All that being said, the future will be carried by the young, for as long as there is a future, and America has created and cultivated some awesome ideas for humankind. Perfection? Never. But I’ll keep working on that, along with a few million other do-gooders.
Does anyone else feel inspired to hit shuffle and share their results?
And, while we’re at it…
Have we learned anything about our host, author of this blog?
- I like compilation albums. Yes, it’s true. That might be something about which I’m supposed to be ashamed. Should I be embarrassed that I enjoy great soundtracks? I’m not sure. I don’t claim to hold any skill or knowledge in the discipline of music. I really appreciate the efforts of a professional orchestrator to create an emotional mood to match a film or another piece. I couldn’t do that work. I often enjoy the results.
- I’m amazed that ani difranco didn’t pop up. I think I own more of her albums than any other artist. My ultimate favorite song, when I’m forced to pick one, usually by children, is difranco’s “32 Flavors.” I was going to quote it, but almost every word means so much to me, I’d be copying the full text. I suggest you listen to the song** immediately.
- I’m less embarrassed by my results than I feared I would be. Take that as you will. Some of you may think embarrassment is warranted, but I can live with posting this list.
- There are other songs and genres I’d like to talk about. I kind of wish one of my favorite rap songs had popped up: “Big Gun” by Ice-T† is my ultimate, but Run-D.M.C. also live in my mental catalogue of genius. I’d hardly consider myself a “rap fan” in a general sense, but I can’t even understand a denial that the genre is the closest modern corollary to the works of Shakespeare that I (and many others) lionize. This is the people’s celebration of poetic language employed to express their victories and struggles; this is English being used, stretched, played with, and re-invigorated! I’m baffled when others fail to be excited about this.
When my teenage son walked past the computer while I was working on this post, he said:
“You’re writing about music?“
Go ahead and put a little sarcastic grimace in the tone when you play those words in your head; it’s appropriate. He’s a teen. And I, of course, am a dinosaur.
In spite of his teasing, yes, I am writing about my favorite songs. The soundtrack of my life comes from this list, and hearing music that I love takes some of the pain from my worst days.
I think that’s true for most of us.
It’s hilarious to imagine a world, at my advanced age, where I would care too much what anyone thought of my playlist. It does provoke me into making personal revelations, however, and I think that’s mostly a good thing.
I’ll go even further and say it’s a Really Wonderful Thing. Your opinions*** on the subject will be welcome in the comments. What’s the music that moves you? When you hit shuffle, what comes up?
I can’t wait to hear your answers.
*from the album Brave & Crazy
**Personally, the best version of this song that I’ve heard is from her album, Canon. The drum solo around the 4:30 mark is really something. The fact that such a thing is obvious to a musical know-nothing like me pretty telling.
†From the Tank Girl soundtrack, best song on which is the ringing instrumental “Ripper’s Sole” by Stomp
***if they are reasonably polite