Musical Musings

Listen to this. It's relevant!

I figure today we'll delve into another passion of mine.

I am the type of person who asks everyone within seconds of meeting "what kind of music do you like?" I love music. I love hearing new music, I love listening to old music from classic rock to jazz standards to ragtime to baroque orchestration. Love it. I was raised in a musical family with a grandmother who opted out of an Oberlin education for opera in order to stay home and have my father, a grandfather who played violin, a dad who plays jazz piano and bass, and my mother who sings soprano. I went to performing arts middle and high schools for french horn and I loved to 'dabble' in piano in my free time during those years. I've strayed away from the physical playing of music since I graduated high school, but listening to and sharing music will always be a part of my daily life.

The Grooveshark playlist I've posted is a mix cd that I made for a swap on Reddit. I haven't received my cd from my partner, nor have I gotten acknowledgment from him that he got what I sent (and I know he did, that punk, I fed ex'd that shit), but I figured I could use the mix as a brief introduction to my musical tastes. When talking to my partner and feeling out what kind of music he likes, we both decided that we would just make a mix comprised of personal favorites instead of trying to tailor to the other's tastes. I like branching out, and I also like the personal challenge of pinning down "my favorites." It's really hard! Picking songs that I would have define me? Oh man.

So, after a week of hemming and hawing, this is what I came up with. I'm going to post the album art that I made, just because I am so proud of it..ha. I'm also going to break down why I chose each song...just for shits and giggles.

(click to enlarge so you can actually read the text)

Song list:
1. Once Around the Block/Badly Drawn Boy: I've loved this song since high school. I have fond memories of the bell ringing, to be followed almost instantly by earphones popping into my ears as I strode out of the classroom and down the hallway. Mmm memory triggers.

2. Movies/Alien Ant Farm: In 8th grade my friend Brooke gave me this cd because she got two copies for her birthday. I listened to it almost every day of that school year, and like Once Around the Block this song takes me back to vinyl bus seats on my daily afternoon trek home, windows down on a warm (hot) Florida afternoon.

3. Zebra/John Butler Trio: This song is a more recent addition to my heart. Corey introduced me to John Butler, and I fell in love. This song is just infectious.

4. The Swimming Song/Vetiver: I downloaded this song from an online playlist, uploaded it to my ipod, and promptly forgot all about it. One day when I was in Washington state visiting Lisa, this song came on shuffle. It was a perfect moment, enhanced by a perfectly complementary song. It made me want to find the nearest watering hole and wade in, surrounded by mountains on all sides.

5. Home/Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes: I am trying to listen to this song as much as I can, to desensitize myself. Corey played this for me when we first started dating, and I have pretty much cried every time I've heard it since then. I absolutely love it. We decided that we are going to have this song play as I walk down the aisle...oh my I'm getting verklempt just thinking about it!

6. Blue Ridge Mountains/Fleet Foxes: This song carries on the folky-mountainy goodness. I love it on two levels- it obviously makes me think of the Blue Ridge mountains, but it brings me back to WA again too because that's where Fleet Foxes hail from. I just love how the song fills my brain with images of tall pine trees enshrouded in linear wisps of fog...*sigh*

7. Helicopter/Deerhunter: My little sister Margie introduced me to this song last year, and I've loved it since. Deerhunter can be a little too dreamy for me at times, but this song is perfectly accessible.

8. Old Souls/Life and Times: I first heard this song on 3WK, which is an indie online radio station. I was working at the sign shop, and I literally stopped in my tracks when it came on. I was entranced, stricken, during the entire song...and immediately came home and downloaded their cd. I had the great fortune of seeing these guys play at a tiny club in Jacksonville last summer.

9. Diamond Raft/Enon: This is another band that Corey introduced me to. I have no idea where he found them either, because I have never heard a single word about them online or in magazines or anywhere...and they are soooo good. Another favorite from this cd is Natural Disasters.

10. Ghost of York/As Tall As Lions: Here's another Corey song..he put this on a mix cd for me when we first started dating. My associative memory for this one is of a summer night when Corey and I drove to a little neighborhood park and started exploring, and I was humming this song and looking up at him constantly. I loved that man then and I love that man now.

11. There There/Radiohead: Here's another back-in-the-day song for me. I heard this one night during the summer between my freshman and sophomore year. I was in trouble for some reason or another, and was confining myself to my room to hide from my family in typical teenage fashion. I had the radio playing in the background, and out of the midst of bland generic radio-rock came this song. They never played it again, and for weeks I had the vaguest hint of this song's melody floating around in my brain. I finally heard it again at an FYE and immediately asked the cashier "WHAT IS THAT SONG!?!"...haha and so began my love affair with Radiohead.

12. Blinking Pigs/Little Dragon: Little Dragon is my band of last summer. I played their stuff non-stop. Their songs vacillate between lighthearted and beautifully serious. Oh I love them so. This song is on the beautifully serious side.

13. Way of the Light/Gift of Gab: So the guy I made the mix for said that he doesn't like hip hop, and I happen to love hip hop so I threw some on anyway. This song is a perfect light introduction for people who "don't like hip hop" because it is light hearted and feel good, and Gift of Gab is an incredibly intelligent and articulate wordsmith.

14. The World is Yours/Nas: After the introduction to hip hop from Gift of Gab, we gotta go into some old school. This song came out in 1994 and is a cuh-lassic song from the golden era of hip hop. Socially conscious with gorgeous production, this song is so far away from the radio "hip hop" of today. I find that most people that say they don't like rap/hip hop are specifically talking about crap on the radio/BET, and that's because you gotta go underground to get that good-good.

15. In Sarah, Mencken and Christ/Tortoise: This song is a perfect moment-maker. That is, I love to play this song when I'm driving at like 7:30-8pm on a summer night, right as the sun is starting to make its way down. You can't not be in love with your life and everything in the universe. I figure this was a good way to start winding the cd down to its end...

16. God's Bathroom Floor/Atmosphere: This song is in my top 5 songs ever, and that is a hard list to make. This is another hip hop song from my favorite underground artist, Sean Daley. I used to listen to this when I was taking the city bus back and forth to college every other day a few years back, and it was the perfect soundtrack for my life at the time.

And there you have it. I like talking about music and what makes me like certain songs, and I'm sure I'll be doing more mix exchanges over on Reddit, so I'll do this again in the future. I hope you like the mix, too, I'm gonna bump it on my way home for lunch.

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