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theodosia: (Singing Carrot)

Another try. Eventually, I'll find something that works....
theodosia: (Default)
Skip this if you've already seen the earlier posts )
theodosia: (Singing Carrot)
Last of our three part series! All links to

9. A song for filling out paperwork

Canceling Stamps At The University Of Ghana Post Office

Oh, how could I resist this song for this prompt? One of my favorite songs, no less, and so very on topic -- yes, the singers are actually doing paperwork, cancelling stamps at the University of Ghana Post Office, on this folk music field recording.

10. Your favorite mash-up (or a remix, if you're not the mash-up type)

Boulevard of Broken Songs, Party Ben

Take a whole lot of Green Day, add a sprinkling of earnest Oasis, and top off with an Aerosmith cherry? What amazes me about this mashup is how smoothly it all fits together, like it was intended to be heard this way. Talk about value-added music.

11. A song for being stuck in the elevator with an attractive stranger

I Can't Believe You're in Love With Him, John Buzon Trio

Okay, I went through a couple hundred songs trying to figure the right lyrically for an ice-breaker, and then said, screw it, I'd rather have instrumental music that is several dozen cuts above Elevator Muzak, and this little bit of lounge music heaven would break the ice and cheer me up, so there.

12. A song about transportation

Brand New Key, Melanie

Rollerskates are transportation, right?
theodosia: (Singing Carrot)
Continuing our three part series... all links to Box.Net as before.

5. A song you would sing in the shower

For Pete's Sake, The Monkees

I also sing the Monkees theme, but this was always played over the closing credits and sounds darker and more soulful to me. Plus the "In this generation" call and response always gets me. Yes, it is mostly instrumental, but I really do love singing the lyrics, what there is of them.

Mickey Dolenz is actually a very underrated singer.

6. A song that your friends wouldn't expect you to like

Bubbles in the Wine, Freddy Martin

Oh, trying to find just one is a toughie -- mostly because I'm convinced that 90% of what I have would surprise my friends, at least if any have taken notice of what I've been listening to. 'Eclectic' is a kind description, since I'll listen to almost anything and like a wide variety.

So I went with a recent add, from one of the Ultra-Lounge compilations, because to me, liking Lounge music is still kind of surprising. Once I got over my kneejerk response to the slick surface aspects, the solid jazz underpinnings made me very very happy.

However, this one isn't very jazzy, but it's so. damn. cute that I want to take it home, pet it and name it George. Or at least dance around very badly to it.

7. A song that isn't a poem, but could be

Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk, Rufus Wainwright

Another toughie, because most of my favorite songs are instrumentals or the lyrics are sparse (it's not coincidental, of the 8 songs so far listed here, 3 are instrumentals, and 1 might almost as well be) or else the point of the song isn't the artistry of the words but the emotion and sense.

(Also, I already recommended one Headstones song, using up my quota of Hugh-related items per mix. But seriously? His lyrics strongly count.)

However, poking around, I came across this smoky-voiced song, which is richer and richer every time I listen to it, chock full of metaphor and wordplay.

8. A song that mentions an insect

I Got Stung, Elvis Presley

I came to the decision to include this song the fastest of any here -- it's a great favorite of mine, plus it's right on topic. Early Presley is a joy and a wonder, muscular, fun and surprising. Here he's at the top of his form, stopping on a dime and hitting each turn with brio and brash verve.
theodosia: (Singing Carrot)
For [ profile] calikali's April challenge:

1. A song that ends with the letter "A" (this can be the last letter of the last word in the title or the song)

Morticia, Combustible Edison

Do you know how hard it is to find a title that ends in A? I have about half a dozen songs with female names, and a couple foreign language songs. This was almost "Soul Makoussa" but at the last minute I decided to go with my long-time fave Combustibles.

2. A song that features a guitar solo

Memphis, Lonnie Mack

I went with one of the first ones to come to mind -- a classic instrumental with one of the examples of guitar that I'd give my left arm to be able to play, even if it means I'd have to get it cut off right afterwards.

3. A song that mentions a literary character

A Talk With George, Jonathan Coulton

George Plimpton counts as a literary character, right? Everything that JoCo mentions in the song really happened to him, which seems rather a lot for a non-madeup character, if you ask me. Plus, he was 'literary' as all hell....

4. A song that isn't sweet at all

Unsound, The Headstones

I can't imagine much that Hugh Dillon et al does getting classified as sweet -- desperate, hard, complex, maybe, but sweet isn't in it.

( All links are on Box.Net, which remains pretty nifty.)

Final Five

Mar. 23rd, 2007 04:14 pm
theodosia: (freaking)
OK, last of the Desert Island 15....

Not surprisingly, most of my most-listened songs tend to be ones that I've had the longest, so I suppose it's not too surprising that so many jazz entries predominant, since I 'discovered' jazz a few years ago thanks to the Ken Burns series, and a bunch of song files here are from the CD set associated with it. Look me up again in ten years and we'll see if they're still up there.

But really, I'd distrust any list I put together comprised mostly of recent (less than a year) songs because I don't think I could say if I was going to get tired of the music over a long period.

I maybe should have selected some of the Iggy Pop or Brian Eno or Beatles or Monkees or other music that I've listened to years before I started running all my music through iTunes, since surely I've listened to individual songs and collective albums many more times with my CD player on repeat. But that would involve guestimating... and anyway, I'm pretty sure you've all heard the Beatles by now, and honestly, Eno doesn't appeal to very many.

So here's the last of my 15:

11. Begin the Beguine, Artie Shaw -- if I could nominate one recording to be the most perfect and precise realization of a tune, ever, I might be tempted to go with this one. For all that it's almost geometric in the way the notes and melody proceed complexly together, it's also warm, happy, intelligent and danceable.

12. Blue's Theme, Davy Allen & The Arrows -- and from one kind of danceable to another. This is from the amazing Rhino Records Nuggets box set which is definitely a big pre-iTunes favorite that still influences me.

13. Crazy Rhythm, Roger Wolfe Kahn -- the only song that I haven't owned for multiple years, since it's from the Rhythm Crazy compilation that I ran into at the iTunes Store, all of 20s songs. What a crazy diamond this cut is, and after many listens, I wondered if the drummer had studied with Gene Krupa, so I went googling and found out that yes, it was a young Krupa on display here.

14. Rock n' Roll Girl, The Beat -- After so much jazz, I ran my finger down the column and found this worthy, rocky, poppy song lurking.

15. Sing Sing Sing, Benny Goodman -- and I'll end my 15 with this cut, the full version with all the Gene Krupa drumming that you could want.

And that's it, though since, I'm using Box.Net this time, I can give you a special link that will take you back to all of the zipped songs if you want.

(The stats, in case you're interested, are 8 jazz/ 8 rock songs (counting Harlem Nocturne as a twofer, 6 instrumentals (8 if you count The Mooche and The Millionaire's Holiday where the vocals are arguably an afterthought), and 3 of the non-instrumentals have female vocalists.)
theodosia: (carrots)
More of the same, if by same you mean songs that I could listen to for a very very long time without getting sick of them.

A word about my selection criteria: I went with a very quantitative criterion, since iTunes keeps a reliable count of the number of times I've listened to each of the 3K songs currently in the library. I looked through my Top 50, and decided not to repeat artists, which meant some heartbreak, but what the hell, it's only songs, right?

6. Tracy, The Cuff Links -- pure pop perfection. It should be choreographed on film with big sweeping camera angles and dancers pouring out of doorways.

7. Christopher Columbus, Fletcher Henderson -- I picked this one as my favoritest Henderson cut before finding out that it was the signature song of his band, so I suppose he agreed with me.

8. The Millionaire's Holiday, Combustible Edison -- Another group I could pick any of a dozen or so "favorites" so I went with this one. But they're all excellent!

9. The Mooche, Duke Ellington & His Orchestra -- another artist whom I could have chosen ten songs easily enough, but this one stands out for the sweet and silly scat singer who comes in about halfway. Before starting to listen to jazz, I thought Ellington would be as tough as classical music to get ahold of, but instead it's warm and sensual and oh so danceable.

10. S.O.S., ABBA -- I truly think ABBA's reputation would actually be better if they'd only sung in Swedish, because the words are almost extraneous to the real virtues of the music and the singing. The lyrics aren't awful, but they are very pedestrian compared to the intricacy supporting them.
theodosia: (Singing Carrot)
So, [ profile] vonnie_k showed me the way to a Frankenmix challenge that sounds pretty neat, over in [ profile] calikali's LJ, the monthly challenge this time being Your Fifteen Desert Island songs:

Imagine you're stuck on a desert island (for the rest of your life). There are fifteen songs you can listen to, ever again. What songs would you want them to be?

That made me go look at my iTunes stats and try to pick out the ones that I know I have listened to over and over again, and could do so again. So from a really scientific viewpoint, what are they?

I know I can't do them all in one go, but 5 of the 15 tonight would certainly be possible....

Not in any particular order, but if I don't number them I know that I'll lose count, so here goes:

1. Believe What You Say, Ricky Nelson. Yes, he was the son of Ozzie & Harriet, and responsible for a couple tepid hits, but when you get away from those, you find a truly delightful body of work, like this favorite gem of mine. Especially, listen for the guitar break which just goes over the top about halfway through. Sheer love!

2. Heartaches, The Marcels. Has heart ache ever sounded so much fun? There's a playfulness to doo wop that I find irresistible, and songs like this are why, like little acapella sonnets, born of an illicit romance between gospel and Broadway show tunes.

3. Harlem Nocturne, The Viscounts. My list is going to be heavily weighted toward instrumentals (not so much this first five) -- this in particular is an old jazz standard, rocking out like a well-oiled machine. Jazz never really died, but it disguised itself a whole lot for a while....

4. You Know What I Mean, The Turtles. So many Turtles songs that I could have gone with, but I grabbed one that you're a little less likely to have heard, from a period when their Beatlesesque production was at its height.

5. You've Got To Taste All The Fruit, Leroy Holmes. I'm just fascinated by this slinky slinky song, and if I ever develop enough vidding skills, I'm going to riffle through Singin' in the Rain and montage my way through the whole thing, because to me this song sounds as though it should have been part of it!

(All links got to Box.Net, which I'm experimenting with.)


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