Sunday, August 21, 2011

Matty's Top Forty - For Today

My new favorite blog is Social Media, Marketing, & Musings by Margie Clayman. I think Margie could convince me of anything. Maybe its infatuation, maybe its teenage love, maybe it will wear out, but I hope she stays in my life, because I like her point of view. Overstated, sure, it’s my blog, if you haven't noticed, and most of it is, but I believe every word I say.

As, I'm trolling my twitter feed this morning, I come across a tweet from Margie about her top 40 favorite songs - for today - of all time. What someone listens to can tell you a lot about a person. Are they focused? Are they willing to try new things? Do they like variety? Are they stuck in a rut? Do I want to listen too? My take away is music is a soundtrack. I think many could agree on that point. I think music reminds us of particular points in our life.

Margie made her list, she says, stream of conscious. I can't do that, my memory doesn't allow me to remember names of songs. I remember how they sound. I don't know the words to any of these songs from start to finish, but I know them within three bars or so. Here they are:

Bands that are my favorite, and if I have to pick one song, I'd feel like I was choosing one of my children over the other. In order of preference:
1. The Rolling Stones. Keith Richards is my hero. "We all have it. We're just antennas - pickup the signal and transmit."
2. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. As a kid, we had an 8 hour drive to our summer vacation in Avalon, NJ. When I was old enough to drive, I subjected my brother to every cassette in order of release. It filled up the time.
3. The Black Crowes. Something about this band is authentic. I just wish the brothers could get over themselves to write more often.
4. U2. Like most, Joshua Tree hooked me, but it was Boy and War that are my favorites. Newly added to that is Achtung Baby.
5. Jimi Hendrix. The more I heard Band of Gypsies the more I wanted.
6. The Clash. Rock the Casbah moved me to buy Combat Rock, then London Calling. These guys could do anything.
7. The Black Keys. Whoa. Where did these guys come from? Newest to the list. Can't get enough. Tip of the hat to you, Margie. Akron is where it’s at these days.

I'm a sucker for a pop song:
8. Fuck You, Cee Lo Green. I think we have a new Marvin Gaye on our hands.
9. Crazy in Love, Beyonce. Really, I just love it. It’s the pace, and maybe her butt in the video too, but just a little.
10. No One, Alicia Keys. A powerful range of emotions in her voice.
11. 99 Problems, Jay-Z. Listen to the a capella some time, but the driving beat otherwise is unstoppable.
12. Today Was a Good Day, Ice Cube. Loved this whole album, The Predator. It told a story I could never understand.
13. Life is a Movie, GZA. Never had radio play, but it should have.
14. You’re All I Need to Get By, Mary J. Blige/Method Man. I would always caution someone wanting to cover such a great singer/songwriter. It’s an awesome tribute to the duet by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

Trips in the car had a country swing peppered with a little pop:
15. Devil Went Down to Georgia, Charlie Daniels Band. My dad bought this cassette when I was 6 or seven, and I quickly wore out that track.
16. Y’all Come Back Saloon or Elvira, Oak Ridge Boys. I don’t know. Catchy I guess.
17. Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott, Statler Brothers. See above. They also sing How Great Thou Art – I cry every time I sing it.
18. You May be Right, Billy Joel. The album Glass Houses is great.
19. Super Trooper, ABBA. Why this one over the other awesomeness that is Gold? It’s the one I heard over the others...

My mother:
20. Rockin Robin, Bobby Day. It’s a great sing-a-long. My brother wore out this one.
21. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor. I remember a trip home from the dentist, and she turned up the radio to this song. I only ever remember listening to that song with her once. Funny how it burns an unforgettable memory.
22. Classical music. Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Tchaikovsky.

If it weren’t for my mother:
23. Bach’s Organ Music, Virgil Fox. The louder the better.
24. The Planets, Gustav Holst. Great musical representation of the planets.
25. Rite of Spring, Igor Stravinsky. Reminds me of Bambi, I guess, a movie I only recently watched for the first time.
26. Rachmaninoff, Liszt and the other piano pounders. Classical music can make you feel alive.
27. Any interpretation by Claudio Arrau. I wrote a poem about him almost twenty years ago. I’ve lost it, but I referred to his hands as spiders.

Songs I turn up or hit the repeat button:
28. Panama, Van Halen. I think its one of their greatest. Music in the ‘80s was as much about the video as it was the song and the video captured my attention.
29. The Story, Brandi Carlisle. I’m a sucker for a love song, and even though my wife would make the “I just threw up in my mouth a little" motion, she knows my story.
30. Magic, The Cars. Similar to Panama, I just loved this video. The Cars were 80’s music and just about the best band out of Boston ever.
31. Since You’re Gone, The Cars. I love the synthesizer, esp. the opening. You can see her walking away.

Songs I love for no particular reason:
32. Kick Out the Jams, MC5/Jeff Buckley/Black Flag. Really just changes the mood. Other than Eddie Murphy, the best use of the greatest twelve letter word: “Kick out the Jams, Motherfucker.”
33. Not Fade Away, Buddy Holly. Such a simple, complex song.
34. Lucille, Little Richard. Please come back where you belong.
35. (I’d Go) The Whole Wide World. Wreckless Eric. Fortunately I didn’t have to, but I think is the definition of one hit wonder.
36. A Prayer, Madeleine Peyroux. It’s a march. The lyrics are amazingly depressing, but the plodding is hypnotic for me.
37. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, The Cure. I almost started wearing eyeliner.
38. Smokin’ from Shootin’, My Morning Jacket. This song builds and builds. This whole album is where it’s at. There’s a story.
39. I Go Crazy, Flesh for Lulu. I grew up in the eighties, what can I say. Guilty pleasure.
40. Angela Surf City, The Walkmen. I love the Beach Boys, Pet Sounds, but they didn’t make the list today, so this represents for them.

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