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March 09, 2008

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My number one is this (be kind and right-click to save first):

http://www.umassdrumline.org/media/audio/2003/paranoid_android.mp3

I trust no explanation is necessary.

I enjoyed it, but sir, I would request an explanation. Not at all what I would have expected.

It's pretty simple. Setting aside its charm, it's different enough to survive a fair amount of play, and familiar enough to play a fair amount.

"Second, it’s got Lily Allen with that totally sexy working-class accent"

Fake working class accent, as Lily Allen is as working class as the queen.

I'm sure that this is something that's common knowledge Over There, but honestly the only thing that I know about her is that I kinda liked her first album. I guess I could google, but would you mind explaining for our clueless American readers, which would include me? What should I know about her that I don't?

And even if the accent is fake, it works. C'mon, Martin, you didn't have any fun listening to it? Not even a little? None?

Hey, Go UMass! We have a rather good marching band (apparently the best in the East) and the deputy director for drums, Tom Hannum, seems to be something of a celebrity in the marching band world. The percussion section of the band mostly stays together in non-football season and performs by itself, doing stuff like this.

I've had an IPod only since Christmas, and I'm still in the middle of my first project with it, playing my entire "record collection" in alphabetical order by title. So far the most amusing juxtaposition has been the "Gloria" section of Haydn's Nelson Mass and "Gloria" by Van Morrison.

Here's the first ten songs on mine:

Acadian Driftwood -- Richard Shindell
Ache For You -- Ben Lee
Across the Alley From the Alamo -- Asleep at the Wheel
Adore -- Knots and Crosses
Again Today / Hiding My Heart -- Brandi Carlisle
Ain't Misbehavin' -- Claude Hopkins and his Orchestra
Ain't No Time of Year to Be Alone -- Mark Erelli
All Night Long -- Asleep at the Wheel
All Those Expectations == Peter Bjorn and John
All Through Cryin' -- James Hunter

My collection has a lot of recent indy/folk (so I know and like Lily Allen) and some oddities like Gilbert and Sullivan and a bunch of 20's and 30's pop. I'm a big fan of WFUV in NYC.

From my end, you might as well have written in Cyrillic ... I recognize precisely none of them. That's why I inveighed against the unexplained list! More narrative, please.

Of course, if it's just alphabetical order, then there's probably not any interesting info or stories there.

While I'm here, Lily Allen is considered folk? What exactly is folk music, then? She's not really what I have in mind when I hear the term.

WFUV calls its main programming "City Folk" -- it's a mix of what might really be called folk (e.g., Bob Dylan, Richard Thompson and imitators) with some classic rock stuff -- here's a list of their listeners' choices for best artists ever:

http://www.wfuv.org/music/best/essentialartists.html

and here's the listener favorite albums of 2007:

http://www.wfuv.org/music/best/bestof07.html
But "folk" crosses over into the genre called "indy", of whom I suppose Wilco are the flagship act. And the indy people are early adopters of non-US stuff, of which Britpop is a favorite segment.

The Brit music market seems to understand how to make pop songs in a way the mainstream US market doesn't. For example, James Hunter, who made my accidental first ten, is a young white British man who thinks he's Sam Cooke.

Wow, reading all of this reminds me that I barely use my iPod for music anymore - it's almost all podcasts all the time. That, or meditation and yoga. Selected highlights from my Top 25 Recently Played, a list I'm skeptical about:

Bus Stop - The Hollies: Yes, the oldie. I sing along. I love the melody and story.

Deep Relaxation Mind Retreat
Sleep, Little One
Anti-Insomnia Music

All produced by Stin Hansen via http://www.mythoughtcoach.com

The Shot Heard 'Round The World - Schoolhouse Rock: I think this was left over from when the girls and I would sing along in the car, and that was over two years ago.

and finally...
Teen Titans: Cyborg's Theme

(About eight seconds in its entirety.)
http://files.titansgo.net/audio/music/Teen_Titans_-_Cyborg's_Theme.mp3

Lily Allen is Keith Allen's daughter:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Allen
(Not that anyone on the west side of the Atlantic has ever heard of Keith Allen.) Not working class by a long shot.

Josh: Nope, never heard of him. But it makes sense now! Of course, I'm still not sure that there's anything wrong with Lily Allen having a working class schtick that doesn't match reality ... her songs aren't exactly that high on the social commentary tip.

Or is there something that I'm missing? I get the feeling that there is. Help?

Marcia: hmmm. I got my list of "most played." Recently played includes such gems as:

"Panama," by Van Halen. Eighties hard rock, white boys on dope stuff.
"Cobrastyle," by the Teddybears. Cheesey modern dance-like crapola.
"Get the Truck Loaded," by the Rednex. I will let Carlos comment on that one.
"Quien," by Gerardo. He's the guy many people mistakenly believe goes by the moniker "Rico Suave."

So not the right metric.

But ... parenthood. Wow. Looking forward to it. I think.

Wow! Thanks! That Calle 13 guy I've heard before but hadn't taken the time to find out who it was! (Puerto Rican radio assumes you'll know already, because what loser wouldn't be listening to music with his friends anyway?)

I reread your Ponce post from way back. It still speaks to me. We've decided to stay at least another year -- oh, and we picked up one of those stray dogs. It cost about $200 to eliminate the mange, but the result is a really amiable dog. Several people have already told us, "Oh, a stray! A stray is the most loyal dog you'll ever have." There's a peculiar relationship between Ponceños and their stray dogs. Sort of emblematic of the bittersweet thing that is life in Ponce.

A lot of this is going to be skewed by the fact that my 3-4 years worth of playcount statistics got wiped out by my last hard drive format/OS reinstall:

10) Ave Maria (Josquin Desprez). I loves me some 1500s music. The last lines "O mater Dei, memento me, Amen" are my cell phone ringtone-- this is partly because it's beautiful music, partly because it gets my wife's goat.

9) Blue Suede Shoes (Elvis): My 2-year old is one of the world's youngest Elvis fans, and I play this through my ipod speakers. He sings and dances to it. (The only other Elvis song that he seems to like is Jailhouse Rock).

8) Hide and Seek (Imogen Heap). Now a famous cliche from an SNL skit.

7) Sanvean (Lisa Gerrard)

6) Shadow Magnet (Lisa Gerrard again) (I listen to Dead Can Dance & affiliates a lot at work since music with words in English is too distracting)

5) Drops of Jupiter (Train)

4) Chop Suey! (System of a Down)

3) Silence (Hans Zimmer's soundtrack to The Thin Red Line) (listening at work, again)

2) Breaking Free (High School Musical soundtrack). Um, that'd be the kids again.

1) Orpheus in the Underworld (Offenbach). My kids call this the "jumping song".

My comment? long-term exposure to the Rednex is detectable by CT scan.

The last CD I listened to was Concerto Koln/Sarband's Dream of the Orient, a collection of classical music done "in the Turkish style" from the 1780s and 1790s, paired with genuine Ottoman music.

The last mp3: Jeannie Riley's Harper Valley PTA. though there has been Van Halen content before that. (Two tracks from 1984; guess which.) Also Sadat X's Escape From New York, and where the hell did I pick up _that_?

Looking through my music list is a little like going through a creepy uncle's attic. The banjo, the M-16, the headless mascot costume, the black velvet painting of Ernest Hemingway? each item probably made sense at the time of acquisition.

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