Friday, September 05, 2008

What does your iPod say about you?

My friend Robin over at Cinnamon and Honey recently picked up on a feature called "What Does Your Music Say About You and Do You Care?" You can see her answer to the questions, which she originally picked up from Licensed to Blog. In the meantime, I thought I'd settle down on the couch with my iPod for some self analysis:

If someone new were in your car, what song on your player would you be quickest to skip out of embarrassment?
Why, the Best of Engelbert Humperdinck's "Lesbian Seagull," of course! Ok, I'm just kidding - that's not on my iPod. (Maybe that fake answer is my way of softening you up for my real answer ;-) It would probably ZZ Top's "Woke Up With Wood." Yeah, I'm blushing, too.

What song or songs is/are most “atypical” on your player?
Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Warriors of the Wasteland (remix version)." The only reason I have this -- and this tells you how geeky I am -- is that my all-time favorite guitarist, Gary Moore, played on that record as a session musician and I'm a completist of all Moore's prolific work since 1970.

What song(s) on your player turns you on?
You mean, like, in a Marvin Gaye dim the lights and let's get it on kind of way? Ooh, er... Well, it would have to be something by Kate Bush. My favorite female singer (just edging out Bjork, Joni Mitchell, Liz Fraser, and Toni Childs) exudes velvet sensuality in an unusually intimate, yet unself-conscious, way. As I type I'm listening to the title track of her late-career masterpiece, "Aerial" (one of the great albums of the 00's), and the track "Nocturn," about a moonlit swim is unbelievably sexy and segues into the title track, which has a downright carnal backbeat and a feral vocal at the end. Natacha Atlas's voice can have a similar effect! Maybe because I always remember her sultry belly dance at Wembley Arena when Atlas +Transglobal Underground supported Page & Plant in 1998.

If you wanted to get a member of the opposite sex in the mood, what song would you program to come on when they are in the car?
A romantic song by Marillion. The British band's singer, Steve Hogarth, rivals Robert Plant as my all-time favorite vocalist. His voice has a "zero to 60 in just 4 seconds" effect on many women because, well, he not only has an incredibly beautiful voice but he really lays himself emotionally bare on record. Listening to him is an uncommonly intimate experience because it's obvious he's feeling the lyrics and not faking it. Here's a 1993 track that could set the mood... (Free Marillion plug: go here and download Marillion's playful and unbelievably catchy new single for free at the bottom right corner - no email address or registration required.)

What is the longest song on your player?
Porcupine Tree's "The Sky Moves Sideways (alternate version)." It's over 34 minutes long which means that I practically have to schedule an appointment in my Outlook calendar to listen to it. Come to think of it, I might have a bootleg version of Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" that comes in at 42 minutes somewhere.

What do you think is the silliest song on your player?
I head straight for Frank Zappa. How about "Stink Foot," "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow," or "St. Alfonso's Pancake Breakfast"? I have more outlandish, and unmentionable, Zappa tunes in my CD collection...

What did you most recently add to your player?
"Everything that Happens Will Happen Today," Brian Eno + David Byrne's longawaited followup to their 1981 classic, "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts." And, at first blush, I am smitten with this new collaboration, which is a radical departure from the last record. Wow! A few days before that I bought a King Crimson recording of a concert they played last week.

What did you most recently delete?
The Beatles "Love" album. It's good, but familiarity breeds, etc....

What is your favorite song on your player that is from a movie?
It's a tossup between John Williams's "Superman March" and Thomas Newman's theme from "American Beauty." And if I currently had any Ennio Morricone on the Pod, I'd have to completely reconsider my answer to this question.

Is there a song on your player that is only there for someone else’s benefit?
For my ears only... (that's not the title of a Bond theme tune, btw.)

What song or artist do you find yourself skipping most frequently and therefore should probably delete?
Amadou & Mariam. I love this Malian duo, but I have overplayed their tremendous "Dimanche A Bamako" album.

Without cheating, start your player and list the first 10 songs that come up in random play.
So far, my answers haven't showcased the sheer diversity of music on my player. So, please don't let down iPod:

"Days" (David Bowie)
"Ataronchronon" (Boards of Canada)
"City Headache" (Scott Matthews)
"Hands Born Dirty" (Joseph Arthur)
"You Don't Need Anyone" (Marillion)
"Stars" (Ulrich Schnauss)
"Turn Me Loose" (It Bites)
"High (live)" (The Cure)
"Trains" (Porcupine Tree)
"All Sweet Things" (No-Man)

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