The Music Challenge

You know, I’ve been seeing this a lot, lately.  So i am going to write my own.  I refuse to be constricted to the one per day and probably, knowing me, I will do a few days in one post and never return to finish it.  But here goes.

1: Favorite song.  I know, tough one as everyone says.  It’s a close battle for me.  Through the years that #1 slot changes.  But if i made a top five throughout my life, these two would consistently if not invariably exist on that list.

In the red corner, Alison – Elvis Costello.  This album changed the way i thought about music.  I was in high school listening to pop and top 40 mostly.  This album was my first punk artist.  Someone who wrote angry songs, made social commentary and generally told stories.  And among all these short, fast little angry songs was this beautiful song about a girl Elvis knew at the grocery store.  The album was such an impact on me that I named my first daughter Alison.

In the black and blue corner, Unsatisfied – The Replacements.  The Mats could write any style (and they did) and Westerberg could lay out all of his emotions and it always seemed like we were living parallel lives, thousands of miles away.  His songs were his way of dropping me a letter and letting me know his life was exactly like mine.  “Look me in the eye and tell me, you’re satisfied”.

And the favorite song falls to Elvis and Alison.

2: Least Favorite Song.  Easy.  I hate this song so much I won’t let myself remember the title or the artist.  I can only remember the chorus.  “My name is Michael, I got a nickel, I got a nickel, shiny and new.”  I found that there were lots of songs i never liked but as it turns out it may have been the artist who recorded it.  I never liked Big Yellow Taxi or Friend of the Devil until i heard Counting Crows cover them.  So i try to separate band from song.  (also love John Wesley Harding’s cover of Like a Prayer but tell anyone and I will hunt you).  *last-minute entry in this category.  The Chicken Dance.

3: Song that makes you happy.  Wonderful World – Sam Cooke.  Just a plain classic love song.  Love it.

4: Song that makes you sad.  Ave Maria.  My Aunt Sandy had a wonderful voice.  Powerful.  Beautiful.  We were very fortunate to have her sing at our wedding.  I remember sitting behind the altar listening to her.  The priest kept peering out around a corner to get a look at who was singing.  He was moved by the sounds in his church.  A voice like he had never heard.  I remember him commenting that you can tell she doesn’t smoke.  He was dumbfounded when i told him she smoked two packs a day.  Sadly Sandy died from brain cancer in her 40s.  Whenever I hear Ave Maria, I think of her and i am sad to know I will never hear her sing again.

5: Song that reminds you of someone.  This could take a while.  I always associate songs with people and vice versa.  Maria – Downtown.  Connie – Tainted Love. Randy – Logical Song.  Denver – Carry On my Wayward Son.  Funny thing is I don’t have a song that reminds me of my wife.  But I will have to say that the preceding story will take precedent and cover #4 and #5.

6: Song that reminds you of somewhere.  Lady in Red – Chris DeBurgh.  I went to the Greek isles on my honeymoon.  When we stayed on Santorini we stayed in a villa called Altana.  The owner’s names was Kostas and he had a student named Jacques that worked for him.  His man Friday.  Jacques was French and working there for the summer.  I don’t know if that’s when this song came out but he loved it and played it all of the time.  It would be on when we stopped in for breakfast, when we got in in the afternoon and when we were hanging out in the evening.  Never liked the song but can’t hate it because it reminds us of Jacques, Kostas, Santorini, and Coke and Pepsi.  (Another story … ask me sometime)

7: Song that reminds you of a certain even.  Rock Lobster – The B52s.  What event is that?  Play practice.  If you don’t know, you missed out and I ain’t telling you.

8: Song that you know all the words to.  Can’t answer, i know all the words to many songs.  My wife thinks she knows the words to a lot of songs too but unfortunately, they aren’t always correct.

9: Song that you can dance to. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers.  Makes me think of my Aunt Sandy and Uncle Donnie playing in the clubs.

10: Song that makes you fall asleep.  Sleepytown – Milkshake.  Never worked on the kids, put me out every time.

11: Song from your favorite band. Unsatisfied – The Replacements.  Since they got screwed in the first category, they get #11.

12: Song from a band you hate.  Anything from Heart.  Never liked them, never liked any song they ever did.  Hope to never have to mention them again.

13: Song that is a guilty pleasure.  Most Adam and the Ants.  Stand and Deliver comes to mind.

14: Song that no one would expect you to love.  That’s How You Know – Amy Adams from Enchanted.  One of my favorite movie scenes when they erupt into song in Central Park like so many musicals.  I was laughing out loud (yes I can still type those three words out longhand, er, long-type?) in the movie theater.

15: Song that describes you. Lonesome Road – James Taylor

“If I had stopped to listen once or twice
If I had closed my mouth and opened my eyes
If I had cooled my head and warmed my heart
I’d not be on this road tonight.”

16: Song that you used to love but now hate. Antmusic – Adam and the Ants

17: Song that you hear often on the radio. Laredo – Band of Horses.

18: Song that you wish you heard on the radio. Anything by Dan Kibler.

19: Song from your favorite album.  So. Central Rain – R.E.M. Another album that changed my world of music.  A little after Elvis in 1979 but no less of an impact.

20: Song that you listen to when you’re angry.  Moving Trucks – Bob Mould.  Usually I play it and that helps with the anger management.

21: Song that you listen to when you’re happy.  Good Company – Queen.  Silly little tune with phenomenal production and performances.  Little known but amazing.

22: Song that you listen to when you’re sad.  Nighttime – Big Star.  Now that Alex is dead, makes me even more sad when I listen to it.  It’s a vicious circle.

23: Song that you want to play at your wedding.  Well funny story is I WANTED Maybe, I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney played at my wedding but the DJs forgot to get their albums out of their buddy’s garage the night before so we had to settle for Love Song – Elton John.  Ask my wife what song we danced to, she won’t remember.

24: Song that you want to play at your funeral.  Adagio for Strings – Samuel Barber

25: Song that makes you laugh – Hello Walls – Faron Young.  One of the 45s from my parents’ collection that my sister and I listened to over and over.  When he sang “Hello, ceiling”, we would be doubled over in laughter.

26: Song that you can play on an instrument.  One that I play very often, a reworked acoustic version of Dreaming – Blondie

27: Song that you wish you could play.  All Chopin preludes.

28: Song that makes you feel guilty.  Be My Downfall – Del Amitri.  There’s a story that I will probably never tell.

29: Song from your childhood.  Two songs from the backseat of my parents car.  It has to be a tie.  Dance to the Music – Sly and the Family Stone and American Pie – Don McLean.  My sister and i knew all of the words and we sang as loud as we could.

30: Your favorite song at this time last year: Alison – Elvis C.

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Published in: on May 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm  Leave a Comment