Tuesday, March 27, 2012


As I have now come to the end of this 30 Day Song Challenge, I find myself, mostly with some thoughts of intrigue and regret. Intrigue, in my own selections, which varied from some that I wasn't shocked by to ones that I hadn't even thought about for years, but suddenly run rapid in my memory banks. Yet I also feel regret in that I could pick 30. Alright, technically I cheated a couple times and picked a couple for some of the categories, but how weird is it that we have to narrow ourselves so much. I look at my final list of choices, and part of me is impressed that I know and care for so much great music, and the other side of me is thinking, there are a lot of great songs and artists missing on this list. I means, were talking about songs here, we all know hundreds if not thousands. We might not be fully conscious of it most of our listening time, but music is so key to our lives, and our senses. It has once been that all art strives to be music, and as I writer of blogs, criticisms, opinionated editorials, and especially screenplays and plays, I believe that to be true. Music has a way of getting into our heads the way all other art forms completely lack. I don't always see a mobster and immediately think "The Godfather". Hell, I could walk down the street tomorrow and see a man with yellow skin and four fingers on each hand, and I won't not immediately think "The Simpsons". (I might be thinking, "What-the-hell's wrong with this guy?", but I wouldn't immediately be thinking "The Simpsons") Yet, if you give me only one note, I can be positive that that tune is "For What It's Worth," by Buffalo Springfield. (If that title doesn't sound familiar to you, look it you, and listen; I guarantee, you've all heard it) I can do that with dozens, maybe hundreds of songs, many of which, I might not even be aware of. I don't always know the artists or the titles either, although I can give you a pretty impressive list of songs and artists that I couldn't find a spot for with this challenge. If 60 was too little a challenge for movies, for movie, than 30 is definitely way too small a sample to determine a life through song. Don't be confused, while I'll be talking and discussing the songs I chose, and I will be thinking about some of them, I'll also be thinking about songs that somehow I didn't find a place for. The Rolling Stones songs, The Police songs, Billy Joel songs, Elton John songs, nothing from Broadway, no country, practically nothing from rap, (And the one I did pick was a least favorite choice) no punk rock, no Queen, no Blondie, no U2, no Hall & Oates, no Simon & Garfunkel, (although I did pick a Garfunkel & Oates strangely enough as you'll see.)  no Doors, no Janis Joplin, no Aretha Franklin, no James Brown, no Elvis, Presley or Costello, no Beck, no Grateful Dead,... I go on for a lot more than 30. As much as I try to watch a world-worth of film and televsion, I'm actually lucky I get to see what I can, and I think we should even be luckier when it comes to music. It's nice to go on little side-adventures of reflection, rememberance and analysis, but in the future, I think I'd prefer to simply just enjoy the music I get from here on out.

Before I reveal the final ten selections of this challenge, let me remind all of you of my selections, so far:
DAY 2: Least Favorite Song: "THONG SONG"-SISQO
DAY 3: Song that Makes You Happy: "ALL I WANNA DO"-SHERYL CROW
DAY 4: Song that Makes You Sad: "TEARS IN HEAVEN"-ERIC CLAPTON
DAY 5: Song that Reminds You of Someone: "YOU BELONG TO ME"-TAYLOR SWIFT
DAY 6: Song that Reminds You of Somewhere: "LAYLA"-DEREK AND THE DOMINOES
DAY 7: Song that Reminds You of a Certain Event: "SWEET HOME ALABAMA"-LYNYRD SKYNYRD
DAY 8: A Song that You Know All the Words to: "COME TO MY WINDOW"-MELISSA ETHERIDGE
DAY 10: Song that Makes You Fall Asleep: "PAVLOV'S BELL"-AIMEE MANN
DAY 11: Song from Your Favorite Band: "ELEANOR RIGBY"-THE BEATLES
DAY 12: Song by a Band You Hate:"FAITH"-LIMP BIZKIT"
DAY 13: Song that is a Guilty Pleasure: "I TOUCH MYSELF"-THE DIVINYLS
DAY 14: Song that No One would Expect You to Like: TIE: "CLOSER"-NINE INCH NAILS and "TIK TOK"-KE$HA
DAY 15: A Song that Describes You-"THINGS HAVE CHANGED"-BOB DYLAN
DAY 16: A Song that You Used to Love, but Now Hate-"HOW CAN WE BE LOVERS"-MICHAEL BOLTON
DAY 17: Song that You Often Hear on the Radio-"HOTEL CALIFORNIA"-EAGLES
DAY 18: Song You Wish You Heard on the Radio-"PAPER BAG"-FIONA APPLE
DAY 19: A Song from Your Favorite Album-TIE: "THUNDER ROAD"-BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN from "Born to Run", and "FUCK AND RUN"-LIZ PHAIR from "Exile in Guyville"
DAY 20: A Song You Listen to While You're Angry"-"SILENT ALL THESE YEARS"-TORI AMOS

Alright, now onto my final ten picks!

DAY 21: A Song that You Listen to When You're Happy-"BORN TO BE WILD"-STEPPENWOLF
I've tried happy in the past, and I hated it; it was too depressing. So, this was a tricky category for awhile for me, although during what I would consider my "normal" mood, I often find myself walking down the street randomly screaming Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know", I've been told by many that that isn't happy. I thought about "Soak Up the Sun," but I already used a Sheryl Crow song for my other happy question. So, I decided to ignore happy, and think about those rare moments where I'm carefree and "wired" ...as my close friend might say. Really exhuberant, really excited about something, that kinda, blissful, nothing-can-stop-you feeling, you know that feeling? I don't think there's a word for it, but when I have that feeling, that, I wanna rock hard, I wanna party feeling, oh yeah! Time to scream for no reason! Uh-huh! I need something loud, heavy and driving. Like some heavy metal thunder maybe? Seriously, who doesn't crank this song up when it plays?


DAY 22: Song You Listen to When You're Sad-"TORN"-NATALIE IMBRUGLIA
This was tough for me. Normally when I'm sad, I'm also angry, so that would lead me back to Tori Amos, and I think it's too quick to go back to her, although I thought for a while about "Amber Waves," and "Playboy Mommy". I usually don't think about the emotions I have when I'm listening to music; usually, I listen to music so that I can change my emotions, even if that means to change my emotions to sad. However, thinking back to those rare occasions where I'm at my most down, you know, crawled on my bed in a fetal position, hiding from the sunlight..., well, this song would not get me out of that position, and I'd likely play it on a loop.


DAY 23: A Song that You Want to Play at Your Wedding-"TIME AFTER TIME"-CYNDI LAUPER
My initial instinct would've been AC/DC's "Highway to Hell", but then I decided to take the question a little more seriously. I think I'd like a lot of songs at my wedding. Different songs. "Constant Craving," by kd lang, "I Want to Be in Love"-Melissa Etheridge. "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic,"-The Police, that'll get some people dancing. But, eh, let's say, if I wanted to slow dance with some wonderful and romantic beautiful bride that I'm marrying, and if I ever really was truly in love, this would be the song I'd like to dance to with her.


DAY 24: A Song that You Want Played at Your Funeral-"STAYING ALIVE"-THE BEE GEES
What do you mean I'm in denial? About what? Yeah, alright maybe, but there isn't much I want more out of life than to remembered long after I'm gone.



There's a few choices I thought about here. Frank Zappa's "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow," anything by Weird Al, for sure, but eh, these two just crack me the hellup, evertytime. This one's my favorite. They're so weird and sick and fucked up, and it's just brilliant!

DAY 26: Song that You Can Play on an Instrument: "WIPEOUT"-THE SURFARIS
Well, I can kinda play it. I need a little practice, but my Uncle did once teach me how to do it on the bongos, when I was much younger, and since I  forgot everything I learned on a recorder or the xylophone, and, all the other instruments they made us play in Elementary School music class, this is probably all I can possibly do.


DAY 27: Song You Wish You Could Play: "YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME"-JEWEL
I've made a few half-ass attempts at playing guitar over the years, none that were every as serious as I thought they were at the moment. I never could learn anything on it, and most of the rambling teenage poems I called lyrics are now stashed at the bottom of my closet with other old high school dreams. If I had to ever have the chance again though, just an acoustic guitar, and I just want to learn, that little
"de de-dun-de dun, dun de-dun-de dun...,"I just want to learn that. Nothing more, just, just enough to play that a couple times. Just play a little sliver of this song, and then just put on my "Pieces of You" CD, I could live with just that.


DAY 28: A Song that Makes You Feel Guilty-"LITTLE PLASTIC CASTLE"-ANI DiFRANCO
This was by far the toughest category yet. I can honestly tell ya, I"ve never heard a song and then thought, "Wow, I feel guilty all of a sudden." So I barely get the category. I thought of a few songs, "Don't Stand So Close to Me"-The Police, "All Apologies,"-Nirvana, "Me and a Gun,"-Tori Amos, and "Stan"-Eminem w/Dido, they came to mind for a bit. But, it didn't feel quite right, and my Mom's recommendation of John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane," just seemed mean. I mean, I'm pretty sure Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", probably make Warren Beatty feel a little guilty, (or whomever it's supposedly written about) but it doesn't make me feel guilty. Then I consulted a friend, who reminded me of a few different Ani DiFranco songs, and suddenly it snaps into place. I could've picked quite a few of hers, I came close to picking "Not a Pretty Girl," but I finally decided on this song. If nothing else, I regret not listening to her more often, but this was always gets me.


I don't really remember listening to too much music as a kid, but I watched a lot of TV, so a lot of the first memories I have of music, that really spoke to me, and still trigger my memory the deepest, are TV theme songs. I remember being young, and "Cheers...," would come on, and it had this wonderful opening theme song that felt warming and classic at the same time. All the other shows had, actors dancing or just random clips from the series sprayed over some cheesy theme music that now clearly sounds from dated, and '80s dated, which is worse, and yet, I still feel reminised when I think about hearing that theme song, when I was so young. As to the other choice, and those who've known me long enough will certainly get a laugh out of it, it's from what was my favorite show as a kid, still a favorite of mine actually. I became a geography expert after excessively watching this show afterwards. Granted, that show's a little dated now, but I'll tell ya what, the song's still great, and "Rockapella," really still kicks ass by the way.


DAY 30: Your Favorite Song from this Time, Last Year-"BORN THIS WAY"-LADY GAGA
What can I tell ya, I'm one of Gaga's Little Monsters, and eh, I couldn't be happier about. :)


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