Category Archives: Friday Music Day

FMD: Do You Realize

The other week, when we were talking about those stealth music attacks, funerals came up a few times. Then last week I got to present on some wills and estate planning things and one of the other presenters talked about funeral planning. So it's been on the brain for me, of late (eh? late? eh...?).

So I'll put the question to you plainly: what do you want played at your funeral?

There are no wrong answers. Seriously. Even "Tubthumping" works... (Jokes are the best way to put the "fun" back in "funeral).

FMD: Lullaby

What do/did you sing to your kids to get them to sleep? What do you like for yourself for the same?

I've been cycling through the same handful of songs, adding one or two with each of my kids. The rotation is pretty much:
"Hallelujah" (More Cohen than anyone else, when I sing it)
"When You Dream" (BNL)
"Salvation Is Created" (Chesnokov)
"You'll Be In My Heart" (Collins)
"Leaving On A Jet Plane" (Peter, Paul, & Mary)
"You Are My Sunshine"

Occasionally some others make it into the mix, but the kids usually request these ones, and I know 'em.

We've also found that Don Williams and George Strait work pretty well for rocking a baby to sleep.

FMD: To Listen List

I recently discovered a new artist. Just in the past few days. It's someone that I am absolutely loving. At the same time, I have to say that y'all have let me down. I don't think anyone on the WGOM has ever suggested I listen to Sturgill Simpson. The good news is that, despite the WGOM's silence, somehow he still creeped up to the top of my "To Listen List".

I'd heard some of his music here or there (well, I'm almost positive that it was never here) over the past few years, and I've always liked it, but never sat down and really gave it a listen until a few nights ago. Oh, I had long been meaning to, it just hadn't happened. Other things always took the place, and sometimes trying out new music just isn't what a person is in the mood for. So it sat for far too long. Maybe if someone here had recommended Simpson at any point I would have listened sooner...

Anyway, it turns out he's pretty good. Fantastic voice, excellent guitar work, creative (and somewhat seditious) lyrics... the whole works. You should check him out too.

And, in light of my recent discovery, I'm wondering what is at the top of your To Listen List? It seems like whenever there's something you know you should try, that doing so seems to pay off. At least that's been my experience. So what have you not gotten around to checking out that you've been meaning to for ages? What did you wait too long to try? And what should go to the top of my list, now that I've finally picked up Sturgill? (And, by the way, Sturgill should go to the top of your lists too... Maybe then we could all talk about him sometime?).

FMD: Stealth Attack

Pepper shared the following quote with me from some thing she read that I admittedly haven't gotten around to reading yet (it'll happen... it hasn't even been 24 hours since she sent me the link):

As a delivery device for moments of inner emergency, no art form can approach the immediacy of popular song. A novel cannot assault you while you wait in line at the supermarket; a painting cannot reach out and turn your head as you walk on by; a poem’s feet cannot chase you down the street; a movie cannot screen itself. A song, though, can steal upon you in the dark, on a road, far from home, blow out your tires and leave you sobbing, in gratitude, at the wheel. All other art lives and dies in a medium that mandates we engage if we are to receive its gifts. Songs live in the air.

It's a great enough idea that I'm sure different parts will hit people differently, but the thing that really stuck out for me was the idea of a song "steal[ing] upon you in the dark". A song can come out of nowhere and hit you, big time. It seems like these are often sad songs, but not exclusively. I've had the same happen happily too.

So this week, I'd like to talk about stories of a time a song hit you, by surprise. What song. When and where were you, what were the emotions, how do you relate to that song now, have you ever captured that lightning in a bottle again, etc. I think I like this topic.

FMD: On The Road

I'll be driving a bunch today. I'll probably mostly just flip radio stations until I get frustrated and turn on MPR News. Wait. It's a member drive. Alright, I'll probably just get frustrated.

What do you listen to when travelling? Let's make a "recommended for the road" playlist?

FMD: Let’s talk country

My mother-in-law recently bought a George Strait greatest hits CD. It's... kind of fantastic (despite missing a few obvious selections). Wit the exception of, say Sturgill, we don't talk country music 'round these parts too often. I listened to a fair amount of country in high school, mostly while working in the summers, and that era of Country still hits a sweet spot for me sometimes. I've also listened to a good amount of older outlaw country over the past, say, decade. I still loathe new country, for the most part, and the few good songs aren't worth wading through the rest, imo. For me, country music's decline started with Lonestar. Anyway... What thoughts have you on Country? Not just what you like/tolerate/hate, but... More. What stories, reasons, feelings... Etc.

FMD: Proposed Covers

There's something about cover songs that really appeals to me. Probably the obvious: someone putting a new spin on a classic makes it fresh again. Or maybe it's the less obvious: like a Star Trek alternate universe, it lets you reimagine the world with things changed, but somehow still familiar?

Anyway, this week I thought it might be fun to talk about cover songs that you'd like to see happen.

To kick it off, I'd say Marilyn Manson covering The Police's "Every Step You Take" could be interesting. I'll see if I can think of others.

FMD: Tones I’ve Never Heard

A few days ago, my Marantz SR6011 receiver arrived via FedEx, and I bi-amped my Martin Logan 60XTs and music in my home has never even approached this level of quality. I'm laid up with influenza, so I've gotten to enjoy the hell out of them, as stairs are proving difficult for my equilibrium right now and it's easier to sit in one spot while I wait for this endless sickness to pass.

How do you listen? Any other audiophiles out there besides me and Hess?

As for the music passing through these speakers, I'm going through Pitchfork's Best New Music archives to see what I missed, as well as pulling disparate acts from the past, ranging from Portishead to Jeff Buckley to White Zombie.

Since I'm not going anywhere, I'll drop a SpookySampler up in here today.

FMD: Mood vs. Tone

Philosofette taught a lesson this week in her English class demonstrating how mood and tone were different things. She used music to give the example. There were two different approaches, and I was thinking maybe we could take a stab at both of them this week? Seemed like a fun conversation.

#1 "Pumped Up Kicks"

The song sounds happy, upbeat, light even. The lyrics are horrifying. I'm not sure which of those was supposed to be mood, and which was tone, but the "song that sounds one way, but means a different way" thing demonstrates something, right?

#2 "How Do You Like Me Now?"

Strategy #2 was to pick two (or more) songs that fit a common theme. My submission for her class was "happiness" and I guessed I narrowed it further by focusing on songs with a tone of "achievement." Two songs that couldn't be more different in mood, but both fit that tone, are Toby Keith's "How Do You Like Me Now" and Etta James' "At Last." Completely different, but somewhat the same too.

Anyway, what contrasting mood/tone songs do ya got? Happy ones? Sad ones? Mad ones? (I think that covers all the emotions, right?). Have at it!

Friday Music Day: Year End Spectacular!

2016 was a weird year (well....duh).

Personally, I felt my tastes solidify quite a bit. I listened to less new music than ever before for a variety of reasons, and what I did listen to had a WAY lower retention than in years past.

Still, I did listen to a lot of stuff I enjoyed. You'll find a smattering after the jump (my actual top 20 list I'll just put a a reply). Feel free to post stuff you liked this year, in list form or not, doesn't matter.

Continue reading Friday Music Day: Year End Spectacular!