Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ten Songs

Sophie tagged me on Facebook with this one.

The Rules

Once you have been tagged, you are supposed to write down the top 10 songs you cannot live without. The ones you can listen to over and over and never get tired of. They don't have to be in any particular order. These are the songs that make laugh, cry, think of an old friend, whatever the reason . At the end, choose a few people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If you were tagged, it's because I want to know more about you. To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note.

Here is my list...

Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
I used to stock groceries as an overnight job while attending college. One of the guys at work would put a radio up against the public address microphone and we would listen to a college radio station. It was painfully distorted. Every night, yes every single night, I would call the station on my break and ask them to play this song at half-past-four. So, if you were in College Station in the early Nineties and heard Comfortably Numb at 4:30, that was a morning I was working at Apple Tree. College radio: they would do anything stupid.

Don McClean - Vincent
This is the answer I give when someone asks what my favorite song is. This song just puts goose bumps on my arms when I hear it and think about the lyrics.

Men Without Hats - Safety Dance
This is proof that a song does not have to make any sense to be a great song. When I hear this song, I immediately get an image of home during the MTV days. If a few bars of a song can transport your mind to your childhood, it is a good song.

Steve Vai - The Audience is Listening
This song changed how I looked at the guitar. I enjoyed guitar music up to that time, but I dove into the technical aspect of playing only after hearing this song.

Dead Kennedys - Holiday in Cambodia
I remember asking many questions after hearing Dead Kennedys songs. Questions like, "Who was Pol Pot?", "What is Dachau?", and "What's going on in Afghanistan?" I believe I learned more history from reading about what DK lyrics were talking about than I did through a decade of schooling. The guitar at the beginning of Holiday in Cambodia was something I always thought sounded cool, and it is still one of my favorite songs. I remember a girl from Cambodia getting upset with me when she saw me wearing a Holiday in Cambodia shirt. After she found out what the song was about, she wanted me to make a tape with some DK songs. I doubt she ever got into punk rock, but she was happy to discover that an American band was telling others about the atrocities which happened when the Khmer Rogue were powerful.

Rush - Tom Sawyer
Every time I hear this song I immediately want to become a rock star. This song makes me want to pick up the guitar and jam!

Plastic Bertrand - Ca Plane Pour Moi
Having no idea what the lyrics are, I just think this song is great! I remember ordering the soundtrack to a movie I heard it in only to find out that it was not a track.

NOFX - The Decline
A punk song that is eighteen minutes. Most punk songs are two minutes, at most! Not only is this one over eighteen minutes long, it keeps my attention for that long. I remember Robo, the drummer for Black Flag, was asked once why punk songs are so short and fast. He said, "If you look at the amount of lyrics, the songs are just as long as popular music. We play fast because that is what inspires us. The songs are short because that is how long the inspiration lasts." Kudos to NOFX for going the distance with this great song.

Pixies - Where Is My Mind?
I cannot put my finger on what makes this song so great. The mix of Kim's 'oooo'ing and Frank's overextended voice? The simple guitar riff? I don't know, but it works, and it works great. I like ever cover version I have heard of this song too.

Tommy Emmanuel - Somewhere Over the Rainbow
This guy works without accompaniment, using nothing less than magic to produce melodies from his acoustic guitar. The best use of harmonics I have ever heard, the intro and outro to this song sound amazing. A familiar song to most people, this is an approachable song for casual listeners and an intense study for musicians.

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