The Music or the Misery

For those of you who hate it when I just post playlists from my iPod, I’m going to write a little bit before I do that–which is what I’m GOING to do. It’s kind of the point of this post…but I’ll bring you up to speed on on what brought it about first.

There’s a movie starring John Cusack called “High Fidelity.” It was also a book by Nick Hornby. Hornby is my favorite author. Cusack is my favorite actor. Wanna guess what my favorite movie is? Yep. Good guess. It’s “High Fidelity.” (I like the book a lot, too. I just saw the movie before I read the book. The two are VERY similar, though, so I don’t feel like one of those sacrilegious people who sees “The Lord of the Rings” then reads the books and claims they’ve “always” loved Tolkien. Though, I will say, of Hornby’s work, I think “A Long Way Down” is his best book, even if my favorite movie is “High Fidelity.”)

Anyway, the first words out of Cusack’s mouth in the movie are, “What came first, the music or the misery?” (I don’t remember if that’s in the book or not.) He was talking about the quandary that every pop/rock fan faces sooner or later. Do I listen to songs about being depressed because I’m depressed, or am I depressed because I listen to songs about being depressed? He says in the movie that no one seems to notice that teens/young adults listen to thousands of hours of songs about misery, pain, rejection, and loss. (This, of course, changed post Columbine…thanks a lot for that, wacko-dead-kids.)

The movie has a great soundtrack. I bought it not too long ago (even though I already have most of the songs on it…I still needed the Stevie Wonder tune, y’know). There are some tunes missing from it that are in the movie, though…and I have most of those, too (or at least the ones I like). That’s sort of what made me love that movie–I could see myself in it, mostly because I had/have the records they’re talking about, and certain aspects of my life seem to be reflected in the main character(s). So, I set out to make the definitive playlist–I wanted to determine what came first.

Most of the stuff I like from the movie is here…but I also added a bunch of stuff that means something to me personally. A lot of it, oddly, can be found on other soundtracks–like the one for the “House” TV series, or stuff I’ve heard on “How I Met Your Mother,” or from the movie “American Splendor” (my SECOND-favorite movie). In fact, I took playlists I’d made earlier that were based on those shows/movies and adjusted, combined, and edited them to fit. I’ve divided it into two lists, reflective of CD1 and CD2–or Side A and B, if you prefer. The first list is truer to the movie…the second is other stuff I like. But, know that in my iPod, this is just one big-ass playlist. 🙂 (Also, keep in mind that I narrowed this list down from an initial list of about 200 songs. From 200 to 41…not bad.)

So…here we go…

The Music or the Misery – Side A

  1. Overture/It’s A Boy – The Who
  2. Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
  3. Paradise by the Dashboard Lights – Meat Loaf
  4. You’re Gonna Miss Me – 13th Floor Elevators
  5. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
  6. I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You – Elvis Presley
  7. Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy – The Kinks
  8. Won’t Be Home – Old 97’s
  9. Atlantic City – Bruce Springsteen
  10. I’m Wrong About Everything – John Wesley Harding
  11. Janie Jones – The Clash
  12. Most of the Time – Bob Dylan
  13. Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
  14. Dry the Rain – The Beta Band
  15. Suspect Device – Stiff Little Fingers
  16. Under Pressure – Queen
  17. Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye
  18. Ain’t that Peculiar – Chocolate Genius (A Slower, Jazz/Blues Version)
  19. Who Loves the Sun – The Velvet Underground
  20. You Can’t Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones
  21. I Believe (When I Fall in Love it will Be Forever) – Stevie Wonder

The Music or the Misery – Side B

  1. Good Times, Bad Times – Led Zeppelin
  2. Feelin‘ Alright – Joe Cocker
  3. Hey Beautiful – The Solids
  4. I Alone – Live
  5. Black – Pearl Jam
  6. Angola (Wrong Side Of The Law) – Ray Davies
  7. Voices – Cheap Trick
  8. Save Me – Aimee Mann
  9. Beautiful – Elvis Costello
  10. Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife – Drive-By Truckers
  11. Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
  12. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
  13. Walter Reed – Michael Penn
  14. Are You Alright? – Lucinda Williams
  15. American Splendor – Eytan Mirsky
  16. Hurt – Johnny Cash
  17. Ain’t that Peculiar – Marvin Gaye (Upbeat Version)
  18. Mother of Pearl – Roxy Music
  19. This Modern Love – Bloc Party
  20. Knockin‘ on Heaven’s Door – Warren Zevon

So there.