Music Questions

Wanted to get something new on the blog. I’m writing something else, but it’s not coming out quite the way I have it in my head, so I’m going with this instead. A friend of mine posted 25 music-based questions on her blog and I copied them and am answering them here. This is just kind of a “this is fine for now” post. I’ll do better. I promise.

1. If you could have an artist cover any song, which band/singer and track would you choose?
Right now, I’d love to hear The National cover Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”

2. What one genre of music do you like the least and why?
Rap/Hip Hop (I don’t really know what the difference is), because shut up and sing something. And try not to say “bitch” while you do it.

3. Favorite track used in a movie?
Lots of choices–and I don’t think this one is my “favorite,” necessarily… But I remember being particularly struck by the use of the Pixies “Hey” in Zack & Miri Make a Porno.

4. One track that gets you hyped for going out?
I do not think I have one of those…

5. The first album you bought?
Aerosmith’s first record. On vinyl. I think because it cost less than the CD or tape. 🙂

6. Favorite album artwork?
Tough call…but it’s probably Zappa’s “Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch.”

7. 3 songs that you can really chill out too?
I don’t know… I tend to do entire albums for that rather than just an individual song. I gravitate toward Jazz when I want to sit and relax. Some Brubeck maybe–particularly the “Time Out” record. Michael Manring’s “Soliloquy” record (made up entirely of bass solos) is pretty relaxing. Maybe something by Antony and the Johnsons if I want to relax and also be sad. Or Lou Reed’s “Hudson River Wind Meditations” if I want to just have background noise to read or think by. That’s four records instead of three songs…but this was a weird question for me.

8. Your favorite cover of another track?
Really tough one. I’m not sure how to START choosing that. Johnny Cash’s covers of both “Hurt” and/or “Rusty Cage” belong on the list, though, if we were making one.

9. One song you know all the words too?
There are a lot…but earlier today I was singing Aimee Mann’s “Red Vines.” So that one.

10. Your favorite TV show theme music?
I want it to be something Mike Post wrote…but ultimately it’s probably the theme from “Red Dwarf.”

11. If you could form a supergroup (vocals, guitar, drums) who would you choose?
This one’s impossible for me to answer (and not just because I’d need to have a bass player in my band as well…ahem…). The thing is, the answer isn’t putting all of your favorite musicians into the same band. Pete Townshend, Geddy Lee, Dave Grohl, and Freddie Mercury would make a shitty train-wreck of a band. You’d have to build it really carefully and I’d probably need someone I don’t really WANT in the band to make it work. So rather than do that and overthink it further, I’ve just decided to explain to you why you’re wrong and move on to question 12.

12. Throw your iTunes on shuffle, first 3 tracks that were played?
“Miss K.” by Deer Tick
“A Fool for Love” by Bryan Ferry
“Seven Fingers” by Black Francis

13. One song you think everyone should have listened to but probably haven’t?
I don’t know if I would’ve said this if Bryan Ferry hadn’t come up in my iTunes… But “Mother of Pearl” by Roxy Music.

14. A song that makes you dance way too hard?
Not an issue.

15. If you could go for ice cream with one artist who has passed away, who would it be and what flavor would you buy them?
That is a surprisingly great question! Lou Reed… Bacon flavored ice cream. Because he has a song that describes life being like “bacon and ice cream” since a friend of his died. And now we have bacon flavored ice cream, so I would like to buy that for him to confirm that, yes, that is an awful idea. We would then both get plain vanilla. And I’d tell him I thought “Lulu” was phenomenal and the ending of “Junior Dad” gives me chills even though it’s really long and most people don’t get what he was doing with it.

16. You’re going on a long car/train/bus/plane journey, what artists do you like to listen to?
There’s ALWAYS some Who. I’ll usually hit Bowie. If I’m going to the South or to a rural community, I’ll probably play some Johnny Cash and/or Drive-By Truckers. Eagles, maybe, because I have specific memories of going to Arkansas listening to them when I was a kid. And some good punk or metal for when I get sleepy.

17. Your favorite music video?
I hate to keep harping on it…but Johnny Cash’s video for “Hurt” was really striking. There were also some really great metal videos from the 80s, but they all kind of blend together. Alanis Morissette had a couple great ones in the 90s, too…

18. If you’re feeling down, what one track gets you back up?
I don’t use music that way. The songs I listen to when I’m really down aren’t meant to get me up, they’re meant to get me THROUGH it. Sometimes that means wallowing in it a while. You know I’m bad off when the cycle of records in and out of my player is Neil Young’s “Harvest,” followed by The Who’s “Quadrophenia,” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” I might listen to one of those on its own, because they’re all fucking great records…but when they’re in that cycle, I’m low and I’m wallowing in it until I’m out of it. There’s no song that “gets me up” when I’m down. What I’m listening to doesn’t influence my mood. My mood influences what I’m listening to.

19. One musician you wouldn’t hesitate on kicking in the face?
Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day.

20. The song that defines you and your friend group?
There isn’t one. I run in too many groups, we’re too diverse, and even if I narrowed it down to one set of friends, we probably still don’t all listen to the same bullshit…so there’s really no soundtrack to my friendships.

21. Karaoke night and the microphone is passed to you.. what song are you gonna boss?
Who talks that way? I might sing a Who song or maybe some CCR. “Fortunate Son” or something I’m confident with. Depends on what they have.

22. A song that you like that no-one would expect you too?
I have whole BANDS like that… People seem surprised when I stick up for Katy Perry though…so let’s say one of hers.

23. One lyric you love?
These are really hard questions for music fans. If I say the song by the National that’s been in my head all day that seems too currenty. If I say a Who song, it probably sounds like brand loyalty… I’m going with “Celluloid Heroes” by the Kinks.

24. You take a girl/guy back to the bedroom, what one song do you use to get them into the bed?
I would never abuse music or my relationships that way. Anyone who gets into bed with you because you chose the right song to play while she’s sitting on the bed is someone who you probably don’t want to sleep with in the first place. Musical taste in an important connection, but you shouldn’t exploit it just to get someone naked. Unless your favorite band is Warrant. Then “Cherry Pie” all fuckin’ night…

25. If you were a wrestler, what would your entrance theme be.
Is there’s a song called “Please Don’t Hurt Me, You Look Like You’re Way Better At This Than I Am?” Because that.