I love Steppenwolf. They've got songs against hard drugs -- even pro- war on drugs; they've got songs exhorting parents to teach their kids respect; they're not quite your average 1970s psych rock group. Thank you, dad, for giving me your old records!
Which other rock star would end his show with Psalm 40, and make no vulgar acts or statements during a concert?
Which other rock star would toss in old showtunes like "Send in the Clowns" and "Old Man River" while doing a performance?
Which other rock star would praise President Bush for his charitable endeavors?
Which other rock star would say he understands that Americans aren't stingy, but rather sensibly suspicious of federal foreign aid, and then would ask for us to up our private charitable giving?
(Which other rock star actually knows what he's talking about, so you don't have to tell him to "shut up and sing"?)
Which other rock star will take a girl up on stage from the audience and dance with her, not making it sexual and shameful like other acts I've seen, but making it look like a father loving and comforting his daughter?
Which other rock star moves so incredibly, making Michael Jackson seem vulgar and James Brown seem... injured?
Which other rock star, in the absence of Pavarotti, will sing the opera sections in a song himself, showing what a depth of musical talent he has?
Man, I had a good night tonight!
And because, you know, it's not like I was turned off by seeing the "Slim Shady" music video in a doctor's office, even before I knew enough about popular music to have heard of Eminem or to have heard that you have to be the right color to do rap (or, really, to know what counted as "rap" at all... combination of both being young when it came out and not really having listened to anything except classical, folk songs, and a little country until 1994), and then in college suddenly realized, "wow, I like this, it's different and not as grating as other rap, and it seems to have a different kind of beat in the words," when listening to "8 Mile" in the bus, with no awareness of what it was, what the words were(I couldn't make them out), that it was by Eminem, that he is non-black, or that that last part was Not OK. It's not that it's, in and of itself, different and appeals in some undescribable way to people to whom no rap music has ever appealed. No, it's not because of any of that -- it's because we're all racist and can't stand for non-whites to be appreciated.
(Yes, I'm referring to two different things -- 1: my constant irritation, the anger at white people whose behavior doesn't fit entirely into the category of acceptable white-person behavior, and 2: the rather odd claim (at least from my own experience, where my opinions were formed with no knowledge of the non-threatening-ness of A's lyrics or of B's on-stage antics or of C's skin color, but only with a knowledge of the sound and rhythm structures) that the reason a person would like X and not Y within genre Z is clearly that X is white and Y is not. And yes, my sentence patterns don't fit well with each other. That's because I'm thinking in grammatical cases and having some trouble keeping my pre-gist clauses in alignment. So I'm heading back to my pretty thesis translations, which have easier cases, and which I should have been doing right now anyhow.)
1. Doors, self-titled album. Mellow stuff, the whole way through.
2. Caedmon's Call, "Back Home." Nice sunny music.
3. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, "Tarkus." The only 1970s album I have where you really can't listen to it sitting or standing up. You have to lie on the floor to appreciate it.
4. A. R. Rahman, "Bombay." My first exposure to Hindi/Tamil movies and music; very nice and catchy tunes, including the wedding-night song "Humma Humma."
5. Anu Malik, "Josh." Gorgeous fusion music, part basic Hindi music, part Goan folk music, part spanish guitar. Plus, Shahrukh Khan "sings" one song by himself! (Hindi movie songs are generally dubbed by "playback singers.")
6. Steppenwolf, "For Ladies Only." One of the best of the record albums I took from my father.
7. Woodstock, the soundtrack. The absolute best of the record albums I took from my father. Especially the stoned announcers who talk about how "groovy" everyone is. And how out-of-place Sha-Na-Na sounded.
8. Rosenstolz, "Herzensschöner." Amazing how they get such a sound -- and how they get German to sound gentle and pretty.
9. Vince Guaraldi, "A Charlie Brown Christmas." I love Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but this is really the only Christmas album I can listen to year round and have it always put me in a nice soft mood.
10. Daniel Barenboim playing Chopin's Nocturnes. Good for if you want to feel depressed in a very Romantic manner.
1. What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
2.36Gb ... most of it, apparently, the Doors. (I lost everything in a badly-done upgrade to XP -- a hint: if you're doing that, run scandisk on the CD first, to make sure that it will actually install XP and not just fragments -- and everything except the half-dozen songs I had in "my documents" has now been put back on in mass album installs.)
2. The last CD you bought is:
I don't buy CDs anymore. The last album I bought, though, is: "The Great American Dance Bands: Eddy Howard And His Orchestra."
I suppose the last CD I bought may have been U2, "All that you can't leave behind."
3. What is the song you last listened to before this message?
"In-a-gadda-da-vida." It takes up one whole side of the record!
4. Five songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.
"County Road 109" by Ross King. It's a really sweet song and brings back memories of wonderful people.
"Grace" by U2 -- smooth, good lyrics, near perfection.
"Anbendra" from "Minsara Kanavu," by A. R. Rahman (who else?) -- a lovely song to God in praise of creation.
"Weekend in New England" by Barry Manilow -- what can I say? I like sappiness. I like Thomas Kinkade too.
"She's got a way" by Billy Joel. It's one of the prettiest songs of his, with the nicest words, and it's a love song without having a dark "I'm in an abusive relationship" undertone like so many others.
The Indian wedding danging song of the moment, because it's the only time I've ever danced in a sari! You can listen to it here -- just click on "Maahi Ve." It's from a really nice (but somewhat sad) movie, starring overly-energetic and floppy-haired superstar Shahrukh Khan (be still my beating heart).
5. Who are you gonna pass this stick to (three persons and why)? [I changed it back to three, because I really don't have that many friends, and after following the chain -- which is a fun way to see many many blogs! Also found out where the "Random 10" was added.]
Milton at TP, because he seems to like filling out things like this.
PG at Half the Sins of Mankind, because she likes sharing things, may like lots of music, and seems to have a lot of friends.
R. Alex Whitlock at RAW360, because he has interesting tastes, and in the hopes that I'll get to meet him.
What music do I like? Oh, many many things, but the best I've ever heard is Rosenstolz. They're a German duo, possessed of a good amount of physical beauty themselves, who achieve the nearly-impossible task of making German sound soft and beautiful. The lyrics of their songs translate to haunting emotion, but several friends I have shared them with like them with no knowledge of German whatsoever.
My favorite songs are: "Les Larmes De Septembre" (which is somewhat less good in German as "Septembergrau"), "Der Moment," and "Dunkle Wolken." In case anyone wishes to seek them out by whatever means.