Wednesday, November 22, 2006

If you hate this post, blame Brian - he inspired me to do it.

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Soundtrack of my life, eh?

Don't even give a musician that idea, whether it's conscious or subconscious, man!

That's kind of like asking an artist what their favorite color is. How can you pick?

At any rate, I'll try to do these posts from time to time just to give you an idea of what I like/don't like.

The songs are as follows:

  1. "Will It Go Round In Circles" by Billy Preston
  2. "I Feel For You" by Chaka Khan
  3. "At Last" by Etta James
  4. "Over The Rainbow" as sung by Harry Nilsson
  5. "UCSC Banana Slugs Fight Song" by the Austin Lounge Lizards
  6. "Ariel" by Dean Friedman
  7. "Superwoman" by Stevie Wonder
  8. "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye
Keep in mind that this is a partial list of "my soundtrack". I'll do more of these and tailor them to specific themes as time goes by. But let's talk about these songs first.

#1 is one of those songs that, no matter where I am, my ears will perk up when I hear it. Then my foot taps, my butt twitches, and pretty soon I am embarrasing myself by bopping around in time to the music. Somewhere in heaven, I'm sure Billy Preston is laughing.

Regarding first, I didn't know that this was a Prince song until I read the credits on the label. No wonder I liked it. Another thing I learned is that a singer can make/break a song's appeal. Why do I say that? Because I've heard Prince, Chaka, and Michael Jackson's sister Rebbie do it, and Chaka Khan's rendition is the best by far. Rebbie Jackson sounds like a Sunday school teacher when she sings it, and even though Prince runs neck and neck with Chaka in his version, hers wins by a hair. Also, I remember hearing this song when I was in high school, and I wanted to be able to tell the guy I was dating that "I felt for him". Alas, it was not to be...which is a good thing. Last I heard, he owes beaucoup bucks in back child support.

Number 3...One of my goals as a jazz singer is to be able to sing "At Last" JUST LIKE Etta James. I know (intellectually) that no two human voices sound exactly alike, but damnit! I want to sound like her anyway. Screw intellect! I want to stop men dead in their tracks by my voice and render them blind so they fall in love with me by sound instead of sight. So far it only works on senior citizens, but maybe Etta's dynamic voice will inspire me to the outermost limits.

Number 4...I know there are people who steadfastly believe that Judy Garland's version of this song should be the only one allowed. Well, Judy's dead. I make the rules on this blog, and in my opinion, there are several versions of "Over the Rainbow" that are quite worthy of accolades. I found this one by Harry Nilsson, and it is GORGEOUS. You will weep copiously, I guarantee. Eva Cassidy, Jane Monheit and Ray Charles are also moving, but Harry's who we've got today.

Number 5 - Humor and music mix quite well if you have quality music and a rapier wit. The Austin Lounge Lizards have plenty of both. I first saw them live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and any group that can sing songs like "Jesus Loves Me but He Can't Stand You" while wearing Hawaiian shirts and playing bluegrass music is tops in my book.

Six - When I was a kid, many summer afternoons were spent playing with Barbies, either in my room or in the basement. I'd ALWAYS have the radio on. One summer, this song was on the charts, and I'll never forget making my Barbies dance to that song. When I was an adult, I found out the song was about New Jersey stoners and their quest for true love. I'm so ashamed I made my Barbies dance to that. Oh well...the song's still good.

Lucky Seven!!! Of COURSE there has to be a Stevie Wonder in there's me, remember? Anyway..."Superwoman" was picked because I'd play it over and over when my heart was broken, and I could harmonize with Stevie NOTE FOR NOTE on the "Where Were You When I Needed You" part of the tune. We love the Stevie around here...did I mention?

And finally, Number Eight...Marvin. I learned more about him after he died; is that strange or what? In spite of his quirks, his addictions, and his swoops between humility and supreme arrogance, he was one HELL of a musician. He was pretty easy on the eyes too. "What's Going On" is considered to be his masterpiece, and I'm happy to say I feel the same. Even though the song came out in the Vietnam Era, you can easily apply it to today.

So there's my soundtrack THUS FAR...keep in mind it'll be a multi-record set (but not from K-Tel).