Dave, who added the pressure that I do something unique. (Sorry to disappoint.) Dave might marvel at moments when the self-obsessed major bloggers from on high deign to comment on his blog, but, like the ingénue with her first Oscar nomination, I’m gushing just to be tagged with my first meme.
2. Total volume of music files on your computer.
3.7 GB—more amazing is that I was actually able to find this information. (I was worried!)
3. The title and artist of the last CD you bought.
Les Sénégalaises by Sanseverino (months ago), but I wish I’d bought Benabar instead. His “Sac á Main” is amazingly hilarious: a song about a man digging through his girlfriend’s purse and, through a catalogue of its contents, discovering that she has moved on: “Les cigarettes, oui mais / elle a decidée d’arreté” (Cigarettes, but—she decided to quit); “Et vendredi prochain / avec un certain Sebastien” (And next Friday, a meeting with a Sebastian…”)
4. Song playing at the moment of writing.
Some flute piece by Holst on WNYC’s evening music.
5. Five songs you have been listening to of late (or all-time favorites, or particularly personally meaningful songs)
- “Hackensack” by Fountains of Wayne. Like Benabar, it’s got some great surprising rhymes and I’m all about the lyrics: “I heard you talkin’ / to Christopher Walken” cracks me up every time and that, combined with the plaintive, soaring chorus:
But I will wait for you
As long as I need to
And if you ever get back
I’ll be there for you.
I love its attitude to New Jersey: ironic and tender.
- “New York City Blues” by Peggy Lee. Because, as she belts it out, “I got to get back to it, if I have to walk, or train, or fly…” A song about triumphant return: mine is not a return—and, living here across the Hudson, I may not have even arrived, but I love it and, when it’s on my iPod, I feel like it’s mine.
- “Tranquilo” by Luis Vargas. We got into Dominican music during a service learning trip that we lead to the D.R. the year before the beloved toddler was born. (What is service learning? Well, for students, it’s a combination of mission, tanning, cultural imperialism, and resumé building. For faculty, an opportunity to watch students persist in blind cultural imperialism while you [I] teach [taught] Dominican orphans how to make origami cranes.) This song is particularly lovely because it’s got the speedy, cheerful Dominican syncopation followed by moments where the music stops and the great Luis Vargas calls for everything to get tranquilo. It’s meaningful because, in the hours before the beloved toddler’s birth, things got quite hairy indeed. When they calmed, my husband put this cd on and everything was better.
- ”Amsterdam” by Jacques Brel. Hard to pick just one Brel song but this is terrific: full of tempo changes, accordion, and a lovely list of what it means to love a second city. I’ve never been to Amsterdam, but this makes me think of Seattle and makes me remember listening to Brel as a girl in Seattle, waiting for life to start. He manages to sound angry—almost spitting—in his passionate singing.
- ”Hello Hello” by Dan Zanes. This is one of Dan Zanes’ original folk songs—an instant classic. Its message of greeting each day and taking it seriously as your own, as a day to honor and celebrate calls me back to myself and makes me a better mom in all the best ways. The beloved toddler loves it, too.
- Honorable mention to “Brick House” by the Commodores, “Super Freak” by Rick James, “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” by the Gap Band, Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke,” and the Stones’ “Tumbling Dice.” You gotta love those songs that carried you, dancing, through the worst years of high school and college. The still make me dance now. Crank it up!
Sorry, Dave, the old school stuff doesn’t make the top bit but, after a few beers (even before) I can still do most of “The Message”….
6. The five people to whom you will ‘pass the musical baton.’
Bud, because he’s got a musician in the family, but I bet he won’t do it.
Sarahlynn, because she’s always got something interesting to say.
Wendi, because she’s always wanting to know what’s on other folks’ iPods.
Genevieve and Ana Maria because I’m genuinely curious.