Monday, March 12, 2007

a new list

ready for a new list? well i hope so cause i got 2 t-w-o of them. consider the first as the cd you bought at your favorite indie store, and the 2nd as the bumper sticker of some local heavy metal band that the clerk gave you for making the purchase (he's probably in the band...wink). what i really want to know is, if you wrote five songs, which five would they be? i've been thinking a lot about this lately as i'm coming into some new music. the criteria is almost without limits. the main stipulation is money can not be a factor (dont base your songs on the amount of money you'd make, obviously). for example, my list can not be "right now" by van halen, "paradise city" by guns'n'roses, "i would do anything for love (but i won't do that)" by meatloaf, etc... because 1) i dont own a black leather jacket, and 2) i'd be lying.
so, here is my five songs that i wish i would've written:
1. "desolation row," bob dylan
2. "16, maybe less," calexico and iron and wine
3. "staralfur," sigur ros
4. "red hill mining town," U2
5. "california waiting," kings of leon

2nd list: Top 5 things you do while listening to music
guidelines: the idea of this is to explain what you're doing/where you are when you are really, really listening to music. As in, the listening is what you are there for, the 5 things in the list are the non-distracting things you do--and where you do them--that allow you to really listen. hopefully my list will make this clearer:

1. wait till stacey goes to bed, lie on my office floor with my head underneath my desk, with headphones, and listen--for a new album
2. play Internet backgammon, chew tobacco, music through speakers, loud--for a familiar album that's been calling me from the album rack
3. drive in my ford ranger through dark, Marquette roads--for an album to unwind with (usually the kings of leon "aha shake heartbreak")
4. walk through the woods in presque isle park with headphones--an album that reminds me of home
5. vacuuming locker rooms at work--i save all my NPR "All Songs Considered" for this

honorary 6th (since NPR is talking and music clips): nobody home, in my office, sitting in my old, brown leather chair, all lights out, beer in my hand, eyes closed, music loud enough to drown out complaining apartment tenants--any bob dylan or tom waits.

-jason shrontz


Tim Horsman said...

Lists like this are difficult for me because 1) my song choices for this are fluid, like if a song really rings my bell, I'm like, "Man, I wish I wrote that." But I listen to music until I'm bored with it mostly...
and 2)because I only have "space" to listen to music when I drive back and forth to work (it's a three minute trip) or when I'm working out (which I think is ruled out by criteria...) I will make a list though for songs...

jason shrontz said...

yeah, i agree. i thought of this after i wrote it. it is very college student-esque. however, i think that there are those songs that, after many, many listens, are still often at the front of your mind and are very close to you after hundreds of listens.

Jason Heron said...

This list was very difficult. I agree with Tim that the choices are fluid, and I would add that they must be fluid. While I'm typing this little intro bit, I've only so far thought of 4 songs, and I'm struggling to round out the list. I'm tempted to double it to 10, but that is just a further indication of the difficulty of this list, and all the more reason to really get serious about music and pick that 5th song. Bravo, Jason, on picking a bitchin' list. You are the Will Shortz of Top 5's.

1. "Rock'n'Roll" - Velvet Underground
2. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" - Bob Dylan
3. "When I Go Deaf" - Low
4. "If You're Feeling Sinister" - Belle & Sebastian
5. "Sunday Morning Coming Down" - Kris Kristofferson

jason shrontz said...

"when i go deaf," that is a good one. a very good one. and, true to the fluidity of this subject, this is definitely the sort of list that changes everyday. there are maybe 2 or 3 on mine that have been constant for months: "california waiting," and "16, maybe less," but "when i go deaf" could be on there most days. or, i'm not sure if i have the title right, but "dear employer(the reason that i quit)"

by the way, if anybody else is reading this and has heard albert hammond jr's solo album, I'd be very interested in a review, or at least an opinion of whether its review worthy.

Tim Horsman said...

I think a clarification is in order...what makes you think, "I wish I wrote this song?" This is not a Top 5 favorite songs I peruse my songs, I cannot come up with the internal criteria...This is it for me -- these songs either grab me by the nuts and shake me or they say something that I identify with on some level - at some point I heard this song and said "dude - totally." This list is also free of any attempt to be cool...a big step for me.

Here's a stab at "Top 5 Songs I wish I wrote"
1. "Sluttering (May 4th)" by Jawbreaker. (oh, the delightful wordplay)
2. "Almost There" by Pedro the Lion (from the Whole EP)
3. "Fishing the Sky" by The Appleseed Cast (from the coffee house shaking Mare Vitalis)
4. "Argument" by Fugazi
5. "Fireworks" by The Tragically Hip (makes me miss Canada everytime I hear it, I think in the first 68 words it epitomizes something about being Canadian - observe: "If there's a goal that everyone remembers, it was back in old 72. We all squeezed the stick and we all pulled the trigger, and all I remember is sitting beside you. You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey, I never saw someone say that before. You held my hand and we walked home the long were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr.")

Alex Hershey said...

Five songs I wish I wrote:
1. In the ghetto – Mac Davis sung by Elvis
2. Golden – My Morning Jacket
3. It makes no Difference – The Band
4. God’s Gonna Cut You Down – Johnny Cash
5. Superstition – Stevie Wonder