So I’m sitting here making a playlist.
The 75-minute limit that the CD format imposes forces one to make choices: thematic, lyrical, genre-iffic choices (“Genriffic” looked too much like some lame youth get-out-the-vote slogan. “Make Your Voice Heard! You’re GenRiffic!” And I’ve had about enough of that already.).
In which direction ought one to go? Cheery, yet thoughtful? Trend-conscious, yet universal? Melancholy, yet… well, just this side of suicidal-ideation-inspiring? How the heck am I supposed to combine brassy Bollywood and heartrending post-folk on the same CD? And should I give in to the urge to plant a healthy dollop of Wu-Tang Clan right in the middle?
(Like that healthy dollop. Right in the middle it went.)
I’m guessing it must be universal, but it’s no less creepy for its universality: the power of music to affect your mood with just a handful of notes. Even divorced of any particular place/time memory, a song can soothe your heart or clench your fists, send you into a downward spiral or inspire you to kick up your heels and do a little dance. (Or, better yet, the Saucy Walk a la my sister, which I have been trying to teach to my kids the last few weeks. I can’t wait until they’re teenagers and I can embarrass the hell out of them by doing the Saucy Walk when I go pick them up at the mall. Heh heh heh.)
So I’m wondering a couple of things:
1. Is there a particular song that threatens to tear you up a bit every time you hear it, even if you’ve heard it a thousand times before? For me, it’s Nirvana’s “Something in the Way,” also, a little inexplicably, Radiohead’s “True Love Waits.” Am I alone in this weirdness?
2. Which sort of music do you like better: happy(ish) or sad(dish)?
3. If you could abandon whatever it is that you’re good at–making art, running a business, crafting artisanal goatmilk cheeses, imparting classical knowledge to your children–and be terrifically good at something else, would you? ‘Cos I would. In one half of one second, I would. So that I could make music.
Anyway, it looks like it’s going to be a double (but, sadly, not Double Live) CD, possibly. Heading out toward what, ten of you?, sometime in the next few weeks or as soon as I can scrape up postage. And make some more art. Hooray, art!
Oh yeah… so that “Double Live” can enter your family’s vocabulary, too: