A few days ago, I came across this – an NPR article about music with information culled from The Guardian which features a link to a Spotify playlist.
As a result, I have a painful bruise on my knee (I got excited and smashed my knees into my desk. It wasn’t cute) and a mind that will not stop effervescing about this topic.
(Yes. I’m that girl. I also get excited about the feta-mint quinoa salad at Whole Foods, handmade jewelry and fonts. Come at me, bro).
My life is defined by music – I listen to it constantly, I write about it, I read about it, I talk about it and say remarkably insulting things when I disagree with people in regards to music. I’m a musical moron twin.
Music is the foundation on which I have built my existence. The one thing I have always loved. The one thing I will always love. The one thing that makes me believe in the concept of the human soul.
So obviously, I’ve been fizzing and ruminating about the Six Songs of Me Project.
My Six Songs can be found here (you should do this too! And then send me the link so we can talk about it!) but as usual, I felt the need to elucidate:
First Song You Bought
I cannot really remember the first song I bought.
Does anyone remember the first song they bought?
I’m old, dudes.
I didn’t spend my formative years buying songs at $0.99 a pop. We bought vinyl, tapes and CDs. We raced home, furiously peeled off that thin layer of plastic, popped the CD into the stereo and then spent the next hour poring over the booklet and trying to memorize the lyrics.
Alright, I’m gonna stop yelling at clouds now.
For the sake of this project, I’m going to say the first song I bought was One Headlight by the Wallflowers because Bringing Down The Horse was the first tape I bought and I’m sure that song had a lot to do with it.
Gets You Dancing
Despite being terrifyingly bad at it, I love to dance. I’m the first girl at the wedding to take off her heels and shimmy around the dance floor, splashing her G&T all over the place.
70s funk and soul makes me want to dance – Wilson Pickett, The Commodores and Earth, Wind and Fire.
Latin-inflected rhythms make me want to dance – Pitbull (shut up. I’m from South Florida), Proyecto Uno and Shakira.
Buoyant pop music makes me want to dance – Madonna, Prince, The Go-Gos, Justin and Gaga
But the one song that I cannot resist, the one song that fills me with unmitigated joy is I Want You Back by The Jackson 5. I literally cannot sit still after hearing that slip-n-slide tickle of the ivories and that irrepressibly funky bassline. I will shimmy in my seat, I will drag your ass out onto the dancefloor and I will do so with the sunniest smile on my face.
Takes You Back
Because Paps is a bad-ass, he let my sister and I watch all sorts of awesome albeit inappropriate movies when we were children – Commando, Robocop and my personal favorite – Beverly Hills Cop.
We loved it so much, we had the soundtrack – a delicious piece of vinyl encased in white cardboard with Axel Foley on the cover- and that was the first record I learned to put on the record player – “Gently, Jemmy! Now drop the needle carefully….”
Whenever I hear the opening of Glenn Frey’s The Heat is On, it takes me back to when I was kid – dancing with Paps in the living room and playing ‘thumb saxophone’ (two shaka signs joined together pinkie to thumb).
Great movie. Great song. Great memory.
Perfect Love Song
I’m obviously going to pick Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones. BUT, I am blogging the shit out of my top ten love songs in a bit.
Your Funeral Song
I’ve been working on my own obit for the past couple of years.
I’m fine and don’t have any plans to die anytime soon but I figure if I’m going to die — I want to be the one eulogizing.
This way, I’m guaranteed of a eulogy devoid of sentimental pablum and references to the afterlife.
That being said, I’ve put some serious thought into the song I want played at my funeral.
Ain’t No Sunshine by Freddie King is a great song but seriously? Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone and she being me kinda makes me sound like an asshole…but who cares? I’m dead. And the one nice thing about being dead? People are all about blowing sunshine.
Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison is another contender because I think Van Morrison should be played at all major life events – weddings, funerals, births, graduations, divorces – but the whole, ‘she’a an angel’ refrain? Yeah. Not so much.
After much deliberation, I think La Cienega Just Smiled by Ryan Adams would be a good song to play at my funeral. It’s a pretty piece of music and it features a lyric that I figure would be apropos in the event of my death:
How’d I end up feeling so bad/For such a little girl?
I figure you feel bad because I’m deader than Lindsay Lohan’s career and we didn’t hang out as much as we could have. It’s cool, dude, but if you still feel bad — give someone a really good hug today. Like, hold them tight and breathe them in and don’t say a word. Just let the hug tell them how much you love them. Oh and eat the shit out of something delicious that you know I would have loved. Like huevos rancheros with avocado and chipotle hot sauce.
The Encore – The One Last Song That Makes You You
This one was tough because I’m torn between two very disparate songs. In the red corner, we’ve got Into The Groove by Madonna – a song I’ve been shimmying and bopping to since childhood. A song I’m shimmying and bopping to right now as I type this sentence. If music can be reminiscent of personality (and I believe it can), I think this is what my personality sounds like – fizzy and kinetic. Seriously dude — you can dance! For inspiration! Come on!
And in the blue corner, we have Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen. A song that hits me where I live – right there on the sleeve where I wear my heart. It’s the chorus that gets me — “Everything dies/Baby, that’s a fact/But maybe everything that dies/Someday comes back/Put your make-up on/Fix your hair up pretty/And meet me tonight in Atlantic City.”
I believe in second chances and that hope dies last.
I don’t believe in much but I do believe in the promise of a better tomorrow so for that reason, the song named after an overpriced shithole by the sea is what I chose for my encore. To best represent the person I am and the person I want to be.
And really, when you pick Springsteen to best represent who you are – you’re doing something right.