Five Songs

Have you ever been influenced to try something new based on something you’ve read or heard? You read a blog by a favorite author and think, “you know, I might just read that book, try that bath soap, watch that program, listen to that song” just to try something new. It’s similar enough to your own tastes but just a little bit different from what you’d normally expose yourself to that you decide you’ll throw caution to the wind.

A few weeks ago, I was up at the crack of dawn but it hadn’t actually cracked. In fact it was dark and threatening rain with no hint of dawn in sight. I was listening to NPR’s “World Café” because it was on and I was too lazy to switch to KGSR (the more Austin folksy radio station) or 101X (the Beastie Boys station which claims to be alternative rock). They were talking to a pseudo celebrity who has a new show on the Sci-Fi channel called “Destination Truth” and he was listing his top 5 songs. With each song he told a story about how he came by it and what it meant to him, making the selections a little more special than just some random list of 5 songs. The next thing I knew, I was tracking down the play list from that show and suddenly:
“Ina Mina Dika” by Asha Bhosle, “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show and Dwight Yoakum’s “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere” showed up on my iTunes.

It got me to thinking about my own music collection and with few exceptions, I can tell you how I came to like a particular band or a particular song. So, I got to thinking – what would be on my top 5 list if I had to choose only 5 and here’s what I came up with (at least these are the top 5 for July 3, 2007 – July 7 may be completely different):

1) “The Golden Vanity” – The Druids – this is from my friend Mark’s album “Irish Sea”. His voice is beautiful and rich and it’s the best version I’ve heard of this particular tune (and there are many out there). My kingdom to be able to post this song.

2) “Metamorphosis One” – Philip Glass – a fairly simple piano piece that was featured in the Battlestar Galactica episode “Valley of Darkness”

3) “Wind on the Buffalo Grass” – Hardin & Russell – This group was a favorite of my father’s in the late 70’s. I’m pretty sure they were based in Texas, performing in Dallas and Austin (and I’m sure other cities around the state). The group featured Tom Russell and Patricia Hardin. Their two albums “Ring of Bone” and “Wax Museum” can now be found on a single CD “The Early Years”) but tracking it down can be challenging. I actually like everything on this album, so narrowing it down to one song is difficult for me.

4) “Honey” – Moby – off of the “Play” album – GREAT tapping music – I can paddle & roll up a storm while this is playing. In fact, thinking about it makes me want to throw on my tap shoes and stomp around, which is my version of dancing.

5) “Life by the Drop” – Stevie Ray Vaughan – I like it for too many reasons to detail.

These are my five – the five that I can always listen to without having to be in a particular mood to hear.

Realizing that two people will play this game, what are YOUR five songs?

(PSST, You don’t have to be a member of Blogger to post a note – just post it anonymously and throw down your name.)

5 thoughts on “Five Songs

  1. Anonymous says:

    This probably goes without saying (because Beth already said it), but I have to say it too. This is my five right now and there are lots more that might be at the top of my list if you ask me on another day. – AprilThe Shins “Pink Bullets”It’s really hard to pick just one song from The Shins, but today it’s this one. The line “But your memory is here and I’d like it to stay” always makes me this weird depressed happy that somehow makes life seem good. The entire song takes me to a place that reminds me that life is bittersweet and the beautiful things would seem less so if it wasn’t for the ugly truths of existence.Old 97s “Jagged”Clever lyrics, nice music and the line “I would do anything not to feel so jagged.” Liz Phair “Go West”A song about taking off, leaving the past behind and starting over. This song lifts me up every time I hear it.Robbie Fulks “Let’s Kill Saturday Night”It’s the weekend and it’s time to go out and have a great time to make up for the week at work. “But give me one night with the moon high and the radio poundin’/An’ brother this town is gonna go down a kickin’ and shoutin’”Prince “good love”This song was on the “Bright Lights, Big City” soundtrack. For some reason in Oklahoma City, this song got played a lot. Jimi, who is a big Prince fan, hadn’t really heard it until I stepped into his life with my tape of songs I’d recorded from the radio. I just went on a road trip, where this song was played over and over.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I ditto the saying, these are the ones for today. I reserve the right to change my top 5 at any moment starting 3 seconds after I hit the “post” button. – Kendra1. On the Turning Away – Pink Floyd – Long lived obsession from jr. high through college. While it has waned a bit I still love them and can get totally lost in the music. 2. Yesterday – Tom Waits – It’s kind of haunting and dark and far more melodic in his singing that most of his music. The only downside is it’s really short.3. Fastidious Horses – Vladimir Vysotsky – Ok I admit it, I liked White Nights when I was a kid and saw it with my cousin in the theater. This is a song done by another gravely voiced singer only this time in Russian. The music itself just gets me and I really wish I had a recording of it (it’s been a while since I looked, but at the time everything was in Russian and hard to search).4. Mitochondria – Those Who Dig – My wonderful little UT band who have now gone on to be bigger things. They’ve split up and gotten back together now that they’ve all decided they hated med school and being doctors. I think their new band is called the Spaghetti Westerns, but I haven’t gotten their new album. They’re just extremely silly and all their songs make you smile.5. Apples and Bananas – Rafi? I think? Well back to me and my sillyness, I do enjoy a good goofy song. Got this one from a former coworker, I hadn’t heard of it til then. A great to tapper that makes me sway and smile, then hit repeat.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Blah, blah, 5 songs as of right now, not 5 songs for all time, yada, yada (with possible bad spelling and incorrect song titles):Social Distortion’s cover of “Ring of Fire”I love Johnny Cash, but I like Social D’s version a little better.The Pixies “Where is My Mind”The Who “Behind Blue Eyes”Butthole Surfers “Shame of Life”Anything by The Presidents of the United States of America, but I’ll go ahead and put down “Lump”, since it was 5 songs, not 5 performers.– Jay

  4. Jen and Harry says:

    From Harry:So here’s the question; Is it your five favorite songs, or just songs that you want to share?My five songs are (in no particular order whatsoever):G Love and Special Sauce “Baby’s Got Sauce.” — First heard this while driving my friends Lee and Heidi to New Jersey. We listened to it long enough to sing to it over and over during our 4 day trip – the trip that was subnamed the ‘Cultural Oddities Tour of America.’ Where we saw a cultural oddity that would have made my list of songs, but just got cut short – the inspiration for Big Al’s ‘Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.’Rammstein – “Engel” — The best of their songs, I think. I’m usually a ‘lyrics’ guy. I find that you can divvy up music people into two categories, usually. Either you listen to it for the words, or for the music behind the words. I listen to the words, which is strange that I like this song, because it’s (almost) all in German. The first time I saw Rammstein, they opened a KMFDM concert. As the opening act, a lot of people, I think, just weren’t ‘ready’ for the music. Holy crap, though, did these guys put on an amazing show. The funny part is… most of the audience was making fun of them 😛 Almost everyone I saw was laughing at the ‘German Guys.’ Two weeks later they throw a video (Du Hast) on MTV and they’re all over my school. Goes to show how much MTV controls our culture 😛Kaiser Chiefs – “Oh My God” — I think it’s probably one of the best lyrical songs in the world. Who can not love a song that has lyrics like, ‘Drifting apart like a plate tectonic,’ ‘Sucked more blood than a backstreet dentist,’ and ‘Come back stronger than a powered up Bat-Man*.’ The ‘*’ is there because I always think the guy is singing ‘Bat Man,’ but according to the lyrics site he’s singing ‘Pac Man.’ I like Bat Man better… he’d totally take ‘Pac Man’ in a fight.Primus – ‘Ms. Bailene.’ — This is probably one of my favorite uses of storytelling in music. It’s nothing more than a liniar story told in a song. It’s quite good, though, don’t want to ruin it, but… well… just listen to it 😉Caroline’s Spine – ‘Mrs. Sullivan.’ — This band never went anywhere and I don’t know why. You get their ‘We’re no longer around’ website if you Google it. I like songs that tell stories, and the story that this song tells damn near breaks my heart every time I listen to it =( It’s very, very, very, very sad. It’s also the sort-of basis of a movie, and is so-so based on historical fact: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=4736There’s my five, take ’em or leave ’em 😉

  5. Emig Family says:

    “Let the River Run (New Jerusalem)” by Carly Simon.“Beautiful Disaster” by Kelly Clarkson.“And So It Goes” written by Billy Joel, but I prefer it performed by any mixed choral group.“Kissing a Fool” by George Michael.“In the Light” by DC Talk.

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