Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tagged For A Musical Meme!

Walter of The Silver Screening Room tagged me to participate in a musical meme, kind of an on-line interview on a particular topic.  I've been asked to answer a series of questions about the music in my life.  This exercise was great fun, and I fear I have responded in much too much detail...I humbly appreciate the invite! Thank you Walter...

[To those who have been exceedingly kind in promoting my blog, and had tagged me for creative recognition, especially Tom (Sophisticated Lunacy) and
Dave (Ultra Dave) I am forever in your debt.   I regret that I did not feel ready to follow through then....and I hope some day to earn the honor you have generously offered.  You are true mentors and blogging friends. 

And so I would like to tag both of you, Tom and Dave, to provide us your responses to this great survey.]

meme   Pronunciation: \ˈmēm\
Function: noun   Date: 1976
: an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture

And so, here are my responses to the series of questions about music in my life:

1. Open up your iTunes, music player, spin the CD, whatever, hit shuffle and tell us what is the first song to play?   From my new, in-development i-Tunes, the first "song" to pop up is "The Anvil Chorus" from Verdi's opera, "Il Trovatore".

2. Name your top five favorite bands/musicians of all time. So hard to narrow this down...and I fear I may lock myself into an era...but here goes: Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Gordon Lightfoot, and George Gershwin. (And there are about 50 runners-up).

3. What was your first CD to own? (8 track, record, CD, MP3 for the newbies) There are two I received as gifts at the same time: The Soundtrack from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", and The Carpenters "Close To You".   Vinyl, of course.

4. Of all the bands/artists in your cd/record collection, which one do you own the most albums by? Joni Mitchell...I have almost every recording she ever made, plus two concert DVD's.  She is a consummate artist, a poet, prolific and brave, and endlessly interesting.

5. What was the last song you listened to? "Hey Ya" by OutKast, just happened to be on the car radio as I was driving home from the gym this afternoon.  (I won't include "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" from "Women in Love", which I watched tonight on DVD.) 
6. What song would you say sums you up?
No song is complex enough, funny enough, or dog-friendly enough.  One song that speaks most closely to my current philosophy is "Clouds (Both Sides Now)" by Joni Mitchell.

7. What's your favourite local band or band that originated from your hometown?  The band Chicago, of course. 


8. What's the greatest concert you've ever been to? Linda Ronstadt at the University of Iowa.

9. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?
  After Joni (of COURSE), I think Elton John, to talk to him about working on Billy Elliott.

10. What was the greatest decade for music?  Every decade had great music.  Mozart (1780-90) and Beethoven (1801-10) might raise this bar a bit....  In American pop culture, the '60's had the most interesting variety and evolution, plus it was a lot of fun....

11. What is your favorite movie soundtrack? Oh come ON!  So many to choose from, I will create sub-categories:
Classical: Amadeus; and John Corigliano's "The Red Violin"
Original dramatic score: Personal favorites are "The Best Years of Our Lives" by Hugo Friedhofer, and Philip Glass' "The Hours";   but my all-time favorite song written for a movie is "Moon River" from "Breakfast at Tiffany's".
Compilation: "A Clockwork Orange" features Electronic Beethoven and Purcell, Rossini's "Thieving Magpie", Pomp and Circumstance, and Gene Kelly's rendition of "Singin' in the Rain"---what a combination!
Favorite soundtrack of a musical: "West Side Story"
Most evocative of the emotional effect of a film: "Brokeback Mountain" can still bring me to tears.

12. What's the most awful CD/record/etc. you've ever bought? Mrs. Miller's Greatest Hits doesn't qualify, because it was a gift.  So, by far, the most awful CD I purchased was The Shaggs, "Philosophy of the World".  I heard the incredible (and sort of tragic) story of these three inept musical sisters on a radio program, and could not resist having a copy.  Read their story HERE  and listen below.... (sorry)

13. What's your favorite band t-shirt or poster?  I always loved the logo for the 1969 Woodstock festival...don't know if this technically qualifies, but I can bend the rules here a wee bit....

14. Rolling Stones or The Beatles? The Beatles....they had the more interesting musical evolution...each musician was fascinating...legendary....They had more versatile music with wider, universal appeal.

15. What is the one song you would most like played at your funeral? Your birthday? While on a romantic date?
Funeral: "Cabaret"
Birthday: "Downtown" by Petula Clark, and maybe dozens more!
Romantic date: Hmmm, I always got dreamy hearing Maria Muldaur's "Midnight at the Oasis"...or Chicago's "Wishing You Were Here"

And there you have it!  Thanks for coming along on my magical musical tour.


  1. "Cabaret" for a funeral is amazing! I went through a Joni Mitchell kind of mood last week, and I mostly blame a student film that used "Clouds" in its soundtrack. "Moon River" is one of my all-time favorite songs: I once waited weeks to kiss a girl because I wanted our first kiss to be in a place where someone, somehow was playing "Moon River" (high school is strange).

    And wow. Never heard of The Shaggs until this. That is...huh.

    Thanks for sharing! Always love your work!

  2. Thank you! I look forward to doing this! It's gonna be hard!

  3. Wow, thanks for the opportunity to share my eclectic musical tastes. Some really tough decisions though. As for the Shaggs, it may be awhile before my mind is fully recovered from their caterwauling! Ugh, that was just painful. LOL! Great responses to the survey, Tom. Well done!

  4. Walter, thank you for giving me the chance to respond to this. I thank you for the good words..The feeling is mutual.

    Dave and Tom...Look forward to seeing your musical choices!