[If any newcomers would still like to enter the contest, see "Play Here and Win, " the post below.]
I swear to goodness that this here little music contest is more fun than a barrel of drunken monkeys. And oh my god, touching, too. When I read this, I cried:
Hands down no questions asked it's Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. I can pop it in, close my eyes, and in an instant I'm transported back to summer road trips through the white mountains of NH with my dad. I can see the headliner of our dilapidated ford draping down towards my face as I lounge up against my brother and sister in the back seat. On that trip without my mother I first fell in love with the woods, the open road, and with Mr. Dylan, and I've been reeling ever since.
Blimey. Isn't that beautiful? Tangledbleus, I want to make you a tote right now. And I want to get Bob Dylan to hand it to you.
Most of you, like me, don't have Tangledbleus' s certainty. You want to make mixed-CDs and to bring your iPods to the desert island.
Often for good reason, like Sade said:
I really can't chose an album for a desert island, 'cause, each album brings me memories of one day, one week, one month or even one year in my life.
I feel this way all the time. And when an album is really good, I'll squeeze myself into it even if it has nothing in particular to do with what I'm going through in my life. That was the case with Erykah Badu's Mama's Gun. That record's got her breakup with Andre 3000 sung all over it -- or, I should say it's got "Andre 3000 jilted me and I really hate him but since we've got a baby I'm trying really hard to work through it" sung all over it. It came out at a time when my characteristically tumultuous love life had smoothed itself out. I had a boyfriend I was happy with, a relationship I couldn't complain much about. But, boy, oh boy, when that "Green Eyes" would come on and Erykah would sing "I can't leave it's too-oo late, I can't leave it's too-oo late" I would just DIE. I'd start believing my man was doing me wrong, wishing to god that he had been, so I could reaallly get into the drama. I wanted to feel like somebody was sitting on my chest, because I knew that's how she felt when she made the song. I have that experience every single time I play that disc.
Sometimes no matter how good an album is, I'll never get thoroughly into it. Hari said:
I can't BELIEVE Tori Amos hasn't graced your list! Tori Amos's Scarlet's Walk is such a great album...
Touche. Yes. It is. It's a great, great album. I think Tori's best. But no matter. Because, you see, Tori Amos belongs -- lock, stock, barrel and soul -- to Mr. Stevens. Call it sibling rivalry. We've been friends since we were 14 and we lived most of our adult lives under the same roof. And Mr. Stevens is a very emphatic type of person. When he likes something, the whole world will know. He got to Tori long before I did and he would play her and talk about her and sing along with her to the point where I'd want to kill them both. I let him have Tori, then and forever. I play Scarlet's Walk from time to time and I really enjoy it (I know all the lyrics to "A Sorta Fairytale" and I love "Your Cloud") , but on principle, I can't put it on my desert island list.
Plus, Hari, do you know all the albums that man stole from me? I'd bring home something good and he'd get his hands on it and start playing it to death, forcing me to relinquish all rights to future listening. (His side of the story, I'm sure, is different. But this is my blog.)
I'm pleasantly surprised by how many of you guys know and love Eva Cassidy's music (Audrey, did you see her live?). And there's one Nina Simone fan, Angela. I'm a fan, too. The only problem is that all my favorite songs of hers are scattered among different CDs. I'd have to burn my own mix for the desert island. The little known "Baltimore" would have to be included. Like Prairiedaun, I also like Cheryl Crow. I think The Globe Sessions is around here somewhere. These days I mostly listen to her best of. Chemgrrl chose Graceland, which I think is an inspired pick. That's one of those records that every few years goes into heavy rotation with me. My friend Summer chose Miles Davis's Kind of Blue, because "sometimes I just need the music man, and not the chatter." Summer, you almost got me on that bandwagon, but mama's gotta SING. If you tied a tune to my back I couldn't carry it across the street, but I gotta sing.
Then there are the artists I know but haven't really gotten into, like steph_knits's choice, Janis Joplin. I used to be too sad for her, but now that I'm closer to understanding the brevity of life, I could listen. I'll check out Box of Pearls. And Shobhana, I've heard of Jeff Buckley. I don't know Grace, but I will. Bensmumma listed Works by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, a group I know of but can't name any of their songs. But with a statement like, "I could die feeling complete, listening to Greg Lake singing 'Lend Your Love to Me Tonight,'" well, who am I not to give them a spin?
And then there are the artists I've never heard of at all, which is why this contest is such a kick. Adrienne mentioned The Eye, a new band to me. And, Jacqueline, I'd be into some "Australian rock with meaning." I'll look for Paul Kelly's Songs of the South. Mel, Rachael Yamagata? Never heard of her. I'll give her a listen. You say these Duhks do a good cover of "Mountains o' Things?" I find that, ahem, hard to believe, so I must find out.
Right now I'm listening to Fleetwood Mac's Very Best of and thinking, How the hell do I figure I could survive on a desert island with no Fleetwood Mac? Or at least a little Stevie solo? An hour ago, while listening to David Gray's Life in Slow Motion, it was If I had to go to a desert island without this, I'd throw myself to the sharks.
Ah, music. It is good, yes?
Thank you all for talking music with me! It's an absolute pleasure.