Enjoying the appalling

  • 1: Carbon Leaf – I like Carbon Leaf a lot, at least this album. They have a song called “The Boxer” about two people who’re always fighting with one another. They’re married, and they “know just when to strike.” It’s sad but a lovely song.
  • 1: Carlos Santana – Meh. Another bit of my dad’s old collection, but one I’m not particularly fond of. Good guitar playin’ though, I guess.
  • 2: Catch 22 – A ska band that I found through Pandora. I like them quite a bit, though their more recent album moves away from the horn-based rock that I enjoy. I’ve noticed Less Than Jake is doing this too. Are horns passe? Also, I wonder how bad this band would have to be before I disliked them, since Catch-22 is one of my favorite novels. Note to self: read Catch-22 again.
  • Chad Kroeger (1 song) – Jenny worked at a radio station for a while when we lived in Florida, and she would regularly bring home prize loot. This CD was the single for “Hero,” a popular single from the first Spider-man. Through this connection I also got, in order of least interest to most: Afroman’s “Until I Got High,” Dave Matthews’ Busted Stuff, U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind, David Gray’s White Ladder, Better Than Ezra’s Closer, and Five for Fighting’s Americatown.
  • “Cher” (1 song) – see below
  • 1: Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – I’m always a bit scandalized by this band’s name. It doesn’t fit, for me, with the suave cool usually cultivated by the hep cats in the swing music crowd. It’s almost like these fellas wanted to be badass rappers, but they only knew how to play trombone so they started a swing band instead. The music’s good, though.
  • 4: The Chieftans – I love the chieftans. I know this comes from the same part of my personality that leads me to enjoy Murder, She Wrote and to see far more commercials for adult diapers than most 30 year olds are likely to enocounter in their own television demographics.
  • 1: Chris Cornell – I’ve always enjoyed CC, particularly his voice. That’s what I like about Audioslave and Sound Garde, and this album is just him! I really like his slow, pained cover of “Billie Jean.” Check out a bit of it:

    Clip of “Billie Jean” by Chris Cornell

  • 1: Christopher Hogwood – This is a classical music CD. A concerto or something. I use this kind of music when I’m writing. Word music gets in the way.

The most interesting bit of my music listening this time around emerges because of my crow-like nature (I pick up anything that’s shiny). This time, I picked up a discarded CD. Unlike MOST discarded CDs I find on the street, this one was legible to the computer and contained one track, Cher’s “The Star Spangled Banner.” Game for anything and always fond of free music, I loaded it up and played it this week. What I found was a heavy metal song that didn’t sound much like the androgynous crooner from “I Got You Babe.” A quick lyrics-Google later and I find that I actually have a copy of Nickelback’s “Flat on the Floor,” which I like quite a bit. But I am fascinated by this in a couple ways:

  1. Why would someone burn a CD with just one track on it and use the wrong ID3 labels on the song? My mind churns with possibilities ranging from odd pranks — “Hey, you like Cher, right?” Then, when the Cher fan grimaces at Nickelback’s churning guitars, “Haw! Haw! Nickelbacked!” — to music panspermia, in which one burns songs with the wrong ID3 labels and leaves them laying around to get unsuspecting folks to listen to new music.
  2. Research. What does it mean to mislabel? I’m inclined to think about Flat on the Floor as a Cher song. How might Cher cover it? What does Nickelback have to do with Cher. Like the namesakes series, juxtaposition becomes a rhetorical move. Perhaps the CD author imagined Cher and Nickelback to be polar opposites, but I bet there are folks who have both in their collections — particularly if they’re top 40 buffs, as both Cher and Nickelback have had hits in the last decade. At conferences, could I sucker folks into my talk with a title suggesting the Daily Show and then dispense with that topic in the first minute? Could I write a book nitpicking Deleuze’s Fold but wrapped up in a dust jacket with Homer Simpson on it? Would it sell?

Music for April showers

  • 3: Buckwheat Zydeco – Includes some awesome covers, my favorite? “Beast of Burden.”  Keith Richards only wishes he could play an accordion that well.
  • Buddy Holly (3 songs) – from movie soundtracks.  Probably better known among today’s youths for the Richie Valens plane crash.  But at least he had multiple hits.  It annoys me that I even know who the Big Bopper is.  As an aside, could you consider the Big Bopper to be proto-hip-hop?  He names himself in a song about how sexy he thinks his girl is.  It’s the 1950s “Thong song.”  Of course, he was white.  If music history holds, I bet I’d find a version of “Hello, baby” made by a black artists in the 1940s that’s both more interesting and more salacious.  Like Hound Dog.
  • 2: Bush – this band, despite their later album, punctuates freshman year of college for me.  I have a distinct memory of someone in Tommy Hall blaring “Gliserine” out a window while I haul a box of my belongings up to the room I would share with a pot-smoking soccer-playing deadhead.
  • 1: Cab Calloway and the Cabbaliers – very enjoyable.  I wonder what I’d call my band.  Brendan and the Rileys, probably.
  • 4: Cake – Very enjoyable.  I love the quirky songs, the covers, the nearly-country twang of their alternative rock.  And they seem so laid back.  Their cover of War Pigs is a delight.
  • Candlebox (3 songs) – I saw these guys in concert, sigh.  The Flaming Lips opened for them, though.
  • 2: Cannonball Adderly – a swing band pleasant in the abstract way all swing bands are.  Most interesting for me, though, is the subtitle of the albums: “emArcy small group sessions.”  That capital A looms tall for anyone who has tangled with Ulmer and his emerAgency.  I don’t know what I will do with that yet, but something should be done.