Thursday, June 12, 2008

CG1: Behind the Music

Here's a meme I picked up at Ruth's place...

Get out your iPod and play a random list of songs. Post them and show everyone your taste in music.

Well, this is the Reef; let there be music! Hitting "shuffle" now:

1. Papa Come Quick (Bonnie Raitt)

LOVE Bonnie. She's got game; she can seriously play that guitar, she can rock, wail the blues, and sing such a tender, plaintive melody that your heart tears slowly in half just from hearing her. Best concert I ever saw was her and Lyle Lovett together at the Minnesota State Fair; they enjoyed each other completely, and so did everyone in the stands. This song is pure fun.

2. O Magnum Mysterium (Francis Poulenc)

Poulenc's choral music is among my favorite stuff to sing; he deals with traditional texts in unusual harmonic ways that just seem to work--and tell new truths at the same time. It's like my spiritual journey; I can't predict what's coming next, but it's always worth the trip--and sometimes it's just achingly beautiful.

3. The Unicorn Song (Wayne Faust)

I don't know who these fine folks in the (borderline excruciating) video are, but this song is one of the best memories of my high school years. My best friend and I (and usually a bunch of other people) would hang out at the local Ground Round when Wayne came to town, singing along with ketchup bottles on our heads, laughing our butts off to this (and "Masochism Tango," and "Cockroaches On Parade"). We were geeks, but we were HAPPY geeks. :-)

4. Message to Myself (Melissa Etheridge)

Melissa. Yes, My People love her. She's One of Ours. But she's also a good musician, a positive, socially-responsible person, and a helluva lot of fun. Funny that this song should come up; I've posted about it before!

5. Sir Duke (Stevie Wonder)

Instant joy, and the best brass riff ever. That's all.

6. Crown Imperial March (William Walton)

...and it's back to high school we go AGAIN. Played this in orchestra; aforementioned best friend was my stand partner (cello). We'd holler out a request to play this one whenever we had extra time at the end of rehearsal. Yep, we were geeks, but we were happy geeks.

7. Agnus Dei (Frank Martin)

Oh, YUM. A recent acquisition, recommended by Young Poet Friend. My iPod version is sung by the local Dale Warland Singers (formerly world-famous, now two years gone). Arcing and transcendent.

8. John the Revelator (John Mellencamp)

Yep, the old spiritual, by the guy who recorded "Jack and Diane." He keeps evolving. He makes the music he cares about, with lyrics that are honest and, sometimes, even prophetic. No YouTube of this one, so I'll link you to another of my favorites of his music, "Walk Tall." (Embedding has been disabled; you'll have to click the link!)

9. One (Billy Jonas)

He's a folk artist, to whom my friend Frau Doktor introduced me. Got a website. Go there, click the "listen" tab, and find "God Is In" for a really wonderful lyric. Fun stuff, interesting writing and improvisation, accessible to all ages. This is one of my favorites of his, though the video doesn't really do him justice.

10. Galileo (Indigo Girls)

If I were a non-choral musician, I'd want to be Emily Saliers. Love her voice, but am awed by her writing. She's simply a brilliant lyricist with an additionally huge gift for melody. (And her dad, Don, is one of the preeminent church musicians in the country and a retired professor at Emory University's Candler School of Theology.) I met them when they were in St. Paul on their book tour. They spoke together about the power of music to unite people in a reverent way...whether on Saturday night or on Sunday morning. Both have my profound respect; Emily also has my affection, as the Girls' music spoke to a very deep place in me, just when I needed it. This song was the first of theirs I ever heard; I'm very glad it came up in the shuffle! Click the link to play.

You're a great audience; I love ya. Be sure to tip your wait staff.

Oh, and TAG! YOU'RE IT!!


FranIAm said...

Sister - you had me at Poulenc.

Ahhhhhhh- I love love love Poulenc. No really - I love Poulenc. His choral music - which I simply enjoy as a non-musician listener is sublime and transcendent.

I have had the great good fortune to see my very favorite opera - twice, at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC... Yes that would be Dialogs of the Carmelites.

Oh Poulenc.

As not to be completed Poulenc-ed out, I must say that that Agnus Dei was amazing.

Bonnie, Stevie, John - plus some new tastes for me.

Just lovely.


Choralgirl said...

Fran, I get a little freaky about Poulenc, too. :-) Singing it is pure bliss; I'm pretty sure my Big Girl Pants choir (so named because they do more challenging music than my church choir) will be singing this one for our next Christmas concert. I can't WAIT.

Choralgirl said...

BTW--TERribly jealous about the opera. ;-)

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

That was very fun. Thanks for playing. I loved the Poulenc. It was also great to hear the Indigo Girls. I ran across their name when doing a biography of Winona LaDuke a month or so ago, but I hadn't heard them yet.

And oh, the unicorn song. I haven't heard that in ages.

My post about T Bone will be tomorrow.

FranIAm said...

I didn't even get to Galileo... Loving that.

Anyway - I tell you the opera is, well one day you must see it. Heart-stopping.

The reason that I have returned is that I had to reply to your comment on my blog...

You didn't know whether to laugh, cry or move to Scandinavia.

Norway might be the thing.

Some day this country will get there... God help us all.

P.S. I am very grateful to be on your blogroll, because I feel like compared to all the others, I am just another crazy pedant with a sense of humor and but a great love of my faith life. And of those who share such a thing. Thank you Choral Girl!

pissed off patricia said...

No Ipod here but I truly like your style and choices.

Diane said...

I love Poulenc as well...

I don't have an iPod (I know, I'm hopelessly outdated). I'd love to do this, though...