MY LIFE IN TEN SONGS
@nathanveshecco This was a real challenge. So many cuts. But these are the ten for tonight. Thanks for the request!
- •1 ) "Beat It", Michael Jackson
- •At 8 years old, I went all in on the King of Pop. For my birthday I asked for and received a Michael Jackson folder for school, the Thriller LP, and a Beat It jacket (in black). I'd wear the jacket around the house with a thermal glove from hockey (it was silver and sparkled).The only time I had the nerve to wear the jacket off family property was a school night at the Saints North roller rink. I left it in the car.
- •2 ) "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long", Weird Al Yankovic.
- •Like many an 80s middle schooler, I loved Weird Al Yankovic and "comedy music" in general. Yet Even Worse was the only Weird Al tape I ever owned. "Fat" was the marquee song but my favorite was this George Harrison parody.
- •3 ) "Shake Your Rump", Beastie Boys.
- •Paul's Boutique was the second tape I made a conscious decision to buy. (The first was Sonic Temple by The Cult ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ). I rode my bike to Maplewood Mall, chained it up, walked into Record Town, and purchased the Beastie Boys' second album with money I had earned cutting lawns that summer.
- •I wish I could say "I had no idea." But I just had this feeling, like something was up. In the album promo posters on the walls at Record Town, MCA had a beard."This is serious," thought.
- •So I rode home and popped the tape (which was green) into my boom box. First there's a dedication "To All the Girls," which felt very late-night-adult-sophisticated. I was uncomfortable listening to it with my mom downstairs.And then WITHOUT THE PAUSE BETWEEN TRACKS OUR SOCIETY HAS AGREED UPON, "Shake Your Rump" rocked my own personal house party at the drop of a hat. "Sounds of Science" or "B-Boy Bouilliabaisse" are better examples of the album's sonic density, but "Shake Your Rump" was an ANNOUNCEMENT. I started high school a month later. I felt like the Beastie Boys and I were all grown up.
- •4 ) "The End", The Doors
- •Look, maybe The Doors are a lame entry on the syllabus for Sophomore Intro To Depth. Or maybe they're a really good psychedelic band who maybe should have fired their lead singer and cooled it on the jams. I go back and forth. But for me, "The End" is inarguable and excellent.The song's use in APOCALYPSE NOW obviously plays a large part. I watched AP obsessively throughout high school, and "The End" sets the film's ominous tone.
- •5 ) "The Imperial March", John Williams
- •They played this during the procession at my high school graduation. I was my class president. I gave the commencement speech.That was going to be the beginning of my celebrated life as a comedian/writer/actor/director/SNL Weekend Update anchor . . . but then I did almost nothing to make that happen. I blinked and now all those jobs go to people 15 years younger than me. My graduation advice: if you know what you want to do, start doing it by yourself as early as possible. Be willing to continue without encouragement or compensation.
- •6 ) "Girl You Know Its True", Milli Vanilli. My college roommates and I had a great after-party house, and this was our main jam. We were pretending to be ironic. But I think we all really loved it. At some point someone stole the Milli Vanilli CD.
- •7 ) "Stroll On", The Yardbirds
- •The Yardbirds play this absolute ripper during an appearance in the movie BLOW-UP. The song's fuzzy intensity completely explodes the film's slow pace and mirrors the lead character's confusion. It's the only rock song in the movie; the whole film is a case study on making a big impact with small gestures.I've listed about BLOW-UP before and will again, I'm sure. It has aided my knowledge of film more than any other single movie. But we were talking about songs . . .
- •8 ) "Waiting For The Man", The Velvet Underground. The happiest song about waiting for drug dealers. TVU is an example of a recurring music theme for me: I get into a band way after everyone else has moved on. Probably my favorite album, full stop.
- •9 ) "Habits (Stay High)", Tove Lo. I've re-learned to love (some) pop music in recent years thanks to the many mixes of @i8brenna . I've belted out this baby during many commutes: " . . . You're gone and I've got to stay high ALL THE TIME to keep you off my mind, woo ooo ooo ooo ooooh . . "
- •10 ) "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times", The Beach Boys.Me in song form. https://open.spotify.com/track/4CuO8TINNqM3D7aUdNQ3zG