Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Playlist is a Cage

Do you let anyone else listen to the tunes on your MP3 or IPOD?

It's almost worse than handing over your diary. In recent weeks, my husband (who has plenty of complaints about my choices too--he would have only played classical--really in the car?) has had my MP3 running in the car with visitors.

People feel free to comment on my musical taste in ways they wouldn't comment on my dress or other personal issues.

"Why so many tunes with female vocalists?"
"Did you really mean to record that?"
Why so many covers of Joni Mitchell songs?"
"I didn't know you listened to hip-hop."
"I can recommend some better CDs you might want to download."
"Boy, you can really judge someone's age by what they play on their MP3."
"Oh, it's two o'clock. Maybe we should catch the news."
"Never knew you were such a big fan of Joe Cocker."
"Do you know he's under arrest for a felony?"
"There's a much better cover of that by...."
"My parents like Frankie Valli, too. Did you know there was musical called JERSEY BOYS?"

See what I mean. Do you keep your musical tastes a secret? I am doing that from now on. No more backseat critics of my tunes. Would you stand by the tunes on your playlist? Is there one song in particular that would embarass you? Come on. Name your most humilating favorite.


Chris said...

Great post, Patti. Hmmm, where to start? Maybe with the late 70s/early 80s Spyro Gyra I had in my iPod all summer? Or Huey Lewis and the News' Fore!, or Wayne Shorter's jazz-rock album Joy Ryder? It's a little frustrating that whenever I have people in the car, I pretty much turn the stereo off, lest I hear, "What are we listening to?...Wayne Shorter? Who's that?" LOL!

Todd Mason said...

Well, Chris, turning people onto Wayne Shorter is only to their benefit.

Patti, it will Utterly Shock you that I basically will brook no guff about my music, which does indeed include such intentionally goofy items I'm always willing to mention, such as the first single I bought being Brownsville Station's bouncy protopunk "Smokin' in the Boys' Room"/"Barefootin'" or that I think that Soft Cell did a fine job with their cover of "Tainted Love" (a song that frankly lends itself to beep-platz synthesizing)...and the aural cheese of Berlin was all fine by me (but everyone can keep their Journey and Moody Blues from DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED onward to themselves, please).

pattinase (abbott) said...

Huey Lewis and the News was the first concert we took our kids to. They played with Lucinda Williams who went unnoticed in the huge venue.
Tainted Cell, I've got to put that on. Love it.

Scott Parker said...

Like Todd, I take no bad comments against my music. Sure, "noisy jazz" is not my wife's favorite and some old Chicago sounds noisy so we don't listen to that stuff when we're together.

Speaking of defending one's musical tastes, I remember back in 2000 when my wife and I were looking through the Sunday paper and I saw Tom Jones was coming town. She laughed at the idea of going. Stone faced, I said, "No, really, I want to see Tom Jones." We went (with her mom) and both ladies loved the show. See? You can convert.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I thought so, Scott, until I took my husband to Mama Mia.
He did convert me on Neil Young though.

Fleur Bradley said...

Very funny post; I laughed out loud!

My MP3 player is a mix of my music (folky, bluesy stuff), and my girls' Disney garbage. I can imagine what comments I would get if someone listened along...

Ed Gorman said...

I never thought about that but you're right. It's nice to relax to music or dance to it or just sip a drink and really listen to it. But on the other hand if I'm in a car and am forced to listen to modern country or rap or tween I get irritated and probably will say something about it, being the boor I am. I once told my then- business-partner (a lover of elevator music) that unless he changed the station I was going to start singing. He changed the station right away.

R. T. said...

Someone once opined that my fondness for classical music (especially Mozart and opera) made me rather strange and out of touch with contemporary culture and music. I countered that my music preferences were not responsible for my strangeness and being out of touch; plenty of other factors (which a psychiatrist could explain) and my excessive immersion into the mind-altering 60s were responsible, and none of them could really completely explain my strangeness. The person was silenced on the matter.

Randy Johnson said...

I've always been one to look for the new artists in the types of music I like. Years ago I bought a lot of first albums and found quite a few gems(got burned a time or two as well).

A long time friend was visiting from out of town some years back and made a crack about my taste in music. I had to respond back, "Anyone who likes Journey should never make fun of someone else's music."

These days I listen to what I want and don't advertise, or hide, it.

George said...

Bobby Fuller Four's "I Fought the Law (And the Law Won)"

pattinase (abbott) said...

Don't get me started on I FOUGHT THE LAW, which is one of the songs that stays in my head.
Most of the people we drive with, don't play music at all. My husband plays it incessantly so it always seems strange. I like classical music, too, but not much in a car. Actually I prefer NPR in the car, a good way of getting the news.
And I like new artists too. NPR is a good place to learn about them.

George said...

My wife is an NPR junkie. She listens to about 8 hours of NPR per day. Like you, Patti, I'd rather listen to music when I'm driving around. Most classical music doesn't work in a car (especially harp music!) so I mostly play music from the Sixties (which was designed to be played on a car radio). My favorite is Goffin & King: A Gerry Goffin and Carole King Song Collection 1961-1967. Fabulous!

Deb said...

When I was a kid, the rule was “whoever is driving gets to choose the radio station” (which is why I still know all the words to “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree”), and that’s the way it is today (thus my kids know all the words to everything from “Cherry, Cherry” to “Fly Robin Fly”). When I’m a passenger, I try to refrain from making comments about the music I’m hearing and I would prefer (but don’t always get) the same courtesy returned. Anyway, here are a few songs that have raised eyebrows:

“Photograph” by Def Leppard

“Don’t Sleep in the Subway” by Petulia Clark

“Lightening Striking Again” by Lou Christie

“The Rain, the Park, and Other Things” by The Cowsills

“Aaron’s Party” by Aaron Carter*

*Even I’m surprised that I have that!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Carole King--I have a bunch of her on the player. Aaron's Party new to me.

Todd Mason said...

I've yet to listen to Aaron Carter's music (I'm sure YouTube could fix that), but I did appreciate his and Gina Gershon's participation in Jeff Garlin's film I WANT SOMEONE TO EAT CHEESE WITH, in which the best and most elaborate joke is that a Hollywood remake of Paddy Chayefsky's MARTY featurea Carter as Marty and Gershon as his mother, so as to Reach the Kids.

Among my favorite music that is also goofily odd is an old Capitol album featuring theremin as lead instrument with Muzak-style orchestra behind it, with the compositions being just interesting enough to be worth listening to, MUSIC OUT OF THE MOON/MUSIC FOR PEACE OF MIND (originally issued, I suspect, on 78 as two separate albums). The cocktail/exotica revival led to it being reissued on CD.

Clare2e said...

The jukebox can be revealing, but I'm the one who usually mocks my husband's music, because he doesn't edit anything and grabs entire iTunes library's from friends. WE have more Hungarian club mixes than you can imagine, but I only like some of them. I'm a snobby jerk about my own music, and refuse to admit that any of it is less than majestic, and there's weird, jive stuff salted in there. Still, I also listen to Unorthodox Radio programs on the arcane and unexplained which I don't make anyone else sit through, but which I think would raise some eyebrows among my friends and family if I made that the soundtrack for the Road.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess just like our diaries should remain hidden so should our musical tastes. My love for ABBA, for instance.

Todd Mason said...

Well, unlike with a diary in many instances, one can profitably share music with the willing.

(wv: adveell, just in case if someone gets a headache as a result)

Ed Gorman said...

I just caught up with responses to your post about musical tastes. I'm usually alone or with Carol when I'm in a car but once in awhile a friend is along. I let a song play and then ask him if he likes this station and if he doesn't I change it to something we can both hack. I've been imprisoned too any times by music I can't stand.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Our most common backseat rider is two and prefers THE WIGGLES. I'm waiting for that phase to end soon!

Richard Prosch said...

Some wry observations on a great topic!

As a passenger, I would cringe when my friends would hit the buttons on the old AM radio, jumping around between stations --and in mid-song (ka-chunk!) Now with the iPod and satellite radio, it's a pet peeve that I have adopted, skipping from jazz to classic rock to 80's hair metal...and back...mid-song. There's a neurosis there, isn't there?

Rick Robinson said...

Patti, that's why, soon after I bought my wife an iPod, I bought myself one. I have my stuff - classical, jazz, old rock I like, soundtracks - she has her Motown, Joe and Black-Eyed Peas and whatever else she has.

Embarrassed by my music? No. But critics are informed they have no taste. I mean, who wouldn't want to hear the 5 "Bs" (Bax, Bach, Beethoven, Brahams, Bruckner)? Or for that matter, Miles, Coltrane or Dexter Gordon?

No, my iPod is MY iPod.

As for the car, mine doesn't have no stinkin' mp3 hookup, so it's radio. Remember that? I listen to the classical station, my wife prefers news talk. But after about 10 minutes of the latter, besides the million commercials, I'm ready to pound the dash and holler "those *bleeping* idiots!" So we don't listen to a lot of news talk radio when I'm in the car. Safety first, you know. Must keep mind and eyes on the road.

But what no one has mentioned here is audiobooks. Now that has to be personal taste.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I love audiobooks but my husband can't keep quiet for long periods. He also loathes NPR and docs. Too close to his day job.
Great to have just the music you love playing. And we are all eclectic to some extent. There is more than one route to orgasm, right? Well, some of us anyway.

Anonymous said...

Patti sez--"There is more than one route to orgasm, right?"

Or eargasm?

B.t.w. I'm currently outdoors, sitting in the cold shade looking at a bright sun drinking a warm Guinness and listening [via my MP3 player] to a bluegrass band playing Metallica's greatest hits.

John McAuley

pattinase (abbott) said...

It's darn cold though, John. You might want to build a fire. Bluegrass Metallica. Cool.

the walking man said...

Npe...No Barry Manilow in my collection.