Friday, December 09, 2005


A friend of mine recently posed the question: "You have a 74 minute blank CD. Put the soundtrack of who you are on it. Not your favorite songs...the songs that tell your story."

I've given this matter a bit of thought and have come up with the following, in no particular chronological or biographical order:

1. John Lennon, "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)"

This is my Skylar song. I sang it to him nearly every night when he was a baby. Today, he turned 10...the same I was 25 years ago yesterday, when I heard John Lennon was dead.

Life truly is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans...

2. Squirrel Nut Zippers, "Meant To Be"

Hardly my favorite from this band when I first heard the Hot album back in the Radio X days. But I can't deny that every time I've heard it since I met Kim, the lyrics put her squarely front and center in my mind. Especially the ending:

When I learned I found my eyes/Were opened long ago/I had a dream that quickly faded/Goes to show/How tricky dreams can be/But wouldn't you agree that those who know/Will whisper when they see us walking/"There's a love that's always meant to be."

3. Harry Chapin, "W-O-L-D"

Perfectly encapsulates the parts of my industry that I fear the most, and shows every poch-mark in it's face. In 1988, I chose a career I loved, but failed to uncover one hell of a caveat...

4. XTC, "Another Satellite"

A fine example of my continuing quest to evaluate my value to the people I love, and my tendency to do things that push them away, and my frustration at both.

Why on Earth do you revolve around me?/Aren't you aware of the gravity?/Don't need another satellite.

5. Toy Matinee, "Remember My Name"

Sure, I'm pretty level-headed compared to most people in my industry. But I have a desire to be recognized, like everyone else. This song is that part of me, howling loudly, when it and I are alone in the car. And I think the lyrics in this song are brilliant. I find it sad that this little project of a band has vanished, unnoticed, in the landscape of cookie-cutter pop crap that followed in the 1990s.

Some things are never the way they seem/Bury our century's wasted regrets/And remember my name.

6. The Police, "Canary In A Coal Mine"

Excellent cooker from Sting, Andy & Stewart. This song describes both halves of my relationship with myself. Uncertainty and fear, and my stern disappointment that I spend so much time obsessing about uncertainty and fear, which gives me (shames me into) my bigger moments of courage.

You live your life like a canary in a coalmine/You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line.

7. Soul Coughing, "Maybe I'll Come Down"

Dumb bah did du dumb/I need time to scrounge the rent, need time to contemplate the accident/I got to drag my ass to now, how did I come to stop here?/And oh I knew the gas was gone but I had to rev the motor/Pull back the hand you might get it cut off in the rotor/Maybe I'll come down/She's on Laureate's turf, she's on Laureate's side/She's in a better state, she feels a better fire/And oh I dreamed a great parade, shooting all the guns in Brooklyn/The man who had a spare held out two and then you took one/Freeze or burn, all else is only icing

That's me. That's the style I write in when I'm really feeling it...when I write the shit no one else ever gets to see. This song is me.

8. The Pursuit Of Happiness, "I'm An Adult Now"

It's funny, and sad, and hopeless, and honest. And it has great thoughts like:

I can't write songs about girls anymore/I hafta write songs about women.

So much of it captures how I feel, here, in the midpoint of my 30s.

9. Rush "Losing It"

A song from my youth, reminding me that who I was, is gone now. But who I am could be a lot worse off. Actually, one of my least favorite songs from my favorite band.

10. Queen, "I'm Going Slightly Mad"

I live with a recurring dream that I will eventually lose my mind, much later on, in my dotage.

11. Rage Against The Machine, "No Shelter"

Again, not a particular favorite song from a favorite band. And the fact that it was sold out to that god(zilla)forsaken piece-of-crap movie doesn't do much to tout it's usefullness. But the lyrics have a spot in my temple. "Wake Up" might have been a better choice, but I'm not quite to that point with society yet. Close, but not yet.

12. Rollins Band, "Inhale Exhale"

This is the song that slaps song #4 across the face and hands it a steak so it can man-up a bit. It cuts song #5 down to size and keeps me humble. It tells song #6 that Sting was (and is) a pretentious dick and I should shut the fuck up. It tells songs #8 and 9 to quit bitchin'. And it tells #10 to enjoy the ride, as loudly as possible. This is a song of strength, when I feel weak.

Inhale/What I am/Exhale/What I think I am.

13. Pink Floyd, "Hey You"

I have always felt a connection to this song, which opens act two in the story of the fictional Pink, when the wall is up and looks so impossibly formidable.

Hey you/Don't help them to bury the light/Don't give in without a fight

Upon review...I have decided that this album would sound like shit. None of these songs really work together, except in my own self-definition. And there's not a single hit to be found anywhere on this list, further proof that radio has destroyed popular music for me forever. What the world embraces, I tolerate. What the world casts aside, I embrace and raise a flag in support of.

What's on your album?


Post a Comment

<< Home