R.J. Anderson (rj_anderson) wrote,
R.J. Anderson

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Music Meme

Gacked from cesario, in spite of her VILE SLANDER about my musical tastes not only being crappy but including Depeche Mode. *makes huffy noise* I'll have you know it's my brother who is or at least was the Depeche Mode fan (and, of course, lydaclunas), not me. But anyway:

[1] Total volume of music files on my computer:
I can't tell byte-wise because they're all in individual folders according to artist. WinAmp informs me that there are 385 songs, however.

[2] The last CD I bought was ...
Songs for Dust Mites by Steve Burns. Very indie. And only came out last year. So ha.

[3a] The last song I listened to before writing this was ...
"Can't Stop Now" by Keane. I was listening to their CD in the van as I drove my kids to their Oma's farm for the day.

[3b] Song playing right now ...
None. Hang on a sec, I'll hit my randomizer... okay, "Gone to Earth" by David Sylvian, from the album of the same name. Dark, edgy, unpredictable, starts out with grungy discord and resolves itself into heavenly melody. Oh, and a bit of talking by what sounds like a tweedy middle-aged Oxford don in the background. "The soul goes... beyond being and enters this... divine world." Plato?

[4] Five songs I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me:
1. It's really hard to pick just one Talk Talk song (and I might not be able to manage it, in fact) but the one I keep coming back to again and again is "Eden" from their album Spirit of Eden. The whole album is a work of art, there's a deliberate flow and progression from one song to another, and it really needs to be listened to from beginning to end, lying in the dark with headphones on, to be truly appreciated. But having done that (and reduced myself to tears in the process), I found that "Eden" was the part of the album that touched and moved me most deeply. Summer bled of Eden/Easter's heir uncrowns/another destiny lies leeched upon the ground... A gilded wreath on reason/the flower crushed conceives/a child of fragrance so much clearer in legacy...

Hard to believe that a band that started out as a tinny 80's synth band would, three albums later, produce a work of such rich, organic musical complexity that their record company simply couldn't handle it and dumped them for not being commercial enough. But they did, bless 'em. And this song, about the sacrificial death of Christ, just awes and humbles me every time. Amen.

2. "Then They Will Know" by Michael Card. Card is far from being an innovative musician or brilliant lyricist (aside from the occasional flash of real cleverness and insight, which is why I still enjoy him in spite of his Christian-James-Taylor schtick), and his last couple of albums have been sloppy and self-referential. But the Ancient Faith Trilogy (a set of three albums based on the Old Testament) was probably the high point of Card's musical creativity, and anyway this song is 90% direct Bible quotes to start with, which makes it pretty hard to mess up the lyrics.

In any case, this song, written from God's perspective as He pleads with His wayward people to give up their idolatry and return to Him, is one of the most moving things I've ever heard. The first six times I listened to it, I couldn't get through the song without choking back tears. We're so wrapped up in our own feelings and problems and anxieties, how often do we really think about how God feels? We assume so readily that because He is perfect and possesses all power and all glory, He is serenely happy or at least content all of the time. But the Bible tells us that He grieves, grieves deeply, when His creation suffers and when His people go astray. He feels our pain and our sorrow. He begs us to repent, to turn to Him; He tells us from the bottom of His heart that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. And all of God's love and grief and longing is just so beautifully summed up in this song. He is salvation/He is the kingdom/to know Him is paradise... Even if I can get through the rest of it, that part tears me to pieces every time.

3. "Wanderlust" by David Sylvian. It's almost as hard for me to pick just one Sylvian song as it is to pick just one Talk Talk song, there are so many things he's written that just send a thrill up my spine. Sylvian is moody and atmospheric and frequently dark -- yet never hopeless -- and he's also very Buddhist in his philosophy, which limits my ability to fully enter in to his music at times. But this song is one of his more upbeat compositions, somehow cool and warm at the same time, like golden sunlight streaming through a forest of green leaves. It's about the surprising directions love can take you, and as is so often true with Sylvian, not just the music but the lyrics are drop-dead gorgeous. And there's only so much I aspire to/Taking one day at a time/And deliverance has many faces/But grace is an acquaintance of mine... I'm also very fond of "Orpheus" and "The Ink In The Well", from his earlier albums.

4. "The Unforgettable Fire" by U2. I didn't really care for the album as a whole that much, but this is a fabulously rich, emotionally powerful piece delivered with all the angst and passion Bono can muster. And the bridge! The instrumental bridge, with the orchestra hits! It gives me shivers. Occasionally I come across a song that has a musical or lyrical twist that just electrifies my spine, and this is one of them. (See also "Fingers of Love" by Crowded House, just as the beginning of the second verse comes crashing in and Neil Finn sings "Colour is its own reward...".)

5. "Promises, Promises" by Naked Eyes. *looks around* What? Okay, so this is at the low end of the Significant Music scale, but nevertheless it happens to be one of the catchiest pop songs ever written, and after fifteen years or so, I'm still not sick of it yet, which has to count for something. It doesn't Mean Something To Me, but I always get a kick out of hearing it.

I could name so many more (ooh! "The Big Music" by The Waterboys just came on!) but these are the ones that came to me today, at any rate.

[5] Which 5 people are you passing this baton to, and why?
Uh... let's see... lydaclunas, because she shares my love of 80's music (well, with me it's more like nostalgia -- it's not like a lot of it was really that great or anything); shoebox2, because she and I also seem to have similar tastes and I'm REALLY STARTING TO WONDER WHERE SHE IS *ahem*; tinderblast and ariadnie, because we all like Kalan Porter so I'm curious to see if there's any more musical overlap; and avarill, because she doesn't post enough, so there.
Tags: memes, music
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