Analyzing My Top 50

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15 jan. 2009, 4h30m

How did you get into 29? Rem

It was 2001, and Mark would play me Automatic for the People over and over and over and over again as I tasted my first sense of true freedom. Nightswimming is still our song. Green, Out of Time, Monster, Murmur, Eponymous, and Up would follow.

What is a good memory you have involving 30? The Cure

Being in the pit at the Curiosa festival at Coors with Randi, Rory, and Mark drinking margaritas out of insanely large plastic guitar-shaped glasses, the band taking the stage, Robert's hair lit up from behind, hearing the wind chimes and, to quote Randi, dropping to my drunk knees when I realized I was finally, after so many years and so many shows, hearing Plainsong. From the pit. Perhaps my greatest memory of all time, actually.

What was the first song you ever heard by 22? Jenny Lewis

If we count her Rilo Kiley work, then it would be "Jenny, You're Barely Alive", a song that spoke to me as I was throwing away my afternoons on the rooftops of UCLA or the couch in the Earth and Space Sciences building. Of her solo work, I suppose it was You Are What You Love.

You are what you love, and not what loves you back.

What is your favorite lyric by 33? Fleetwood Mac

I know I could have loved you but you would not let me.

What is your favorite album by 49? Frank Sinatra

Songs for Young Lovers, though it does not contain my favorite Sinatra song. But just looking at the album cover makes me feel I was born in the wrong decade, and how can you deny the power of I Get a Kick Out of You or My Funny Valentine or They Can't Take That Away from Me?

How many albums by 23 do you own? David Bowie

19: Heroes, Pinups, Never Let Me Down, Station to Station, Young Americans, Lodger, Space Oddity, The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, Low, Let's Dance, The Man Who Sold the World, Diamond Dogs, Scary Monsters, Earthling, Heathen, Reality, and of course, the Labyrynth soundtrack.

Some even on vinyl! Thanks Mom!

What is your favorite song by 50? Great Lake Swimmers

Your Rocky Spine

Remarkably sexy for a song with a banjo.

And with your soft fingers between my claws/like purity against resolve/I could tell, then and there, that we were formed from the clay/and came from the rocks for the earth to display.

Is there a song by 28 that makes you sad? Bright Eyes

Holy shit. A tie between "Land Locked Blues" and "Lua"

And I know you have a heavy heart, I can feel it when we kiss
So many men stronger than me have thrown their backs out trying to lift it
But me I'm not a gamble, you can count on me to split
The love I sell you in the evening by the morning won't exist.


What is your favorite album by 15? Tegan & Sara

The Con because I was pretty late to the Tegan & Sara party. Characteristically, I hit the bottle pretty hard when I did finally arrive.

What is your favorite song by 5? Camera Obscura

Let's Get Out of This Country

Let's get out of this country
I'll admit I am bored with me
I drowned my sorrows and slept arround
When not in body at least in mind
We'll find a cathedral
You can convince me I am pretty


Is there a song by 6 that makes you happy? U2

Uh, let's see: Acrobat reminds me of the first song Randi, Rory, and I cranked in my brand new car with kick ass sound. In God's Country and One Tree Hill reminds me of the beautiful Joshua Tree desert, pixie sticks, rogue coyotes, and the weirdest full moon I have ever seen. The Fly reminds me of that moment during their concert at the Staples Center when I looked over and saw my mom, my sister, and my brother with the same Weden grin on their faces as mine, all bonding over my mom's favorite band. Running to Stand Still as crushing as it is, reminds me of the power of music to make you feel something. With or Without You reminds me of perhaps my favorite lyric of all time: "We will shine like stars in the summer night, we will shine like stars in the winter night, one heart, one hope, one love..."

I could go on...

What is your favorite album by 48? Dave Matthews Band

Before These Crowded Streets

Everything else by them is shit by comparison, even though the first two albums are so very enjoyable. But their third album is perhaps my favorite album of all time, definitely in the top five, and it is flawless from start to finish. The haunting outros and intros hidden within the tracks alone are better than 90% of the rest of the music out there.

What is your favorite song by 19? The Decemberists

Hands down, it's Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect.

I value lyrics over most anything else in music, and the Decemberists' are some of the best out there.

And here in Spain I am a Spaniard
I will be buried with my marionettes
Countess and courtesan
Have fallen 'neath my tender hand
When their husbands were not around
But you, my soiled teenage girlfriend
Oh how you furrow like a lioness
And we are vagabonds
We travel without seat belts on
We live this close to death


How many times have you seen 7 live? Interpol

Ugh. Probably three. Curiosa, Greek Theater, the Forum and each time was a major disappointment - the Greek Theater being the worst show I have been to in my entire life (though this has at least half to do with their retarded fans!) They are the most monotone, banal live band I have ever seen. Don't get me wrong, I looooooooooooves me some Interpol, but you know how they get accused of sounding repetitive on their albums? Yeah, it's a THOUSAND times worse live.

What is the first song you heard by 14?

We'll have to ask my mom, as I am sure I was listening to Led Zeppelin in utero and ever since.

What is your favorite album by 11? New Order

I should ignore this question because it's asinine, but I guess that defeats the purpose of a quiz of this nature. Plus, it's an extra opportunity to talk about how unbelievably, life-alteringly fabulous Substance is. Life altering is not hyperbole, I am the person I am today because of this album and all the memories behind it. Of all the music Mark has turned me on to, this is it, the best of the best. Only the Cure's Disintegration and Duran Duran's self-titled debut album could even come close to matching it.

What is a good memory involving 23? David Bowie

After staring at my dad's March 12, 1973 ticket stub for Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at the Palladium for twenty years, being surprised with two tickets to see him at the Greek fucking Theater in April 2004 on the Reality tour is a pretty damn sweet memory. The cool breeze blowing during the delivery of perhaps his best lyrics is something I will never forget.

'cause love's such an old fashioned word/and love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night/and loves dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves...

What is your favorite song by 41? Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Oliver's Army

The harmony when he sings: "but there's no danger/it's a professional career/though it could be arranged with just a word in Mr. Churchill's ear..." gets me every time.

Is there a song by 20 that makes you happy? Koji Kondo

Koji Kondo is the conductor of some of my happiest moments! Entering Hyrule Field for the first time, feeding a Dodongo a bomb, Saria, the Lost Woods, the Bremen March, Zelda's Lullaby. Yeah, I am a video game nerd, and Zelda music makes me the happiest.

But if I had to pick just one, at least today, it's End Credits 1 from Twilight Princess.

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