Yeah, the title’s kinda Christmassy but I’m talking music. From time to time, I seem to remind myself just how much music I have at my disposal. I have more CDs than I feel like counting; I can listen to the music on any of my computers for seven days and not hear the same song twice (unless someone did a different version); my iPod’s storage space is consumed more with music than all the other stuff combined.
Do ya think I love my music? Hell, I got a couple of Android apps for my phone that’ll make the music on it bumping – in case I can’t get to my iPod. This time of year, we’re into whatever Christmas music floats your boat but there are two pieces of Christmas music that gives me chills and can bring tears to my eyes: “Traditions of Christmas” and “Cantique de Noel,” better known as “O Holy Night” and both pieces as arranged and performed by Mannheim Steamroller. And if you’ve heard me say this before, yeah, I’m saying it again.
Yeah, I know some of you are wondering, “What the fuck…?” and that’s what I thought when I heard the group’s name – but these two pieces, on their “A Fresh Aire Christmas” CD. made me forget all about their crazy name. I do believe that even if I weren’t a musician, I’d love these songs; that I am just makes me love them more. I found Luther’s “Every Year, Every Christmas,” wondered how I missed even having the song to begin with and, hell, I’ll play the shit out of that song even if it ain’t Christmas!
Sometimes it’s about the lyrics of a song that grabs me; most of the time, it’s the music itself. Like, for all you classical fans out there and those who love all things Bach (as I do), you should hear Don Dorsey’s arrangement of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desire.” When my youngest told me about this guy, I wondered – as you probably are – “Who’s this?” He told me to just listen… and wow. Likewise, I’m a big fan of Wendy (formerly Walter) Carlos’ early and groundbreaking work performing Bach on the first generation Moog synthesizers, all monophonic (one note at a time) and each sound created from scratch – and with patch cords. Hell, if I thought I was moved listening to the Philadelphia Orchestra (Ormandy era) perform Bach live, Carlos totally blew me away – and even more since I now know exactly how he did it and how incredibly difficult it was compared to today, where I can do what Carlos did and with some button pushes on my Korg music workstation…
I compiled a playlist for my computers that also resides on my iPod; not quite mood music but just a mix of the various genres I like and, really, the playlist is just a tiny subset of the music I like… because I don’t own any music I don’t like or wouldn’t listen to. If I could – and I almost did – dump the entire content of my computer library of music onto my iPod, I’d be a little happy; I’d be made happier if I could get EVERY piece of music I own on it and, no, the 64GB version wouldn’t cut it.
So, after a day of sitting in front of the computer, watching TV, interacting with my baby and the cat, and communing with you, my blogging buddies, when I call it a night, I usually read until my eyes get tired – but sometimes I can’t sleep; there’s still this pain thing I’ve been battling all day. So, there’s a series of podcasts I downloaded to my iPod and the narrator’s voice is one of those that’ll just put me out in good order even though his stories are right up my alley. But the last couple of nights, I decided to read first, then crank up the playlist.
My baby bought me some new ear buds – Skullcandy Ink’d – because I haven’t been able to replace my Bose ear buds, which came to an end due to a vicious cat attack. The things Apple gives you with an iPod are bullshit; you’d think with all the fucking money you pay for an iPod touch, they’d give you better ear buds, cheap bastards! Anyway, I like the Skullcandy buds not only because of the great sound but I can lie in bed with them in my ears comfortably; with those cheap Apple buds, I can only lie on my back ’cause to lie on my sides makes my ears hurt.
I have an odd mix of music on my playlist, from jazz (Sypro Gyra’s my favorite) to even movie soundtracks; I think the opening music for “Star Trek: First Contact” is some of the most beautiful music that’s been written for those movies – well, the first three minutes of it, anyway. I’ve got some R&B oldies and a some newbies, some old-school hip-hop, classical, dance – everything except reggae and C&W. I even have a song I composed and performed on the playlist, not because I wrote it (well, not totally) but because it’s nice to listen to. I’ve got gospel, both old school a capella by a group from WAY back in the day and new school Kirk Franklin-type stuff; have you heard “Brokenhearted?” God, I love that song…
What are you listening to? What’s your favorite pieces, you know, the songs you can literally put on repeat and listen to it over and over? Do you listen according to your mood? Do you listen to mixed genres or like to stick with just one? And what’s your favorite Christmas song and who does it?
Have you listened to Mariah Carey’s “Hero” lately? Ever heard George Duke’s “The Simple Life?”