On Music

benfoldsWhile the blog can be viewed as “the new resume” — another way for employers to get a look at who you are and how/if you fit into the culture of the work environment — can it also relate to an aspect of dating? Could would-be suitors find your writing pedantic and thus write (sorry, intended) you off as a prospective mate? With the prevalence of this so-called “social networking” and such news items as the scandals related to sixteen year olds finding older men on MySpace, it seems that online dating and its variants have become a social norm; one of the numerous acceptable modern versions of courtship.

How many people do you know that’ve had online relationships? Or kept up a long distance relationship via their Facebook and/or e-mail? Considering the amount of personal information we make publicly available through the various avenues of the InterHighway, is it a stretch to believe that a potential companion can write you off because you mentioned that you liked the movie Labyrinth? I don’t think so.

As I was thinking about the blog as the new resume and the social network profile as the dating equivalent of a resume, I combined the two ideas; what if a girl reading my blog decided that she liked me (or didn’t!) from what I wrote? Sure, she could go to my Facebook profile and read about the movies I like, music I listen to, and what I do in my free time. However, the profile only shows a piece, a vague overview. Kind of like how a resume only briefly covers your “accomplishments” without actually going over your specific role in any given project (or like a GPA shows how well you did, but not what you did well in and why).

The above, as it turns out, was just a long-winded seguing into something that popped into my head last week, so please bear with me.

One could potentially cheat, having never met me, look at my Facebook profile and see my “favourite bands” et cetera, and never really question it. But then all the fun of our first meeting is gone. Furthermore, what then would be the icebreakers on a hypothetical first date? All the basics have been discovered on Facebook. Here, again, I will reference my perceived similarities of dating to job hunting; the first date is like the post-resume (Facebook Profile) interview. Here, two people take the general information they have on each other and expound upon it.  Amongst music nerds, the conversation would probably revolve around your favourite albums and artists. But they wouldn’t just list them off to each other. One might attempt to explain why their favourites have achieved that status; to show a little bit about them as a person and what affects the decisions made in music choices (and from that, perhaps, one could make assumptions and inferences about their life outlook).

In that vein, I set about trying to determine my five favourite songs. Perhaps of all time, but at the very least, those which currently hold relevance. How did I define this? First of all, I thought they would probably have to be songs I’ve listened to many times and I still can listen to without being bored through repeated listenings. This did not yield a list of five. So I set about to do it systematically and came up with the following diagram.

As an aside, Christi called my need for charts and graphs “anal” but “endearing.” I find them helpful; from budgeting to deciding what netbook to purchase, I love lists, charts and graphs. I abhor math, but I like the visual representation of things in decision-making. Otherwise, I sit and ponder for hours and hours, stressing and never concluding.

chartFor the record, most comments henceforth will relate to this image and whatever’s going through my head. Very stream-of-consciousness.

Jets to Brazil, The Hold Steady, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (I still can’t get over swing and they do it so well), Belle and Sebastian and Damien Rice are clearly at the forefront of favourites in the artist category. Aside from holding the highest number of top songs (it was too hard to weed them out!), they are the bands that I can constantly listen to without becoming sick of.

Jets to Brazil were my favourite emo band back in high school (my high school self is yelling at me to clarify: they aren’t technically “emo,” they’re “post-emo indie rock,” but I digress). To this day, their first two albums are amazing, able to be listened to straight through with nary a missed beat. Top notch in their genre and definitely something I will continue to enjoy for years to come.

Christi burned me several mix cds featuring The Hold Steady. I listened to these, not really getting it at first. Craig Finn’s style definitely took some getting used to. To be honest, I don’t even remember when I decided I liked it, but I did. I unscrupulously obtained all their albums and then realized that I enjoyed them so much that I had to own the real thing. That’s how I can gauge my liking of an artist – when I like the album so much that I cannot bear to have just a burned or downloaded copy. I now own all their albums and listen to at least one straight through every week.

I break one of my own rules with Damien Rice. Though I love to own real cds, last summer I bought 9 via iTunes’ Music Store and only own the digital copy. Often times, I forget I own the real thing and that I really did spend money on it, but there it is, registered in my name. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing Damien Rice is. I saw him live with only a vague knowledge of his music and it was probably in my top 2 concerts ever (it doesn’t hurt that I’ve only been to 5 or 6 in my life though…) The man’s a genius. And he’s Irish to boot. Can’t pick a more winning combination.

Another band that’s been with me since high school: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. At some point during the big ska phase in my life, I dabbled into a little swing. I don’t know if it was the movie Swingers or something else, but these guys still ROCK. The swing lover in me just can’t get enough of them, and I dare you to listen to them without at least tapping your foot. It’s wonderful. Sure, they’re often “simple songs, about simple things,” but they are catchy, upbeat and incredible danceable.

Finally, we come to those twee Brits, Belle and Sebastian. Not so much two people as much as, like, 8, but a great, poppy band that has everything I like in music: British accents, guitars, harmonic melodies, catchy tunes, and the occasional horn and steel drum section. Mister J.Lauck gave me much of their catalogue and I’m in the process of purchasing The Life Pursuit and Dear Catastrophe Waitress. And by the way, I remember the exact place and situation in which I was in when I heard my two favourite songs off those respective albums.

My top five albums based on being able to listen to them straight through, not skipping a track (not in any particular order):

Regarding Damien Rice’s O: 9 cannot be disregarded as a wonderful, wonderful album either. It is freaking brilliant. Still, it’s a little harder (i.e. less mellow) and can’t be played in front of your mother. Also, I often skip a few of the tracks, making it slightly less of a perfect album to me next to O.

As far as top five songs go, it is REALLY a tough choice. If there was the dreaded hypothetical (what if you could only listen to five songs ever again) then I don’t know how my choice would reflect this. This really came from months of intensive research… Ok, so I looked through my top played list, then my top rated list, cross-referenced them, loaded my favourites onto my iPhone (bearing in mind an 8 GB capacity, I had to be picky) then chose my tops from there. By no means was it even slightly scientific, and looking at them, I can’t even say that these really are my top five favourite songs. At any rate, I will try to justify this is a similarly introspective way. (Feel free to click to another website, maybe one about kittens, at this point. I am doing this for me and me alone. Cheers)

I didn’t like Belle and Sebastian until I heard Sukie in the Graveyard but I listened to If She Wants Me on repeat one car ride down to Lansing and still love it. Plus I just think B&S are great.

Fired is the best Ben Folds song ever and I am proud to say, I am the only one who knows this. Honestly, I’ve never met another person who holds this opinion. He’s never (as far as I know) played it at a show and the only YouTube videos I can find are of people covering it (ok, so maybe people do like it…). Still, I love the tempo and the style and wish he played more songs like this.

As far as the Ben Folds Five go, I had never heard the Theme from Dr. Pyser until he opened with it in Alma; I was blown away. It was the perfect high-energy song to open an awesome evening. After that, I purchased the extended of Forever and Ever Amen just to get that song. It’s even set as my alarm tone in the morning every few weeks; that’s how much I love it.

I’m finding a lot of these songs (and artists and albums even) are favourites because of where/when I first heard them. What’s Left of the Flag was one of the first Flogging Molly songs I heard, over the PA system in Best Buy. I bought the album then and there and have bought every album of theirs since. I don’t remember when I liked A Praise Chorus first, but I know it was one of the first songs I really loved off this Jimmy Eat World album. Coming from loving Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity sound, this song and album took some getting used to, but I’ll be damned if “crimson and clover/over and over” doesn’t get me every time.

This was a long-winded introspective, aimed at self-discovery. If I am to understand myself, surely my favourite music will help that. Well, it seems that all I’ve discovered is that I am eclectic and indecisive. I also discovered that, though charts are great, they do not work in every situation. huh.

So, now some questions remain:

Does not having a favourite band make me less of a person? Can I ever be happy with one job/life/routine if I can’t settle on something as unimportant as a band? Or is music so important to my life that I cannot limit my choices stylistically? Does the fact that a list did not solve my problem make me die inside? Am I still me?

These are questions I really don’t want to ponder. I just want to continue listening to music and writing meandering blogs to kill time. And so it is.

It looks like I’ve still got a lot of work cut out for me. My indecisiveness underscores my lack of female companionship; there’s not even anything on the horizon. Similar to the job market for me. Someone once said that good things happen all at once. That being said, I should probably go introspective a bit longer, focus on self-awareness before I can achieve self-fulfillment – in any area. After I’ve gotten that far, the ladies already know what I’m into.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “On Music”


  1. 1 crschanz March 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Nick, as the huge Jimmy Eat World fan that I am, so much to the effect that I drove down to Michigan State (from Saginaw) to see them by myself just 15 months ago, I need to correct your wrong. “A Praise Chorus” is off the ‘Bleed American’ record, not ‘Clarity’ as you say.

    Just thought I’d keep you informed.

    Also, I planned on writing a blog about music, but seeing as you have done so, I cannot copy you. Now I must think of something else.

    On a related note, any suggestions for new Blog Wars topics?

    • 2 Moderator March 3, 2009 at 5:24 pm

      Post edited for clarity. I can see why you’d think I meant that, but no, it wasn’t the case. I meant that, coming from listening to Clarity to listening to Bleed American was quite a shift stylistically and took some getting used to.

      Still, I thank you for pointing out my erroneous phrasing. At times, words make more sense in my head than they do “on paper.”

  2. 3 Christi March 3, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    You overthink. But, again, it’s endearing.

    Looking at someone’s Facebook and noticing all the things you have in common sets you up for disappointment. When I meet a new potential crush, one of the first things I do is stalk…I mean, check out their social networking sites. I get all giddy because, OMG, he likes the same semi-obscure bands I do and has a clever blurb in his “About Me”! But then he turns out to be a tool or a weirdo.

    That’s just my experience, and I’m a little bit off because I tend to judge people harshly on their pop culture preferences.

    What I really wanted to say is that I love The Hold Steady a little more each day.

  3. 4 crschanz March 4, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Ahh, I follow it now. I guess a quick skimming through the paragraph instead of fully taking in all grammatical aspects of it leads one to misinterpret the structure of the sentence and its context.

    My bad.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s






Hello; my name is Nicolaus E. Witchger. I am a graphic designer from Saginaw, MI best known for wearing bow ties and drinking single-malt scotch, dark beer, and espresso.

I’m on Twitter, too

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Recent Links

RSS .my.tumblog.

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

%d bloggers like this: