Wherein I Actually Complete One of Those Meme Thingies

My old pal BT passed me this musical-meme baton a while back, but I not only managed to let the damned thing drop, I kinda stopped in my tracks, hands on hips, staring at it, thinking “whaddaya want me to do with that?”

Not really. But I have hitherto failed to pick up the baton for two key reasons: first, a deep resistance to internet memes, one that much mirrors my hatred of those “send this email to everyone you know” messages, no matter how well-intended the point it’s trying to make. I often find other folks’s responses to said memes interesting, or revealing, or amusing, but have never really been sufficiently engaged by the questions to take it up myself.

That’s one. Two is this line, in BT’s baton-passing:

Kathleen, because I know I’ll buy something she names…

Now, I know his intent was nothing but complimentary, and I’m indeed gratified that he has such faith in my musical taste. But I’m a bit unnerved, too — what if my answers don’t measure up to the lead-in? What if I finally reveal my true tastes to be pedestrian and — good lord — even popular? What if I have to admit that I’m usually a year behind the cool kids, and that I find the stuff I like through “people who bought this also bought” links at Amazon.com and references to bands on my students’ LiveJournals?

[Incidentally, watch my students squirm now: Whose LJs am I reading? What embarassing things have they unknowingly revealed? Rest assured, if I’m reading your LJ, and I know who you are, I like you and your writing, or I wouldn’t bother.]

Anyhow, while I’m killing time in the Houston airport, I’m putting all such anxiety aside, sucking it up, and entering the meme:

1. The person (or persons) who passed the baton to you:

Just in case you weren’t paying attention, that’d be BT.

2. Total volume of music files on your computer:

2831 songs, 8.2 days, 13.65 GB.

3. The title and artist of the last CD you bought:

CD? As in actual music-on-disc? That would be We Are Scientists’ EP, The Wolf’s Hour, and Bishop Allen’s Charm School. (Am I reading that right? Used and new from $98.98? Good grief. If you can’t find it from a more reputable source, drop me a line. Not that I’d ever burn you a copy or anything.)

If, however, this includes the purchase of music in non-tangible forms, add in Calexico’s Feast of Wire, Neko Case’s Blacklisted, The Zutons’ Who Killed the Zutons?, and Belle and Sebastian’s Push Barman to Open Old Wounds.

4. Song playing at the moment of writing:

Right this very second: Ben Folds, “Trusted,” off of Songs For Silverman.

5. Five songs you have been listening to of late (or all-time favorites, or particularly personally meaningful songs):

According to iTunes, my most-played songs are a bunch of Fountains of Wayne (off of Utopia Parkway), followed by Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Go figure. This only includes the stuff actually played off the computer, though; if I could get a count off the iPod, Fountains of Wayne would no doubt remain high (it’s great running music), and Franz Ferdinand, Ben Folds, Cake, and Barenaked Ladies would join them up there (same reason).

That’s just frequency, though. If I were to go for things that capture my particular obsessions, right at the moment…

(a) Barenaked Ladies, “Go Home.” Okay, yeah, it’s the cotton candy of music — sickly sweet melt-in-your-mouth fluff. But it’s a good running mood-booster, and frankly I’d email R. this song on a weekly basis, if it’d get him on a plane.

(b) Bishop Allen, “Things Are What You Make of Them.” This is one catchy damn song, but its catchiness is belied by its getting-left melancholy.

(c) Joni Mitchell, “The Last Time I Saw Richard.” How romanticism passes into jadedness, which is its own special kind of romanticism.

(d) Pete Yorn, “Life on a Chain.” Something about the bleed between the opening phone-call sound and the polished, up close, studio sound still has me.

(e) The Postal Service, “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight.” Ahem.

I’m going to refrain from passing the baton on to anyone else, as I’m so utterly belated with this, but would love to hear responses from you — what should I be listening to that I’m not?

3 thoughts on “Wherein I Actually Complete One of Those Meme Thingies

  1. Wow. I have some catching up to do.

    It’s true that these little web-chains are obnoxious by nature, and you’re probably a better person for cold-shouldering the pass-it-on part. But see, I really *did* think that you were likely to name some cool stuff, and that I would benefit both by learning what I should seek out AND by the coolness of association with your choices. And I feel justified on both counts, your protests notwithstanding.

    I only have that first well-known Ben Folds CD, and now the later stuff has come up both here and on the Speedysnail, so perhaps I will have to make the investment.

    And the Zutons. They keep coming up, mysteriously, meme-like themselves, those Zutons. …

  2. Ah, ignore the petulant woman behind the curtain. Coast-to-coast air travel will do that, particularly when coupled with the situation that produces my particular musical obsessions right now. I’m happy to have entered the discussion, and even moreso if I’m echoing the Speedysnail!

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