Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I can't believe I already have to go back to work tomorrow. Let's leave it at that.

I had big plans for today, but now I just don't feel like it. Maybe I'll go in my room, close the blinds, turn off the lights, and spend the afternoon playing Goldeneye.

Today's episode of "did he really just say that?" comes from former attorney general John Ashcroft. In a speech last night on national security at the University of Colorado, Ashcroft appeared to claim that he would be willing to be waterboarded. My head is still spinning around this, so just go ahead and click the link, okay?

I just got "Live Free or Die Hard" on Netflix, so I think I'm actually going to have a marathon in my pajamas - including all four Die Hard movies, all three bonus discs from the original trilogy, and a copious amount of "Yippee-ki-yay!"s. I'm just kidding, really...I'm not THAT big of a loser - but these guys are (warning: includes some possibly not safe for work language):

Catchy song, though.

I read an interesting column in Esquire the other day (Chuck Klosterman, pp. 94-96, Dec. 07 issue) which postulates that the common ice-breaking question "What music do you like?" doesn't really say much about who that person is.

Klosterman writes, "...I'm starting to suspect this seemingly innocuous inquiry...might be weirder and more complex than I originally assumed...But here's the problem: This premise is founded on the belief that the person you're talking with consciously knows why he appreciates those specific things or harbors those specific feelings. It's also predicated on the principle that you know why you like certain sounds or certain images, because that self-awareness is how we establish the internal relationship between a) what someone loves and b) who someone is. But this process is complicated and (usually) unconsidered. It's incredibly easy for me to grasp that I love the first fourteen seconds of "I Don't Need No Doctor." A harder task is figuring out why exactly I feel that way...I can isolate and answer the question more specifically than anyone I've ever met. Yet not only does my answer fail to reflect anything meaningful about my personality, it doesn't even reflect what I fundamentally like about music..."

At the very least, it's an interesting theory. Personally, I grew up listening to a diverse range of styles of music, and therefore have a greater appreciation for the classical/opera/jazz genres than most people my age. But while I could stereotype endlessly about what one's preferences say about them (I'm a dork because I like myself some Beethoven, the 35 year old who still identifies with punk rock lyrics needs to grow up, people who cry at Celine Dion concerts have unresolved emotional issues), it doesn't really say anything. I guess I identify with the author as the whole "what kind of music are you into" question has vexed me for years. (By the way, Klosterman suggests that instead of that tired question, one should ask "What kind of music do you think you like?") I'm into anything that strikes me, which is far less tangible than an aisle at the local record store.
And no, I can't explain it either. What kind of music am I into? I'd probably say, "Um, you know...pretty much everything." (blank stare) "You know... (trails off)." A quick sort by genre in iTunes reveals that I'm a fan of rock, rap, classical, old-school country, punk rock, hip-hop, grunge, folk, hair metal...but this says nothing.
Klosterman's list includes both of the spectrum, from "The closing 1:02 of AC/DC's 'It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)' when Angus Young's playing devolves into an inverted riff-o-rama in response to the bagpipes" to "The vocal sequence from Kelly Clarkson's 'Since U Been Gone' where she sings and talks to herself at the same time." But I bet Chuck Klosterman wouldn't identify himself as a Kelly Clarkson fan.
Music is so visceral, so intangible, that in my opinion, it's hard to sneer at someone for their preferences. So what are mine? Another quick glance through my iTunes....

- the chorus of Dave Matthews Band's "Warehouse."
- the end of Less than Jake's "All My Best Friends are Metalheads," in which the end of the chorus is repeated ("paranoid of every sound...") with the horn overlay
- the opening guitar riff to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" - let's call it the first fifty seconds - in which every single piece of that band, from guitar to bass to drums to vocals, begins to come together and crescendo. No matter where I am, I'll stop what I'm doing and air-guitar. I'm just that big of a nerd.
- the first thirty seconds of Chopin's "Nocturne in E Flat, Op. 9, No. 2"
-"I make my money, man, without the coca, livin' la vida without the loca..."
- 0:19 - 0:40 of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone"
- the drum part of American Hi-Fi's "The Art of Losing"
- ditto for the Dropkick Murphys' "I'm Shipping Off to Boston"

So, draw your own conclusions.
"No one dies harder than John McClane, even when his wife's stuck on a plane..."

1 comment:

Kim Pike said...

You forgot "Hey girl I like your flava/Wish I could be your neighba..."