Monday, March 29, 2010

Musical chemistry, etc.

We here at the Back-Up Plan remain convinced that people's musical tastes can B used as a guide 2 make sweeping judgements about people U've just met (or never met), chart your future, select a potential mate, & pry in2 yr private emotional life in many other previously uncharted ways.
All U've gotta do is Dclare some of yr musical tastes -- or better yet (& safer), have some1 U know Dclare THEIRS.
This is another fun & educational game that U can all join in, & it starts by Dclaring yr favrite songs by a list of 21 iconic rock'n'rollers.
In this 1st section of R questionnaire, yr responses should B yr fave song by the listed artist, or the song by them that means the most 2 U emotionally (4 whatever reason), or the song that's had the biggest impact on U -- not necessarily their "best" work (such artistic considerations R outside the realm of R questionnaire). Don't think about yr responses 4 2 long -- 4 R purposes yr best response should B yr almost-immediate reaction.
The list of iconic rockers U R 2 provide fave picks 4 R: Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Beach Boys, The Who, Eric Clapton, The Monkees, Crosby/Stills/Nash&Young, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Abba, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, The Clash, U2, Michael Jackson &/or the Jackson 5, & Nirvana.
In the 2nd section of R questionnaire U R permitted 2 list 13 of yr fave songs by yr own fave artists, using the same criteria listed above 4 the batch of icons.
Clear as mud? Xcellent. Gluttons 4 punishment as always (& underpaid 2 boot), we at the Back-Up Plan made R own group choices & will Mbarrass Rselves by publishing them now. 1st the icons:

Elvis: "Promised Land"
Dylan: "Like a Rolling Stone" (sorta a standard choice, but undeniable musically)
Beatles: "Hello Goodbye" (1st Beatles we heard at an impressionable age)
Stones: "Tumbling Dice"
Stevie Wonder: "Higher Ground" (this after much arguing -- "I Was Made to Love Her" & "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" R much loved by the staffers here)
Beach Boys: "Surf''s Up"
Who: "Behind Blue Eyes" (also after much arguing)
Eric Clapton: "Layla" (of course)
Monkees: "Daydream Believer" (w/ "Love is Only Sleeping," "Tapioca Tundra" & "Listen to the Band" fighting it out 4 2nd)
CSNY: "Teach Your Children"
Led Zeppelin: "Stairway to Heaven" (of course, but "Immigrant Song," "Battle of Evermore," "Over the Hills and Far Away," "Kashmir" & "The Rover" were all in the running)
Joni Mitchell: "Raised on Robbery"
Elton: "Love Lies Bleeding"
Paul McCartney: "Junior's Farm"
Abba: "Knowing Me, Knowing You"
Bruce Springsteen: "Born to Run" (of course)
Fleetwood Mac: "Silver Springs"
Clash: "Train in Vain (Stand By Me)" (w/ "This is Radio Clash" a close 2nd)
U2: "I Will Follow" (tho some staffers held out 4 "Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own")
Michael Jackson/Jackson 5: "Maybe Tomorrow"
Nirvana: "You Know You're Right"

R personal fave raves include:
Camel: "Breathless"
Caravan: "The Dog, the Dog, He's At it Again"
Moody Blues: "You and Me"
Nick Drake: "Northern Sky"
Bangles: "Let it Go" ("Dover Beach" a close 2nd)
Go-Go's: "Can't Stop the World" (w/ "You Thought," "Forget That Day" & "Capture the Light" all in the running....)
Yes: "Your Move"
King Crimson: "Starless"
Gryphon: "Lament"
Badfinger: "Baby Blue"
Al Stewart: "Apple Cider Reconstitution"
Rush: "Time Stand Still"
Fairport Convention: "Come All Ye" (w/ "I'll Keep it With Mine" a close 2nd)

...From this list, U can project that the staffers here at the Back-Up Plan R basically schizophrenic, & notta whole lotta fun on dates. Suckers 4 '70s rock, they live w/ shattered illusions ("Baby Blue") & Xpect 2 have even more of them shattered in the near-future ("You Know You're Right," "Maybe Tomorrow").
Aware of the cosmic enormity of life & love ("You and Me," "Northern Sky"), they R at best nihilistic about their chances 4 the future ("Starless"). But that doesn't mean they won't keep trying ("Higher Ground").
They Xpect 2 continue 2 B disappointed at love ("Silver Springs," "Knowing Me, Knowing You," "Love Lies Bleeding"), but nevertheless hope that it will somehow save them in the Nd ("Layla," "Daydream Believer," "Breathless").
Nostalgic 2 a fault ("Time Stand Still," "Promised Land," "Like a Rolling Stone"), harmless & dreamy ("Apple Cider Reconstitution," "Your Move," "Stairway to Heaven," "Raised On Robbery"), they apparently would B happiest just Bing part of the band ("Come All Ye"), & occasionally would B happiest running away & hiding ("Let it Go," "Can't Stop the World").
("The Dog, the Dog" gets in2 emotional areas we R not going 2 discuss in this post.)
...They also apparently spend a great deal of their time going round & round in circles -- the only possible interpretation 4 "Hello Goodbye" Bing in this list.

Neat trick, huh? Amateur psychoanalysis is EZ & fun & can B done 4 free in yr own home. Now U can try it!
Use it 2 chart-out what yr so-called friends R REALLY like.
Can also B used 2 test a potential mate: If U & the test-subject choose summa the same songs, obviously U're compatible ... at least on SOME level. If U don't, obviously U're NOT. We call this "The Bronx Match."
Try this revealing test on yrself, close friends or potential loved 1's & C what it reveals 4 U!
Be sure & let us know what some of the results were!
(...but please don't Xpect us 2 appear in court. The Back-Up Plan is not responsible 4 the results or ramifications of said results from this test....)


rastronomicals said...

Alright, I'll take the test, Dr. TAD.

Top 10 or Top 100 or Top 500 lists always seemed silly to me, because, like, are you really prepared to say that number 437 is unequivocally better than number 438? Or even that number 337 is always all the time better than 438?

Breaking it down by band keeps it from being a fool's errand, although I'm still not prepared to say that "Maggie's Farm" will be my favorite Bob Dylan song tomorrow. It was hard enough figuring out that it was my favorite today.

But here goes:

Elvis Presley - "Mystery Train"
Bob Dylan - "Maggie's Farm"
The Beatles - "Dig It"
Rolling Stones - "Sympathy for the Devil"
Stevie Wonder - "Livin' for the City"
Beach Boys - "Good Vibrations"
The Who - "Young Man Blues" (Live at Leeds)
Eric Clapton - "Mainline Florida"
The Monkees - "Last Train to Clarksville"
Crosby/Stills/Nash&Young - "Ohio"
Led Zeppelin - "Achilles' Last Stand"
Joni Mitchell - Something from Hejira?
Elton John - "Billy Bones and the White Bird"
Paul McCartney - "Martha My Dear"
Abba - Pass.
Bruce Springsteen - Something from Nebraska?
Fleetwood Mac - "Hypnotized"
The Clash - "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais"
U2 - "Bullet the Blue Sky"
Michael Jackson &/or the Jackson 5 - "Bad" ?

I chose to interpret part two as 13 favorite songs by bands not in part one. I also limited myself to "the classic rock era" so the good doctor could recognize my responses. No use citing a Boris song when the doc doesn't know what it means . . . . :-)

Black Sabbath - "Children of the Grave"
Cream - "Outside Woman Blues"
Deep Purple - "Highway Star" (Made in Japan)
Emerson Lake and Palmer - "Bitches Crystal"
The Guess Who - "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature"
Kansas - "Song For America"
King Crimson - "The Sheltering Sky"
John Lennon - "Cold Turkey"
Mahavishnu Orchestra - "Birds of Fire"
Neil Young - "Lookout Joe"
Robin Trower - "Too Rolling Stoned"
Sex Pistols - "Sub-Mission"
Yes - "Close to the Edge"

So now I've left out "The Gift" and "Not Right" and "Suspect Device" and "Pablo Picasso" and "When Ya Get Drafted" and I guess I'm just gonna have to live with the fact that my punk rock side just won't get evaluated . . . .

rastronomicals said...

Oh wow I forgot Nirvana. Let's go with "Dive."

tad said...

R: U're gonna love this....
U've got some great stuff here -- the stuff I recognize, that is. However, a large # of yr selections R COMPLETELY out of my range of Bing able 2 analyze.... This probly comes as a very small suprise 4 U....
"Billy Bones and the White Bird" is GREAT! & I haven't heard it since about 1977....
I'm gonna havta put on "Birds of Fire" again. I needta give Mahavishnu another listen in lite of summa the other stuff I've tried recently.
I always thot "The Sheltering Sky" sounded like sorta a continuation of "The Talking Drum," but it's bn a LONG time since I played it....
"Last Train to Clarksville"? It has a really subtle/clever anti-Vietnam-War subtext, still timely 2day....
Passing on Abba? There's nothing in their Collected Works that appeals 2 U? I was a sucker 4 a lotta their stuff... (Definitely not "Dancing Queen," tho. Or "Fernando." Or "Chiquitita." But just about everything else....)
"New Mother Nature" is 1 of my fave Guess Who songs ever, love that long-version/medley/whatever....
OK, I'll fess-up: I have NEVER HEARD 14 of yr selections. Not sure what kinda analysis I can make outta that.
I'd say overall yr pretty adventurous (duh!), w/ a questing mind ("Song for America," "Billy Bones"), & tho U may come from a somewhat standard suburbanized background ("Last Train to Clarksville"), U R pretty intensely dissatisfied w/ the status quo ("Ohio," "Young Man Blues"). Tho U may have an attraction toward the Dark Side ("Sympathy for the Devil," "Mystery Train," "Livin' for the City," "Bad," "Children of the Grave," & of course "Martha My Dear"), U lean heavily on the cosmic healing powers of love ("Good Vibrations," "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature"), & long 4 some kind of transcendence ("Close to the Edge," "Hypnotized"). ... & sometimes mayB U just liketa drive fast ("Highway Star").
... Whew. NEwhere close? 2 foggy? I know, U're saying: "Doesn't this describe everybody?" & U're right -- this is at least as precise a "science" as astrology....
Now then: I at least know who sang "Pablo Picasso" (Johnathan Richman, right?), & I assume "The Gift" is the Velvet Underground (surely not INXS, tho of course there's nothing wrong w/ that -- actually, that's 1 of their better, louder, heavier #'s). But I have NO IDEA who did mosta the titles U list at the Nd of yr comment.
& then there's the 1/2-dozen or so song-titles U've listed that I have in the house & have never gotten 2 ("Achilles' Last Stand," etc). As 4 yr Punk Rock side not Bing Xamined, I'm working on a post about Great Rock Star Names, & most of them, oddly enuf, R from the Punk/New Wave era. That'll B coming up next.
I'm sure by yr tone that U know this was meant all in fun. Didn't realize it was gonna B quite so much work, tho. & there's still those 14 titles I don't know that I'm vaguely Mbarrassed about....
Just looked back at my list: Holy shit, I 4got Hendrix! & there's no Doors! Or Joplin! No Dead! Ah well, itsa work in progress....
& Bcos it's now 3:40 am, I think the doc is gonna check out.
Thanx 4 taking R survey.... -- TAD.

rastronomicals said...

TAD --

Thanks for the gumball/psychoanalysis.

Yes, yes, yes, I've always thought of "The Talking Drum" and "The Sheltering Sky" to be companion pieces.

Although I don't have a fast car ('99 Toyota Corolla), I DO drive fast. I have a 35 mile commute every morning, and I'm most comfortable with it when I'm doing 85 mph. Out of the way, roadhog!

"Highway Star" also illustrates the principle of intuitive/non-intuitive guitar solo that I was talking about on my blog last week. You asked what I meant but I never answered, guess I'll do so here, since it came up. When Blackmore plays his solo on that tune, it seems like you know exactly what's coming next, each note a fulfillment of a promise, each note belonging where it does, part of a construct you can hear being built, part of a unified whole you can comprehend even as you hear it. Each note follows logically from the one before, Blackmore a fretboard architect and you can glimpse the plans.

A lot of the best solos are that way: knowing what comes next as a listener is not a bad thing, it's a great thing. When the guitarist (or saxophonist or keyboardist, whatever) confirms the deductions of the listener, the listener not only gets the musical satisfaction, but it's also like ego-enrichment as well.

OTOH, some solos, their structure is still not apparent even after hearing them 30 times. Those are the nonintuitive ones. the notes don't follow logically, either because the guitarist is doing some kind of Coltrane dissonance thing that the brain has a difficult time getting around (Page Hamilton) or is doing the Eno random Oblique Strategies thing (Manzanera).

You're right on the provenance of "The Gift" and "Pablo Picasso." Not a big INXS fan, but I love "The One Thing" and "Good and Bad Times." Never heard their Gift, though.

"Suspect Device" is by Stiff Little Fingers, Irish punk rock from 1977, absolutely incendiary, maybe the best of all of it . . . .

Thanks again.

tad said...

R: Cms like I heard some Stiff Little Fingers back in my record store daze (mayB GO FOR IT or HANX?), but I just hadda look at their song titles in my British CD Catalogue (from 1990), & none of the titles ring a bell w/ me. MayB I'm confusing them w/ 999 or somebody -- we played a LOT of New Wave/Punk back in '79-'81 (Police, Pretenders, U2's 1st 2, Gary Numan B4 "Cars," Jam, Shoes, Squeeze, Split Enz, Records, Headboys, Ultravox, Spandau Ballet, Visage, Stranglers, Yachts, Athletico Spizz '80, Jags, & lotsa other stuff I've never Cn again), & not a lot of it sold much, even if it was pretty catchy or loud & abrasive....
Yr mini-writeup on guitar solos is pretty great, think U nailed it. I feel the same way about lotsa songs. I've bn thinking about doing a post on "musical orgasms" -- the idea that the inevitability of it all, the fact that U kinda know as it develops where a piece of music is going & that it goes XACTLY there in the best way possible (w/ some pleasant suprises along the way) is what makes it all so great. Not sure if I'm actually brave enuf 2 write it (the metaphors R a little messy), but as always I've got this LIST....
Thanx again 4 taking part, please leave a donation in the box on yr way out.... -- TAD.

R Smith said...

well TAD as they say better late than never (or in my case if the damn dialup works...)

Elvis-Can't go wrong with Promised Land. That's my fave EP number of the later years.

Bob Dylan-That's All Right Ma (I'm Always Bleeding)

The Beatles-Two Of Us
The Beach Boys-Do It Again
The Rolling Stones-The Last Time
Stevie Wonder-Don't You Worry About A Thing
The Who-Won't Get Fooled Again
Eric Clapton-Let It Rain
The Monkees-Goin Down
CSNY-Ohio (from 4 Way Street)
Led Zeppelin-In My Time Of Dying
Joni Mitchell-Free Man In Paris
Elton John-Young Man Blues or Elderberry Wine
Abba-SOS or Does Your Mother Know
Paul McCartney-Venus & Mars/Rock Show
Bruce Springsteen-I'm A Rocker or You Can look but don't touch.

Fleetwood Mac-Closing My Eyes
The Clash-Police On My Back
u2-I will follow
Nirvana-Terrotorial Pissings or Silver

Black Sabbath-Supernaut
Moody Blues-After You Came
YES-South Side Of The Sky
Fairport Convention-Walk Awhile
Mott The Hoople-One Of The Boys
Velvet Underground-Waiting For The Man
Jethro Tull-A New Day Yesterday
Robin Trower-The Shout
Jefferson Airplane-She Has Funny Cars
Neil Young-Sedan Delivery
Status Quo-Down Down
Kansas-Reason To Be
King Crimson-Fallen Angel

Due to slowness of dialup, I was making things up as I was compiling the list so i'm sure I omitted a few things.

I think I was more into New wave than punk, and though I got Stiff Little Fingers Go For It, most of their albums I can take or leave. I perfer the hard rockings of Eddie & The Hot Rods or Dave Edmunds or Nick Lowe of the late 70s. To me that was the best of rock while everybody was discoing away.

As for Birds Of fire, I don't think I like that album as much as I did of Al DiMeola's Elegant Gypsy or Midnight Sun album. He turned out to be the later discovery although he started more new age in the 1980s and made less enjoyable albums.

And so on.

tad said...

Crabby!: Ghod bless ya 4 reading My Back Pages. U've got some great stuff listed here. "South Side of the Sky"'s 1 of my fave-ever Yessongs, Cms 2 get overlooked a lot. "New Day Yesterday"'s pretty great 2. Lemme mull over yr responses & I'll get back 2 U w/ a lame analysis when I hava little more TIME.... -- TAD.

tad said...

Crabby: OK, the Doctor is IN.
Shameful Admissions Dept.: I have not heard 13 songs on yr list. But of course that's not gonna stop me....
Based on yr selections, I can chart that U Blieve in facing life head-on As It Really Is ("Goin' Down," "Sedan Delivery"), that U feel yr daily life is a series of challenges 2 B conquered ("South Side of the Sky"), & that U have a healthy distrust of the Powers That Be ("Ohio," "Won't Get Fooled Again"). U also sometimes wish U could just run off & browse in 2nd-hand record stores 4 the rest of yr days ("Free Man in Paris," "Promised Land"). Heavily nostalgic ("Do It Again," "A New Day Yesterday"), U don't necessarily seek drama in yr day-2-day life, but it finds U NEway ("Fallen Angel," "The Last Time"). Nevertheless, the Little Kid in U ("I Will Follow") looks toward True Love 2 redeem U, Xalt U, buff-off all yr rough edges ("SOS," "Let it Rain," "Reason to Be," "After You Came"). & lotsa times U just like 2 kick back & relax, let all the stress & shit just run off ("Elderberry Wine," "Walk Awhile," "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing").
...I think that's about all I can do w/ yr list. Ghod knows I'm gonna havta Xpand my listening even further 2 keep making this convincing....
OK, so, NEwhere close? Jeez, I should B CHARGING 4 this. Just leave a donation in the plate here at the Back-Up Plan Church of Musicology ... ($5 minimum).... -- TAD.