music

What’s the Soundtrack of Your Life?

Last week, I stumbled upon an interesting project via NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog: The Guardian‘s “Six Songs of Me” initiative seeks to understand why music is so intertwined to human culture and why we love the songs we do.

To get to the root of these (and other) questions, they’re asking people to name songs that best answer these questions:

  • What was the first song you ever bought?
  • What song always gets you dancing?
  • What song takes you back to your childhood?
  • What is your perfect love song?
  • What song would you want at your funeral?
  • Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.

You can submit your answers here and browse and listen to others’ responses. The Guardian‘s “Six Songs of Me” blog also spotlights answers from music bloggers and famous musicians. While I don’t quite understand how they’re going to make sense of all the data they collect, the responses are a lot of fun to read. (What’s especially nice is that almost all the answers are well-known pop songs and not pretentious, obscure tracks!)

Of course, I had to answer the questions, too. Here are my responses:

  • What was the first song you ever bought? Alanis Morisette’s “Jagged Little Pill”–I think that was the first album I actually purchased with my own money. I was 11 or 12 years old and I cringe at what I was unknowingly singing about.
  • What song always gets you dancing?В Pink’s “Raise Your Glass”–it reminds me of dancing at my sister’s wedding!
  • What song takes you back to your childhood? Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam” brings me back to the jazz dance classes I took as a kid!
  • What is your perfect love song? John Lennon’s “Woman.” Seriously, find me one woman who wouldn’t want to hear those words from the person they love.
  • What song would you want at your funeral?В Israel Kamakawiwo’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Pretty, uplifting and optimistic for a bleak occasion I don’t even want to think about it!
  • Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you. “Call Me Maybe.” Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” Um, just look at this blog–every other post is about much I love my hometown. No other explanation needed. 😉

What would be your songs?

(Image fromВ audioklassiks viaВ bippityboppityboo)

So Ready for the Weekend! (So Call Me, Maybe?)

Happy Friday! I know what you’re thinking: “How many ‘Call Me Maybe’ videos is this girl going to post?” But this one is worth watching, I promise–and the perfect way to top off the work week! YouTuber Steve KardynalВ donned a bikini and a cheap women’s wig, went onto Chatroulette and lip synced “Call Me Maybe” to unsuspecting users. The results are hilarious–and totally gave me the warm-fuzzies.

Enjoy your weekend! Got any fun plans? I’m going to a few ballet classes, as usual, and dim sum on Sunday. (Yum!)

Video Love: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Man on Fire”

Yesterday, a friend sent me a link and said, “You might like this video.” That was a total understatement because I absolutely love, love, love it. I’m a big fan of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic ZerosВ and I’ve been listening to their new album, “Here.” But I didn’t know they’d created such a brilliant video to go along with their gorgeous song, “Man on Fire.”

The lyrics are about the desire to dance, and the video, filmed in NYC, celebrates movement in various forms: dance, stepping, cheerleading, tumbling. I love how they’re mostly everyday New Yorkers doing their thing in school gyms, small studios and local sports fields. And (spoiler alert) I really loved the end where a dressed down City Ballet dances in a vacant lot.

Check it out (and watch it over and over–I already have):

Love: Regina Spektor’s “What We Saw from the Cheap Seats”

I was so excited to learn thatВ Regina SpektorВ has a new album out today. I’ve been a fan for ages, and it’s been three years since her last release.

“What We Saw from the Cheap Seats” has all the signatures of a Regina Spektor album: a mix of upbeat songs and somber ballads featuring Regina’s gorgeous piano playing, quirky sound effects, dramatic lilts, insightful observations about love, and honest, aching vocals.

One of my favorite songs on the album is “Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas),” which is also the first single. I’d heard an earlier, stripped down version, but I’m enjoying the new, souped up arrangement even more. I love Regina’s colorful descriptions of NYC characters, like the bums around Bowery; aging, old money ladies from the UES; and kids from the Bronx playing outside.

And even though there are references to sledding and the Ghost of Christmas Past, the song sounds so jaunty and joyful that it makes me want to don a summer dress, let my hair down and go skipping along the street. Take a listen here:

(Photo via Regina Spektor’s Facebook page)