January 13th, 2005

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The off the cuff list of 237 songs meme

Lately everywhere I turn I run into "top song" lists. Rolling Stone actually featured a "Best 500 Songs ever" list, which, as such lists in RS always do, managed to both unduly worship Bob Dylan and yet also inexplicably put in a kind word for "Runaround Sue", one of many songs of its particular era that make me almost sympathetic with the repression of 50s pop. Could such a song have existed in a post-payola world?

Last night Spin magazine had me in stitches with all sorts of lists of bands and songs and vids and CDs that I have to own,although I have to admit that everyone who is everyone in my saddle-stitched little world owns the Dead Texan CD but me, with even the incurably insightful asphalteden giving it three Barsoomian arms up, and yet it had nary a Spin mention.

I'm not much for the "I'm more obscure than you" view of life, at least not since I turned 21 and voted for Jimmy Carter's re-election, and I disdain the kind of parsing and revolting from silly norms required. Certainly I believe that large labels are bird-hipped dinosaurs, and that from their ashes great phoenixes of obscure neighborhood artists will arise. But I like bombastic "big rock", I love Broadway show tunes, I like jazz so be-boppin' you can't even breathe, I love folkies with eyes more sincere than paperwhite flower blooms, and I've even watched Gwynnie Paltrow sing with Huey Lewis on a snippet of the movie "Duets", which, if you haven't seen the snippet I've seen of this estimable film, is a film that longs to be "Carwash", film noir, French Expressionism, a chase movie, an Americana classic, and a really cheesy kind of "Dirty Dancing goes to the karaoke bar" movie all at once. Think Raymond Carver writes the Barney the Dinosaur show, and you've got it. Wait, though, that was a Simpsons episode, wasn't it?

Anyway, With Malice Towards None, with Affection Towards All, I present A Big Whole Bunch of My Favorite Really Cool Songs, written in Alphabetic Format as they Occur to Me One Night.

RULE NUMBER ONE: Immediate disqualification if you actually can list your favorite 500, 1,000 or even 5,000 songs.
RULE NUMBER TWO: Immediate disqualification if your list does not change every five minutes or so. Be flexible, be creative, make it up as you, er, go. This minute, this instant, don't sleep on it.
RULE NUMBER THREE: If you don't own up, then don't expect to get to Heaven any quicker. Posing, now called "hipsterism" or "scenestering", is all in the attempt to make reflection seem like spontaneity.
Let your artificial moments be artificial, and your naturalness be natural. You're cool if you feed starving children. What's in your iPod doesn't make you cool. So relax, and list, and gasp with glee at your bad taste.
RULE NUMBER FOUR: Any list is inherently boring to anyone but you. So please yourself in your journal with your list, as if that's why you really write a journal.
RULE NUMBER FIVE: Write as many as come to mind. Write things you liked when you were 12. Write things you like today. The only rule is that it has to be part of your life, in one way or another. Disregard all the other rules.

SPECIAL WARRANTY: This list is warranted to be incomplete, flawed, drawn up on a whim, over-long, and
filled with omissions and errors symptomatic of insomnia

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Office Depot Soul

"You see Robin I'm just searching for the young soul rebels and I can't find them anywhere. Where have you hidden them? Maybe we should welcome the new soul vision".
--old Dexy's song

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