My guest bloggers are still thinking about it, so it's back to me again. I first posted this meme about 18 months ago, so in between watching Wimbledon, doing my tax return, shortening trousers and applying for jobs, I thought I'd do it again.
1. Put your MP3 player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write the name of the song no matter what. No cheating!
I've added a fourth rule - I'm writing down my thoughts about the song while it plays. And (not that it matters to you) my ipod is set so that classical music and spoken word don't come up on shuffle.
IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY?” YOU SAY:
A relatively recent acquisition (i.e. in the last 10 years), from the Scissor Sisters first album, which Lola II recommended to me after she was introduced to it by some of MY friends. Lola II has a habit of stealing my friends, but that's OK because they like me more because of having provided access to Lola II, who is an asset to any informal gathering. Now she's started stealing Mr A's friends, who ask "When is Lola II coming to see us?" whenever they see me and Mr A.
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
"It's Only Us"
This makes no sense, unless I interpret it in some sort of existential way - our personalities are just what we are. Which is close to what I believe, I suppose. It's a nice song though, by good old Robbie Williams.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
"One Road More"
This is from a pretty obscure live CD by Butch Hancock and Jimmy Dale Gilmore, who I would definitely have heard first at Cambridge Folk Festival in the 90's. It's very folky and American, it even features harmonica. In terms of liking One Road More in a guy, perhaps that's the motor sport and motorbikes? So far, this meme is providing neither insight nor laughs.
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
"I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow (Instrumental)"
This is more like it, apart from me not being a man or feeling sorrowful. From the movie 'O Brother, Where Art Thou' which I can thoroughly recommend, and not just because George Clooney's in it. He was the actor who sings in the movie, but the voice was provided by a guy named John Hartford. I heard a documentary where Hartford's wife was asked how she felt about George miming to her husband's voice. She said something to the effect of "John's voice coming out of George Clooney? Sounds like the perfect combination!"
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Well, I suppose I got my First, although I don't like to think that's my only purpose in life. The song is from the soundtrack of the movie 'Magnolia' sung by Aimee Mann. I remember watching the film - it was while I was living as a lodger in Coventry in 2000, having moved down from Manchester but before settling in Leamington. The showing started at a normal sort of evening time, but I hadn't realised it was over three hours long (plus ads/trailers), so by the time it ended, the locale was deserted and the last bus had gone. The film is good but weird, Tom Cruise plays an uncharacteristically nasty character and I'd like to see it again, but the length of it puts me off.
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Is a Love Island good? Or should it be that I love Islands, or the concept of Island? It's obviously not my motto, but this is a track by the eminent Fatboy Slim, whom I mentioned in the first meme post as being pimped by the Guardian newspaper. I can't say that I listen to him much these days, but he would definitely suit a mood that required nodding of heads in time to the music.
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
"A Fool For Your Stockings"
This meme seems to be contrarily turning out the opposite of what is asked. Stockings? Nice to hear some ZZ Top though, who came to my attention during university the first time round ('The Rock Years'). I was hanging around with a guy who played cello in the uni orchestra and bass guitar in a band - I don't remember ever going to see him play the cello. The band used to play a couple of ZZ Top numbers, and some Elvis Costello (but I didn't subsequently buy any of his albums).
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
"Right On Sister"
A different way to express my feelings, but yes, I suppose so. Tom Robinson in his heyday, on the same album as 'Glad to be Gay'. I was in my gap year working as a sponsored student at Ford Motor Company, and I heard a rumour that the Big Boss (Sam Toy) had asked for the TRB song 'Grey Cortina' to be supplied to him. As the manufacturer of that car, it was said, he needed to be able to comment on the content of the song.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
No, I don't think about this very much. The meme is certainly not coming up with interesting responses, but at least this is a lovely track from the Dixie Chicks, whose claim to fame was that they slagged off George Bush just before the Iraq invasion, and lost half their US audience as well as spending the next few years as anti-war pariahs.
WHAT IS 2+2?
"We Go Together"
OK, getting better, 2 plus 2 do go together, kind of. A jolly number from the soundtrack of the film 'Grease'. Not much more to say about that one.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
I'm thinking of giving up this meme. Surrender? It makes no sense. The song is sung by the late great Elvis Presley, whose Greatest Hits album I bought on the strength of wanting to own one particular song very badly ('A Little Less Conversation') and then finding that I quite liked many of the other songs on the album as well. And everyone ought to have a little bit of Elvis in their lives.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
"Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown"
Forget the meme, I'll just write about the random songs. The nature of randomness is exhibited by this second song from this obscure live album by obscure folkies Butch Hancock and Jimmy Dale Gilmore. Quite nice, but nothing more to say about it, except that this song's a bit more laid back than the other one, and there's no harmonica.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
A great foot-tapping swinging dancey track from the great Swiss band Yello, introduced to me in the late 80's by Sas, the eclectic music connoisseur turned Buddhist. Where are they now, I wonder? [Not Sas, Yello, and I've just looked them up, and they've never gone away. I might go back and investigate their more recent work.]
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
"Over The Hills And Far Away"
I really don't want to be over the hills and far away when I grow up. Many people want to retire to distant locations with warmer weather and golf, but I would be happy in a windswept tundra as long as I had food, water and books. Led Zeppelin, from 'Houses of the Holy' which is one of my favourite LZ albums, even though it's not one of the 'classics'. This has prompted me to discover that I don't own Led Zep IV on CD. How strange, I thought I did.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
"Five Pretty Faces"
Mr A only has one face that I'm aware of, and it's not THAT pretty, although he tidied it up a lot yesterday after some neglect due to sitting at his desk for days without respite. This track is composed and performed by someone I used to work with in my previous job, who turned out to be a bit of a home musician on the side. He gave me a copy of the CD he'd produced, and it's really good. A quick Internet search suggests that his music hasn't gone mainstream, unless he's using a different name.
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
This time the first Israeli track is what my parents think of me, and unfortunately the translation is 'Touch Yourself'. Right at the end of my year-long stay in 1987-8 I heard a track on Israeli radio, and managed to remember the artist and album, with the intention of looking out for it. I stayed with relatives on my way home, and mentioned that I'd like to buy some music to take with me, and my aunt suggested a different artist and album, and I followed her advice. I somehow didn't forget this one, and when the Internet developed to the point where I could buy Israeli music without actually going there, I bought it: 'Bribe', by Shem Tov Levi. Not what the young people are listening to today, but I like it.
WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Since the last time I did this meme, I have written about weddings. Also when doing the meme first time round, I was reminded of a very unpleasant character tied up with my musical history, and this track reprises that association - it's from Van Morrison's seminal album 'Astral Weeks', which I don't even like. I came to buy it through being naive and mildly exploited by said character. Meh. It's also totally unsuitable for wedding dancing, except in a swaying hippy eyes-closed style. I will now delete it from my ipod. There.
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Pink Floyd at their most political, singing about the Falklands era. Mildly appropriate for a funeral, I suppose, but definitely not among my first choices. A present from a friend at university, and my memory is that he gave it to me for my birthday because I kept going on about it but was too stingy to splash out any money of my own.
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
A jolly tune from Fleetwood Mac, and giving no clue as to my actual hobby or interest, other than the fact that currently I don't intend to stop. This is another of the rare tracks that I've stolen from the library, on a 'Rock Compilation' style CD.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
My secret beach, oh yes. Unlikely. Anyway, this is sung by Mary Coughlan, and I can't remember how I came to listen to her music, but it was probably Cambridge Folk Festival again. A interesting coincidence: a friend from school is now married to a chap who wrote and produced some of Mary Coughlan's songs on subsequent albums, and was very surprised to find out that I had heard of her.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
"Feelin' the Same Way"
The right way that one should think of one's friends. This is Norah Jones, whom I listen to for calmness and relaxation. No particular lifetime associations; great voice.
WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS?
"Out On The Tiles"
Great title for the post, and great song to end with - Led Zeppelin again, from the third album.
Overall, the purpose of the meme - to throw up unusual, interesting and amusing answers to the set of questions - has spectacularly failed. But I get to reminisce and bore you with my tales from the past, and you get another blog post. I win.