Saturday, February 9, 2013

Another Feature of Too Much Time on My Hands: My Favorite Works of Music at the Moment

I have a great deal of time to think, quite a bit of time to listen to music, and, despite some restrictions on my computer time,  a little more time to blog than I normally would have at this time in an academic  quarter.  I choose to use this time to bloviate on the topic of my favorite musical works.  Because no one has all day to read,  and I don't even have all day to type, I'll limit my selections to twenty-five. As a disclaimer, I admit to being capricious by nature. Were I to type this blog two hours from now, it's possible that the selections would be entirely different. Nonetheless, at this moment in time, I shall list my twenty-five favorite musical works, which appear in no particular order.

"Believe in Me" by Dan Fogelberg
                  -no particular reason or meaning behind it; I just like it

"The Black Horse Troop" by John Philip Sousa
                  -I've never actually played this march, but I love it

"Less of Me" performed by someone of whom I have absolutely no idea
                 -I probably shouldn't like this song for many reasons. For one, it has a country flair --          
                   I believe it was written or at least  co-written by Glen Campbell. Two, the lyrics lay a bit
                  of a guilt trip on me, as I do not come even close to trying to live my life the way this song
                  professes that a peson should endeavor to do. Still, the message is worthy, and someday, in
                  terms of the content, maybe I'll get there, or at least approach it.

"Cello Suite Number 1 in G Major" by J. S. Bach
                 -It speaks [wordlessly] for itself.

"Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac
                 - I don't like Fleetwood Mac. My dad listens to them enough that I've had sufficient exposure
                  to make an informed decision, and I don't like them. Stevie Nicks' voice I find especially
                  grating. Still, "Landslide" is one hell of a great song, and it is Stevie Nicks' song; no one
                  else  should sing it. Ever.  Stevie Nicks' grating voice somehow works on this song,
                  Grating voice or not, it's a classic, but only with Stevie Nicks singing it.

"Crossroads" by Don McLean
               - It's on the depressing side, but it's great nonetheless.

"Good Riddance" by Green Day.
               - Some would say it has yet to stand the test of time. I'm willing to give it the benefit of the
                doubt and grant it "great" status despite its relative newness.

"Fantaisie Impromptu" by Chopin
              - In my own semi-informed opinion, it's one of the greatest solo piano works ever composed.

"American Pie" by Don McLean
              - Either the lyrics or the music by themselves would place this in the "timeless" category.

"Blackbird" by the Beatles

"British Eighth March" by Alonzo Elliott (or Elliot, depending upon which source one accepts)
               - I never played this march, either, but I love it. My high school band director was too much
                of a wuss to use it in competition because he felt that the trumpet part in the trio -- almost a
                descant --  was too risky.

"You Can Close Your Eyes" by James Taylor
               - This one has sentimental value. My Pseudouncle Scott played it for me when I stayed with
                him and his wife during a few summers when I became homesick. It was and still is a
                comfort song for me.

"April  Come She Will" by Simon and Garfunkel
             - The words don't mean a great deal to me, but the song is so pretty that the words don't need to
               mean anything to me.  Incidentally, the song was featured in April's and Andy's wedding
               episode of Parks and Recreation episode, in addition to being part of the soundtrack  of
               one of the all-time great feature films, The Graduate.

"Sonata Number One for Viola de Gamba and Harpsichord" by J. S. Bach
             - I prefer the accompaniment on piano rather than harpsichord, but it's great either way. I  
              especially like the fourth movement.

"Sister Christian" by Night Ranger
             - another song for which I have no great reason for liking it; I just do, and I like the video

"Down Under" by Men at Work
             - Aussies rock.

"Miami 2017" by Billy Joel
             - prophetic in its own way, and Billy Joel is a genius

"Only the Good Die young" by Billy Joel
             - Billy works some great lyrics into this one.

"The Enigma Variations" by Edward  Elgar
            - sonic beauty; I especially like the Nimrod variation

"Eroica Symphony" No. 3 in E-flat Major by Ludwig van Beethoven
            - Despite its initial connection with Napoleon Bonaparte (it was originally to be titled
             "Bonaparte Symphony", but Beethoven  dissasociated himself and the work from Napoleon      
              when Bonaparte crowned himself emperor), and despite its relative lack of initial public
              acclaim , the work now stands on its own.

"The Standard of St. George" by Kenneth J. Alford (Frederick Joseph Ricketts)
             - It's another march I've never played, but I love it just the same, although I don't think the trio
               stands up to  the rest of the march in quality.

"Hotel California" by the Eagles
              - classic music, classic lyrics; I'm drawn to a particular line, "You can check out anytime you
                like, but you can lever leave," as it pertains in my mind  to Mormonism

"Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
              - Powter once performed this on Bill Maher' s TV program, after which Maher commented,
                quite fittingly, that the song, with only the most minor of changes, probably would have been
                a hit in any decade in which it had been recorded.

"100 Years" by Five for Fighting
              - profound

"All Will Be Well" by Gabe Dixon Band.
              - I became familiar with this song when it was used in promotion of the short-lived Dick
                WolfE courtroom drama Conviction.  It was also featured in Parks and Recreation. My
                Pseudouncle Scott plays and sings it beautifully, which is one reason I have become so
                enamored of it, but Gabe Dixon  doesn't do such a bad rendition himself. It's a good if
                obscure song.

Favorite music is not  nor should it be static. These are my favorites as of 6:53 PST on February 9, 2013. Ask me in three days and I may tell you twenty-five entirely different songs.


  1. Good choices, Alexis. I happen to like a lot of Fleetwood Mac's music and Stevie Nicks, though I kind of stopped liking them in the 80s. They did some really cool stuff in the 70s. I like Dan Fogelberg, too... and James Taylor. I also agree with your thoughts on "April, Come She Will". I might have to listen to that today.

    Was music in the 70s and 80s better? Or do I just like it better because I was a kid back then?

  2. You and I like a lot of the same music. I've been listening to 60's,70's, and 80's music for as long as I remember. I know the artists/songs better than my family who actually lived through the era.

    We've been through the Fleetwood Mac debate before. They're going on tour this year and I would LOVE to go, but no one wants to go with me. I like Christine McVie's voice better than Stevie's. I agree that Landslide should only be sung by Stevie Nicks and I hate the Dixie Chicks for ever even thinking about touching it. I don't generally like the Dixie Chicks, anyway... but my mother does. The only country I will listen to is Alabama, mostly because I grew up with their record. And Ronnie Milsap, my Nana played his stuff a lot.

  3. Becca, our musical tastes are similar. It's partly just us and what we like, but part of it is also probably exposure. Our parents probably had vintage music playing in the background a lot, which certainly increased our exposure as opposed to that of most of our peers. still, we had to discern the good from the bad of what we heard.