Now playing [do you really care?]....

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/02/05 22:32 -05:00, original URI:

(if you do not care about the music I listen to, you should probably skip this post!)

I am home tonight, having consciously deciding to not go out since I went out last night and I have to get on a plane tomorrow. It is best to save up my energy.

Anyway, I was listening to some music, and thinking about the comments people put in the closings to their posts about what is playing. And the comments people make about the music I listen to.

You see, I have a reputation about it for some reason. Most people say I have a [muscial] preference for "angry female singers."

It started a long time ago when tapes and CDs I played would often be from the likes of Joni Mitchell, Alanis Morissette, Beth Orton, Julianna Hatfield, Liz Phair, Natalie Merchant, and Sarah McLachlan. Then I made it worse by adding Aimee Mann (from 'Til Tuesday on), Fiona Apple, Natalie Imbruglia, Christine Shipp, Karen Carpenter, Lisa Loeb, Rachael Yamagata, Kate Bush, Heather Nova, Elaine Summers, and Butterfly Boucher.

Let's ignore for a moment that many of these women are not actually, in fact, angry in all (or in some cases any) of their songs. I mean, none of it is Britney Spears or Jewel or Hoku or Celine Dion1. But not all of it is angry, or even sad.

Plus I have to point out that many staples which also fit prominently in music I listen to do not fit, either: Jethro Tull, Elvis Costello, Concrete Blonde, The Smiths, Geoffrey Oryema, The Replacements, Soft Machine, The Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, [old] Pink Floyd, The Verve, Jon Brion, Matthew Sweet, Steve Taylor (esp. during the Chagall Guevara/Liver phases), Oasis, Coldplay, CSN and CSNY, [old] Talking Heads and [any] David Byrne, Matthew Sweet2, Jim Boggia (and not just because of a car ride he and I shared with two others, going from Philadelphia to Harrisburg!), Julian Coryell, Radiohead, The Kinks [esp. old Kinks], The Beta Band, The Who, Life in General, or Modern English.

I have thought about it as I notice people signing off with what is playing for them right now. And looking at this list, I find very little that they have in common -- it certainly has little to do with angry female singers!

In fact, the only thing that the items on these lists share is.... ME. That I listen to all of them.

I probably won't mention what is on when I post because I wouldn't want people to start reading into the impact a particular song has on a post3. :-)

There are some words from Pete Townshend (in Behind Blue Eyes), where he sums up the essence of a good friend who always tries to keep you from going too far in any one direction:

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool.
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh, and act like a fool.
And if I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
And if I shiver please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat.

And perhaps this explains all of the things I listen to -- some part of what they and/or their songs are about resonates with me.


1 - It is admittedly my guiltiest pleasure, but I love listening to her whenever she is singing in French.
2 - I know I already had listed him, but I especially enjoy his music so it seemed worth listing twice.
3 -
Though I'll mention that at the moment I am listening to A Girl Called Eddy, whuch was recommended to me by a coworker who knew I listen to Aimee Mann. And she is not bad, though the only connection I see so far is MacKenzie Wilson's review of her, which starts off with "...A Girl Called Eddy matches the grace of Karen Carpenter and the brutal honesty of Aimee Mann and Beth Orton." It may grow on me, in which case you can add it to the list above.


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# Michael Kaplan on 5 Feb 2005 10:57 PM:

Of course I forgot a few -- proof that I should have looked at the CDs on the shelf rather than just have it all done from memory.

But lest people worry, Chrissy Hynde and Joan Jett both are on the list, and I am sure others will come to mind over time.

# another michael on 6 Feb 2005 4:58 AM:

My shelf overlaps yours quite well. On mine that you forgot: Joan Osborne, Bonnie Raitt, and Toni Childs.
I find it very interesting when musical tastes overlap so closely. What is it about these artisits?

# Michael Kaplan on 6 Feb 2005 5:14 AM:

Hmmm.... I do not have Toni Childs, but Bonnie Raitt and Joan Osborne aqre both there.

I think it's just music that resonates something -- truth, or art, or ????

# another michael on 6 Feb 2005 5:59 AM:

or ???? religion? I'm a JB too.

Get House of Hope (Toni Childs).
Also check out Alana Davis (Blame it on me).

# Andrew van der Stock on 8 Feb 2005 3:38 PM:

You should definitely try Tori Amos. She is angry in many of her songs, but that's not the reason you buy her stuff. All her songs are from the heart.

Excellent live performer as well if she's touring. I've seen her perform live twice now. Awesome!


Aaron.E on 9 Feb 2011 11:16 AM:

I have a feeling you would enjoy Jenny Owen Youngs. She has a blog, too:

referenced by

2007/10/28 I am 20 out of 21 and flexible on the capital punishment issue

2005/06/20 Jim Boggia in Seattle, July 13th

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