Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sing a song...

Today, my houseguest-to-be, Tracey, chunked a gauntlet at my feet. The challenge, issued with little fanfare and not much muss, was for me to name my seven favorite songs. Well, allrighty: I love music. And this sad and dusty blog could certainly use an update.

The dig is that Tracey crafted this deceptively simple but absolutely perfect list of seven diverse songs that have crowded my brain and left me incapable of considering any other music ever recorded.

And then my fellow challengee, the divine Annie, rather sadistically raised the bar even higher by creating seven complete soundtracks of seven spot-on songs to complement just about any occasion or activity.

So now I have to whittle down the entire musical universe to seven harmonies that represent me, what I love and who I am, after these two birds have taken ALL THE GOOD SONGS.

And as I told Annie, the surest way to immobilize me in just about any situation is to demand that I choose something. What's your favorite book, movie, quote, hobby? Ask me any one of these simple questions, and then sit back and watch as my eyes glaze and smoke wafts from either ear.

So: deep breath. I won't attempt to choose my seven favorite songs of all time. This isn't my list for life or even for the week. It's just a mental soundtrack for this evening, as I'm feeling old-school sentimental and more than a little sappy, fueled by the traveling-husband blues.

Drumroll, please:

1. Move On Up: Curtis Mayfield. Impossibly cool and every bit as fresh as when it was recorded in the year of my birth. If this doesn't elevate your heartbeat just a little and bob your head up and down or side to side, well, then I don't know what.

2. Tell Me Something Good: Rufus. Please. Just: please. Every single time I hear this, I wonder: why didn't we name the twins Rufus and Chaka?

3. My Sweet Song: Toby Lightman. Bringing the tempo down a bit with this new-to-me torchy tune. You like Norah Jones? Cue this up.

4. Lenny: Stevie Ray Vaughan. There are no words. Literally. But it's the most lush and tender love song, played by the man who, in part, lured me to Austin.

5. Easy (As Falling Apart): Kelly Willis. Love her, love her husband, love her sister-in-law, and am willing to overlook the fact that she makes my husband's heart skip a full beat.

6. Watershed: Indigo Girls. This is the tune that plays in my head whenever my blood pressure soars for any reason. It instantly chills me out and soothes my frazzled mind.

7. Into the Mystic: Van Morrison. He has no equal, as far as I am concerned. And this song just soars.

Tomorrow I'll want to conjure up another list to suit a totally different mood and frame of mind, and I might post that one, too. But before I do that and pollute your head with any extraneous ear worms, why don't you post your list?

In fact, I'm going to tag some friends who steadfastly refuse to blog no matter how much I nag and needle them. Shigeta, Jenina, Debelah and TraBilCobb: report to the comment section immediately.

Oh, and mi familia loca: you didn't really think you were going to get off the hook that easily, did you? Mom, Ellie, Sar and Mar: let's hear from you, too. Remember: I know where you live.

And while I'm issuing demands and calls for action, here are a few more for you to consider.

First, something musical: we've been grooving to Pandora ever since my brother, John, brought it to our attention. So it was quite the bummer today to learn that internet radio is under new attack. Interested? You can get more information and, if you're so inclined, sign a petition here.

Second, something fun: do you know about the Blogger's Choice Awards? Neither did I, nor did I particularly care, until a few of my friends were not only nominated, but have beaten out significant competition to nab top-tier spots.

It takes a minute to register, but then you can peruse the best of the blogosphere to your heart's content and cast your votes where you may. And if you may, please consider Jen for Best Photography Blog, the aforementioned Tracey for Best Blog About Stuff, and the amazing Jenny, et. al. for Best Charity Blog.

Third, something moving: another blog nominee and fellow Southerner, BooMama, has an incredible story to share. It's a story that you can be a part of, by sharing your thoughts, your words or your offering.

That's enough out of me; now I want to hear from you. Songs, thoughts, rants: bring 'em.


Blogger Big Mama said...

Now you have completely stressed me out with the utter coolness that is your list. I'm afraid that when I post mine it might include artists such as Captain and Tennille. I'm not proud.

And like you, I could do a different list every day based on my mood and current state of mind. So, maybe tomorrow when I actually post, I won't complete humiliate myself on the internet.

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awww, Franklin, I'm so touched. Not only did you pick up the gauntlet, but you also gave a shout out to my blog award competition? You are the coolest EVER.

And BTW, I'm the same way, despite the deceptive ease at which I jotted down my 7 songs. Today I could choose a whole nother list. And books and movies I will often refuse to participate.

And I only know the last 2 songs on your list. Oh dear. I'm hoping it's my Yankee roots, not my utter lack of musical coolness.

Can't wait for this weekend!

6:06 AM  
Blogger BooMama said...

"Thought I knew my mind/
Like the back of my hand/
The gold in the rainbow/
Nothing panned out as I planned...."



6:43 AM  
Blogger sh-a said...

Shigeta says, "1.With so much foolishness going on in the world, I really should start blogging
2. AmyHazel, I did the song thing months ago, so what are you talking about?
3. Did "More than a...." change her blog appearance?
4. For a time we were calling Spencer/Katie Rufus/Chaka or was that just me?"
5. I really enjoy reading Morethana, BigMama and Mochamomma, but can't remember to give them a shout saying such"

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shigeta - consider yourself shouted. Thanks, and don't be a stranger around my blog! And yes, I changed to blue and new format - what was I thinking with pink? So not pink.

8:45 AM  
Blogger anniemcq said...

Franklin - your list, like you, is impossibly cool. Great songs, some I've never heard of and I will definitely look them up. "Tell Me Somethin Good"? Awesome song. And I love Stevie Ray Vaughn, and how could I leave Van off my list? "Moondance", "Brown Eyed Girl", "Domino", and one of my favorites of all time "I'm Not Feeling it Anymore" from "Hymns To The Silence" (highly underrated, I think).
Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack your comment section with more of my choices. But that's the thing about these kinds of "favorites" lists. They just lead you further into the trap!
Great list, great shout out about those awesome bloggers choice nominees, all wrapped up in that perfect kind of Franklin package!

10:00 AM  
Blogger anniemcq said...

ps - Joe-Henry was named "Shaft" in utero.

"You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother--
(Shut your mouth)
But I'm talkin' about Shaft
(right on)"

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I will try. Seven? Ten I listed with undo haste. Then came the paring. The tweaking. The trade-offs.

Suffice it to say I have in one swoop stricken from the list: Can't Smile Without You - earworm nonpareil; Mozart; and my favorite of R & H's Big 5 - Carousel. 200+ years of musical genius - gone!! (I may be fudging just a bit about Barry Manilow. Ya think?)

Quickly, here they are:
1. When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge. The all-time greatest date song ever. (Well, it was! Back in the day!)
2. I Left My Heart in San Francisco - Tony Bennett. Killer.
3. Stardust. Willie Nelson. The whole entire album, although I am particularly partial to September Song.
4. The Way We Were - Barbra Streisand. Sob!
5. The A Train - Ella Fitzgerald. However it is difficult to narrow Duke Ellington down to just one selection.
6. Blowin' in the Wind - Peter, Paul and Mary. What can I say. Once a boomer, always a boomer.
7. Respect - Aretha Franklin. Sing it, sister!
Love, Ma :)

7:41 PM  
Blogger Franklin5 said...

You all are too much fun.

Big Mama, I hope you feel better about the Captain and Tennille (because, really: "Muskrat Love" was a classic) after reading my mom's list. (Love you, Mom, and just wanna hug you for playing along.)

I may have to start another list of guilty-pleasure songs. Really cringeworthy stuff like Color Me Badd, which is a CD that I personally own.

BooMama: sing it, sister.

Annie, I know you're not worried about hijacking my comment section when I regularly dump epic novels in the pages of your blog. And Joe-Henry as Shaft? Perfection.

Sleep. Must sleep. But tomorrow, I'm gonna crank out another post with the boys' song choices. Trey's required much deliberation and some angst. Carter's: decidedly less so.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you you young'ens think you can pick music. Whassa matta' never heard of Cole Porter? Even kd lang sings his stuff.

More modern, anyone got Hold me, thrill me, kiss me on their list?

The old guy

9:54 AM  
Blogger Franklin5 said...

So, I'll risk being offensive and take a guess that the old guy is my cute father-in-law. In which case, may I just say: like father, like son. And grandson, for that matter.

So while we're on topic, here are son's and grandson's list. First, Carter the youngest:

1. Bed Bed Bed: They Might Be Giants
2. I'm Late for School Again: Paulie Litt
3. Peanut Butter and JAM: Charity and the JAMband
4. Crazy Car: Naked Brothers
5. I'm Feeling Fine AND When I Grow Up: I have no idea, but they're on near-constant rotation on XM Kids
6. The Window: Trout Fishing in America
7. Cantaloupe: Sara Hickman

I can't tell you how relieved I am that he didn't include Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" on his list. Why are kids innately fascinated by the things they're not supposed to hear? He only heard a snippet of it one time, and I lied and told him the song was called, "No, No, No," but I don't think he was fooled.

Sandy kids coming through... Trey's list coming up!

4:54 PM  
Blogger Franklin5 said...

Okay. The kids have been de-sanded, fed, bathed and put to bed.

Now, at last, I can share with you the result of much pacing and rooting through stacks and stacks of dusty CDs while muttering under his breath and playing an occasional riff on his air guitar.

That's right: it's Trey's list. He's snoring on the couch right now, so I'm just gonna rattle 'em off and let him come back here to defend them tomorrow.

Oh, and why did he get to choose twice as many songs as the rest of us? Because he is Mr. F5. Here is his soundtrack:

Blackbird: The Beatles
(I Am) Superman: Javelin Boot (yes, it’s a cover, but a really good one from a college band we loved)
I Ain’t Superstitious: Willie Dixon
Appalachian Waltz: Yo-Yo Ma (solo)
California Stars: Billy Bragg and Wilco
The Nightfly: Donald Fagen
Take Five: Dave Brubeck
Mountains Win Again: Blues Traveler
Home is Where You Get Across: Chris Whitley
Sundays on the Deep Violent Sea: David Torn
Please Forgive Me: David Gray (live from the KGSR compilation, Vol. 6)
Pink Moon: Nick Drake
Greenwich Time: Jay Farrar
I’m Hurting Inside: Bob Marley
Avalon: Roxy Music
Running on Faith: Eric Clapton

Love this man.

P.S. Mom! Run over to see Shannon's list at Rocks in My Dryer, where, you'll note, she has proudly listed Manilow for all to see! You are not alone.

9:28 PM  
Blogger anniemcq said...

Franklin - I'm gonna have to get the muppers some Justin Roberts. His stuff is so much fun for everyone to listen to. I love his latest cd so much - "Meltdown". Really fun.

Franklin's mom - love every single song on your your list. I have them all (except for The Way We Were and Peter Paul and Mary) on my iPod.
Franklin's FIL- Night and Day, I've Got You Under My Skin, the ENTIRE Anything Goes album.... I just sang "Blow Gabriel Blow" to my friends' new baby Gabe when he was gassy. I LOVE Cole Porter.
and Trey... Appalachian Waltz by YoYo Ma AND Avalon by Roxy Music? You are a complex dude. Well done.

9:16 PM  

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