From Geof, who said he'd like to hear my answers. I'm following his lead: these links will go to the iTunes store, if you want to find out what the songs in my head sound like.
Amount of music on your computer?
That requires a qualification: I don't store my music on my computer. Right now I have just over a gig of music that Chris wanted me to listen to, sitting on my D: drive. That directory has about 224 songs, and will be whittled down as I listen to the albums and decide which I want to keep. Our main music repository is on our house server, which lets us access it from our Squeezebox in the living room as well as from (password-protected, mind you) other friends' computers. We have every CD we own ripped to mp3, so … uh … a directory check tells me we have around 42 gigs of music. Did I mention that I had to build a high-capacity CD rack for us in December 2003?
Currently listening to?
I'm rotating amongst three CDs, listed from most frequently played to least:
- Reggie Watts' Simplified
- The Mars Volta's Deloused in the Comatorium ('Eriatarka' makes my head ache in that good way)
- Tori Amos' Scarlet's Walk (The rolling piano line in 'Carbon' gives me joy every time I hear it.)
Five songs that mean a lot to you?
- Jonatha Brooke's "Full-Fledged Strangers" was the first song I played on many, many road trips, because it reminded me of the place I really started from.
- Stevie Wonder's "Love's in Need of Love Today" is always solace on a bad day.
- Steely Dan's "I Got The News" has a line that, when I first heard it, described me well.
- Cassandra Wilson's "Find Him" is an aural memory of a road trip with Andrew, and one of those "oh my" moments that demonstrated beyond all doubt that the stereo system we'd purchased was every bit the audiophile system we'd hoped it would be.
- Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning" may or may not stay on this list five years from now, but for now, every play provokes a crafty little smile. I'm just cheeky enough to put it on the list with an evil smile, but not crass enough to give you details.
There are three other songs that probably deserve mentions on this list, but I excluded simply because I'm just vain enough to want to present a diverse selection. All are written by Jonatha Brooke but two were recorded with her old band, the Story. We'll call them bonus mentions:
- Jonatha Brooke's "Nothing Sacred," for that exquisite choral fade-out that startled me when I first heard it, and which I always rewind and take a twofer of every time I listen to it:
"to be true, to be kind, to never walk away
and it's true you were blind no matter what I would say
to you, is there nothing sacred?"
- The Story's (JB's old band) "Angel In The House," which saw much CD time after my grandfather's sudden death. I might recognize the beauty in lines like
"My mother moved the furniture when
she no longer moved the man
We thought nothing of it at the time"
but I remember, amidst the shadow of death's recrimination, it was
"I thought I was by myself, but I cannot kill
the angel in the house"
that moved me, and moves me still.
- Same artist, same album, but the Story's "Mermaid," a retelling of the original version of the legend of the Little Mermaid (the one with the un-Disney ending) played constantly in my head as I contemplated taking the deepest breath of my life, walking away from everything I'd ever known, and throwing in my lot with Jeff:
"I know, you'll do it, you'll do it for this
One day you'll think he's the one
You'll follow him over oceans, he'll promise you the world
He will parade you around the seas
He'll murmur his affection, his devotion
He will convince you to leave the deep
He'll promise you the world
If you'd do it anyway, why would you do it for love?"
and the quiet little statement that made me minutely scrutinize my motives:
"('cause you want the ocean and not what he's giving you)"
because I truly did understand the stakes - was I leaving for the right reasons (to be with Jeff) and not just because I desperately needed a destination?
Top five albums?
Ye gods. That is a cruel question. In my collection, or overall? Ouch. We'll go with what's in my collection, then.
- Jonatha Brooke's Plumb
- Steely Dan's Aja
- Toad the Wet Sprocket's Dulcinea
- Maktub's Khronos (the original release, not the Velour release, contains an extra song that got excised in the hopes of making the Velour release a little more mainstream-store-friendly)
- (tie) Underworld's Beaucoup Fish and the Dave Brubeck Quartet's Live at Carnegie Hall. Neither are albums that I haul out terribly often, but they're albums that I always return to, and if I were on the proverbial desert island that mysteriously had a CD player and electricity, I would deeply miss both of these albums if I didn't have them with me and knew I could never play them again.
Last album bought?
Three in one secondspin.com shipment:
I'm having to reach back into the past a bit, because I've been a hermit for the past few months, haven't seen anyone, and thus haven't heard much. The Mars Volta and Flogging Molly from Jake. TRUSTcompany and Modest Mouse from Chris. Porcupine Tree from either Colter or Jeremy. Maroon 5 from Brian. Beth Orton from Gareth.
Passing on the musical baton.
I'd be fascinated to see answers from these friends: