Vinyl Is Out; Let’s Bring Back the Cassingle! (And Other Brilliant Observations)

Image:  The following post is tangentially/nominally/supposedly music-related.  Name that screenshot!

Title:  Latest brainstorm, brought to you by caffeine:  let’s revive the cassingle!  Can I afford a record player?  No way.  LPs?  Nope.  Do I still have a functional Walkman?  Indeed!  Am I somewhat to relatively sure that there are cassingles stashed at my parents’ house?  Sort of, maybe!  I could be on the cutting edge here!

Though personally vinyl-less, I can still be obsessive.  Shown below is the back of Dwight Yoakam‘s Gone (1995), my original and only copy of the CD.  I listened to it 157 times in the first five days I had it (incidentally, I was at church camp) and still play it.  Please view the condition:

This heart of stone / Sure is missing you . . .

This heart of stone / Sure is missing you . . .

We won’t go into things like my still-functional early-2000s-cost-way-less, far-surperior-to, put-out-of-omission-by-Apple Nomad, mp3s, still-extant mixtapes, homemade CDs, etc.  In short:  I like music.

DDR

DDR


First, Some Quizzes!

How did “know thyself” apply before online quizzes?  This time, I’m switching from Buzzfeed to Playbuzz.  I’m pretty sure that constitutes variety.

(overture)

Which Member of the 27 Club Are You?

You are a free spirit. You believe in telling the truth. You live deep in your emotions and always on the search for love. You're not concerned about tomorrow, you are only thinking about the moment. You get it while you can. Rock on! You are Janis Joplin!

You are a free spirit. You believe in telling the truth. You live deep in your emotions and always on the search for love. You’re not concerned about tomorrow, you are only thinking about the moment. You get it while you can. Rock on! You are Janis Joplin!

Pretty sure it was my actual taste in music rather than my personality that produced this answer.  I’m fine with it, though.  My copy of Pearl has been with me a long, long time.

What is your 70’s Anthem?

Many words have been used to describe Freddie Mercury and Queen’s timeless classic BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: Strange, quirky, blasphemous, invigorating, and of course – epic – All of which are words that could be used to describe the innards of both your mind and soul. A poppy and energetic individual whose imagination knows no bounds, this song’s winding thematics and brazenly over-the-top elements were made to accompany you! This is the song you need to be blaring in the car whenever you need a piece of music to make your soul soar.

::wipes tears::  Thank . . . just . . . thank you.  You really have no idea how much this means to me.  Or how often Queen probably really is what is making my car swerve down the road (if not Queen, Springsteen– Queen, The Boss:  I guess I like titles?).

Okay, but seriously:  invigorating, epic, poppy, energetic, etc.?  Maybe I’m living a Fight Club scenario where I have a double I don’t know about?  You know, I really don’t sleep that much . . .

Speaking of:

(. . . “and dying” . . .)

We interrupt this profound message with an equally profound question:  how many Taylor Swift quizzes does this world need?

Which Southern Woman Are You?

Well, maybe the title didn’t scream music, but I took it anyway– and I got a musical result.  Therefore:

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Country music singer from Butcher Holler, Kentucky. She is well -known for singing about her home and her distinct perspective as a woman in country music. Some of her most popular songs are “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “The Pill,” “One’s on the Way,” and “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” a duet with Conway Twitty.

There was something (still on Playbuzz) about ranking songs from movies.  I didn’t look at it, because I’m just going to insert my own pick:

I took a musician lookalike quiz based solely on appearance questions (hair, eye color– very basic):  Beyoncé?

This, in case you live under a rock, is Beyoncé.

This, in case you live under a rock, is Beyoncé.

This is me. I DO live under a rock.

This is me. I DO live under a rock.

Which 80s Alt. Band Wrote the Soundtrack of Your Life?

I think we ALL already know the answer to this one, pre-quiz .  . . 

The soundtrack of your life was written by The Smiths! Half funny and half morose, you're a bit of an oddball and proud of it! You are extremely emotional and intense, always juggling between your idealism and cynicism. You enjoy a more classic look, and will always think outside the box when given an opportunity. You have to do what feels right, even if it means facing social scorn; whether that means being outwardly celibate or calling your album Meat is Murder. The Smith's passionate vocals, witty lyrics, and jangley guitars are what sing you to sleep.

The soundtrack of your life was written by The Smiths! Half funny and half morose, you’re a bit of an oddball and proud of it! You are extremely emotional and intense, always juggling between your idealism and cynicism. You enjoy a more classic look, and will always think outside the box when given an opportunity. You have to do what feels right, even if it means facing social scorn; whether that means being outwardly celibate or calling your album Meat is Murder. The Smith’s passionate vocals, witty lyrics, and jangley guitars are what sing you to sleep.

No quiz needed:  self-evident.

True story:  I was watching the video for “There Is a Light that Never Goes Out” (late) one night, and YouTube froze.  Completely.  The universe, over and out!


99 out of 100 Scientists Endorse This Section

I have absolutely no idea who most of the people in the quizzes are.  Who’s this person, Taylor Swift?  98% of the quizzes are about her.  Oh, and I took an 80s hair band one, but I’m not going to post the result.  It was shameful.  Is there a good answer for an 80s hair band?

*But I am not a snob! [cough]

Except maybe I’m really not.  This study started making the rounds recently; roughly, what it says is that you stop listening to new music around age 33.  More specifically, it’s when people stop listening to mainstream/popular music and return to old favorites or start heading into the non-mainstream.

Apparently, I was 33 by the time I was in high school.  If this were a Faulkner novel, that would be symbolic, but it’s late, and I’m tired.  Talk amongst yourselves.

Eh?

For instance:  WHAT?

It also says that having children ages you about four music-years.  I knew I was staying young . . . somehow.  These children’s albums seem like a pretty good compromise, though.

Or:  here’s a quick sampling I worked up:

Available to babysit!

Though it seems only fair to mention the song that I listened to repeatedly when I was very small (I don’t really remember, but my parents claim I said it made my pigs dance).  And I just realized that yes, I do still have a copy of this album– not the original LP that was at home, because it’s probably long-since destroyed:


So my taste in music stopped at . . . about age two?  Always have to be the one to skew the statistics.  That’s not really true, anyway; it just got odder (=less popular).

I’m thinking about it now, and I can’t figure out how it landed on the obscure.  This was pre-Internet, and I didn’t have access to a music store (or music magazines); if you got music, it came from (the) Wal-Mart, a sometimes trip out of town, or the very rare trip to see family in New York, where there was . . . Tower Records (RIP).


“Politics, Religion, and Her” (does anyone else remember that?)

The #1 getting-to-know-you question that I hate (often involved in awkward introductions) is “what kind of music do you listen to”?  Whether or not it starts out as an innocent ice-breaker, it turns into the ultimate do-or-die personality test/character evaluation/judgment test.  Are you disagreeing with me right now?  Nope.  This one’s universal; everyone does it, to some extent.

Let’s try this out with a quiz.  Mostly because I want to play with a poll.

In all seriousness (well, not really; serious doesn’t really happen here):  how do you answer that?  You run the risk of showing your age, having to add “before they were cool,” expressing borderline stalker-level devotion, appearing to acknowledge the existence of only Top 40 radio (or to disdain it completely on High Moral Principle), etc.  And if you just say “a little of everything,” it’s a cop-out.

My advice to you, son, is if someone asks you this question, jump out the nearest window.


“. . . And to You It’s Just Words”

The only alternative approach:  I’ve done a post before about words invented by families (etc.).  Another one from mine is “Top Ten All-Time Favorite,” defined thus:

Top-Ten All-Time Favorite (n.):  A song that is definitely, absolutely one of your favorites.  Several rules apply to its use.  If a song that this applies to is playing, you must A) announce that it is a top ten all-time favorite and B) increase the volume (no matter how many people are violently objecting).  Crucially, the number of favorites you have must be nowhere near ten; the closer you can get to triple digits, the better.  Don’t even pretend that it’s just ten; call out favorites as often as you wish.  Once you turn pro, you earn the privilege of designating top ten favorites by X artist, top ten favorites in X genre (in X decade, with X type of harmony, etc.).  Again, don’t bother keeping it anywhere near 10.  

  • Sample uses:
    •  “Born to Run!”  Top Ten All-Time Favorite!
    • “Out in the Street!”  Top Ten All-Time Springsteen favorite!
    • “Girls in Their Summer Clothes!”  Top Ten All-Time Springsteen summer song favorite!
    • “Jungleland!”  Top Ten All-Time Big Man solo favorite!

All the above was purely, um, hypothetical, of course.  Nothing I personally have ever said.  Yep.


The Conclusion You’ve All Been Waiting for:  I Shut Up

To wind this sucker down, I will now show you what’s behind door #3 (and yes, I’m aware you can’t actually see anything):  my still-extant CD collection, or at least the part of it that’s made it to my 1,000 year old CD rack (the rest awaits sorting and copying).  I was planning to offload a substantial portion of it, until someone mentioned the possibility of losing all my digital media:  hello, paranoia, my old friend.  You’ll see that the CDs are still here.  Those are empty LP sleeves on the wall, all scavenged (and belonging, I assume, to defunct LPs); the Real Deal is an investment I can’t afford.  Behold:  symbolism!

CDs: mid-90s to present. Taste: mid-questionable to very much so. Cropping to try to hide scarves on bedroom door: screwed up the picture.

CDs: mid-90s to present. Taste: mid-questionable to very much so. Cropping to try to hide scarves on bedroom door: screwed up the picture.


Okay, NOW I Shut Up

That’s all, folks.  Feel free to comment about music.  Like.  Hate.  Links to McSweeney’s articles about music.  Pictures of your pets.  No, really.  Your pets, please.

I'll show you mine . . .

I’ll show you mine . . . why, yes, I am (ostensibly) an adult, thank you for asking!

“Don’t waste any time in mourning– organize.” OR: Emoji Encore

Post title:  Joe Hill’s last words (prior to execution by firing squad).  Image:  Woody Guthrie and his famous guitar (“this machine kills fascists”).


So this will actually appear May 2nd.  Isn’t it stylish to be late and all that?  If you disagree with that, see also this Smithsonian article about time as a social construct.  BOOM.


I never learn my lessons.  History thus repeats itself.

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. . . except I think I am one. As a customer at work said to me: “You write like my old man!”


A moment of theory so I can pretend I’m putting my education to use:

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That’s all, folks!


So:  May Day/International Workers’ Day/(real) Labor Day in emoji. Yes, your life is now complete. You’re welcome.

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Arise, ye workers from your slumbers.


Also, yes, a Spotify playlist to go along with this, because why not?  The songs and performers are all a mixed bag; for instance, I found one site that listed 800+ workers’ songs.  These are arbitrary choices, pretty much.  Some really great ones aren’t here simply because I just plain couldn’t work them out (if you’ve got one, feel free to drop it in the comments).  The performers are also fairly arbitrary; some are personal favorite versions/very famous renditions, but others are just why nots? So many of these have so many versions that it’s difficult to pick one.


LITTLE RED EMOJI BLOG

(this)

*Please note that many/most of these emojis got weird somewhere between the composing and publishing stage (as I see now that I’ve done a preview).  There were a variety of skin tones, and that seems to have eradicated itself.  I’m not sure what “version” of the emojis is showing up in the actual post, but it’s NOT the one I’m seeing here and used to write this thing.

🍞🌹🌹🌹 (Bread and Roses)

👻👦 (The Ghost of Tom Joad)

I love this series.  Where was it when I was teaching?

👧🏬 (I’m Gonna Be an Engineer)  [1]

👫👬👭👍 (Solidarity Forever)

🎶👨🔫🔫🔫 (The Ballad of Joe Hill)

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👨‍👩‍👦‍👦👩‍👩‍👦‍👦👨‍👨‍👦‍👦🏢🏣🏥🏫 (Union Town)

🍰🌅 (Pie in the Sky)

👨🚂 (Casey Jones)

👨🔨 (John Henry)

🕘🕓 (9 to 5[2]

🇺🇸🚫👼 (Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You into Heaven Anymore[3a]

🏡➡️🏭 (Paradise[3b] [3c] [3d]

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🚣 (Michael, Row the Boat Ashore) [4]

👫 👬 👭 🎤❓ (Do You Hear the People Sing?)

🙇💭🛅🙅 (He Thinks He’ll Keep Her)

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🔇👮 (Fuck Tha Police) [5]

💅👺🙍 (Pretty Girls)

🚌 (Wheels)

👼✂️⬇️ (God’s Gonna Cut You Down)

📦📦📦 (Little Boxes)

💨⚠️🎹 (Draft Dodger Rag) [6]

🎊✌️ (Chimes of the Freedom)

🐟 🐠 🐡🙌🙌🙌 (FISH Cheer– AKA Fixin’ to Die Rag)

Several versions on Spotify, but none can top the actual Woodstock version.  So here.


🙋🚜 (Maggie’s Farm)–  Of course!


[1]  My hypothetical daughter would/Alice does know this.

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I am Woman, hear me . . .

[2] While doing the Spotify playlist, I found the Lady Sovereign version of this.  What have we come to???  And no, this is not me being old.  Listen and compare the lyrics, for crying out loud.

[3a]  Title according to my brother:  “Hippie Commie Song by that Guy Who Can’t Sing.”

[3b]  See 3a.

[3c]  For full list of singers and bands this applies to (according to my brother), schedule a week off work and bring a recording device.  Also many tapes.  Also batteries.  Generator?

[3d]  I like David Foster Wallace.  I think that’s come up.

[4]  Spotify list is Peter, Paul, and Mary– yes, I know their band name doesn’t actually contain the Oxford comma, but welcome to my blog.  Anyway, I definitely told my brother that “Puff, the Magic Dragon” was about drugs.  Eh, sorry?

[5]  This has an “explicit” warning next to it on Spotify, for all those who, um, yeah, I really don’t know who actually needs that.

[6]  Every song written or performed by Phil Ochs could pretty much be on here.

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Enfin.


Got a favorite song I didn’t cover here?  Leave a note in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do . . .

“I wish, I wish I were a poisonous bacterium”

Post title:  Dorothy Parker (and if you sense that I’m planning a questionable role models post at this point, you’d be correct).  Feature image is Huey expressing what runs through your mind every time you read a post here.


Mixtapes still seem like a valid means of emotion expression to me.  This could possibly mean that I’m cool and retro.  It could also mean that I have yet to grow up.  Opinions really not welcome here.

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I am definitely more mature than I was, say, two weeks ago. And you would be completely willing to be seen with me in public, right? RIGHT?

High Fidelity, which I haven’t seen in a very long time, popped into my head last week, so that’s probably how I arrived at mixtapes.  Just to see what came up (since “tape” more or less means “something digital” now), I googled it.  People, whatever you’re doing, you’re doing wrong.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  There are some serious rules here (this one may be my favorite:  are you following all 15 rules?; this one made me tired).  Please return to Mixtapes 101.


It’s been a very loud weekend around here.  Somehow, among various apartments, I’ve never had a particularly loud neighbor:  mildly irritating, maybe, but never actually grit-your-teeth bad.  And lo, here he is.

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There were limitless Darlene possibilities here. I hope this one conveys the appropriate “this land is your land, this land is my land” feeling I’m having right now.

Many people would deal with this in a healthy, reasonable, adult manner, but, of course, this is me.  I chose the much more obvious route:  Spotify.  (Foucault was already taken.)

And yes, my train of thought/logic has long since derailed, and no, you’re not the first to point that out.


Mixtape Vol. 1 is loud music, to be aimed at the ceiling.  Needless to say, if you know Spotify, all the selections I originally planned are not included, due to unavailability (I would specifically note the lack of Bikini Kill).  I have tried many of these, including “Du Hast,” which you would certainly think would send a message:  nope.  Only one has been effective, in fact, and that was “Free Bird,” and that was without me singing or doing the thing where you also vocalize the guitar solos (just me?  never mind).

So I’m providing this for your use, in case there’s anyone in your life you need to send a message to.  Or mute.  Or deafen.  Or subtly suggest you don’t like.

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Further evidence of my maturity, as if you needed more.

Oh, and the “Birth Control” track is on there as a PSA to the multitude of females that were involved in the ongoing maelstrom of noise.  Somebody’s gotta look out for them.


If noise doesn’t work, there is another route, popular among the toddler set (and honorary toddlers:  me):  if you can’t kill ’em, annoy ’em.  If you still have your childhood Wee Sing tapes, this would be easy, but, as I recall, mine “disappeared.”  So I’ve done the only sensible thing and assembled another playlist of songs that have real earworm potential.

Please note that inclusion on this list does not imply that I dislike the song.  I pulled most of these suggestions directly from my own music library.  The only criteria here was that the song has a good chance of staying with you for at least 8 hours, until you’re lying in a dark, silent room, curled in a fetal position and sobbing.  Which, you know, is a pretty quiet thing to do.

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Also see: the entirety of my teenage years.


Well, now wasn’t that cathartic (for me)!  “These fragments I have shored against my ruins,” as it were (I think I just got a cosmic red card for gross Eliot misuse).  In the meantime, I’ll continue to imagine what must be going on upstairs . . .

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Final thought:  “I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said ‘I want to be let alone!’ There is all the difference.”  –Greta Garbo

Take note.