Tag Archives: Harry Chapin

Cosmic Thing

Hey, peeps, Suze here. Don’t let the Crown Prince of Hardydom know that I used the word “peeps” in a public–or any–forum. It’s apparently hopelessly uncool. Meh, I like it.

So, another thing I like is music. I like basically everything, from classical, to bluegrass, to Tuvan throat singing, to Adele and Gotye.

In my continuing quest to free up energy in my life and home, I’ve been going through my collection of CDs and loading them into iTunes, with the intention of getting rid of 500 or so plastic jewel cases. I used to join, quit, and rejoin those record clubs, so I amassed a fairly large collection, mostly for the price of shipping and handling! But now, they’re just taking up space.

So here are some of my favorite artists, chosen at random from my CD collection (links included!):

51pUH7MjR2L._AA160_[1]The B-52’s. Yes, they have that grammatically incorrect apostrophe in their name, but I love them anyway. Campy, crazy, and eminently danceable, The B-52’s will always hold a place in my heart. Fave song? It’s gotta be all 7-plus minutes of Rock Lobster. Down, down, down

Harry Chapin. A distinctive voice, lyrics that tell a depressing story, and a small body of work due to his early, tragic death in a car accident, Harry is an artist that I don’t tire of listening to. Fave song? This one’s tough. Everybody knows the heart-wrenching Cat’s in the Cradle, but what about Taxi? I’d argue that song is even more depressing. He’s got another, less well-known song I also love: 30,000 Pounds of Bananas. The win goes to … Taxi. Harry, keep the change.

Johnny Cash. The man’s a legend for a reason. Fave song? I don’t know if I can choose just one. Certainly Folsom Prison Blues is near the top. I hear the train a’comin’. It’s rollin’ round the bend. And I ain’t seen the sunshine since, I don’t know when. I’m stuck in Folsom Prison, and time keeps draggin’ on

Queen. This was a band I enjoyed in my misspent youth, but I don’t think I really appreciated them until later. Freddie Mercury was an incredibly talented singer. Factoid: According to a recent biography of Freddie, he had extra molars, which pushed his other teeth forward, giving him his signature bunny look. The big mustache helped camouflage it somewhat. He never got the extra teeth removed due to fears it would change his voice. I agree–why take the risk? Fave song? Somebody to Love (Bohemian Rhapsody is a close second).

Desi Arnaz. If you haven’t listened to Desi, you should! I visited the Lucy and Desi museum in Jamestown, New York last summer–definitely worth a trip. Factoid: pronounce his name “Dessy,” not “Dezzi.”) Lucy and Desi’s story is fascinating. So is the music. The Crown Prince and I used to dance to Babalu, drumming, dipping, doing lifts (well, I lifted him. Couldn’t do that anymore!). Once when we were doing just that, laughing and dancing in the kitchen, I didn’t notice that the stove was on fire! So the song Babalu will always be associated with, as my husband puts it, “the time you almost burned the house down.” I got a new stove, but I don’t recommend this method. So fave song? Babalu.

How about you? What are some of your favorite songs? Who are you listening to now? Know anyplace I can unload a lot of CDs?

Getting in the Mood…

I love music. L-O-V-E it. I’m one of those crazy people you see on the highway singing my heart out in the car or even (embarrassing)  dancing when one of my favorite songs comes on. Songs themselves are an art form. A good song tells a story and brings out some kind of emotion in about three minutes. I envy people who write songs. They are the ultimate short story writers. Harry Chapin’s Cat in the Cradle tells a beautiful but sad story in exactly three minutes and forty nine seconds. How many of us can say we have accomplished that? More than books, songs stay with us. Songs trigger a memory of a time and a place, a moment that won’t leave us. I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard Britney Spears sing. It was a Friday night and I was 13 years old sitting in the back of my mother’s blue Astro Van. My youngest brother (who will cheerfully kill me if he reads this), burst out singing, “Hit me baby one more time.”  He was only four then and just so gosh darn cute that moment burned in my memory.

Now I use music for a variety of things, to cheer me up, to soothe my soul, to get me motivated. I find  it a very good tool for writing. I listen to Adele before I have to write something emotional. Her voice is smokey and soulful, her songs are angry and depressing. Who could not be effected by a lyric that says, “Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”  Justin Nozuka, with his soft breathy voice and  sensual lyrics, is the perfect person to listen to before writing a love scene. Check out After Tonight and you’ll see what I mean.

When my ego needs some pumping up I listen to Keri Hilson’s Pretty Girl Rock and repeatedly sing, “Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful.” When I’m slacking off I listen to Kelly Rowland’s Commander, and change the lyrics to, “I command you to write.” Silly? Yes, but it gets me going.

Fergie will always be a favorite of mine because she taught me how to spell DELICIOUS, just like Aretha Franklin taught me how to spell RESPECT and Gwen Stefani taught me how to spell BANANAS.

When I’m feeling a little down in the dumps, Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves puts a huge smile on my face. Lonely Goat Herder from the Sound of Music does the same. (Odl Lay Hee!)

Music puts us in a mood. Sometimes it inspires us (We are the Champions)  and sometimes it causes us to do strange things like the Macarena but it has had an impact on everybody and without it my world would be a less fun place.

Now it’s your turn to share. What music gets you going? What song lyric is particularly powerful for you? What artist makes you want to get up and make a fool out of yourself on the dance floor? How does music effect you?