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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.



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Thursday, December 11, 2008

from In A Future Age to In the Curve

Day 895, Session 147:
Monday December 8th - Hanging around the house
First song: In A Future Age by Wilco
Last full song: In the Curve by The Avett Brothers
Progress: 2053-2072 of 6037
Total Songs Heard: 1913

Haven't deleted anything in a while, so let's do that now. Goodbye, In Deux Time by Deux Process.
I just couldn't get over their constant pronunciation of the world deux like it was the word dew. It was one of those iTunes free singles of the week, so it's not like I had any real attachment to the thing.

The Wife has recently given up the coaching of the basketball dance team at her high school to concentrate full-time (well, you know, full-time after her day full of teaching) on the school flag team. For those of you who weren't nerds in high school and thus didn't spend much time around the marching band, in the fall, the flag team performs with the band at football games, but apparently in the winter, the flag team performs on their own at competitions. (I would like to note here that The Wife's school didn't even have a winter flag team until last year when she started the program by volunteering to coach it. The Wife is pretty awesome.)

Since there's no band playing with the winter team, they have to choose a piece of music to perform with. Monday night The Wife asked if I had any suggestions for songs they could use. Asking me for a musical suggestion is no simple feat. What I'm sure she was hoping would be a 10-minute conversation became a 2-hour effort to find the perfect song.

There were 2 primary criteria, the song had to be 3-4 minutes long and not too slow, and one secondary, it helped if the song told a story. Here was my tertiary criteria, the song should be pretty awesome.

After much deliberation, here are the two suggestions I came up with:
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
When I heard this song earlier in the day I just took note of how much I love it. When the flag team discussion came up I immediately thought of it. It's fast AND I'm pretty sure it's in 6/8 time. How many other flag teams are going to be performing in 6/8? Musically it's a great jumble of buzzing bass, trumpet, AND people playing SAWS! It tells an interpretive version of the journey of life. It weighs in nicely at 3:22.

Underground - Ben Folds Five
Tempo-rific, plus there are shifts that could be used to break up different sections of the routine. The song itself is about the alienation of high school and finding a place where that alienated feeling goes away. What could be more perfect for a high school flag team?!? Just slightly long at 4:11, but the last 15 seconds or so are vampy piano bits which could be faded on.

Here is what the girls decided to go with:
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
Don't get me wrong, I love Billy Joel and while this particular song isn't a favorite of mine, it did help him score Christy Brinkley, so it can't be all bad. But really? This is the song they wanted to go with over the other two? Bah, kids today! I just don't understand them. (Confession time: Part of the reason this picks disturbs me is because I think high schoolers today would pick this song because they find it campy and amusing. Granted, this particular song probably is, but campy and amusing aren't two words I use to describe Billy Joel in general. I fear Billy Joel is to kids today what my enjoyment of say, ELO or Styx is to me. Yeah, I like them, but I kind of view them as relics of a bygone era (as opposed to say The Beatles whose music is timeless.) Just another sign of how out of touch I am with the young.)

There's a chance I'm wrong about this, but I don't think so. Please consider all three songs and vote for which one would be best for a high school flag routine. If you've got something that will work even better, leave it in the comments.

In The Curve from The Avett Brothers was also in the ears today. This is currently my favorite sing-along-with-really-loudly-every-time-I-hear-it song. It's one of those songs that makes me think, "If I could just figure out how to play guitar, I could actually perform this one." It also speaks to the self destructive streak that runs through me. Sure I haven't finished a bottle of bourbon and then gone out for a drive, but I have finished a bottle of bourbon, which is a terrible idea by itself. I do stupid things. I make bad decisions (*cough*quitting my job with nothing else lined up*cough*) but I will walk away. Sure, right now it feels like I've been hitchhiking along the road forever, but I'm sure I'll make it Concord. Hope to see you there.


The Wife said...

Thought I should comment and say that the girls who chose Uptown Girl love Billy Joel - I think in the same way we liked him when we were in high school. I know it's kind of weird, but I don't think it's for the camp or relic value - they seem to genuinely like him and follow all his old music.
And the song does tell a story. Also, I like the other 2 songs too.

Mike said...

That's touching. I still love Billy Joel (and I've seen him live twice, more than most bands I love a lot more).

Such as Neutral Milk Hotel - love, love, love that song. That would be my vote. Not that i think it'd be a great flag routine song, but it's just great.

I'll have to see if I can think of any songs that meet your criteria...

Sara said...

How about "Hurricane" by Bob Dylan...now there is a story.

I see the Billy Joel appeal, although "Uptown Girl" has nothing on "Big Shot"

matt said...

Wife - I'm glad they like it in the same way and I'm glad you clarified that for the readers, since I ignored that part of the conversation when we talked about it.

Mike - Twice?!? Twice is more than you've seen most bands. You, my friend, need to go to more concerts.

Sara - Love "Hurricane" but that weighs in at a robust 8:15. It'd be hard to cut 4 minutes.

joey said...

I have no recollection of finishing any bottles of whiskey....ever.

That might also be the reason that I cannot think of any better song for the flag-ettes (i was friend with band nerds in high school and that was the preferred nomenclature of the day). Maybe the theme to 60 minutes would be interesting...or at least easy to keep time with.