Monday, August 25, 2008

All-Time Allstars (Rounding out the Top Ten)

6. Runaway - Del Shannon
"I'm a-walking in the rain. Tears are falling and I feel a pain, wishing you were here by me, to end this misery..."
For such a sad song, it's awfully peppy. I remember sitting in the back seat of the car - I must have been in about the 4th grade - on our way to the barn where Kakki was boarded. This song came on the radio, and though I'd heard it plenty of times before, it was on this particular occasion that I remember thinking, "Man, I really love this song." I love the little breakdown in the middle (I guess it's the bridge) featuring a solo on a synthesizer I've since learned was called a Musitron. It is, as I've said, entirely too peppy for the subject matter.

7. The Way - Fastball
"An exit to eternal summer slacking."
This came out near the end of my junior year of high school, so possibly I associate it with the freedom of having my driver's license. It's fun to sing. Though I like to think that "the children" in the song are old enough to fend for themselves, maybe living at home long past the time when they should have moved out on their own. Because a song about child endangerment and abandonment? Not so fun after all, as it turns out.

8. Wing-Stock - Ashley MacIsaac
No lyrics
Another instrumental allstar. For the second semester of my senior year of high school, I was a teacher's aide for Mrs. Prince during her "prep" period, when she didn't actually have a class. So I helped her grade papers and whatnot, and we'd talk about whatever. I was taking bagpipe lessons at the time, which she found very interesting. At the end of the year she gave me this Ashley MacIsaac CD. (MacIsaac is a "Celtic fusion rock" fiddle-player from Canada who occasionally plays with bagpipers.) Anyway, this is a long setup to get to what I like about this particular track. There are plenty of songs on the album that do have lyrics, but this one is still the stand-out track on the CD, for me. It starts off as a slow-ish piano piece, kind of stately, and then it picks up in speed until the piano is essentially playing bagpipe or fiddle music, with all these crazy trills and runs. Then it switches again, so the piano now sounds like a strumming guitar, and the drums kick in, and then the fiddles and electric guitar/bass take over. It is such a rocking song. I have a hard time playing it without cranking up the volume.

9. The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
"Just do your best. Do everything you can. And don't you worry what their bitter hearts are gonna say."
This song came out at a time when I needed a good girl-power sort of anthem. To this day it does the trick, lifting my spirits even when they aren't down.

10. The Warmth - Incubus
"So don't let the world bring you down; not everyone here is that fucked-up and cold."
Junior year of college, I thought Incubus was the greatest thing since sliced bread, so 20 year-old Sue would no doubt be pissed at me for admitting that a lot of their stuff is, well, kind of obnoxious to listen to now. "The Warmth," however, is one of the exceptions. For one thing, it starts off with a bit of whale song (singing whales == cool in my book). For another, it's pretty mellow and not overly repetetive. And, like the Jimmy Eat World song, it's got this whole feel-good, take-on-the-world thing going on. Definitely picks me up when I play it.

I'll probably do one more post or two like this, since 15 or 20 tracks is a good number for a CD. Hope you guys don't mind.

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