twenty songs

when kevin tagged me with his song list, i was thrilled. now this is a “random things about me” list that i can get in to! not only insightful, but also useful. you can learn juicy tidbits about your friends and get music recommendations, yeah! this is the pitch:

“Okay, since for so many of us music is such a huge part of our lives, I thought it would be a fun to do an “about me” list High Fidelity style. List 20 songs that you like/love and why!”

so i opened up my music files for inspiration, and instantly felt overwhelmed with the task of narrowing my large library of much loved music down to a mere twenty songs. yikes. “i can’t do this,” i thought and closed iTunes. but i did enjoy discovering artists and personal info that meant something to my friend. so several weeks later, i am revisiting this game of tag, to compile a list of songs that stand out to me in one way or another.

kevin went with the all-time list, rather than the right-now list, which i think indicates more about a person anyway. so here is a list of twenty songs that i love, that will likely enlighten you to many random things about me. in no particular order:


1. “writing to reach you” by travis – can’t get enough of this one. a certain someone had a large influence on my appreciation of travis, so that may contribute to my fancy. just listen.

2. “love and peace or else” by U2 – as to why i’m in love with U2, i’m going to have to defer to the plentiful praise of their musical talent & contribution that have preceded this post in countless forums globally. as to why his song stands out to me: i like it for the “sunday bloody sunday” type message, and the pure rock feel versus their alternative or dance styles (not that those tracks aren’t stellar as well). p.s. new album released in the U.S. tomorrow!

3. “where is my mind” by pixies – two words: fight club. the deal-sealer: a live performance with a massive audience a-capella “ooh-ooh” session. chills. love it.

4. “the walk” by imogen heap – oh, that voice is so hypnotizing! i was captivated with frou frou mostly for the vocals, so her solo gig is just fine with me. this song is a highlight for me because she really shows off her vocal elasticity.

5. “cherry red wine” by jonny lang – between jonny’s crazy guitar solos and true-blues vocals (that give the impression that he’s decades older than he is), i can hardly find fault with his music. this song has always been a particular favorite of mine because it leans more toward his blues style than some of his more rock-infused numbers.

6. “extraordinary machine” by fiona apple“i’m good at being uncomfortable so i can’t stop changing all the time” in many ways this song is my anthem.

7. demons” by guster – i have always had a thing for guster’s distinctive sound, and the haunting melody and lyrics of this song get me every time. “honesty is easy / fiction is where genius lies / ’cause it’s easier sometimes not to be involved / somehow i make you believe”

8. “why do you let me stay here” by she & him – since the moment i heard zooey deschanel sing in the shower in “elf” i was enamored by her judy garland-esque voice. i was ecstatic when she collaborated with m. ward on a real bona fide album! this one is my fave on the disc.

9. “e-pro” by beck – caught my ear the first time i heard it and never let go. the rest of the album ain’t bad neither. ☺

10. “both hands” by ani difranco – okay, ani and i get along because we share an affinity for alliteration, metaphor, and word play in our writing. i am hooked on her staccato rhythmic variations and rapid fingerpicking. this particular song is a favorite because it’s one i really enjoy dancing to in my bedroom.

11. “outta my head (ay ya ya)” by ashlee simpson – i happened to catch this video while flipping channels and replayed it no less than five times. (where would we be without TiVo?) the song has such irresistible attitude and the fantastical video had me spell bound. i only have two ashlee simpson songs in my collection, but this one is guaranteed to bring out the boogie. i get in to this song for the same reasons that i like madonna’s immaculate collection: i can’t help myself.

12. “everything’s alright” by nathan and charlie – i’ll never forget the trip to sonic with laura when she introduced me to this reassuring song. my 15-year-old self was in the midst of what i’m sure was an earnestly dramatic high school saga, and like a good friend she reminded me that my teenage world was not, in fact, crumbling. the simple melody and repetitive chorus somehow never fail to comfort my anxious thoughts when i’m tempted to fret over something beyond my control.

13. “rapunzel” by dave matthews band – i didn’t really start listening to DMB until a university visit while i was a senior in high school. a weekend with friends and a taste of college life whet my appetite for flying from the nest…and more dave. the band became a staple in my musical diet during my freshman year and throughout my undergrad years, and now when i hear it i am reminded of that full and incomparable time in my life. and, honestly, very few bands can rival the multi-layered elements they offer.

14. “played-a-live” by safri duo – i have countless memories of studying in holland during my junior year in college, as you can imagine. this song was IT in europe that year, and was the ubiquitous backdrop to all our activities, whether shopping, socializing, studying, or sightseeing. at the discotheque it instantly jammed the dance floor every time. whenever i want that adventurous, free, exciting feeling that accompanied my entire time abroad, i play this song and it all comes rushing back. being that it is technically techno, we of course have to endure the synthesized sound and obligatory trance-y interlude. but i dare you to sit still listening to those bongos!

15. “everything i wanted” by jonatha brooke – my friend marcy introduced me to jonatha on a trip to nyc. her stuff has such artistry, and many of her songs send a certain tingle down my spine just from hearing the opening chords. this song just happened to be playing in the background during a significant moment in lee & i’s relationship, so it’s extra meaningful to me.

16. “now that we found love” by heavy d & the boyz – the old school rap and infectious beat made this one a crowd-pleaser long before hitch made it popular again by using it in the final scene of the film. at our wedding reception we recreated the movie’s dance “scroll” to this song. (thanks, mike.) the memory of friends and family enthusiastically breaking out their corniest moves scored a permanent place on the LOL list. this song makes me happy, therefore i love it.

17. “be still” by justin mcroberts – first, let me say that i am a huge fan of all of justin’s music, and can’t say enough about his talent for profound and relevant lyrics. this song has always touched me in a real way (i can certainly relate). it has been a favorite for nearly a decade, and still gets the repeat treatment more often than not.

18. “butterfly study” by frédéric chopini think many musicians would agree that when you play a piece you come to appreciate it more than if you had just passively taken it in. this classical song was a warm-up piece for me throughout my years in piano lessons, and is one of the few that i still have memorized and can (and will) play each time i sit down at the keys. it also reminds me of practicing progressions in ballet class. i like it for it’s comfortable familiarity, even if it’s just playing in an elevator.

19. “do not move” by david crowder band – it’s really unfair to pull this track out of the flow of the album for consideration, because the obvious intention of the four part project is for each song to be nestled right where it is placed. but, that being recognized, this song always grips my attention when it comes along behind the disc’s second interlude. from the electronic beginning to the driving middle to the whispered end, it pushes perfectly into the next piece.

20. “12:59 lullaby” by bedouin soundclash – evidently i like a little reggae mixed in there. the light simplicity of this little tune has a very homegrown feel, and i dig it.

for more of what i’m listening to, see the ~~okieOLIO~~ soundtrack on the “how i groove” page, and visit my profile.


About t

casting out my olio of interests from the heart of oklahoma

Posted on March 2, 2009, in music & dance. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. i love this post! so good. i can’t believe you have that nathan and charlie in your library. i lost the whole album years ago and would love to have it again. do you have the whole thing? it made me so happy just listening to it again just now. i still love it, too.

  2. trisha @ myolio

    i do have the whole album, laura. i’ll make sure i get it to you. glad i could bring back a happy memory for you, too.

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