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Six Top Fives coming up

A while ago, Amanda Marcotte, the ultimate maximum over at Pandagon, wrote a response to a music meme which led me to spend way too much time thinking about my answers. And, since I really am a verbose and prolix sonofagun, I wound up writing answers, and comments on the answers, and comments on the questions, and generally wasting my time. And since it’s a blog, I’ll try to waste yours, too, Gentle Reader. And on the off chance that it’s less annoying this way, rather than more, I’m going to split the six questions into six posts, plus, you know, this one.

First of all, the six questions are all Top Fives, in honor of High Fidelity. That makes it more difficult for YHB than the One Absolute Fave. For one thing, if they were One Absolute Fave questions, I’d probably never have thought enough about them to bother writing the thing up. I mean, One Absolute Fave is patently absurd, but surely I should be able to come up with a Top Five. The problem, of course, is that the Top Five is just as absurd as the One Absolute Fave. Surely I am absent-mindedly just blanking on one or two songs I would want to have included. The good part, though, is that I don’t have to number the list, and declare which fits the number one slot and which the number five. On the other hand, once I have five, if I come up with another, I have to decide which of the five to turf, and that’s just impossible. I know, as it’s come up already more than once.

And, of course, even if I were happy with the Top Fives I’ll be putting on pixels, and even if I didn’t forget to consider any, it’ll surely be the case that tomorrow or next week I’ll find myself perplexed that I made the stupid-ass choices I did. Because, you know, my tastes have changed. Ten years ago, I didn’t like Klezmer, and couldn’t tell you any working klezmorim. Twenty years ago, I had no particular interest in jazz. Five years ago, I didn’t know what early music was (OK, seven years, and I still don’t really know). At the moment, I don’t much like country and western, or hip-hop, or orchestral music, or salsa, or a billion other styles. I sure hope I add something to the collection of kind-of-music-I-like over the next five years, but who knows what it will be.

OK, enough blather for the moment. Time for the questions:

Top Five Lyrics that Move Your Heart
Top Five Instrumentals
Top Five Live Musical Experiences
Top Five Artists You Think More People Should Listen To
Top Five Musical Heroes
Top Five Albums You Must Hear From Start to Finish

That’s them. I think they’re well chosen, as they are narrow enough to make me perhaps think about them in a different way than I have done in the past, but broad enough that they apply to a variety of different tastes. I don’t like each of them the same; the Instrumentals was surprisingly hard, and therefore interesting, and the Live Experiences was just a matter of choosing, more or less randomly, five out of ten or so great ones, with no real criteria. But looking at them, it’s pretty clear that the ones I find less interesting will be more interesting for some people, and the ones I find more interesting will be less interesting for some people. Which is a good thing in one of these memes, right? OK, one more thing... I’ve split these up into different posts not only to indulge myself in talking about the selections, and the criteria for selecting, but to encourage you, Gentle Reader, to participate. This should (a) make it easier for a fellah to just put down one Top Five, without committing to the whole shebang, and (2) give a fellah space for including songs that nearly made the cut, pointing why my criteria are all wrong, suggesting songs I might like, or whatever. The whole thing is preposterous, so don’t worry about getting any of it right, right?

chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek,