Of Music and Sharks

For lack of a better subject, (tired of the President’s vacation…afraid to bore you with more anti-public school thoughts, if I write anymore about the New York mosque I think I’ll go crazy, and so it goes…) I will write about something that’s been on my mind recently…music, due to the erratic behavior of my online music player, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Roughly two years ago I listened to classical music. Purely classical music. Nothing else. Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, they were my favorite. I’d also hunt down the more obscure ones. Frankly, it wasn’t much work to hunt them down, since of course, all classical composers are dead. And then I discovered the joy of opera! It is incredible to listen to 3 hours of music sung in a foreign language. Some would say, “listen to 3 hours of noise screeched at alternatively high and low pitches.” And they would debate over whether it is incredible or just annoying. I think it was through opera that I got into more modern songs, like Andrea Bocelli…and then Josh Groban. You can listen to Josh Groban for just so long before getting bored, believe me.

Thanks to Grooveshark I was able to open my musical horizons a little. Specifically after I turned on Grooveshark Radio. That radio is crazy. You put in “classical” and you get rock. You put in “blues” and you get rap. I have yet to figure it out entirely. Right now it has this pattern down, it plays 1 Beethoven or Chopin, 1 Josh Groban, 1 Wilco, 1 Nina Simone, 1 Louis Armstrong, 1 Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 1 Chanticleer, 1 rock song of some description and band…this is the only part of the pattern that ever varies, and then it starts all over again with a different Beethoven piece, a different Josh Groban one, etc…

It is the closest I have come to getting music that I like and that doesn’t bore me quickly. If I listen to my favorite  songs too much, I invariably get tired of them. The greatest complaint is that while I like ONE song by Wilco (Sky Blue Sky) I don’t like ALL songs by Wilco. Same with many other bands. Grooveshark is convinced that because I like Sky Blue Sky, I must love all rock music.

That brings me to another quirk. I think Grooveshark’s calendar must be messed up. They must think it is December. They are always playing Christmas music for me! While I enjoy the Trans Siberian Orchestra, I don’t want to hear their version of Christmas carols, at least not for a couple months yet.

Oh, and another random favorite, Basil Poledouris. He wrote the theme song for “Hunt for the Red October,” which is really great. I like a couple other of his pieces too. And Broadway. So far I have songs from My Fair Lady and Annie Get Your Gun in my collection. It adds a little lightness to my otherwise very heavy and sometimes overwhelming pieces.

There’s Sara Watkins…no idea who she is, but she plays on Prairie Home Companion. I guess she does folk/bluegrass, something like that. Nina Simone is amazing, I love her pieces. Same with Louis Armstrong. I didn’t know much about him until a couple days ago when “What a Wonderful World” was playing all over.

When you imagine me sitting up late at night trying furiously to finish this blog posts, know these two things: The music above is what I listen to while writing blog posts. And I always write my posts in the morning.

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