A Musical Baton

Here’s my take on this thing that’s doing the rounds at the moment. It’s a musical taste quiz, with emphasis on computers and mp3’s and so on. I don’t have an iPod, but my trusty Sony MZR-700 is still going strong, so I record stuff to that a lot, and when I use iTunes as a jukebox at home. The quiz consists of a few questions, and the idea is you answer them and then forward the quiz. Otherwise terrible things will happen, presumably.

1. The person (or persons) who passed the baton to you.
Noone. I saw it on various sites. and thought I have a go. I’d like to be able to say that Tom Coates nominated me, or Cory Doctorow valued my opinion, but sadly not. I bought myself a friendship bracelet.
2. Total volume of music files on your computer.
4.72 GB (5,069,933,283 bytes), according to Properties on My Music. Is that a lot? Not according to some.
3. The title and artist of the last CD you bought.
Plastikman (warning – navigationally-challenged site) – Closer. Dark, slow, fast, throbbing, beautiful, stark, minimal, lush. It doesn’t make me want to dance – it makes me want to stand very still. And that’s just the first track.
4. Song playing at the moment of writing.
‘A Dream’, by Lou Reed and John Cale from ‘Songs for Drella’. Just happened to be playing, but it triggers strong memories. Of Germany. Maybe I’ll tell you sometime
5. Five songs you have been listening to of late (or all-time favourites, or particularly personally meaningful songs)
  • ‘True Faith’ by New Order – it does that wonderful New Order trick of being ecstatic and melancholic at the same time as making you dance. Great chorus backing synth line.
    Usage: after phoning a girl for a date, and being told ‘yes’.
  • ‘Take the Long Way Home’ by Supertramp – a big childhood favourite of mine, due to the proximity of my sister’s bedroom. Now used a lot when I’m doing a play, because it captures that ‘had a great night, everybody loves you, now sod off home’ feeling.
    Usage: on the walkman, trudging along at midnight from the bus stop.
  • ‘Girlfriend Is Better’ by Talking Heads – Ahh, school days. Getting into Talking Heads with Paul Holbrook (Where are you now, Paul? Seriously?). Buying all their albums. Never being able to decide whether the ‘Speaking In Tongues’ version is better than the live ‘Stop Making Sense’ version. (Hint: they’re both fucking excellent, for different reasons.)
    Usage: dancing at a club full of musos.
  • ‘The Thrill Of It All’ by Black Sabbath – Another one from through the bedroom wall. Big Sis on one side with Supertramp, Big Bro on the other with Tony, Ozzy and the boys (and Rush, but we don’t mention that). This is pretty much straightforwardly uplifting. Starts slow, then kicks in with the axe workout.
    Usage: fantasising about being in a rock band.
  • ‘You Take Me Up’ by The Thompson Twins – just thought of this one. A bit of a geek ballad really: “I know what it means to work hard on machines, it’s a labour of love so please don’t ask me why”. A geek trying to get a girlfriend. Aww.
    Usage: fantasising about being in a synthpop band.
6. The five people to whom you will ‘pass the musical baton’
There is a problem, and that is that only a couple of people here have websites, and they don’t have blogs / journals / whatevers, so they’re unlikely to post their responses online. Maybe I’ll include their emailed answers here, and maybe I won’t. The suspense!

  • Mairi Stewart – My GF. My SO. My CO.
  • Robin Deacon – Robin has a great site, full of interesting content and a cool design and colourscheme, and he has been an inspirational musical influence on me, and he’s my bestest buddy.
  • Mira Vogel – My other bestest buddy, another musical inspiration, currently up to her neck in house renovation and plaster dust. Should really have a website – sort it out Mira!
  • Mike Ahmad – Singing Teacher, Opera Buff, Recent Dad, Piano Player, Actor, Micra Driver, All-round Great Guy – you name it. I’m looking forward to his responses.
  • James Derbyshire – James has a website, but at the moment it’s a big advert for his egowedding (good luck Jimmy and Jules!). He also co-founded Te Papa Films, so I’d best be nice to him. Any parts going?

So there you have it. Inspiring? Doubtful. Revealing? A bit – I’ll leave it to you to work out which.