Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The whole world's waiting to sing your song

The fiance and I dragged our feet (or abdicated entirely) when it came to certain wedding-related details -- neither of us could muster much enthusiasm for deciding what kind of car would take us to the church, what sort of figurine would stand atop our cake, or which flowers would be featured in our bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. But -- as you know from my stationery-related posts -- certain other details have received a great deal of our attention. Music is a big priority for both of us: we want our reception to be a really fun party, and having good music will help make that happen. So as soon as we had a date and a venue for our reception, we set about finding a great band. And once that band was booked, we turned our attention to composing a suggested playlist -- and, just as important, a detailed, exhaustive, high-priority do-not-play list.

We haggled a bit over what we wanted to hear and dance to, and when necessary, we made sacrifices -- he allowed me to request "Love Shack," and I consented to some of the dancier hits by the Police (I think I was born too late to love them). We had a common goal, after all -- and isn't compromise what marriage is all about? But when it came to compiling the do-not-play list, we were very much in agreement -- we hate a lot of the same stuff. (The one major exception was Earth, Wind and Fire; he would happily have included them in our general request for disco hits, but I seem to be allergic to their music, so I took this opportunity to exercise my bridal veto. That horrible "Aaaaa-ee-aaaw! Dancing in September!" song might be a major part of every other wedding reception I will ever attend, but I will not submit to hearing it at mine.) I tease him about being older than me -- see difference of opinion re: the Police, referenced above -- but we're both out-of-touch cranks at heart, because we both recoiled in horror when we read through the general "Top 40" repertoire for our band. "Hey Ya," by OutKast, made it on to the request list. "Anything Top 40, with the exception of 'Hey Ya'" headed the do-not-play list. Also verboten: country pop, Latin pop, the Dave Matthews Band (we are united in our loathing for the Dave), and a category I like to call "Man Ballads," which includes "Lady in Red" and the entire song catalogues of Peter Cetera and Michael Bolton. For starters.

All of this got me thinking: wouldn't it be great if we could somehow impose our own individual do-not-play lists on our surroundings? Portable music players have given us the power to have playlists for life, but they can't stop the music you hate from reaching your ears now and again. Places like Duane Reade and Gristede's are responsible for much of my exposure to horrible, horrible music. It pops up on commercials from time to time. Or somebody drives down your block with their stereo blasting. The music you hate will find you. How great would it be if you could prevent that? I mean, if somebody out there actually wants to listen to Earth, Wind and Fire, well, far be it from me to take that pleasure away. But if I had the power to keep it from reaching my ears, I would exercise it in a heartbeat.

My personal do-not-play list would include (aside from the categories and artists mentioned above): "Put Me in, Coach," Sheryl Crow, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, the Pearl Jam cover of "Last Kiss" (doesn't come up much these days, but you can’t be too careful), Bette Midler singing "From a Distance," “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and Macy Gray. I'm sure I'll think of more as soon as I post this, but that's a solid start. What about you? What would you ban from your airspace, if you had the power?


Anonymous said...

Anything by Tom Jones. If you are too young to know who that is, think "What's New Pussycat?".
Mom Greene

Amy Wilson said...

Rod Stewart singing the classics. That song on TV now for the cable hookup, with the Caribbean rappers and the mermaids. Grateful Dead, except "Touch of Gray." Gwen Stefani, with or without No Doubt. John Mayer. Butterfly Kisses. Should I stop now?

Ed Park said...

I hear you re Gristede's music. Best commercial space soundtrack: Citibank on Columbus/79th. Weirdly good '80s "new romantic" rock (e.g., Aztec Camera, "Oblivious"). (I think that's the right term.)

"Aaa-ee-aaw" is the funniest thing I've read all day!

Anonymous said...

Having just returned from my first Trans-Siberian Orchestra experience, I think I would add: "Anything by Trans-Siberian Orchestra."

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't pick on my Rod! I just turned on Regis, and was instantly reminded of another on my list - Michael Bolton singing Christmas or any other type of song.
Mom G.

Anonymous said...

Oh wait! Can I add "Walking in Memphis"? And "God Bless the U.S.A." Thanks.