Friday, October 13, 2006

friday top ten

Oh good, Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize. It makes me happy. Are they including immunity from undeserved trials along with the citation and the moolah for the prizes this year, I wonder?

Anyway, unsurprisingly, I got memed again, this time by the gracious Szerelem - great reference, wot? - to list the top ten songs on my iTunes. I've switched to Winamp lately out of a perverse desire to cleanse my soul, but the song, as the great wizard Robert Plant would say, remains the same. Here goes.

1. Ay Ay - Tarkan. Ooof. This man reminds me of how heterosexual I am. It's funny because he doesn't really fall into my 'type,' but over time I have discovered that my 'type' includes neurotic, waifish, unwashed, plain nuts, and outright retrosexual, so I give up aiming for consistency. I love this song. It's smoky hawt, very lazily bump-and-grindy, a far cry from his notorious Kiss Kiss number, 'Simarik,' which also - shut up - I love.

2. Uma Casa Portugesa - Amália Rodriguez. Isheeta is my enabler. I don't know anyone who holds a candle to my fellow DLG-er for sheer good taste. She's been supplying me with Portuguese folk lately, and the last thing I did before I dropped off to sleep last night was listen to Amália Rodriguez. I hate displaying my ignorance of the song's genre or language by talking about its feel, but the mood is incredible. Hold on to something while I borrow an image from nature: it's like standing under a tree on a sunny morning, with shafts of light dappling the shadows. Amalia is rightly called a queen among her own. Her voice is sweet like honey, and strong as steel wire. (Overwrought fanfic about elves, here I come.)

3. Marlene On The Wall - Suzanne Vega. Spare and catchy American female indie-folk-pop. I love this sort of thing, right from Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell to the more self-conscious work of Beth Orton and Suzanne. Her 'changing, changing, changing,' at the end of the song makes me smile every time.

4. Raga Bhatiyar (khayal in madhyalaya teentaal) - Pandit Jasraj. Inadequate resources to describe this: look at this blog for some attempt at description. I'm a big old soppy Jasraj fan, ever since his morning concert four years ago in the Xavier's quadrangle when I was stumbling about in a sari looking for my friends and he threw six million tantrums and ended up making everyone weep with joy and dance in the aisles like Woodstock hippies as he sang 'Govind Damodar Madhaveti' to the lightening skies. My kaajal was everywhere (the sari, thanks to Kate, stayed on).

5. Defend Her, Heav'n, Theodora! - Artiste unknown. Possibly Handel's most famous aria, from the oratorio - you'll never guess - Theodora. Defend her heav'n/let angels spread/their viewless tents around her bed. A soaring, swelling lullaby, perfect for stormy nights and unspoken doubts. I'm afraid I have no idea who sang this version - it is not, sadly, the sublime Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson - but it's very passable.

6. Suffragette City - David Bowie. Punk and glam have been working their unsubtle magicks upon me. A Bowie classic, I forgot about this song for a goodly while until I happened to stumble (NO SRSLY TRIPPED AND FELL ON THE REMOTE) upon an episode of 'Rockstar:Supernova' on the telly and found the big sassy blonde in a suit rocking the hell out of it. I like to drop-kick annoying people to this song. I cannot account for my affection of the phrase "Wham, bam, thank you ma'am" when Davie B sings it.

7. City Hall - Vienna Teng. Not a maker of my favourite sort of girl-music - sorry, but if I want emo I'll take the eyeliner-wearing boys, you know? - but this particular song is just delightful. It's about the Valentine's Day weekend in 2004 when San Francisco defied constitutional law to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Bittersweet and just a little bit cheesy, but infinitely hummable and full of hope. Outside they're handing out doughnuts and pizza pies/for the folks in pairs/in the folding chairs/my baby's looking so damn pretty with those anxious eyes/rain-speckled hair, and my ring to wear ....

8. Jaded - Aerosmith. I listened to this song on a friend's system the other day and went, 'why, god, why?' And then I listened to it three hundred times on repeat, saying, "oh my god, oh my god, I REMEMBER THIS SONG." It's so bad it's ridiculous. My subconscious has been telling me for years to give up the pretense and embrace my secret love of Steven Tyler. I should really get down to it some day.

9. I Wear My Sexyback At Night (cheekyboy edit) - Justin Timberlake v/s Corey Hart. Courtesy of the ever-reliable Aurgasm. It's so funny to hear people you're accustomed to thinking of wimpy pre-teens singing songs about shackles and whips. Still, one of the comfortable things about dance pop is that it renders your common standards and perceptions of music, things about voices and words and tunes and ideas, quite superfluous. I haven't actually heard the original of either of these songs, nor yet seen the videos, but I trust this version improves them muchly. It's dead sexy.

10. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall. KT's first album has already taken her past indieness into the stratosphere of pop-snob popularity - you know this happens when you listen to an obscure artist you love and right next week start hearing their songs on soundtracks to television shows, animated movies, or, as in the case of this song, inanimated movies - it's the opening track to The Devil Wears Prada. Simply delightful. Every time I play this song I think about girls in whose admiration my heart wearies - Lindsey and Flatmate #1, for example. She fills up every corner like she's born in black and white - how affectionate! How funny!

bonus track(s): The Abbey Road suite. Sometimes, all it takes to change the world is ten minutes of pop music.

I tag thee all. Take up thy illegal mp3s and walk.


  1. Anonymous7:18 pm

    Wow! great taste!! Actually I can only guess because I haven't heard 9 out of your top 10... :(

  2. I'm going to go back to Limewire, and download these songs. I remember the Xaviers sunrise performance - I wasn't there, but I was 2 km away, and was wondering if I wanted to be there.

    In ref to your previous post, wonder if you've heard it said before: the good being the enemy of the best, and vice-versa.

  3. Anonymous5:25 am

    Hi, I wandered into your blog a few months back, and I've been reading it off an on.

    I've been meaning to ask you something? Does it take a whole lot of effort being as complicated as you seem to be. I'm not judging, just asking.

    Are issues like feminism and all the other psycho-babble really part of you life, night and day, or it a garb you wear to appear intellectual? There is merit in simplicity.

  4. Anonymous1:31 pm

    Great taste I must say, you seem to have an open mind to music, in the sense, that you dont mind experimenting is the thought that flashed to me when i went through this blog.. am i right?
    sometime when free, do try and listen to some japanese classical music, the way they modulate their voices and the way they vary between low and high pitch is amazing..

  5. great stuff! I havent heard a lot of Portuguese stuff...shall try and lay my hands on some.
    Oh, and Tarkan!!...hes too pretty!!We really should move in toether.
    Im still obsessed with the Kiss Kiss number though...

  6. My favourite Tarkan track is not Simarik either, although I do love it very much. If I had to pick a favourite I would probably choose Hepsi senin mi or Ask.

    But he is so pretty, isnt he? *drools*

  7. Enjoyed my visit. We are not quite on the same wave length (no doubt generation gap accounts for that)but Amalia Rodriguez and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson are two that I can identify with.

    In case you missed it, check out The New Yorker's tribute to Lieberson.
    She was only fifty-two.

  8. Anonymous4:55 pm

    I like the songs! Though Suddenly I see seems to be ugly-girl fashion magazine song - it was on this US show called Ugly Betty, which is, btw, an American version of Jassi. (or More accurately, Yo Soy Betty La Fea, the original Spanish Telenovela).

    I do have a burning question though: How does WinAmp over iTunes cleanse your soul???

  9. @ alok: I'm flattered. And I do believe it's because you're not familiar with the other, unpublicised parts of my current playlist (Hint: So much dance pop. Unbelievable, humiliating amounts of mindlessness).

    @ unratiosenatic: I highly recommend Amalia. Have you ever been to one of Pandit J's live concerts?

    @ the anonymous typing jellyfish: Aren't you a clever one? Stop taking us girls so seriously, though - of COURSE the whole feminism thing is a front. You can't honestly think of any woman who wants to COMPLICATE life like that, do you?

    @ circe: I'm a sucker for unfamiliar shiny things, this is true. I've been wanting to listen to more Far Eastern stuff for a while now; my listening experiences don't extend beyond the Silk Route Project and a couple of other Chinese artists. I will definitely redouble my efforts to locate Japanese music. Thanks! :)

    @ szerelem: We move in together, first thing we do (after putting up the Pirlo poster in the hallway) is go out and buy lots of fado.

    @ panacea: But he is so pretty, isnt he? *drools*


    @ musafir: Oh, thank you. The New Yorker is effusive in its love of Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson. Have you read that long feature they did while she was still alive, the one that begins, "We live in the age of the Seconda Donna..."? Marvellous essay.

    @ yamini: Because Winamp is smaller? Faster? prettier? Less prone to monopolise your music and your computer and your life? It hearkens back to a more innocent time, when mp3 players didn't take up 35 MB on your hard disk, and your illegal mp3s made not a whimper about authorisation as they got played. Ah, me, for the fancies of youth.

    How is this Ugly Betty thing, anyway? Good? Devil Wears Prada-average? Godawful?

  10. nice reply to the anonymous typing jellyfish :) i read that comment and was wondering how you'd respond to that!

    haven't been to a pandit jasraj's concert. the thought of a sunrise performance was appealing. i will check out amalia.

    Now blog! :)

  11. :-D
    Oh, and I finally did the meme!

  12. Anonymous10:19 am

    I quite liked Ugly Betty, actually. Its warm and funny, and the actress playing the Jassi role is very charming. And there's Vanessa Williams palying the magazine's uber-bitch, which is AWESOME. Its certainly a welcome relief from the glut of serialized mysteries that makes one's head hurt with the effort of watching. (not that I'm complaining, coz I do love those as well.)

    Re WinAmp v iTunes, I suppose I'm too much of an Apple fanatic to ever look beyond iTunes. :) I've never had problems playing my illegal mp3s on iTunes though - is that a common issue?

  13. Wheee! It's nice to see that people know Tarkan songs other than Simarik (and that obscenely BAD Holly Valence version of it that I shall refrain fom even thinking about because it is THAT BAD). Yeah, Tarkan is hot. He has green eyes. That's a big deal in Turkey (I am allowed to say that because I'm turkish).
    And wheeeee! my meme is working!

  14. Anonymous3:33 am

    2 quick things

    1. Anon because I'm too lazy to create an id.

    2. Life is complicated, man or woman or the 3rd kind. Feminism has nothing what-so-ever to do with that. I'm not a fan of things being more complicated that they absolutely have to. Just to clarify, I like reading your posts, but on most occasions I get lost in the sea of words and the dense of web of ideas. Might be my tiny brain.

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