A list of 10 or so songs that I am/ have been listening to recently. Updated every two weeks.
1. Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27: I. Largo - Allegro Moderato - Sergei Rachmaninoff, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
I have a playlist on Spotify that contains about 25-30 different performances of this piece, that's another way of saying it's one my favourite pieces of orchestral music. It stems from Birdman (like many of my song choices, they're often found in films) and sets itself apart mostly through the brief section about six minutes in. I've judged how good the performance was based on the execution of that section. Hence, I chose this performance because it doesn't rush the section, it enjoys it as much as it can. So much so, and this was the main reason why I chose it, the section is performed twice instead of the usual once.
2. Big Yellow Joint - David Schwartz
Erm, not too much to say about this one really. It's based on a small gag from the TV show Arrested Development. I came to listen to it in it's fullness (30 seconds) recently and has been one that I just pop on every now and then, just for a brief giggle.
3. Woodstock - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
I grew up on Joni Mitchells version of this, which always has a special place for me. I've heard this over the last few years, but always ignored it as a replacement of Joni Mitchells. But right now, I think I much prefer this version. Mostly because I've come to appreciate this album more and more as time has gone on.
4. She's Always a Woman - Billy Joel
I think it's hard to disagree that Billy Joel has been a bit of a lyrical genius during his career, Piano Man is great example to testify that. This song resurged recently in my life, and the lyricism of Billy Joel came back to strike me. It's got that sense of wonder but with a scathingly realistic undertone to it that is very present. No wonder he managed to write so many hits.
5. True Men Don't Kill Coyotes - Red Hot Chili Peppers
My Chili Peppers phase came in full force during my first year at university, I was always a fan but never like I was at 19 years old. I still hold that Frusciante is one of the greatest guitarists of this generation, and I'm a big fan of his solo albums. I chose this one because it's my favourite of their older style, it's upbeat and funky still while still being a good rock song. It also reminds me big time of my first year of uni, when life was a lot simpler. That will have been four years ago next month.
6. Pantala Intro - Dave Matthews Band
My Dave Matthews Band phase came at 16/17. I was obsessed and it actually became pretty formative in my late teenage years. I chose this because it's nice and relaxed, feels a bit like just hanging out in some giant field or nature reserve. I have a fond memory, having just done the first 3 hours of my tattoo, of walking through Beacon Hill park listening to this. I'd just finished my second year of uni and was cherishing my final weeks in Canada. It was very fitting at sunset and holds good memories of an easier time.
7. Whiplash - Don Ellis
If this came from a film, what film did it come from? I prefer this to the film version, just because there's more to it and again I prefer the pacing to it. Big band Jazz is another thing I remember from my youth, I didn't have any sort of phase, it's just being a part of the music community at school I was always at concerts with the big band.
8. Johanna - Stephen Sondheim (Film)
Being a part of that music community, as well as dabbling in drama at school, I got myself involved in a performance of Sweeney Todd when I was 15 years old. This song was always my favourite, especially because the execution of it in the film was top class. Sondheim wrote some banging tunes for his musicals.
9. Kortisin - Plaid
I first heard this when I was working on an essay in my third year of uni (Easier time) and it struck me. It's audible ketamine, it has that relaxed and warped sound that makes you think you're losing your head, your body has left the building and you're just sat there staring into oblivion in a sort of conscious state of sleep.
10. Coyote - Joni Mitchell
Song of road trips, I first heard this one on the way to Stoke in January this year. Joni has accompanied me my entire childhood, and so her music is very formative in my understanding of what music I like and don't. I'm still discovering her stuff, and this was a great find for me.