Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Tuesday, February 20

Music for Any Occasion

Perhaps you have seen some blogs post music surveys that ask ‘what five CD’s should everyone own?’

I wanted to fill that out, but ended up with about 15 different lists because, frankly, what makes music important to me is that it differentiates, that it is not completely universal. No music is popular with everyone; there are always contrarians who hate—say—Sergeant Pepper, Debussy’s La Mar, or Nevermind.

So I thought I’d take the concept of music everyone should own, and give it a practical application.

The goal is to have a short list of CD’s you could play for any group and have something for everyone—so that everyone would hear one song they loved and at least minimally enjoy the rest. You want to have different genres so that your aunt or grandmother will say ‘who is this? I love it.’ to one CD and another so someone you bring home from a bar will say, ‘oh yeah,’ or perhaps even ‘I’m feeling this.’

The trick is to straddle the line between populist and connoisseur. You don’t want obvious classics that work solely on nostalgia, but you don’t want sound experiments that are just showy extravagances either. (So KC and the Sunshine Band and Captain Beefheart are both out.)

We’ll up the number from five to six, because that seems the number of CD’s that many players will hold. So, I have my list, in fact, I have a few. But you go first. Post your list of six CD’s you’d put in the mixer for a foolproof ‘Music for Any Occasion’ selection. I will give you a caveat: when I say anyone, I mean English speakers from the United States. If we start bringing pygmies or the French into the equation, it will become too unworkable. And morons—you are not responsible for someone who only listens to death metal, dance, or Lucinda Williams. (Not that there is anything wrong with any of them in moderation.)

Choose carefully, because while there is no one correct answer, there are potentially many, many incorrect answers.


Blogger Nick writes:

If my family was in town & I was hosting a dinner party that mixed them with in-laws as well as friends, I would need a 12-disc changer set on shuffle to please everyone, incluidng myself. In no particular order:

Morphine Cure for Pain
Rufus Wainwright Want One
Paul Simon Graceland
Loretta Lynn Van Lear Rose
Jill Scott Who is Jill Scott...
Moby Play
Van Morrison Hymns to the Silence
Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison
Annie Lennox Medusa
Barenaked Ladies Gordon
Dire Straits Making Movies
Neko Case Furnace Room Lullaby


Blogger jamesdamian writes:

Dusty Springfield-Dusty in Memphis
Blondie-Parallel Lines
Depeche Mode-Music For the Masses
R.E.M.-Out of Time
Danger Mouse/JayZ-The Grey Album


Blogger Mr. Your On Fire Mr. writes:

DJ Q-BertWave Twisters, Episode 7 Million: Sonic Wars Within the Protons

Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

RJD2 Since We Last Spoke

Bestie Boys Paul's Boutique

DJ Spooky Optometry


Blogger Damon writes:

I only listen to dance-metal!


Blogger Bewareoftheblog writes:

Fall Out Boy Infinity On High
Norah Jones Not Too Late
Daughtry Daughtry
Akon Konvicted
Ashley TisdaleHeadstrong


Blogger dan writes:

I think "Daughtry" is one of those wrong answers.

I'd pick:
Sufjan Stevens : Michigan
Tori Amos : Under the Pink
Joni Mitchell : Blue
Prince : Sign O The Times
PJ Harvey : Dry
Elliott Smith : XO

Although I'd also want to throw in a mix CD featuring Fiona Apple, RJD2, Bjork, The Kinks, Suzanne Vega, Iron and Wine, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, The Carpenters, Rufus Wainwright, Radiohead, Spoon, and the soundtracks to Hedwig and the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I suppose that's not in the rules, is it.


Anonymous Craig writes:

Nina Simone - I Put A Spell On You
Diana Krall - When I Look In Your Eyes
Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
The Postal Service - Give Up
Aimee Mann - Lost In Space
Eurythmics - Peace
New Order - Power Corruption & Lies
The Smiths - The Smiths

WOW that was hard! I'll have a new list for you tomorrow...


Anonymous thegoodkelly writes:

Rent Soundtrack
Elvis Costello- My Aim is True
Joe Jackson- Night and Day
Boz Scaggs- Silk Degrees
Stevie Ray Vaughan- Texas Flood
kd lang- Ingenue


Blogger CampBlood writes:

Gotan Project - La Revancha Del Tango
Barry Adamson - The Murky World of Barry Adamson
Tipsy - Uh-Oh
Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks Soundtrack
The B-52's - The B-52's
Morrissey - Bona Drag


Blogger Erik writes:

You people must have some cool-ass grandmothers and aunts.

Craig and James's lists seem the most successful, from my point of view. They have a little something for everybody without any one album being too genre specific.

Here's my attempt:

Innervisions, Stevie Wonder
Garden of Earthly Delights, XTC
The September of My Years, Frank Sinatra
The Look of Love, disc three, Burt Bacharach
Thunder, Lightning, Strike, The Go! Team
Because It Feel Good, Kelly Hogan


Blogger headbang8 writes:

Iggy Pop, American Caesar
The Lionel Hampton Quintet, Self-titled #2
Scatterbrain, Here Comes Trouble
Allegri, Miserere
Bizet/Hammerstein, Carmen Jones
The Waitresses, Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?
Ian Dury and The Blockheads, Laughter
Tom Dolby, Aliens Ate My Buick
Various, Be-Bop Spoken Here

Alas, Erik, "...English speakers from the United States" is not my personal definition of "anyone". Perhaps too many English speakers from the United States make that assumption about the world, no?

Cheers, HB8


Anonymous thegoodkelly writes:

Screw it. I'd just play Stephen Lynch. It's not like they listen to the lyrics, anyway.


Anonymous Anonymous writes:

Everything But The Girl: Walking Wounded
Dusty Springfield: Dusty In Memphis
Moloko: Statues
Cyndi Lauper: At Last
Michael Jackson: Off The Wall
Bonnie Raitt: Nick of Time


Blogger dan writes:

Shows what you know. My gramma loves pj harvey.


Blogger Erik writes:

Who's your grandma? Moe Tucker?


Blogger dan writes:

That's Maureen Tucker to you, young man.


Anonymous Anonymous writes:

I seriously got confused and thought Kelly Hogan was Hulk Hogan's daughter and almost posted something about you liking that girls trashy album - then I remembered her name is Brooke. You had me worried there for a moment...


Anonymous KEW writes:

Mr. Bungle - California
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Evanescence - Call Me When You're Sober
Moby - Play
Meco - Close Encounters of Every Kind
Stakka Bo - Here We Go Again


Post a Comment


Medical Records

Season Three

Season Two

Season One