Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Decade of Music, In Context...

Once upon a time I loved making music lists. Really, really loved it. The problem was that my list skills never quite caught up with my enthusiasm for making them. For example: I spent an entire summer in 2003 trying to come up with a mix CD worth of songs that featured hand clapping. Sounds simple enough, right? But the project never really came together.

In my mind, the songs had to be good, satisfactorily indie and/or ironic, and non-obvious enough that I would feel good (and snobby) about attaching my name to the list (so no “Theme from Friends”, etc). The whole thing started when I was driving around Alaska listening to “Nothing’severgonnastandinmywayagain” by Wilco, a song I loved (still do) so much that I would take my hands off of the wheel to clap along with the chorus. Same deal for “Alone Down There” by Modest Mouse and Ted Leo's “Timorous Me”.

But those three songs ended up as the list. When I couldn’t think of any other songs that really got me excited I brought Megan and her brother Jeff into the conversation, and they had great suggestions that for whatever reason still didn’t quite make me happy. The final analysis: good idea, poor execution.

In business school and in Seattle (when I was with Amazon) I made a lot of live music lists in an effort to get people to come to shows with me. It was fun, but didn't work that well either (I went to a lot of shows solo).

Putting all that aside, I want to start 2010 with a few music lists for old time's sake. In a couple of days I'll lay out my favorite live music experience of the last 10 years, but tonight I'm going to rank where music fits in with all the other crap going in Exnicios-land circa 2000-2009. We'll call my parents emeritus to this list and not in the official running. Without further ado:

1. Lauren (my beautiful wife)

2. Graduating Duke (and all that went along with it)

3a. Going to war (even if I wasn't getting shot at)

3b. Being in the Army generally (I'm better at push ups and shooting things than I would have been)

5. Graduating from Berkeley (and all that went along with it)

6. Calhoun and Bailey (my dog and cat)

7. Music (only top's got to feel a little disappointed)

8. All of my other friends and family not captured by Duke, Army, Berkeley, etc.

9. The Washington Redskins (0-1 in the new decade!)

10. All the books I read


anna said...

I wish I had gone to more of those shows with you! Missing out on LCD Soundsystem is one I especially regret. I'd never heard of them when you suggested it, but since then I've learned of their awesomeness. D'oh.

Exnicios said...

Ah, missed opportunities. I don't think I ever did see those guys.

Never fear, though--you will make at least one appearance on the decade's best Exnicios-attended live shows.

Look for that soon...