The Standing Room sends me the music meme going around. While I don't have a particular interest in online quizzes like a fifteen-year-old girl, it occurs to me that much of my music perspective was shaped in my youth...
Total volume of music in your computer: iTunes reports 6683 songs in 48 Gigabytes. I got the record collecting bug early in high school, probably when I bought Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run (BTR lyric drinking glasses here), Devadip Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin's Welcome, and a Shostakovich Tenth Symphony. Also around that time, my cousin brought back from Germany a Leonard Bernstein Beethoven album on Deutsche Gramaphone that struck me as the ultimate in sophistication. Note that I didn't hear opera until my twenties and even today, without that early introduction, it is low on my list of interests.
Maybe a third of my American classical music has been ripped to MP3s but most of my pop/rock/European classical music remains as seldom played CDs (or no longer played LPs). I sold part of my LP collection in college (at the great Second Time Around in Indianapolis). I vowed to never sell another recording again and have since updated my vow by deciding to never delete an MP3.
Last CD you bought: The Spamalot original cast recording, as a surprise gift for Laura who really, really wants to see the show in New York. I was a hard-core Monty Python fan in high school, though my plan to drive with my buddy all the way to see them live at City Center fell through. Probably won't drive to see this one either. Of course, Spamalot is not your father's Broadway show, and it has reawakened that initial attraction. The Song That Goes Like This is meta-genius.
Song currently playing? Mark Anderson playing a piano arrangement of Gershwin's An American in Paris. I have an amazing talent to misidentify this piece. Before dinner, I was listening to the Varese streaming orgy and when I came back after dinner to turn on iTunes, I thought I had resumed the stream but not realizing it, I had selected An American in Paris instead. My first thought upon hearing what I thought was an unknown Varese piano piece was how impressive his music sounds when you strip away all that orchestral noise. Oops. Earlier this year, I was driving my 83-year-old Mom home from a hospital stay in Indiana and we were listening to classical music on the (surprisingly good) Ball State public radio station. An American in Paris came on and I thought to myself, what is this? Copland? Bernstein? Unprompted, Mom speaks up suggesting this is An American in Paris. Of course.
Five songs I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me? Again, I'll focus on songs as I grew up. At age six, watching my brother listen on the car radio to I Want To Hold Your Hand by the Beatles was a seminal moment as I realized the excitement and power and social significance of pop music (ok, maybe I didn't realize all that at the time but the image is still burned into my mind) . Playing Adagio for Strings by Barber as a tenor saxophonist in a 15-piece woodwind ensemble was probably my deepest creative experience. On the jazz side, I began to learn to improvise by transcribing Dear Lord by John Coltrane -- it was slow enough that, after some effort, I could begin to make sense out of it. Although, now that I think of it, I also invented saxophone riffs while listening to Pink Floyd's Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun. Even from an early age, boundaries between different kinds of music were there for me to cross. Back to the present, I've listened to Everywhen by Massive Attack probably fifty times in the last month. I told myself yesterday I needed to give it a break.
Five people to whom I'm passing the baton? Sorry, I'm more of a meme sync than a meme propagator which may help explain why my career move into marketing in my twenties was, shall we say, not a great fit. I will point out that Don Nunn is one of my favorite "meme-sters" to read (mildly unpleasant childhood tricycle accident meme response here).
By the way, I no longer have any desire to listen to Bruce Springsteen and I don't actually have any Beatles MP3s. Maybe I am waiting for the respective (and hypothetical) Broadway shows. And for some reason, I greatly prefer Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue over An American in Paris, although I don't think it has anything to do with Broadway.