Drat. I hate it when I get caught by the latest Internet meme. Not sure if this one really qualifies for meme status since it is targeted at a smallish set of Last.fm users but here goes…
(If you haven’t used or heard of Last.fm give it a whirl! I’ve been using it to track my music listening habits for several years now. You can see my top weekly artists right on the front page of the site.)
Top 10 Artists
Name your top 10 artists on your Last.fm profile page.
- The Beatles
- Death Cab for Cutie
- Sufjan Stevens
- The Strokes
- Zero 7
- Johnny Cash
- Norah Jones
- The Shins
Now answer the questions according to the numbers.
What was the first song you ever heard by #6 (The Strokes)?
I believe it has to be “The Way It Is” from Room On Fire.
What is your favorite album from #2 (Death Cab for Cutie)?
Transatlantacism, though there’s a great live EP on iTunes that’s a very close second.
What is your favorite lyric that #5 (Stereolab) has sung?
please can you mend my baby
he hasn’t moved for three weeks
don’t they use coffins
when they are that small
Stereolab, “Nothing to Do With Me”
How many times have you seen #4 (Sufjan Stevens) live?
Uh, none! A travesty to be sure.
What is your favorite song by #7 (Zero 7)?
“Futures” from The Garden according to my iTunes rating of 5 stars. “In The Waiting Line” according to the number of times played in iTunes (17 times).
What is a good memory you have involving the music of #10 (The Shins)?
Relaxing late at night on the couch, snuggled up with Marla as we watched Garden State.
Is there a song of #3 (Beck) that makes you sad?
“Lost Cause” from Sea Change. That whole album is a little melancholy.
What is your favorite lyric that #2 (Death Cab for Cutie) has sung?
No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark
Death Cab for Cutie, “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”
What is your favorite song by #9 (Norah Jones)?
Lately it is “Creepin’ In” – a duet with Dolly Parton.
How did you get into #3 (Beck)?
I distinctly remember rockin’ out to “Loser” in the mid-90’s with John Peterson (of The Issues) at some bar in Vinings, GA before moving to Seattle. I didn’t actually purchase a Beck album until starting at GameSpy many years later, mostly thanks to RadioSpy’s Sean “Spiff” Flinn.
What was the first song you heard by #1 (The Beatles)?
I have very vivid memories of jumping and dancing to “Roll Over Beethoven” from The Beatle’s Second Album (Capitol Records) in the upstairs bedroom of our house on Crowe Drive in Smyrna, GA. It was my mother’s vinyl, of course, which I still own.
What is your favorite song by #4 (Sufjan Stevens)?
iTunes tells me it is “Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Step-Mother!” from Illinoise. “Chicago” is probably a close second – and far easier to type.
How many time have you seen #9 (Norah Jones) live?
What is a good memory you have involving #2 (Death Cab for Cutie)?
I remember hearing “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” the first time on the ride home from work and getting misty-eyed thinking about my lovely wife. I played it for her later that evening assuming she’d think I was crazy and morbid… but she thought I was sweet.
Kinda like that time I bought her the Dia de los Muertos figurine of a skeletal bridal couple from a trip to Austin.
But she thought I was sweet instead – on both occassions. I’m a luck man!
Is there a song of #8 (Johnny Cash) that makes you sad?
What is it with this survey and sadness? Anyway, Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” is heart-wrenching. He sounds like he’s actually been hurt, whereas Trent Reaznor just sounds like a whiny baby.
What is your favorite album of #5 (Stereolab)?
Gotta be Sound-Dust. I discovered Stereolab right after Emma was born and have many, many memories of rocking her to sleep to “Baby Lulu”.
What is your favorite lyric that #3 (Beck) has sung?
Tough one! Not sure I have any favoritebut “Little One” from Golden Age isn’t bad.
To throw your chains away
To try to hang your hopes on the wind
Just a little way
Today all we need is waiting
Beck, “Little One”
What is your favorite song of #1 (The Beatles)?
Oh, my. This is torture! How can I possibly choose?
I’d say either “Two of Us” off of Let It Be or “Lovely Rita” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. (I’ve got 22 albums and 459 Beatles tracks in my collection, FWIW.)
What is your favorite song of #10 (The Shins)?
“Kissing The Lipless” off of Chutes Too Narrow. “New Slang” is a close runner up. (“New Slang” gets points deducted for being over-played after Garden State came out.)
How many times have you seen #8 (Johnny Cash) live?
Never. (Again.) And I never will, I guess.
What is your favorite album of #1 (The Beatles)?
Revolver > Rubber Soul > Let It Be (Naked).
If you’ve never heard the “naked” version of Let It Be go grab it. Phil Spector ruined that album. (Nothing can save “Across The Universe” though… It still sucks, even if naked.)
What is a great memory you have considering #9 (Norah Jones)?
Emma asking to listen to her when riding in the car. It’s great that we’ve taught her to like and respect quality musicianship vs. radio pop garbage. (Norah Jones being in my top 10 must be a fluke. I swear I haven’t listened to that much of her.)
What was the first song you heard by #8 (Johnny Cash)?
I’ll bet it was “(Ghost) Riders In The Sky” from 1979. I think it hit #2 on the charts at the time.
What is your favorite cover by #2 (Death Cab for Cutie)?
I can’t say that I’ve actually ever *heard* DCfC cover a song. I do know that they’ve done some pretty out-of-type covers on tour… Like “Thriller” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” That’s got to be a treat.
Just randomly stumbled across this blog while searching something music/Last FM related on google.
Actually, Death Cab has done covers before. The on ehtat sticks out the most in my mind would have to be “All is Full of Love”, a song originally sung by Bjork.
Bjork (from Homogenic):
Death Cab for Cutie (from Stability EP):
I can’t decide between the two. They are both great tracks.
Just thought you might be interested. :)
When I first heard the song, I thought of Johnny Cash/ June Carter Cash (and my mom/dad). Then when I heard it the second time, the stupid radio announcer prefaced playing the song with “I hesitate to play this song because of the subject matter, but I know that a lot of people are loving this song.” It made me wonder “what is she talking about?” That is why I went online to read the blogs about it and found the suicide arguments about it.
Some of it made sense- like the “if heaven and hell can’t decide” and catholic vicious rule line-referring to some who believe that suicide gets one an instant ticket to hell, etc. I guess you can read anything into a song if you want to.
I prefer to keep my original thoughts about it- the image of Johnny and June holding hands in heaven.
Here’s the quotes from that iTunes Originals intro. I think this is Ben Gibbard speaking:
“I Will Follow You Into The Dark has references to going to Catholic school in the song. I was brought up Catholic and, for me, I’ve been kind of finding it harder to accept so many of the things I was brought up being told I have to accept.
“One day I had this idea of, it’s just such a beautiful sentiment, that nobody knows what happens to us after we die. I mean The Pope knows about as much about what happens after we die as I do or you or anyone else in this room.
“So I head this idea of… I thought it would be really nice to have this sentiment of following somebody else into the dark.
“I mean, we’re all going to die some day and we don’t know what it is. And the fact that we don’t know what that is is, to me, that registers as “a dark.”
“So, like, ‘I’m following you into the dark. I don’t know what’s there. I don’t know what we’re walking into.’
“And that triggered a series of images in my head of being in an unlit room and kind of stumbling around trying to find out where you are.
“So, I will follow you into this dark place but we’ll be there together. You won’t be alone there.”
After this they go into a stripped-down version of the song with just him and an acoustic guitar.
Maybe check on his blog and see if he mentions it here? http://mog.com/ben_gibbard
Also, watch the videos:
The “Bunnies” version features two bunnies in love that meet again in the end and a grandfather and grandson sharing some moments.
The “Hole” version shows him eventually falling into an ever-growing hole he’s trying to avoid. When he finally falls in he discovers it’s solid below (not a void) and he walks on into it calmly.
Despite the obvious death and sadness in both versions I come away feeling hopeful.
Put my vote firmly in the love song column on this one and let the emo’s wallow in their version of the dark!