Monday, February 21, 2011

Liner Notes #4: "Finest Worksong"

Liner Notes is my ongoing music column with Electric City Creative. Each issue, I post supplementary material to the column’s topic on this site. In Issue #4, I talk about listening to music while writing.

That column title was a REM reference, if you were wondering. Speaking of REM, I find their song, "At My Most Beautiful" one of those both inspiring-yet-distracting songs whenever I hear it. It really is perfect. Here is an audio-only live version:

In my column, I mentioned that the music at work has improved lately. I'm a barista inside a grocery store, and usually, the music is horrible -- think Celine Dion-type horrible -- but I've been pleasantly surprised lately. More than half the songs are ones I'd listen to of my own free will. Here are some of the songs that I've not only liked, but didn't expect to hear:

"Wrong Impression" - Natalie Imbruglia

You shut up, hipper-than-thous. Natalie Imbruglia is awesome. And nice to look at. Apart from "Torn," she didn't exactly get a lot of play here in the US, so I didn't think that this would be the song that would pop up on a grocery store playlist.

"Spiderweb" - Joan Osbourne

I don't even think this was a single. I heard this for the first time today, and it made me wonder if the playlist people were spying on my music collection from the mid-90s. The entire Relish album is fantastic. Unfortunately, I haven't heard any of her more recent stuff.

"Someone's Daughter" - Beth Orton

No seriously, playlist people -- Are you spying on me? Until I searched for this song on youtube, I had no idea this was a single from her album Trailer Park. I don't think I'd ever seen a video of hers before. Look at her, she's adorable.

"Chasing Pavements" - Adele

Okay, this was a pretty big hit, so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised to hear it at work, but I do enjoy this song. Adele's certainly better than Duffy, who also appeared on every talk show and SNL in 2008.

"Fame" - David Bowie

This isn't even the ONLY David Bowie song on the playlist. I've also heard "Thursday's Child." MADNESS, I tell you, MADNESS.

There are also at least 7 Fleetwood Mac songs that filter through, and although one would expect to hear them just about anywhere with preset radio, they're still one of my favorites, so I don't mind. However, it's mildly surprising that they play a single from their last album, "Say You Will."

I also appreciate hearing INXS on occasion, though in general, you do hear them in stores pretty often.

Also surprising to hear: "Right on Time" - Lucinda Williams, "Paparazzi" - Lady Gaga, "Halo" Beyonce, "Emotions" - Mariah Carey. That last one takes me back to being 7 years old again, but those high-pitched notes are a bit rough at 6 am.

Of course, the only trouble with hearing songs I like while working is not singing along. Loudly...

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