Now certainly I realize that I'm entering into a new mode of thinking
here (not completely new though - I tried making some lists a couple
months ago, for the first time), one which I don't want to be construed
as, or allowed to start constructing, my way of thinking. But after
reading Hornby lately and also seeing the film-ization (Do we have
a word for that? In Russian it's "ekranizatzia") of High Fidelity,
I have a hankering to make lists. Though in the novel Rob somewhat gave
up on his list-making mentality (recall, he says - in the film too -
that it's not what a person's like that matters, but what they
like; later he somewhat changes his mind, but in the film they don't
revisit that little bit), I think a little dialectic, a little give-and-take,
between the two kinds of thinking can be instructive. To me and you.
So, I give you my top five songs that could be best end of the
album songs, if it weren't for the fact that they're the second to
"Heat Miser" - Massive Attack, from Protection.
Ruined especially because on my copy it's followed by a particularly
loathsome live cover of the Doors' "Light My Fire," which I normally like.
"We're an American Band" - Yo La Tengo, from I Can Hear the Heart
Beating as One.
Because I'd rather have the lovely, slightly quaint "My Little Corner
of the World" come before it, than forego the extra bliss that would
come from having "American Band" drone away into the album's fadeout.
"Do You Know How to Waltz?" - Low, from The Curtain Hits the Cast.
Which is cheating really because "Dark," which follows, is charming
and a brief minute or so to "Waltz"'s 17 or so, so I don't even
really think of it as being there. But still - it makes the list,
for reasons much the same as "We're An American Band".
"Flamenco Sketches" - Miles Davis, from Kind of Blue.
The definitive verison, formerly the final track on the album,
but made second-to-final on the most recent remaster by the inclusion
of the same song's alternate take, after it on the CD. Aside from being
newer to me and thus less familiar and less memorably etched in memory,
it's a great, worthwhile performance - Cannonball's solo is even
a good deal different from that of the definitive cut, rather than
just somewhat different, which is more typical for an alternate take.
Despite this, having the track repeated detracts from the magic.
And I hate moving to stop the CD after track 5, or worse, programming it.
"Immortality" - Pearl Jam, from Vitalogy.
Admittedly, a choice with problems. Not musical ones, but extra-musical.
Extra-musical because I haven't really listened to this CD in months,
though it was once one of my favorites. Extra-musical because I might
now not actually think "Hey Foxymophandlemama, That's Me" is that
long and tedious any more at 7:44 with an endlessly repeated loop
of a girl talking about wanting a spanking, what with my intervening
appreciation for minimalism and drones. But when I was 17 - or hell,
when I was 19 or 20, still, living with Damon in Lyon 305 Harwood
listening to our shared favorite music (except for Bad Religion,
which he hated and still does), I thought that "Immortality," with
its existentially woeful guitar solo and the way Eddie Vedder didn't
say "immortality" that one time just when I still always expected
he would, despite always knowing he wouldn't... I thought it was one of the
best songs in the world, let's just say. So of course the confused
mess that is (or was - I'll have to check on that) "Foxymophandlemama"
always put me off. It took me forever to actually listen to it and
decide it wasn't so bad after all. But despite that, I would've
rather had "Immortality" last, again preserving my blissful moment
until its natural time (as this list indicates is my wont).