Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Writing about music (and yes, I post a NKOTB video)

I have always had a weird taste in music. I enjoy most things popular culture and artists that most people know. You'll even get Steph to talk about my "secret love" of Gloria Estefan and how I know all the words to her covers album "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me." You will remember this little ditty that was popular in the 90's:


Now, although I know quite a few of the lyrics from this album, contrary to popular belief, I cannot sing the whole thing. And, yes, I do own it. Judge not. You know you went to the NKOTBSB tour. And you waved your one arm during that one song and sang along.



Will you judge me less to know that my music collection also contains R.E.M., Emmylou Harris, Metallica, Green Day, Travis, Ben Folds, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Counting Crows, Oasis, Plain White T's, Sheryl Crow, Regina Spektor, Gavin Degraw, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Adele, The Script, Lady Antebellum, Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, The Decemberists...

I also have the ubiquitous "Glee" songs.

One of the less familiar artists that I enjoy is a woman named Loreena McKennitt. I would describe her as a folk singer that tends to sway toward the Celtic sound. She's traveled the world and her sound is inspired by such, but most of her songs are either traditional songs found in the Celtic catalog, or have a Celtic sound to them. If you're not sure about Celtic music, think the "Titanic" soundtrack, but spookier. You actually might recall this song on the radio in the 90's. It's only a mass market rendition of one of her songs, and you can make fun of me if you want, but it's not the version found on the actual album...not that really makes a case for my argument, but whatever:


But I have always loved music with Celtic influences. I think it's my Welsh background. My name is "double Welsh" as told to me by a Shakespeare professor in college.

My name is also a whiskey brewed in Kentucky. Either way, Welsh or Kentucky, fiddles are involved. Kentucky is known as the bluegrass state, right? And I do love a good bluegrass song. They often have great fiddle placement. Every song needs good fiddle placement, don't you agree?

One of my favorite songs by Loreena McKennitt is actually one of my favorite poems put to music. I don't think you have ten whole minutes to listen to "The Highwayman," words penned by Alfred Noyes, but it's a haunting tale set to an even more haunting tune. It's a good story. You can thank me later.


My favorite is using her music (or similar-styled music) for my middle school students to write to. They're usually suppressing giggles the entire time.