Now it's time for a breakdown

I’m sick of the iPod in my iPhone freezing up when I buy new songs. It’s summer. I’m going to be downloading a million and three songs. Andale.

I miss the mixed tape days when you only had the best parts of songs and your only trouble (though, sometimes, fatal trouble) was tangled tape. But then, at least, you had the pleasure of manually untangling your own issue and listening with new gusto to the music you saved from a terrible death. Now, I have no choice but to silently curse at a little piece of digital information that refuses to give into physical force.

Good. In the writing of this post, my music library has unfrozen.


I’ve heard of wearing your heart on your sleeve, but…

On the verge of becoming Kathleen Turner Overdrive

I sat peacefully at the ref desk, head cocked theatrically to one side, wondering if I could finagle a quick combo music-peddling trip to both Zia Records (they give more $) and then Bookmans tonight. I envision buckets of money being handed over the counters and me jogging to my car, not caring if I lose a couple dollars to the spring breeze.

When up walks this woman, shaking me out of my John Dorian daydream. She has remarkably peach lips. I can’t stop looking at them.
“Is there a record store in Phoenix called Via?”
Na uh.
“There’s one called Zia.”
“Is that what it’s called? A used record store?”
“Okay, so it’s Zia. I’ve heard they’re expensive, though, and this other one Brooks something…”
I Google it, but I know she means-
“Yes! I’ve heard they’re cheaper.”
This is true. And you are creepy.


la di da di

It all started with a sisterly chat over an 80s, hip-swinging tune (see #11).

“That’s my favorite song EVER!” I’m a little dramatic.

“How!? You say that about every song.” My sister, the memory woman.

“Yeah, well, I do have a definite 100 favorite songs.” A librarian should know better than to just spout out ill-informed stats like that.

“Really.” Every family has the romantic and the cynic. We take turns.

Here is my list of 110 favorite songs for the year 2010. Why 110? Because by the time I whittled the numbers down from 143 to 110, I’d had it.

This exercise was meant to delve into what I love quick and dirty-like and relive ancient memories as well as newer butterfly-in-stomach diddies that I’ve yet to fully explore. It was meant to make me think hard in a short amount of time about what I adore and what defines me musically.

I don’t recommend it. Seriously, don’t do this.

I present to you the list of 110 songs that, really, were the settled 110 that came to mind first. They are in order of release date because I will not rank them. Turns out every song is my favorite.

  1. Walkin’ After Midnight, Patsy Cline, 1957
  2. Time of the Season, The Zombies, 1968
  3. My Chérie Amour, Stevie Wonder, 1969
  4. L’Appuntamento, Ornella Vanoni, 1970
  5. Let’s Stay Together, Al Green, 1972
  6. The Joker, The Steve Miller Band, 1973
  7. Edge of Seventeen, Stevie Nicks, 1981
  8. Everybody, Madonna, 1982
  9. La Di Da Di, Doug E. Fresh, 1985
  10. Paul Revere, Beastie Boys, 1986
  11. Rock Steady, The Whispers, 1987
  12. It’s Tricky, Run DMC, 1987
  13. Juana la Cubana, Fito Olivares, 1988
  14. Cars That Go Boom, L’Trimm, 1988
  15. Lovesong, The Cure, 1989
  16. Bust a Move, Young MC, 1989
  17. Mentirosa, Mellow Man Ace, 1989
  18. Love Song, Madonna & Prince, 1989
  19. Vanishing, Mariah Carey, 1990
  20. Poison, Bel Biv DeVoe, 1990
  21. The Humpty Dance, Digital Underground, 1990
  22. More, Madonna, 1990
  23. Gett Off, Prince, 1991
  24. Motownphilly, Boyz II Men, 1991
  25. Summertime, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, 1991
  26. Under the Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1991
  27. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, Bryan Adams, 1991
  28. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Elton John & George Michael, 1991
  29. Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat), Digable Planets, 1992
  30. Sweet Thing, Mary J. Blige, 1992
  31. What’s the 411?, Mary J. Blige f. Grand Puba, 1992
  32. Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang, Dr. Dre & Snoop Doggy Dogg, 1992
  33. My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It), En Vogue, 1992
  34. Weak, SWV, 1992
  35. Fields of Gold, Sting, 1993
  36. All I Wanna Do, Sheryl Crow, 1993
  37. Ayer, Gloria Estefan, 1993
  38. If, Janet Jackson, 1993
  39. Baby’s Got Sauce, G. Love & Special Sauce, 1994
  40. Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden, 1994
  41. No Me Queda Más, Selena, 1994
  42. Stay (I Missed You), Lisa Loeb, 1995
  43. This Is How We Do It, Montell Jordan, 1995
  44. Techno Cumbia, Selena, 1995
  45. Santeria, Sublime, 1996
  46. Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder), Maxwell, 1996
  47. Sex in the Summer, Prince, 1996
  48. Lady Don’t Tek No, Latryx, 1997
  49. The Mummers Dance (Remix), Loreena McKennitt, 1997
  50. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly), Missy Elliot, 1997
  51. Melodìa del Rio, Rubén González, 1997
  52. Freak on a Leash, Korn, 1998
  53. Shanti/Ashtangi, Madonna, 1998
  54. One Week, Barenaked Ladies, 1998
  55. Cumbia de los Muertos, Ozomatli, 1998
  56. Feelin’ So Good, Jennifer Lopez, 1999
  57. No Me Ames (Salsa Remix), Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony, 1999
  58. East of the Sun (and West of the Moon), Diana Krall, 1999
  59. Sexbomb, Tom Jones, 1999
  60. Ms. Fat Booty, Mos Def, 1999
  61. Lovers Rock, Sade, 2000
  62. Jussara, Zuco 103, 2000
  63. Bananeira, Bebel Gilberto, 2000
  64. Legend, Nelly Furtado, 2000
  65. Baby Girl, Nelly Furtado, 2000
  66. It’s Love, Jill Scott, 2000
  67. Great Expectations, Jurassic 5, 2000
  68. Underneath It All, No Doubt, 2001
  69. I’m a Slave 4 U, Britney Spears, 2001
  70. Lapdance, N*E*R*D, 2001
  71. Picture, Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow, 2001
  72. La Valse d’Amélie, Yann Tiersen, 2001
  73. The Bass and the Movement, Atmosphere, 2002
  74. Don’t Know Why, Norah Jones, 2002
  75. What’s Golden, Jurassic 5, 2002
  76. The Seed (2.0), The Roots, 2002
  77. Fell in Love with a Boy, Joss Stone, 2003
  78. Quien Engaña No Gana, Ojos de Brujo, 2003
  79. Intro/Stronger Than Me, Amy Winehouse, 2003
  80. Try, Nelly Furtado, 2003
  81. Sidestep, Crown City Rockers f. Destani Wolf, 2004
  82. Damelo, Juanes, 2004
  83. Letter Read, Rachael Yamagata, 2004
  84. Anna (El Negro Zumbón), Pink Martini, 2004
  85. U.R.A.Q.T., M.I.A., 2005
  86. La Sirènes de la Fête, Brazilian Girls, 2005
  87. Sitting, Waiting, Wishing, Jack Johnson, 2005
  88. Do That There (The Young Einstein Hoo-Hoo Mix), Lyrics Born, 2005
  89. Lose Control, Missy Elliot, Ciara & Fatman Scoop, 2005
  90. Gold Digger, Kanye West f. Jamie Foxx, 2005
  91. Wikked Lil’ Grrrls, Esthero, 2005
  92. Bebot, Black Eyed Peas, 2005
  93. Yummy, Gwen Stefani f. Pharrell, 2006
  94. Wind It Up, Gwen Stefani, 2006
  95. Damn Girl, Justin Timberlake f. Will.I.Am, 2006
  96. La Tequilera, Lila Downs, 2006
  97. Fergalicious, Fergie, 2006
  98. Smile, Lily Allen, 2006
  99. What I Got, M.I.A., 2007
  100. Party Over Here, Atmosphere, 2007
  101. Creator, Santigold, 2008
  102. Crystal Ball, P!nk, 2008
  103. Warwick Avenue, Duffy, 2008
  104. American Boy, Estelle f. Kanye West, 2008
  105. Little Bit of Feel Good, Jamie Lidell, 2008
  106. Let It Fall, Lykke Li, 2008
  107. Diva, Beyonce, 2008
  108. Electric City, Black Eyed Peas, 2009
  109. Imma Be, Black Eyed Peas, 2009
  110. Bad Romance, Lady Gaga, 2009

*MJ Disclaimer: Even though I’ve clearly left out many, many songs, I purposely didn’t include Michael Jackson because I couldn’t go there. To choose one was to choose seventeen. I didn’t have the numbers for that.

Memoirs of an Imperfect Arranger

Me and Mariah go together like babies and pacifiers.

I have no patience for people that don’t like Mariah Carey. The reason I can so assertively say this is because most people that don’t like Mariah Carey (musical tastes notwithstanding) often don’t like her because they think she’s a whore. That’s interesting, since that’s how most of Hollywood works and quite honestly, there’s no real proof that she is any more of a whore than anyone else. Do you know anything of her history? What you’re upset at is her boobs. Just say it. I think Mariah Carey sucks because of her boobs. Good. Now that that’s out of the way…

Mariah Carey is one of my moms. I (dramatically) have a few famous “moms” that I say helped raised me since my real mom (who’s totally in my life and was back then) lived in another city when I was growing up. Without Mariah in my life, I would not have had anything to play at my tenth birthday pool party but horrid kids’ music and thank my lucky stars I didn’t have to go down that route. Even an elementary school teacher my sister and me both had once told us she had a dream about us dancing with Mariah in her “Dreamlover” video. She pictured us out in the fields, with tied-up plaid shirts and 90’s-tastic shorts. That’s intense.

Mariah Carey is an amazing singer and she’s a bit of a cartoon. She is practically imperfect in every way. This makes her precious and tragic and, to me, loveable. I love her older music more than her new music. I love her incessant use of adverbs. I love the fact that, because I sang it a hundred times a day in my formative singing years (before school choirs usurped my confidence) I can sing “Vanishing” a hundred times better than I can sing “Happy Birthday.”

This concert was probably only the third time I’ve seen her live, but I kind of think it was the fourth time. My sister will correct me on this one. She is the Memory Woman.

Boy, haven’t you noticed the gleaming in my eye? Because of you I’m a little hypnotized

I was exhausted. My baby boy doesn’t like sleeping anymore. I mean, he’s sooo over it. I was worried about making it through the day and staying awake during the concert without the help of commercially-sold stimulants (I have a concert-sleeping track record that is, quite frankly, embarrassing). However, I made it and it was beautiful out. “Beautiful” in Arizona standards means it was chilly and rainy. Yippee!!!

So I packed up my Louis Vuitton, jumped in your ride and took off

If only. The ill-timed downpour at the workday’s end caused me to make a gametime decision that surprised me. The exodus of librarians contained smart folk who all huddled under their various coats and umbrellas and one silly librarian who took off her sweater, draped it over her LV purse, and proceeded to run zig-zags through people, carrying her bag like a newborn football baby. I faced the elements in my tissue-thin blouse and I lost. I’m sure I got looks. Eh.

Needless to say, I had taken many a backstep from the level of glam I wanted to present for such a divalicious affair. My good friend was in town for the concert and I was meeting other Mariah girls at my house. I had no time to fix what the rain took away! Lucky for me, my sister is crafty and had differently-colored butterfly headbands and charmbracelets waiting for us. I could no longer be dowdy, even if I tried.

Seein’ right through you like you’re bathing in Windex.

With the Usual Mariah Suspects in tow, I headed out, into the rain. I promised the girls food and the growl of my stomach reminded me that, nope, I had not eaten at home as I’d vowed. I heard Ms. Carey was venturing out onto the stage later and later each night of her tour, so this meant no food till approximately midnight for Kristl. So…

Up we drove to Zoë’s Kitchen, much to the chagrin of the girl behind the register. Thanks to her sullen reminder, our ability to read and common knowledge, we knew they closed in twenty minutes.  I’m sorry. I love your restaurant and I had no concert-day foresight. I know I suck.

So… I broke my Lenten promise but I’m sure my food had been spit in, if that makes it any better.

‘Cause they be all up in my business like a Wendy interview

At the Dodge, we arrived in time to use the ladies’ and get to our row with enough time to hear three Michael Jackson songs as played by the DJ and see Her Mariahsty enter.

I do have to say that the restroom would very easily perpetuate any misconceptions that Mariah is whorish because of some of her fans. They’re not all librarians, secretaries, teachers and bankers. Most of them look like they got sprayed down with four letter words and contraceptives. That’s as nicely as I could say that.

So, I thought it was very lovely when one of them complimented our headbands. This created a wave of praise in the sea of girls jockeying for prime mirror real estate. And it perpetuated my notion that these girls secretly want to be Martha Stewart at the end of the day.

Through yellow lights, I’m ignoring every sign of caution that they provide

After the shifting aside of the inevitable seat-stealers, we realize we have serious ticket matching issues. Four-fifths of us are in one row and one of us is… closer?

My first reaction (as always) was defensive. “NO! When I bought these, they were all together!!!”

My second reaction was sadness. “Noo… I’m so sorry…”

My third reaction was, “Where is she going?!” My friend, who, I’m sure was upset we couldn’t sit together either, was gone. Ticket taken and off to her seat closer to the stage.

I spent the remainder of the night:

  • Worried she secretly hated me for not reading the Ticketmaster info more carefully.
  • Singing much louder than I should have been singing.
  • Mentally turning all Mariah’s costumes into paper doll outfits.
  • Distracted that my favorite dancer looked like Bradley Cooper and wondering how well Bradley Cooper dances. Could he sing? Which could he do better? Does he know that his last name means someone that makes barrels?
  • Much like Mlle. Amélie Poulain, I liked looking back in the theater seeing people’s faces during sad songs and parts with great lyrics. I also like seeing old people dance.
  • Realizing from afar that my friend’s blue butterfly was bopping happily along and my initial ticket arranging mistake was sort of meant to happen.

Je ne sais pas mais c’est la vie!