So I am failing miserably at this whole 365 songs over 365 days thing. However, through this journey I’ve realized a few things about myself (that I probably already knew deep down in the depths of my musically challenged soul).
1. I know nothing about music. I like it a lot. I think things sound nice or cool or have a great beat, but apparently over the years I’ve rarely invested in music enough to care about song titles or the bands producing them. This means if it’s not Madonna, CCR, Green Day or The Beatles, I likely have no earthly idea who is singing let alone what the song is titled, thus making compiling a list of 365 songs much more tedious than it should be.
2. My interest is short-lived. Maybe it’s because I’m tone deaf, maybe it’s because I personally have no rhythm, or, just like a performance piece showcasing unintelligible visuals like poems being pulled from an artist’s vagina, maybe I simply don’t understand the art form being presented to me, whatever the reason, I struggle connecting a musician to their work and quickly move on to the next tune that’s for me. I like a song or I don’t. I like a genre or I don’t. I want to hear more or I don’t. Who sings what? Meh … whatever.
3. I was much more invested in television and movies as a kid. While friends were spending all of their allowance on that Matchbox Twenty concert in Deer Creek, I was watching reruns of the Kids in The Hall or hanging on to every Pacey and Joey moment Dawson’s Creek could provide. Again, I like music a lot. Bought a lot of soundtracks so one sound wouldn’t get stale. I took the History of Jazz as a college elective because not only do I like music, I appreciate an array of melodies. Unfortunately, wide-ranging admiration doesn’t recollecting-a-specific-song-or-musician make.
4. For whatever reason (see point #2), the struggle with matching a song to its creator is real. Example – The Goo Goo Dolls.
My roommate in college was a huge music fan. Music was her everything and she literally knew everything. She knew albums, release dates, awards and artists like no one I’ve ever met and would always share them with me. She was my Mr. Miagi when it came to music. She’d explain the finer points and the histories or the inspirations behind various songs or soloists or bands, teaching me these little nuggets of information that gave me a new perspective on each piece being played. We’d be in the tiny kitchen cooking dinner and a song would come on and I’d say, “I like this one. Who sings this?” (which I did a lot) and she’d rattle it off right away. No hesitation. It was one of the ways we bonded… till I asked about the same song for the 17th time. I remember the day like yesterday …
We had just gotten in her Saab. Seatbelts were being buckled, she turned the key in the ignition and that song came blasting across the radiowaves.
Me: Who sings this one?
Her: (looking at me with the most exasperated expression one could muster)
Me: (puzzled) What? Do you not like this one?
Her: (continuing to stare, exasperated expression turning ino a death glare)
Me: I like this one. Who sings it?
Her: (quietly) The Goo Goo Dolls.
Me: (smiling and nodding) Oh yeah! That’s right! The Goo Goo Dolls! Well I like this one.
Her: (still glaring, now eyebrow raised) So you said. Like every other time I told you who sings this song. At least 16 times, Libs. Seriously! Did you really not know this was the Goo Goo Dolls? Better yet, how did you not know this is the Goo Goo Dolls? IT. IS. THE. SAME. DAMN. SONG. EVERY. TIME.
Yep. Couldn’t identify the same Goo Goo Dolls song at all- apparently multiple times. The song was being overplayed like every thirty minutes on every rock channel around. My three year old nieces would have known who sang the song. In my defense, one could argue that it sounded similar to all of their other songs and other 90s hits of the era, but let’s call a spade a spade. I’m a half-deaf idiot who can’t tell the Goo Goo Dolls from Collective Soul, or Third Eye Blind or Gin Blossoms or Smashing Pumpkins or Skid Row or Eminem or Yanni … Basically to beat a dead horse – I have the absolute inability to match a song to its creator.
There you have it – why I fail when it comes to coming up with 365 songs over 365 days. Will I reach my goal by year’s end? Doubtful, but we’ll see. That said, I give you several songs going into the holiday week that demonstrate why the struggle is real and the four examples that will never get mixed up in my mind.
Never to be confused with another musician or band, I give you Madonna, CCR, Green Day and The Beatles:
105. Madonna, Express Yourself (1988)
106. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bad Moon Rising (1969)
107. Green Day, Basket Case (1994)
108. Beatles, In My Life (1965)
And here is the one that made my roommate crack …
109. Goo Goo Dolls, Iris (1998)
And here is the one that sounds just like it.
110. Goo Goo Dolls, Slide (1998)
Wait! This one sounds just like it.
111. Goo Goo Dolls, Black Balloon (1998)
Can we just say maybe it isn’t me after all … perhaps we really have been presented the same song repeatedly just with a different music video and title to throw us off their scent?
112. Goo Goo Dolls, Name (1995)
Sounds like Goo Goo Dolls to me.
113. Matchbox Twenty, 3AM (1996)
Goo Goo Dolls, is that you?
116. Collective Soul, The World I Know (1995)
Hmmm … you’re starting to agree with me, aren’t you?
117. Gin Blossoms, Til I Hear It From You (1996)
So obviously not the Goo Goo Dolls but, c’mon, folks. You’ve got to be feeling me by this point…
118. Smashing Pumpkins, 1979 (1995)