Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Music Quiz

I saw this quiz on Tosy and Cosh (wasn't that a Tom Hanks buddy/cop movie from before he hit it big?), and I figured, hey, why not answer the quiz. So here I go. Answering the quiz. Yup.

1. Of all the bands/artists in your CD/record collection, which one do you own the most albums by?

Going by genre: in film music, John Williams dominates. In classical, it's Berlioz (although, for physical shelf space, all those Wagner operas take up a lot of room). In Celtic, I have a lot of The Chieftains.

2. What was the last song you listened to?

"Song"? Probably Van Halen's "Dreams" (which might be my favorite rock song of all time). Expanding "song" to mean "any musical selection", I heard a Debussy piano prelude on my way into work this morning. I didn't get to hear which prelude it was, though. (It was not "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair".)

3. What's in your CD player right now?

I'm not really sure, actually; I have a bad habit of leaving CDs in there when the thing is shut off. It's probably the Star Wars Episode III score, but it might also be a Blackmore's Night album.

4. What song would you say sums you up?

No one particular song. But a few that hit close to home are John Denver's "Looking For Space", the afore-mentioned "Dreams" by Van Halen, "Stairway to Heaven", and "Comfortably Numb". Including classical works, the scores to the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings films, the symphonies of Berlioz and Rachmaninov, and so on.

5. What's your favorite local band?


6. What was the last show you attended?

I'm very lax about attending live music. I don't even remember the last time I went to hear something live.

7. What artist do you consider to be very underrated?

Howard Shore and Hector Berlioz.

8. What's the shittiest band you've ever seen in concert?

I've never seen an outright shitty band.

Funny story, though: I was a counsellor at a summer music camp during my college years, and one night while at the camp they brought in a local band to play for a dance. It was actually a pretty decent band, but at one point I went outside to watch the moon rising behind the main lodge, and I noticed a brown spot at the edge of the moon. Yup: the moon was eclipsing. As the lunar eclipse reached totality, everybody attending the camp was outside watching, and the poor band was inside rockin' out for nobody. Ach well, they got paid, didn't they?

9. What band do you love musically but hate the members of?

Don't know, really. Wagner was a complete ass, that I know.

10. What is the most musically involved you have ever been?

I majored in music my first two years of college (before switching to philosophy, which probably answers the question "Why are you working in a grocery store?"). I was in the band and in the orchestra, playing the trumpet.

Our band was very good, but I was actually more proud of my work in the orchestra, because the orchestra program was a shambles my freshman year but through the very hard work of our conductor became pretty respectable by the time I graduated. It was exciting to be part of something like that.

11. What show are you looking forward to?

I've been living in the wistful hope that Howard Shore's touring Lord of the Rings Symphony would make a Buffalo stop with our own Philharmonic, but it doesn't look like that's coming to pass. Dammit.

12. What is your favorite band shirt?

Ummmm...I have no idea at all.

13. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?

I would love to have been able to see Leonard Bernstein at work. Or to just sit in the Chicago Symphony's trumpet section when Adolph Herseth was in his prime.

15. Sabbath or solo Ozzy?

Neither. I never liked Ozzy much.

16. Commodores or solo Lionel Ritchie?

I have no idea. I don't recall any Commodores tunes, and the only Ritchie song I really ever liked was "Say You Say Me".

17. Blackjack or solo Michael Bolton?

What is Blackjack? (Seriously.)

18. The Eagles or solo Don Henley?

The Eagles.

19. The Police or solo Sting?

Solo Sting, all the way.

20. Doesn't emo suck?

What is emo? (Seriously.)

21. Name 4 flawless albums.

Genesis: Invisible Touch; Van Halen: 5150; Dire Straits: Brothers In Arms (the single greatest album of the 80s, as far as I'm concerned); Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen on Decca, Sir Georg Solti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic (the most towering achievement of recorded music, as far as I'm concerned).

22. Did you know that filling out this survey makes you a music geek?


23. What was the greatest decade for music?

1781-1791 (The last ten years of Mozart's life).

24. How many music-related videos/DVDs do you own?

Only one, and that one I got as a review item from GMR. (It's Rachel Portman's opera The Little Prince.)

25. Do you like Journey?

They're one of those "in one ear and out the other" bands for me. Like Chicago, REO Speedwagon, and Air Supply.

26. What is your favorite movie soundtrack?

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

27. What was your last musical "phase" before you wised up?

Depends on your definition of "wise". I tried collecting jazz for a while, before I realized that I'm just not that attuned to jazz, which to me is wisdom in action. I did have a "New Age" music phase in college, but some of that stuff I still like (Tangerine Dream in particular), so I'm not sure.

28. What's the crappiest CD/record/etc you've ever bought?

I'm sure I've heard worse albums -- way worse, even -- but the biggest disappointment that I can remember is the CD of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's film music that Andre Previn conducted a couple of years back. How Previn made the music to The Sea Hawk sound lifeless and plodding will forever vex me.

29. Do you prefer vinyl or Cd's?

CDs. In fact, I still prefer CDs to moving digital files around, because I've heard too many horror stories of hard drives and whatnot going kablooie to want to trust my music to such ephemeral storage schemes. I loved vinyl in the day, but I didn't love the way it wore out. I do miss 144 square inches of artwork on the LP covers.

30. What is your guilty pleasure CD, that being the CD you love but would be ashamed to admit you have in your collection?

I'm really never one to feel guilty about my pleasures. (Remember: I'm one to stand up proudly and insist that The Phantom Menace is a good movie.) But if I were one to feel guilt about some pleasures, my liking of Yanni would probably fit the bill.

(Lynn Sislo answered some of these, too.)

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