Thursday, January 21, 2010

Are YOU hip and cool?

My students and non-musician friends often rib me for being clueless about contemporary popular music. So I've been given a list of forty songs to know "when you are a classical expert and want to be hip and cool" by one of these non-musician friends. I knew a grand total of five (bolded below) before being sent the list, and am now slowly working my way through the rest. As I know from chats with other classical musicians, I am not alone in my cluelessness about Fiona Apple or The Fray. So here is the list for all of you. And for you readers who are worldly in that new-fangled pop music, feel free to add your own songs to the list.

1. "Long December," Counting Crows, Films About Ghosts: Best of Counting Crows
2. "Nightswimming," R.E.M, Automatic for the People
3. "White Flag," Dido, Life for Rent
4. "Mercy," Duffy, Rockferry
5. "November Rain" Guns and Roses, Greatest Hits (you'd think I'd know this, but not one of the GnR songs I'd experienced back in the day)
6. "Look After You," The Fray, How to Save a Life
7. "Stay," Sugarland, Enjoy the Ride
8. "Secret," Maroon 5, Live from Le Cabaret
9. "Say Goodbye," Dave Matthews Band, Crash
10. "Come Back to Bed," John Mayer, Live
11. "If my heart was a house you'd be home," Owl City, Ocean Eyes
12. "Me and Bobby McGee," Janis Joplin, Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits
13. "Cream," Prince and the New Power Generation, Best of Prince
14. "In Your Eyes," Peter Gabriel, So
15. "In My Dreams," REO Speedwagon, Best of REO Speedwagon
16. "Chasing Cars," Snow Patrol, Eyes Open
18. "Shadowboxer," Fiona Apple, Criminal
19. "Mysterious Ways," U2, Achtung Baby (I know many U2 songs, but not this one)
20. "Help Me," K. D. Lang, Tribute to Joni Mitchell
21. "Wicked Game," Chris Isaak, Best of Chris Isaak
22. "Sign your name," Terence Trent D'arby, Introducing the hardline according to Terence Trent D'arby
23. "Halo," Beyonce, I am Sasha Fierce
24. "Champagne Supernova," Oasis, What's the Story Morning Glory?
25. "Bittersweet," Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Sister Sweetly
26. "Look After You," The Fray, How to Save a Life
27. "Come on Get Higher," Matt Nathinson, Some Mad Hope
28. "Last Request," Paolo Nutini, These Streets
29. "Love Song," 311, Greatest Hits '93-'03
30. "Too Funky," George Michael, Ladies and Gentleman
31. "Down to the River to Pray," Allison Krauss, O Brother Where Art Thou? Soundtrack
32. "Bless the Broken Road," Rascal Flatts, Greatest Hits vol 1
33. "Wind it Up," Gwen Stefani, The Sweet Escape
34." Just Dance," Lady Gaga, The Fame
35. "Lips of an Angel," Hinder, Extreme Behavior
36. "Sexyback," Justin Timberlake ( featuring Timbaland), FutureSex/Lovesounds
37. "Dreams," Cranberries, Stars: The Best of the Cranberries (I have one Cranberries CD, but not this one)
38. "Land of Canaan," Indigo Girls, Indigo Girls
39. "Jealousy," Natalie Merchant, Retrospectve (1990-2005)
40. "Viva La Vida," Coldplay, Viva La Vida

Some of these groups I've never even heard of, so this will definitely be an education. Coming soon, a list of classical pieces to show that one is hip and cool.


Jamie said...

Allow me to correct some albums for you.

1: Recovering the Satellites

5: Use Your Illusion II

21: Heart Shaped World

29: The Cure: Disintegration (the 311 remake is just not that good)

37: Everyone Else is Doing it, Why Can't We?

39: Tigerlily

Anonymous said...

And this person thinks they are hip and cool? Where is the hip hop? Kanye West, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, etc. Kings of Leon is an obvious miss.

Scott said...

I think this person is hip and cool, at least as much as one can be when past the age of 30. Why is hip hop essential for coolness? And what song by Kings of Leon would you recommend?

Patty said...

I knew three: 12, 31, 40 ... yep, I'm that out of touch.

Anonymous said...

Kings of Leon would be Use Somebody.

jofrid said...

No offense, but if you admit to listening to some of those songs you risk being thrown back into the pit of geekdom.

Susan said...

We need to expand your horizons. I knew 31 of these. Dave Matthews is fabulous!! REM and Counting Crows are groups you should enjoy also. Indigo Girls and Natalie Merchant are good for mellow music in our house. November Rain is actually a pretty good song.

Scott said...

I'm happy in the world of geekdom, I just like to learn new things. I now have 3 Dave Matthews albums, and I already owned an REM album before this new pop education. I need to consult Hugh's list to see which DMB things I'm missing.

mrG said...

why is a knowledge of consumer brand names a criteria for cool at all? and when did that happen? was ginsberg cool because he could name 50 brands of cigarettes? was miles davis cool because he knew every brand of pop sold by Blackwoods Beverages? So why then would it be cool to know the Sony catalog?

Well, here's one explanation: Sun Ra said you don't want to be 'cool' because dead things are cool. You want to be alive, so you want to be hot, and stay on fire. Hot people can do things, hot people notice things, hot people can find new ways and new paths through things. Because they are alive.

So you can go be cool if you want. Could be the 'hip' part has something to do with one's tush not leaving the chair, but I'll leave that for some other snipe ;)