Hearing Something Else

1. “My Favorite Things,” John Coltrane (1961, 13:43) 2. “Cowgirl in the Sand,” Neil Young & Crazy Horse (1969, 10:06) 3. “Desolation Row,” Bob Dylan (1965, 11:23) 4. “When,” Grachan Moncur III (1969, 12:08) 5. “Beat Bop,” Rammellzee vs. K-Rob (1983, 10:09) 6. “Marquee Moon,” Television (1977, 10:47) 7. “Spiegel im Spiegel,” Arvo Pärt (1995, 10:38) 8. “Jamboree,” Henry Flynt (1965, 10:18) 9. “I Love Music,” O’Jays (1975, 11:54) 10. “International Airport,” Dump (1995, 12:45) 11. “Driftin' Back,” Neil Young & Crazy Horse (2012, 27:36) 12. “Quiet Nervousness,” Manuel Göttsching (1984, 13:00) 13. “Jenny Ondioline,” Stereolab (1993, 18:08) 14. “A Very Cellular Song,” Incredible String Band (1968, 13:13) 15. “Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now,” McFadden & Whitehead (1979, 10:37) 16. “Dark Star,” Grateful Dead (1969, 23:18) 17. “The Creator Has a Master Plan,” Pharoah Sanders (1969, 32:46) 18. “Für Immer,” Neu! (1973, 11:17) 19. “Right Off,” Miles Davis (1971, 26:53) 20. “Blue Sky, Highway and Thyme,” Henry Flynt (1965, 15:53) 21. “Out of This World,” John Coltrane (1962, 14:06) 22. “McCauley Street (Let's Go Downtown),” Chris Stamey Experience (2004, 10:40) 23. “Rapper's Delight,” Sugarhill Gang (1979, 14:35) 24. “Sending Lady Load,” Felt (1988, 11:59) 25. “The World Is a Ghetto,” War (1972, 10:10) March break. I thought about going to Europe, but I stayed home and made a list instead. These are my favourite long songs, “long” defined as 10-minutes+ in an ILM poll running right now (called “Still Not an Epics Poll” for some reason, one of many ILM jokes that goes right over my head). The guy in charge of the poll has been vigilant about the 10- minute cut-off (happily; you have to draw the line somewhere), but for some reason, Television’s “Marquee Moon” was allowed to sneak in. It runs either 9:58 (according to Wikipedia, and according to my vinyl copy) or 9:11 (according to the mp3 I keep on my hard drive), but short of 10 minutes regardless. And it might win.* Of my first eight, six of them were on the Facebook countdown I did with Scott Woods a few years back. “Beat Bop” wasn’t (it was on Scott’s list), and even at the time I wished I’d listed it too. I can’t remember if we had a strict no-duplicate-songs rule in place, or if that was more of an informal goal. The other omission was “Desolation Row”; I did have a no-artist-twice rule for my own list, and went with “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” for Dylan. Today my pick would be one of my two other favourite songs on Highway 61, “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” or “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry.” Newest songs on the list (i.e., newest to me--these are all old songs that I heard for the first time within the past five years or so): “Beat Bop,” “When,” “Spiegel im Spie- gel,” “International Airport,” “Quiet Nervousness,” “Für Immer,” “Right Off,” and “Let’s Go Downtown.” (And “Driftin’ Back,” but that one actually is new.) Also, until this poll, I never knew there was a much longer album version of War’s “The World Is a Ghetto.” If ever a Top 40 hit was meant to exist in a long version, you would think “The World Is a Ghetto”--hazy, mournful, druggy--would make the transition with ease. As of now, I still prefer the shorter hit version, though, but it’s brilliant enough that I wanted to vote for it anyway. A couple of things that slipped my mind when I submitted my ballot last week: something by Ravi Shankar (I’ve got four songs of his on my hard drive that are over 10 minutes; two or three might be sections of a side-long suite) and the long piece of accordion music that plays during the pub scene in Satantango. The first might not have qualified under the rules--there was some disagreement about where classical ends and not-classical begins--and the second, well, I don’t even know if it has a name. If I’d remembered, I would have dubbed it “Love Theme from Satantango” and dropped it in around #20. I’m too lazy to do the math, but I’d estimate that my list adds up to somewhere around 300 minutes--25 songs, 5 hours, with the longest being “Driftin’ Back” at 27:36. (“The Creator Has a Master Plan” is longer if you count Part 1 and 2 as a whole, but on the original LP they’re split up over two sides.) The Angry Samoans’ Unboxed Set, a single- CD collection of their first four albums, has 43 songs and runs just over 75 minutes. One of our focuses for math this year is “proportional reasoning.” There might be a good word problem in there. *(I downloaded a new mp3 of “Marquee Moon” from Soulseek, and this one clocks in at 10:47. So I don't know what’s going on.).

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