One of those infernal blog surveys

Mr Squander has “tagged” me with one of those music questionnaires. Normally I don’t do these but in the absence of a proper internet connection I can get sod-all work done; it’s either fill this out or do gardening. Naturally, internet questionnaires win.

Total volume of music files on the computer:

I’ve just had a clearout. 22GB of MP3s, plus loads of gigs of my own stuff and working files. Almost all of the collection is either ripped from CDs or downloaded from BitTorrent after the original CDs got scratched, chewed by dogs, run over by cars etc etc etc. So for example I’ve shelled out for The The’s Infected on vinyl, on tape and on CD (twice) over the years, so I feel perfectly entitled to grab it from a torrent. Which probably means I’m a terrorist.

I know purists balk at the quality of MP3s, but if you encode ’em at high bitrates then the convenience of having 3K songs in a playlist massively outweighs the slight sound quality loss. Mind you, 128Kbps MP3s are painful to listen to.

Last CD you bought:

Sixteen Tons, by Eels. Bought it at the gig. Radio sessions and stuff.

Song playing right now:

Nothing on in the house – can’t concentrate when there’s music playing; my brain can’t treat music as background – but I’ve got Jem in my internal jukebox. Along with the Charlotte Church single, which is rather worrying.

Five songs (or albums) you listen to a lot or that move you:

Walk Like A Man – Bruce Springsteen (off Tunnel of Love)

I never really understood the appeal of Springsteen, probably because of the “Broooooce!” uber-fans I encountered as a teenager. But as I’ve got a bit older I’ve started to appreciate some of his stuff, and I reckon the Tunnel of Love album’s fantastic. Dated as hell – horrible eighties drums infest many of the tracks – but Walk Like A Man is a towering song that could make a rock cry.

Going To Your Funeral Part 2 – Eels (from Electro-Shock Blues)

I could have picked any Eels song really, as they all do the bittersweet thing in an amazing way. This one’s particularly good, though, especially in the context of the album. It’s classic Eels: heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure.

The Show / Wake Me Up / Love Machine – Girls Aloud

Yeah, I know that’s three but I’m counting them as one. It’s my weblog, so nerrrrr. Anyway… I love Girls Aloud, and these songs are pure pop perfection with some cracking lines (the “should have hung around the kitchen in my underwear” bit of The Show is utter genius). Unfortunately they also make me want to dance, which is never a good idea.

Midlife Crisis – Faith No More

Nu-metal always baffled me, because to my ears (which are, I’ll admit, older than nu-metal’s target audience) it always sounded like a pale imitation of much better bands from a decade or so back. In particular, most of ’em sounded like a bad photocopy of Faith No More, who were never better than in this song. Of course, fashions move on and now everybody sounds like a different bunch of bands. There’s a very worrying Secret Affair vibe to a lot of the current crop, and listening to Radio 1 makes me feel that I’ve been transported back to the late seventies / early eighties. We are the mods! We are the mods! We are! We are! We… Ahem.

I wonder, does being an early-thirtysomething mean that chart music is suddenly off-limits because you’ve heard it all before, or is it just that the current crop of pretenders are just talentless plagiarists? They might as well go the whole hog and call themselves The Jim, The Happy Mindys, The Stone Rises and Talking Heids depending on which band they’re cheerfully photocopying.

Dry County – B-52’s (from Cosmic Thing)

The sound of warm summer evenings, cold beers and pretty women. Although in reality it was pretty summer evenings, warm beer and cold women. Them’s the breaks.

Tag three others:

Hmmm, I don’t really like forwarding on these things so I’ll leave it open to anyone who feels like adding their own list in the comments…