Friday, December 12, 2008

Carmelo and Lebron love Barry: What's on your iPod?

Believe it or not, LeBron James listens to Barry Manilow. But he's a little fuzzy on the crooner's first name. In the Cavaliers' locker room yesterday, the Cleveland superstar was informed that his longtime friend and U.S. Olympic teammate Carmelo Anthony of Denver admitted last year that he had Barry Manilow's music on his iPod. James said his iPod probably had some Manilow, too—though he said "Brian Manilow." After teammates laughed, James corrected his mistake and joked that he was referring to Barry's cousin the first time. He searched his digital music player and came up with the Manilow tunes "Copacabana," "Mandy" and "I Am Your Child." Read more...

I love the much-maligned iPod culture.

Despite popular wisdom, it's never been easy to pigeonhole the followers of musical artists and genres. But the iPod, and with it iTunes, has made it even easier to be an unlikely fan. Free digital downloads and 99-cent songs mean you can own that one country or metal or soft rock tune you secretly love...and no one has to know. In the old days, a hip hop head might have to actually walk up to the counter at Musicland, hiding her Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits behind the new Grandmaster Flash album. Now, with the click of a mouse, "I Write the Songs" downloads quickly and quietly between the more acceptable titles in your collection. Plus iTunes' cool little features, such as Genius and Just For You, encourage the exploration of new music (OK, they're really just encouraging you to spend money.). I always said I didn't much care for country music, but now my iPod has 145 country songs on it. How did that happen?

I don't think many people would be surprised at the tunes in my digital music collection; I've always had ecclectic musical tastes. My iPod has everything from ABBA to Zeppelin, and in between: Blackstar, Feist, The Shins, AC/DC, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Ray LaMontagne, Odetta and Pinetop Perkins, Dolly Parton, Beyonce, The Kooks, Aretha Franklin, Coldplay, U2, Britney Spears, the Eagles...and, yes, Barry Manilow and more.

Maybe the most surprising thing, for those who read my liberal rantings here, is that I own some songs that don't quite pass the gender and racial equality smell test. But, hey, sometimes you just want to groove. I can nod my head to "In Da Club" by 50 Cent and ignore the insipid and predatory lyrics. And I can crank "Sweet Home Alabama" and tune out that line about Birmingham loving the Governor (George Wallace).

So, tell me, what would people be surprised to find on your iPod (or in your music collection)?

I've got lots of Brandi Carlisle on my iPod, but I don't have her cover of "Fortunate Son," which she seems to sing a lot in concert. I'm holding my breath for an "in concert" album. In the meantime, enjoy...


AJ Plaid said...

Hmmmm....I'm pretty upfront about my musical taste. I just admitted I wanted to be Scott Weiland's back-up singer on Twitter, for Pete's sake.:D (Especially on "Plush." His voice on that track makes my heart palpitate.)

But if I had to think of one song on my iPod it's

::scrolls through the Artist section::

"Little Miss Dangerous," by Ted Nugent. It passes no other test but my personal taste test. As Latoya Peterson from Racialicious once said, "Sometimes you gotta say, 'Fuck it, I love it.'"

And the older I get I realize that having one thing--one song, one outfit, one book, one sexual fantasy--that flies against your political philosophy but just love for the joy that it brings to you personally keeps you interesting--and human. IMO, all-the-way-down idealogues become insufferably self-righteous and self-congratulatory, horribly irritating, and quite tedious to be around.

Anonymous said...

I love your take on music Tami. In my opinion, all thinking people connect to a wide variety of music.
Who knows why we like what we like?

Barry Manilow is wonderful, and he uses classical music well in his pop tunes.

Creepy about 'loving the governor" of Birmingham. I have trouble hearing a lot of lyrics in music, but that creeped me out!

Won't tolerate woman hating lyrics in any songs whatsoever, that's where I draw the line. And its rappant in the music world. Don't sing in celebration of womanhatred, because it is a celebration of male hatred of women.

Do generations have their own mix of music? Were some generations luckier than others, because of the pop music out there at that time and place?

Brother OMi said...

lemme see:

a. "Fire" by Osibisa
b. "Man Woman Boogie" by Q Tip
c. "FEar Not for Man" by Fela Kuti
d. "Tuesday MOrning" by Maroon 5
e. "vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives" by Prefuse 73
f. "Nuestro Barrio" by Patato Y Totico
g. "Yemanya" by Celia Cruz
h. "Sou de Pasada" by Jorge Ben
i. "Be Real Black for Me" Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway
m. "The Garden" by Cut Chemist
n. "Abidjan" by Ray Barretto

and they stay on and on...

CVT said...

I haven't commented on this site in a while (not because I'm not reading or thinking about it), but this one was too fun and light-hearted (it's been a while since I've allowed myself to indulge that in my blog-world) that I have to put it down:

"Two Become One" by the Spice Girls. Ridiculous on so many levels - but I absolutely LOVE it.

Lloyd Webber said...

Me being an African Immigrant to Canada, most people might be surprise to see all the songs on my ipod by the arctic monkeys. Then again, I love hip hop, but I've never allowed myself to be pigeonholed in my music tastes

Rebecca said...

What a great video! The most often-played music on my iPod is Brandi Carlile; I think I have pretty much everything of hers that it's possible to buy.

I'm kind of shocked and embarrassed at the amount of pop music I have on my iPod. And I have a LOT of showtunes, though I'm less shocked and embarrassed about that - they're fun to sing along to!

bbgcmac said...

Bron, Melo and Manilow? I imagine their mommas played some of dat bak in the day!

As a universal music lover for all times, I am happy for my younger generational brothers not limiting themselves to hip hop only.

good for them!

Rebecca said...

I'm known for my alternative taste in music - I'm an indie snob, and a bit of an indie kid, and I like punk a whole lot... So most people would be surprised to find Cher, Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield in my collection, along with utter cheese such as YMCA and D.I.S.C.O by Ottawan.

blackgirlinmaine said...

Good post! I must admit folks are surprised that I actually like Johnny Cash, I also like Lynard Skynard. I grew up in the 80's and I did hide the fact that I likes punk and new wave music. Don't get me wrong, I could bop my head to PE and others that were hot but I was really into groups like Depeche Mode. However a young Black girl admitting this on the south side of Chicago was not a cool thing at that time.

I laugh now because lately I have found so many other Black folks my age (mid 30's) that liked similiar music back then but no one was admitting.

Nothing wrong with Barry.


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