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Posted on 17 Jun 12 by in music fringes | 0 comments


There was something about Kid Cudi’s 2009 release Man on the Moon: The End of the Day that made me rush to download it from iTunes, my far more expensive and far less extensive replacement for Napster, my first instant music lover. Kid Cudi, born with the otherwise perfectly good name of Scott, is billed as an alternative hip hop artist, which is the music industry’s word for “acceptable to older white folk”. Think about it. What is alternative rock except Nine Inch Nails refashioned as Maroon 5 and, now, acceptable to older white folk? That’s science, people. Look it up.

Kid Cudi, in my library, has not aged well. The language is too coarse without telling a story that warrants the coarseness. He didn’t grow up on the mean streets of anywhere, he’s from Shaker Heights, Ohio, for God’s sake. Plus, the beats are too Kanye for me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but we all know Kanye was “alternative” hip hop until he dissed poor Taylor Swift and now you’d think he was guilty of ¬†shooting two cops on the way to sleeping with a high government official’s blond teenage daughter.

Needing a new soundtrack as the background to my writing, Eminem of all people, has taken over. He has the same rhythm and complications found in European classical music. The kind of orchestration that trains your brain for all kinds of calisthenics and thinking exercises while working out your personal plots and schematics. I shouldn’t be writing this in second person. You may need completely different switches to operate your writing brain, your reading brain. So forget I brought you up. It’s all about me.

Besides Eminem, I’ve accidentally built a playlist of soundtracks from various motion pictures. I say accidentally because although iTunes organizes my library by artists, genres, what-have-you, I decided to make a deliberate playlist of soundtracks because I was tired of iTunes skipping the music from Crazy Heart while on shuffle. Loves me some Jeff Bridges, and who knew he could sing?

Lots of Disney movie soundtracks on this playlist. Shut up, I have kids, plus the songs are peppy. Then there’s Wedding Crashers, Ray, Juno, I Love You Man and The Wiz.

There was a beautiful song sung by a little girl in an obscure Charlie Brown special I saw about 15 years ago, and I could never find the name of it. I’ve heard the song here and there in many different versions and when I heard it in the electronics section of Target yesterday, c’mon, it was time to get serious in my search. After about twenty minutes of Internet research (I said it was obscure, right?) I finally found the name of the special and the name of the song. Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro. I couldn’t find the version from the Charlie Brown episode, but I’m now on the case since neither Maria Callas or Jackie Evancho will do, apparently. I’ve waited this long, what’s 15 more years?

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