Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mood Music... by Barbara (Ruth)

According to the omniscient Google, there are ten songs called “In the Mood”, starting with Glenn Miller’s classic Big Band version in 1940, then some lesser known musicians and bands in the 50s, and all the way through the 70s with Rush and Bette Midler (not together – can you imagine?), the 80s with Robert plant, and finally in the 90s with Chicago.

Most of them are about being in the mood for love, but it’s Robert Plant’s version that captured my intention when I thought of this post title:
I'm in the mood for a melody
I'm in the mood for a melody
I'm in the mood

I can make you dance - I can make you sing
I can make you dance - I can make you sing
If you want me to

Music and mood. I don’t know about you, but for me these two things are unquestionably intertwined. Mood can certainly impact which music I choose, but I can also (if I feel like it) influence or change my mood with music.

There’s a new app called “Mood Agent”. It’s pretty clever, and differs only slightly from the Genius function in iTunes in that you can program your present mood using sliders – happy, angry, sensual, and tender – and the app builds a play list accordingly.

So in my music library it might build these types of playlists:
  • Sensual: Lost Without You (Robin Thicke), Hush (LL Cool J), You’re Just Too Good to be True (Lauren Hill)
  • Tender: Hallelujah (the Canadian Tenors), I Will Play a Rhapsody (Burton Cummings), Beautiful (Carole King), Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel), How Deep is Your Love (Bee Gees)
  • Happy: Island in the Sun (Gorillaz), Dancing Queen (Abba), Rio (Duran Duran), Saturday in the Park (Chicago), Viva la Vida (Coldplay), Say Hey (Michael Franti),
  • Angry: I Can’t Win (Default), In the End (Linkin Park), Head Like a Hole (Nine Inch Nails), Renegade (Styx), Bawitdaba (Kid Rock), Rolling (Limp Bizkit), Fake It (Seether), Lose Yourself (Eminem)
Like I said, clever, but I don’t think it goes far enough. I’d like to add some categories:

Sad and you want to be sadder in a pathetic, feeling sorry for yourself way:
All by Myself (Eric Carmen… a la Bridget Jones Diary), I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (U2), Why Does it Always Rain on Me (Travis), I’ll Say Goodbye to Love (Carpenters), Big Girls Don’t Cry (Fergie), Fix You (Coldplay), The Prayer (Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli… this probably isn’t a sad song, per se, but it always makes me cry)

Psyching Yourself Up During the commute to work (musical caffeine): Enter Sandman (Metallica), Sweet Child o’ Mine (Guns n Roses), Sure Shot (Beastie Boys), Radioactive (Kings of Leon)

Stressed During the commute home after a long day (chillax): Dreamboat Annie (Heart), Summer Girls (LFO), American Girl (Estelle f. Kanye West), Put Your Records On (Corinne Bailey Ray), Music 
& Wine (Blue Six), American Baby (Dave Matthews), The Moment I Said It (Imogen Heap)

Depressed and staring at the Treadmill when you’d rather be eating ice cream: I’ve Got the Power (Snap), If We Ever Meet Again (Timbaland f. Katy Perry), Starlight (The Superman Lovers), I Don’t Feel Like Dancing (Scissor Sisters), Firework (Katy Perry), Damn Girl (Justin Timberlake – perfect beat for ab workout)

Annoyed because you are trying to keep car passengers awake and engaged on a roadtrip (i.e. you want them to want to sing along even though they don’t know the words): Rockstar (Nickelback), Janie’s Got a Gun (Aerosmith), Blame It (Jamie Foxx), Take on Me (A-Ha), Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey), More Than a Feelin’ (Boston), Grace Kelly (Mika), Telephone (Lady Gaga & Beyonce), Teenagers (My Chemical Romance)

Bored on a solo roadtrip and you need to stay awake (i.e. need to sing along to songs others would only mock): Red and Black (Les Miserables), Oklahoma (Oklahoma – duh), Lida Rose (Music Man), Scenes from an Italian Restaurant (Billy Joel), Lovely Day (Bill Withers), Reminiscing (Little River Band)

Dockside on a perfect summer day: Heaven (Psychadelic Furs), I Like It (Enrique Iglesias), Carry Out (Timbaland f. JT), Unwritten (Natasha Bedingfield), Party in the USA (Milie Cyrus – don’t judge), Virtual Insanity (Jamiroquai)

I could go on, but I’m not in the mood. And I don’t think there’s a song for that. 

1 comment:

  1. As soon as I saw the phrase "songs others would only mock", I knew there would be some musicals on the list! The girls are at camp this week, so I'm happily playing and replaying "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat". With my singing voice, I can only imagine what it would sound like to anyone else.

    When I was editing my first book, my editor said I needed to flesh out the character of the mother. Given her age, she would have listened to Nirvana at an important time in her life. Knowing this really helped me figure her out!