Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Music Hath Charms ...

I attended a musically-themed social gathering on Sunday at the home of some friends.  As it was explained to me in the invitation, there was to be a tournament in which 32 songs would battle head-to-head in single-elimination fashion over the course of three consecutive Sundays, culminating in the identification and coronation of TEH GREATEST SONG OF ALL TIME!!11!!.  Though this was the first time I would be attending, I was aware that the tournament had been held in years prior, which led to the following conversation:

Dead Acorn:  “Hey, I really appreciate the invite!  Sounds like a great time!  So we just bring what we feel is the best song released in the last year?”

Friend of Dead Acorn:  “umm … no … it can be any song you like.  It doesn’t have to be just from the last year.”

DA:  “But … but … if you identified The Greatest Song Of All Time last year, it stands to reason that only a song released since then could possible wrest its title!  And if no new song can mount a successful challenge, then the crown must then remain with last year’s victor!”

FODA:  “Ok … see … last year’s winner can’t be entered again.  Maybe you should think of it as ‘The Greatest Song To Be Entered Into The Tournament This Year.’  jesusfuckingchrist I told her inviting you was a bad idea …

DA:  “I didn’t quite catch that …”

FODA:  “See you Sunday, I guess … *sigh*

It occurred to me a bit later that the event was less about an objective method of ordering songs by quality, and more about creating a fun and lighthearted atmosphere in which people could interact while participating in a friendly competition modeled on the NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournaments, which are taking place coincidentally.

I am one socially astute sunuvabitch.  I can’t, for the life of me, understand why I don’t get invited to more parties.

Finally having a full grasp of the concept, I set about selecting a song to submit.  I didn’t want to completely dominate, of course, so I excluded some of my top-shelf material, and finally settled on Ry Cooder’s “Down In Hollywood.”  I had been told by the hosts, who are quite the audiophiles, that vinyl media was preferable, and I thought that a song from the album “Bop Till You Drop” would be appropriate, as it was the first major-label album to be recorded digitally – it would be a somber recognition of how much has changed in our world, even if not all for good.

My god, there was no way I could lose!

Alas, it was not to be.  I searched through my stacks of wax and my mounds of sounds, and was distraught to discover that I could not find my copy.  I was committed to the song, however, and resigned myself to burning a copy onto a CD*.  I arrived at the party and submitted my entry, and was asked if I’d like to make a second entry (extras were needed to fill the entire bracket).  Luckily, I had brought a few other albums**, just to establish my “vinyl cred,” as it were, and I drew out my 45 single of Bobby Darin’s “Mack The Knife.”  “It’s going to be a bit embarrassing to have both songs in the final round,” I thought to myself.

As I was not familiar with most of the other guests, I looked forward to the random drawing for the first round battles.  I began to feel a bit uneasy as the artists and songs were read.  “Who are ‘The Iron Maidens?’” I asked.  “Blackie Sabbith?  Was he one of the Backstreet Boys?”  There were other bands by such names as “Die Apokalyptischen Reiter” and “Embalmer” and “Ripping Corpse,” and I got the feeling that I was perhaps out of my element.

It’s far past the point of making this a short post, but suffice it to say that I did not advance into the second round (though Bobby Darin made a surprisingly strong showing – there must have been some Brecht/Weill fans there).  All in all, it was an extremely enjoyable afternoon, and quite educational, music-wise.

Maybe “Dead Acorns” would be a good name for a satanic death-metal band – I’ll get started on lyrics.

* To make matters worse, I burned it as an .mp3 file, and it wouldn't play on their stereo.  A guy at the party had to stream it over his phone.  That's why I'm known as "Smoov D.A." on the streets.
** Other albums I brought include The Archies and David Soul.  Tolly serious.


The WxB said...

If it makes you feel any better I just Spotified your song entry. It's no "What Have You Done For Me Lately", but whatevs.

Also, "stacks of wax and my mounds of sounds" = awesomeness.

The Dead Acorn said...

I completely forgot "dunes of tunes" ... ding dang it.

And that's not a bad song, huh? Chaka Khan brings the shit. (Is that what the kids say?)

The Bug said...

Since we just watched a documentary about Don McLean I would have brought American Pie :)

The Dead Acorn said...

Thassa a gooder, Bug ... did it have the recent news about how he said he didn't write/perform it first at whatever bar claimed that? I think it was only a couple of months ago.