Open Mic Friday! you talk: music and emotions

Happy Friday, dearest ones, and welcome to the Open Mic! If youโ€™re new here or have forgotten how this works, when we donโ€™t have a guest post, I pose a question and we all discuss in the comments. Ready? Here we go!

"Mutts" comic

An old “Mutts” strip

A little more than a month ago there was a conversation on The Story River about songs that evoke emotions (especially sadness and melancholy). I had a lot of fun listening to the others’ song recommendations, and sharing some of my own. Last weekend, at a jazz performance, I remembered this post and realized I don’t think we’ve ever had a music post on the Open Mic. What a travesty!

So, tell me which songs make you feel. What are your sadness songs? Your gotta-get-up-and-dance songs? Your go-to songs to break out into singing on a happy day out with a friend? Share your old favorites and new discoveries, the ones we all know and the ones we don’t. Let’s make some playlists!

The Norm Sunday comic

Sunday strip from “The Norm”

The mic stays open all weekend. See you in the comments!


27 responses to “Open Mic Friday! you talk: music and emotions

  1. Well… I’ve decided to let my freak flag fly here and tell you what has lifted my spirits this week. I like a lot of different kinds of music, including authentic country music — not country flavored pop. (Of course, on a song by song basis, I could take a likin’ to any kind of music. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyway, I’m not sure any of your other readers will want to listen to this, but I like sountracks and I’ve found that certain soundtrack music fills me with an “I can do anything” spirit. I reallllly needed that this past week, so I was listening to this on repeat last Monday:

    I didn’t think anyone would want to stick around for the best cut from The Hunt For Red October’s soundtrack, called “Nuclear Scam,” so I didn’t use the link that included it. I generally listen to those two together on repeat. (The way my face lights up and I start to bop, folks would probably think I was listening to something “cool”!

    I also like to listen to the early fight music from Gladiator, nice and loud, but I keep forgetting to put it on my iPod. Possibly interesting tidbit: Back when I slept regularly, I was known to happily fall asleep to that!

    The song that makes me feel the saddest, even though it’s music is so beautiful, is Kathleen Edwards’ “Pink Emerson Radio” from her album, Back to Me. But don’t hit You Tube for it. The last time I tried, the only halfway decent version was a live afterthought where she over-explained it and forgot some words — which is fine if you’ve heard it before — but the song lost some of its power in that performance. When I first got the album, I’d heard the song twice through, before I really listened to it and realized what she was saying. She’s good.

    • Rรฉ, I love soundtracks too, though the ones I turn to are quite different from the ones you mentioned. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like the ones for The Triplets of Belleville, Moulin Rouge, Pride + Prejudice (the recent one with Keira Knightley), Once (though that’s really an album in its own right), and classical-based ones like Hilary and Jackie and Amadeus.

      • I loved Amadeus, the movie and the album! (This open mic has turned into a bit of a party! I’ll definitely be back tomorrow to listen to more of the suggestions!)

        • You like dramatic music, huh? I’d neversat and listened to the “Red October” soundtrack before but it’s really good, isn’t it. (I know that sounds lame – but it is.) In fact I rarelt listen to soundtracks away from films but I do have a friend who is addicted to the “Dancing with Wolves” one.

          • That didn’t sound lame at all, Al! I really need the “Red October” music when my faith in myself falters. I have the “Dancing With Wolves” one, too! It’s for the moments when I need something quieter and soothing.

  2. This is a fantastic post. I am halfway through a 30 day song challenge (I actually need to get back and complete the last 15 days). The challenge provoked moments of joy and exploration as I delved into my collection. Here are just a sample of tunes and videos from various artists in different genres…..

    30-Day Song Challenge: Day 15 asks the question what is โ€œa song that best describes youโ€? Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto โ€“ Moon
    30-Day Song Challenge: Day 14 asks the question what is โ€œa song that no one would expect you to loveโ€ The Waterboys โ€“ Bang on the Ear 1988
    30-Day Song Challenge: Day 13 asks the question what is โ€œa song that is a guilty pleasureโ€? Miles Davis โ€“ Live
    Day 11 of the 30-Day Song Challenge asks the question what is โ€œa song from your favorite bandโ€? Stars of the Lid โ€“ The Evil that Never Arrives

    Day 5 of the 30-Day Song Challenge asks the question what is โ€œa song that reminds you of someoneโ€? Again at the top of this list has to be the band Trespassers William. It is interesting how a song takes us places we sometimes can no longer go. Lie in the Sound is one of those songs. Every aspect of the lyrics and sound is haunting. The quitar solo at the end with its sustaining sonic yearning is like no other. In the end we all have a song or two, that transports us back exhaustingly to a time, place or person.

    • A good range of choices here. I’m a huge Miles fan – I’m sure he was a genius – so that’s my favourite – but I like the other choices too. New names to me mostly, so thanks for bringing them to my attention here. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Thanks Single Malt Monekey, I love Miles Davis. I had the pleasure of seeing in perform shortly before he died in 1990 at the Pennsylvian Academy of Music in Philadelphia. What a great showmanship and beautiful trumpet. Check out my blog, for other selection of tunes from various genres. I mostly listened to electronic ambient / IDM music and classic Jazz. My blog is centered around digital art. I will check out your blog and see what you are up to.

    • I love these choices too, and thank you so much for the introductions! Walter, I’m checking your blog now for more song challenge posts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Just got home from capoeira class and I’ve got some energy! I can’t wait to listen to your songs, Rรฉ and Walter, and I’ll respond to both your comments at more length later this weekend — but I just had to include a song here right now lest I forget later.

    I cannot listen to Sergio Mendes’s “Magalenha” and not dance, especially once those drums kick in at 0:45.

    • Loved it! Those drums are killer!

      Ever since I got a Nature Company sampler with “Ten Thosusand and One Nights” on it by Shahin and Sepehr, around ’93, it’s been my go-to to cheer me up when I need it. I need to dance when it comes on too, and I know I’m really sad if it doesn’t make me smile! (There’s a wonderful short intro for this that isn’t included on the video. I wish it was!)

  4. I am guaranteed to sing very loudly to ‘On the Street Where You Live’ from ‘My Fair Lady’. I also like the music from Gladiator. And Last of the Mohicans. My sad song? ‘On the Shores of the Swilly’, by Sinead O’Connor. Not only does it make me sad, it raises so many questions I can’t answer. It’s a story without an end. Oh, another sad song, ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’. I love to write to sad songs. They seem to bring emotions up so that it’s easier to dip into them for the characters, the mood, the setting. Not that the writing is sad, just that sad music makes it easier to access emotions. And thank you Lisa, for continuing this music discussion.

  5. Busy weekend so I’m gonna come back and listen to all the posts later but here is my sixpenneth for now. ๐Ÿ™‚
    My “Oh no, Dad’s dancing” song is this one. Gets me up every time – play That funky music –

    Happy memories. When the kids (then 3 little ones) were young I recall we would push back the living room furniture and perform a complete workout to Talking Heads “Life in Wartime” . At 4.54 we would be off in a train running around the room in circles. Hahahaa…great fun.

    And then one day I discovered “Spen in Alium” by Thomas Tallis. This always fills me with great joy. It was written for 40 voices but here are The King’s Singers performing a great take on it…and the ending is perfect. Put your headphones on and just listen in wonder.

    Have a great weekend,friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Mmmm, “Spen in Alium” is lovely. It must be even better with all 40 voices! I love choral music.

      My sister discovered the Talking Heads during college and turned me onto them too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was really delighted when I was walking with a new friend and something made me say, “How did I get here?” and she responded with more lines from “Once in a Lifetime”… and she’s several years younger than I am!

    • These were so relaxing, Munira, but because they were so exquisite, I found myself exited, too — to hear more! Kora music would be wonderful for me to write to when I’m feeling especially tense. Thanks for turning me onto it!

    • Mmm, wonderful. ๐Ÿ™‚ Once in high school I decided that music could be divided into three categories: dancing, driving, and… I can’t remember the third one! But I know that for “driving” I wrote something like “sitting in the backseat at night thinking about life.” I should return to that old journal entry and see what that third category is, and whether I still agree on the three. ๐Ÿ™‚

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