Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lazy Man's Stalking

Earlier this week, I posted a link to a site that profiles writers' working spaces.

Today, I'm checking out peoples' listening preferences. It's a sad compulsion but it's a dreary Sunday morning so what else was I going to do?

The story is this - I was checking out the new Nina Simone set put out by Legacy Recordings, deciding if I really needed another four disc's of music, when I saw a sidebar thing offering up classic celebrity playlists by a wide assortment of celebrities, including William Shatner. I couldn't resist seeing what Captain Kirk is listening to so I followed the links and eventually got bounced over to itunes american site where there are pages of these playlists with short notes for each song.

The results? Interesting to say the least. The most boring ones are the people who play it too straight. R.E.M.'s list is exactly what you'd think R.E.M.'s list would be. As is Kevin Costner's. And Diablo Cody's. Blah.

There were some interesting things:

Kelly Ripa, of all people, has enough odd stuff (Broken Social Scene, Massive Attack, Nick Drake) to make you think she wasn't just offering up a token indie tune to look cool.

Jimmy Kimmel offered up Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time.

Chris Rock listens to the White Strips, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Cure.

Mike Myers likes the Magnetic Fields. It still doesn't excuse The Love Guru, but it's a start.

Margaret Cho wants to join Broken Social Scene. (actually, BSS gets cited by a number of celebrities)

Turns out I'm not the only one listening to this Joni Mitchell person. She's probably the most widely cited artist out there.

U2's One is probably the most cited song.

As for athletes, Giants' pitcher Barry Zito listens to Jeff Buckley and only one hockey player cited The Tragically Hip.

Julie Delpy cites the Clash, Bowie, Neil Young and Elliot Smith among others. But, then again, she could cite the phone book. . .

Rufus Wainwright citing Kurt Weill is kind of expected. Citing songs by mom and sis but not dad is interesting.

The absolute worst list is by Poison. Citing the song Sexyback and the band Nickleback will never bring the hits back. Citing two of your own songs is just sad.

Thom Yorke (calm down, Ms. Zombie) gives instructions on how his list is to be played.

There's plenty of Beach Boys on Brain Wilson's list, but, oddly or not, no Beatles. Probably still a sore spot.

Cat Stevens citing Sufjan Stevens' Chicago just seems like a perfect choice.

If you're looking for the playlists, go to the itunes store and search for celebrity playlists. It will come up in the 'related' box. For a bigger selection, switch to the US itunes store first.

I really should get a hobby or something.


John Mutford said...

I enjoy those playlists as well. As you said, the surprises are much better.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I always do what Thom Yorke tells me to do.

I must go search this out. I wonder what Leonard Nemoy listens to?