In a few recent posts, I have mentioned classical music. I wish to make a clarification, however, so as to exonerate myself of any accusations of being pretentious: I have a profound appreciation for music, but I have little talent for making it.
My grandfather and my father imparted to me a taste for orchestral music, but much like the character of Antonio Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, I suffer from a great desire to express the glory of the world through music, yet I am denied any meaningful aptitude for doing so.
Worse than poor Salieri, who in real life was a highly accomplished composer and wildly popular in his day, I can do little more than let the sublime beauty of other people’s talent wash over me and reduce me to a puddle of incontinent admiration.
I respond in this manner not only to classical music, but to various genres–bossa nova, samba, bachata, bebop, and big band among them. I have also discovered recently in the most endearing manner that country music does not suck.
But, lacking any talent for making musical tones come out of anything that does not have a play button, I join the effort to make music in the only manner that fate affords me: I pick up sticks and beat skins in a savage and tribal spirit.
I’ve written of this before, but with one of my bands on hiatus for the past eight months and the other having turned into a movable feast of Spaghetti Western film festivals, I often find myself craving a jolt of rock and roll wattage.
For this, I seek out not my favorite songs, nor songs that are particularly relevant. Instead, I seek gigawatts. Simply gigawatts.
In this spirit, I present my top five current infusions of raw energy:
5. Chickenfoot, “Soap on a Rope”
4. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, “Bad Reputation”
3. Volbeat, “Battleship Chains” (a cover of the old Georgia Satellites song)
2. The Police, “Synchronicity I”
1. The Ramones, “Do You Wanna Dance”
Cover photo courtesy of Stephen Niemeier from Pexels.