Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scott on Fall Music

[Scott asks a question about music and seasons.]

I recently put all my Fiona Apple music on my iPod for no other reason than I feel that her music is particularly appropriate to listen to in the fall. I also added some Simon & Garfunkel to my current playlist for the same reason. I'm wondering if anyone else does this? That is, has seasonal taste in music? I'm also wondering if what I consider 'Fall Music' is at all similar to what others might consider 'Fall Music.' For me, I guess, Apple's sultry vocals and her jazzy/bluesy piano style evoke a definite autumnal feel. It would also seem as though minor chords, with their inherent sadness, seem particularly appropriate this time of year. Are there certain sounds and tones that evoke specific seasons in the mind of the listener? If so is this a natural phenomena or is it more something produced over time by various composers/musicians using certain musical cues to evoke seasonal imagery? I also wonder if the fact that I first encountered Apple's music in the fall (I first heard "Shadowboxer" the fall of my freshman year) might have something to do with it. It also occurs to me that all of her other albums have been released in the fall as well.

Some other fall favorites of mine include:

"October"- U2 (for obvious reasons)
"November Rain" – Guns N' Roses (ditto)
U2's War album
"Macy's Day Parade"- Green Day
Kid A and In Rainbows- Radiohead
Achtung Baby- U2 (also a great winter album)
Hysteria –Def Leppard (with the exceptions of "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and "Armageddon It" which are, of course, 'Summer' songs)
X & Y- Coldplay (I also think that my initial feeling that Coldplay's latest, Viva La Vida, was a bit uneven may be due to the fact that it was a 'Fall Album' that was released in the summer. As I go back and listen to it now, it seems to work more for me this time of year).
"The Sound of Silence", "Scarborough Fair/Canticle", "The Boxer", "The Only Living Boy In New York"- Simon & Garfunkel.
Unplugged in New York- Nirvana (also my favorite Nirvana album)
A Kind of Blue- Miles Davis
Johnny Cash in general, particularly the Rick Rubin albums (because Fall needs a good baritone).
Empire- Queensryche
Disintegration- The Cure (possibly the best fall album ever)

So, does anyone see a pattern here? What are some of your 'Fall Favorites'?


Matt said...

My all-time favorite fall album is John Cale's 'Music For A New Society', closely followed by the Scott Walker compilation 'Boy Child'. I never listen to either when I can see the sun in the sky, but around this time of year they settle in to permanent turntable residence and don't leave until March.
I look forward to a 'Winter Music' post.

Marc Caputo said...

Genesis from 1976-1982 is fall music, ESPECIALLY 'Wind and Wuthering'.

Looking ahead - the Smiths are definitely spring music.

Chad Nevett said...

lover/fighter by Hawksley Workman, if only for the song "Autumn's Here."

Paul said...

R.E.M. - Out of Time
The Smiths - Meat is Murder
Interpol - Antics
Sonic Youth - Washing Machine
Radiohead - Kid A
P.J. Harvey - Stories from the City...
Fugazi - End Hits
New Order - Low Life

Currently listening to The Cure - 4:13 Dream

Mikey said...

Scott - also my favourite Nirvana album I think.

It's really nice to be thinking about this actually.

For me:

Every year without fail:
The Weakerthans (any album really)
cLOUDDEAD (same, but the first album that collects all their singles and EPs)
Weirdly, The Beach Boys
And recent years (maybe it's the Halloween connection) - The Cramps, Misfits
Also recently - Soundtracks (this year: Psycho and John Carpenter's complete set of scores).

Also - I've been listening to Nouvelle Vague's covers of Guns of Brixton and Bela Lugosi's Dead every day since the weather got cold.

Hmm, it seems autumn(!) for me is a mixture of lyrical, droney, ambience and soundtracks/scapes. Which I guess makes sense after the summer bounce and propulsion. Summer = more wide open, autumn = secluded.

scott91777 said...

I would say Halloween plays a definite role in many of my fall music choices as well, most notably The Cure... a lot of those songs off of disintegration, like "Lullaby" have a definite Burton-esque vibe.

Also, a lot of Iron Maiden tends to fall under the 'Fall' music banner for me... and, in fact, this might be as a result of the associations I have of 'Eddie' (their 'undead' mascot).


I would go as far as 83 Genesis, since, for the Halloween factor above, the self-titled 83 album not only has the incredibly spooky "Mama" but, also "Home By The Sea"... a song about a Haunted House! What could be better for Halloween... and "That's All" while not spooky, is a definite Fall Song... see my assoication with Jazzy/Bluesey piano parts above :)

Jake said...

Fleet Foxes.