Friday, October 29, 2010

Music from and inspired by the motion picture...

So a few years ago, I posted a little item on MySpace (yes, I was actually there, and no, before you ask, I am thankfully not active there anymore) that I called, "The Soundtrack to My Life." It is exactly what it sounds like. It took the idea from one of those horrible chain e-mails and and I put together a two-disc set of the songs that meant a lot to me, either for associative memories, or whatnot. I believe in the magical quality of music, and have known that music speaks to us in a way that nothing else can for a very long time. Leave it to music to evoke emotions. :)

After my wedding on Saturday, I was approached by no less than forty people (no kidding) that commented on our choice of music, both in the prelude and the service of the wedding, and also at the reception. So many adjectives were used, but what floored me, is that every comment was sparklingly positive. I have to say that I was surprised, given some of the music was very much secular, and not what I actually expected people to feel was appropriate for playing in a church, let alone a wedding. I guess when Kathryn and I made the list, the songs were appropriate choices for us, and in some cases, wry winks and nods to friends and family. So, for those who made it to the wedding, and for those who didn't, and just a little bit for Katy Lou and myself (OK, a lot), here is music from (and inspired by) the motion picture soundtrack to "Kathryn Oliver and Brad Venable Get Hitched."

1) Beatles - Here Comes the Sun
So neither one of us are Beatlemaniacs. At least not nearly as much as are friends of ours. But there's something about the timelessness of the Fab Four's music. It will endure as long as there are ways to play it. Why did we include it, though? Easy. I played it the first time Kathryn and I watched the sun come up together. It seemed apropos that memories of that sunrise also start our wedding. :)

2) Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat - Lucky
OK. We totally should have had this one locked in waaaaay sooner than we did. We have to give thanks to the duet competition episode of "Glee" for a last minute replacement. Guess we were lucky. :P

3) Beatles - I Wanna Hold Your Hand
Yup. That just happened. Two Beatles songs that aren't back-to-back in the first three songs. It reminded the both of us of our first date, when I swear this song was playing in my head as we were walking together in Half Price Books. It also played on the radio when we got back in the car after our meandering about with fingers interlocked. Yeah, like I was gonna leave that one out.

4) Embrace - A Glorious Day
These guys used to tour with Coldplay. Everything that I have heard from them, I've enjoyed. I thought this one was appropriate, so I played it for Kathryn. She immediately said, "Prelude."

5) Pixies - La La Love You
OK, music fans. Figure this one out. The band that, by all accounts, ushered in the alternative music era in the late 80s, and one of their songs are playing in church, at our wedding. Yes. It. Is. What's not to like about the Pixies? They freaking rule. And that has been one of the favorite things that Kathryn and I have done together, is watch these guys live at the Verizon in Grand Prairie. Oh yeah. This is a neat little whimsical song by a band that we both love. Now hate, haters. :P

6) Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands - Home to You
Who? Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands, that's who. It's time to play Six Degrees of Separation, OK? I love video games. And about 75% of the games I played growing up had music composed by a man named George Alastair Sanger, more commonly known as "The Fat Man." Fan of his for a long time, needless to say. And one day, like 5-6 years ago, I was looking for some music he did for a great game called The 7th Guest, and it's sequel, The 11th Hour (great music...really fun and creepy). I found it, and then, in typical "ooh, shiny" fashion, I clicked on one of those, "you like this...try this" links. And it was Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands. I listened. I liked. She covered some cool stuff from the 80s. I liked even more. So, I played "Home to You" for Kathryn, and she loved it. And that made me smile. Funny little connection, by the way...The Fat Man is Elizabeth McQueen's sister-in-law. And that's how I came to know her music. A total fortuitous circumstance. :)

7) Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
Ah, piano rock. How you have won me over recently. I think I first heard these guys at Live 8 five years ago. I loved the song, because it was one of those "things that we share" songs. I sang it to Kathryn one night, and that was enough for her. :)

8) Killers - All These Things That I've Done
This song is one of the most spiritual secular songs I've ever known. It also represents the eternal struggle that each of us have and how we should turn to God for guidance and comfort, yet still recognizes our fallibility ("I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier"). We love this song.

9) Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
This song is one we grew up with. Hard not to include it. It kinda represents the end of the little play we put on with the prelude music...from wanting to hold Kathryn's hand on the first date, to declaring our love to one another, to creating memories together at events, to recognizing that God brought us together, to some moment in the future where we go out on the town, and one of us has to care for the other. Sounds good to us. :)

And that brings us to the ceremony.

1) Train - Marry Me
Well, duh. Except that this song is about a guy seeing a girl across the room at a coffee house, and daydreaming a wedding with her. Pretty much a perfect start. Our candlelighters (self-designated 'pyrotechnic artists') and grandparents came down to this one.

2) Orleans - Still the One
How perfect. Having both pairs of parents still with each other after all these years. Such a rarity nowadays. We felt that this song was absolutely perfect for their walk down the aisle.

3) David Foster - Love Theme from Saint Elmo's Fire
Yup, we're children of the 80s. ;) It just fit. don't remember it. Then go listen. I'll wait. See? You remember. It was our bridesmaids' entrance theme. Thank you, 1980s.

4) Lionel Ritchie & Diana Ross - Endless Love
No Richard Wagner. We went Bandit, Reynolds-style. This song will always make my breath catch in my throat from now on, because it will always be the song that let me see my bride for the first time. We thank you, Lionel Ritchie. Diana Ross thanks you, too.

5) Queen - You're My Best Friend
We wanted this since moment one of planning. Down to the cue and everything. It was truly our movie moment. The Hammond Organ intro played just as the pastor presented us for the first time, and as we descended the dais to hug our parents, we (almost) skipped down the aisle and into married life. It was the best moment of my life.

And finally, at the reception, time to party!

1) Queen - Bridal Chorus
Aaaaaaand the curveball! Right off of the soundtrack to "Flash Gordon," is Brian May's guitar solo that played as we arrived at the reception, as a wink and a smile to tradition, with a little flair of our own. :)

2) Scissor Sisters - Take Your Mama
Live 8 had some fun music. That's the first exposure I had these New York disco folks. It's campy, it's poignant, and it's what my Mom and I danced to. She actually knew it well enough to sing along. Don't think I'll tell her what the name of the band means. :P

3) Spyro Gyra - Catching the Sun
I'll be honest. Never heard this song before Katy Lou mentioned it to me after we struck out with like a dozen other possibilities for her and her father's dance. I listened to it, and thought it was bitchin'. Never listened to much fusion jazz. Now I think I will. It's still going to be the last time I held on to the last shred of my manhood, because Kathryn and I danced next...

4) Ben Folds - The Luckiest
No commentary, no snark, nothing to take away from the words that truly define my life before Kathryn. Just read:

I don't get 
Many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns
And stumbles and falls
Brought me here

And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it every day
And I know

That I am, I am
I am the luckiest

Yeah. I cried like a baby with a wet diaper. I love you, baby. I know that I am the luckiest.

And finally, for real,  it's party time! The rest of our playlist follows without commentary:

1. Pixies - Wave Of Mutilation (2:04)
2. Roy Orbison - You've Got It (3:29)
3. George Harrison - Got My Mind Set On You (3:51)
4. Tom Jones - Sex Bomb (club mix) (3:29)
5. Cake - Short Skirt Long Jacket (3:19)
6. Head, Murray - One Night in Bangkok (3:55)
7. Muse - Starlight (3:59)
8. Van Halen - Hot for Teacher (4:44)
9. Pixies - Here Comes Your Man (3:21)
10. Jackson, Michael - Thriller (5:56)
11. Morris Day & The Time - Jungle Love (3:24)
12. Amii Stewart - Knock on Wood (3:57)
13. Kings of Leon - Taper Jean Girl (3:05)
14. Hellogoodbye - Here (In My Arms) (4:00)
15. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California (4:43)
16. Devo - Whip It (2:37)
17. INXS - What You Need (3:35)
18. The Trammps - Disco Inferno (3:33)
19. Don Henley - All She Wants To Do Is Dance (4:30)
20. Bowie, David - Let's Dance (4:10)
21. Pixies - Here Comes Your Man (3:21)
22. The Committments - Mustang Sally (3:59)
23. Wax Audio - Stayin Alive In The Wall (Bee Gees vs. Pink Floyd) (3:16)
24. Sublime - Santeria (3:03)
25. Georgia Satellites - Keep Your Hands to Yourself (3:22)
26. Ted Nugent - Hey Baby (3:58)
27. Muse - Uprising (5:02)
28. Led Zeppelin - D'yer Maker (4:22)
29. Boney M - Rasputin (4:25)
30. Elvis Costello - Pump It Up (3:16)
31. Elizabeth McQueen & The Firebrands - Cruel to Be Kind (3:27)
32. Huey Lewis and the News - Power of Love (3:56)
33. K.C. & the Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes (2:15)
34. Talking Heads - And she was.mp3 (3:38)
35. Blues Traveler - Hook (4:49)
36. Queen - Crazy Little Thing Called Love (2:43)
37. Simon, Paul - You Can Call Me Al (4:40)
38. Tom Jones & The Art of Noise - Kiss (3:30)
39. Spandau Ballet - True (5:38)
40. Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons - Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (3:32)
41. Depeche Mode - Policy Of Truth (5:14)
42. Prince - 1999 (3:39)
43. Otis Day & The Knights - Shout (4:22)
44. Monty Python - Always Look On The Bright Side of Life (3:24)
45. Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer (4:55)
46. Level 42 - Something About You (3:42)
47. K.C. & the Sunshine Band - Get Down Tonight (3:10)
48. Stealers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle (3:24)
49. Locksley - Slink (A Hymn) (2:03)
50. Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Round (4:28)
51. Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me with Science (3:42)
52. MUSE - Supermassive Black Hole (3:29)
53. Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight (4:17)
54. Wham - Wake Me Up Before You Go Go (3:51)
55. Lenny Kravitz - Just Can't Get You Off of My Mind (4:33)
56. Sir Mix-A-Lot - Buttermilk Biscuits (3:33)
57. Loggins, Kenny - Footloose (3:49)
58. Violent Femmes - Blister in the Sun (2:24)
59. Rocky Horror Picture Show, The - Time Warp (Club Mix) (5:36)
60. Kings of Leon - Use Somebody (3:50)
61. Weezer - Undone (The Sweater Song) (5:04)
62. Gap Band - You Dropped the Bomb on Me (3:56)
63. Grand Master Flash - Grandmaster Slice - Electric Slide (5:53)
64. Bay City Rollers - Saturday Night (2:56)
65. Tom Jones & The Cardigans - Burning Down The House (3:37)
66. Lauper, Cyndi - Goonies R Good Enough (3:28)
67. They Might Be Giants - Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (2:38)
68. Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me) (4:20)

Needless to say, we were very meticulous with our music choices throughout. Connections to childhood, movies, college, concerts and coffee houses, in-jokes with friends....every choice was extremely personal and motivated by the magic of music to remind us of who we are and as a love letter to our lives before we met. The best part is that most of these will end up having brand-new memories associated with them: new memories of our new life meshed together as one. Thank you, music. Thank you for making our wedding day so special. Can't wait for you to enrich even more of our life.

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