What’s on your iPod?

Julie McQuinn

My iPod contains a combination
of music history music and
not music history music and music
that is both music history and not
music history music.
1. Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”
So I found this song because
I thought I might need to do it in
my Music and Gender class next
term – and I DO need to do it
in my class next term – and I’ve
been listening to it a lot, especially
in the car on the way to and from
campus. I love the way she uses
her voice in different ways – she
makes me think a lot about her
mouth and about the ways our
voices are constructions. And I’ve
been singing it a lot, in the car,
loudly. and out of the car, not as
2. Regina Spektor, “Folding Chair”
I love Regina Spektor! “I’ve got
a perfect body – ’cause my eyelashes
catch my sweat -yes, they
do, they do.”
3. Louis Andriessen, “The Index
This is the final track of
Andriessen’s violent and disturbingly
parodic – or not – opera
“Rosa, the Death of a Composer,”
which we studied last term in
Opera and Betrayal class. The Index
Singer raps a really long alphabetical
list of terms and their definitions
related to the opera: “audience,”
“blood,” “bovine breath,”
“cowboy,” “lechery,” etc. The music
and vocalization are very different
from that contained in the rest of
the opera and this index highlights
and dissolves boundaries of all
kinds while the audience has to
decide whether or not they should
leave the auditorium.
4. The Dresden Dolls, “Coin-
Operated Boy”
Thank you to Nathan Uhl for
introducing me to this song – and
this CD. Who doesn’t want a coinoperated
boy? And who doesn’t
want to sing about it?
5. A Sesame Street Celebration,
“Mah Na Mah Na”
Yes, this is for school and for
6. Neville Marriner and the
Academy of St. Martin-in-the-
Fields, Bach’s “Ricercar a 6” from
A Musical Offering
This is a 6-voice fugue! I love
fugues – they make me see the
world as beautiful, as simultaneously
ordered and chaotic. I can
listen to this and forget about
everything and think about a different
kind of everything.
7. Louis Andriessen, “Michelle”
Daniel Barolsky introduced me
to Andriessen’s Beatles’ arrangements
– from the 1960s! – each
is written in a different “classical”
style. This one, sung by Christina
Zavalloni, is definitely Ravel-ified
and I think it’s clever – and yes,
weird, and sure, these settings are
often described as satirical – but
I also think it’s beautiful. And I
sometimes listen to the end about
1,000 times in a row.
8. Stravinsky, “Orpheus,” opening
My music history survey students
have to listen to this for
their journal this week. In this part
of the ballet, Euridice is already
dead and Orpheus is weeping. This
music is restrained and delicate
and circular and deep.
9. Damien Rice, “the professor
and la fille danse” (live)
I love this performance and I
love the messed-up-ness of this
10. Charpentier, Médée, “Quel
prix de mon amour”
Sung by Lorraine Hunt and
conducted by William Christie.
Everyone should listen to more
Lorraine Hunt! Here she is
a betrayed Medea and her rich
voice makes the dissonances of
Charpentier’s music more unbearable.
You will forget all previous
conceptions of Medea!