[30 Day Song Challenge] Day 27: A Song I Wish I Could Play

I wish I could play the electric guitar. And the electric bass, like my brother. And the trumpet. And the drums. Also, I wish I could sing.

Anyway, there are a bunch of guitar rock god songs that make me want to or actually start playing uninhibited, vicious air guitar, or air bass. Pearl Jam’s “Dissident.” Prince’s “Purple Rain.” White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” The legendary bass line from Thelma Houston’s version of “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” — and basically everything else they recorded. But there’s only one song that has nearly caused me to crash my guitar in my lunatic grooving to its guitar line as it plays over the radio. The Edge’s solo in U2’s “Even Better Than The Real Thing” makes my head feel like it’s going to explode. There are better songs, and greater solos (but not too many of either), but this one makes my fingers itch I want to play it so bad.

Also, the video is awesome.

[30 Day Song Challenge] Day 19: A Song From My Favorite Album

Is there a better album that Prince’s Purple Rain? The answer is “maybe, but probably not.” But whether or not it’s perfect or near-perfect or as perfect as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or OK Computer, it’s my favorite album. I think it came out at the right moment in my childhood to be embedded into my cognitive schemata for life. It rocks, it’s danceable, it’s dirty, it’s sublime. Every song is great, even the throwaway ones, like “Darling Nikki,” which is used in the movie Purple Rain as a sign that out hero is losing it. It’s also the first time that I noticed that my parents weren’t censorious. They had no issue with the word “masturbating.” Ha.

[30 Day Song Challenge] Day 4: A Song That Makes Me Sad

This song. Jesus! It’s the last track on Prince’s probably most underrated album, Parade, which is my favorite after Purple Rain. It’s an absolutely gorgeous song that perfectly encapsulates, in both lyrics and notes, grief and understanding. I used to be unable to listen to it; I’d stop the tape at the first note. And when it was played, only on piano and without singing, at my friend Gabriel’s memorial service, I couldn’t stand it and had to leave the auditorium until the song was done. The first video is the song as recorded, and the second is Prince doing it live.