Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"A Cheap, Easy High—With No Side Effects"

In "A Cheap, Easy High—With No Side Effects" Patrick Kurp refers to Terry Teachout's "post devoted to the music he listens to whenever he feels 'the urgent need to upgrade my mood.' He writes, 'I’ve always found music to be one of the most potent means of attitude adjustment known to man,' and his experience jibes with mine. .... Music’s impact is prompt and unambiguous. In contrast, literature is an oral ingestion of medicine compared to the intravenous immediacy of music." Kurp goes on to list some of the works of literature that invariably lift his mood. For instance:
  • Most anything by...P.G. Wodehouse
  • Thomas Traherne’s Centuries of Meditation 
  • Tristram Shandy, especially the scenes with Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman 
  • The essays of Joseph Epstein and Guy Davenport 
  •  Jonathan Swift’s “A Description of a City Shower” and “The Lady’s Dressing Room”
Teachout's list of music that provides "a cheap, easy high" is long. A few of the many he listed:
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”
  • The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek”
  • Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture
  • Gershwin’s An American in Paris
  • Copland’s “Buckaroo Holiday” (from Rodeo)
  • The Who’s “Shakin’ All Over” (from Live at Leeds)
  • Sidney Bechet’s 1932 recording of “Maple Leaf Rag”
  • Mendelssohn’s Rondo capriccioso
  • The first movement of Mozart’s A Major Piano Concerto, K. 488
  • Steely Dan’s “My Old School”
  • Flatt and Scruggs’ “Farewell Blues”
  • Bill Monroe’s “Rawhide”
  • The first movement of Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony
  • Johann Strauss’s Fledermaus Overture
  • Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Three little maids from school are we” (from The Mikado)
  • Pretty much anything by Count Basie, Erroll Garner, Fats Waller, Haydn, or John Philip Sousa 
 

Anecdotal Evidence: `A Cheap, Easy High--With No Side Effects', About Last Night | TT: Make me smile