Omni Brain

10 Pieces of Music


Chris of Mixing Memory fame has started a bit of a meme with this post and this post. The basic idea is that with just a few pieces of music you can tell what kind of personality (or lack thereof) a person has.

Here’s my contribution of some things I listen to a good amount. Links go to examples of either the song or the band.

What does this list say about my personality? What’s on your list? Let us know in the comments.

Antonin Dvorak – American Quartet.
Bob Marley – Kinky Reggae.
Deltron 3030 – 3030
The Quintet of the Hot Club of France (aka Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli) – Daphne
Elvis Costello – Watching The Detectives
Frank Zappa – Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow
Grateful Dead – Terrapin Station
Hank Williams – Hey, Good Lookin’
John Scofield – A Go Go
Radiohead – Everything in its right place.

Feverish me-too edit by Sandra:

I took the test but didn’t think it was accurate since it left out genres I’d peg as simple or energetic, or jazzy, or a mixture, and I ruled out anything classified “religious” but of course I like stuff like Billie Holliday’s God Bless the Child. Also I don’t understand why they tried to link my personality to the province I grew up in (there isn’t just one) or my parents’ socioeconomic class. But whatever.

My Music Personality


  1. #1 Brian
    March 12, 2007

    Nice list, Steve. I’m surprised you didn’t put any Pete Rock on there 😉 Then again, who am I to tell people how to describe themselves in song.

  2. #2 Decline and Fall
    March 12, 2007

    Well, according to the study referenced by Mixing Memory, you like complex music, so you must be creative, intellectual, and politically liberal. Personally, I just think you’ve got good taste in music (although I have noticed that there aren’t a lot of conservatives at indie shows, symphonies and jazz concerts).

    According to the online test, I’m both more aggressive and more well-off than I am, so what do they know?

    10. Giant Steps – John Coltrane
    9. Once in a Lifetime – Talking Heads
    8. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) – The Beatles
    7. Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones
    6. Goldberg Variations (1955) – JS Bach, Glenn Gould
    5. I’m in the Mood for Love – John Lee Hooker w/Bonnie Raitt
    4. Cortez the Killer – Neil Young
    3. Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth – The Dandy Warhols
    2. Piano Concerto #5 (Emperor) – Beethoven
    1. River Euphrates – Pixies

  3. #3 Sandra
    March 12, 2007

    Thanks, DaF. You have good taste in music too – I love the Pixies, and Coltrane, and Neil Young, and…

    I wonder how one could categorize this cover of a Britney song? It’s poppy, it’s catchy, it’s aggressive, it’s simple, it’s… Click to listen.

  4. #4 Decline and Fall
    March 12, 2007

    Thanks for the compliment, Sandra. I wish I knew more than the Pixies and Beck entries on your list (my list comment above was directed at Steve).

    I’m stuck behind a cruel firewall here at work so I’ll listen to the track you linked to later. But I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that both Travis and the Dresden Dolls have covered “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” and the last I checked, they’re both available on YouTube. There’s actually a fairly decent song underneath Britney’s over-production and heavy beats. (Which beats what the world saw last month underneath Britney’s clothes. Who would have thought five years ago that it would be her songs, of all her assets, that would be still worth paying even a little bit of attention to at this point?) Getting back to the covers, I wouldn’t know how to categorize them, either.

  5. #5 Decline and Fall
    March 13, 2007

    That Britney cover (I liked it in a Marilyn Manson/Lords of Acid sort of way) is an example of where this sort of thing falls apart. Frank Black’s recent work is country-ish, but it’s got a subversive, indie attitude to it, which probably makes it more palatable to hipsters. That, and the fact that he was in the Pixies, which means that he could release a polka album and I’d probably buy it.

    Staying on the subject of my favorite band, the Pixies are certainly an example of a band that is by turns aggressive (Bone Machine), noisy (Vamos), pop-ish (Here Comes Your Man), complex (All Over the World), and conventional (Letter to Memphis). So what is it that attracts us to them? What does our attraction to them say about us? Does valuing the eclectic just put us into another category?

    Ultimately, I think studies like this tell us much more about the herds we run with than the people we are.

  6. #6 Sandra
    March 13, 2007

    I agree; when you don’t fit into any one neat box either in your range of artists or a musical range with one artist (I’d buy a Frank Black polka album too) then categorization is kinda pointless.

    The herds, indeed. Then when you don’t fit with one herd’s tastes I guess that makes you a loner (at least with me it seems to).

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