Music Geek-Out #2: philoSOPHIA

I had the privilege of “curating” the setlist for dinner and dancing at last weekend’s philoSOPHIA meeting. (I say “curate” rather than “DJ” b/c they couldn’t get the appropriate equipment, and I was not going to pay to fly my mixer out as checked luggage…) I got a lot of positive feedback about both the dinner setlist and the dance-party selections, so I said I’d post on my blog about it. I’m hoping to be able to record an actual mix of the dance party setlist once the semester is over; when that happens, I’ll post the full mix on the blog. 

However, there was also the dinner set, which was actually specifically tailored to Oxford, Ohio. Oxford used to be home to a Great (capital G) modern rock radio station, 97X WOXY (“BAM! The future of rock ‘n’ roll”). So, I culled my dinner setlist from WOXY’s Modern Rock 500 lists. I chose songs that were specific to Cincinnati, to Ohio, and to the WOXY aesthetic (which was something like: British Indie mixed with US Modern/College Rock mixed with some Reggae, House (XTRABEATS was a favorite show of mine, and the location btw Detroit and Chicago was a bonus), Blues, and World Beat). I also tried to choose musically Great and musicologically/music historically important songs.  So, because there’s something to be said about each of the songs on the dinner playlist, I thought I’d post a song a day, with commentary, culminating in a complete playlist on the last day of the series. For a while, I’ll transform my “music geek-out” series into a geeking out over the songs on this setlist.

So, first in the set is Patti Smith’s “Gloria.” 

Why this track? Several reasons:
1. It’s a great first track. It starts slow and soft, and then speeds up and gets more musically intense/dense. It eases us into the set.
2. It’s a great song. It’s also one of the most iconic tracks on the one Patti Smith album that most people who have only one PS album own (Horses).
3. Smith was close with Robert Mapplethorpe, whose artwork spurred one of the most important things to happen in Cincinnati in the late 20th century–i.e., the obscenity trial.