The stress of airing my musical menu in public

CBC Music

My colleagues at CBC’s excellent new CBC Music service asked me to compile a list of some of the most popular songs currently on my iPod.

I found it to be a stressful request. Finding my most popular music was easy: I went through my “most played” smart playlist to get an idea of what songs kept coming up. But I wanted to take some care in picking my ten pieces of music for this assignment.Since musical taste is so personal, I wanted to make sure the menu also captured a little bit of me.

It was like I was creating a menu for a dinner party. I might have plenty of recipes available, but I wanted to make sure I served something interesting. Unlike a good dinner party menu though, I knew not all of my musical selections would fit together or play well off one another.

My personal tastes in music, like most people, is eclectic. That’s almost a given: ever since iPods gave us the ability to carry a thousand songs in our pocket, we’ve all had the ability to indulge the breadth of our musical preferences. In my musical collection, I’ve got everything from rock to rap, country to classical, and techno to taizé. I wanted my list to at least represent some of that.

I like food, but I’m not a gourmet connoisseur. Likewise, while I like music, I’m no expert. I wanted to make sure I didn’t come across as a pretentious hipster. I wanted a musical menu that was interesting, accessible, and appetizing. In the end, I hope I came up with a representative sampler platter: some Wilco, Arcade Fire and Cassandra Wilson, with some k.d. lang, German industrial metal and a Disney Princess song thrown in for good measure.


CBC’s Mike Wise shares his shuffle playlist

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