The Music Meme: Day 18

Day 18: A song you have as your ringtone/want to be your ringtone

This prompt is actually a bit challenging, if only for one simple reason: I don't have a ringtone.

I mean yes, there's a sound that my phone makes when someone is calling, sure, but it's the one that was installed at the factory, and I haven't the slightest idea how I'd go about replacing it. 

Before you email me with suggestions or technical advice or helpful YouTube vids to watch, please note at least one other important fact: I do not have a smart phone. I am, as my children will attest while making copious eye-rolling motions, the opposite of an early adopter. I wait until a new technology is thoroughly vetted, or even exhausted, or in some cases even obsolete, before I take it up. I got a CD player in 1987, a good two years after I heard my first CD. My sound engineer friend Mike bought one in '85 and played me the digital version of Laurie Anderson's "Sharkey's Day", which just about blew my mind--but not enough to drop several hundred bucks on a player for discs I would then have to go buy. I was so slow to adopt the idea of the cell phone itself that I had a flip phone until roughly 2011. The red LG phone I've used since then was pretty much obsolete from the day I bought it, but it's taken me a few years to even see the value of owning a smart phone. But now that I can see that day on the horizon--my LG is beginning to show the signs of its inevitable decay--this ringtone issue is something I may actually address.

As I see it, the ringtone song has to meet several criteria:
1) It must attract my attention.
2) It should not resemble the ringtones of others around me.
3) It must be a song I'm prepared to listen to over and over.
4) It must be a song with an introduction worth listening to over and over.

I'll start with #4. If I hear the ringtone and quickly answer the phone, the intro is most likely all I'll hear. That probably rules out anything with a fade-in, like "More Than a Feeling" or "Take the Long Way Home," Intros can be rather misleading--raise your hand if you've ever expected "Werewolves of London" and gotten an earful of Kid Rock instead--so the song must be considered as a whole, yes, but the intro weighs rather heavily on the question.

I worry a lot about #3. There are plenty of songs that have been ruined for me by overplay (UB40's "Red Red Wine" and a significant number of Eagles songs, for example), so I fear that when I pick a song as my ringtone, I will soon be sick of hearing it. Worse, I may begin to associate the song with the inconvenience of dealing with phone calls, which will make my feelings even more negative. Am I ready to sacrifice a favorite song on the altar of my personal convenience?

By contrast, I suspect #2 will not be much of an issue. My musical taste is eccentric enough that I can probably assume my choice will not be duplicated by anyone nearby. And on the off chance that it is, I'll almost certainly want to get to know the person who also selected the Mothers' "Wowie Zowie" or  the "Kilted Yaksmen Anthem" from Ren & Stimpy. (Especially if they've selected the German version of the latter.)

And of course, there's #1. This is no time for something soft and subtle. This should be a shot across the bow, a bracing slap of cold water across the face. I should be able to hear the opening notes of this song and immediately think "Whoa--phone!"

So: Arresting. Distinctive. Durable. Immediate.

Yeah, this definitely calls for a Kurt Weill song done by an American studio wizard and a British New Wave star.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on August 23, 2017 10:08 AM.

The Music Meme: Day 17 was the previous entry in this blog.

The Music Meme: Day 19 is the next entry in this blog.

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