published Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

City Beat: Not that there's anything wrong with that ...

It's been years since I've given more than a second's thought to what someone else thinks of my musical taste. I used to think a lot about it and, quite honestly, took my musical snobbery to obnoxious levels.

I did think about it the other day though, because of a series of events that I'm still laughing about. And, perfectly OK with.

Here's the scenario: It's Saturday morning, and I've already mowed the grass and done some weed eating and pruning. My wife is at work, and the house is a mess so I decide to clean it. No big deal.

For a little inspiration, I turn on some music, which is playing throughout the house. At first, I'm listening to the Kinks channel on Pandora, but for whatever reason, "Willkommen" from "Cabaret" keeps rattling around in my head.

I find it on the "Broadway: The American Musical" box set in my iTunes list and play it as loud as I can stand. I like it. A lot. Looking at the playlist, I see "Master of the House" and smile at the memory of George Costanza singing it on "Seinfeld" and queue it up next.

I open the windows and get back to cleaning. I turn up the sound and let the music play, cycling through everything from "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "Send in the Clowns," "Seventy-Six Trombones," "Tea for Two" and Zero Mostel's "If I Were a Rich Man." It's not the Topol version but darn good.

Now, this is not normal listening fare for me -- Bassnectar is great for housework -- but it's good stuff, and it turns out to be perfect for vacuuming and mopping. And singing along to.

Anyway, the doorbell rings, and I look up to see two of my neighbors. Smiling. Big smiles.

I open the door, and they start gushing about how nice it is to hear such great music. It's then that I realize the soundtrack to "Les Miserables" is playing, and I'm standing there wearing bib overalls, work boots and a tie-dyed do-rag on my head with "I Dreamed a Dream" regaling the neighborhood.

Now, I am perfectly comfortable with who I am, but for some reason when they left, I felt the need to start hammering something or maybe even getting out the chain saw and cutting down a tree. Fortunately for the trees, the saw wouldn't start.

Instead, I moved a chair out into the yard, grabbed a copy of "No Country for Old Men" and found a Merle Haggard CD to listen to. Loudly. As I sat there reading, I couldn't help but think at least "I Feel Pretty" wasn't playing when they showed up.

Contact staff writer Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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