High Fives: Carolina Wings-McManus

This week in High Fives, I interview my favorite person in the world. Yes, it is nepotism, but she is my lovely soul mate. When we first became online friends courtesy of Livejournal, we bonded over the Beatles, Tori Amos, feminism, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Alyson: This is the easiest interview ever, even if you were a bit reluctant.

Carolina: *looks at Facebook while avoiding me asking her a question and then laughs* Carolina Wings-McManus, huh?

A: We talked about this! Anyway, what are your top five albums of all time?

C: In no particular order, Rubber Soul. I used to say the White Album, but where I am musically is Rubber Soul.

Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos.

A: Definitely a bonding album of ours. Unfortunately, the themes of that album spoke to both of us very deeply.

C: Contra by Vampire Weekend.

A: It is a great album, even if a certain friend of ours disagrees. (Shade thrown).

C: Probably, Blue by Joni Mitchell and Poses by Rufus Wainwright.

Rufus influenced me a lot musically when I discovered him.

I am sad to leave Ophelia by Natalie Merchant off. Same with Dilate by Ani DiFranco.

A: I have to admit I was not the biggest fan of Rufus when we got together. Thankfully, you rectified that. I now love singing about my new Grandma Bea Arthur.

Our love of the Beatles and Tori really provided a solid foundation for our relationship. I know we have had our disagreements that have caused some pretty hilarious and heated conversations in the Wings-McManus household.

I could almost tell you exactly how you will say this but who are your Top 5 musical artists of all time?

C:  1. Tori Amos

2. The Beatles

3. Joni Mitchell

4. Simon and Garfunkel

5. Vampire Weekend

A: Well, I guessed correctly on four, thinking you were going to go with Queen or the Who.

C: I like them, but they aren’t necessarily my favorite favorite.

A: True, just bands we listen to a lot in our household. That one David Armand video didn’t stop in rotation for awhile.

Haven’t done this one yet, but what are your top 5 favorite songs?

C: “Tiny Dancer,” hands down, is my favorite song of all time.

A: Yeah, that was easy, I had it written before even asking. I mean of course Almost Famous helped you love that song.

C: Yeah true, I heard it a lot and I can’t say why, but it came to be my favorite song. I didn’t necessarily hate it before the movie or anything. I think it just organically became my favorite, and I am sure that movie helped.

2. “Hallelujah,” Jeff Buckley version. It is quiet, sexy, and cathartic.

A: Yeah it’s a lot easier and sadder to hear Jeff sing about being tied to a chair than gruff Leonard Cohen.

C: 3. “Imagine.” Just because it’s one of those songs.

A: Yeah and when you were in middle school you claimed you were married to John Lennon, not that I blame you. Hell of a song, hell of a songwriter.

C: Thanks for broadcasting my weirdness.

A: Hey, we were all weird. I once liked Limp Bizkit and Korn.

C: 4. “The Only Living Boy In New York” by Simon and Garfunkel. I heard a lot of them growing up. I remember really liking their music. I found a copy of their greatest hits at the Goodwill in high school. I remember hearing that song maybe for the first time and really being like this is my favorite Simon and Garfunkel song.

5. Number five is hard. So many songs to choose from. I am going to go with something way random and different from everything else.

“Life is Sweet” by Natalie Merchant.

It is hard to pick just one Tori song and this song was always a song I could go to.

A: Oh yeah, that song made me cry when we saw it live.

C: It makes me happy and doesn’t make me cry.

A: I get that it. I think it was just an overload of emotions on my end plus, you know, hormones.

What about five least favorite songs?

C: 1. “Lips of an Angel” by Hinder

2. “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker. I had those neighbors upstairs that would only play this song for like a good couple months straight.

A: That would drive me nuts.

C: Never really liked it before and definitely never will after that.

3. “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam

Good band. Terrible cover. It really irked me in a lot of ways.

A: Yeah, I had to talk you into remembering that Pearl Jam was actually a good band.

C: 4. “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly. I was an OG hater of Mr. Kelly’s.

A: But Space Jam. I understand now though. That song did have nostalgic value for me.

C: 5. “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke.

Just plain gross. It sucks it is so catchy.

A: Totally. I still kick myself I liked it briefly.

The final question. What musical artist’s oeuvre would you completely erase?

C: Been thinking about that since Kara’s interview. Her answer was pretty brilliant. I just have to say Chris Brown for similar reasons.

A: For me, his music was never really appealing. I could totally understand just wiping him off the radio. Seriously, “No Air” is a terrible song and that isn’t even a full Chris Brown song. It’s not like someone else couldn’t have sang that part.

What I have learned from these interviews, if you are a terrible person, your music should suffer for it. As much as I dislike the Eagles, Joe Walsh isn’t a complete scumbag from what I understand.

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Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

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