Friday, September 21, 2007
10 not crappy, mostly random songs
As I did about a year and a half ago, I now present the first 10 songs that show up when I put my iPod on shuffle. Before the list, though, you should know a)I have a 30gb iPod, b) I have a 105gb music library, c) therefore, my iPod gets a very limited selection of my full library, but always has everything by my favorite artists ever, and favored artists at the moment. Without further ado, the list:
1. "Que Onde Guero" by Beck - Oh Beck. So good, usually, but this album (Guero) seemed like a step backward. He's been treading water on this album and The Information. It's not terrible, not offensive, just not as good as any of his previous 4 albums.
2. "Silver Lining" by U2 - This is an early, live version of "11 o'clock tick tock," only with different lyrics. This is pretty rough and even has some slightly out-of-tune backing vocals from Mr. Edge. It's funny to hear how rough they were and know that they would one day be one of the biggest bands in the world.
3. "That's the Way" by Led Zeppelin - What a gentle song from a gentle album. It's weird to hear this album and think how underused Bonham is on it. Anyhow, I especially love the way Robert Plant's voice was recorded, like in a bathroom, but also running through a phaser or something. It's unique and beautiful. This song really is melancholic; I love it. This is the first 5 star song from this 10 song shuffle.
4. "If you've got troubles (1982 stereo mix)" by The Beatles - I've got a bunch of Beatles studio outtakes and alternate mixes. There are alternate versions of most of their albums, comprised of entirely different takes and mixes of songs, plus tons of demos that were never turned into album tracks. This song is a standard forgettable/cute Ringo-sung number, made interesting only on the merit of its stereo mixing. This song is from a collection called "Another Session Plus". That link tells you about the origins of this mix.
5. "Boogaloo Boogie" by Stanton Moore - Stanton is my favorite living drummer. He plays on a simple kit and plays with a deeper pocket than Donald Trump, if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor. His main gig is the hip-hop/New Orleans/instrumental/jam band Galactic, but he's also a solo artist, and has played with a ton of people including Corrosion of Conformity, Irma Thomas, and the New Orleans Klezmer All Stars. Go here for videos and mp3s. Like many of his songs, this one is instrumental and features guitar, sax and organ. Listen to how he rides the line between swung (jazzy) and straight notes. Fun stuff.
6. "8-21-07 Elvis' Stolen Gun" by The Don and Mike Show - Ok, this isn't a song at all, but a part of my favorite radio show, which I have to listen to as a podcast, since it's on at an inconvenient hour, syndicated from their home in DC. I don't know where to begin to explain this show, but part of its appeal is their love of Elvis Presley, Larry King, and Jerry Lewis. And Regis. They frequently conduct interviews in character, either as Elvis or Larry King. This reminds me of an English project in high school, when Connor Doe and I handed in a little show called "Oscar Wilde's Story Hour" or something, wherein we took turns reading, in terrible British/Irish accents, paragraphs of Oscar Wilde's short stories, while some Renaissance music played in the background. It was hilarious and I think we got an A. Anyway, Don and Mike are funny, frequently berate their callers, talk a lot about the funniest parts of their personal lives (much like a good blog does), and they provide me with a lot of what I need to know about pop culture. Wikipedia, of course, has more in depth details about their show.
7. "Same Old Thing" by The Meters - I got into The Meters because of Stanton Moore. That's a funny thing with music, finding out about a much earlier existing band and their influence on a more current band that you like, but you still like the current band more. Regardless, The Meters were a great band, and Ziggy Modeliste had great skills on the drums. The Meters were a terrificly funky band, from NO,LA, like Stanton Moore and Harry Connick Jr. A classic band who were much more influential than I ever realized, until the past year or so. This song has a great tight riff, some occasional vocals, and a pure funky groove.
8. "Mr. Sellack" by The Roches - I recently got all the albums by The Roches, thanks to Elvis Costello including them on some kind of celebrity playlist or something. They're a female folk trio of sisters from the east coast. Maybe NY? They have great 3-part harmonies and seem like good music for Simon to listen to. They are somehow connected to Rufus Wainwright's musical mother & aunt. My favorite song of theirs is "Quitting Time."
9. "I'm not Angry" by Elvis Costello - There are some bands like Galactic, The Meters, or Led Zeppelin that make we want to immediately pick up drum sticks and practice. Other groups, like The Roches, make me wish I could sing like them. Elvis Costello is an artist that makes me wish I knew more guitar chords, could write clever lyrics, and could write intriguing, brilliant melodies. He's an amazing musician and I wish I'd listened to him for the past 20 years instead of just the past 2.
10. "Black Town" by Rotary Downs - This is a good little indie band I heard on NPR. Their vocalist reminds me a bit of Ken Andrews of Failure. Musically, they've been compared frequently to Pavement. I'm still digesting this album, so no judgments yet. Coincidentally, this band is also from New Orleans.