Wednesday, October 22, 2008

iPod Roulette

It's been a while, so let's fire up the iPod, throw it on shuffle, and see what happens. When I'm done, it's your your results and thoughts in the comments (I'm looking at you, Ben).

1. "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby" - Counting Crows (from This Desert Life)
This is my favorite song off of This Desert Life. It's long and a bit rambling, but I love it. There was a time of about a month where I would listen to this song at least once a day.

2. "Don't Go Into That Barn" - Tom Waits (from Real Gone)
Dark, stomping, angry, murderous song, complete with a gruff chorus of "hoo-HA!" from Waits in the background. A terrific song. My favorite part is at the end when he's doing the call-and-response thing: "Did you bury your fire? Yes sir. Did you cover your tracks? Yes sir. Did you bring your knife? Yes sir. Did they see your face? No sir." And so on, and so forth. A fantastic song. Listen to this one loud on a dark night.

3. "Big Joe and Phantom 309" - Tom Waits (from Nighthawks at the Diner)
What are the odds of two Tom Waits songs in a row? Sure, he takes up about 1.5 gig on my iPod, but that's still a pretty small percentage. Not my favorite song of his, but it's still pretty good, and it shows Waits in full beat-poet mode. He has better narratives, but you could do a lot worse than to listen to this track.

4. "The Other Side of the World" - Tindersticks (from The Hungry Saw)
If you're looking for a band to listen to on a cold day, the Tindersticks wouldn't be a bad choice. This song shows them in full force, all full orchestration and that fantastic baritone up front. Great song.

5. "Worth of Labor" - Starflyer 59 (from I Am the Portuguese Blues)
I was just thinking about this album on the way to school today. It's been a while since I've listened to it, but it's a great rock album. This is one of my favorite songs on it. Great guitars. Great energy. This is a great song to drive to.

6. "If I Were Dead" - Rose Blossom Punch (from Ephemere)
This album wasn't in print for very long, which is a shame. It's a great rock album, lush with guitars and pianos and whatnot. This song shows off their capabilities; big guitars, great drums, distorted goodness floating somewhere in the background. The fact that these guys never got much recognition is a tragedy.

7. "Kreuzberg" - Bloc Party (from A Weekend in the City)
This is the only Bloc Party album I like...but I'm not a big fan of this song. It's fine, I suppose; a slow-building song that ends up pretty good. It just takes too long to get there, and the entire first part of this song holds no interest for me whatsoever. Kind of like Bright Eyes' "No One Would Riot for Less" off Cassadaga. The ending is good, but it doesn't atone for the boring 4 minutes I had to sit through to get there.

8. "Encore" - Jay-Z (from The Black Album)
I'm not the biggest Jay-Z fan, but this song is pretty cool. It's still hard for me to get past the fact that this song is all about how awesome he is. I realize that it's a rap thing...but it doesn't mean I have to like it. I like the production, though...can't you just see him alongside Manilow at the Copacabana? Talk about a guy who is the best...

9. "The Grey Man" - Copeland (from You Are My Sunshine)
It's nice. Pretty much par for the course for Copeland at this point. It's a good, well-produced pop song, with shimmery guitars and a piano throughout. I like Copeland, but they just seem a little predictable. I like this song, but it's not really too much different from most of their other recent material.

10. "Pow" - Beastie Boys (from The In Sound From Way Out!)
One of my favorite songs on this album. When most people think of the Beastie Boys, they think of the rap aspect of their career. Not a ton of people realize that they're all fantastic musicians, as is evidenced on this track. It's a wicked-funky breakdown of instrumental-awesomeness. If you haven't heard this album yet, check it out. Now.

Your turn.


Fosterface said...

Thanks for posting again Dusty. Let's go:

1. "Sleeping Bear, Sault Ste. Marie," by Sufjan Stevens (from Greetings from Michigan: the Great Lakes State )
- Not a song I think about a whole lot, aside from the title. It starts like one of his 21 second instrumentals, but the vocals come in (along with the banjo that is a trademark of this album) big and chorus-like (for this album, anyway - I'm sure it would have been huge if he had recorded this with Illinoise's budget). The chorus is all there is, pretty much, but it's great. Feels like you should be outside, lake-side, right down to the crickets that close out the song.

2. "Lazy," by Yellow Hammer, from the Ocean's 12 sountrack.

This doesn't belong on here. Not much to it, and it's a four minute instrumental. Kind of a letdown for what was the movie's strongest point (the music in general, that is).

3. "Remote Control," by the Clash, ( The Clash )

One of their rougher songs that places them closer to the punk genre that is identified with the name of The Clash more than with their music. Not a huge fan of this one, though I really like the way the verses come in. I'm sorry to say that I've not listened to this album enough to place it in context. Maybe next time. O.K., the ending's cool.

4. "Close Edge," by Mos Def ( The New Danger )

Two things a rap song has to have for me to enjoy it are: 1.) good layering of instrumental and vocal tracks, which this song doesn't really have much of. That would be o.k. if 2.) the rhythm of the vocals influences the rhythm of the song so that there is a complementing of percussion (d.j. shadow), other instrumental elements (the roots, at their best, and kanye), and vocal rhythm (outkast). This track features minimal elements of either of these two, which is disappointing since I expect more from mos def. He is kind of the lo-fi hip hop guy, so there's something else happening here, I just know it.

5. "And the Rest Will Follow," by ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead ( Worlds Apart )

A good song with a great intro, interesting chord progression, and chorus. The lyrics of the chorus, "I know how the best will fall, and the rest will follow," lends a confident prediction of everyone's come-uppance. The syncopation and percussion in this one make the song. Listen for the bird shriek at 2:35.

6. "Dream Brother," by Jeff Buckley ( Grace )

I don't listen to Jeff Buckley. Maybe because I don't sit around outside with people and smoke. This song sounds like it would be good to do that to. It's kind of spacy, but sounds like a live recording at the same time. Definitely has that mid-90's alternative, no, really alternative, sound to it. Next time I'm in Lexington and the weather permits, we should drink bourbon and smoke cigars while listening to Grace .

7. "Cemetery Gates," the Smiths ( The Queen is Dead )

A corny song from a gloomy Morrissey album. He drops 19th century literary names and advice about plagiarism over an almost campfire-song-like chord progression and tempo, in the setting of a cemetery.

8. "Kommienezuspadt," Tom Waits ( Alice )

I love this album. Those warm-toned horns are there throughout the album as much as any other, changing the rainy-day texture of Waits' sound to rainy-day-at-the-circus textures. This song especially - sounds like a German ringleader is calling people to come in and see a freak show, but I'm sure it's more grumpy than that, considering the rest of this album. It also sounds like there's poop involved somewhere, too. In other words, it's a good song.

9. "Emergency Exit," Beck ( Guero )

This was a strange album, even for Beck. As varied as his repertoire is, this one just doesn't seem to fit somehow. This song is an example of that: it has a heavier feel, but still has a strong beat to it. I guess he usually kept the two apart up until now (2005) and so this seems kind of a curveball. The song itself is fine, one of those songs that only Beck could pull off but not his best. Sounds like a heavier "Peaches and Cream" (from Midnight Vultures ).

10. "Hey Porter," Johnny Cash (take your pick - Ben )

I love this song. I think it was the first Johnny Cash song I ever really listened to. It's sung from a passenger on a Southbound (capital S) train who can just tell he's getting closer to home as the day breaks. You could not tell this story any other way. If there's any way you could miss the message of the music, Mr. Cash makes it so clear that you can almost see the mist sitting on the ground of a humid Carolina/Georgia/Tennessee morning.

Dusty said...

I actually really like "Close Edge" by Mos Def. As you said, there's not much going on, but I love it anyway.

I'm completely on board with your Jeff Buckley bourbon/cigar plan. It's a fantastic album...I think you'll dig it.