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 turn...post 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.