Thursday, May 21, 2009

iPod Roulette

It's been a while since I posted, which means it's time for some iPod Roulette. I hit shuffle and write the first 10 songs that show up, with my thoughts. Join in by posting your results in the comments.

1. "So Alive" - Toad the Wet Sprocket (In Light Syrup)
A great song. Normally I'm less than thrilled with b-sides albums (they're usually b-sides for a reason), but this album is great all the way through. This song is one of my favorites on the album.

2. "So What" - Miles Davis (Kind of Blue)
Unmistakeably Miles. This is the first on the album, and it kicks it off in style. It starts off with some meandering instruments, finds its groove, then proceeds to show off the brilliance of the musicians involved over the course of the song. One of my all-time favorite jazz albums. I know that's not an original statement, but it's true.

3. "Depot, Depot" - Tom Waits (The Heart of Saturday Night)
With this song (and, really, most of this period for him), Tom Waits creates a perfect late-night soundtrack. I can't listen to this song without thinking, "I wish I was driving through a city at 3 o'clock in the morning." (I can never get through one of these lists without a Tom Waits or Johnny Cash song coming up...and that's completely okay with me.)

4. "Lucky" - Radiohead (Early live version)
A good recording. This version is more stripped down than the version that ended up on OK Computer. At the beginning of the song, Thom Yorke says that this song came out of his James Bond obsession. I can see that. Great song.

5. "It's a Hit" - Rilo Kiley (More Adventurous)
It wasn't until the last few years that I've gotten into Rilo Kiley. This album is the reason I started listening to them in earnest. Fantastic album. This is not my favorite song on the album (that honor goes to "Does He Love You?), but it's still a darn good song.

6. "Big Black Nothing" - Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band (Outer South)
This is actually Nik Freitas singing, not Conor Oberst. It's a nice enough fact, I think I enjoy it. I suppose I need to listen to this album again. I was less than impressed the couple of times that I've listened to it, but this song is convincing me to give it another shot. Thanks Nik.

7. "Train Song" - Feist & Benjamin Gibbard (Dark Was the Night)
Pretty much exactly what I expected it would sound like. I like it. It's nice. I'm beginning to think that ol' Ben is making his voice sound a little stranger on purpose.

8. "I Am Always the One Who Calls" - Pedro the Lion (The Only Reason I Feel Secure)
When I hear the greatness of this song, I find myself feeling a little sad. Not because this song is so good, but because the last couple of things David Bazan has put out have been pretty mediocre. I'm hoping that changes with his upcoming full-length. Anyway, this song is fantastic.

9. "All Along the Watchtower" - U2 (Rattle and Hum)
Not on par with the Hendrix version, but still a darn good version. Say what you will about U2 (and many people have, especially recently), but they have a tremendous back catalog.

10. "India Rubber" - Radiohead (B-Side)
A dark, slinky(ish) song, sounding like the bridge between Pablo Honey and The Bends. It's not an amazing song, but it's still pretty good.

I'm going to try to get back to writing semi-regular reviews this summer...but I make no promises. I have a backlog of great albums that I've listened to (and a few less-than-stellar albums), so I need to start writing again.

1 comment:

Fosterface said...


1. ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - "The Day the Air Turned Blue." From their early album Madonna . One of those intro songs that lasts about a minute. They do this a lot, and you'd almost think you're about to hear an hour of classic music. Except for the words on the cd cover.

2. Snow Patrol - "Ways & Means." I don't remember this one. I liked this album ( Final Straw ), though it didn't hold up, as I haven't listened to it in a few years. This one's o.k.

3. Dinosaur Jr - "What Else Is New," from Where You Been . J Mascis is not a lyricist that anyone would want to emulate - Cris and I would joke about how he rhymed at nearly any cost and how many songs of his talked about "seeing you." But he composes great, great guitar-driven music that I still love to hear. And this is not even the best on this album.

4. Tom Waits - "Union Square," from Rain Dogs . A dirty, dirty sounding blues song. Meaning a Tom Waits song. It makes me want to dress in dirty clothes and walk down Broadway in NYC with other guys in dirty clothes. It's a lot of fun.

5. Morrissey - "Maladjusted," from Maladjusted . This album was critically considered as a disappointment, I think, but there are a few gems on it. This isn't the brightest one, but it's a good opener. He has such a great way of setting up a story without really saying anything specific. It's fine though, because it's set to this slow, tom-filled beat and huge-but-distant (think the Cure's Show ) guitars making all sorts of noise.

6. The Smiths - "Rubber Ring," from Best... I . Huh. What are the odds with 35 gb of music that I'd get two Morrissey-sung tracks in a row? One of my favorite Smiths songs. If the Smiths ever jammed, it's on this one.

7. Granada - "Jubilee," from Granada . I haven't absorbed this band yet, but this one starts well, with a couple singing "ba-dap-ba" over a nice acoustic arpeggio. And two minutes later it's over. In my mind I'm either saying goodbye to someone or playing in someone's yard with no shoes.

8. The Heights - "How Do You Talk to an Angel," from VH-1's Top 100 One Hit Wonders . Always hated this song, but there's that whole rule I have about keeping albums together. If it's a 100-track album, I've got to have the 100 tracks. This one reminds me of my (oh, my I forgot about the horn interludes) cousin and I singing "how do you hold 'er close to where you... Aaahhhhhh." Shame on this band for writing an 80s ballad in 92 or whenever it was written.

9. Granada - "Two States," from Granada . Come on, shuffle! Shuffle! Ah well. First time hearing this one. I was nervous about sensing that summertime drag on it and seeing that it was a 6 minute song. But it worked - it brought to mind those 70s and early 80s duet country ballads that in my mind seem like classics now. A really enjoyable 6 minutes.

10. M. Ward - "One Life Away," from Transistor Radio . I'm getting to the point where I like every M. Ward song I've ever heard. This is another song that would have been good if it were released at any point in the last 80 years.