Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday CJ Random 11

It’s one more random than 10.

This last week, I’ve been using the iPod's rating feature to see if I can control my shuffles or if I am just my iPod’s gimp.

1. “2 Minutes to Midnight,” Iron Maiden. This is off The Essential Iron Maiden, which features three songs from the period where they replaced Bruce Dickinson—but not the Bruce Dickinson—with somebody named Blaze Bayley. Let me tell you, there is nothing Essential nor Iron about Blaze Bayley. Sidenote: it seems like a perfect time to revive 80s songs about nuclear annihilation.

2. “I Wanna Come Home,” The Bottle Rockets. I had an iPod mini for a couple years before I got my new iPod. The mini shuffle used to play The Bottle Rockets all the time. Even when I didn’t have The Bottle Rockets loaded onto it, which was very Nightmare on Elm Street. Now the new iPod is possessed too.

3. “Bend to Squares,” Death Cab for Cutie. Trevor Jackson recently took umbrage with those who think it’s cool to be over Death Cab for Cutie. I also say balderdash to the Cutie hataz. If emo managed to put thin slices of delicate between two slices of rock the way these guys do, people wouldn’t hate emo.

4. “The Perfect Crime No. 2,” The Decemberists. Slinky. Not the toy, the bass line. They have entered my “buy the next album, no questions asked” canon. My second favorite album of 2006.

5. “Tea in the Sahara,” The Police. Sting killed The Police’s legacy. Which is ironic since he created it. They were such a great band: the killer songwriting and the masterful playing and the punk energy and the way they explored the studio space like they do here. The Police brought it hard for five albums and smartly called it a day as soon as they fucked up “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” with that terrible remix. But no one wants to remember them because now it conjures images of Sting having marathons of oily Tartaric sex and lute playing.

6. “Luka,” Suzanne Vega. I met Suzanne Vega at my friend Bob’s wedding—which featured a wild night of karaoke. Someone went up to Ms. Vega and asked her if she was going to do a karaoke version of “Luka.” She looked like I would look if someone at a wedding asked me to write promotional copy for the wedding hall. Moral of the story: what’s fantasy camp for one person is a day job for someone else.

7. “Funky Kingston,” Toots and the Maytals. I’m not sure if hearing reggae music when it’s eight degrees out warms me with thoughts of warm tropical breezes or makes me want to slit my wrists...yep, it’s the latter. I’m going to record the Iowa version of this, “Funky Ottumwa.”

8. “Beautiful,” Smashing Pumpkins. If you’re going to record a double album, you better have a really good reason: a story about a deaf, dumb, and blind pinball wizard; so many good songs you have to put “Ten Years Gone” on the second disc; or your band is called The Clash. Billy Corgan did not fit any of these criteria when he made Mellon Collie and the Infinite Album Title.

9. “Back in Black,” AC/DC. I always get the Beavis and Butthead guitar sound in my head when I hear this. Dah, da-da-dah, da-da-dah. One of my favorite songs ever. Incidentally, lead singer Brian Johnson and his hat wrote a musical about Helen of Troy. Seriously. Which means David St. Hubbins and Derek Smalls must be in preproduction with Saucy Jack.

10. “Winona,” Matthew Sweet. He’s become my shuffle Joe DiMaggio. He hits a nice single to left with this one to keep his Friday shuffle streak going.

11. “Burning Sky,” The Jam. This was the only song I rated that made it into this week’s shuffle, and with it sneaking in at number 11, it’s almost like my iPod is giving me pity sex. At least it’s very, very good pity sex.

7 comments:

teh l4m3 said...

Clearly your shuffle hates you. Except for numero 11.

PJKM said...

The shuffle option on my Nano favors Bebel Gilberto and ABBA.

By the way, the Bears must lose this weekend - you understand, don't you?

Brendan said...

These go to 11. And I like that.

1. I always wondered whether Iron Maiden was familiar with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. I never could understand any of the words besides the four that make up the title. (I can never understand any words, for some reason, no matter how much I like a song.)

I had to Google the BAS to make sure that's what it was, and came across this disheartening story. I hate to sound like a geezer, but I remember what a relief it was when the clock was being moved back, in the early '90s.

5. I agree about the Police. One of the rare bands whose albums got consistently better. I saw them live once, and watching Stuart Copeland play the drums was a rare treat. Shortly after they broke up for good, I heard Sting doing an interview, so I was able to hate him long before his ego engulfed the known universe.

7. Isn't Bootsy Collins on this one? I think he is. I like this song, even if it's not the best of Toots. It's one of the few songs that I can think of that strikes me as always uplifting. Perfect beat, catchy chorus, nice contrast between the voices of Toots and Bootsy.

8. I'd always think, "Hey, this sounds okay," when a Smashing Pumpkins song would come on the radio. Then that dentist drill of a voice would start up, and much mad pounding of the presets would ensue.

9. And speaking of irritating voices ... The only good thing about this song is it now makes me think of Lewis Black on the Daily Show. AC/DC had one tolerable song that I ever heard: "Heatseeker."

No opinion/don't know on the rest. Except:

11. I managed to make it through a career in rock and roll, spanning the late '70s to the mid '80s, without ever becoming clear on who The Jam were. As I remember it, everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, tried to jam them down my throat. Consequently, I shut them out completely. Probably my loss, but there's nothing I can do about my contrarian wiring.

I must also be a control freak, because I can't imagine paying a lot of money for something that plays music that I'd have no control over.

It is to be considered a sign of progress in society, however, that everyone uses earbuds. Boom boxes were the worst.

Brendan said...

Sorry about the double post, Brando.

Feel free to delete as appropriate.

Trevor Jackson said...

The DCFC hate spreads. Ben Gibbard: #44 on the list of the 50 most loathsome people of 2006.

I won't deny that Plans is a quieter, possibly wimpier album, but anyone who says that Death Cab doesn't rock needs to get their ears cleaned out. The Photo Album? "Blacking Out the Friction" is a barn-burner live.

And another thing: Why 2006? They didn't even release an album last year. Shenanigans. The rest of the list is pretty pleasing.

Brando said...

No problem on the comments, Brendan. Blogger was a bit wonky yesterday.

I didn't mind Sting until around Ten Summoner's Tales. I still like a good number of his songs up through that album. But Christ, his personality is just hard to take.

I understand about AC/DC. I have all the albums up through Back in Black. I loved the Bon Scott era and this album.

The Jam are also one of my favorite bands. They were way too British to be big here, but they were the one UK punk group besides The Clash that managed to evolve their sound without losing their identity.

Trevor, thanks for the Beast link, the Loathesome list is always a hoot, even if they're fucking morons about Gibbard.

Teh, I did like this week's selection much better than last week's. I didn't have to use the safe word. And I do love fitting all my music on something smaller than a Walkman.

pjkm, I have to take death before dishonor. Go Bears! TLB and I will be standing by to take your concession call in the third quarter. ;-)

Churlita said...

I've never been able to get over the whole "Eddie the mascot" thing with Iron Maiden. What kind of metal band has a mascot - even if he is really creepy looking?

The first concert I ever went to was Poice and UB40 at the Unidome in 1983. There was a huge snowstorm the day before it, so hardly anyone showed up and we could get really close to the stage. Thanks for making me imagine Tantric Sting again. I have some bile rising in the back of my throat now. I thought I had wiped that image out of my head for good.

I think people have more trouble with the whole hipster parents and their hipster kids liking Death CAb and 3 year olds wearing their t-shirts than the actual music. It's a shame how easy it is to get over a band because you can't stand its fans, even though you still like the music.