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.