Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday CJ Random 11

It's one more random than 10!

Once again, only one song I rated actually showed up. It's like my iPod and I are living out "Master and Servant."

1) "We Can Work It Out," The Beatles. Life is very short/and there's no time/for fussing and fighting my friend. Too bad they couldn't take their own advice. Those who can't do, write incredible songs about what they can't do. This has my full day's supply of awesome.

2) "Other Dogs Remain," Robert Pollard. No songwriter in the last 20 years has written as many good songs or as many bad songs as the former Guided by Voices leader. Sometimes you get shimmering pop that makes you wonder how this man never became a household name. Other times you get stuff that sounds like it was conceived, written, arranged, and produced in the john. This is kind of in both camps, with a nice foundation but synths that seem bussed in from another song.

3) "Trip Through Your Wires," U2. I saw them on this tour (Joshua Tree). Say what you will about Bono, but I will not forget how he managed to make the vast Rosemont Horizon in Chicago feel very intimate. I don't think we got any Am I buggin' ya? I don't mean to bug ya that night, which probably helped.

4) "I Apologize," Hüsker Dü. A great slice of punk energy whapped in the knees by 80s production. The guitar sounds like it's in the next county and the snare tries to be tough but is way too refined, like it's extending its pinky while drinking a shot of whiskey.

5) "Super Baby," Matthew Sweet. DiMaggio! Sweet gets on base again for the fourth straight week, this time legging out an infield single. This has the opposite problem of "I Apologize"—he tries to sound gritty and edgy when he should be shiny and refined. Still pretty good.

6) "The Mary Martin Show," The New Pornographers. Three albums and I like every single one of their songs, a real rarity for me. This is great rollicking pop, with thick, sweet keyboard flourishes that are like Mallomars for your ears. They're the band I would most like to see live.

7) "Dash 7," Wilco. The quiet, sparse acoustic guitar and mellow, brilliant pedal steel guitar perfectly match the color of the winter morning sun coming through the window. I love moments like that.

8) "Spectacle," Velvet Revolver. I hate their band name but like the band, as 60% of Guns 'N' Roses is still better than 100% of most bands, including 100% of Stone Temple Pilots. Here's what I don't get about VR: they have Slash, Duff, and Matt Sorum from GNR, then add Some Other Dude from Some Other Band on guitar. Seriously, would it have been that hard to get Izzy Stradlin to join? What was he too busy doing? Waiting for Axl to ask him to play on Chinese Democracy? Shopping for more porkpie hats?

9) "Blood Free (Live)," Gang of Four. I only recently checked these guys out because all the cobag hipster critics say bands like Bloc Party borrowed heavily from Gang of Four. If by "borrowed," they mean "made enjoyable to listen to," I completely concur. You know, I can yell out of tune about how I feel lost in a faceless, shallow, materialistic society, too. That doesn't mean I'd want to buy my own CD.

10) "Gone for Good," The Shins. I tried unsuccessfully to sue the makers of Garden State because The Shins didn't change my life, as Natalie Portman promised they would. The lawyers successfully countered that The Shins had, because I had not previously filed a frivolous lawsuit. Very clever. This song is like Dash 7's happy, well-adjusted brother, with peppy steel guitar and a bouncy acoustic guitar melody. I'm good enough, I'm catchy enough, and doggone it, people like to play me. Also the first rated tune to show up this week. Thanks for throwing me a bone, Apple.

11) "Temptation," New Order. This song will always, always, always remind me of The Lovely Becky. Substance came out the year before we started dating, which tells you how long we've been together. The line No, I've never met anyone quite like you before pretty much sums up why we're still together.

And if that's too sappy of an ending this week, tough cookies. Like Samantha Fox once sang, naughty girls need love too. Except replace naughty with sarcastic, girls with bloggers, and love with to express their feelings in a straightforward manner.

Have a good weekend!


almostinfamous said...

i think i'm going to start on this old chestnut(random songs) soon. cant think of anything else.

and if you can find a copy of the first dirk gently book, do get it. it's one of the best detective/scifi/comedy novels i have ever read. so damn surreal, and yet SO amazingly put together.

happy weekend to you too!!

Adorable Girlfriend said...

UC loves the Shins. He'll be over here've left the cookie smell for him.

traca de broon said...

I used to keep my iPod on a short leash with playlists, until I set it free to drive from IA to MA last summer. For about 25 hours it played what felt like exactly the right thing, starting with Beck's "Golden Age" as I maneuvered a vehicle the size of the Foxhead through the IC on that early rainy morning, moving on to The National's "Baby We'll Be Fine" as I merged onto the highway (“all we’ve gotta do is be brave and be kind”). By the Illinois border, I was kickin' it "Root Down." I've never gone back to playlists.

On another note: Grendel and I saw The New Pornographers last New Year's Eve in Chicago. Ringing in the New Year with Neko and the "hey-la's" of “The Bleeding Heart Show” did not disappoint.

The Uncanny Canadian said...

Hmmm, I detect the faint odour of the Shins here. Let's see what's going on ...

GBV - I couldn't agree with you more, especially about the bad songs. I had no idea where to start, so I bought their best-of collection. Everything is good, but nothing gets my heart pounding.

NP - See them live. Drive somewhere - whatever it takes. I have seen them three times and every time was exhilirating and captivating. Best is when Neko Case is touring with them because she's super cute and has really funny banter as well. To me, Mary Martin Show is like in their lower 25th percentile, and still a 4.85/5.

Wilco - I have the song listened as Dash 7. Is this the same song, from AM? I like it but only 0.125X Summerteeth.

Shins - The problem is that your life didn't need changing and therefore the Shins are not necessary nor sufficient. If you grew up listening to Celine Dion, they probably would change your life.

Nice random 11. I'll have to start Poop Shooting again on 3B. It's time to take musical elitism to a whole new level....

Chuckles said...

I am a firm believer of never buying an iPod and this kinda confirms it. I also hate Windows Media Players shuffle function. It sticks heavily to rated songs and maybe once a week plays a non rated song. Like a radio station, I hear the same songs over and over again. Since my computer is filled with awesomeness at work, this is generally ok. Except when I want to hear the God Damn Doo Wop Band...hmm, now I will have to listen to that.

Brando said...

aif, you should do that. I really enjoy writing these posts. I'll have to give Dirk Gently a read.

UC, thanks for the correction on Wilco, it is Dash 7. You should definitely get the poop shoot going again, I really like reading your music posts (and Pinko's too).

I am a big GBV fan. Bee Thousand is one of my all-time favorite discs, definitely on the desert island list. But Pollard just puts out too much stuff. And his hit-to-miss ratio has decreased quite a bit in recent years.

Chuckles, I see your point, but I'm with the lovely Traca here. I really like the shuffle feature. I wish you could set some parameters like you could with MusicMatch's auto DJ feature, but I love just sticking the player on shuffle and seeing what poops out. Even more now that I can fit my whole collection on the iPod (which I couldn't do with my 4G mini).

The Uncanny Canadian said...

Brando, just the hint of a compliment is more than enough to get my motors going. Check 3B! for the new poop shoot.

Churlita said...

I'm really old, so I saw husker Du play at a friend's studio above The Soap opera in 1984. I will always love them with my 18 year old heart. (the one I had before it turned black and rotted)

I love Wilco and the Shins. Although, I don't think The Shins changed my life any either.

I don't quite get Velvet Revolver. Every time I hear them, I think, "Eh."

I think liking Gang of Four might be another old people thing. For me, they're nostalgia music from sneaking into clubs in SF before I was old enough to drink.

Number 11 was darn sweet.

MichaelBains said...

I don't think Izzy Stradlin' made it out of the '80s alive, Brando.

At least not in much (if any) better shape than Sid Barret lived the last decades of his life.

I'm not into the whole shuffle thing anymore, either. Generally, I sort by genre and groove on one 'til I'm ready for another style of music.

Or get in my car and drive. Then it's whatever CDs I've got handy.

MichaelBains said...

Huh... Shows what I know.


Pinko Punko said...

B- the original "Temptation" is much better than the re-recorded version on Substance.

The second disc of Substance at least had the B-sides from the original EP ("Mesh" and "Hurt" and one other one).

"Mesh" is secretly one of their best songs. Seriously, it is one of my fave songs ever.