It's one more random than 10!
The iPod was very sad today, almost as if it knows Kurt Vonnegut died. Blue Girl had a great post about his passing, and the random 11 seems to fit it pretty well.
1. “A Man Needs a Maid,” Neil Young. A butler would also do, just so we’re not accused of sexism here. The warm piano lines complement Neil’s pleading voice very well.
2. “Celluloid Heroes,” The Kinks. One of my favorite Kinks songs because the lyrics tell such a sad tale about fame. I like it because I often think things like, What’s Jan-Michael Vincent doing today? Which then seems sad, because once you've done Airwolf, how do you go back to a normal life?
3. “Comin’ Back,” The Crystal Method. Speaking of whatever happened to.... This bit of techno-lite illustrates Vonnegut's Luddite philosophy pretty well: what sounded so ahead of the curve 10 years ago now sounds so 10 years ago.
4. “Riff Raff,” Mark Kozelek. A song from my favorite cover album ever, a collection of acoustic versions of AC/DC songs. Bon Scott plugged into folk music suddenly sounds lonely and reflective instead of lewd and randy. Context is everything.
5. “To Remake the Young Flyer,” Guided by Voices. A dewy, dreamy track, with a slow chiming Beatles guitar. It’s almost humid in its thickness.
6. “Day Old Blues,” Kings of Leon. Starts with an achy acoustic guitar and croaky vocals full of smoke and regret, until the rest of the band kicks in and makes an urgent plea at the end. It sounds like M. Ward gone electric.
7. “Psalm,” M. Ward. Wow, how about that? More lonely acoustic guitar that shifts up into a faster rhythm that makes me think of driving along the Carolina back roads on a beautiful sunny day.
8. “Come On Eileen,” Dexy’s Midnight Runners. There would be a point where Vonnegut would tell people to stop blubbering and have fun at the wake. This is a good song to get the party going.
9. “Broken,” Pennywise. Okay, too much drinking and now we're punching the walls at the funeral home. Best to wait a couple minutes and let the iPod get it out of its system.
10. “Up Around the Bend,” Creedence Clearwater Revival. That’s more like it. This sounds like the kind of good time ol’ Kurt would want to have, outside and on the highway in the fresh air.
11. “Twilight,” Elliott Smith. One final shot of melancholy as we go. I talk about rocking a lot, and I definitely love the majesty of rock and the mystery of roll, but give me a song that walks the razor’s edge between sad and beautiful and I’m fished in every time. This one fits the bill to a T.
Here’s to the passing of a great writer and one funny SOB. After all, it takes a great sense of humor to add your sphincter to your signature.