Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday Shuffle

Okay, I've got 5000+ songs on my iTunes -- a carefully culled selection, thanks to the limits of my hard drive. So every time I do a shuffle, it should be only great songs, right? Well, we'll see. Every Wednesday, I promise I will honestly record what comes up on a shuffle of ten songs -- no matter how embarrassing it turns out to be . . .

1. "Someone's On the Cross Again" / Al Kooper
From New York City (You're a Woman)
Why didn't I keep up with Al Kooper through all the twists and turns of his career? For a few years there at the end of the 60s and dawn of the 70s, this guy's smart, snarky, restless albums so spoke to my heart. Hadn't listened to him for years; thank God iTunes put him back into my life.

2. "Gospel Night" / Dave Alvin
From Blue Blvd.
I love the weathered, real-guy quality of Dave Alvin's voice. I mostly know his post-Blasters work, and it's so appealing. Saw him live a couple years ago, and man, that guy can play his beat-up old geetar.

3. "Honey Pie" / The Beatles
From The Beatles (the white album) One of my Greatest Life Albums
Oh, Paulie. Like thrift shop clothes, when you haul out the vintage music hall sound it's somehow so cool. Dig the ukelele in the instrumental break, and Paul singing in his
Tiny Tim voice, "I like that -- ahh! -- I like this kinda, that kinda music, hot kind of music, play it to me, play it to me Hollywood blues!"

4. "Here For You" / Neil Young
From Prairie Wind
Middle-aged Neil Young is still better than most young guys. In fact, middle-aged Neil Young is the Neil Young I like best. Rumpled, wrinkled, and unrepentant.

5. "Uncle Son" / The Kinks
From Muswell Hillbillies
My favorite Kinks album, hands down. And this song tells you why -- that vintage blues shuffle (dig the steel guitar), mixed with Salvation Army earnestness and a heady shot of socialist politics. Bless you, Uncle Son.

6. "Question" / The Old 97s
From Satellite Rides
One of my great finds of recent years. It amazes me how consistent their catalog is. Rhett Miller has a great voice, and a real knack for catchy tunes. If only all alt-country was this good.

7. "Run" / Vampire Weekend

From Contra
There's a reason why these kids burst out of the gate with a hit record -- talent up the wazoo. They've got such a great sound, mixing Afrobeat and world music with crisp alt pop, and their songs are just so damn savvy. This is from their sophomore album -- such a relief to find that they lived up to their promise.

8. "Hope For Us All" / Nick Lowe
From At My Age
The silver fox ages like fine wine. The only thing that could make this song better would be if Nick were singing it about me.

9. "Come Again" / Billy Nichols
From Selected Hits
One of the lost voices of the British Invasion -- pure quality British Beat pop, and yet how few people know his stuff? Makes ya think.

10. "I Melt With You" / Modern English

From After The Snow
* blush* Really, honestly, I only put this onto my iTunes because I was doing that Eighties Cheese Week. . .


Mark said...

I just had an idea for a similar-themed post the other day! I just have an ITouch, so it's not quite so exciting a mix, but I like getting a glimpse into random songs. And this way you're writing about songs that you might never choose to write about. How many Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello songs are on your IPod?

Holly A Hughes said...

I happen to be quite selective about what songs I put on my iPod. I try to edit every album down to 5 favorite tracks or less. There's only about a dozen albums I have included in their entirety, and that's mostly because I need the entire sequence (records like Sgt. Pepper's, that can't be broken up). I have only 150 Elvis songs, for instance, and . . .well, 365 Nick Lowe songs. That's mostly everything Nick has ever recorded -- he's my exception to every rule. I can only wish he'd been more prolific.

Yeah, the shuffle does push some songs to the fore that might never get a full blog post otherwise. And when it's something I've already written about, that's an excuse to link back.

I wish I understood the programming logic behind the shuffle. Sometimes the randomness of it is perplexing. Other times, it's amazing how fitting a shuffle series can be!

Mervap said...

Old 97's are such a good group...I stumbled upon "Fight Songs" at a used CD shop. The title intrigued me...and I was hooked! Way cool shuffle list, Ms. Holly!

Hipster said...

I love me some Old 97's, since I spent most of the 90's mired on bands. That is such a great song

I'm not as choosy with my iPod, since I often stick unheard new stuff on it and listen while I work out. Next time I sync, I remove the unwanted songs. I sync often!

I love this new feature!!!

Holly A Hughes said...

Thanks! Yeah, I do the same thing -- I usually dump an entire new CD onto the iPod so I can listen while I'm dog walking etc., and a couple weeks later I edit the track list down. That gives each track a fair shot of adhering to my gray matter before it's discarded.

Now that I've got an iPod cable for the car, I have to admit, the chances of me pulling out the physical CD again are slim to none. And yet, I still mostly buy hard copy CDs, and even if I download an album, I make a physical copy for backup. Still not willing to step off that cliff into cyberspace all the way!