In one of the (too) many magazines to which I subscribe they have a little feature where they ask a musician to listen to their iPod on shuffle for five songs, with no fast forwarding, and then to talk about each song. Part of the purpose is to get a sense of what they might actually listen to as opposed to what they might want everyone to think they listen to. But it also allows them to talk and think about music without filters.
It seems like a good idea, so I'm going to try it on dcat. I'm just going to click on play on my iTunes and see where it takes me. It could pretty much give us anything, as I have some 17,500 songs downloaded, which is something like 45 days straight of music if I were to turn it on today and just let it play straight through with no repeats 24/7. So away we go with the iPod Shuffle:
Sebadoh, "Mystery Man" from Bakesale: Sebadoh, Lou Barloh's post Dinosaur Jr. project, had a little two album run with this album and Harmacy that captured just about perfectly the early 90 indie rock ethos. My impression of Barlow, both from what I know of the way things went down with Dinosaur Jr. and from a couple of interactions with him after live shows, is that he seems to be a bit of a dick. This song as well as any embodies Sebadoh's sludgy guitar fuzz-driven indie pop rock. (Holy crap, songs go by fast when you're doing this.)
Sheila Chandra, "Speaking in Tongues," Virgin Records: Signed, Sealed, Delivered 2: I have no memory of this "song" (which really is just this woman making weird percussive noises with her voice) and I have nothing interesting to say about it other than that I imagine that in anything but very small doses it would grow tedious.
Nirvana, "Territorial Pissings," Nevermind: Nirvana helped to transform the way many of us listen to music even if we did not know it to be the case at the time. What then seemed unbelievably raw holds up pretty well over time but there will always be a subtext, in listening to Nirvana, of melancholy over what might have been.
Sol White (Quote From History of Colored Baseball, 1907) as Read by Ossie Davis from Ken Burns: Baseball Soundtrack: Ossie Davis is one of America's underappreciated gems. Baseball is awesome. And this little excerpt from the soundtrack to Ken Burns' monumental documentary on baseball is so brief that I'm already typing into the next song on the playlist.
Neil Hefti, "Coral Reef," Kings of Swing, Vol. 1: I have always been a huge fan of big band music from the 1940s. Perhaps it is from my grandmother on my dad's side, for whom this was the music of being a teenager. Maybe it comes from playing in jazz band in high school and naturally playing a lot of big band classics. This was rock and roll before rock and roll, but with a lot more glamour, and frankly, significantly better musicianship.
Well, that was fun. And remarkably fast. I'm already into Oasis' "My Big Mouth" from Be Here Now, which I bought in South Africa in 1997 the day it came out. I think this could become a regular feature.