Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Weekly iPod Shuffle: 5/26/07

1. "Bring It All Back," The Tragically Hip
One of the many superlative tracks from Road Apples, my favorite Hip record. I've listened to it dozens of times, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what Gord's talking about.

2. "Leaves That Are Green (live)," Simon & Garfunkel
Remember what I said the last time Simon & Garfunkel showed up on my shuffle? About how all their songs pretty much sound the same? Yeah. Same here. It's not bad, heavens no. But really, acoustic guitar picking and pretty harmonies with obtuse poetry doesn't always really work.

3. "The Ecstacy of Gold," Ennio Morricone
The finest piece of film composition ever written. This is, of course, from The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, when Tuco stumbles upon the graveyard. It's a magnificent scene, one of my favorites in all of movies, but I can't imagine it working at all without Morricone's perfect score.

4. "All Along the Watchtower," Dave Matthews Band
With six, I have more versions of "Watchower" than any other song in my library. There's Bob Dylan's original, the definitive Jimi Hendrix version, and four live covers by the Dave Matthews Band. It's one of their trademark live songs, played at virtually every show they've ever done. This particular version is from Recently, the five-track EP that also featured the original "Halloween" and an acoustic performance of my favorite Dave song, "Warehouse."

(And hey, what the fuck is Dave doing in that new shitty Adam Sandler movie?)

5. "Wasting Time," Jack Johnson
My sister spreads Jack Johnson fandom wherever she goes, like some sort of groove music Johnny Appleseed. It's so easy to do, of course -- Jack's music is so groovy, so laid-back and cool that it gets under your skin and into your system before you even know it's there. His lyrics generally say the same thing as the music: "Chill out. Be cool. It's all gonna work out."

6. "All I Really Want," Alanis Morissette
If I could be said to have a motto, it would probably be made up of lyrics from this song. I don't want to dissect everything today, I don't mean to pick you apart, you see, but I can't help it....Do I wear you out? You must wonder why I'm so relentless and all strung out; I'm consumed by the chill of solitary. Boy, Alanis's career went nowhere and got there in a hurry, didn't it? Too bad.

7. "At the Hundredth Meridian," The Tragically Hip
Probably my favorite lyric of all time opens this song: Me, debunk an American myth? And take my life in my hands? This is one of their very finest songs, and one that I'd recommend to any non-Hip fan who was curious. If I die of vanity, promise me, promise me, you'll bury me someplace I don't want to be.

8. "Takeover," Jay-Z
I'm not a huge rap fan, but I can appreciate the best of the artform, and "Takeover" is right near the top. As far as "diss" songs go, this is one of the most harsh I've ever heard -- Jay-Z takes his rival, Nas, and absolutely shreds him. According to Wikipedia, the song was such a devastating attack that "many hip-hop fans had thought that [it] could have potentially ended Nas's career." And that unnecessary adverb in the quote isn't mine, obviously.

9. "The Fool on the Hill," The Beatles
Another Beatles song that sounds infinitely more interesting with one speaker broken: all you hear are Paul's vocals and the orchestration. This is how the song should been released originally. This rules!

10. "Turn Up the Night," Black Sabbath
This is post-Ozzy, when Ronnie James Dio had taken over Sabbath's vocal duties. Dio is, of course, a far, far superior singer to Ozzy, which means nothing in the case of Sabbath. This song is actually quite good, but it's just not Sabbath without Ozzy.

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