Sunday, June 03, 2007

Weekly iPod Shuffle: 6/3/07

For reasons you don't care about, I'm moving the shuffle to Sunday night. So there.

1. "Cling," Days of the New
One of my favorite bands that has pretty much fallen off the face of the earth. Or so I thought -- Days of the New played at Scout Bar last month. A new album is allegedly coming soon. This particular track is the difficult-to-listen-to closer from the "yellow album," which was their first. Each album is self-titled, see, and identified only by its color scheme. The first is yellow, then green, and then red. The new one is said to be purple. Yeah, it's pretentious as shit. Don't get me started on the chanting choir.

2. "Braille," Regina Spektor
Described to me as "Fiona Apple, but weird (?!)," Regina Spektor fits the description. She sounds more like Joni Mitchell on meth to me, but to each his own simile. "Braille" is a standout song from her first album, 11:11, which is essentially just her in a room with a piano. With her elastic voice and twisty lyrics, she doesn't really need much else.

3. "Now Mary," The White Stripes
I've often said listening to the Stripes is listening to two people go to war with their instruments; the chaotic mess that ensues is beautiful, beautiful music. This song, though, features very little of that struggle. Instead, it's just a sweet, short (1:47) pop song that sounds like a long-lost Beatles B-side. Though the cymbals are too loud. Of course.

4. "Rodeo Clowns," Jack Johnson
The archetypal Jack Johnson track -- laid-back percussion, Johnson's chugging guitar and hushed voice spitting out groovy lyrics as your tension and pain melt in a matter of minutes. I'm still not sure what, exactly, he's talking about here, but it's one of my favorite Jack Johnson songs.

5. "Even Better Than the Real Thing," U2
What more can said about U2 that hasn't already been said? Nothing. No, really, nothing at all. Bono already said it all.

6. "Fix You," Coldplay
I like Coldplay. I've admitted that before, but it feels important to say it once in a while, out loud, to other people. The only way you can recover is to first admit you have a problem. And I do have a problem. I mean, these are perhaps the worst lyrics I've ever heard. And yet, I know them all, sing along to them all, and proudly rate this song ***** in my iTunes library. I...I need help.

7. "Crutch," matchbox twenty
Erg -- uh, hey, heh heh, what's that doing here? I, uh, that's...uh, that's not mine. It was like that when I found it. I only read it for the articles! *flees*

8. "The Colony of Slippermen (The Arrival/A Visit to the Doktor/The Raven)," Genesis
Peter Gabriel has spent his entire career walking the thin line between "gloriously eccentric" and "completely batshit insane." His final album with Genesis, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, skips gleefully into the latter category with this track, in which the rock opera's hero is dressed in white, castrated, and led to a cave, where a giant raven swoops in and steals the hero's removed penis. No, I'm dead fucking serious. And yet, the most pressing question I've always had about the song is, "Why do they spell Doktor with a 'k'?" I'm weird.

9. "Sledgehammer (live)," Peter Gabriel
Speaking of Peter Gabriel's penis. It amazes me that I listened to this song so many times as a child, and yet the sexual nature of lyrics like You can have a big dipper, going up and down, all around the bends/You can have a bumper car bumping/This amusement never ends/I want to be your sledgehammer went flying right over my head. 'Cause it ain't exactly subtle.

10. "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Johnny Cash and Fiona Apple
Screw Art Garfunkel -- this is the definitive version of this song. I can't listen to it without choking up. The bizarre, yet inspired, choice of Cash's bottomless rumble with Fiona's airy voice is striking beyond words, and Rick Rubin's simple arrangement has the good sense to get the hell out of the way. I love this track.

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