Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weekly iPod Shuffle: 7/15/07

1. "Turn a Square," The Shins
This song's a little more "rock" than the Shins generally get. It sounds like a long-lost Elvis Costello song or something. I love the lyric "Just a glimpse of an ankle/And I react like it's 1805."

2. "Substitute," The Who
One of my favorite Who songs. The original version is awesome, but I have a soft spot for the bootleg I have of the Tragically Hip playing the song live. Because I was there, of course.

3. "Happiness Is a Warm Gun," The Beatles
Someone paraphrases the opening line of this one in the short story I'm writing at the moment: "She's not a girl who misses much." It's funny: I heard this song a few times, then went without hearing it for years; when I listened to it again, I was stunned to see it was less than three minutes long. I was sure it was over six. Why? Because the damn thing shifts gears so many times. See, John had three different songs lying around that he didn't know what to do with, so he glued them all together to make one track, even though they had nothing to do with one another and combined made nothing but gibberish. The Beatles were so goddamn good, they did this all the time and got away with it.

4. "Cesaro Summability," Tool
For reasons known only to them, Tool decided the best thing they could do to their masterwork, ├ćnima, was to break up its rhythm constantly by inserting long, pointless segues made of nothing but sound effects. They'd go on to do this on all of their albums, which drives most of their fans -- me included -- up the fucking wall. Stop that!

5. "Everything's Not Lost," Coldplay
If I were to shame myself enough to admit to not only really, really liking Coldplay, but to also having a favorite Coldplay song, I'd probably say this one. But I'd never do that. I mean, c'mon.

6. "Rocks Off," The Rolling Stones
So here's a good idea: record a double album, and make sure your opening track is mixed so poorly that the lead vocals -- and sometimes even the lead instruments -- are unintelligible in places. They'd never get away with it if the song wasn't so awesome. Lucky bastards. If you haven't heard Exile on Main St., I don't know what you're waiting for.

7. "The Light Dies Down on Broadway," Genesis
Peter Gabriel angrily insisted on writing the lyrics for the whole of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but for some reason the rest of the band came up with words for this track. I don't know why, but it's immediately apparent -- Pete's writing style in very distinctive, and you can tell in the very first line that he didn't write this one. Peter Gabriel would never, ever write a lyric like "As he walks along the gorge's edge/He meets a sense of yesteryear." Now, he would write about a raven stealing your severed penis, sure. He's a damn lunatic. But he's not a hack.

8. "Naked Sunday," Stone Temple Pilots
Stone Temple Pilots were the first band I ever saw live in concert. I was so unbelievably stoked to actually be at a concert that I don't really even remember if they were any good or not. Nor do I remember if they played this song, which would probably sound awesome live. The only thing I remember from that concert is watching my little sister headbang during "Plush": she saw me watching her and decided to go for the gusto, swinging her hair around like a helicopter blade in the pink lights from the stage. Then she got dizzy and almost fell down.

9. "Wake Up," Rage Against the Machine
You'll probably remember this song from the end credits of The Matrix. Or you may not -- really, all of Rage's material sounds exactly the same.

10. "Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)," Talking Heads
This song is not on Stop Making Sense. Which is a shame -- I'd love to hear a live version. It is, however, the opening track to Remain in Light, one of the twenty or so best albums ever released. You should listen to it. Go!

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