Sunday, September 16, 2007

Weekly iPod Shuffle: 9/16/07

(Sorry about the lack of consistent posts this last week; I've working hard on the second season of Veronica Mars, Half-Life 2, the next episode of Revolver [titled "Polyethylene (Part 1)"], an outline for a text-based video game about pirates on another planet, and stories for Hunter. Not a hundred percent sure about the order of completion, but I guessing Mars, outline, Revolver, Half-Life, Hunter.]

1. "I'll Stick Around," Foo Fighters
Our generation's version of Wings never really got better than their first two albums, did they? That's a real shame, considering how talented a drummer Dave Grohl is. (My rating: *****)

2. "Right Next Door to Hell," Guns N' Roses
This angry screed opens Use Your Illusion I. How angry is it, you ask? For no apparent reason, Axl lets loose a shrieking "Fuck you, bitch!" that drags the "you" out for almost fifteen seconds. 'Cause, see, he's angry. (Rating: ***)

3. "Someone Something," Spoon
Hey, it's your favorite part of the shuffle: this band you've probably never heard of is awesome, you should go buy the CD. In this case, the band is called Spoon. Oddly enough, their music is plastered all over Veronica Mars. Which is not a bad thing at all. (Rating: *****)

4. "Vienna," Billy Joel
This song features an accordion solo, which I wholeheartedly approve of. I think there should be more accordion in pop music. The only band I can think of that uses one regularly (other than Weird Al) is Counting Crows, and who takes them seriously? I mean, other than me? (Rating: *****)

5. "Limp," Fiona Apple
From the album with the hideously title. It's Fiona at her angriest and most ferocious: "It won't be long 'til you'll be lying limp in your own hands." The song is bloody fantastic, though. Remind me again why she isn't a worldwide superstar? Oh, right, she's insane. I remember now. (Rating: *****)

6. "People Just Love to Play with Words," Men at Work
Yes, I have a Men at Work album on my iPod. Actually, I have two. Not everything that came out during the '80s was throwaway crap, you know. A lot of it was, yes. But not everything. (Rating: *****)

7. "I'm Free," The Who
In Almost Famous, William's big sister leaves him all her albums. Attached to Tommy is a match and a note that says, "Listen to Tommy with a candle burning and you will see your entire future." Maybe if I listened to Tommy with a candle burning I might, ya know, like it. This song isn't bad, though. (Rating: ****)

8. "O Valencia!" The Decemberists
A passionate and tearjerking retelling of West Side Story (which is itself a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, of course) that's one of the best songs the Decemberists have yet recorded. Colin Meloy's voice is always superb, but it's in rare form here as he unfolds the tragic tale: the two lovers, members of rival gangs, are supposed to make their escape, but her sister rats them out. "All I heard was a shout of your brother calling me out/And you ran like a fool to my side/Well, the shot, it hit hard, and your frame went limp in my arms/And an oath of love was your dying cry....Oh, Valencia, with your blood getting cold on the ground/Valencia, and I swear to the stars, I'll burn this whole city down." Hmm? Oh,'s just...I have something in my eye.... (Rating: *****)

(That's actually a fan-made video, using band-supplied green-screen footage of themselves. It's much better than the actual video for the song.)

9. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (live)," The Band
In last week's Hunter episode, Simon informed little Laura that the Band were "the band, the best band ever." After listening to this stunning version of their best song, it's hard to argue. (Rating: *****)

10. "Them That Got," Ben Folds
A live performance of a fragment of an old Ray Charles song. He promises the audience that he'll learn the rest someday. I hope he did, because the song is brilliant. (Rating: ****)

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