Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekly iPod Shuffle: 1/27/08

1. "Weasel Stomping Day," "Weird Al" Yankovic
A goofy little track that pokes fun at arcane holidays and traditions -- in this one, everyone is advised to, of course, stomp weasels to death. "It's tradition, that makes it okay!" Of course, The Simpsons already did this gag, and did it better, with "Whacking Day." But the song's still kinda funny. (Rating: ****)

2. "Church on Sunday," Green Day
Green Day comes up a lot on these shuffles. It seems only songs from my least favorite Green Day album, Warning, make the cut. But whatever. This particular song happens to be a gem, and indicative of the new lyrical style Billie Joe tried for that record. It didn't work, but the man was trying, what do you want? (*****)

3. "The Boxer," Simon & Garfunkel
My favorite song of theirs. It's easily the best thing Paul Simon ever wrote, outside of "Graceland." And it's weird -- on the cover of The Essential Simon & Garfunkel, Paul looks creepily like Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men. (*****)

4. "The Living Years," Mike + the Mechanics
Ah, the eighties. It amazed me back to find out that "Mike" was Mike Rutherford, the guitarist for Genesis. Sure, Phil Collins had a solo career, but how could someone be in two bands at once? I don't blink at it nowadays -- Maynard has Tool and A Perfect Circle, and Dave Grohl plays drums on everybody's records but his own. (****)

5. "Heart Cooks Brain," Modest Mouse
Pitchfork Media would come after us with, uh, pitchforks if they read this, but René and I recently agreed that Modest Mouse's early work is often downright unlistenable. This song, thankfully, is one of the standouts. It's a little too long, but, dude -- it's Modest Mouse. That's kinda their thing. (*****)

6. "Silver Rainbow," Genesis
Peter Gabriel quit the band several years before this song was written, but you've never know it -- the lyrics are typical of his early, sex-laden wordplay. In this case, the "silver rainbow" is the zipper in a girl's pants, and the "land that lies beyond" is wondrous and magical, and once you're in, you won't notice if "the sun should turn to blue": you'll just "keep on going, 'cause you're won't know if you're coming or going." Clever, those English lads. (****)

7. "Guru," Everlast
Everlast's solo breakthrough, Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, has held up unbelievably well over the last ten years -- "What It's Like" and "Ends" are still standouts, and the record is filled with great songs. This isn't one of them, though -- this is a seventeen-second segue, consisting only of a message left on Everlast's answering machine. What it's doing on the album, I have no idea. (*)

8. "Training ~ Credits," Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
Yes, this is an mp3 rip of music from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! Do you have a problem with that? I didn't think so. (*****)

9. "Ice," Beth Kinderman
Hey, you remember me shilling hardcore for Beth Kinderman before, right? Selling her music like I was getting paid for it? She's working on her first full-length album as we speak, recorded in an actual studio with a real band and everything. So get ready for more shilling. This song, meanwhile, is the haunting climax to Door, her Farscape record. I'm strongly tempted to watch that show, just to know what the hell she's talking about. Not that tempted, though. (*****)

10. "The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience But You're Going to Have to Leave Now, or, 'I Have Fought the Big Knives and Will Continue to Fight Them Until They Are Off Our Lands!'," Sufjan Stevens
The greatest song title ever. This instrumental is from his stunning 2005 album, Illinois. Stevens says he intends to make an album about each one of the fifty states; it's been four years since he announced the project, and he's made two albums. I don't think he's gonna make it. (****)

No comments:

Post a Comment