Sunday, January 06, 2008

Weekly iPod Shuffle: 1/6/08

Hey, the shuffles are back. I'd explain why they're back, but I can't remember why I stopped writing them in the first place. So let's just get on with it.

1. "Mama Said," Metallica
Yee-haw: we're back into the swing of things here with an obscure Metallica track. It's an important one, though -- of everything they've recorded in their twenty-five years, this is the most experimental. Of course, it's Metallica, so "experimental" means "country." Hetfield has always been an admirer of Lynyrd Skynyrd and other southern rock bands, but make no mistake -- this is a country song, as strange as that may sound. Suffice to say, this is from Load, their most experimental album. I'm working on a longer piece for next week that will delve deeper into the arc of Metallica's career, and why Load and Reload are good albums but ultimately forgettable ones; in the meantime, you should know that this track is...weird. Good -- but weird. (Rating: ****)

2. "Never Let Me Down," Kanye West (w/ Jay-Z & J-Ivy)
I really, really like Kanye West -- have you noticed? The only thing better is when Kanye produces a track for Jay-Z, and here they are together. Naturally, Hova blows Kanye off his own record, which is what always happens (he did again on Late Registration). West is all spiritual here, pondering his past as he recovers from the car accident that almost killed him. And that's why I really love his music: unlike most rap, it's so friggin' celebratory. Unlike Jay-Z's dominant businessman groaning under the weight of his empire, or Eminem's psychotic madman who just really loves his daughter, honest, Kanye seems to be completely in love with the world. And himself, of course. (Rating: *****)

3. "Subterranean Homesick Alien," Radiohead
Not to be confused with "Subterranean Homesick Blues," the classic Bob Dylan song Thom Yorke cribbed for his title here. In 1997, I held a little mini-Grammys among everyone I knew, writing up nominations myself and getting all my friends to vote. One category was Best Album Track, an award for the best song that wasn't getting played on the radio. "Subterranean Homesick Alien" won in a landslide. Not because my friends liked it -- I doubt any had heard it. But I was unable to restrain myself from lobbying for it, hard. So they voted it for it. Fixed elections, yay! Of course, looking back on it, "Alien" isn't the Best Album Track off of that album -- "Let Down" is. But this is OK Computer we're talking about, the greatest album of the last forty years; being the seventh best song on the record still isn't too shabby. (Rating: *****)

4. "Still Remains," Stone Temple Pilots
The first concert I ever saw? Stone Temple Pilots, at the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheater. I don't remember a thing about it now, other than watching my sister headbang to "Plush." Did they play this song? Your guess is as good as mine. It's a good song, though -- one of the few to age well as STP has sort of faded away with my adolescence. (Rating: *****)

5. "Going Under," Evanescence
Ahhh -- Amy Lee. Apparently, there are other people in the band -- guys, I think -- but I've never noticed. Have you? (Rating: *****)

6. "Now That It's Over," Everclear
All Everclear songs are created equal, but some are more equal than others. This track drags in strings and a metric fuckton of overdubs to try to hide the fact that it's really just the same Everclear song you've heard a billion times. Thankfully, Art's scathing lyrics are good enough to make the track stand out: "Nightmares just don't seem the same, baby, without you/I wish that I could find the words to tell you to politely go fuck yourself/Now that it's over." A great breakup song. (Rating: *****)

7. "In Bloom," Nirvana
My band, the Disposable Heroes, only managed to play three songs to completion at any of our aborted practices. This...was not one of them. We tried, though. How we tried. (Rating: *****)

8 . "Rock Lobster," The B-52's
Henry Rollins once told a story about finding himself stuck in a train station with his song playing in his headphones. In that tried, crazed moment, he realized...this was rock and roll in its purest form. Surf guitars, organs, and a guy shrieking about marine life in falsetto. Damn straight. (Rating: *****)

9. "Leslie Anne Levine," The Decemberists
One of my favorite songs by the Decemberists. With their songs, you're usually dealing with ghosts or pirates; this is the former. "Fifteen years gone now, I still wander this parapet and shake my rattle bone/Fifteen years gone now, I still cling to the petticoat of the girl who died with me." Seek out every single thing they've ever released. You'll thank me. (Rating: *****)

10. "'Til I Collapse," Eminem
Hey, there's Mr. Mathers. One of his heaviest tracks, and features one of my favorite Eminem moments -- while groaning about his unfair treatment in the media, he proclaims himself the ninth greatest rapper ever. An absolutely galactic statement of humility for a rapper, trust me. (Rating: *****)

Now playing: Eminem - 'Til I Collapse
via FoxyTunes


  1. Steve1:37 PM

    Here's my list for today.
    "Seaside Rendezvous", Queen
    "Slave Girl", The Goo Goo Dolls
    "Rose", A Perfect Circle
    "Flat Top", The Goo Goo Dolls
    "Grace is Gone", Dave Matthews Band
    "Whisper", Evanescence
    "Sweet Amber", Metallica
    "Monkey Man", Dave Matthews Band
    "Crush", Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds
    "Master of Puppets", Metallica

    An interesting playlist to say the least, yet good.

  2. I never did burn you those DMB CDs from the Hollywood Bowl. And now I'm out of discs again. *slaps forehead*