Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekly iPod Shuffle: 1/31/09

1. "Like Suicide," Soundgarden
Sometimes success just isn't fair. Soundgarden toiled in the indie scene for nearly a decade, honing their craft and churning out several solid releases for Sub Pop Records (who would later introduce Nirvana to the world, changing the face of popular music forever). But by the time they released the album that would explode them into mainstream superstardom, Superunknown, they were largely spent and tired. "Like Suicide" closes Superunknown, and its slow burn and eventual full-throttle rock-out is an archetypal example of Soundgarden at their best. After this, they'd only release one more album, the uneven Down on the Upside, and then disband. Too bad. (My rating: *****)

2. "Misery Whip," Everclear
From the bleh second half of their two-part concept album, Songs from an American Movie. I say bleh like every Everclear record isn't bleh, but Songs from an American Movie, Volume 2: Good Time for a Bad Attitude is especially so. In fact, I'd forgotten I even had it until just this very moment. (***)

3. "As I Rise," The Decemberists
Ah ha! The Decemberists return! You know, I'd describe this song at length, but even I can feel how sick you are of hearing me talking about the goddamn Decemberists. The rating here should not surprise you. (*****)

4. "Huh?!" Chrono Trigger
This is a five-second sound clip from the video game. Why I have it on my iPod, I have no idea. (no rating)

5. "Cool James," Harvey Danger
One of my favorite songs from an album that you'll be seeing on my 100 albums list...but not for a very long time. The clever lyrics here abound, and Sean Nelson's delivery of the line "Devil's advocates/And nasty bits/Of fits of desperation" is one of my favorite moments in all of music. In the end, he shakes his head and sighs in resignation at the object of his ire: "That's why ladies love cool James," he says, "'cause the bastard changes." (*****)

6. "Thunder Road," Bruce Springsteen
Hey, the Boss. Think he'll play this one at the Super Bowl tomorrow? He better -- it's easily his best song, and one of the best songs ever written, period. "There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away / They haunt this dusty beach road / In the skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets / They scream your name at night in the streets / Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet / And in the lonely cool before dawn / You hear their engines roaring on / But when you get to the porch, they're gone on the wind." Bruce wrote an awful lot of songs about escaping small-town hell, but they never got better than "Thunder Road." (*****)

7. "Do You Know What I'm Seeing?" Panic at the Disco
Good lord, here they are again. Look, I like them, okay? I don't give a damn what you think. Not in the slightest. That's right, fuck you. (****)

8. "The Lonely End of the Rink," The Tragically Hip
This is a bootleg from the concert René and I saw at Scout Bar in March of 2007. I can still Gordie so clearly, bouncing around that stage like a sprite. He owned that fucking building that night. They need to tour again. Like, now. (*****)

9. "Lady Picture Show," Stone Temple Pilots
If you listen to Tiny Music... very carefully, you can actually hear the exact moment when Scott Weiland was completely lost to his heroin addiction. It's not in this boring, bred-for-radio song, though. Don't listen to this. (**)

10. "Somebody's Watching Me," Rockwell
Ha! I've been unable to get this song out of my head recently, thanks to its use in the newest round of Geico commercials. Now you can have it in your head, too. You're welcome. (****)


  1. Out of all the amazing music from Chrono Trigger, you have a five-second sound clip. For shame.

  2. Actually, I have the entire soundtrack. The shuffle, however, gave me that five-second sound clip. As I've said, I work with what the shuffle gives me.