Saturday, February 07, 2009

Weekly iPod Shuffle: 2/7/09

1. "Alpha Beta Parking Lot," Cake
Alpha Beta, if memory serves, is a chain of grocery stores in California. I seem to remember them from my time living there, but just barely. Truth be told, I don't remember much from California. Some of that is because I was so young and it was so long ago; some of it has to be on purpose. Oh well. This song is a little slower than Cake usually goes for, but I'm down. (My rating: ****)

2. "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi," Radiohead
We're less than twenty-four hours away from Radiohead getting screwed out of the Album of the Year Grammy! Are you pumped! I know I am! Seriously, though, In Rainbows was phenomenal, but I can't see the Grammy voters approving weird, off-the-wall stuff like this, even if it is brilliant. (*****)

3. "Disgustipated," Tool
The strangest song Tool has yet to record. Yeah, just sit in that for a minute. It's barely a song, really -- Maynard howls an absurdist speech in the voice of a southern minister while farm animals bleat in the background, followed by a chanted chorus and shotgun blasts. It's actually really funny, but not something you'd want to listen to on a regular basis, you know? (***)

4. "Steady As We Go [live]," Dave Matthews Band
Even when Dave writes a mediocre song, as he did here, you can usually trust in a live performance to bring about mass improvements. Usually. (**)

5. "Battle with Magus," Chrono Trigger
Ah, there -- see? I told you I had more than just that one clip. Chrono Trigger has the greatest soundtrack of any video game ever. You may have missed it, but I also hold the game itself in high regard. (*****)

6. "A Beautiful Life," Everclear
Over the course of his storied, up-and-down career in the music business, Art Alexakis wrote and recorded many songs with his band, Everclear. This is one of them. (**)

7. "The Great Below," Nine Inch Nails
One of Trent's very best. This is the last song of his disc from his masterpiece, The Fragile. I don't know if that record really tells a story or anything, but this certainly ends the first half on a high note. Or, well, a low note, really. (*****)

8. "I Will Follow You into the Dark," Death Cab for Cutie
Spoiler alert: I have a lot to say about this song, but I'm saving for the next entry in my Musical Canon series. So I won't say it here. Instead -- you what's cool? YouTube covers. You know what's cooler? YouTube covers lit entirely by the fridge.

See: cooler. Get it? (*****)

9. "Going Mobile," The Who
One of the coolest things I've ever seen: the VH1 Classic Albums episode about Who's Next, where the producer picks apart the master track for his song and shows off all the little pieces. The Who were truly one of the greatest bands ever. "Going Mobile" sounds so effortless, but there's a lot going on under there...and they recorded almost all of it live off the floor, just three guys playing in a room. Incredible. (*****)

10. "Ghost Train," Counting Crows
Fun fact: heavy metal band Between the Buried and Me took their name from a line in this classic early Crows song. Fun fact: Between the Buried and Me are absolutely, jaw-droppingly awful. (*****)

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