Sunday, March 08, 2009

Weekly iPod Shuffle: 3/8/09

1. "How Do You Sleep?" John Lennon
The 100 albums list should (I say should) return tomorrow. In the meantime, here's another shuffle. And we start with this classic from Imagine, as John spends five and a half minutes tearing Paul McCartney a brand new asshole. Really, it's sad how much they hated each other in the seventies. As good as this song is, it's tough to listen to it and not be sad -- seven years before this, they wrote "I Want to Hold Your Hand" together. Fortunately, they reconciled later. Unfortunately, Lennon was killed before they could ever reunite on record. (Rating: *****)

2. "Let's Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don't Think They Heard It All the Way out in Bushnell," Sufjan Stevens
Illinois has the best song titles of any album ever. Seriously, go look at them. This track is merely a forty-second interlude, of which Illinois also has many. (no rating)

3. "Another One Rides the Bus," "Weird Al" Yankovic
Obviously, a parody of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust." This song represented Al's first big break, recorded live on the Dr. Demento show back in 1980 (!!!). Percussion is provided by Al's longtime drummer Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, who simply pounded on Al's accordion case for a beat. If that's not punk rock, I don't know what is. (****)

4. "The Drop-Off [live]," The Tragically Hip
Another bootleg from that fateful Scout Bar show. I'll spare you another reset of that story, and instead let you know that the Hip have a new album coming out next month. You can listen to the new single at their website, if you'd like. And you should. (****)

5. "Betty and Me," Jonathan Coulton
Is this JoCo's best song? Hmm. No -- not quite. But it's easily in the top five. This is from Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow, the flawless EP he produced back when he was still releasing songs in packages. Coulton takes an upbeat melody and lays an hilarious story on top of it, singing of the trials of a couple using genetic manipulation to create their child -- allowing Betty to "cut out the parts of me that she can't stand." Poor guy. "Betty was pretty firm about our baby being human," he pouts. "I said we should give him wings / And a nice prehensile tail / He could travel with the circus / Making money, making friends with clowns." Betty's response? "...[T]hat's stupid / And for god's sake, will you turn that TV down?" Betty has some pretty firm ideas about their child's future, and isn't shy about sharing them: he will be "just like me, only better / Betty says he'll be smarter / And Betty says he'll be taller / And Betty says that our baby will be better than me." Feel the love! (*****)

6. "All for Swinging You Around," The New Pornographers
One of the most upbeat, joyous songs I've ever heard, from The Electric Version. Will this album be on my 100 albums list? Would I be bringing it up if it wasn't? (*****)

7. "Ana's Song (acoustic remix)," Silverchair
Oy -- what the fuck is this doing on my iPod? The original version hasn't stood the test of time all that well, and making it softer and quieter doesn't really help. It's about Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns's battle with anorexia, if you care. (*)

8. "Higher Ground," Stevie Wonder
Now and forever, I will be unable to hear Stevie Wonder's voice without hearing it followed by a whiny adolescent voice squeaking "Show me what you got, Stevie!" thanks to the Jonas Brothers and their trainwreck of a duet with Stevie at the Grammys. Seriously, shitheads, die in a goddamn fire. (*****)

9. "I'm Shady," Eminem

Back when Em was still Em. Those were the days, huh? He's got a new album coming out this year -- actually, two albums, Use Your Illusion style, which just goes along with my theory that Eminem is the reincarnation of Axl Rose. ("But he's not dead." "He's dead to me." *rimshot*) (*****)

10. "In Your Eyes," Peter Gabriel
The greatest love song ever written. Yes, it's my ringtone when Christy calls me. Yes, I'm a sap. Yes, you can go fuck yourself. (*****)

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