Saturday, September 18, 2010

5 Song Shuffle Vol. 2

My iTunes library, as of September 18, 2010, has 20,466 songs in it. Some are novelty downloads, some i have because i'm a completionist, some i rarely (if have ever) listened to. So, in this new blog segment, i will let shuffle pick out random songs (without personal editing to hide embarrasing and/or lame songs), and i will write about what i think of them, plus any details i an give about how it was procured. At current rate (and if my iTunes never repeats a song...) this will be the second in at least a 4,000 part series.

Song #1 - "Helen Butte" - Miles Davis

It is fitting that the first song this round is 16 minutes long, i started writing while my French Onion Soup is simmering on the stove, so this song will give me ample time to get it ready for consumption. This is from 1972's On The Corner record, which for my money is the best "Miles tries to do funk" record he made. (Good lord that soup turned out good!) Most unusual is the record's use of electric sitar throughout (for reals), as well as Miles playing his trumpet through a wah-wah pedal. A very enjoyable record (for me, more fun to listen to than the superior Bitches Brew, In A Silent Way and A Tribute to Jack Johnson - all those records have more depth than this, but for just a fun record, this wins for me). This track doesn't particularly stand out for me - the album is sort of same-sy throughout - but it is enjoyable nonetheless. Excellent tambourine playing, and that is a rare jazz compliment.

Song #2 - "Mod Lang" - Big Star

We shuffle forward 2 years for some good ol' Big Star. There is very little say about this band that hasn't already been said: influential, amazing power pop. The world is a lesser place since losing Alex Chilton earlier this year. I think that if people heard Big Star when they were 13 the way you year disposable pop music on the radio, we'd have a society of people with amazing taste. Alas, we have a society of people who buy snuggies for their dogs.

Song #3 - "Sie Liebt Dich" - The Beatles

The German-language version of "She Loves You" - need i say more?

Song #4 - "This is a Firedoor Never Leave Open" - The Weakerthans

One of the many great Canadian bands of the past decade (and the end of the nineties...) - amazing lyrics that elevate their songs to something much more than they would be instrumentally. Their vocalist, John K. Sampson, isn't the best singer or the most amazing melody writer, but they still remain one of my favorite bands. I'm usually a "lyrics are secondary" guy, but this band proves that wrong. This is from their Left and Leaving record, which i'm not as familiar with as i am the ones that followed, but it is a pleasant, intelligent song.

Song #5 - "Changing Partners" - Elvis Costello

Declan MacManus and i have a complicated relationship - as a songwriter, i think he's pretty great. As a vocalist (especially after 1982 or so), i grow tired of him very quickly. However, on last year's Secret, Profane and Sugarcane, i felt his voice so fit the old-timey country/string band style, that i didn't grow tired of it at all. Case in point is "Changing Partners," the last song on the record, which is a favorite of mine - the fact that i've even heard this song is a testament to his voice on this record (i don't think i've ever heard past track 6 or 7 on his When I Was Cruel record...). A short, sweet song.

'Til next time,

Vol. 1

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