Tag Archives: music

Playlist Week 4: Fire In The Disco, Fire In The Taco Bell

I’m challenging myself to get through a whole shuffle of my music collection on my iPod without skipping. Then I write about what I heard each week.

Again a week with no posts between the shuffle entries. I’m writing posts in my head all the time. I probably have a dozen at least that are mostly formed but not typed out. Getting the thoughts from my brain to WordPress seems to be an issue for me. There’s all this ‘cloud computing’ now that is so awesome (love you, Dropbox!) yet totally incomprehensible to me. Maybe someone could get on enhancing cloud computing by linking directly to my brain so my posts could be published as soon as I’m done thinking about them. Two real (like typed out and shit) posts are just in need of some Tracy-style (we’ll say meticulous because that seems more positive than anal) editing. Until those are done, here’s another shuffle summary.

This week I became convinced (during the song ‘Lover (Cantata)’) that Lords of Acid was being played well over proportion given the number of songs of theirs on my iPod. Being an evidence-based kind of girl, I gathered the relevant data and I was about 17 percent through the shuffle at the point of ‘Lover (Cantata),’ while that song represented song 10 out of the 34 Lords of Acid songs in the shuffle (29 percent). So yes, a little over-represented to this point, but not wildly. I think their songs are just very, uh, noticeable.  And holy shit, I still have 24 songs left.

The title of the post this week comes from:  Electric Six ‘Danger! High Voltage’  My favorite song of theirs is ‘Gay Bar,’ but this one’s a close second, in large part due to the inclusion of the Taco Bell line. Just so ridiculous.

* Songs listened to this week:  127
* Completed:  20%
* Number of double shots:  4

The Police * 2 (the horrible De Do Do Do remake, see below, was followed by live ‘Deathwish,’ which kind of made up for it), Sting, Ween (toyed with using “Give me that Z-o-l-o-f-t, no longer pissed, you don’t bother me” as this week’s title, but that seemed too long)

* Percentage of songs that came up during running that were so totally not helpful in motivating my running:  55% (an improvement!)

While a much better percentage than last week overall, one of my workouts was almost completely dominated by Genesis’ 16 minute ‘It/Watcher of the Skies’ medley from ‘Three Sides Live.’ No problem with these songs or this particular version, but I like more variety while running. That same workout included The Beatles ‘Across the Universe,’ which was an interesting choice. I don’t find meditation songs to be very effective exercise music.

* Number of new to me songs:  possibly as many as 4

Mew ‘Silas the Magic Car’ (a little boring), Mew ‘Beach’ (don’t remember my impression of this one), Deerhoof ‘Milk Man’ (Dave loves them and insists on putting them on mixes for me, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten through this one before, although it’s not totally new to me), Ladytron ‘Black Cat’ (same explanation as the Deerhoof)

* Number of songs that I’m so totally deleting:  possibly 3

Stereolab ‘Anonymous Collective’ (very droning with singing that sounds a little off) and Dada ‘Star You Are’ (time to accept that I only like one song off their ‘El Subliminoso’ CD and this ain’t it), October Project ‘Something More Than This’ (this song’s OK, if it were 3 minutes I’d probably let it live, but it’s pushing 6 minutes and it’s just not going to hold my attention for that long when I’m not doing this challenge)

* Most wanted to skip: see above as well as Portishead ‘Wandering Star’

I really liked this CD when it came out and I’m surprised at how little patience I have for their songs now. Not ready to delete, but hmm….

* Song I’ll be saddest not to hear again until this is over: The Police ‘Synchronicity I’

Luckily I have several bootlegs and ‘Off the Record’ type radio downloads that hopefully mean this song will be sprinkled throughout the shuffle, but this was the original release. I hesitate to commit to this, but I think this is my favorite Police song. I’m always excited to hear this song. Also, given my line of work, the line “causally connectable” always cracks me up too. I defy you to tell me another popular song that uses the word “causal” or a variant of it. The picture that comes on at about the 0:10 mark in the linked video is the quintessential Police photo for me. It’s the one that makes my heart tense up in the same way as when I hear their music. This was my favorite band in my formative years, and I don’t think there’s any getting over that. But I still love their music just as much now as I did then.

* Song that made me dance around during the dog walk: The Police ‘Walking on the Moon’ live Buffalo Synchronicity Tour (whenever Sting says Buffalo in this bootleg I get all giddy, this is the show I could have seen…let’s face it though, if Mom had actually let me go to this show at 10 years old, I would totally have shit my pants, I know that now from listening to the bootleg. They were that good. Having to wait until they were old and slow, or at least Sting was old and slow, was good for me. I’m not sure I would’ve lived through the excitement of seeing them at their peak.)

* Worst remake:  Before I make you sick (if I haven’t already) with my outpouring of love for the Police, I thought I’d throw in a complaint to let you know that I can be objective about them. Their remake of ‘De Do Do Do De Da Da Da’ from 1986 is fucked up bad. I have no idea what they (read Sting) were thinking with that bullshit version. I guess they weren’t as happy with the ‘Zenyatta Mondatta’ album as their other albums. I don’t know, it sounds pretty good to me.

* Weirdest coincidence:  I mentioned a memory sparked by a Lords of Acid song last week and then one of the first songs this week was the actual Lords of Acid song I had been thinking of (‘Do What You Wanna Do’). No idea how I managed to screw that up, but it was nice I got to correct myself so quickly.

* Song I could’ve sworn I’d heard already:  The Police ‘In the Studio’ radio show–this is because I actually did hear some of the same songs and interview snippets before. I apparently downloaded the ‘Zenyatta Mondatta’ AND the joint ‘Zenyatta/’Ghost in the Machine’ shows). Lots of Police this week. I also actually did hear Paul McCartney’s ‘Back Seat of My Car’ a second time this week, I apparently ripped it twice (off ‘Ram’ and the Wings hits CD). Look at me being PRESENT (my favorite actor speak from “Inside the Actors Studio’) and attention-paying this week!

* Only Komeda song I like: ‘Flabbergast’

This song was on a CD sampler my brother got me for Christmas years ago and I really like it and so did Dave. Unfortunately for me, Dave bought several of their albums and decided he really like them generally and I just did not. Shit, I just lied, there’s another song of theirs I like too. When that one comes up, I’ll try to remember to link to it too. The song doesn’t start in the linked video until about 2:20 (they were having technical difficulties).

* Song of someone I sort of know:  The Grand Candy ‘I Need Liftoff! (Tight Middle Mix)’

This is Dave’s guitar teacher’s song. Go check them out.

* Guilty Pleasure: PM ‘Say it Again’ (out of print but you can hear a snippet at the artist’s website, click on audio discography and select PM)

Growing up, sometimes I could tune in a Canadian radio station and that’s how I got introduced to Frozen Ghost and to PM. Their song ‘Piece of Paradise’ was a moderate hit I think. Vanessa Williams also apparently remade one of their other songs ‘Moonlight Over Paris,’ but I’ve never heard it. This album is out of print and I only had it on tape. I recently found the CD for sale on Amazon Marketplace and I was so happy. I realize that the music is pretty cheesy (Dave was certainly horrified by it when I introduced it), but I like it anyway. Most of the songs are ridiculously catchy and if you like to sing like I do, the songs are very fun to sing.  Speaking of singing, I have this aversion to Sheryl Crow that I’m not going to get into now, but suffice it to say I really dislike her (oh fuck it, if you want to know the full explanation of my distaste, go here). I’ll probably spout off more when one of my favorite Kevin Gilbert songs comes up. Anyway, at the time I got this PM tape, I had no idea who Sheryl Crow was (she wasn’t famous yet). Years later I rediscovered the PM tape during a move and noticed in the liner notes that Sheryl Crow was one of the back up singers. One of my dreams is to get to meet her someday so I can say “I loved your work with PM.”

* Song that Dave practiced on Guitar Hero so much I thought I might kill him:  Lush ‘De-Luxe’

Before taking up real guitar, Dave played Guitar Hero. Dave played this song over and over and over again trying to get it right. When this song came up this week I realized I still don’t want to hear it ever again. I’m good on this one, have totally heard it enough to last my whole life.

* Most random memory: The Police ‘Driven to Tears’

A live version of this song came up this week and reminded me about Mark Goodman’s stupidity during MTV’s coverage of Live Aid. After Sting played ‘Driven to Tears,’ Goodman said that Sting had “changed the words” for the event, referring to the line “too many cameras and not enough food.” Um, those were always the words. I could never figure out what he was smoking…did he think the line was too many cameras and not enough film?

* Genesis song with cursing:  ‘Pigeons’

Just a fun bonus this week. This song is included on one of their box sets and I wasn’t super familiar with it, so I was shocked to hear Phil saying shit in the first line. I can’t think of any other Genesis songs with curse words. Let me know if I’m missing any.

* Non-musical selection:  Bill Cosby ‘Brain Damage’

“And the reason why we have five children is because we do not want six.”

Playlist Week 3: And The Trees Are All Kept Equal By Hatchet, Axe, and SAW!

I’m challenging myself to get through a whole shuffle of my music collection on my iPod without skipping. Then I write about what I heard each week.

This week I seem to have perfected the art of tuning shit out. Sometimes I would zone out and not be able to remember what I just heard. The title of the post this week comes from ‘The Trees’ by Rush. Ironically it came up in the shuffle this week, a week in which two of our trees sustained significant damage due to heavy snow. We have two mature cherry trees in front of our house and they aren’t super healthy (the trouble with the cherries, is their premature leaf drop–check it, totally fits in the song!), but they still bloom beautifully every spring, so we plan to keep them until they don’t. A pretty big branch of one of the cherries split, which was very upsetting. These trees aren’t really replaceable. Well, they are, but I’d be an old woman by the time new cherries got as big as these. The County cut the branch today since it was still hanging on and we have a tree company coming out on Monday to try to prune more dead branches and try to lighten the load on the remaining branches. So this line from ‘The Trees’ seemed appropriate this week.

I decided to listen to the shuffle while I run on the treadmill instead of giving myself dispensation to listen to other stuff (and to allow skipping). Apple then proceeded to mock my playlist shuffle challenge by having its machine play the most inappropriate musical selections to accompany running ever. We’re talking multiple Enya songs here. I like Enya, but she is for the spa and for napping, not for exercise motivation. So now there’s a new category:

* Percentage of songs that came up during running that were so totally not helpful in motivating my running: 74%

One running session included THREE Enya songs. I have no idea how I kept running through that. Also had to listen to Sting’s ‘It’s Probably Me,’ which is definitely one of his more annoying songs. For someone who purports hating to say it, Sting seems to say it a lot. And I had to run through all of the saying of it.

Here is the weekly summary:

* Songs listened to this week:  156
* Completed:  15%
* Number of double shots:  1 (Mew, both new to me)

* Number of triple shots:  2

The Beatles and Genesis (during running and all way too mellow for running:  ‘Follow You, Follow Me,’ ‘Another Record,” and ‘Afterglow’)

* Number of new to me songs:  3

Genesis ‘Cuckoo Cocoon,’ not exactly new, but I’ve never gotten through all of the songs on ‘The Lamb,’ and I don’t remember ever hearing this one before (and ugh). Someday I will try to explain my feelings about Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, but not this week since I’m already getting this post done later than I wanted. Also had a double shot of new to me Mew songs:  ‘Intermezzo 1′ (very brief) and ‘Hawaii’ (charming)

* Number of songs that I’m so totally deleting: possibly 4

LL Cool J ‘Murdergram,’ Ned’s Atomic Dustbin ‘Until You Find Out,’ (not every song from one’s youth needs to be kept on one’s iPod), The Innocence Mission ‘Someday Coming,’ (their entire first album is pretty tough for me to listen to), Sarah McLachlan ‘Ice’

* Most wanted to skip:  See previous, plus The Beatles ‘Act Naturally’ (don’t have it in me to delete Beatles songs, but ugh) and Simon & Garfunkel ‘7 O’Clock News/Silent Night,’ (such a great pick me up)

* Number of songs that were a complete mystery to me: 1

Dave made me a mix for Christmas in 2009 and for some reason the artists and song titles didn’t rip. I was able to identify most of them through an iPod app (Soundhound, I tried Shazam first, but it didn’t work at all), and one by asking Dave who the hell did the ‘Lithuania’ song. But I didn’t remember any of the lyrics to ‘Track 16,’ so I still don’t know what the hell this is. NEWS FLASH: I just played it for Dave and have been informed that it’s ‘Opulent Canine’ by the Gay.

* Song I’ll be saddest not to hear again until this is over:  Best Coast ‘Boyfriend’ and Interpol ‘Untitled’

I heard ‘Boyfriend’ a lot on Sirius when I was staying with my Mom to help after her back surgery and just got around to buying it to put on a Christmas mix for my brother, so I haven’t gotten my fill of the song yet. I wanted to listen to it again when it was over. Just so adorable. As for Interpol, I listened to them almost exclusively in November. First to prepare for the concert we were going to see and then after the show and discovering I liked their music a lot (it had to grow on me), I put all my Interpol music on shuffle and listened to that for a couple of weeks straight. I was kind of obsessed there for a bit. Weird that three weeks in and this has been the first Interpol song that’s come up.

* Song that made me dance around during the dog walk:  Lords of Acid ‘Young Boys’

We saw Lords of Acid in Rochester once and when they played this, a lesbian couple seemed more into this song (particularly the line “I’m on my way, yes I’m soaking wet’) than made sense to me given its content (not that there’s anything wrong with that…). EDITED TO ADD:  Mother of god, it’s a good thing that the first few weeks of the shuffle have essentially been the ‘Lords of Acid’ mix, because this morning ‘Do What You Wanna Do’ came on and that is the song with this line. Good to know my overall impression of the week (tuning things out) was accurate.

* Song I could’ve sworn I’d heard already:  Lords of Acid ‘Voodoo U’ (another reason to stop listening to other stuff while running) and The Innocence Mission ‘Edelweiss’

* Most awkward transition:  Lords of Acid ‘Hey Ho!,’ followed by The Innocence Mission ‘What a Wonderful World’

* Best Dave mix song/random memory:  Those Darn Accordions ‘Lithuania‘ (Dave wants an accordion, god help me)

I’m not sure he’ll ever top this find for a mix for me.  I’m Lithuanian, and during my sophomore year of high school while learning about different world cultures, our teacher felt the need to point out that she could tell I was from one of the Baltic states because of “my pale, oddly shaped face.” Uh, thanks?

Playlist Week 2: My Mouth Is Foaming From The Vicious Attack

I’m challenging myself to get through a whole shuffle of my music collection on my iPod without skipping. Then I write about what I heard each week.

As God is my witness, there will be non iPod shuffle content on Logy Express sometime soon. On Monday I thought I’d fucked up the shuffle when I tried to listen to it on iTunes (the order somehow got re-shuffled), but the husband of one of my three readers saved the day. Yea for having three readers! Boo for my being a moron and using up my precious writing time fixing the damn shuffle.

So I ended up creating a new shuffle order of the songs I hadn’t already listened to in week 1. I have a new total number of songs now, because I figured as long as I was messing around, I might as well add some CDs that I realized weren’t on my iPod last week (the Ocean Blue).

The listening experience was less calming this week and I felt more antsy. Maybe it was just the annoyance of messing up the original shuffle and having to scramble to try to salvage the experiment, but I kept wanting to skip songs and having to remind myself that I couldn’t. I think listening to my other iPod/allowing myself to skip songs while I run is confusing me.

The title of this post comes from the one Skatenigs song on my iPod (iTunes says this song hasn’t been played before this week). “Chemical Imbalance” came out when I was in college, early in my relationship with Dave. Although it had apparently been long enough that we’d run out of things to say to each other because alarmingly, we began using lines from this song to communicate. It got so bad that we were hardly saying anything to each other that didn’t come from this song (sometimes one of us would just turn to the other and say “COCKROACHES!” out of nowhere). I think we both started worrying that we’d never outgrow this, but we got through this stage of our relationship unscathed and we use all kinds of non-Skatenigs vocabulary these days.

Short week due to MLK day holiday, here is the weekly summary:

  • Songs listened to this week:  89
  • Completed:  almost 10%
  • Number of double shots:  3

Genesis (one of which was ‘Tonight, Tonight, Tonight’, the 12″ version, as if the original weren’t long enough), Simon and Garfunkel, the Police (One song was live, from the Buffalo Synchronicity bootleg, the show my brother was willing to take me to and that Mom said “no, you can see them next time” to.  I was ten years old and it was two hours away on a school night, but I’m still pissed that she said no, and particularly pissed that she doesn’t regret it, even knowing now that there wasn’t really a “next time.” Mothers, with their ridiculous rules. I have no idea what I learned during that day of school that the concert would have made me miss or be less than alert for, but I certainly remember missing this concert.).

  • Number of triple shots:  1 (The Beatles)
  • Number of new to me songs:  0
  • Number of songs that I’m so totally deleting:  maybe 1 (Dido ‘Slide’)

Maybe she’s singing on key in this song, but it doesn’t sound good to me.

  • Best example of why I can’t play an unedited iPod shuffle at a party:  Olivia Newton-John ‘Make a Move on Me’
  • Song I’ll be saddest not to hear again until this is over:  Delays “Nearer than Heaven’
  • Song that made me dance around during the dog walk:  The Wedding Present ‘Take Me!’

I can’t believe this concert video quality. This wasn’t the show we saw last year, we saw them in D.C. two nights before. It sounded like this, trust me.

  • Weirdest coincidence:  I have three Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ songs on my iPod (shut it, three of their songs are kind of good) and two of them came up this week. I know that is totally within the realm of normal random selection, but it’s weird.
  • Song that made me smile the whole way through:  Flight of the Conchords ‘If You’re Into It’
  • Song that somehow speaks to me of my own childhood memories:  The Innocence Mission ‘Keeping Awake’

Perhaps the beginning of my lifelong struggle to get enough sleep, as a child I never wanted to go to sleep because I felt I was missing something. My Mom and older brother would still be awake and I could hear them downstairs presumably having fun (“hearing your voice in the house…”).

  • Song that George W. Bush ruined for me:  James ‘Sometimes (Lester Piggott)’

Why Bush felt the need to say that nonsense about getting a sense of Putin’s soul, I’ll never know. Now every time I hear this song I think of George Bush…every. damn. time.


I thought I’d listen to the shuffle on iTunes while I cleaned since I’m at home today for the holiday and I don’t want to get too behind on the shuffle challenge. Somewhere between syncing my iPod (although I’ve done that already without incident and the need to sync my calendar was one of the reasons I decided to create a playlist rather than rely on the shuffle setting on the iPod) and trying to play the playlist on iTunes from the point where I’d left off on my iPod, somehow the original shuffle order was lost. The song I started playing (which should’ve been #178) was now song #1. After 25 minutes of trying to identify and delete all the songs I’d already heard so I could continue relatively unscathed, I realized it was futile. I could only remember about 80 of the 177 songs I’d already completed. So I decided to start over (sob). I created a copy of the playlist this time and I will try to make a picture copy of it to store somewhere outside of iTunes, which clearly cannot be trusted not to fuck up a playlist order and is Satan’s spawn for doing this to me. Luckily I wasn’t that far in. I give myself special dispensation to skip any song that I don’t feel like listening to that I’m SURE I already heard during attempt number 1 (which is actually attempt number 2, but who’s counting). If something like this happens again, I’m so totally done with this fucking experiment.

Have a nice day.

Playlist Week 1: Feel The Fury, The Rhyme Gets Worse

I’m challenging myself to get through a whole shuffle of my music collection on my iPod without skipping. Then I write about what I heard each week.

I completed the first full week of the shuffle challenge on Friday. The title of this post refers to a magically deliciously bad song by Merlin from Sire Records’ Just Say Yes collection that popped up in the shuffle on Friday. The experiment is going well so far. I’m feeling really calm on my commute. Knowing that I can’t skip songs, I just relax and listen without feeling antsy about looking for something better. I started listening to my iPod on evening dog walks too, which has helped make the walks more entertaining and should help me complete the shuffle faster. Dave’s been listening to music while walking Chuck for years, I’m not sure why it took me so long to follow suit.

Here is the weekly summary:

  • Songs listened to this week:  157
  • Completed:  almost 7%
  • Number of double shots:  7

The Police * 3 (all live, I’ve downloaded too many bootlegs!), the Beatles, Elvis, Sting, and Bad Company (ugh)

  • Number of triple shots:  3

Genesis, the Police (all live, see what I mean about the bootlegs?), and Mr. Mister (yeah, I know). Rocking out to ‘Kyrie,’ I realized that I have this song on my iPod through a compilation, for some reason I never ripped their second CD. So through the joy of randomization I had a triple shot from a band with very few total songs on my iPod. The other two songs were from their first album, which I only had on tape until very recently. I’d been looking for it on CD for years and finally found it. Mr. Mister’s first album is one of my guiltiest pleasures.

  • Number of new to me songs:  2

Mew ‘Vaccine’ (pretty good), Best Coast ‘When the Sun Don’t Shine’ (very cute)

  • Number of songs that I’m so totally deleting:  2

Bad Company ‘Electric Land’ (not the world’s most awful song, can’t even articulate specifically what I don’t like about it…I just never need to hear it again), King Missile ‘Part Two’ (would I want to delete this less if I heard it immediately after Part One…is there a Part One???)

  • Best example of why I can’t play an unedited iPod shuffle at a party:  Lords of Acid ‘The Wet Dream’
  • Song I’ll be saddest not to hear again until this is over:  The Police ‘Reggatta de Blanc’
  • Best example of why shuffle sometimes sucks:  The Beatles ‘Mean Mr. Mustard’

Hearing something from that part of Abbey Road without the other songs is disconcerting. I so wanted to hear ‘Polythene Pam’ next, but no dice).

  • Song that is entirely too long:  Public Image Ltd. ‘Rise’

Did you know that sucker is over six minutes long? I always think I like this one when it comes up, but then I can never make it through (except during the challenge, of course!).

  • Most situationally-inappropriate song:  The Samples ‘Summertime’

The wind chill was something like 18 degrees during my walk home from the metro on the coldest and windiest night this week, which was when this song came on. Irritating.

  • Most embarrassing confession about a song:  The Beatles ‘Twist and Shout’

When I saw Ferris Buellers’s Day Off, I thought it was possible that Matthew Broderick was singing this in the movie. Yes, I am a moron. But to this day, when I hear this song, it still sounds plausible that Matthew Broderick would sound like this if singing it. Why am I admitting this?

  • Song that made me dance around during the dog walk:  Simon and Garfunkel ‘Save the Life of My Child’

Oddly, this is a happy song for me. Probably due to fond memories of listening to this (and horrible attempts at singing) with a friend in college.

  • Really crappy song by an otherwise fine artist that is so crappy I feel I could’ve written it myself in the shower:  Splashdown ‘So Ha’
  • Band with song titles I totally don’t know:  Stereolab

Except for ‘Emperor Tomato Ketchup,’ which is unforgettable really, I can’t identify any Stereolab songs by name, not even my favorite. The Stereolab song I heard this week was apparently called ‘The Noise of Carpet,’ yes, of course.

  • Weirdest coincidence:  For some reason during Mr. Mister’s ‘Code of Love,’ I started thinking that the theme of this song was kind of similar to Dave’s guitar teacher’s song ‘Made a Devil.’ Then I started wondering if he’d be pissed if I told him that. Then the next song was one of his (not ‘Made a Devil,’ but still creepy–get out of my mind).
  • Most random memory:  The Police ‘Secret Journey’

I went to Catholic school preschool through grade 12. We got an assignment once in theology class to select a spiritually enriching song and write an essay about listening to it. I remember being so excited that I had such a great example and that I didn’t even have to think about which song I’d pick–obviously, I’d write about ‘Secret Journey.’ Then I noticed the fine print in the assignment handout that said “For example, ‘Secret Journey’ by the Police.” Fuck! The bastards stole my idea. I suppose I should’ve just used it anyway, but it seemed no one would ever believe it had been my idea first.

Playlist: Day 1

I’m challenging myself to get through a whole shuffle of my music collection on my iPod without skipping. Then I write about what I heard each week.

Friday was day one of the playlist pledge. Well, Thursday was actually the first attempt, but I aborted it when I realized how easy it would be to fuck up the shuffle with an errant finger touch (pretty likely actually since I’ll probably need to go back through the songs to remember what I’ve heard to write my weekly summaries). So Thursday night, I created a playlist of all my songs, shuffled it, and synced it to my iPod. I don’t like the way I can see what’s coming next (I try to avoid looking at the playlist), but this is the only way I can think of to ensure the integrity of the shuffle (already on day one, I accidentally hit the shuffle icon and had to go back to the playlist to resume the correct order). Here are the songs from day one. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on listing every song after today, I just wanted to document the very special songs called into duty on the first day.

  1. Bel Canto-Spiderdust
  2. Simon & Garfunkel-He Was My Brother
  3. Lords of Acid-Pussy (Round)
  4. Genesis-I Can’t Dance [12″ Version]
  5. The Police-Message In A Bottle (Live-7/15/2007-Cleveland)
  6. Genesis-Mad Man Moon
  7. Sting-History Will Teach Us Nothing
  8. Best Coast-Goodbye
  9. Sting-Saint Augustine In Hell
  10. Shaggy-It Wasn’t Me
  11. The Police-De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (Live-5/27/2007-Vancouver Fan Club Show)
  12. Animal Logic-If I Could Do It Over Again
  13. The Police-Shambelle
  14. Ween-I’ll Be Your Jonny on the Spot
  15. Ween-Nan
  16. Kevin Gilbert-Song for a Dead Friend
  17. Living Colour-Leave It Alone
  18. The Judybats-My Dead Friend
  19. The Innocence Mission-Our Harry
  20. Genesis-Get ‘Em Out by Friday

Bel Canto was a very promising opening. For the most part, day one wasn’t bad. I probably would’ve skipped at least half these songs on a normal day, but only the 12″ version of I Can’t Dance made me groan. Well, and the two live Police songs made me realize that I have way too many Police bootlegs on my iPod. I downloaded all three of the reunion tour shows I saw live and having to go through all of those during this shuffle will be a little painful, especially the more “Stingified” songs, like the totally anemic version of “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” they performed on that tour. Oh well, something to look forward to…

Tracy’s Finite Playlist

Well, I hope the gastroenteritis that greeted me at New Year’s isn’t a sign of how this year is going to go. I love how I got violently ill so shortly after posting my bragging about how I wasn’t even remotely sick during 2010. Ironic, don’t ya think? So it’s been a slow start to the year and I’m just starting to dig out of the sickness hole (which for me was sleeping a lot, then when I couldn’t sleep anymore but didn’t have the energy to get out of bed, listening to the last bit of the History of Howard Stern Act 4, then most recently plowing through more than half of the ‘In Treatment’ Season 1 DVDs I got for Christmas). Now I’m trying to get back to my regularly scheduled life…

Getting an iPod has totally changed the way I listen to music. I never listen to albums anymore. I listen to shuffles–of all songs, of songs within artist, and at Christmas, songs within that genre. I have shockingly little patience for most songs. Sometimes I try to make myself listen to a minute of a song before skipping it and my trigger finger shakes like a junkie’s. Don’t get me wrong, even pre-iPod I would enjoy a good mix tape or the random function on my multi-disc CD changer, but for the most part I listened to albums in their entirety before the iPod and only rarely skipped or fast forwarded. I can’t say whether the ease of shuffling on an iPod caused this change or if the iPod simply allowed an existing preference to flourish, but I’m not sure it’s healthy. I feel ADD about listening to music now. I got the new Mew CD (well it was new at the time) for Christmas in 2009, promptly ripped it into iTunes, synced it to my iPod, and…still haven’t listened to it yet. When one of these songs pops up, I skip it because I don’t recognize it. This is nuts.

So I pledged to listen, without ANY skipping, to one complete shuffle of everything on my iPod after the holidays. With a couple of exceptions, this means that whenever I feel like listening to my iPod, I’ll be listening to the shuffle I start on day one of this experiment and I cannot skip a song, no matter what. I already removed my Christmas music from my iPod library, so that shouldn’t be an issue. I think I caught all my work voice mails that sometimes get stored in iTunes when I check them from home, but if I didn’t, I reserve the right to skip them. The big exception is running. I don’t use an iPod when I run outside, but when I run at the gym, I will give myself special dispensation to listen to whatever I want. I’ll use my other iPod at the gym so I don’t mess up the shuffle pledge. I need motivating music to stay on the treadmill for more than five minutes. Other than that, if I’m listening to my iPod, I’ll be listening to this once-through shuffle.

This is going to take a while. Generally, I listen to my iPod during my commute and occasionally in the car or in the kitchen. Completing this entails listening to 2,688 songs in their entirety. iTunes says my music library is “7.8 days.” So given my current iPod listening habits, I estimate this will take over 4 months. At the end of each week, I’ll report on my progress and any interesting notes (most embarrassing song, most awkward transition, song I didn’t realize I had, song I will delete as soon as this experiment is over, etc…). I have a feeling that this activity will make it much easier to cull songs from my music library. I’m also hoping to find some hidden treasures in my own collection.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Songs

Keeping up with a blog is not so easy once you’ve been sucked into the Christmas preparation vortex. I am just about done with my shopping. I also finally got the two family photo calendars done this past week and have made three of my planned five kinds of cookies. Luckily, Friday was my last day of work until January 5th. Words are inadequate to describe the joy of that.

Now for some long overdue content. A friend has been posting his top ten Christmas songs on Facebook the past few days and I am now going to blatantly steal that idea. Music might be my favorite part of Christmas (well, maybe after the time off, or maybe the cookies, or maybe the presents, OK it’s not my favorite thing, whatever). It helps keep me festive while prying pecan tassies out of uncooperative mini muffin tins, etc…  While I enjoy the Christmas songs played on the radio, the selections can get a little monotonous. The radio station that I listened to in college used to slip Christmas songs in among the regular rotation during the holidays, which was very cool. I’ve been building up a Christmas music collection for years. My Christmas super shuffle has almost 300 songs now and I like to seek out new (at least new to me) songs every year. It was difficult to pick twelve favorites, and in fact I’m cheating and including two extras.

Honorable mention goes to these two songs that I found this year. It’s too early to tell if they’ll stand the test of time and become favorites, but this year, I’m loving them pretty hard.

“Holly Jolly Hollywood” by the Wedding Present featuring Simone White. If you know anything about David Gedge and his music of angst, this song might seem, uh, counter-intuitive? But I think it’s charming…and a fucking ear worm. “I know we’ll always be in love.”

“Deck the Halls” by Pomplamoose. Over Thanksgiving, Dave was all: “You know those music people you listen to on You Tube…they’re on TV.” And I was all: “What the hell are you talking about?” Then I saw the Hyundai commercial myself and was all: “Wow, that is awesome.” I love the “Christmas in Space” part of this song. You can download this and several other Christmas songs just for donating a book to a school.

Now for the official Logy Express list of favorite Christmas songs:

12. “Gloucestershire Wassail.” This one and number 11 are both songs I sang at the Boar’s Head dinner in University Choir (the singing group formerly known as Glee Club) back in college. I couldn’t find a version of it on You Tube that spoke to me of my Glee Club days, so here’s Blur’s version, which I was so excited to find today I could have spit.

11. “The Boar’s Head Carol.” It took awhile to find, but this version is pretty close to the way we sang this.

10. “Gaudete” by Mediaeval Baebes. Dave’s years of Latin are finally useful.

9. “Skating on the River” by Lily Frost. Damn if I can find this on You Tube or anywhere else, so here is the Amazon MP3 preview link. This cute little gem of a song is part of the “Christmas Songs” CD that I bought for the Bare Naked Ladies/Sarah McLachlan version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” but grew to love for this song, the song at number 10, and several other really good songs. There’s even a 20-minute long comedy routine which I listen to at least once in its entirety each year. This doofy Canadian guy gets 20 kids drunk at a neighbor’s Christmas party. Hilarity ensues.

8. “Gabriel’s Message” by Sting. Maybe everyone convinces themselves that the music of their youth was awesome, and that the youth today have crap taste in music, but that’s pretty much what I think. The Christmas music being forced into my ears by contemporary “artists” these days is so boring and also quite possibly auto-tuned (talking to you, Miley).

7. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” by Ray Conniff and the Ray Conniff Singers. There are so many versions of this song and I enjoy most of them. But this version adds “gaily” to the mix. How can you not love that? Ten lords a-leaping gaily! Nine ladies dancing gaily! Eight maids a-milking gaily…what???

6. “Sleigh Ride” by the Carpenters. Yeah, I’m going there. So what? Logs on the fire fill me with desire, I can’t help it. It was hard to pick just one from their two-CD Christmas collection. I used to make fun of my mother mercilessly for listening to it, but damn if it isn’t some good catchy Christmas-y shit. It just edges out the Johnny Mathis version for me, but not by much. I love how this song validates my irrational love of pumpkin pie.

5. “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney. This song was a significant part of my Christmas enjoyment as a child. I was six when it came out and I didn’t know this dude was a Beatle. All I knew was that this song sounded like Christmas.

4. “Dominick the Donkey” by Lou Monte. Somehow I got through more than 30 years of life without knowing this song existed, which is a travesty. I think I heard this for the first time on the “Sounds of the Seasons” cable TV music station. Then the Sirius Christmas channel started playing it too. Given how many great Christmas songs exist, there’s just no excuse for the number of times Sirius’ Holly is playing remakes of Wham’s “Last Christmas,” not when they could be playing more Dominick the Donkey.

3. “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano. You know, forget it. This one might just be the only Christmas song you ever need. This thing rocks and I never get sick of it.

2. “Happy Holiday/The Holiday Season” by Andy Williams. I’m sure I heard this song 8 million times in my life, but for some reason, I have no memory of hearing it before the National Tree Lighting Ceremony a friend took me to sometime in the late 90s. I remember Jose Feliciano performed, which rocked. But then this Broadway theater company (possibly included Lilith from Frasier, I can’t really remember) sang some stupid, grammatically odd song about Santa coming down the chimney down (yeah, you already said down). Then I heard the Andy Williams version, and it clicked for me. It’s hard not to be happy with Christmas-ness when this song is on. I used to enjoy making this song filthy and making my Mom cringe, but I’ve matured a little in the past couple of years and can now sing along with “whoop-de-do and dickory dock, don’t forget to hang up your sock” without wanting to change the words.

1. “Carol of the Bells (A Demonic Christmas)” by DJ Demonixx. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a version of “Carol of the Bells” I didn’t like. The natural frenetic quality of this song seems so appropriate for a holiday that most people go bananas over. Until I’ve heard this song, the Christmas season has not begun. I’ve already mentioned the story of the first time I heard this version here.