12:40 p.m. - November 15, 2006
Brace yourself kids.
Sunday, I was still mired in my squalor, hoisted by my own petard, of course, and I saw my iPod. The one my nephew thought was "retro".
Yeah, something I bought on March 30, 2004 was retro. Puh-leeze.
In reality, it was in iPod land.
The battery on that one was fried, which happens after a while even if you are smart about power usage, and I checked to see how much it would cost to get a new one installed. Yeah, I know that some weisenheimers can do it themselves, but do you think I have the skillz to do that? Do ya? I mean, I'm lucky I have Liz, because girls want boyfriends with great skillz.
So, after getting the cost for battery replacement, I just mosied over to the store and looked at how much the new "non-retro" iPods were.
Well, they seemed reasonable.
So, I sallied forth downstairs to talk to Liz, even if she was in a phlegmy state of mind (it's Smed's House of Phlegm this week), and after some negotiations (whereas it's my Christmas and Birthday present AND I need to put some jerseys on eBay), and investing in overnight shipping I know have a sleek, shiny, BLACK, 80gb brand spankin' new iPod.
The old one will be used, for now, as a car stereo, since I have adapters that work perfectly for power and radio. But the new one will be my primary work and home machine. Mainly because now I won't need to keep deleting songs in order to stay under the limit. At least not yet. This sucker's only halfway full. Heeeee!
So, in honor of the new iPod, let's look at the first 25 songs that rolled through my ears on it. Yes, I'm doing 25. So be it. Remember, this is MINE! MINE! ALL MINE! (Both this site and the iPod. Yes, I'm drunk with power. Mwahahahah!)
So I put it on my Five Star playlist, on shuffle, and lo and behold.
1. Garden Party - Ricky Nelson. Fitting? It could be. Especially for my events in my life this summer and fall. It's all right now - I learned my lesson well. Anyway, a great tune that people have forgotten about I think. It's going on mixes now.
2. ELO Kiddies - Cheap Trick. From the self-titled debut, this is an interesting song. It's so glam, yet it's not really glam at all. And it's funny they mentioned ELO, because Jeff Lynne was in the Move at the very end, and Cheap Trick covered "California Man" by the Move. But the song is all Gary Glitter cop, really. And that's no so bad, because as far as I know, no one in Cheap Trick is a pederast.
3. Evangeline - Los Lobos. I think this iPod is telling me what songs to put on mixes for folks, because I had almost forgotten about this tasty nugget from How Will The Wolf Survive. Man, I need to invest in more Los Lobos as well. Everyone has a band that they know is good, but for some reason, are neglectful in their catalog. Well, this is one band for me. Let me find my post-it, "Buy more Los Lobos". There, done.
4. You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone - The Beach Boys. Carl And The Passions: So Tough was a disaster of a record, really. It had eight songs, and most of them were pretty janky, as Dennis Wilson kept his good songs back for his solo album, Bruce Johnston was absent, and some new members contributed squat. But this is one that somehow made it unscathed and is just as good as any other mid-period Beach Boys track, with some neat production tricks and a cool violin line. (Though one of the edits near the end is pretty rough. Bad splice, I think).
5. Maternal Rite - The Minutemen. Well, this is a basic Minutemen song. Political harangue and interesting music in a package that lasts 1:15. And in keeping with the sentiment, my comment is brief.
6. Color Me Impressed - The Replacements. Hootenanny is one of my favorite 'Mats albums, because at times it's a drunken shambling mess, and then at times, it's insightful about losers and posers and hangers-on. This is one of the insightful ones and it's a punk rock classic.
7. She Doesn't Wanna Go - Drivin''N' Cryin'. Sure, this was album (Smoke) was a blatant arena rock attempt, and on many levels it failed, but it did succeed on occasion. This is a driving rocker with a good riff and sometimes that's all you need.
8. Take Off - Bob And Doug McKenzie. Good day, eh? How's it goin' eh? Ah, memories of SCTV and high school when Moose and I would sit around my room and talk like Bob and Doug for hours at a time, irritating my Mom when she'd drop off more popcorn and snacks in my room. Get out! You hoser! And in the immortal words of Geddy Lee, "10 bucks is 10 bucks, eh?"
9. Turn To Stone - Electric Light Orchestra. Well, it's only fitting that after "ELO Kiddies" that an actual ELO song should appear, eh? And it's soooo good, too.
10. I Love You, You Big Dummy - Captain Beefheart. No, this is not what Liz says to me on a daily basis. Weekly, mayhaps, but not daily. Oh, and the harmonica that Beefheart adds to this track just wails.
11. For The Love Of Money - The O'Jays. Now it's best known as the theme to The Apprentice and in fact, hearing this makes me think of Donald Trump's combover. However, the production is impeccable, and one needs to really check out the Philly Sounds of the 70's, because that's where the action was. Solid, Jackson.
12. Geraldine And John - Joe Jackson. Everyone slathers praise on Look Sharp, yet for my money, I'm The Man has more bang for the buck. The songs are more varied and the arrangements a bit more complex. This is a pseudo-reggae tune talking about, what else, relationships, which is par for the Joe Jackson course, but it's got a twist to it.
13. The First Part - Superchunk. It's mid-period Superchunk, from Foolish, when they were transitioning to be all-squealy and tinny all the time, to slowing down a bit and adding more sonic depth. This is a classic, yet forgotten, indie rock song that still sounds fresh and vital to this day.
14. Ballet For A Girl In Buchanon - Chicago. This is most of Side 2 of Chicago II, and as much as I loathe Chicago's 80's dreck, this is cool stuff. They actually sound like they want to integrate jazz and rock and be taken seriously as artists. How novel. Of course, this is also pretty much a love song suite, but that's OK. Well written love songs are just as powerful as political songs. This has "Color My World" in the middle of it, which I could do without, but the rest of it is key. Terry Kath's guitar work is especially tasty.
15. The Crunge - Led Zeppelin. Zeppelin wasn't much for the silly on record, but by gosh, this is it. It's a James Brown goof with a great bass line from John Paul Jones, a great beat from John Bonham, and Robert Plant just being, well, silly. Where's that confounded bridge?
16. We Stood Still - Ultravox. Ultra-cool, ultra-sleek, and portending the wave of the future, Ultravox's Vienna record was a landmark New Romantic record, and one that they still dance to on Sprockets. Oh, but wait, Midge Ure spits out some impressive guitar work as well, even though it sounds like a synthesizer.
17. Boys - The Beatles. This is Ringo's showpiece from their debut Please Please Me. Oh, it's loads of fun. They made no qualms about covering girl group songs, like this one and "Chains". The incredible thing is that Ringo did sing this while playing drums, since they only had two tracks to work with. So it was like the live show, and it sounds fantastic.
18. Hung On You - The Romantics. Another song from their debut record that I put on mixes for people. It's just great rock and roll, and that's all you need in this world, isn't it?
19. Sun Zoom Spark - Captain Beefheart. A tune that I think I need to put on mixes for the novice Beefheartian as it has the requisite weirdness yet also is accessable to most people. Well, enough people may like it. Beefheart zips up and then zips down his guitar, even though it's actually Zoot Horn Rollo on guitar.
20. Oliver Cromwell - Monty Python. I think this was recorded for one of their collections. John Cleese, not one of the musical members of the troupe, was perfect in this laugh riot telling of the history of Oliver Cromwell set to a piece by Chopin. Oliver Cromwell? Oh, go read, would ya? And you know, it's not everyone that is executed AFTER their death.
21. Toys In The Attic - Aerosmith. Yes, I know this is on my digital media, but man, this song screams "8-Track Tape" to me. At least when the album was released, they arranged the songs so none of them are stopped in the middle. At least I don't think they were - it's been a while since I listened to this on 8-track at Eric Danzebrink's house. (Actually, it was his brother Norbert's - but still).
22. Does Everyone Stare - The Police. The latter half of Regatta de Blanc is probably the most underrated side by the Police. Some sluffed it off, as it was written pretty quickly, and had a lot of songs by Stewart Copeland, but they were pretty nifty, like this one. A lot of people think that this and "Contact" are songs by Sting, but noper, they're Copeland tunes. I need to mix this one.
23. Come Back - J. Geils Band. At my old job, I got into an argument with a co-worker who thought that the J. Geils band was a one-hit (or two-hit) wonder with "Centerfold" and the "Freeze Frame" album. I quickly retorted with "Must Have Got Lost" (a #12 smash and the highlight of one of their live albums), and the fact that the Love Stinks album was a top 20 hit. She claimed that the first song was too old (she was a few years younger than me - and not as obsessed with tunes) and she never heard anything off that album, not even the title cut. But I gave her a mix tape with this song, which hit #32 on the charts, and she said, "Oh! That was them?" Well, it's pretty similar to their other stuff, but I've always loved the bass line and how it works with the guitar riff and the keyboard accents of this song. And I claimed victory, of course.
24. I Want Your Love - Chic. Stylish, classic, and classy disco. The bass is exquisite, the beat solid, and the arrangement top notch. What more do you want? Nothing. Just sit back and groove.
25. Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley. May as well end with a song that helped start a revolution, even though rock and roll was already extant and this song isn't really that far away from traditional pop music of the time. (Dig the tinkly piano solo - miles away from Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard). And while this is familiar, and formulaic, now - back then it must have been quite a revelation. It is hard to put one's self in that context now.
Wow, the first 25 songs off the new iPod. Treasure them forever, I know I will.
BTW - song 26? "Backwards Dog" by the Soup Dragons. Another one I need to mix more often.