Hitting the random button on iTunes the other day generated what ended up being a decent dozen song mix. As some requested to know what it was, I’m posting it below, with links to streaming audio of those songs, where available, and my comments. I only had time to listen to 12 songs, but they’re 12 worth talking about.
ALL APOLOGIES – NIRVANA
Appropriate that my favourite song by Nirvana is the first in the mix. While iTunes selected the studio track from “In Utero” the definitive version in my opinion, is this one from their legendary Unplugged performance.
LITTLE GHOST – THE WHITE STRIPES
First, if you’re a fan and haven’t seen the great tour doc “Under Great White Northern Lights” definitely do it. And even if you’re not a fan, you may like it anyway, as it documents their 2007 Canadian tour, in which they played in every province and territory, including a series of free shows, among them the infamous “one note” performance. Asta watched it and, while not a huge White Stripes fan, found she gained a new appreciation and respect for their “musicality” –Simple, raw, stripped down songs, of which this is one of their best. Who thought anyone outside of Tiny Tim could rock a ukulele like Jack White?
DON’T PANIC – COLDPLAY
After watching their performance on the 2009 Grammys, Asta turned to me and said “we should become fans of Coldplay,” and that’s all it took. She’s more into the dance spectrum of music, while I’m more into rock, and while there’s some carry-over (Metric, Garbage, Feist) It’s nice to have a band we can both listen to. in July of ’09 I scored tickets to the All Points West musical festival, of which Coldplay headlined the final night. It pissed rain all weekend, and after two plus hours of getting to the venue at Liberty State Park, found the ground was saturated with water and stunk of goose droppings. And when Coldplay took the stage, the audience didn’t care. A lot of that show is available on Youtube, including their covers of “Fight For Your Right To Party” (in tribute of Adam “Ad-Rock” Yauch, battling cancer at the time) and “Billie Jean,” and while this opener from their “Parachutes” album wasn’t one of the songs they performed, it was the third in this playlist, and was a nice buffer between the White Stripes and the following.
BYE BYE SYMPHONY – FOXY SHAZAM
This is a new-ish band out of Ohio, their first full length album hit stores last year. I found them through a couple free MP3 albums offered through Spin.com, one was a SXSW Sampler, the other was a “Bands to Watch in 2010″ sampler. They kind of have a Queen-meets-Fishbone vibe, which works surprisingly well.
IT’S ALL OVER BUT THE CRYING – GARBAGE
I’m surprised that Garbage’s legacy is pretty much limited to their debut album, and to a lesser degree Version 2.0, when their subsequent albums (Beautiful Garbage and Bleed Like Me)have some outstanding tracks on them. I think a lot of it has to do with the shift in music that happened post 1995; with the resurgence of pop music in the wake of the collapse of Alternative Nation as a mainstream movement, they kind of got lost in the shuffle.
HOPE CHILD – FREE ENERGY
Another freebie from SPIN.com, this from the Philadelphia based band. Very reminiscent of The Replacements.
PET SEMETARY – THE RAMONES
How can there be any justice in a world where three of the four Ramones are dead and gone, while Nickleback and Creed are free to assault our ears? This is later period Ramones, and certainly not their best — oh who am I kidding? The Ramones always work no matter your mood.
THE LIMIT TO YOUR LOVE – FEIST
One of Asta’s that I listen to a fair bit, though haven’t overdone it yet. You know how sometimes you play an album or a song over and over again to the point you become sick of it? That isn’t the case with the lovely Ms. Feist.
LOVE IS A PLACE – METRIC
Metric is a band we share a common like of, and saw them at Terminal Five last May. I strongly recommend you pick up their latest “Fantasies” as it’s probably their most accessible work. But this track off of their 2003 release “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?” is a hidden gem.
WHEN I’M WITH YOU – BEST COAST
Another track from the SPIN “Austin Power” SXSW sampler, and I’m planning to pick up their full album. Very trippy, haunting , and rocking stuff. These guys could be huge in a very short order of time.
WALK YOU DOWN – BASIA BULAT
Someone who is definitely going to be huge is Basia Bulat, and I’m not just saying that because my pal Lisa is her manager. We just saw her perform at the Mercury Lounge last year and the way she played and held the crowd in the palm of her hand. It was probably the last time I’m going to see her in that small a venue and with good reason.
SKELETONS – YEAH YEAH YEAHS
Haven’t seen them in concert, yet. They’re huge down here in their native NYC and while more of you will be familiar with “Heads Will Roll” and “Zero”, this is a haunting song and haunting video, and a nice finish to a very random mix.
If anybody’s had the same experience with random computer Algorithyms mixing your music for you, I’d love to hear about it.