Welcome to my new monthly series called “Five on Shuffle” where I attempt to reconnect with my iPod by using it regularly throughout the year and using it only and continuously on “shuffle.” Once a month I’m going to stop at a completely random interval, snap photos of five songs in a row, and then post and write about them here. The writing may be heavy or light, depending on whether or not I’ve anything remotely clever to say about any given song in the moment.
1. Outro – Handsome Boy Modeling School
So…I gotta start by asking: how many people recognize Father Guido Sarducci? His heyday on Saturday Night Live was a little before my time, but, I remember him quite well from any number of stand-up shows that I caught during the days when Comedy Central was The Comedy Channel. Of course, maybe I should be talking about Handsome Boy Modeling School instead? I thought this team up between producers Prince Paul and Dan the Automator was cool when they arrived with their first album, So… How’s Your Girl? But the fact that they somehow got Sarducci to be on their second (and last) album, White People, remains hilariously awesome. Also, it’s a damn good album.
2. What a Piece of Work is Man – Hair
I grew up watching and enjoying your typical “golden age,” Hollywood, movie musicals — Oklahoma!, South Pacific, My Fair Lady and such. It wasn’t until high school that I discovered that there was a whole “new” side to Broadway musicals, one that involved less happy-go-luckiness and more Jesus (Jesus Christ Superstar), more euphemisms (Grease), and more hippies (Hair). It’s debatable if these musicals have aged well or not, and Hair might be the least likely one to find favor these days, but it remains a favorite. Plus, how many other musical can claims to have a song ripped right from Shakespeare? (“What a piece of work is man” is a monologue from Hamlet, btw.)
3. Children’s Story – Everlast
Ever since I first downloaded Everlast’s Eat at Whitey’s onto my iPod, “Children’s Story” has been misspelled. I’ve no clue as to why the program didn’t get the name right, and I’ve never bothered to change it. It’s like a relic or something now.
Anyway, Eat at Whitey’s is chock full of strummy, hip-hop flavors from the once frontman of House of Pain (“Jump Around”), and “Children’s Story,” a simple rap about the dangers of…um…street life(?)…is super catchy. Later did I learn that it was, in fact, a cover. For the sake of posterity, I include both versions here. Both are great in their own right.
4. Would I Lie To You – Eurythmics
Do you know how much I enjoy Annie Lennox? Like…it’s lots. Really, really LOTS. Plus, the Eurythmics was just a great band, one that wasn’t afraid to delve deep into not only the then-modern sounds of the 1980s but also the heady and boisterous sounds of the past. Like, there’s also a Big Band exuberance to “Would I Lie to You?” what with the horns and all. It’s a song that’s nothing short of addictive!
5. Moonlight Serenade – John Williams and the Boston Pops
For some reason — and there’s really no good reason for this — whenever I heard the “Moonlight Serenade,” I always think it’s “Pennies from Heaven.” Which, as I said, makes no sense at all. There could be something about the sweeping qualities of both songs, but I think it’s more just my broken brain. In any event, whatever song it is, if it’s being playing by John Williams AND the Boston Pops, well, you really can’t go wrong.