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. Sing It Again – Beck
Oh, Beck. That’s pretty much what I think every single time one of his songs rolls around. Beck resides in a very specific place in my life. Namely the post-college, pre-career wanderer/free(ish) spirit/party-goer-in-denial that I was during the mid to late 90s. Beck was odd and different and humble and eccentric and too cool for school, and I related well to all that noise. These days, I like the idea of what Beck represented to me back then more than I like his music, for with it comes a gush of olden memories of those strange days, some clear, others shrouded. If there’s one Beck album that I’d recommend over all others (at least from the 90s), it’d be this one, Mutations from 1998, which is accessible and well-rounded. “Sing It Again” is great in its melodic, twangy melancholy.
2. 1984 – David Bowie
I don’t really need to say anything here, right? I mean, I could once again rehash the story of my everlasting love of David Bowie thanks to a silly, little movie called Labyrinth. And I could go one and on about how pervasively this musical chameleon wormed his way into my malleable high school brain to the point that obsession was the only way out. I could talk of the dreams, and the nightmares, and so many overwhelming …urges…
But I won’t. It’s “1984.” It’s David Bowie. That’s all anyone needs to know.
OMFG…this performance…I’m DYING…
3. I Know What Boys Like – The Waitresses
I wasn’t exactly what you’d call “cool” or “in the know” growing up – I walked the straight and narrow, mostly. But I did enjoy sneaking in my share of forbidden TV, which in my house, include MTV. That’s where I first saw the strange vision and sound of The Waitresses. And I’ll tell you what, I didn’t like either. The dissonance, the childishness, the oddball non-singing, none of it was appealing. It wasn’t until my 80s nostalgia kicked in that I came to appreciate the song’s sarcastic nature. It’s still not a favorite song, (“Christmas Wrapping” gets that nod when it comes to this band) but it has it’s place.
4. Nostalgia – DJ Spinna
Quick but dope beats from this NYC DJ. On Mushroom Jazz 5, the song serves as a clean, technical interlude between longer chill songs. Now, I think I must go listen to the whole album again…
…to the YouTubes!
5. Folsom Prison Gangstaz (Eazy-E vs. Johnny Cash) – DJ Topcat
One the soundtrack to South Park: Chef Aid, an intro is given by Chef to a song called “Nowhere to Run,” as follows:
Back together at last: DMX, Ozzy Osbourne, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Crystal Method!
I think of these words every time I hear a mash-up that seems like it shouldn’t be a thing. Party Ben’s “Single Ladies of Mayberry” (Beyonce vs. the theme to The Andy Griffith Show – oh, yes, he did) is one good example. The one featured here is another. In two flavors that one might think shouldn’t go together, DJ Topcat masterfully mixed the knowable refrain from Johnny Cash’s classic “Folsom Prison Blues” with Eazy-E’s “Luv 4 Dem Gangstaz.” Two great tastes that taste great together? (For me, that’s a big fuckin’ YES.)