Continuing a good thing (or at least, a moderately enjoyable thing) from last year, this is my 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. Hound Dog – Sha-Na-Na (from the Grease soundtrack)
LOL. I never promised that I’d have intelligent quips for all these shuffled songs. I think that you heard this version of “Hound Dog” for all of ten seconds during Grease‘s school dance scenes. And I mostly remember Sha-Na-Na from the late 70s/early 80s variety show by the same name. Like I said…LOL.
2. Women and Men – They Might Be Giants
When iPods were all the rage, my friends and I used to go round coming up with albums that we thought should have been preinstalled on them just because. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon was a popular choice. As was U2’s Joshua Tree. This was another one – Flood from They Might Be Giants. While TMBG is still considered a little “out there,” Flood is a phenomenal album, one that I’d guarantee most people would like even if they think they wouldn’t like it just because it’s by the quirky folks of TMBG. One’s interpretation of this particular song, “Women and Men,” is up for grabs, as I’ve heard it’s about everything from establishing a family to colonialism/imperialism. I kinda just like its head-bopping, easy-going appeal.
3. On Broadway – The Drifters
“On Broadway” is a song that’s been covered by a million different people a million different ways. But you can’t really go wrong with the original 1963 version by The Drifters. I only have it courtesy of a compilation I picked up at some point called Atlantic Groove Masters – a 2-volume set of songs from Atlantic Record artists. Good stuff.
4. From Out of Nowhere – Faith No More
I’ve read that our musical preferences as adults tend to first take shape when we’re teenagers, sometime in the 13-16 year-old range. Makes total sense to me, especially when I hear anything off of Faith No More’s The Real Thing, like the awesome “From Out of Nowhere.” I was utterly obsessed with this album as a high school sophomore. I had the album on cassette, and it practically lived in my stereo. Once I had it blaring from my room, and it was one of the few times my parents yelled at me for playing music at too loud a volume. I soon discovered the joy of bouncing around my room using earphones and an extra-long cord.
5. Creepin’ In – Norah Jones featuring Dolly Parton
Do you like Dolly Parton? Much with the likes of Neil Diamond, John Denver, or Karen Carpenter, this seems to be a very polarizing question. Because for as many folks that might answer that she’s sweeter than cupcakes and ice cream, the same number will say that she’s the devil incarnate. So how about this: do you like Norah Jones? If you happened to answer yes to both, then the bluesgrass-ian “Creepin’ In” is the song for you. (My answers are yes and yes. I adore them and this song to no end.)