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.
1. Super Disco Breakin’ – The Beastie Boys
When Hello Nasty was first released in 1998, we almost immediately scooped it up. And I subsequently listened to it…a lot. And I wasn’t even much into The Beastie Boys then, outside of fighting for one’s right to paaaaaaaaaaaaaar-tay. But this album changed all that. The supreme success of one of the album’s most recognizable tunes, Intergalactic, went a long way in that regard, but choosing to open the album with Super Disco Breakin’ was the right move. Its short/sweet nature, head-bopping qualities, mean lyrics, and meaner breakbeats perfectly set the stage for what’s to come.
2. Nigel – Hepcat
Remember the Warped Tour? Punk (and other alternative) music + Xtreme sports? I only ever went to one Warped Tour (in 2000), and I don’t recall seeing Hepcat on the bill. That was totally my loss, because they are an incredible ska/reggae band. Sadder still is that I only have this particular song thanks to this late 1990s compilation, Warped Music.
…and…wait…thanks YouTube! Listening to this song led into a very recent interview with the band on their 25th anniversary. Now that’s a very happy thing.
3. He’s a Skull – Q-Burns Abstract Message
So here’s a story. In 2000, Pizza Hut offered this promotional deal where if you bought one of their “New Yorker” pizzas, they’d send you a free CD containing six songs of your choice. (I shit you not, for realz.) This we did. With the pizza, we received a code to a CDNOW site (blast from the past!) where, once accessed, we chose six songs from a list of a couple hundred or so. A few weeks later, bada bing, our CD arrived in the mail. This song here, “HCB6,” is the sixth song on that CD: “He’s a Skull” by Q-Burns Abstract Message. (Another blast from the past – this song was featured on the soundtrack of the game Test Drive 6!) If you like electronica but don’t know Q-Burns, I highly recommend that you remedy that, because he’s good. Really good. This particular track, “He’s a Skull” is an amazing piece. Take one super chill bass line and add over some steady drums and alien-like synths, and it’s all fuckin’ good.
P. S. “HCB” stands for “Hot Chemical Burns,” the undoubtedly snazzy title we chose for our particular compilation.
P. P. S. See…told ya I wasn’t lyin’.
4. Searching the Streets – The Donnas
Man, I love me some Donnas, even if they do sound occasionally hokey. (C’mon, The Ramones had the same issue.) Searching the Streets is badass tune that’s super reminiscent of The Runaways. It’s a little less toothy but no less bass-tastic. Man, for the sake of that guy and his girl, I sure hope The Donnas didn’t catch up with them that evening.
5. Never Met a Man I Didn’t Like – Silkworm
Waaaaay back in late 2013, I performed a musical experiment. I put out a call to the blogosphere to SEND ME SONGS! At the time I was (a) looking to expand my musical horizons, and (b) wanted interact more with other bloggers. I expected that a few folks might respond, maybe; what I ended up with well exceeded my expectations! The culmination of said experiment was a grand spreadsheet of music of all shapes and sizes, from which I formed the PLAYLIST TO END ALL PLAYLISTS. It contains this song, “Never Met a Man I Didn’t Like” by Silkworm, a band that was recommended to me by a former Geek Force Network cohort who went by the moniker “fromcassettes.” Indie rock has never been quite my thing, so I will say that it took me some time to get to know Silkworm and its ilk. While I like the album here, Developer, I have to say that Libertine is quite memorable. (I would have chosen “Couldn’t You Wait?”, but the song wasn’t on iTunes at the time.) It’s just so…odd. It’s almost like listening to a band practice before a show, what with it’s random takes and unfinished feelings. I’m far from an expert, but if you’re in the mood for something different, Silkworm’s not a bad place to start.