Continuing a good thing (or at least, a moderately enjoyable thing), 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. Smart Went Crazy – Atmosphere
Atmosphere’s You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having was my introduction to this amazing duo, and it remains one of my all-time favorite albums. Every single song on it hits in some manner, and the entire album feels masterful, soulful, and real. “Smart Went Crazy” jams in your brain from note one, and Slug’s amazing lyrics don’t ever let up. Whether you think it’s you or someone else who might have taken that turn from smart to crazy (and back again?), this song speaks to that truth and screams it back to the world.
2. Someday – The Strokes
I came around to The Strokes during a time of transition. I had recently entered grad school after several years away from school entirely, and I wanted to recapture some of that ol’ “college spirit.” Life didn’t quite turn out that way (other than the fact that my studies then helped get me the job I have today, I still question the whole affair to this day). And yet, I’ll always have my foray into music akin to the stripped down, guitar-driven sounds of The Strokes. Despite it’s upbeat nature, “Someday” is quite wistful in its sentiments of a lost past, good times gone, and finding the road back to happiness…someday.
3. Coming Clean – Green Day
I never became much of a Green Day super-fan. However, I really like watching the band play, and Billie Joe’s voice is so earnest and resonant, it’s just all very good. I’ll be honest, Dookie is the only Green Day album I have. Preferring their young raucous sounds, I never came round to the more mature Green Day of recent years. “Coming Clean” is one of those great little poppy punk rock shorts, a song that says so much in under two minutes. Who needs the clutter?
4. Noche de Luz – Alejandro Sanz
I’m sure that I’m a bad person because I’ve never explored this song or Mr. Sanz further than the boundaries of my iPod. I do know that its title translate to “Night of Light,” so there’s that. I also know that this guy has a brilliant voice (just listen to the beautiful progressions in his vocals!), and I love how this song is arranged, with just guitar and claps and vocals from the backup singers. If this is a simple Christmas song, it’s the perfect Christmas song.
5. Lost in the Supermarket – Afghan Whigs
Not my favorite…that’s what I think when I hear this cover. Nothing against the Afghan Whigs, but I’m not really a fan of the dreamy, floaty sound that they brought to The Clash’s “Lost in the Supermarket.” Hence, I can’t not post the original.