Welcome to my newest music series, Quick Hits! I once again return to my trusty ol’ iPod (that’s still alive and kicking…for now) for a monthly peek into my musical past. Each new post will cover five shuffled songs. My musings per song may be voluminous or sparse, depending on what memories they spark. So, let’s not waste any more time and get on with the music!
P. S. I know my iPod pics are usually terrible, but they are especially awful this time round. Sorry. Bad lighting is mostly to blame in this case, but I’m also a shitty picture-taker with zero interest in photoshopping. So blue it is!
“Toes” – Norah Jones
Every few years, I become enamored of a new female singer who bursts onto the scene with a little something different. It happened most recently with Adele, previously with Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga, and before that, Norah Jones. My interest in Jones’s serene, jazzy, folksy tunes admittedly didn’t last much beyond Feels Like Home, her debut album, but what is on this album packs a punch. “Toes” is a sweet tune, not the highlight of the album, but a fine example of her craft.
“We’re Only Gonna Die for Our Arrogance” – Sublime
Sublime’s take on Bad Religion’s “We’re Only Gonna Die” is, in a word, delightful. It’s 100% Sublime through and through, putting on display everything from reggae vibes to straight-up punk. For a song that paints a singular picture through it’s singular (almost) line, Sublime easily does it justice and then some. Singer Bradley Nowell (RIP) even adds his own touch at the end with “we’re only gonna die from our own arrogance, so we might as well take our time.” That’s a kick in the heart, right there.
“Tropicalia” – Beck
Just the other day, I was watching a random episode of Malcolm in the Middle, and a song by Beck started playing in the background. (It was not his recognizable classic, “Loser.”) My husband turned to me as said, “is that Beck?” And I said, “it sure is.” This was not the song that was played – it was a tune off his later Midnite Vultures album — but it reminded me that I should really listen to more Beck, especially his truly excellent Mutations album. The fact that the fun and weirdly-it’s-not-calypso song “Tropicalia” happened to show up on the ol’ iPod here reinforces that. So yeah, I’m gonna go listen to some Beck, just as soon as I finish…
“Bad Start” – Mr. Oizo
I suppose this is an aptly titled thing, as “Bad Start” is the intro track to Mr. Oizo’s Analog Worms Attack. But it’s not really a “bad” start to anything. It actually serves as a good introduction, especially for one not familiar with Mr. Oizo’s stripped-down and jagged electronic offerings. Neither too short nor too long, it works quite well for what it is.
“Not the Way” – The Special Goodness
Never heard of The Special Goodness? Neither had I actually until a TSG song showed up on Punk-O-Rama 9, and then again here with “Not the Way” on the series’ tenth compilation. I immediately thought it was some alter ego of Weezer, and it is, kinda but not really. The Special Goodness was formed as a Weezer spin-off by members of the band and a former drummer of The Offspring. (Influences from both bands are certainly present in TSG’s music.) “Not The Way” doesn’t ring to me as especially “punk” (neither does TSG, generally), but that outlaw/outsider vibe rests quite well in the lyrics. Good enough.