Fifteen Songs – “Five on Shuffle” edition

If you’ve been with me for awhile, you know that for the past few years, on or around July 4th, I’ve played the “Fifteen Songs” games here. It’s a trivial and now dated bit I stole from Facebook where you put your iPod, or other music player of choice on shuffle, and then you post the first fifteen songs that appear. The idea behind the whole thing is something akin to an icebreaker, where one is suppose to discard all pretenses and impressions as one’s guilty listening pleasures are laid bare for the world to see. Eh…sure. For me it started as a simple way to post something around July 4th, which is usually my busiest weekend of the summer.

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Fifteen Songs – Now it’s a Tradition

Happy 4th o’ July to any who maybe celebrating such festivities today! Of course, if you’re celebrating then you probably aren’t reading, so…here I am again likely typing into a vacuum.  Of course, what is blogging really, other than talking to oneself? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, for one, it’s therapeutic. And two…

…what’s that? Oh! A refreshing vodka tonic! **sip** Mmm, vodka-y!

Speaking of celebrating, which we were speaking of before I got off track and then back on again thanks to a lovely alcoholic beverage, it’s that time of year when I play the “fifteen songs” game with my iPod. You know how it goes (not that anyone but me as an iPod anymore…) — put the thing on shuffle then glowingly or embarrassingly list the first fifteen songs that appear. As I’ve done in the past, I’ll offer a few words about the first five songs and then links to the remaining ten. So if you’re chilling with me here, go ahead and get yourself a tasty drink and prepare for some musical randomness!

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Fifteen Songs (This is becoming a habit.)

(And a habit it will likely remain, it seems.)

For the past couple years, I’ve offered up at some point a play on what was once (and probably still is) a social media-driven, musical tag game. Put your iPod on shuffle, list the first fifteen songs that appear, tag fifteen friends. Last year, this post appeared around Labor Day. The year before that, it was at the same time as it is now, around Independence Day. As I’m currently unable to focus on any one task for more than a few seconds (except with Dragon Age: Inquisition — the end is near, I can soooo feel it!), it only seems right that I should make this into a official thing, because, right now, writing about songs is nearly the only thing my feeble brain can handle. So here we go with the shuffling iPod and another personal peek into the strange place that is my musical psyche. As always, I’ll put the first five songs from the list on blast and provide links to the rest at the end. Click away!

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Fifteen Influential Albums

I’m taking a different route this Monday after being inspired by a music post of on Murf Versus. It’s proprietor and friend, @ctmurfy, posted of list of 15 albums that have influenced his life. As Mr. Murf pointed out in his post, others have done the same in their own way, including the good folks running Herding Cats, Me vs. Myself, and I, and Welshtroll. If you find yourself inspired as well, then the idea of yours for the taking!

What’s interesting about a list like this is that word “influential.” It’s almost harder to chose full albums that have had truly moved my life in different directions than it is to simply pick favorite albums. So in making the list, I had to think chronologically, going from childhood to present day, conjuring up the first album that popped into my head upon recalling a particular year or span of years. Also, there’s nothing noted that prevents the choosing albums that weren’t personally owned. That’s important early on because I didn’t start buying my own music until I was in high school.

Anyway, enough gabbing…on with the list!

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Songs that cut through the winter doldrums

As I sit here staring out the window at more snow — more despicable, horrible snow — the only thing that’s preventing me from going on an all-out rampage is music. Or rather, a single playlist, in fact, that contains a number of guilty pleasures that do nothing but put a silly ol’ smile on my face. Here on Geek Force Network, I highlighted a few of my favorite songs from that playlist. If you’re stuck staring at a depressing winter landscape, maybe they’ll help you too.

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grumpycatwinter

February is a rather moody month, isn’t it? It’s short. It’s winter for many. And it hosts one of the most contested holidays going — Valentine’s Day. (And happy to you today, if it’s something you like to/must celebrate.) Chocolate hearts and flowers aside, by the time February rolls around each year, I’m usually yearning for warm weather. Simply yearning. I’m not one to suffer from seasonal affective disorder, but winter definitely puts a damper on my mood generally.  Things become elevated in December with Christmas cheer, but after that, a mild depression sets in, and life becomes doubly hard and unpleasant. But I’ve found a solution in music, the fixer of all things bad and the lifter of all things better. A couple years ago I created a playlist specifically for turning bad moods to good, and it’s become a February staple for me. It contains a mix…

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The playlist to end all playlists!

Fireworks? Party hats? Song and dance? Nope. More awkward posing.
Fireworks? Party hats? Song and dance? Nope. More awkward posing.

Happy New Year’s everyone! Hope you all have had, so far, a wonderful first day of 2014. I have high hopes that will be nothing less than a brilliant year. I know for me it’s going to be busy, especially with some house/garden renovations on the horizon. But till then, it’s still hibernation time, so I’m planning to squish every last second of time I have into getting through some small portion of my gaming backlog, and y’know…life and stuff.

But I know that that at least a few of you aren’t here to swap small talk; you’re hear for the super duper PLAYLIST TO END ALL PLAYLISTS! A mere 30 days ago, I sent out a call across the blogosphere asking people to send me songs! Any songs! Since the 25th (the final day of the receiving end of the experiment), I’ve received a ton of recommendations, and I can only say a very sincere thank you to everyone who responded. Over the past week, I’ve spent hours scouring through iTunes for the songs that appeared either in response to my blog post or via Twitter. I’ve planted myself in front of YouTube, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud listening to song after song and revealing in so much wonderful musicality! You guys have such good tastes! Now I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever met a song that I’ve really, truly hated, so it’s not like anyone went into this as a loser. In other words, even if a song you suggested didn’t make it onto this playlist, it doesn’t mean it won’t make it onto the next, or the next, or the next. More than anything, this process made me realize that there will never be an end to great music because there will always be the unknown to explore.

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Send Me Songs! Any Songs!

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Awkward dancing/posing optional.

A few years ago I hosted an “experiment” on Facebook in which I asked people to send me music. I felt a bit stuck with my then-current rotation of music, and I thought that having some new input from people who weren’t all necessarily aware of my musical tastes might help crack open the floodgates. I posted a simple request: “send me a song that I should own if I don’t already,” and one stipulation: the song had to be on iTunes. Over the course of a month, I collected a wide assortment of songs — some I knew and many I didn’t — and I’m still amazed and awarded each time I listen to the playlist that came out of the trial. Through it I was introduce to the likes of Antaeus, Neko Case, Brandi Carlile, Paramore, Tiësto, and, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic ZerosThe Walkmen, and others. I loved exploring all the new sounds that my friends had introduced, and I loved that so many of them were new to me.

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