Giveaway: Really? No one? You're missing out...
I've been revamping my teeny iPod (and dreaming of a big one), so I think it time to see what comes up in a shuffle, don't you?
1. "Flame of the West" -- Big Country (Steeltown)
Scots dissing Reagan. I wore out my cassette of this album when I was 16 and found a German import a couple years ago to replace it. The album is as good as I remember it, and since it isn't that synth-pop that was so popular it still sounds fresh. Also. They so do not sound like U2.
2. "Marie's Wedding" -- Van Morrison & the Chieftains (Irish Heartbeat)
This is another CD I bought to replace a cassette, but it turned out I don't like the album as much as I did when it came out. I do really like the very traditional Irish songs though, Van Morrison's voice is so beautiful.
3. "This is Your Country" -- Luka Bloom (The Acoustic Motor Bike)
Luka Bloom was a minor obsession for me in the early 1990's. I saw him at the Blind Pig the night after a riot in Ann Arbor (the UM basketball team either won or lost, I don't remember or care). Bloom is from Northern Ireland (which, you may recall, was having some...troubles), he said Ann Arbor looked just like home. Very sweet.
4. "Three Hopeful Thoughts" -- Rilo Kiley (The Execution of All Things)
I don't know this album as well as I should, but I always like the songs when they come up in the shuffle. This one is kind of power pop.
5. "Last Night" -- Traveling Wilburies (self-titled)
I downloaded a couple of the hits for nostalgia's sake. You know, bunch a great musicians hanging out, having a good time.
6. "So Wrong" -- Patsy Cline (12 Greatest Hits)
I think listening to Patsy Cline is the first time I realized that having a great voice is not nearly enough to make someone a great singer, the phrasing matters so much more. Patsy's voice is fine, but the way she uses it is what makes her a truly great singer (and this is a truly heartbreaking song).
7. "Voice of Harold" -- R.E.M. (Dead Letter Office)
My knowledge of R.E.M. begins with Murmur and ends with Document (which roughly encompasses my college, depressed, hipster years). Dead Letter Office is a collection of alternate versions of songs, covers, and B-Sides (remember those?), and is worth having for the hilarious linear notes. "Voice of Harold" is a pre-lyrics version of "7 Chinese Brothers" (from Reckoning), they used the linear notes from some random gospel album as stand-in lyrics. Michael Stipes sings with great sincerity.
8. "One Night in Bangkok" -- Murray Head
This would be 1980's synth-pop. It's kind of terrible in a nostalgic way.
9. "Don't Pass Me By" -- The Beatles ("White Album")
I do so love The Beatles and the "White Album" is my favorite in all of it's out of control, messy, weird, indulgent, in-fighting glory. Revolver, Sgt. Pepper and Abby Road may be better albums, but for me, they don't top this one for it's sheer human-ness.
10. "Mr. Jones" -- Counting Crows (August & Everything After)
Even though the Crows are so not Seattle in the 1990s, this is what I was listening to and these songs always take me back there.
And now for something completely different. According to this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, between the years 2003-2007 2,228 deaths occurred in the production of crops and animals; 108 of those deaths involved cattle as a primary or secondary cause. I wonder how many involved roosters?