Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Going to work this morning, I had a seven-song iPod-on-Shuffle-mode streak that was so wonderful, so perfectly, serendipitously organized that it must be documented. Future generations of twentysomethings will study it in Hipster 101 as the ideal iPod Shuffle Songs Run. It's been over four hours now and I'm still grinning at its awesomeness.

Song #1: "Don't Feel Like Dancing," Scissor Sisters
Is there a better song to hear first thing in the morning, especially if you hate mornings in general and particularly this one because you were up all night reading declassified NSA memos as pertain to CIA involvement 1953 Iran coup? I'm incapable of listening to this song without wanting to strut and shake my ass, preferably both at the same time. Why the Scissor Sisters didn't blow up in the U.S. when this song came out, yet the Pussycat Dolls inexplicably continue to sell albums, is something I will never understand.

This song was also a great omen, as I was waiting to hear back about a Craigslist ticket for Sunday's sold-out show at 9:30 Club. When I got to work today I was greeted with an email saying that not only was the ticket mine, but I would be buying it at purchase price. Since tickets were going for a lot more than that, I can only conclude that whatever Divine Power has been watching out for me lately heard me humming along under my breath as I dance-walked down East Capitol and decided a reward was in order.

Song #2: "Delirious Love," Neil Diamond
I've been listening to this song obsessively lately, ever since seeing it in an episode of Scrubs. Its got everything a good pop song needs: a catchy tune with a bouncy run of notes, strummy guitar sliding and excellent lyrics that everyone can identify with:

"Neither one of us stopping to figure out
What the roll and the rockin' was all about
All we knew was that we couldn't get enough
You and me in the heat of delirious love"

Neil effing Diamond. God love him.

Song #3: "I Believe," Spring Awakening soundtrack

I wrote about this show when I first saw it in December, and can't possible say enough good things about the production and this album. Simplistically, it's a coming of age story set in 1891 Germany mixed with a rock concert. The songs, most of which could easily pass for stand-alone rock songs, serve as comment on the script and the action, very different from traditional musical theater where the songs advance the plot. One could easily imagine artists from Joni Mitchell to Fountains of Wayne performing individual songs in their own right. This song, which closes Act One and is performed as the two teenage leads lose their virginity, is my favorite moment in the show-- stylized and abstract but achingly beautiful and honest, framed by this beautiful gospel-inflected number.

And two "first-time" songs right in a row? What are the odds?

Song# 4: "Chips Ahoy" The Hold Steady
I defy anyone to listen to this song and not be singing along "Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!" by the end. It can't be done. I love this album and am beyond disappointed that I can't go to Bonnaroo to see them in action. Don't get me started on how dumb I was to turn down a free ticket to their show at Black Cat last November just because it was Thanksgiving and I was five states away. Wuss.

Song #5: "One Mint Julep," Ray Charles
If you've ever wondered "what does jazz organ sound like?" this song will provide the answer. And the answer is "spectacular."

In the aftermath of the Great iPod Meltdown of 2006, I ripped about 4,000 songs from my sister's iPod. She has... interesting taste in music. I'll give her credit for getting me into Rubyhorse and DeVotchKa, but I had to delete a lot of obscure showtunes and "comedy" from her library (my hatred of Dane Cook really deserves another post). I'm still discovering songs I've never heard even though they've been on my iPod for months. This cover from his greatest hits album was one of them, and it will be making more regular appearances-- it's very bossa nova and Quincy Jones-esque, perfect for having Alan Ginsberg over for some fondue in your shag-carpeted conversation pit. Love it.

Song #6: "Life is a Song," Patrick Park
Or as it will forever be known, "That Song from the Last Episode of The O.C." I haven't watched since the lesbian story arc, but thanks to this site I've been able to keep up with the music. I am completely that girl who hears a song on Grey's Anatomy and instantly tries to track it down and that site has dramatically trimmed my Googling, leaving time for important things like feeding my seventeen cats or cross-stitching affirmations on pillows.

Cliched associations aside, this is a good song. With simple acoustic guitar and a focus on the lyrics, it perfectly captures that slightly melancholy optimism that is adulthood. Accepting inevitabilities can be freeing, and this song reflects that simple message with quiet grace.

By now I was on the Metro barreling towards work and was crossing my fingers that the streak would continue. I rarely make it for even six consecutive songs, usually skipping past something I like but am not in the mood for or am really embarrassed I like and don't want anyone to hear me listening to (cough!soundtracktoBatBoy:TheMusical*cough!*) . Would the seventh song, the one I would listed to as I got off the Metro and walked into my office, thereby setting the tone for the rest of the day, be as good as the ones that preceded it?

Um. Yes.



I-66 said...

Oooh Sly and the Family Stone. That's definitely a name I haven't heard in a while.

I must say I rarely make it even 4 songs in a row without skipping something(s) that ruin the mood or that I just don't feel like hearing. It's so bad that I sit at my desk with my finger poised over the >>| button after the 3rd song in a row that works, expecting to have to skip.

Jen said...

Don't deny the Bat Boy love. Oh, and I am so very over Dane Cook, just so you know. I will remember his old material fondly, but now, god help me, I can't stand the jerkoff.

Ryane said...

That's awesome. I loveit when that happens on shuffle!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. You're a great writer AND you have FANTASTIC taste in music. I had to delurk to say that. Also, hi from Indie Bloggers! And I'm a new subscriber to your blog, too. :) I can't believe I haven't found you before now! (stacy)

Libberash said...

I have been listening to "The Bitch of Living" on virtual repeat, yet I haven't seen the show. Duncan Sheik wrote all the music. I love him.

EJ Takes Life said...

Hi Stacy- nice to "meet" you!

Libs, darling, it's amazing-- Jen and I have stage tickets for May and I can't wait. The entire rest of the album is that good, too.

123Valerie said...

Ray Charles, man. Better than cheese.