Happy Friday. What are you listening to?

ipod-classic-accessories-3Haven’t posted one of these in awhile, so here’s what I’ve been listening to in shuffle mode today as I get ready for a couple of days off. Enjoy, and hope everyone has a great weekend.

As of the time of this posting, here are the last 15 to come up in the rotation.

1. Alert Status Red–Matthew Good

2. Shine a Light–The Rolling Stones

3. That Lady (Parts 1 & 2)–The Isley Brothers

4. Afternoon-Pat Metheny Group

5. Perfect Stranger–Cheap Trick

6. Open All Night-Bruce Springsteen

7. You Really Got Me–The Kinks (One From The Road version)

8. Two of Us–The Beatles

9. Spy In The House of Love–Was (Not Was)

10. Bitch–The Rolling Stones

11. You Got Lucky–Tom Petty

12. Spar Wid Me–The English Beat

13. Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakes–Los Lobos

14. V-2 Schneider–David Bowie

15. What Makes You Think You’re The One–Fleetwood Mac

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Happy Sunday. Here’s my playlist from this morning. #whatareyoulisteningto

Hope you like some of these:

1.Lovers’ Eyes–Mumford and Sons

2. Dancing In The Dark–John Legend

3. Us Against The World–Coldplay

4. Sweet Wanomi–Bill Withers

5. Hearts and Bones–Paul Simon

6. One More Night–Blue Rodeo

7. Right Down The Line–Bonnie Raitt

8. The Search–Pat Metheny Group

9. I’m Not Drowning–Steve Winwood

10. The Fever–Bruce Springsteen

The “Sleep. My kingdom for some more sleep.” shuffle report

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The Shuffle Report: 10 songs I listened to, in order, on my iPod in shuffle mode at a given point in time. No editing, no skipping. It is what it is.

It was one of those nights. Everyone has one of those nights. You go to bed at a decent hour, manage to fall asleep relatively quickly but alas, a peaceful night’s rest is not to be. For any number of reasons, you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, and as hard as you pray for a quick return to dreamland, the sleep gods just laugh at you. Eventually, you do manage to will yourself back to sleep, but then the alarm goes off an hour later. When that happens, the first word that usually comes to mind starts with ‘f’ and rhymes with truck.

So while I tried to stay awake on the subway ride to work, thinking happy thoughts about that cup of coffee I’m going to grab as soon as I get to the office and trying to focus so I don’t miss my stop (hey, it’s happened), I turned up the volume on the iPod just a little bit louder. Had some good tunes to keep me company:

1. One More Day—Cheap Trick (Rockford) [Highly recommend this latter-day release from the masters of power pop.]
2. Hi Hi Hi—Paul McCartney (Wingspan: Hits and History) [Great rocker from McCartney’s early solo work.]
3. Strong—Robbie Williams (The Ego Has Landed) [The guy is one of the biggest pop stars in the world but not in North America. Have never been able to figure that one out.]
4. Jamie G.—Joe Jackson (Laughter & Lust) [An oft-overlooked album from JJ’s catalogue that contains some decent cuts.]
5. Ray’s Blues—Ray Charles (The Birth of Soul) [Essential compilation of Ray’s career with Atlantic Records.]
6. Paper Thin—John Hiatt (Slow Turning) [Outstanding album from one my favourite artists.]
7. Outskirts—Blue Rodeo (Outskirts) [Have never grown tired of this album, 22 years after its release.]
8. Do You Want To Know A Secret—The Beatles (Please Please Me) [Sing it, George.]
9. It’s Just Talk—Pat Metheny Group (Still Life Talking) [Love Metheny’s work with the PMG.]
10. Run Rudolph Run—Chuck Berry (The Chess Box) [Hey, it’s that time of the year. Forget all the schmaltzy holiday music. Let Uncle Chuck show you how it’s done.]

The “no real reason for this other than I felt like it” shuffle report

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The Shuffle Report: 10 songs I listened to, in order, on my iPod in shuffle mode at a given point in time. No editing, no skipping. It is what it is.

Usually I have some sort of quaint tie-in to go along with posting my 10-song list. You know, songs I listened to while I “took the time to walk with my son to school”, or was “stuck in rush hour traffic on the way home from the airport” or even the songs I listened to when I was “cleaning up from dinner then folded laundry.”

The reason for today’s list isn’t as quaint. It’s just the tunes I heard while riding on the subway today. But less than quaint doesn’t mean I want to share it any less with you. That’s the point of blogging after all, isn’t it? If I can I can open just one’s person eyes to a song or album or artist that I enjoy that maybe they’ve never listened to before then I fell like I’ve accomplished something worthwhile, and that’s my objective. So while riding the subway is a rather mundane activity, I hope you still find something that interests you in the list. Presenting today’s list.

1. The Big Ranch–Los Lobos (Good Morning Aztlan) [Great way to start the day.]
2. The Bed’s Too Big Without You–The Police (Reggatta de Blanc) [A lesser known Police track, but still killer.]
3. You Turn Me On I’m A Radio–Joni Mitchell (Hits) [For those casual Joni Mitchell fans who are looking to add some Joni to their collection, the “Hits” cd is a great place to start.]
4. So Close–Hall & Oates (Change of Season) [I’ve always liked Hall & Oates. No denying the string of hits they produced. This wasn’t one of their biggest, but it’s a good track nonetheless.]
5. Sweet Maxine–The Doobie Borthers (Very Best of) [Like No. 2 on today’s list, a lesser-known but no less worthwhile tune.]
6. Tramp–Otis Redding (The Ultimate Otis Redding) [Otis. A must for any collection.]
7. Confessin’ The Blues–Little Walter (His Best) [If you like blues harmonica, this cd is for you.]
8. Feelin’ Stronger Every Day–Chicago (The Best of Chicago) [While I have ignored anything post-1978 by these guys, I always enjoyed their earlier output from when they were really cookin’. This is one of my faves.]
9. Have You Heard–Pat Metheny Group (Letter From Home) [Great effort from one of my favourite guitarists in any genre.]
10. Hella Good–No Doubt (The Singles: 1992-2003) [I like a few No Doubt tunes. I saw them open up for the Stones. Yes, the Stones. They were suprisingly good in a cavernous setting like the Rogers Centre.]

The Best of Both Worlds

Homer Rocks

So it’s Sunday night, and the weekend’s winding down. I was relaxing, doing a little channel surfing on the ol’ Aquos when I landed on an episode of the Simpsons from 2002 called “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation”. It’s one of my favourites. It’s the episode when Homer goes to a rock and roll fantasy camp. For me, it was the best of both worlds: rock and roll, and tv. (And speaking of the best of both worlds, I have two songs by that title, one by the late, great Robert Palmer from his 1978 album “Double Fun” and the other by Van Halen, or “Van Hagar” if you prefer.  Each great songs in their own right. But I’m getting off topic…)

The Simpsons episode features cameos by Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz and Brian Setzer. One of my favourite lines is when Mick, sitting at an adding machine, turns to Keith and says they need to find a cheaper brand of oatmeal for the camp. Priceless.

So this episode got me thinking about music on tv, going back to the days when Muchmusic was just an idea on paper. These were the days of classics like American Bandstand, Soul Train, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, and The Midnight Special. Later there was NBC’s Friday Night Videos, Solid Gold and in Toronto there was Toronto Rocks, Citylimits, and the CBC had Good Rockin’ Tonight. I’m sure I’m leaving out some.

 

One memory that stands out was in 1975 when on an episode of American Bandstand, Dick Clark aired the video for Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. I can still remember thinking how incredibly cool it was. Music videos had of course existed for years before that, but in my opinion I think it was this video in particular that launched the music video generation.

(BTW: I saw Queen live in 1982 and even got to meet drummer Roger Taylor when I was working at a radio station in Montreal. My brush with greatness!)

What are your memories of music on tv? Anything really special stand out?

Bonus Post!  “The Shuffle Report”

To continue on a theme from the last post, here just for fun are the last 10 songs I’ve listened to in shuffle mode on my iPod at the time I wrote today’s post (no editing):

1. I Had A Dream–Ray Charles (The Birth of Soul, Disc 3)

2. Reason To Believe–Bruce Springsteen (Nebraska)

3. Is She Really Going Out With Him?–Joe Jackson (Two Rainy Nights–Live)

4. Take Me To The Pilot–Elton John (Here and There–Live)

5. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)–The Beatles (Abbey Road)

6. No No Song–Ringo Starr (Photograph–The Very Best Of)

7. Strange Days–Matthew Good (In A Coma)

8. Mr. Soul–Buffalo Springfield (Retrospective)

9. Dark Angel–Blue Rodeo (Five Days In July)

10. Here To Stay–Pat Metheny Group (We Live Here)

My Favourite Dance: The iPod Shuffle

Not to sound like a commercial, but our house has always been an Apple house. We’ve gone through several Mac computers, and several iPods. But a couple of years ago, when my wife asked me if I was interested in owning an iPod, I said no. I figured the only way I’d be happy with one was if I could get one with a large enough capacity to hold most if not all of my favourite tunes, and at the time I just didn’t feel like spending the money. I was content to listen to my cd’s (the old fashioned way: one at a time) on the home stereo, the car stereo, my trusty cd Walkman or on the boombox on my desk at work.

Then she surprised me. She bought me a 30gb model for my birthday. Depending on song length, that model can hold up to 7500 songs. I’m not quite there, but not far off. I don’t use it to watch movies as I find it drains the battery quickly and the peaks and valleys of the audio can make it tough to watch on a noisy subway.

Fast forward to today–I never leave home without it. I bought this inexpensive wireless adapter to listen to it in the car and while not perfect, it works way better then some of the more expensive models I bought (and returned) at the Apple store. I also have a great set of speakers that I use at the office.

So do I still listen to my music one album at a time? Hardly ever. I love doin’ the Ipod Shuffle. It’s like Radio Free Dave, all Dave, all the time. My own personal radio station. I love the surprise element. I never know what song is going to come next. Sometimes the mixes are great, sometimes they can be a little jarring. But that’s the fun. As an example, here’s a list of the last 20 songs that I listened to in shuffle mode:
1. Pump It Up–Elvis Costello
2. What Love Can Do–Bruce Springsteen
3. Revolution Rock–The Clash
4. Suffragette City–David Bowie
5. It’s For You–Pat Metheny Group
6. Fantasy–Earth, Wind and Fire
7. Fly Away–Lenny Kravitz
8. I Can See For Miles–The Who
9. Breathe On Me–Ronnie Wood
10. Life On Mars–David Bowie
11. This Time Baby’s Gone For Good–Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes
12. Weather Channel–Sheryl Crow
13. Mystery Kids–Garland Jeffreys
14. The Wrong Thing To Do–Mudcrutch
15. Hey Julie–Fountains of Wayne
16. Darlington County–Bruce Springsteen
17. A Higher Place–Tom Petty
18. Don’t Count Me Out–Charlie
19. Another Nail In My Heart–Squeeze
20. Downstream–Supertramp

Do you own an iPod or similar portable music player? Do you always have it with you? Do you do the Shuffle?