What are you listening to today? Me, I’m in a shufflin’ mood

ipod-classic-accessories-3I’ve added a bunch of stuff to the iPod lately, including the new discs from Paul McCartney (pretty good), Pearl Jam (really good) and a classic compilation from the Faces that I picked up for the awesome price of $4.99(!) at Sunrise Records in downtown Toronto (great store). So after listening to those discs and other complete albums  for a while I decided to flip the switch back to shuffle mode. At the time of this writing, here are the latest 15 that have come up in the rotation.

1. That’s The Way–Led Zeppelin

2. Clifton Springs–Steven Page

3. Holly Holy–Neil Diamond

4. I Fought The Law–The Clash

5. Sting Me–The Black Crowes

6. I’ll Survive–B.B. King

7. Little Bones–The Tragically Hip

8. Two Janes–Los Lobos

9. My Little Town–Simon & Garfunkel

10. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You–Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

11. Love Is The Drug–Roxy Music

12. Busted–Ray Charles

13. Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)–Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

14. Time Stand Still–Rush

15. See You–Foo Fighters




Happy Valentine’s Day. Dedicate one of these to someone you love. #whatareyoulisteningto

happy-valentines-day-2010Love songs have been around forever, done in every conceivable musical style. Picking one…just one…that resonates with me the most is next to impossible. So I’m picking two. One is a classic, the other should be. Hope you spend the day with someone you love. If not, hug a stranger. You’ll feel better.

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


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.]

Song of the Day: Busted


I have always been a huge fan of Ray Charles. “Genius” does not even begin to describe the man. As a youngster I really only knew one song, “Hit the Road Jack”. Remember the version done by The Stampeders? Ugh.

It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I really discovered his music when I picked up The Ray Charles Story Volume 1 and Volume 2. I have since replaced thoe well-worn LP’s with the CD box set The Birth of Soul and the above-pictured Anthology. Both highly recommended.

While listening to the iPod this morning his version of “Busted” came up in the shuffle rotatation and I thought that with the tough economic times the entire world seems to be muddling through these days, this would be a perfect song to share with you as my song of the day. Here’s a live clip from 1982. Love the horns.


The Lunch Time Shuffle Report


Here just for fun are the 10 songs I had listened to on my iPod around lunch time today (in shuffle mode, of course).

1. Lost In The Flood (Live)—Bruce Springsteen (Live In New York City)

2. Four Little Diamonds—ELO (Best of)

3. You Be My Baby –Ray Charles (The Birth of Soul, Disc 3)

4. Esmeralda Suite—Santa Esmeralda (Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood)

5. Weak Woman—Joan Armatrading (Square The Circle)

6. If You Were Only Here Tonight—Los Lobos (The Town And The City)

7. Queen of The Supermarket—Bruce Springsteen (Working On A Dream)*

8. Memory Motel—The Rolling Stones (Black and Blue)

9. Baby, Baby All The Time—Nat King Cole (The Best of the Cole Trio)

10. Birthday—The Beatles (White Album)**

* There aren’t  too many Springsteen songs I don’t like. This is one of them.

**If it’s your birthday today, happy birthday to you. 🙂

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)