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




Time for One Hit Wonder Wednesday: Ellen Foley’s “What’s A Matter Baby”

album-night-outShe first gained recognition as the vocalist opposite Meatloaf on the 1977 smash “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” from Bat Out Of Hell. But soon Ellen Foley would launch her own solo career, and with the producing help of Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson, she released her debut album, Night Out, in 1979. It wasn’t a huge commercial success, but a couple of the tracks found their way on to FM rock radio, including the fiery “Young Lust“. The album also included a great version of the Stones’ “Stupid Girl“. A couple of other solo albums followed, and by the mid-80s Foley was introduced to a whole new audience when she played Billie Young on the sitcom Night Court. She also made a number of film and broadway appearances throughout the decade.

“What’s A Matter Baby”, a cover of Timi Yuro’s 1962 hit, barely made it into the Billboard Top 100, peaking at no. 92. Still a killer track, though.

Some Ellen Foley trivia: That’s not her in the original music video for Meatloaf’s “Paradise”; it’s singer Karla DeVito, lip-synching to Foley’s album vocals (DeVito also went on to tour with Meatloaf). Also–The Clash were featured on her second album, and she also dated the group’s Mick Jones, who supposedly wrote “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” about Foley.

Night Out is a great album that’s held up over the years. Get it on iTunes.

The Sunday morning “Get in the car, get out of the car” 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.

Sunday morning and time for running errands. The title above says it all. Get in the car, drive somewhere, get out of the car, then get back in the car. Repeat ad nauseum. And thus goeth my Sunday morning. I had time to listen to more than 10 songs on the iPod, but these were the first 10 that came up and they seemed to just fit. Don’t know why.

1. Cinema Song–Blue Rodeo (The Days In Between) [Not one of their most memorable albums, but it still has a few choice cuts.]
2. Down To Zero–Joan Armatrading (25th Anniversary Classics) [A classic from one of my favourite singer-songwriters.]
3. Making It Work–Doug & The Slugs (Slugcology 101) [A great party band.]
4. Some Unholy War–Amy Winehouse (Back To Black) [Will she remain a two-album wonder?]
5. Stir It Up–Bob Marley (Legend) [The first compact disc I ever bought. You thought it would be a Springsteen disc, right?]
6. Rudie Can’t Fail–The Clash (London Calling) [A must own.]
7. Bozo Weirdo Wacko Creep–David Baerwald (Here Comes The New Folk Underground) [Another of my favourite singer-songwriters. Highly underrated.]
8. Call Me (Come Back Home)–Al Green (Greatest Hits) [Timeless soul.]
9. Witchy Woman–The Eagles (Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975) [One of the first 45’s I ever owned.]
10. I Need More Love–Robert Randolph & The Family Band (Unclassified) [He makes the pedal steel guitar just howl.]

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?

Happy Birthday Pete!

Today is Pete Townshend’s birthday. One of the greatest guitarists of all-time from one of the greatest bands of all time turns 64 today (Will you still need me, will you still feed me…oh wait, wrong foursome. Although if the surviving members of The Who and The Beatles got together to form a new band, they could be called The Whotles. Just a thought. Now where was I? Oh yeah, right…) Happy Birthday Pete!

Have always loved The Who, and it’s a crying shame really that there are many people out there (far too many) that just think of them as the CSI/CSI: Miami/CSI: NY band. While I was never fortunate enough to see them perform with Keith Moon, I did see them live twice, in 1980 in Montreal and then again in 1982 at the CNE in Toronto, both times with ex-Small Faces/Faces drummer Kenny Jones. Little bit of trivia about that 1982 show: Joe Jackson was the opening act, and while JJ is one of my faves, he was out of his element at this show. The crowd hated him. In fact, in the liner notes of his Live 1980/86 cd, there’s a picture of that inhospitable Toronto crowd. Rumour has it he was a last minute replacement for the band originally scheduled to open for The Who that day. Unfortunately that band had a conflict as they were scheduled to appear on Saturday Night Live the same night. The band? A little known outfit called The Clash. Now THAT would have been something. Damn you Lorne Michaels!

Will post more on JJ another time, but for now, Happy Birthday Pete. Don’t ever stop.

For you Who/Pete fans out there, these are just a handful of my personal favourites. I’m leaving out the obvious (although Won’t Get Fooled Again is probably the greatest eight-and-a-half minutes of sonic boom ever committed to tape) and instead suggest you give these a try. Take two twice a day, and if your anti-Who symptoms still persist, I can’t help you.

The Who: The Seeker
The Who: Substitute
The Who: Love Reign O’er Me
Pete Townshend (live solo; track from Quadrophenia)–I absolutely adore this): Drowned
Pete Townshend: Rough Boys
Pete Townshend: Slit Skirts