Thursday, February 01, 2007

Shuffle Shuffle Shuffle

Phil Ford over at Dial M for Musicology challenged music bloggers to post a list of songs randomly produced by their iPod shuffle, accompanied by explanation and/or apology. Sounds like a fun way to spend the evening, instead of trying to figure out how to teach Webern Op.11 to my students.

I should note, since at the moment the AMS listserv is roiled by a discussion of whether or not popular music scholars are smart enough to teach classical music too, that future employers should be assured that I do own classical music, I just don't put it on my iPod unless I am studying a particular piece and want to make it portable. Otherwise, the clumsy interface for classical music in iTunes drives me nuts, so I don't bother importing them. Hence, this is all pop.

1. Whitney Houston, "I Will Always Love You"

Clearly Dolly does it better.

2. Ella Fitzgerald, "Lush Life"

Again, I much prefer Billy Strayhorn singing this himself, especially when he says he used to "visit all the very gay places." He wasn't kidding. Ella is so innocent.

3. David Garza, "Discoball World"

Ah, David. Pronounced "Dah-veed," I think because he rediscovered his Latino heritage late in life. A little-known singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas, who is an object of simultaneous adoration and ridicule amongst my friends. He frequently plays at Largo, a little club near me, and we went through a phase of going to see him whenever he is in town, which is often. After a few weeks, it dissolved into a two-way battle, wherein we would shriek requests from the bar, and he would insult our taste from the stage. Good times.

4. Rancid, "Lock, Step, & Gone"

Okay, I was fourteen years old and living in the East Bay when Let's Go was released, so it is perfectly appropriate for me to own this song, and to have pretended at the time that I remembered the good old days of Operation Ivy. I didn't of course; I was nine when they broke up.

5. 'NSYNC, "It's Gonna Be Me"

To be honest, I was always a Backstreet Boys partisan. I mean, they were real, not like those "NSYNC pretty boys. I only have two or three random 'NSYNC tracks on my iPod, but several entire BB albums. Don't get me started on my Britney fascination.

6. Marvin Gaye, "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)"

No need to apologize for this one! Nothing is cooler than Marvin.

7. The Strokes, "The End Has No End"

God, the Strokes really annoy me, with their Drew Barrymore-dating ironic little synth riffs. But I do like this song.

8. The Barbarians, "Moulty"

This is a track from the famous Nuggets compilation that pre-punk Lenny Kaye put together. It's a collection of relatively obscure sixties garage rock, and is highly recommended. When I gave a paper at EMP a few years ago, Lenny Kaye was there, also giving a paper. It was on Bing Crosby and crooning, and it quoted Jeffery Kallberg. That is rock and roll.

9. Nirvana, "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Wow, it is too perfect that this song ended up on my shuffle. I first heard this song when I bought Nevermind at about age twelve, on cassette tape. At the time, I was a metal head. So when I put in the tape, I liked the first bit, the intro where the guitar is really loud and distorted. Then it goes into the verse and gets kind of quiet. Being a metal head who had never heard of the Pixies, I thought that was wimpy, pushed stop, threw the tape somewhere, and didn't listen to it again for several months. Then it became my favorite song of all time.

10. The Foundations, "Build Me Up Buttercup"

I often use this song in teaching, just because it kind of plays with your expectations of what it means to sound "black." First, the students think it is a Motown song, or a Motown-style song by a black group. Then I tell them that the Foundations are actually British. They all go "whoa." And then I remind them that not all British people are white, and the Foundations were an interracial group made up of white and Afro-Caribbean Brits. They all go "whoa" again. And that's education.

1 comment:

Violet Vixen said...

aww. I love ...Buttercup.