24 April 2008
MUSIC THURSDAY: iPod Russian Roulette
As you may have already surmised, musical inspiration is a key part of what makes Team Ulika tick. It's crucial to have good tunes in the air in the test kitchen, at a practice, or especially at a competition, to keep everyone properly motivated and in good spirits.
Just how we go about bringing those tunes has evolved considerably, from the boombox in year one to the iChair in year two. This year, in light of the fact that I recently uploaded my entire music collection (upwards of 1000 CDs) onto iTunes, the DJ duties have fallen largely on the shoulders of my new 160GB iPod.
The extensiveness of my music collection has proven to be both a blessing and a curse. While I still contend that every CD I own has some redeeming value, SOME people just can't deal with having the Spice Girls or MC Hammer come on every once in awhile. So we've grown used to having the skip button within easy reach when the iPod is on shuffle, so the mood won't get ruined by, say, some traditional music of the Inca empire, or a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr, or ABBA.
So what I will attempt to do in this segment is to try and make it through 10 songs on shuffle without embarassing myself. Let's begin.
1. "Creep" - Radiohead Radiohead is definitely a Ulika favorite, but truthfully, we usually don't venture this far back in the catalog. Pablo Honey, their first album, showed but glimpses of the juggernaut they would become as the nineties progressed. This band has made some of the best albums of our generation and they are still the best live band I've ever seen.
2. "T.K." - Clinic This one's from Internal Wrangler, though to be honest, all of their early EPs and this album all kind of run together in my mind. It definitely reminds me of a certian time in my life - a time when I had a pipeline to this type of cool new music. Clinic are known for performing on stage in surgical masks.
3. "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" - the Allman Brothers Band I've always felt that the Allman Brothers, more than any other band, are in my DNA. They were my dad's favorite band, and as far back as I can remember, the Allmans were played in our house. This is one of my favorite songs (I like it when Gregg plays the piano!) on one of my favorite albums - Eat a Peach. Little known fact: Gregg and Duane Allman actually grew up in Middle Tennessee.
4. "For You" - Joe, Marc's Brother JMB are (were?) a local group. They were never the coolest, or edgiest band of those halcyon late 90s days in Nashville, but they just may have been the most talented. And they definitely had some great songs, many of them from The Pennsylvania Sessions, from whence this song came.
5. "In the Shallows" - Moneypenny Two local bands in a row! I think that, in their heyday, Moneypenny would have been prime candidates to be the Friday night live entertainment at a barbecue cookoff.
6. "Born Again" - Nathaniel Levi Natalina, I swear I'm not making this up! This is the beauty of the iPod shuffle. Out of 11,000 songs, it brings up the one song that features Ulika Team Mother Natalina on background vocals.
7. "Wishful Thinking" - Wilco Wilco is another Ulika favorite. This album (A Ghost is Born) has grown on me over the years. It sounds like if John Lennon made an album with Neil Young playing guitar on it and Ryan Norris producing.
8. "Think I'm in Love" - Beck He pretty much has the Midas touch, doesn't he? It seems Beck can make pretty much any album he wants and it comes out a winner. This one, 2006's The Information, effectively melds the two styles he's been waffling between for the last 10 years (cRaZy and introspective). P.S. This bassline (or variations of it) has been used so often through the years, it's now pretty much officially part of rock'n'roll lexicon. If Paul McCartney could have copyrighted that thing, he'd be...even richer.
9. "Diamonds, Babies, and Cars" - the Himalayans This was Adam Duritz' band before he formed Counting Crows. Aside from his unmistakable voice, it's very different from CC. It sounds like those really bad 80s Matthew Sweet albums. Or like very a very bad imitation of Peter Gabriel. Don't waste your time.
10. "Ten Years Gone" - Led Zeppelin Ah, Led Zeppelin. I think Keith Lowen described it best - "Led Zeppelin is like your first girlfriend. At the time, she was incredible. As the years have gone by, you've discovered new and better things, and you hardly think about her any more. But there will always be a soft spot for her in your heart."
Well that actually wasn't so bad. If Nathaniel Levi was as questionable as it got, then trust me, Dear Reader, it was a good day. No Gary Glitter, no Captain and Tennille, and no Lion King Soundtrack. Until the next time...