Following a favorite tradition amongst bloggers (well, specifically some bloggers), a list of the last 10 songs randomly picked by my iTunes on New Year's Eve, while I was getting ready to go out:
Weezer, "Buddy Holly"
Impossible to hear this song and not think of the video; Spike Jonze was just genius like that. The problem is also, impossible to hear this song and not think of the video. The cross-cultural-generational mish-mash of Buddy Holly, "Happy Days" and "Three Kings" (which co-starred Jonze) is one of the reasons I get easily confused.
The Cardigans, "Rise and Shine"
The Cardigans always felt like a band I should like more than I do, but there was something too twee about them I couldn't get into. Their song "Carnival" is very good but this one just isn't registering much.
Sting, "Saint Agnes and the Burning Train"
Sting doing a plucky guitar instrumental from "The Soul Cages" which should have been put on "Nothing Like the Sun." Cute but a bit repetitive. But ... it's Sting! The Stinger! Sting-a-ling-a-ding-dong! Der Schtinger! Ok, I'm done now.
Stan Ridgway, "Nadine" and "Pick It Up and Put It In Your Pocket"
You wonder about the ghost in the machine which, over the course of approximately 9200 songs, picks two in a row from the same artist, same album ("The Big Heat"). Anyway, "Nadine" isn't familiar to me but has a big blasting horn bluesy chorus that maybe should've belonged to the Fabulous Thunderbirds. "Pick it Up" is Ridgeway all the way -- harmonica, slightly cheesy synths, and his meowing vocals. There's always something going on under the surface with Ridgeway, and you want to know what it is.
Inspiral Carpets, "The Way the Light Falls"
One of their more obscure tracks. I can't help but liking them, despite their now-dated (re-dated?) "retro" sound that was so popular in English bands in the early 1990s. I have mixed memories of this band: One from after their Boston show in that same era where I got walked home from the club by a band member; two where I did an interview with them later on in England at the Mute offices where they were so rude as to be offensive (the nice thing was my editor let me get them back in the article); three where the lead singer apologized before their show a couple of nights later, in front of a friend of mine who was completely blown away; four at another interview I did in D.C. while my dad was sick in the hospital (he would die a few days later) -- they gave me a T-shirt reading "Cool as Fuck" to give him.
George Fenton, "Baitball"
Since this is from the soundtrack to "The Blue Planet" I'm not sure what the name refers to, though I have an idea. The music is pseudo-"Jaws" threatening, and my guess is this played to images of predators tossing their live bait or food around in the water before eating it. I saw that ages ago in a series called "The Trials of Life," where orcas were known to grab the sea lions and toss them in the air and "play" with the food before eating it. It was both ridiculous and pathetic and awful at the same time.
Derek and the Dominos, "Mean Old Frisco"
Clapton before going solo. That was one of the best concerts I saw this summer. I paid a lot of money in a short period of time to see bands I've always wanted to catch but never seem to make it; I saw Clapton, Prince and Phil Collins in quick succession and enjoyed every one. Clapton, for sheer power was the best (nothing like standing in an audience and shouting "Cocaine!" with thousands of others), and Collins for the spectacle was the most fun. Prince was too far away for me to really get into it, sadly. And he played medleys of his hits, which was disappointing.
Drop Nineteens, "Kick the Tragedy"
Almost nine minutes of lush guitar fuzz and muted vocals, another early-90s trend which thankfully had its time before dying out. I wonder where Greg Ackell is today; he was the adorable control-freak genius who ran things. His co-singer Paula is still around and about. This song has entirely too much bass going on.
Black, "I Just Grew Tired"
Gee, Black was one of those bands/singers who never got his due. Some people know his "Wonderful Life" but the whole album is really excellent. He's got this world-weary voice that belies the pretty melodies and makes the songs feel almost distant, as if they happened in a different universe. Black is one of those bands I never actively think, "I should listen to that!" but when it comes on randomly I'm pleased as punch.