Friday, July 24, 2015
Shufflin' - July 2015
Since we upgraded to a computer that can actually handle the catastrophically large iTunes collection I have been cultivating since my freshman year of college (2004 - Hashinger Hall - Everyones' iTunes libraries linked via the dorm internet - Oh those glorious days) it has been fun to actually listen to some of the music I've been hoarding instead of ignoring it because it takes iTunes two minutes before it can figure out how to play the next song. There is so much chaff. 25% of it is obscure indie pop grown like a laboratory culture when I hosted a twee-centric radio show called Pop Rocks! on KJHK. Shuffling is basically a nightmare. Since everything is backed up (should I ever desperately need to listen to 800 Cherries or Akron/Family or the Judys or Rex) I am deleting anything that I know is just taking up space. I've just been shufflin'. The converse to deleting everything is that I've been finding all sorts of good stuff. Stuff I loved a few years ago, stuff I loved ten years ago, stuff I never even knew I had, and stuff I had never heard that is blowing my mind.
So how can I turn this process into something I can vomit back into the world? MONTHLY PLAYLISTS! Cultivated from the bog of eternal tunes. I worked at KJHK for four years, and was on music staff for three of those years. I often reviewed up to 8 albums a week and more the year I was music director and I kept EVERYTHING. Even the shittiest, most tepid, most derivative, most hateable stuff is on here clogging up my hard drive and preventing me from shufflin' like a normal person.
That can play on repeat for 205 days.
I know some of these are duplicates, but I did a mostly solid job of weeding out the dupes when I backed everything up off the old computer and transferred it all over to the new one. I weeded a little bit during that process too, but just barely.
But I digress, on to the shufflin'!
Pulp - "Dishes" - Go figure, Jeff Rosenstock covers this on his first album. His latest--We Cool--is most likely going to land in my Top 5 this year, and it makes sense that this track popped up independently of me learning that Rosenstock connection. The chorus, "I'd like to make this water wine/ But it's impossible/ I've got to get these dishes dry," is about the most accurate description of my current mindset I can find.
Mercury Rev - Deserter's Songs
"Goddess of the Hiway" came on shuffle and I thought, "Oh, is this an early Flaming Lips record?" Nope! Just their contemporaries. The spiritual connection between Deserter's Songs and The Soft Bulletin is tangible and quite beautiful. Like long lost twins who are different in their own way but share the same DNA.
Rainer Maria - Catastrophe Keeps Us Together
This one wasn't on Spotify, but I listened to this album a few times and it helped me get in the mindset to work on "My Novel." The one I've been working on for like 3 years and hit a wall when we got pregnant and there it sits, in all its angsty, teen fictiony glory. But Rainer Maria's beautiful tunes always stood out in the emo revival of the early-to-mid 00s and I think this album holds up whereas most of that stuff is basically the hair metal of the Facebook Generation.
Swervedriver - "Just Sometimes (Song of Laughter and Forgetting)"
TWO Swervedriver tracks ended up on the shufflin' list and Spotify didn't have those either! These albums were no doubt acquired shortly after Loveless blasted a distortion-shaped hole in my skull and shoegaze became a permanant part of my vocabulary.
Swervedriver - "Bring Me the Head of the Fortune Teller"
This song perplexed me. There was a lot to like, but there was also an undercurrent of 1995 mainstream modern rock that is weirdly nostalgic, but also kind of gross sounding if only because Creed was born out of that sound. I'm still a pretty big fan of the alternative rock radio hits from 1993-1997 (more on that later, that's a whole playlist unto itself) so at the end of the day this feels right at home.