Friday Music: Random Shuffle

New approach to selecting songs this week. I hit shuffle on my iPod and I’m posting the first 10 songs that it picked. If this were a radio station it would be the most eclectic station in the world. Without further ado, here they are: 

First up, probably my all time favorite band, so kudos to the iPod for knowing that. Here’s REM covering the Aerosmith song “Toys in the Attic.”

Next is a band I really don’t know a lot about, but somebody gave me the CD a few years ago, so it’s in my catalog. I don’t listen to them much and really don’t have much to say about them. They’re a southern jam band that apparently began as a side project of The Allman Brothers. I’ll have to remember that for an upcoming post on famous bands’ side projects. Here’s Gov’t Mule with “Fallen Down.”

The next pick was Green Day from their American Idiot album with “Homecoming.” I listened to this all the time when it came out, but haven’t really listened to it at all for the past few years. But it’s still a good album.

Well over half the music in my catalog comes from the African continent, so it’s no surprise that iPod next picked this one. This is one of my all time favorites, there’s some confusion over the true title, but it’s commonly known as “Matamshi Yako Rafiki” by Issa Juma, who was part of the great Les Wanyika legacy.

The next selection is from a band that features prominently in my catalog. This is Wilco, with “What’s the World Got in Store

The nice thing about a random shuffle is that you can jump between genres and eras and even continents. So far we’ve had early 80’s REM covering Aerosmith of the 70’s, 90’s Southern jams, millenial punk, classic African rhumba, alt-country, and now we’re jumping back into early alternative with Jane’s Addiction and “Classic Girl” from their incredible 1990 album Ritual de lo Habitual.

Mixing things up once again with the next one, this is Sublime covering a Grateful Dead song, “Scarlet Begonias.” I don’t even know how to describe Sublime. A strange mix of Ska, Reggae and Rock. They were only starting to gain notoriety when their singer Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose in 1995 just before their major label debut.

Another time warp, this time we jump back to 1986 for the Australian band Crowded House’s awesome song “Don’t Dream it’s Over.” Doing great so far, the first eight songs are all ones I wouldn’t skip if they came up on a random shuffle.

Wow, iPod is really doing a good job of mixing things up this morning. You know how sometimes the “random” part doesn’t seem so random at all? When it seems like it falls in love with a certain artist and keeps picking their songs over all others? Well today it’s not doing that, and the choices do seem very random. Here we jump time and space and genre again and go back to Jamaica in 1981 for one of the most underrated Reggae artists of all time, the great Gregory Isaacs with “Confirm Reservation.”

And the best for last. The final selection is a song most people will know as the theme of That 70’s Show, by probably the best, but least known band of the 70’s, Big Star, from Memphis, Tennessee. I’ve made reference to them before but I don’t think I’ve ever featured one of their songs. Time to correct that oversight. Here’s “In the Street.” Until next time, happy listening!

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