Monday, December 11, 2006

ShuffleLog 6-Dec-06: Some New Stuff About the New Stuff

Over the past few days, while neglecting my ShuffleLog duties, I've gotten around to sampling some of the new music that I picked up over Big Game weekend. My old 20 gig iPod has been a useful surrogate, allowing me to add 6 new albums to it without disturbing the delicate (and disturbing) ecosystem we have here for ShuffleLog.

What's the word on the new stuff?
  1. Junior Boys, So This Is Goodbye -- Our expert editorial staff here are work claim that Junior Boys "remodel new romantic pop as etherealized neo-soul". All I know is that this record is amazing, ethereal, haunting, melodic and beautiful. Great moody pop stuff with fun synth hooks, they remind me of The Postal Service, which is a flattering comparison in my book.
  2. Sufjan Stevens, Greetings From Michigan - The Great Lake State -- I first saw Sufjan Stevens perform live at the Beacon Theater this past August during a benefit for Dave Eggers' 826 Writing Project. He's an amazing singer/songwriter, and Greetings From Michigan is a beautiful, expansive sample of Americana folk. I really like this record, and listening to it provides a nice contrast to the daily grind while walking around New York.
  3. Lady Sovereign, Public Warning -- I'd seen Lady Sovereign, contributor to the UK's alleged grime scene that includes The Streets, for free this summer at Summer Stage. I dug her style, but the venue and sound system didn't lend themselves to Lady S-O-V's machine-gun rapping or mockney accent, so most of the time she was undecipherable. Studio production makes her debut record, Public Warning, just awesome. She's got definite skills, and some laugh-out-loud funny rhymes ("I don't have the biggest breastes / But I write all of the bestest"), and a unique cadence and style that evokes Mike Skinner as well as reggae. Catchy and cheeky.
  4. Gym Class Heroes, As Cruel As School Children -- My brother recommended these guys, who are a hip hop quartet that play all of their own instruments rather than rely on sampling. Sort of like the Beastie Boys on Check Your Head. They sound very tight, and their musical range is pretty impressive. As I'd said, some of the lyrics seemed a little cliche, and some of the subject matter just doesn't reach me, like "New Friend Request" exhorting someone to add them as a friend in MySpace.
  5. Tenacious D, The Pick Of Destiny -- It's funny, because the original order of this list was random, representing what I picked up in the order it was found in the bag. But it's clear that the order -- kinda like ShuffleLog -- belies some inner pattern. For example, the quality of the record or my initial reaction to it. Here' Tenacious D's new effort is definitely at the bottom of the ladder. To be fair, I only listened to part of it as iTunes was ripping it, but what I heard was pretty unimpressive. Imagine some of the more pedetrian tracks on the debut Tenacious D record. Say, "Rock Your Socks", where the wit and creativity of Tenacious D yields to cliche. Well, imagine a whole record of this. That was my first impression of The Pick Of Destiny: sort of a tired concept that outlived its usefulness. I'll give it a few more shots, though.
  6. DJ Shadow, The Outsider -- I was warned that the new DJ Shadow record was apparently one of the most annoying mixes a KALX DJ had ever heard. But I dig DJ Shadow, and had to check this out. Based on the first 5 or so tracks, I'm afraid that the unnamed KALX DJ may be right: a mix of styles, eras and genres that felt jarring rather than integrated. I'm definitely going to spend more time with this one.
That said, here's the second of the 20 gig iPod's ShuffleLogs. Some interesting tidbits in there, making me scratch my head and go back to my entire battery of music to see what I've been neglecting lately.

ShuffleLog 6-Dec-06
  • Ladytron, "Startup Chime" - Light & Magic
  • Deep Dish, "Part 1" - GU025: Toronto
  • Fingerfest Inc., "Autoporno" - GU021: Moscow
  • Fugazi, "Burning" - 13 Songs
  • ABBA, "One Night In Bangkok" - N/A
  • The Knuckleheads, "Turn That Fucking Music Up" - GU005: Tokyo
  • The Cult, "She Sells Sanctuary" - Love
  • Lyrics Born, "Hello Remix" - Same !@#$ Different Day
OK, no repeats, since it's a different iPod (albeit with somewhat of a superset of what's on the nano). But some interesting results: the predicatable representation of the Global Underground catalog, as well as Ladytron and Lyrics Born, repeat ShuffleLog participants.

But, oh, how cool is it to have an ABBA remix of Murray Head's "One Night In Bangkok"? I have no idea where I got that, by the way. Also, the perennial Cult track "She Sells Sanctuary", which inevitably reminds me of being drunk in my friend Tony's Volvo station wagon on the Bay Bridge late at night. Have I revealed too much?


  • Holy crap! Two songs I know--though I have not heard the ABBA remake. I have to say you have me a little interested in Junior Boys...where would I find a sample?

    PS--I'm a bit confused by the two different iPods and how you're counting this on your hallowed spreadsheet.

    By Blogger Mamma, at 8:29 PM  

  • You can check out Junior Boys samples on iTunes. I recommend "First Time" as a good start.

    And yeah, I should differentiate my iPods. The last two ShuffleLogs were from my old 20 GB iPod, which basically has everything the nano has on it and more (3147 tracks v. 640 tracks). I highlighted them in the spreadsheet so I can tell them apart, figured it would be interesting to see if any "repeats" happened between two iPods. I'll go back and tag them here.

    By Blogger Clarence Rosario, at 1:33 PM  

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