Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I'm going to attempt a weekly feature wherein I put my iPod on shuffle and write about the first ten songs that come up. Commentary will, of course, vary depending on the song and how much I have to say about it.

1. The Raspberries-I'm a Rocker: I like this song. It embraces the the idoicy of it's lyrical conceit, and the idiocy of rock and roll. It's very unselfconscious about being a rocker. In fact it does rock. I guess that you can't mention the Raspberries without mentioning powerpop, but this certainly lives up to its title and sounds a little like a less virtuosic Boston song or some other similar 70s rock song.

2. The GZA-Duel of the Iron Mic: The GZA is the most methodical of all the Wu-Tang Clan MCs, his rhymes seem effortless, each one carefully constructed. Great guest spots from Masta Killa and Inspectah Deck make this a treat for those who enjoy excellent rapping. Though it must be said, it's mostly a vessel for said excellent rapping, and is not much of a song and doesn't offer much besides good rapping; which, with some exceptions is probably the GZAs biggest fault.

3. Jay-Z-Intro:The introduction to American Gangster, his 2007 album that was a pseudo-soundtrack to the film of the same name. As an album intro, this is fine, setting the mood and establishing the themes by using dialogue clips from the film (which I have not seen). As a stand alone track it's not worth listening to.

4. Dead Kennedys-Funland at the Beach:I like the Dead Kennedy's, but this is one of their weaker tracks. Punk's brevity is its virtue, but can some times be a hindrance as this song doesn't offer much besides Jello Biafra's always interesting warblings and an excuse for slam dancing. Knowing the Dead Kennedy's there's some satire in there.

5. Charles Mingus-Freedom: Ah, Mingus, perhaps my favorite Jazz performer/composer. This song starts of with a spoken word recitation that becomes a gospel song lamenting the lack of freedom, then changes into a bouyant jazzy instrumental passage, before returning to the gospel song. Impeccably crafted.

6. The Ramones-Questioningly: Exhibit 1B (1A would be Needles and Pins) that I use when people say that all Ramones songs sound the same. This shows the evolution in their songwriting, while still being unquestionably (ha!) a Ramones song. It's a vaguely countrish ballad (dig that lead part) that ranks as one of their best slow songs.

7. Steppenwolf-Tighten up Your Wig-Fun bluesy number with some killer organ and harmonica. Sounds off the cuff and improvised

8. The Stooges-Raw Power-Fuck yes! This album is the very definition of rock and roll debauchery. The sheer loudness and sleeziness are the quintessence of rock and roll excess. A stand out track with a killer riff.

9. Guided By Voices-Always Crush Me: I like Guided By Voices, but with the caveat that for every good song, they have two that kind of suck. This is the latter. When I say kind of suck, I mean that you can hear glimpses of the quality song that it could be, but, like this one there's just not enough. It's half a song. An acoustic guitar and voice, there's hints of a melody but it's underdeveloped.

10.Van Morrison-Comfort You: Great song. I've only recently gotten into Van Morrison, and kinda regret not listening to more of him. This is from Veedon Fleece, an album that seems kind of underrated when compared to the rest of his albums. This is a vaguely R&B/Soul influenced ballad with a great vocal performance by Van. It might be a little maudlin, but the strength of R&B and Soul is the singers ability to sell it (which I suppose is why it's called Soul), and Van really sells it here.


Blogger Thirdmango said...

Holy crap this is such a good feature, it makes me want to jump on board as well. I'll post one tomorrow. Good idea!

3:33 AM  

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