The iPod shuffle

By | August 30, 2011

As part of my new determination to start blogging more often, I am spending tonight clearing out a few of my unpublished drafts. The last one, about baseball stats, actually required me to finish writing it. This one appears to be done; the only reason I can come up with for not having published it is that it is self-important and boring. In other words, me in a nutshell. So here goes:

My buddy Aaron stole an idea from a friend of his, and now I am stealing it from him. They just hit “Shuffle” on their iPods and wrote a little bit about the first ten songs that played. I will be using my iTunes, since my iPod is upstairs, but it’s all good.

1. “Ghost,” by Indigo Girls. The Indigo Girls are one of my favorite groups, and this is my favorite song they ever did. Every time I listen to the harmonies in this song, I wish (a) that I could sing, and (b) that I had a lesbian lover to sing with. Or something like that. You get the picture. Now the only question is, do I hit the button on my keyboard to go to the next song, or do I keep typing until this song is over. I think I will hit Next.

2. “The Dance (Live),” by Garth Brooks. This is from his Double Live CD. I have a strange relationship with Garth. I have been a huge country music fan for a long, long time, and Garth was the biggest name in country during my teenage years, when I listened to the most music. (Most of my favorite country songs and artists are from the mid-90s.) But if I had to list my favorite 10 country singers, or favorite 20, or maybe even favorite 50, Garth wouldn’t show up on the list. But I also own every one of his albums, including things like Double Live and his box sets and other stuff where I already had all the songs somewhere else. But I think there are lots and lots of other singers who blow him out of the water. But I really like his stuff. And that’s what’s weird about my feelings about Garth: every sentence starts with “But…” because I can never decide for sure how I feel about him. I feel like I SHOULD like him, since he defines my favorite era of my favorite kind of music. But I feel like I SHOULDN’T like him, because he was so much more popular than so many people who I think are better singers. But I feel like I SHOULD like him because if I’m not comparing him to other singers and I’m not focusing on how overrated he is, I enjoy a lot of his music. BUT … but … but. You get the picture.

3. “Famous Last Words of a Fool,” by George Strait. Speaking of people who I think are immensely better than Garth Brooks, we have George Strait, my second favorite country singer ever (and top 10 among all singers). This song isn’t necessarily one of my favorites he did, but I love it. George Strait is one of those guys who has only done a couple songs EVER that I don’t like. Pretty much everything falls between “Like it” and “Love it.”

4. “Loving You Against My Will,” by Gary Allan. Wow, three country songs in a row. I’m guessing that of the 2208 songs on my iPod playlist, only about 1000 of them are country, but maybe we’re having country day today. Gary Allan is one of those guys who I think should have been much more famous than he ever was. He has a very distinctive voice, and if I were a better writer, I would describe it for you. It’s a cool combination of deep and twangy and raspy, I guess. Anyway, I don’t hold Gary Allan in quite as high esteem as George Strait, so my range on him probably goes from “It’s okay” to “Love it,” and this song probably falls somewhere in the “Like it” category.

5. “Take on Me,” by Reel Big Fish. When I am in the right mood, I really like Reel Big Fish and bands like them. I’m not really in that mood today, and I hate the original of this song, so I don’t really feel like listening to it, so I am going to shut up and hit Next.

6. “Practically Newborn,” by Neil Diamond. I think if you asked 100 people, at least 50 of them would think Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow are the same person. About 20 would think they are similar but Neil Diamond is better; another 20 would think the same but with Barry on top. The last ten would realize that their music hardly sounds alike at all. Barry Manilow is my second-favorite singer of all time; Neil Diamond is someone who is fun to listen to sometimes. This song itself is fine, but it’s nothing special. It’s over now, and I am somewhat happy about that.

7. “Innuendo,” by Chris Daughtry (a live performance from American Idol). I love Daughtry. During his season on A.I., I think every single thing he sang was great. He and Carrie Underwood are the two performers in A.I. history who I really felt like, no matter what the theme and what song they sang, they were able to do everything better than anyone else.

8. “Nights in White Satin,” by Mike Mike Massé. Mike is a friend of mine who I know through my brother, and he is wicked awesome. He performs at The Pie Pizzeria in Salt Lake pretty often, and I highly recommend that you check him out. He does a lot of covers, but you can hear some of his original stuff on GarageBand; “Now That I Know” is my favorite of his originals. He is a huge Phish fan (as am I), and I love hearing him sing “Waste” and “Farmhouse.”

9. “Two of the Lucky Ones,” by Michael Peterson. This CD (“Being Human”) makes me very happy. I actually listened to it in my car yesterday. Back in 1999 and 2000, my sister and I were both living in an apartment complex in Provo, and we used to do pretty much everything together. Our three favorite CDs to listen to were “Millennium” by Backstreet Boys, the self-titled album from a country boy band from Canada called South Sixty-Five, and this one by Michael Peterson. Every song has a different significance for me and Laura; we used to call this one “One of the Lucky Twos,” because he sings, “Baby me and you are two of the lucky ones,” and we thought (correctly) that it should say, “Baby me and yous are one of the lucky twos,” because it rhymes better.

10. “Even Now,” by Barry Manilow. I thought it was weird that I got this far without any Barry or Collin Raye, my two favorite singers. This is one of my favorite and least favorite Barry songs; favorite because it is absolutely beautiful, and least favorite because the message is pretty depressing (“Hey, I know I’m happily married and stuff now, but I totally still think about and pine for you, my ex-girlfriend, all the time”). I carry my keys on a Fanilow keychain; my brother tells me that makes me a girl, but so be it.

I can’t stop at ten, because any list without a Collin Raye song would not be indicative, so I will go until I get one.

11. “I’m Back (Edited),” by Eminem. I think Eminem is a lyrical genius. He is also a foulmouth. There were times in my life when I appreciated both of those things; I’m now just a fan of the genius side of things, and I only listen to the edited stuff.

12. “Transatlanticism,” by Death Cab for Cutie. I really like these guys, but I learned a couple weeks ago not to listen to them while I drive on road trips, because they will put me right to sleep. But I think I would have really pretty dreams if I feel asleep to them.

13. “Waste,” by Phish. Wow, I already mentioned this song on number 8. I had a couple roommates back in 2003, right before I got married, who were huge Phish fans, and they used to sit around with their friends and sing this song, among others. I absolutely love it.

14. “Teasing My Heart,” by Dr. Hook. If you’ve never listened to Dr. Hook, go start now. They were pretty big in the 1970s, but maybe never quite hit the mainstream. (In fact, they have at least two songs about that fact: “Everybody’s Making It Big But Me,” and “On the Cover of the Rolling Stone.”) They have some songs that are hilarious, some good rock stuff, some awesome ballads, and a few songs extolling the virtues of marijuana and such. This song falls in the ballad category, and I don’t really think of it as one of my favorites by them, but it’s been in my head for the past week or so, so maybe I like it more than I thought.

15. “A Whole New World,” by Collin Raye (from “The Best of Country Sing the Best of Disney”). I love country music, and I love Disney, so this is one of my favorite CDs ever. And this is one of my favorite songs from the CD, because hey, I love Collin Raye. I was hoping “All My Roads” would be the Collin Raye song to come up, because it’s my favorite (it was our wedding song). But this is okay.

And now I can stop.

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