Thursday, February 21, 2008

Random Rules


"Random Rules" is not only the title of a Silver Jews song, but it also my favorite feature on the A.V. Club website. The "rules" of Random Rules is this:

Hit 'shuffle songs' on your iPod, comment on the songs as they appear. No skipping songs to hide the truth about what you like. Fascinating.

Hot Chip - "Down With Prince"

I love Hot Chip. Enough said. I can't say that I really enjoy this song but it is Hot Chip, so it is better than a lot of things.

Neil Young - "Tonight's the Night"

First thoughts on this track: chilling. Neil was heavy into the "H" at this time. The songs serves as a strange obituary for "Bruce Barry" who we learn was "a working man" who used to love "that Econoline van". Not my favorite Neil Young song, but a classic nonetheless.

Pink Floyd - "Have a Cigar"

"Wish You Were Here" is the greatest album ever made. 4 songs about 2 subjects: the record industry and their fallen leader Syd Barrett. My favorite line from "Have a Cigar" - "by the way, which one's Pink?" That is the record industry, now and then.

Carole King - "It's Too Late"

Carole King is timeless. The Norah Jones of her day. "It's Too Late" clearly defines the term "classic". Within the first 3 seconds, everyone knows that Carole is getting ready to sing the gospel.

Jackson Browne - "Running on Empty"

This song was one of the most beautiful things to hear as a 22 year old. My favorite line: "Everyone I know, everywhere I go people need some reason to believe". I used to listen to that line over and over as a I drove around in an 1986 Jeep Wagoneer, which had been on its last leg for at least 3 years.

Thursday - "Steps Ascending"

I waited quite awhile for this Thursday album to come out. "Steps Ascending" is not my favorite track from the album (that would be the track "War All the Time") but the collection of songs make the album great as a whole.

Death Cab for Cutie - "405"

This was the 1st Death Cab song I ever heard. I downloaded it on napster and listened to it about 1,000 times in a row. Those chords are so dreamy. The rough recording of the song made it all the more attractive for some reason.

Ryan Adams - "When the Stars Go Blue"

Before the Corrs & Bono, before Tim McGraw...there was Ryan Adams. Easily the best version of this song. Ryan Adams puts out a lot of "filler" but this track is absolute gold. This got several spins in the summer of 2002.

INXS - "Never Tear Us Apart"

Easily in the top 5 best song intro category. The first time I saw "Donnie Darko: the director's cut" and it opened with this instead of Echo & The Bunnymen's "Killing Moon"....all felt right in the world. This is one of those songs you can hear a million times and still be hit with emotion on some random, idle wednesday. "Because we'd all have wings, but some of us don't know why".

Sufjan Stevens - "That was the worst Christmas ever"

My favorite cut from the Sufjan christmas album. This is always on my Christmas playlists. The trademark haunting beauty of Sufjan is alive and well in this song. I have a lot of "worst Christmas ever" memories, so this is my way of escaping into a song around that time of year.

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