Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Radio Me

Funny that John Scalzi would have his random mix entry, seeing as I've been doing the random mix to end all random mixes for the past week or so.

See, I listen to, basically, two kinds of music:  showtunes and silly 80s hits.  Sure, there's the occasional Beatles CD in there, and an unusual amount of REM -- but, other than that, it's pretty much Broadway and "Walking on Sunshine."

To keep my head from flying off because of the mood swings, I generally have two playlists I switch between -- a "showtunes" list (which has showtunes, the occasional movie soundtrack, and an occasional "pop" song your parents would swing dance to); and an "upbeat" list (largely 80s hits, some rock, and one or two showtunes that are too perky for the showtunes list).  These lists are, of course, comprised of the Greatest Hits of My iPod.  There's LOTS more tunes on there -- complete albums and all that.  But I generally just pull up one of the two playlists and let the iPod shuffle through my favorite tracks.

A week ago Monday, I accidentally hit "play" without selecting a playlist.  The iPod cranked up some random song of the 720 in my music library.  I kinda liked it.  Well, of course I would.  With one or two unfortunate exceptions, everything on the iPod is there because I wanted the whole album.  So I don't have anything against the tracks I usually don't listen to.  I let it play.  I let the next track play.  And the next one.

We're about 8 days into the experiment and I'm on track 347 ("A Part of That" from "The Last Five Years").  I'm nearly halfway through and I plan to finish the whole set.  While I'm listening, I'm keeping notes on which tracks I want to add to the playlists and put into more regular rotation.  This because I'm a totally anal Type-A personality.  (Duh.)

I'm gonna post a list of ten tracks it played in a row -- but before I do, I want to point out that I have issues with exactly how representative this thing is.  I took down a list of 10 and was surprised to find two tracks by the same band.  I took a second list of 10, and there were two tracks from the same Broadway musical.  (And there had been a third track from that show in the first 10.  Meaning that in 20 songs out of 720, it selected THREE tracks from the same show.)  And, of course, even in that 20, there was a LOT of stuff that wasn't represented at all.  So, I mean, while this IS a snapshot of ten songs that randomly came up on my iPod, it isn't exactly a representative sample of the music I listen to.

And it is...

1. Painting Her Portrait -- Jane Eyre (that'd be a musical)
2. Hazy Shade of Winter -- The Bangles (that's a cover.  I have the Simon & Garfunkel original, too.)
3. Treat Me Right -- Pat Benatar (love that one -- especially when I'm at the gym.  Nothing like sweatin' to Pat Benatar)
4.  I Landed on Him -- Floyd Collins (that's another musical -- about a guy trapped in a cave)
5.  You Don't Know This Man -- Parade (a musical -- about Leo Frank, the Jewish guy that got lynched in Atlanta for killing little Mary Phagan, a girl who worked in his pencil factory.  Man, I listen to some upbeat musicals.)
6.  Pirate Jenny -- Kurt Weill:  The Centennial Celebration (well, ok, but it's FROM a musical -- Threepenny Opera.  I think I have four different recordings of Pirate Jenny, so this track probably IS representative)
7.  No Good Deed -- Wicked (musical -- based on the book of the same name, you know the one, about the Wicked Witch of the West)
8.  Pity the Child -- Chess (and that would be a ... musical!)
9.  Angels of the Silences -- Counting Crows
10.  Good Time -- Counting Crows

While I won't give you the second list, I will mention that it included, "I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today" from "Avenue Q."  That show has the BEST song titles.

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