“I Can See Clearly Now”
by Johnny Nash
from the Grosse Pointe Blank Soundtrack
1972 Buy the album on Amazon
Okay, so this came on shuffle and I was “Oh man, I might have rated this too high… riding the way from a great film.” Then I also thought, “This is unfortunate, I just reviewed the album.” But fuck it. This is a magnificent song. I’m a few drinks in. I still stand by that statement. I wasn’t in a great mood when I started playback, but within fifteen seconds this song had changed my mood. That, my friends, is the power of music. The power to change your mood from bad to good, or from sad to glad, from peaceful to menacing or even from flaccid to erect. You know I’m right. Whiskey is delicious.
“The City That Day”
by Matt Skiba and Kevin Seconds
from the album Split
2002 Buy the album on Amazon
I was really hoping this album would come up on the 5-star shuffle this week. I was hoping for one of the other songs I’ve got in this playlist, because they’re more like 6 or 7 stars, but this is the one that came up, and them’s the rules.
I don’t have any idea how I first got turned on to this album, but man, do I love it (I think I used to think I should give 7 Seconds a try, and saw this and picked it up). Half of the songs are 3 stars for me (meaning good but not something I listen to all that often, and they’re not portable), and one is 4, but the others are all 5 stars, which is not normal for me.
“High Speed Changer”
by Orange 9mm
from the album Driver Not Included
1995 Buy the album on Amazon
Oh sweet, I was hoping some Orange 9mm might crop up during this month. I first heard these guys on a CMJ sampler when they were on their final album – Pretend I’m Human. That album is great, but definitely on the more experimental side. When I told a co-worked about this new band I had discovered, he quickly schooled me on their earlier albums. Good call.
by Smashing Pumpkins
from the album Siamese Dream 1993 Buy the album on Amazon
Having a Smashing Pumpkins song pop up on one of my five-star shuffles is a sure bet, particularly if it’s from the first two albums. I was so excited when the “Cherub Rock” video debuted as I was one step closer to listening to their new album. Their debut, Gish was and still is one of my favorite albums of all times and this new track didn’t disappoint, me at least. The record company wanted “Today” as the first single, but Corgan strong-armed them into releasing this as the first track. I’m glad they did – it gave me a little time to adjust to thought of my darling band becoming huge. You could feel the shift about to happen with the Pumpkins. Continue reading November Five-Star Shuffle: “Cherub Rock”→
by Face to Face
from the album Big Choice
1994 Buy the album on Amazon
In my first year of college, I met my friend Brendan, and in between watching boat loads of horror movies and drinking boat loads of cookies and cream shakes at Village Inn, we listened to and talked about a whole lot of music. We already had some crossover favorites, but he also got me into a bunch of punk (or punk-ish) bands – NOFX, Blink 182, Pennywise, Propagandhi, and, you guessed it, Face to Face. Though there’s certainly a time for the lightheartedness of the first two bands, I always appreciated that Face to Face was more sincere without being super hardcore, and I love the singer’s voice.
“The Wrong Child”
from the album Green
1998 Buy the album on Amazon
Sorry to disappointment our adoring fans, because I know I am one day late on my 5-star entry for last week, so getting it in now. And what a punch in the gut depressing entry it is. I think I’ve mentioned before that I was a big R.E.M. fan in my youth, probably up until around Automatic for the People. I don’t remember if Green was their first album I had, and I might argue that Document or Life’s Rich Pageant are better albums, but Green is still the pinnacle of their albums for me. The one that had the most impact and stuck with me the most. In fact, thinking about it now, I should probably do it as an Album of the Month at some point, so let’s get to the song.
“Lucas With The Lid Off”
from the album Lucascentric
1994 Buy the album on Amazon
Music videoswere my primary form of music discovery back in the day. Whether it was falling in love with metal bands watching “Dial MTV” or learning about Madchester music on “120 Minutes,” I got more new music exposure via the boob tube than the boom box.
Most of the videos were cheesy, boring or both, full of concert footage, lip-synced performances or weirdly stretched-out, Vaseline-coated imagery. But every once and awhile, music videos would stumble upon greatness and I think it’s time we called some of these out, particularly since nothing in the past 10 years is probably even watchable. Continue reading MVA 101: “Lucas With the Lid Off”→
“Somebody to Shove”
by Soul Asylum
from the album Grave Dancers Union
1992 Buy the album on Amazon
Soul Asylum is one of those bands that I never normally think about; they don’t really orbit in my 90s universe of music. But occasionally a song of theirs will come up on the local 90s station or Pandora/Spotify/iTunes and I gotta give it up to them. They’ve got some great tunes, and this is definitely one of them. Continue reading November Five-Star Shuffle: “Somebody to Shove”→
by They Might Be Giants
from the album Flood
1990 Buy the album on Amazon
This is probably my favourite TMBG song. There’s something about it that’s so simple and so beautiful and so catchy. I actually made Lance try this with me once or twice at karaoke, acapella, looking at the lyrics on my phone, when there was a lull in songs in the queue, because I just want so badly for it to actually be in the book. It never ever will be, but this is one of those songs that we would totally add if we ever opened a karaoke bar, and that if we actually lived in the same city (or country) we would practice together until we could nail it. It’s such a fun song to sing (I can never decide which part I would prefer to do), even if it’s just doing it loudly in the car. If I’m in a place where I’m alone and can sing this, I will almost always do it a few times in a row when it comes on shuffle.
“Why Would I Want to Die”
from the album Concrete Dunes
2002 Buy the album on Amazon
I love the idea of a monthly theme based on shuffling, and not being able to skip, but the problem is for me my 5 star playlist is only has 122 songs on it (vs. 2448 4 stars), so all of them are going to be things I love and almost never skip. I’m very restrictive about what makes 5 stars, whereas there are plenty of moments of potential embarrassment (if that’s what Lance was hoping for) in the 4 star list (I’m not entirely positive Lance and I use the same criteria for our rating system). But, this month is about the best of the best, so onward.