Monday, August 31, 2009
iTunes Running Diary – Monday, August 31
First, a procedural thing. To better comply with Twitter, and my own schedule, I'm going to switch these to Monday night. Monday is the big music day on Twitter, and since this is generally one of my more popular and easy-to-do weekly features, it doesn't make much sense for me to bury the entries on Sunday nights.
And secondly, to test out the new iTunes and my new computer, I used the Genius application. It is supposed to create a playlist from a song of your choice by analyzing your library and deciding your other tastes. I used it on a past iTunes diary song, "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis, and the playlist it suggested was pretty decent.
- "Everything Is Average Nowadays" by The Kaiser Chiefs. I don't really have any idea of how popular the Chiefs are. As far as I know, my friend DJ (who appropriately loves music) is the only other person who listens to them.
They play "kind-of" rock-ish songs; I'm not entirely sure how to describe them. They fit in that nebulous category with Modest Mouse, The Killers and TV On The Radio, in that they aren't quite hard rock or alternative, but they're not emo or techno or anything like that. Has there been a good category for these bands yet?
- "Live Forever" by Oasis. When I was in high school, I didn't really appreciate Oasis that much. In reflection, I think it was because a couple songs - "Wonderwall" and "Don't Look Back In Anger" especially - were played incessantly on the local radio stations.
While by any stretch of the imagination they aren't The Beatles, the band they seemingly emulate, their deeper tracks are quite enjoyable. "Live Forever" would be one example, as would Guitar Hero and Rock Band track "Some Might Say." Even their title track, "Morning Glory," is good because it wasn't over-exposed with radio play.
- "Lithium" by Nirvana. This one seems a little out-of-place with the rest of the playlist, but hey, maybe that's the idea? It does seem the song with "hardest edge."
Although I fondly remember Nirvana from my youth, I was also way too young to really appreciate / understand it. For example, I had no idea what *this* song was about, and because I was about 8, I couldn't really relate with the angst of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Despite that though, I could still recognize that it was a really great song, which I didn't realize with Led Zeppelin at the same period of my life.
Because of this, it does make me question the "backlash" that Nirvana has gotten in recent years. Yeah, the music is kind of simplistic, but if it still made 8-year-old me stop and realize it was something special, then it has to have some redeeming value.
- "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" by Cage The Elephant. I'm not really sure where this band came from, but man, they sure are catchy. Yet, they still have a bit of an edge to them. The two local stations I listen to - 95.5 WBRU and 94.1 WHJY - both play them, even they are alternative, college and modern rock, and hard rock and hair rock, respectively.
They also have more than just this song, as a second single, "Back Against The Wall", is just as catchy. I think both songs should be retroactively placed on the There Will Be Blood soundtrack, but that's just me.
- "Heroes" by David Bowie. Genius actually spit out two Bowie songs for my playlist, but that could be because I have like 30 or so in my iTunes library.
Nonetheless, this is a great song, and it even has a pretty good cover by Bob Dylan's son. I do prefer the Bowie version though, because it seems less preachy. I could be saying that because the cover was a tie-in to the horrible Godzilla movie with Matthew Broderick...
- "Pump It Up" by Elvis Costello and the Attractions. This is the final song on the playlist of 25, and it seems like a 1980s version of the artsier, modern rock also on the list.
Not surprisingly, this is another suggestion from Rock Band, since I'm not the biggest Costello fan in the world. The only other song I have from him is "Radio Radio," and mostly because of the SNL connection.
The full list picked by Genius: "Pinball Wizard" by The Who. "Dashboard" by Modest Mouse. "Wolf Life Me" by TV On The Radio. "Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)" by Lostprophets. "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" by Ida Maria. "Do What You Want" by okgo. "Troublemaker" by Weezer. "Reptilia" by The Strokes. "Life on Mars?" by David Bowie. "Daylight" by Matt and Kim. "Heinrich Maneuver" by Interpol. "You Don't Know Me" by Ben Folds. "Sunshine Of Your Love" by Cream. "The Angry Mob" by The Kaiser Chiefs. "The WAND" by The Flaming Lips. "Do The Panic" by Phantom Planet. "Cannonball" by The Breeders. "Train In Vain (Stand By Me)" by The Clash.