(See Liveblogging Winamp)
1. The Stone Roses, "She Bangs the Drums"
No Verse-Chorus-Verse business here. The Stone Roses go Verse-Verse-Title-Chorus-Chorus-Chorus here, until you start to forget what the verse even was in the first place.
2. Nate Dogg & Warren G, "Regulate"
See my earlier essay on this subject, Warren G, You Worthless, Worthless Bastard.
How did my own L.A. experience stack up with the adventures of Nate and Warren? We might have hooked a left on 2-1 and Lewis at some point, when trying to drive to a garlic-heavy Cuban restaurant. I can't find the intersection on Google Maps, either in Los Angeles or Long Beach. I didn't see anyone shooting dice, or getting regulated, or even wearing a Rolex.
3. Thievery Corporation, "Transmission Central"
Informed sources tell me that this group is not very popular in Germany. "Good music" apparently refers to the Billboard Top 100 songs of the 1980's. Sierra Nevada beer is also unpopular, while Miller Genuine Draft is a designer import. (Note: Upon consulting my notes, I realize that it was not Thievery Corporation, but rather Groove Armada that was disliked in Deutschland.)
Uruguayan officials living in Germany think American beer is disgusting, however.
4. Prince, "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?"
This one is sung in the latter-period Prince trademark ultra-falsetto. Is Prince the anti-Stephen Merritt? When did Prince first begin singing in the ultra-falsetto? In an earlier stage in his career, would Prince have simply given this to Apollonia, or Sheila E. to sing?
5. Unicorns, "Jellybones"
"Jellybones" defies the odds in the Unicorns catalog, as this is not a song about dying, or fear of death, or ghosts. However, the singer does eventually check himself into the emergency room. Why? Because he has jellybones.
6. Ratatat, "Pico"
This could be theme music for an 8-bit original NES game. It makes me think of the World Cup soccer theme music, crossed with the crazy electric guitar from Virtua Tennis. This song ends with this sample:
"Oh, OK, baby, you gave me the business on that one. You dig what I'm saying. OK, that's real nice, though. You be spending how we get it. I got you, though, baby. I got you."
7. Willie Nelson, "Walking"
I have two copies of this album "Phases and Stages" on my hard drive. I don't know why. This means "Walking" was statistically, almost twice as likely to come up as a Johnny Cash song of equivalent value.
8. Guided by Voices, "Echos Myron"
Is "echoes" misspelled, or is there an additional meaning here? I feel like the lead singer of GBV must write so many songs. He doesn't bother to flesh them out to regular song length, of 3-4 minutes. 2:13 is enough. 2:13 is kind of long for a GBV song. No need to repeat the chorus.
Danger Mouse seemingly shares the same attitude, if St. Elsewhere is any indication.
9. Gorillaz, "Dracula"
It's from the first album, so Danger Mouse is not involved here. As such, this song is 4:41. This is at least the third song that clocked in at 4:41 so far. I'm getting a little creeped out. (Note: While "Pico" was indeed 4:41, "Transmission Central" actually clocked in at 4:14. This is one reason why numerology is suspect.)
10. Depeche Mode, "World in my Eyes"
If I approached a girl and told her, "Let my body do the moving, and let my hands do the soothing", would I get hit? How hard? Punch in the face or knee to the groin?
"All the islands in the ocean, all the heavens in the motion" = Not a strong lyric.
While I'm doing liveblogging, I sometimes lack inspiration. I find myself typing out lyrics to spark an idea, to make fun of a rhyme, just to keep the typing going. Which is why long, over-produced songs are both a chore and a relief. When David Gahan repeats, "Let me show you the world in my eyes" over and over, it gets tedious, but also allows me a lot of time to write without really arriving at a point.
Violator was one of the first tapes I ever had. "World in my Eyes" might be the worst song on that album, if I might praise with faint damnation.
11. Pavement, "Stare"
This is from a special edition of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. If it were me, I'd have called the album, Crooked Rain. The main thing I took away from this special edition is the alternate version of "Range Life", where Stephen Malkmus sounds like he hasn't quite figured out the lyrics. There is no verse making fun of Smashing Pumpkins and Stone Temple Pilots, as in the original. (Malkmus, on Smashing Pumpkins - I don't understand what they mean/And I could really give a fuck.) Instead, there's a quick rhyme about how drug use is unfulfilling.
12. Woody Allen, "Vegas"
For the record, this is not a remake of an Evelyn Waugh novel.
13. Magnetic Fields, "A Pretty Girl Is Like"
a. A pretty girl is like a minstrel show. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, you go.
b. A pretty girl is like a violent crime. If you do it wrong, you could do time.
c. A melody is like a pretty girl. Who cares if it's the dumbest in the world?
Ultimately, a pretty girl is like...a pretty girl. This is an identity, or maybe a syllogism.
14. Built to Spill, "Don't Try"
I like this song. At one time, Built to Spill featured a Brett Nelson and a Brett Netson.
15. Beach Boys, "Surfin' Safari"
I heard that Brian Wilson wrote this song after hearing the Beatles do "Please Mr. Postman". After that, it was all about raising the bar on one another.
16. Daniel Johnston, "Strange Boy"
Someone talks for about three minutes about how they met Daniel Johnston, and then Daniel plays a song on piano.
17. Cam'ron, "Welcome to Purple Haze"
This is a skit about crack addicts and the Diplomats. Why do so many hip-hop skits suck so bad? And if so, why do rappers keep filling their albums with them? An interminable 1:15 was "Welcome to Purple Haze".
18. Matmos, "Y.T.T.E."
At least twice during this nine-minute song, I thought I was being alerted that I had a text message. With about forty seconds remaining, the song began to sound very country. I found it hard to concentrate on this wordless, melody-free song.
19. Missy Elliott, "Bonus 2"
I like that Meli was a Miss Elliott before she got married. Once, there may have been a time she roamed around, bemoaning the existence of one-minute men, getting her freak on, and hanging out with Timbaland.
20. Ben Kweller, "In Other Words"
"Butterflies are passive-aggressive and put their problems on the shelf. but they're beautiful." This lyric makes me think Ben would get along well with Adam Duritz.
21. Marvin Gaye, "Save the Children"
22. Dios, "50 Cents"
"Put me in your wallet like a two-dollar bill". My friend Boback once had a two dollar bill that he carried around for a week. There was a situation where he ended up having to pay cash, and the two was the only bill on him. Since he didn't want to lose the precious bill, Boback was in a conundrum. Zack offered to give Boback two singles in exchange for the two, and Boback was relieved. The two would be safe.
Then Zack handed the two dollar bill to the cashier to pay for himself, and Boback looked like he was about to cry.
23. Bill Cosby, "T.V. Football"
A brief routine about how you're not allowed to touch certain body parts on a televised game. Conclusion: Cosby gets hit in the nards, but grabs his head instead of his nards.