(Hit shuffle on your music player, list the first 25 songs.)
I don't have an MP3 PLAYER so I used my laptop. I hope that's okay. I'm surprised at how representative this turned out to be given the amount of crap that lives in the corners of my hard drive. We've got primarily jazz, some rap, some blues, some rock, some comedy, some electronica-ish stuff, some... whatever 311 is.
1. Monty Alexander - Steaming Hot - Pure Imagination
What got me into Monty Alexander was hearing some tracks on KUVO in Boulder from an album of his that I still don't have — a collection of jazz covers of Bob Marley tunes. Great stuff, but every time I go to get it, it's not there (note to self, it's called Concrete Jungle, since I'm also always forgetting the title). This track, though, also good.
2. Rush - Chronicles (disk 1) - Closer To the Heart
I'm pretty sure this is the track on this list that I've had for the longest, since Rush goes all the way back to middle school. Since I had been struggling to collect all of the Rush albums so I could be cool like my older BBS friends, I was really excited when this collection came out. I could pretend like I knew all the old ones.
3. Tori Amos - Under the Pink - The Waitress
Fast forward to the end of high school. Michele got me into Tori Amos with Little Earthquakes. Few songs play less nice with your volume knob than this one. It's kind of like, if I just decided to RANDOMLY CAPITALIZE words in this POST. Katy and I went to the State Theater in Detroit to see her on this tour.
4. Astrud Gilberto - The Girl From Ipanema - Meu Piao
I obtained this as part of my exploration of the other Gilbertos. I like Bebel better — she got me through a lot of bus shifts at Vic's. This is also the part where I admit that I'm really unfamiliar with a lot of the music in my collection — downloading 50ish tracks a month from emusic for a few years has pretty much buried me, so this is probably the second time I've ever listened to this track. Dusty.
5. Jimi Hendrix - Band Of Gypsies - Who Knows
If I weren't doing this shuffle meme thing, I'd stop and listen to this whole album. It was either Al or Steve from the ACME Jam Company who told me about it — finally got me listening to something other than the Ultimate Experience, and made me realize there was a whole lot more to Hendrix. If you were a bass player and started playing Cox's line here I'm not sure why you'd ever stop.
6. Miles Davis - Steamin' With The Miles Davis Quintet - Salt Peanuts
"Salt Peanuts" is the most irritating jazz standard ever, but this version of it is as awesome as most irritating can get.
7. Eric Pierre feat. Lady Gattica - Saint-Germain des Prés Café III - Channel Zero (Shade Of Soul Remix)
I don't remember why Simone picked up this album, but I'm happy she did and that I kept a copy. I should probably get the other volumes in this series, eletronica-ish jazz hits the spot sometimes. Interesting if you want to listen to it attentively, not disruptive if you don't.
8. Outkast - The Love Below - Spread
Outkast, getting directly to the point. 0 to offensive in about 5 syllables.
9. Roy Buchanan - Deluxe Edition - Whiplash
I don't remember how I found Roy Buchanan — I think on a blues radio show in Lansing — but the two-disc set I had of his got many a listen, until that punk debate camp student of mine stole the better disc. This album is a more recent acquisition which doesn't have near the pull, but it's still a good pick for a hard-driving blues talky talky guitar craving.
10. Eddie Izzard - Unrepeatable - Bunch Of Flowers
Joe Z introduced me to Eddie Izzard. A real history major's comic.
11. The Doobie Brothers - Sounds of the Seventies - 1979 - What a Fool Believes
I love the seventies. I can hit those high notes. We bought his collection because of the infomercial. How could you not?
12. Outkast - Aquemini - Return of the "G"
Steve D and I really thought this song was hilarious. Constant snickering whenever it came on. "I thought I was your boy!" I'm glad something from Aquemini came up at least.
13. Brad Mehldau - Art of the Trio, Vol. 3 Songs 1998 - At a Loss
His music has been the soundtrack for my life since around 2000 when Al introduced me to Art of the Trio, Vol. 4, and shows no signs of losing that status. I'm such a fanboi that I even sent Mehldau the pamphlet of poems I self-published in grad school inspired by his music. He did not reply. Maybe he objected to Larry Goldings also being mentioned. To my credit I did not attempt to ask him about it when I saw him play a few months ago in Cambridge.
14. Mitch Hedberg - Do You Believe in Gosh? - The Improv Fairy Tale
I can thank Blair for the introduction to Hedberg. This album ("new" last year) is not so great. But this track is funny in that WTF are you on about Mitch kind of way. "I had a bad set here last night, and they added an E to the end of the sign." ("here" being the Improv.)
15. Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass - No City
Strangely, I can also thank Blair for this one. I haven't had this album long and don't know it well at all. If Blair says it's good it probably is.
16. Tom Petty - Wildflowers - Crawling Back to You
I don't think anyone who knows me would describe my musical tastes without mentioning Tom Petty, so it's good that he's here. I'll still be listening to this album when I'm a hundred. I had a burning desire around 1999 to play this song on the piano, so I listened to it about a million times.
17. Howlin' Wolf - The Chess Box (Disc 1, 1951 -1955) - Howlin' Wolf Boogie (1951)
The bluest. This was a gift; I think I asked for it around the time when I was "serious" about learning to play the harmonica.
18. Binary Star - Masters Of The Universe - Glen Close
These guys have been a great new find for me this year. I have a half-finished review of the whole album. It's good. This isn't one of the stronger tracks though — story rap meh.
19. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III - Friends
Might be my favorite Zeppelin album. I'm sure that'll offend someone. I think it's the one I had first, courtesy of signing up for BMG, and it has "Tangerine," "Out on the Tiles"...
20. Red Hot Chili Peppers - What Hits!? - If You Want Me To Stay
Always did like this version. Kiedis is surprisingly understated. He threatens to break into the Chili Pepper "rap" mode, but never quite does. Before the Internet, this was the only version of the song I had, so it got a lot of play.
21. Jarrett, Keith - Bye Bye Blackbird - I Thought About You
I saw him play at Symphony Hall. He was grumpy, but incredible. Also known for his weird vocalizations, chronic fatigue syndrome, and wife — who invented MimicCreme, for which I started a Wikipedia article.
This, though, is one sleepy tune.
22. Thelonious Monk - Alone in San Francisco - There's Danger in Your Eyes, Cherie - take 2
One of the best things about being a jazz musician must be being able to release multiple takes of the same song on the same album, and have people be glad that you did it.
23. 311 - Grassroots - Six
It's fitting to hear this so soon after the heartbreaking Stanley Cup loss on Friday, since I first heard this album while playing NHL 95 in an MSU dorm room. This was on my short list for Jerrell's best cruising album challenge, but did not win. This song is part of the reason it didn't win.
24. Eddie Izzard - Glorious - Fill Me With the Gobi Desert
Eddie again, finding comedy where there shouldn't be any. "You can't just fall into taxidermy." Indeed.
25. Django Reinhardt - The Classic Early Recordings[disc1]1934-1935 - I've Had My Moments
Came from the CD gifted to me at Nikki and Dave's wedding. I like to think I've had my moments, too.