Category Archives: Playlists

Forgotten Five-Stars

After I got my new iPod I assigned myself the fun (though tedious) task of taking all of my CDs that wouldn’t fit on my first iPod and putting them on my computer since my new iPod held 3x as much music. This meant putting on a lot of albums that weren’t really in the front of my head and that, quite often, I hadn’t listened to since high school or college.

All in all, it ended up being 2270 songs = 8.5 days of music.

While I definitely increased the amount of “filler” songs on my iPod/computer, there were definitely some gems among the bunch. Although I haven’t had a chance to come close to listening to all of them, so far I have rated (and I don’t rate all songs I listen to — maybe only 1/3 or 1/2 of them) 208 songs. Of those 208, 22 have been rated with five stars, which means I absolutely love them.

I wanted to share those five-star songs (ordered alphabetically by artist):

  • “Super-Connected” by Belly from the album King
  • “King” by Belly from the album King
  • “Dancing Gold” by Belly from the Slow Dust EP
  • “Dusted” by Belly from the album Star
  • “Resigned” by Blur from the album Modern Life Is Rubbish
  • “Does This Hurt?” by the Boo Radleys from the album Everything’s Alright Forever
  • “Saints” (live version) by the Breeders from the Live in Stockholm EP (this one sort of doesn’t count since the original version, from Last Splash has always been a five-star song)
  • “Hallo Spaceboy” by David Bowie from Outside
  • “Stem/Long Stem/Transmission 2” by DJ Shadow from Entroducing…
  • “Popcorn” by Gershon Kingsley from At Home With the Groovebox (a groovebox-created cover of the original ’70s hit)
  • “Tick Tock” by the Kelley Deal 6000 from Go to the Sugar Altar
  • “Mr. Goodnight” by the Kelley Deal 6000 from Go to the Sugar Altar
  • “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” by the Manic Street Preachers from This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours
  • “South Side” by Moby from the “South Side” single (the version featuring Gwen Stefani)
  • “Aneurysm” by Nirvana from Incesticide
  • “Much Ado About Nothing Left” by Orbital from The Altogether
  • “Special K” by Placebo from Black Market Music
  • “Allergic (To Thoughts of Mother Earth)” by Placebo from Without You I’m Nothing
  • “Every You Every Me” by Placebo from Without You I’m Nothing
  • “New Patterns” by Q-Burns Abstract Message from Feng Shui
  • “Tegan” by Sing-Sing from The Joy of Sing-Sing
  • “Say Goodbye” by the Throwing Muses from The Real Ramona

Of all those, I have to say that the real “lost treasure” was “King” by Belly. I always knew that “Super-Connected” was a great song, but I forgot how much I loved “King.” It’s too bad that King (the album) tanked so bad and the group broke up.

Stuff like this is what I wanted a 60GB iPod for. I love rediscovering music I may have forgotten about. If all I had was my old 20G, I wouldn’t have gone through my old CDs and I wouldn’t have remembered how much I missed some of these songs.

Friends Mix 05/05

This double-set of playlists is for the month of May. I felt that I had been listening to such good new, recent music lately that I had to devote one mix to just that, hence “May I.” The “May Tu” mix is just random.

As for the titles, I thought they were extremely clever, but I’m not sure other people do. See, “May I” = “May 1” and “May Tu” = “May 2.” Likewise, “I” = me and “Tu” = you (in Spanish). I thought I was being smart. You can be the final judge.

May I

  1. “All Alone” by Gorillaz from Demon Days
    I think one of the reasons I love this song is its randomness — it’s almost like three or four songs all in one. My favorite part is the change that takes place about 2:00 into the song and then at 2:29 when the speed picks up a little bit. For some reason this sound haunts me and touches me. It also reminds me of the book Mysterious Skin which I read at the time I got the CD.
  2. “I Told You So” by New Order from Waiting For The Sirens’ Call
    When I first saw the title to this song I was like, “Um, that is a really lame title.” The music totally makes up for it though. I’m still unclear about what it is New Order told me, but I guess I should’ve known?
  3. “Speed of Sound” by Coldplay from X&Y
    My favorite story about Coldplay is how it was the only CD we could listen to at the Trail that everyone liked. Let’s hope the next album, X&Y is as good as A Rush of Blood to the Head.
  4. “Ghettochip Malfunction” (8-bit’s Hell Yes Remix) by Beck from the “Hell Yes” single
    My coworker found this song on iTunes. I love the talking computer.
  5. “Get Him Back” by Fiona Apple from Extraordinary Machine
    I’m not sure whether “I’m going to get him back / and he won’t have a back to scratch” is a good or bad thing. Nonetheless, the rocking back-and-forth keyboards of this song are awesome, and sorta mimic the lyrical content.
  6. “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” by LCD Soundsystem from LCD Soundsystem
    I don’t get this whole “LCD Soundsystem is such a great band! We love James Murphy!!” (maybe I’m exaggerating, but see Pitchfork). I just love the idea of Daft Punk playing at my house.
  7. “DARE” by Gorillaz from Demon Days
    This is probably the catchiest song I’ve heard since… well, I don’t know. But it’s damn catchy! I love the falsetto.
  8. “Human After All” by Daft Punk from Human After All
    One critic (I forget where?) reviewed Daft Punk’s Human After All album by noting that the album itself proved that Daft Punk were human after all (and not anonymous robots) because it was so erroneous (i.e. bad). Nonetheless, the song “Human After All” is kinda cool.
  9. “Guilt Is A Useless Emotion” by New Order from Waiting For The Sirens’ Call
    I’m not sure whether guilt is a useless emotion or not, but I know this song makes me wanna dance. Especially the part where it’s building up to and repeating “I need your love… I need your love… I want your love…” etc. etc.
  10. “Used to Love Him” by Fiona Apple from Extraordinary Machine
    “Why did I kiss him so hard last Friday night?” Good question. We’ve all been there, yeah? Even if we haven’t, I think we all have regrets, and this song touches on that.
  11. “Losing My Edge” by LCD Soundsystem from LCD Soundsystem
    My aforementioned note about how a certain web site I read loves LCD Soundsystem was made evident by this song, which they claimed was the third best single of 2000-2004. Sound-wise, it doesn’t do much for me, but I do love listening to the story of the lyrics and bathing in the irony of Pitchfork loving it so much.
  12. “Dracula’s Castle” by New Order from Waiting For The Sirens’ Call
    The thing I love most about this song is the introduction. It’s sorta like a fading pulse. And, of course, I like vampires and I do think it might be nice to visit Dracula’s castle just for kicks. Oh, and the lyrics are cheesy and lame, but that’s new order.
  13. “Not About Love” by Fiona Apple from Extraordinary Machine
    … but if it’s not about love, what is it about? Ohhh Fiona, you are so angry I love it,
  14. “Robot Rock” by Daft Punk from Human After All
    This song is about to be remixed, so expect to see a different version on another CD. Anyway, if robots do indeed rock out, is this really what they would enjoy? Mayhaps. Appreciate this song for its lyrical complexity (no, I’m kidding… don’t). “Robot rock.”
  15. “Feel Good Inc.” by Gorillaz from Demon Days
    If there was indeed a Feel Good Incorporated somewhere, this is what I would want it to sound like. And I would want Damon Albarn to be there singing this song playing with windmills. This is Gorillaz’s first single from Demon Days and I think it’s way better than “Clint Eastwood,” the first single from their first, self-titled album, Gorillaz.

May Tu

  1. “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” by The Flaming Lips from the Yoshimi Wins: Live Radio Sessions EP
    Kylie Minogue’s original version of this song was probably the first pop (or, rather, non -indie, -alt. rock, -indie, etc.) song that I actually liked. What makes this cover extraordinary is that it doesn’t mock the song at all (which could be a pretty easy thing to do considering its poppiness and whatnot. It actually comes across as somewhat sad and longing in this version.
  2. “Yeah Is What We Had” by Grandaddy from Sumday
    I’m not sure what I like about this song, but I suspect it has to do with the ambiguity of what having “Yeah” means, exactly. It could be a casual “eh, yeah…” type of boring thing, or it could be an exciting “Yeah!” type of exciting thing. What do you think we had?
  3. “The Athlete” by Erlend Øye from Unrest
    The beep-bopping or whatever beat that this song has reminds me of running, and athletes run, so this is another neato example of electronic form-fits-the-fiction.
  4. “Clocks” (Röyksopp Trembling Heart remix) by Coldplay from The Remixes
    The original version of “Clocks” was the first Coldplay song I loved (despite the fact it went on to win tons of awards at the Grammys) so it will always have a place in my heart. Röyksopp is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite remixers (Felix da Housecat — see below — being one of the main contenders with Röyksopp for #1). Their remix of “Clocks” makes it even more bittersweet and beautiful than the original. Far better than most of the generic “techno” remixes I’ve heard.
  5. “Happy Together” by Danny Chung from the Happy Together soundtrack
    Wong Kar-Wai is my new favorite director (yes, probably dethroning David Lynch). At the end of Happy Together, the first WKW movie I saw, this song plays. I think it may be live or something, but it’s great nonetheless. The end of the movie, I think, is pretty sad, and the juxtaposition of a sad situation and a happy song always blows me away (the best example of this is probably Michael Moore‘s Roger & Me when “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys plays during a survey of the empty, depressed city streets. Ever sine then “Good Vibrations” has become a bittersweet song for me. Now “Happy Together” (originally by the Turtles) falls into that category as well.
  6. “The Big Hurt” by Miss Toni Fisher from The Big Hurt
    They play this song as bumper music for Coast to Coast AM and I’ve always liked it. Nothing more to say. It’s old.
  7. “Sex Born Poison” by Air from 10,000 Hz Legend
    Air collaborated with Buffalo Daughter on this song. I think it’s one of the more “dreamy” songs from 10,000 Hz Legend, an Air album that I have total mixed feelings about. I love how the song sorta changes gears a few times, first being a total mellow soundscape, then about 1:40 into the song it changes into something you’d expect to hear in a haunted house with strange people singing, then it goes back to the mellowness. Finally, around 3:55 a strange sputtering noise returns along with vocals and descends into something sounding sorta epic. Mmmm the song makes me melt. And oh yeah, what is sex born poison??
  8. “Gossip Folks” (Mousse T’s Original Alternative) by Missy Elliott from the “Gossip Folks” single
    I love this song and recently bought the single so I had to throw in this remix. It’s good. Maybe not as good as the Fatboy Slim one (which isn’t as hip-hop as this one).
  9. “American Life” (Felix Da Housecat’s Devin Dazzle Club Mix) by Madonna from the “American Life” single
    Hear how Felix da Housecat totally gets the bass beating? That’s his signature remix style, and although it’s pretty much the same on all of his remixes (“Toxic” by Britney, “Get Yourself High” by the Chemical Brothers,
    “Y Control” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs [see below], etc.), it’s fun and bouncy. Of all the “American Life” remixes I’ve heard (which is maybe six or seven), this is my favorite.
  10. “Novacane” by Beck from Odelay
    I first heard this song on a compilation called Buy Product 2: Brief Encounters. The song, of course, is also available on Odelay, which is my favorite Beck album (though I’m really liking Guero, his latest, as well. This song just has a hissy, feedbacky, noisey sound that I love.
  11. “Land: Horses” by Patti Smith from Horses
    When I first bought the album Horses, I intended to give it to my mom for some reason or another. Then, since I bought it used, I decided to give it a listen. I was blown away by how awesome it was, so I ended up keeping it for myself and gave her something else. “Horses” is, I think, the most epic part of the album (and part of the “Land” trilogy).
  12. “The Crystal Lake” by Grandaddy from The Sophtware Slump
    Does anyone know where “Crystal Lake” is? And who lives there? And what happens there? I doubt Grandaddy intended the title to be an allusion to Friday the 13th, but since I’m Jason and the bad guy’s name is Jason and I just recently watched the first two films, I wanted to included it. Oh yeah, and the song is all awesome and rockin’ too.
  13. “Love Is Blue” by Paul Mauriat from Love Is Blue
    “Love is blue. Not white or red or yellow. Love is not green. It’s blue. That is the brilliance of this music… It makes me so mad when people call this elevator music. See, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, they could never compose this music… Only the truly gifted can understand. You’ve felt blue.” — Lucy Butler, the representation of absolute evil from the television show Millennium.
  14. “Y Control” (Thee Majesty Remix) by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs from the “Y Control” remix EP
    “Thee Majesty” is codename for Felix da Housecat. Since I’m including two of his remixes (see “American Life” above), it’s obvious that I love him, yeah? Even without his remixing, though, this is a cool song. The Faint remix is also really good, if you are so inclined.
  15. “Secret Girl” by Sonic Youth from Evol
    No, my mother never told me that I was the boy who can enjoy invisibility, but I wish I was. I forgot how much I loved this song until it came up on my iTunes’ party shuffle. It’s so dark and mysterious — very early Sonic Youth, if you will, before they became the “grandparents of grunge.”
  16. “Three Miles” by Heather Duby from Come Across The River
    Normally Heather Duby’s stuff is very soft and ethereal, and I love it. Maybe that’s why I like this song so much — because it demonstrates her ability to be somewhat poppy. And, of course, sad at the same time.
  17. “Remind Me” by Röyksopp from Melody A.M.
    In case you were wondering, yes, Erlend Øye (from earlier) does do the vocals on this song. If you weren’t wondering, now you know. I love Röyksopp all around, but his would have to be my favorite song. In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I love bittersweet songs, and I think this is yet another. One of the things that sucks about living in one place for a long time is that you start to build-up memories — happy and sad — that become associated with things around you. As the lyrics say, “and everywhere I go / there’s always something to remind me / of another place and time / where love that traveled far had found me.” I feel that almost daily. Maybe it’s a sign of me being too nostalgic, but I don’t know. The ultimate irony, however, is that now this song itself reminds me of another place and time where love that traveled far had found me.
  18. “1969” by Boards Of Canada from Geogaddi
    Listen carefully, kids, for Satan himself is hiding in this song. Seriously, this song mentions the Branch Dividians (“Although not a follower of Quick Facts about: David Koresh, she’s a devoted Branch Davidian”, song length = 4:19 = April 19 = day of Waco Massacre) and 1969 is, of course, the year of the Manson murders. The group is known for strange sampling and this song has to be one of the most surreal.

Troy March 2005 / Songs

(this is a mix CD that I made for my friend Troy a couple of months ago)

Because this mix CD needs a Philosophical Introduction

  1. “Come Into My World” (Fischerspooner remix) by Kylie Minogue from Fever

    This song serves two purposes: 1. the phrase “come into my world” can represent the fact that by listening to these songs you are entering my world; 2. I love Kylie Minogue and I love Fischerspooner and this remix is totally awesome.

Emotional (i.e. sad) Songs

  1. “All we Have is Now” by the Flaming Lips from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
    I think that this song is the pinnacle of my recently-created “Songs about Time Travel” play list. I love the idea of a person coming from the future to tell you that a relationship (or something) won’t work out, but to cherish the experience anyway — even if, in the end, it isn’t meant to be. It sorts connects to existential philosophy in that way— it is the journey, not the destination, that matters.
  2. “Avalyn I” by Slowdive from the Slowdive EP
    Even though this song has no lyrics, you can just tell from the way it sounds that it was written to convey sadness and beauty. I first heard this song in the opening of he movie Nowhere, which seems to be inspired by Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero.
  3. “Wild Horses” by the Sundays from Blind
    When this song plays during the prom episode of Buffy, I cannot help but cry. The Rolling Stones did the original version.
  4. “Sexy Boy” by Air from Moon Safari
    The video for this song inspired my buddy icon. Sexy Boy is a gorilla who travels to the moon.
  5. Bachelorette by Bjork from Homogenic
    I’m not sure why, but this song just seems really bitter yet loving and it has amazingly surreal lyrics (“I’m a tree that grows hearts / one for each that you take”). It’s probably one of my all-time top 10 songs. And the video, directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine and Human Behavior) is out of this world.

The Song You Need to Hear by the “Best Band Ever”

  1. “Nothing Better” by the Postal Service from Give Up
    The Postal Service is basically considered to be one of the best bands around today. They are even played on the O.C. One of the members is from Bellingham (and also a member of the band Death Cab for Cutie), so people in Washington especially love them.

The Song from Lost in Translation

  1. “Fuck the Pain Away” by the Peaches from The Teaches of Peaches
    It’s a fun song. If you ever feel sad just listen to this or fuck the pain away yourself.

The song that started the Club/Dance music scene (in Manchester, England, at least)

  1. “Hallelujah” by the Happy Mondays from Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches
    According to the movie 24 Hour Party People this song started the whole dance music movement which apparently originated in Manchester, England. While this claim may be slightly dubious, it’s a fun song anyway and I like to pretend it started techno music.

Because You Are Gay

  1. “4 My People” by Missy Elliott from …So Addictive
    Someday I might write a paper/essay about how Missy’s album …So Addictive is her gay album. Every gay boy I know who likes Missy loves this album. This is less hip-hop and more electronic/dance, so it makes sense. The album itself follows themes of ecstasy and dancing and clubs and sex — pretty gay, yah?
  2. “You Spin me Round (Like A Record)” by Dead or Alive from Nukleopatra
    Apparently if you have this mp3 shared on your computer the Recording Industry Association of American might come and sue you — this is one of the most frequently shared songs so they figure if you are sharing it you have tons of mp3s and deserve to get sued.
  3. “Break 4 Love” by Peter Rauhofer + The Pet Shop Boys = Collaboration from the Break 4 Love single
    Okay, so Peter Rauhofer is a really well-known DJ among gays. Okay, so the Pet Shop Boys are a really well-known group among gays. Okay, so The Collaboration between the two is like the gayest thing over. But it’s a good song. And I heard it on Queer as Folk.
  4. “Save A Prayer” by 56k from the Save A Prayer single
    Originally this song was done by the group Duran Duran, but I think this dancey version is awesome. I used the lyric “But fear is in your soul… / Some people call it a one night stand / But we can call it paradise / Don’t say a prayer for me now, save it the morning after” at the top of my paper about AIDS, abjection, and gay bodies.
  5. “Raspberry swirl” by Tori Amos from From the Choirgirl Hotel
    Although a “raspberry swirl” may refer to a lesbian sex-act, it’s still a groovy song and what gay boy doesn’t love Tori Amos? (I’ve seen her twice in concert).

Because I Also Want to Expand Your Horizons

  1. “Debaser” by the Pixies from Doolittle
    The Pixies are the true alternative rock group. They inspired Nirvana. They are also my all-time favorite band. This song is about the movie Un Chien Andalou (trans. The Andalusian Dog) by Salvador Bali and Luis Bunnel.
  2. “Some Velvet Morning” by Primal Scream from Evil Heat
    The original version was sung by Nancy Sinatra. This version is sung by Kate Moss. Can you get any better than that?
  3. “Hurdy Gurdy Man” by Donovan
    It’s an old song from the 1960s that I love. It’s also used in the movie (and the trailer— where it is even more amazing) L.I.E.
  4. “U Don’t Know” by Jay-Z from The Blueprint
    This is my favorite Jay-Z song. And it’s a good introduction to hip-hop music, I guess. That sample of “You don’t know what you’re doing” is actually from an old R&B song and sung by a guy. The producer, Kanye West, is known for taking old samples and speeding them up to give them a higher, more female-like sound. Also, the album The Blueprint is Jay-Z’s best album.