Since I don't have anything worth writing about, how about hitting shuffle on the iPod and seeing what comes up? If you'd like to hear these songs, most can be found by using Google to search for the artist and song title and hitting play on the embedded Lala player. (It's a new tool Google offers, but it doesn't provide anything for me to link to.)
1. Laura Cantrell "Yonder Comes a Freight Train" When the Roses Bloom Again
I haven't given this theory much thought, but I'm going to propose that the best songs about forms of transportation are about trains. Sorry cars. There's something about how the engines chug that lends itself to the rhythms of these songs and conveys the feeling of riding the rails.
2. The Streets "Who Got the Funk?" Original Pirate Material
There's a left turn--from country to British hip hop--provided by the shuffle. This short track doesn't make much sense out of the album's context. "The day in the life of a geezer," repeats Mike Skinner, essentially summarizing the concept for album about British lad culture. The song is more connective tissue than a standalone piece.
3. The Black Crowes "Sister Luck" Shake Your Money Maker
The Black Crowes bring back memories of the heritage AOR station WTUE in Dayton. While they sounded like a lot of the classic rock bands, at the time they were a new group. I don't know if this particular song would have been heard on the air, although surely their debut was played at least once at midnight, which is when they'd play one side of an album, take a break, and play the second side. Yes, albums used to have two sides (or sides at all), and rock stations used to be worth listening to.
4. The Beastie Boys "Time for Livin'" The Sounds of Science
Surely I've heard this before,but this isn't one that stood out to me. Beasties more in punk mode than rapping.
5. David Gray "Easy Way to Cry" A New Day at Midnight
Can't say that this particular song stirs up any memories, but the album it's from is inextricably tied in my mind to hearing a single from it on WXRT while in Chicago for a high school friend's wedding. Come to think of it, is that the only high school friend's wedding I've attended?
6. The Velvet Underground "I'm Waiting for the Man" The Velvet Underground & Nico
This album isn't considered one of the most highly influential in rock history for nothing. Funny how it can still sound current all these years later.
7. The Beta Band "Al Sharp" Hot Shots II
Totally random fact (probably): I think I bought this CD in a Rhode Island Borders.
8. Guided by Voices "Gold Star for Robot Boy" Jellyfish Reflector
I was into the Dayton indie rock legends-to-be a lot at the time because they were from where I am from (generally speaking) and because I was able to find an internet e-mail list to feed my interest in all things GBV. I didn't have a computer at home, but I'd go to the library to check my freenet account--two hours of access per 24 hours, thank you--for the daily digest in my inbox. The album in question is a live bootleg (or semi-official release). Being hip to these kinds of records was like knowing a secret, which probably helped stoke my interest, although it didn't hurt that they were at their creative peak at this time too.
9. George DeVore "Standing Right By Me" Austin, Texas Through the Eyes of Terri Herbert
Yes, it's on my iPod, but I've never heard this before. I bought the album solely for a rare Kelly Willis track (a cover of Gene Clark's "Full Circle Song") and never bothered listening to the rest. (I don't remember exactly how I acquired it, but it may have been among several CDs someone was selling as a lot on eBay.) It was a bit difficult to come across. Since it was an Austin singer-songwriter's tribute to his girlfriend killed in an accident, I don't know if this was even sold outside of Texas. Collecting songs by downloading them just isn't the same.
10. Soundgarden "Switch Opens" Down on the Upside
Shuffle goes deep again. It may be twelve or thirteen years since I've heard this cut from Soundgarden's final album.
I don't know how representative this sampling is of my musical tastes, but it's certainly eclectic.
Labels: country music, Dayton, radio, rock 'n roll