When you load up your iTunes and hit shuffle, what comes up? It could be good, it could be bad or anywhere in between. Shuffle Sunday is a look at what happens when I load up my library and hit play. Hopefully it will introduce you to a new artist you like, remind you of an old favorite or maybe just give you a good laugh! So without further ado, let’s see what Shuffle has in store this week…..
PJ Harvey “The Wind”
I never go out of my way to listen to PJ Harvey, but everytime I hear her music, I’m floored. You can randomly pick nearly any track in her discography and it will sound fresh and relevant, even decades later. This track for example was released in 1998, but it doesn’t come across as a dated, boring piece of music. The jazzy undertones, hypnotic bassline and haunting vocal performance really isn’t too dissimilar from what some really popular artists (Lorde, St. Vincent) are doing today. Harvey may not have the widespread notoriety here in the US that she has in England, but her music remains as an important marker on how to be a creative force. If you ever want to know what music might sound like in the future, take a listen to PJ Harvey’s past works and you’ll have an idea about what to expect.
The Dismemberment Plan “The Jitters”
I totally missed the train on these guys. So much so, that when they “reunited” a few years back, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I had no idea who they were or why it was such a big thing that they were getting back together. Since then, I haven’t gone out of my way to learn more about them aside from the handful of songs that have come up from time to time on shuffle. That’s not to say that I dislike them or anything, but their songs just don’t really do much for me. This song is alright, but it really doesn’t do much for me. Maybe it’s too slow? It just doesn’t seem to go anywhere, other than nowhere which is just kind of bland. But for whatever reason, people fucking love these guys, so I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority here.
Coal Chamber “Sway”
Oh man. I don’t even know what to say about this. I loved this record when I was 15. I remember jamming this out a ton back then. But coming back and listening to it now is…challenging at best. I can’t even really see what I liked so much about it. I guess I was just a pissed-off dork that was attracted to anything that sounded “heavy” regardless of the content. I mean, the whole beginning of this song is so ridiculous with the whole “roof is on fire” bit. It’s like they only had enough material for a 2 minute long song, so they just ad-libbed some bullshit to start it off. This is like my generations Five Finger Death Punch. Just goofy-ass “metal” that doesn’t really have any purpose or meaning. I did go to see these guys back then though and it was (and still is) one of the best shows I ever saw. That band could command an audience like few others. The crowd loved them and they gave a fantastic performance. Granted they might have been stupid songs, but they really worked ’em to the bone.
Marilyn Manson “King Kill 33”
Speaking of music that I loved when I was in High School. The difference between this and Coal Chamber though is that Manson actually wrote some really amazing music. Every album this band put out sounded different from the last, but they all had a common thread of musicality and danger about them. This music sounded menacing to me back then and it still does now. Aside from my own personal liking of the music, I think a big factor behind that is the amount of work that was put in to the first few Manson records. They were well researched, planned and executed albums. There was a lot of meaning behind all of the stupid “shock rock” tactics that unfortunately ended up pigeonholing Manson and his music. I think even if you were to take away all of the theatrics behind this band in the early days, these records would still be just as powerful.
So, this isn’t really a “song” as much as it is an interlude, but the rules of Shuffle Sunday say I can’t skip a song, so here’s this. Ummm…I’m not even really sure what to write about this. I always hated when bands put shit like this on their albums. What’s the point? It’s not like they are ever going to play this song live. I can guarantee that there isn’t a Bauhaus fan out there that is lamenting the fact that they never got to see “Wasp” done live. To me, putting this kind of shit on an album says one of two things. One, that the band just ran out of ideas or two, that their contract states they needed x amount of songs on a said release. Either way, filler “songs” like this one have very rarely ever enhanced an album as a whole. Most of the time, tracks like this are just skipped over and forgotten all together.
WINNER OF THE WEEK: I’ve gotta go with the PJ Harvey song. Really cool songwriting there.
TURKEY OF THE WEEK: I mean, is the Bauhaus thing even a song? Does that even count?