The Onion AV Club has a segment they do called "Random Rules," in which a celebrity guest of the week hits "Shuffle Songs" on their iPod and then list the first 10 songs, whatever they happen to be, and gives a brief blurb on why that song is on their iPod.
For this particular activity, I'd like to do a similar thing, with the following ground rules:
- You must use only "Shuffle Songs" -- i.e. no playlists.
- You may exclude any purely-instrumental soundtrack tracks that come up, if you wish.
- You may have ONE "mulligan," though I do not encourage it.
- You should avoid the temptation to exclude embarassing songs -- they are almost invariably the most entertaining to read.
- If the song itself isn't particularly interesting, talk about the album or the artist.
- You can skip a second track by the same artist, if you want.
1: Chains, by Project Pitchfork
From the album "Kaskade"
Project Pitchfork is one of those German industrial bands that would be a lot better if they would stick to singing in German. It's not that you can't understand the lyrics in English -- the accent isn't too bad at all. It's just that they, like most native speakers of German, don't really grasp English idiom very well, and end up with awkward translations like, "This thing isn't human, but it's made out of them," which, while amusing, kind of kills the otherwise ominous coolness of their music.
2: Dancing Barefoot, by MC 900 Foot Jesus
From the Album "Welcome to my Dream"
I'm very sad that MC 900 Foot Jesus kind of dropped off the radar in the mid-90's. He was a very talented guy who mixed a sort of jazz/industrial/hip-hop sound that made for some amazing listening. "Welcome to my Dream" was by far his best album, and featured the uber-cool songs "Killer Inside Me," "The City Sleeps," and "Adventures in Failure."
3: Mr. Brightside, by The Killers
From the Album "Hot Fuss"
I really don't have much to say about this song. It's pop, you've heard it, and it doesn't really mean that much to me. It is one of the better Killers songs I've heard, but I only have about 1 1/2 of their albums.
4: Horror Show, by The Birthday Massacre
From the Album "Violet"
As "interesting" as their name is, The Birthday Massacre is actually a fairly normal band, sounding a lot like a mix of Missing Persons and Garbage. Horror Show is one of the better tracks on the album.
5: Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun, by The Beastie Boys
From the Album "Paul's Boutique"
My favorite song from what is often described as the best Beastie Boys album. I would tend to agree with that description. I'm not a big rap fan, but the Beasties will always have a place in my heart.
6: That Calls for a Wilhelm Scream, by Possible Oscar
A Web Download
Two rap songs in a row. That's odd. Well, this one is pretty much a joke song, and is very, very funny at that. It's the accurate history of the famous "Wilhelm Scream" (you'd know it if you heard it) that gets featured in virtually every war, action, or sci-fi movie that gets made in Hollywood, offering advice on how to use it in your everyday life.
7: Kingdom Come, by Coldplay
From the Album "X&Y"
I saw Coldplay at Coachella in 2006 (I think), having previously heard very little of their music. Considering that, at the time, they were supposed to be one of the biggest bands on earth, that's pretty indicative of my separation from pop culture. At any rate, they were quite good in concert and this song, as fate would have it, is my absolute favorite. This is largely because Chris Martin mercifully refrains from going falsetto at any point in it. Those falsetto bits in other Coldplay songs are the main reason my interest in them waned pretty quickly after Coachella.
8: Animal, by Front242
From the Album 05:22:09:12 Off
Front242 is a Belgian industrial band who kind of peaked in the heyday of industrial music with the album 06:21:03:11 Up Evil (a pair of very stupid album names, to be sure). This album was the follow-up, released in the same year (1993), and was a general disappointment. It had decent beats, but only one interesting single (Happiness). Generally, the fact that the preceding album had kicked so much ass made this one's mediocrity particularly hard to take, especially if you were a diehard fan of the band, which I surely was.
9: mOBSCENE, by Marilyn Manson
From the Album "The Golden Age of Grotesque"
Yeah, well. It's Marilyn Manson. I don't think I'm going to change any minds about him in a paragraph. I will say that I own several Manson albums, and this one is by far the best. He's an entertaining rocker, there are good, hard-rock songs on this album, and I dig it.
10: Thunder Kiss '65, by White Zombie
From the Album "La Sexorcisto: Devil Music vol. 1"
The object of near constant ridicule by Beavis and Butthead, White Zombie was actually an awesome metal act. I think Rob Zombie has yet to do anything solo nearly as good as his days with White Zombie. Thunder Kiss '65 is a blisteringly cool song inspired by and interspersed with samples from Night of the Living Dead.
Okay, that's my 10. One mulligan ("Electric Gutiar" by Fluke, because I didn't really feel like talking about it) and two skipped score tracks (one from "Requiem for a Dream" and one from a video game.) Now it's your turn.