I’m as much of a comedy dork as I am a music dork. So every year at Bonnaroo I stop by the comedy tent. It’s air-conditioned. Some of my favorite comedians will be there this year, so I asked a few of them to put their iPods on shuffle and tell us about the first seven songs that came up. Yes, I know it’s been done before. But it’s usually FIVE songs. I asked for seven. It was so much fun I asked more comedians who aren’t even going to Bonnaroo to participate. So here’s the Stereogum Shuffle Seven. Apparently comedians like Aimee Mann.
Patton Oswalt killed as MC at Pitchfork’s thing during SXSW. I want him to MC my next show. He’ll be performing at Bonnaroo this weekend.
1. White Stripes – “Fell In Love With A Girl”
Fell in love with the video first, then the band. I live in the suburbs!
2. Outkast – “Myintroletyouknow”
I’ve got every song they’ve done so far in iTunes. Another one’ll probably pop up. Let’s see…
3. The Who – “Happy Jack”
This song always creeped me out in a cool way. I thought it was about some weird, huge-headed monster who lived in the sand on an abandoned beach, and mutant kids abused him.
4. Aimee Mann – “Par For The Course”
One of her saddest/angriest songs ever. When I first heard it, it applied a little too perfectly to my situation. At the time.
5. Ministry – “N.W.O.”
This shows you the beautiful flower that can grow in the vitamin-rich loam of insomnia, self-loathing and drug abuse.
6. Ennio Morricone – “Il Giardino Delle Delizie”
The title song from the Italian movie THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS. I’ve never seen it and don’t want to. This song created a much better movie in my head.
7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Rich”
I’ll take you out, boy!
1. Mark Safan – “Win in the End”
Yes, I have every song from the Michael J. Fox film Teen Wolf on my iPod (Thanks Napster). The best thing about this song is that it has the lyric, “I was blinded by the pain, running wild through the rain, in a parody of ectasy” Wow! That’s deep!
2. R.E.M. – “Turn You Inside Out”
I spent many a morning waiting alone at my bus stop with a cassette tape of REM’s Green album in my yellow sports Walkman thinking, “No One Gets Me!” and having disdain for people who didn’t own Eponymous on vinyl. Now I do the same thing but the bus is replaced by the subway and the bulky walkman is now a slim iPod nano. Yup, I’m still cool.
3. William Shatner – “What Have You Done”
I initially bought this album, because I thought it was going to unintentionally hilarious. But surprisingly Has Been is an amazing album, seriously. However “What Have You Done” is one of the most depressing album tracks of all time as it poetically recounts detail by detail the true story of William Shatner coming home to find his wife, dead in the pool. Suffice it to say, it’s not the best song to stumble on while on fun roadtrip and your iPod is on shuffle.
4. Weezer – “Across the Sea”
Now that Weezer is officially through, I think it’s safe to say that Pinkerton is my absolute favorite Weezer album. “Across the Sea” is a constant reminder that no matter who you date here in America there will always be a much cooler Japanese Girl that you’ll never meet, across the sea, who longs for you. Damn You Japan! You’ve foiled us again!
5. Buzzcocks – “Promises”
This appearance of this song makes realize that I probably have too much Billy Joel and random TV Theme Songs on my iPod and not enough Buzzcocks. It’s time to free up some room for Pete Shelley and the Boys.
6. Frank Black – “Los Angeles”
I was a late bloomer to good music so the 1st time I heard this song was when it was used as the opening theme to the Zach Galifinakis Late Night Talk Show on Vh1. I don’t know what is more embarrassing; that at 25 I didn’t know about Frank Black’s solo work or that I was an avid viewer of Vh1 Late Night Programming. Anyway, I guess Zach is inadvertently responsible for opening me up to a whole world of great music. So thanks Zach.
7. Ice-T “The Girl Tried to Kill Me”
Before star turning roles in Law and Order: SVU and Leprechaun in the Hood, There was the “Hard Core O.G.” Ice-T. I distinctly remember buying this CD just to piss my parents off because it had a picture of Ice-T With a Shotgun in his mouth and two pointed at either side of his head. I didn’t even know his music but I wanted to get revenge for my parents throwing away my Poison album. It worked!
1. Radiohead – “Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong” Wow! How appropriate is this? I always love getting into the Radiohead hoop-la whenever they start touring/recording. This is a great track from the incredible Airbag EP. The chorus is “A beautiful girl can turn your world into dust.” Don’t let those bitches turn your world into dust fellas, it ain’t worth it!
2. Mix Master Mike – “Anti-Theft Device”
My friend David introduced me to this album my junior year in high school. I’d never heard anything like it. I used to love getting really stoned and listening to it. (Sorry ma!) I soon really got into the whole turntablism genre, particularly Return of the DJ Vols. 1 & 2, Cut Chemist Meets Shortkut: Live at the Future Primitive, and DJ Q-Bert’s Wave Twisters. I eventually even got turntables and became pretty decent at skratching. So – hey – next time you see me “DJing” off a laptop, don’t give me too much shit.
3. Smashing Pumpkins – “Soma”
Quick trivia – In 1997, the Pumpkins contributed a song to the soundtrack to what may be one of the worst films ever created, what film was it? Tick..tick…tick…Bzzzz… It was Batman and Robin! I’m sure a lot of fans were pissed at Billy Corgan for doing that, especially after seeing the video for “Everlasting Gaze” with the goofy Mr. Freeze stuff. I heard Corgan once was cornered about it and told the fans they needed to “CHILL!!!!” (Mr. Freeze voice) Hahahah! I love talking like Mr. Freeze! If you have a problem with that, then you need to “COOL IT!” (That’s 2!!!)
4. Beck – “Blackhole”
Whoa, the ominous, mysterious closer to Mellow Gold. I’m in a Holiday Inn, its about 1:32 AM and this is a creepy, dark song to be blasting out of my hotel room. You know what Beck song has great lyrics? “Nitemare Hippy Girl.” These are two of my favorites – “She’s a melted avocado on the shelf.” “She’s playing footsie in another dimension.” I was trying to convince a friend the other night how cool those lines were, but I don’t think she bought it.
5. Doves – “Pounding”
Uh… I don’t really listen to this song much… I remember a few months back some blog was getting real pissed at people because they were calling this band THE Doves, instead of Doves. Seriously, pick your battles dude.
6. The Beatles – “You Really Got a Hold On Me”
I had a huge crush on this girl my junior year in college. One night we were hanging out in my apartment and I pulled out my guitar and played this song for her. We started making out, and she said “Hey can you put on that song by The Doves?” I said, “First of all, it’s Doves, not THE Doves. Second of all, get the fuck out. NOW.”
7. The Strokes – “Reptilla”
Everyone in NY has their “oh shit dude, so we’re at this bar, turns out the guys we’re hanging out with are in the Strokes!” story. I have a pretty nutty one. Right around when Room on Fire came out, I was at this bar on Avenue A having a beer with Albert, the lead guitar player. Who walks into the bar but another common musician/East Village bar hopper – Ja Rule. He steps up to Albert and I and goes “Hey, you’re in that band the Strokes right?” Albert said, “Yes, that’s me.” Ja got a real angry look and said, “Hey man, Room on Fire sucks dick compared to Is This It. What a shitty followup. Room on Fire, more like Room Sucks Dick.” Out of nowhere, Albert pulls out a tire iron and just starts beating the shit out of Ja and screaming that Ja’s Rule 3:36 album was nothing compared to his debut Venni Vetti Vecci. I heard Ja got so scared of the Strokes that he’s never been east of 2nd Ave since.
Sarah’s “perversely adorable” (Variety) Jesus Is Magic is on DVD now. I saw the live show opening night a few years back, and watched the DVD yesterday. Still funny the second time. She was too busy shooting her new TV show to play my stupid iPod game, so I just asked her what she’s listening to now. I’m flexible! Here are her picks:
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
The Mountain Goats
1. Golden Earring – “Twilight Zone”
Not as good as “radar love” but good.
2. Bee Gees – “I’ve Got To Get A Message To You”
Maybe one of my favorite songs ever.
3. Prince – “Raspberry Beret”
I think his wife’s sister is a comedian, so he’s come into various New York comedy clubs. he was supposed to be in the audience at one my shows at the Gotham Comedy Club, but he didn’t show up. I bet he’s not much of a laugher.
4. Elvis Costello – “Chemistry Class”
I’ve probably seen Elvis Costello 30 times. Never seen him do this one live. I don’t think.
5. Aimee Mann – “Goodbye Daroline”
I love Aimee Mann. I’ve done several shows with her and Michael Penn. We ate at a boston chicken in New Jersey once.
6. Sex Pistols – “Silly Thing”
I don’t even know which album this is from. The Sex Pistols were a punk rock band.
7. Elvis Costello – “Night Rally”
I know, another Elvis Costello song. I first heard this on a collection of b-sides called Taking Liberties. But I downloaded it from the the CD of This Year’s Model where it appears as a bonus track. I just felt like being
boring for a minute.
Eugene Mirman’s organized a fake protest against himself in front of my apartment a few weeks ago. I forgot to go, but later that night ran into him at the corner deli while I was buying paper towels. He said the protest was a success. Eugene’s CD/DVD En Garde, Society! is out now on Sub Pop.
1. Velvet Underground – “Some Kinda Love”
I love the Velvet Underground. I remember sitting in RePlace (a drop-in center/ crisis hotline where I volunteered as a misanthropic teen) listening to The Doors soundtrack and Heroin came on. One of the grown-ups that worked there said, “I haven’t heard Lou Reed in years.” And then I went and bought some Velvet Underground and that served as my bridge from sweet Metal to indie-alt something-or-other. And when I heard “Run Run Run,” I knew I was meant to be a comedian. Everything but the last part was true. Hey, Lou! Thanks for combining darkness and beauty with pretty melodies and discord (you too John Cale!) and for changing music for the best! (Don’t forget Mo and Sterling! Okay. I won’t! But fuck you Doug Yule! JK. I don’t know the details of the breakup).
2. Liz Phair – “Crater Lake”
I don’t know this song well. And I don’t know Whip Smart as well as Exile From Guyville. But Exile is one of the best albums of the 90’s. Or 80’s and 90’s. Or probably any decade. It really is an amazing album. So nothing else really matters. Very few people can say that they made one of the best albums ever, and I feel like Liz Phair can say that. So that’s nice.
3. Cat Stevens – “Hard Headed Woman”
It’s too bad DJ’s drove over Cat’s records with a steamroller when he became Muslim, because it probably raised Global Stupidity 7%, and that’s a shame. You know when this song gets passionate and he goes, “I know many fine feathered friends, but their friendliness depends on how you do!” I liked that part a lot in high school. Does he say feathered? I think he does. I don’t think he’s friends with birds, even now. Also, I am looking for a hard headed woman, so I always liked the song. One that will make me feel so go-oo-oood.
4. Motley Crue – “Too Fast For Love”
This is a great album. I think he just sang “Living on a jet, making love to someone else’s dream.” That’s pretty funny. This is The Crue’s best album. It’s wonderful, catchy glam-punk-metal. If you’ve never heard it and you like stuff like M Ward or Wasp, you’ll like love this record. In case I’m wrong, or lying, listen to it on iTunes before you buy it.
5. Jethro Tull – “My God”
This is the live version from the 25th anniversary box set, not the recording off of Aqualung, just to be clear. “People what have you done/ locked Him in His golden cage/ made Him bend to your religion/Him resurrected from the grave.So lean on Him gently and don’t call on Him to save/ You from your social graces and the sins you wish to waive!” Ian Anderson has been furious at the co-opting of religion for impure purposes for years. Even though journalists were calling him pretentious in the 70’s, Jethro Tull to me was probably what the Cure was to teenage boys who cried when they peed. Plus, as you can imagine, in the live version there is an amazing flute solo.
6. Morphine – “I Know You III”
Morphine was one of my favorite bands in college. I was very sad when Mark Sandman died. The same way that you were sad when JFK or Kurt Cobain died, I was very sad when Mark Sandman died. He was an amazing musician. If you’ve never heard “Cure For Pain,” you should go get it. And you should find the song “King Of Beers” by Treat Her Right, his first band (which featured a harmonica at a time when harmonica’s were rarely featured).
7. Robyn Hitchcock – “I Feel Beautiful”
This is a very, very pretty song. Play it for a girl you like and then she may take off her shirt for you (even if it’s at work!)
8. The Shins – “The Celibate Life”
They’re great. I don’t need to tell you that, someone else must have already. They will be the biggest band of 2009 and finally defeat rap-metal. At least for 12 years. One of them is very sweaty in person. You know who you are.
9. Weezer – “Tired of Sex”
I believe it’s rumored that Rivers doesn’t like this album (or maybe was sad it wasn’t a big hit?) I think it’s fantastic. Plus he’s right, it must be exhausting to fuck a different person each night but not fall in love. I don’t have a hit album and I find it hard to sometimes kiss people and not find someone who knows a lot about pragmatism, backgammon and Phil Ochs, so I can kind of relate.
Yes, Eugene went above the seven song limit. But wasn’t that all enlightening? OK, I’m off to Bonnaroo. I am hoping to have some sort of computer access there so I can fill you in from the site, but Amrit’s gonna be running things here at home base for a few days. If you’re going to ‘Roo say hi. I’ll be the pale blogger with the shitty camera.