So this morning on the commute I’m like, “Shit. I don’t know what to listen to. Oh yeah! I have like three thousand songs on my iPod. Let’s try the shuffle songs mode.” Yes. I actually spoke this aloud.
The shuffle songs mode is hit or miss. It’s not like the party shuffle on iTunes in which it magically reads your mind elevating your music listening experience to a Peter Frampton induced hypnosis.
I turn it to shuffle and tuck the iPod inside my jacket pocket. First song is a hit. “Haitian Divorce” by Steely Dan. I’m stoked. As I cruise down Huff Street I take one hand off the wheel to make a wave motion with my hand. Just to show the cold dark how effortlessly I can navigate its icey street with The Dan. I particularly like the line, “She drinks the zombie from the cocoa shell. She feels alright. She get it on tonight.”
I’m feeling good about driving. Next song is unexpected. I totally forget I even have it on my iPod. Queen’s “Bicycle Race”. Riding a bicycle is about as subversive as it gets in transportation nowadays. What the Hell is wrong with you? You like to bike? You just want to ride your bicycle? Freak. Favorite lyric from the song goes like this, “I don’t believe in Peter Pan Frankenstein or Superman. All I wanna do is — Bicycle bicycle bicycle! I like the drums that lead up to the chorus.
A quick aside about riding your bike. Riding a bike to commute and save on gas is great and all but it’s not like Queen’s idea of fun. You gotta be riding in a pack of bicyclists. Down the middle of the road. Doing wheelies and riding no hands. Having a doofy hat or a big Jolly Roger flag just adds to the excitment. You’re riding a bike to have fun. Not to Free Tibet or whatever.
It’s a good ride over to work. Very little skipping of tunes. I hear some Tom Waits, Neko Case, Uncle Tupelo, Phish, Violent Femmes, Morphine, and John Vanderslice. The shuffle comes to an end listening to The Decemberists, “The Gymnast” as I walked through the office door. A nice contemplative song to start my day.
On the way back. Shuffle mode went into Suck-ass mode. The first indication was REM’s “Radio Song”. I hate this tune. It reminds me of Dockers and multi-colored blouses. It reminds me of the 90s and how lamely we dressed and how we were way too honest with ourselves and other people. The shuffle goes down hill from there and I switch to a Bright Eyes album while trying to pass a semi truck. I turned off the iPod while coming down the valley into town. I was beat. There was nothing left to listen to. Three thousand songs and not enough time. I have way too much William Ackerman on my iPod.
I think I just might cue up all four Steely Dan albums tomorrow morning.
4 thoughts on “Mr. Mix”
Have you tried making a Smart Playlist in iTunes? I just tried one and I liked it… see this Kottke article: http://www.kottke.org/06/11/intelligent-design-of-playlists
Thanks Sadie. I’m gonna try it now.
LOL, i read this like a novel. it was brilliant.
and yes, iTunes is sometimes brilliantly in tune with my mood; sometimes, it’s like I’m Lindsay Lohan and the DJ is trying to get me to leave the club.
Thanks Suzy Lee. I really appreciate that. Sometimes it comes together. Right now I’m gonna hit the Easter hay. Night.