Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Let's do the iPod Shuffle

A couple of years ago, there was a Facebook meme that instructed people to put their iPods on shuffle and list the first five songs that came up. I thought that might be fun to do, especially since my iPod is filled with all kinds of strange music.

And I do mean all kinds. I have reggae and rock, classical and country, ska and salsa (OK, I don't actually have any salsa music, but I needed a musical genre that began with "s" to complete the pattern of alliteration).

Anyway, as I type this, I haven't yet pressed the "shuffle" button, so I don't know what five songs will pop up first. But I'm predicting that Sting and Colin Hay will both be in there, since I have just about everything those two artists have ever recorded. And there's a good chance some Dave Matthews Band and Billy Joel will make the cut, too. Let's see what happens:

(1) "Murder by Numbers" - The Police
OK, this pretty much qualifies as a Sting song since he co-wrote and recorded it as the frontman for The Police in 1983. I love Sting. I have been obsessed with his music for nearly 30 years. I actually met him, too. It was July 1996 and I managed to score a backstage pass with my nephew Mark when Sting was performing at Blossom Music Center. We met him before the show, and he was as nice as anyone can be when they're getting ready to perform in front of 12,000 people in about 15 minutes. He never calls, though...

(2) "Genus Rockus" - SRO
Who? What? There are only about five people in this world who would hear that song title and know what it is. It's a song written by my good buddy Nathan Woods and recorded by SRO, the two-man band that consisted of me, Nathan, and an old IBM personal computer. We recorded one album, titled "Sandlot Tunes," in the summer of 1990. And I'm just vain enough to have my own music on my iPod. Hey, I like listening to it, OK? And I have to say, I turn in a particularly nice tenor sax performance on this song, which we always used as our closer when playing live.

(3) "Moondance" - Van Morrison
I was stunningly ignorant of Van Morrison and his music until I joined a band called Tooney Loons about 13 years ago. I was by far the youngest guy in the group, which played a lot of Eagles, Beatles and Van Morrison stuff. This is one of Van's most popular songs. If I knew how to play the flute, I would join a band again just to play this. What a great tune.

(4) "Cuban Highway" - Dave Koz
Dave Koz is the king of smooth jazz. I realize that's an almost meaningless designation to most of you, but trust me when I say that when it comes to smooth jazz, Dave is The Man. Strangely enough, he's also a good acquaintance of Terry and me. We met him at a benefit concert in 2000, and since then he has always graciously left us tickets to his shows and backstage passes whenever he plays in Cleveland. He's also my favorite Jewish saxophone player, in that he's the only Jewish saxophone player I know.

By the way, I mentioned that I have a lot of different kinds of music on my iPod, but so far we've had three rock-pop songs and a smooth jazz tune. Let's hope we pull off another genre with song #5...

(5) Movement #4 ("Presto") from Beethoven's 9th Symphony - Cleveland Orchestra
Yes! I know it totally seems like I staged that, but this really is the fifth song that came up in my random iPod shuffle.  I have just enough knowledge of classical music to be dangerous, and Beethoven's 9th is definitely my favorite of his symphonies. Powerful, emotional, almost mind-bending stuff. Just incredible music from one of the few people in history who truly deserves the title of "musical genius." Give it a listen if you haven't already.

So in the end we have three musical genres and no sign of the predicted Colin Hay, Dave Matthews and Billy Joel sightings. Which is fine. I was scared to death Barry Manilow, Pet Shop Boys or Cyndi Lauper would come up and make you all think less of me...

(Hey, feel free to do the "Top 5 Shuffle" with your iPod and report the results below in the comments!)


  1. My first try didn't post. I'll try again ... this is a fun game:

    "Vengeance is Sleeping," Neko Case.

    "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere," live from Detroit in 2002, The Who

    "Tell Me Something," Van Morrison, Georgie Fame, Mose Allison and Ben Sidran

    "Going to California," Alejandro Escovedo

    "C'mon Every Beatbox," Big Audio Dynamite

  2. Wow, Cliff, that's an interesting lineup. Had to look up Alejandro Escovedo and discovered he's Sheila E's uncle. Who knew? I'm sure he leads The Glamorous Life.

    1. I saw Alejandro at the Beachland about two years ago ... he was pretty good. I've seen Neko Case three times, including last year at Beachland ... she's been excellent every time. I was at that Detroit show for the Who in 2002 ... that also was a lot of fun.

  3. How cool, this is gonna be fun. Okay, here we go...

    1) Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers

    Great song, I've always loved his voice. BTW, Sting's version of this is pretty great too...

    2) Guess God Thinks I'm Abel - Oasis

    This is NO surprise for anyone that has known me for longer than 5 minutes, my all time favorite rock & roll band and one of the most underrated in my humble opinion.

    3) Married With Children - Oasis

    Okay I'm starting to see a pattern here...

    4) 867-5309/Jenny - Tommy Tutone - Excellent song and quite possibly the greatest one hit wonder ever. I am truly a child of the 80's.

    5)Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who - My all time favorite R&R song, the perfect tune by the perfect band from the perfect album (Who's Next)

    WOW, a truly amazing showing by my iPod Classic, I could not have picked a better group of songs.

  4. Ok, I'll play. Surprised at how many 80's tunes came up in the top five (only two one-hit-wonders, I'll leave it to the peanut gallery to determine if Colin Hay qualifies as a OHW). I have way more 70's albums, what's up iTunes?

    Here's my shuffle:

    I want Candy - Bow WoW Wow
    Downloaded in the napster era, always loved the drums in this one

    All Around the World - The Jam
    This brings me high cred, only characters in John Hughes movies listened to the Jam.!

    Waiting for my real life to begin - Colin Hay (Man at Work)
    this is his acoustic album, saw him at the Ram's Head back on the late 90's, he was awesome.

    Promises, Promise (acoustic) - Naked Eyes - this is a 90's released acoustic version, the album also had Rick Springfield and Tommy Tutone belting out their old songs without all the synths and spandex...

    I want a hippopotamus for Christmas - Gretch Wilson
    I made a lot of christmas compilations over the years, I think I have pretty much every humorous xmas song ever produced.

    Thanks Scott, this was fun.

  5. Love the lists, Mark and Tom. Any two lists that include Tommy Tutone AND Bow Wow Wow are OK by me!

  6. I have to be one of the very few people alive that can still say they have an original copy of Sandlot Tunes, a well treasured cassette tape that surfaces every few years as I'm cleaning out boxes and rearranging old stuff. Good stuff Mr Tennant.

    Todd Donnelly

  7. You, me, Nate and about five others, Todd! Good to hear it still survives.