Saturday, June 27, 2009

MORE ITUNES LIBRARY SHUFFLE

As I’ve said, I don’t have an iPod or any kind of device you plug into your ear (I never used a walkman either). I don’t like things in my ears.

But I love having discovered the shuffle function on my computer’s iTunes music library once I plugged in the speaker system my older son bought me for it. I can’t get over how much delight it gives me.

I’ve always dug abrupt juxtapositions (the poet Ted Berrigan’s variation on William Carlos Williams famous dictum: “No ideas but in things” was “No ideas but in juxtapositions” and always struck me as pretty accurate).

And the fact is I hear songs I haven’t listened to in a while more clearly and get more out of them. Like Glenn Gould’s Bach variations, I haven’t listened to them in years because I wasn’t really hearing them individually anymore, they were all blending together and beginning to sound uninspired and tedious, which I know isn’t true.

Now hearing even the shortest one juxtaposed against Lester Young or Ben E. King or Lucious Jackson makes me hear in a more focused and clear way, like I’m hearing it for the first time and digging it in ways that give me so much pleasure I can’t stop smiling.

I know a lot of folks who love that “genius” shuffle device that organizes your music by genre and so on. But I love the crazy juxtapositions of sounds and feelings and memories and musical imagination that occur when the whole musical mix is included.

I’m still adding music to my computer but from what I have on it already, this is a pretty good example of the ways it surprises me, an alphabet list of some of the highlights of the last couple of days:

AIREGIN (Lambert Hendricks & Ross)
AVE VERUM CORPUS, K. 618 by Mozart (A Capella) (The Swingle Singers) (interesting juxtaposition of singers vocalizing instrumental music)
BABS (The Nat King Cole Trio, way early ensemble singing and swinging)
BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE (Johnny Mercer & Margaret Whiting?)
BEAUTIFUL MOONS AGO (Nat King Cole Trio)
BESS YOU IS MY WOMAN NOW (William Warfield & Leontyne Price),
BIRTHDAY (Bjork with the Sugarcubes)
BOB WHITE (WHATCHU GONNA SWING TONIGHT?) (Bing Crosby & unknown female vocalist with the John Trotter Orchestra, ‘30s),
CHAIN OF FOOLS (Aretha Franklin)
CHANT IN THE NIGHT (Sidney Bechet)
CONFIRMATION (Art Blakey)
DESAFINADO (Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd)
DON’T PLAY THAT SONG (Ben E. King)
DRUM BOOGIE (George Krupa and his Orchestra, Gene’s brother)
EPILOGUE (Bill Evans)
FLAMENCO SKETCHS (Miles David from KINDA BLUE)
FLYIN’ HIGH (IN THE FRIENDLY SKY) (Marvin Gaye, even heavier since he died and I haven’t listened to this in decades)
GOLDBERG VARIATIONS, BWV 998 – Var. 12 : Canone Ala Quarta by Bach (Glenn Gould, only 56 seconds, but it felt like an unexpected gift)
GONE WITH THE DRAFT (Nat King Cole Trio)
GOODNIGHT SWEETHEART, GOODNIGHT (The Spaniels)
GUESS I’LL HANG MY TEARS OUT TO DRY (classic older Sinatra)
HER MANTLE SO GREEN (Sinaed O’Connor)
HOLIDAY FOR STRINGS (Michel Legrand)
I CAN’T GET STARTED WITH YOU (Clifford Brown & Max Roach)
IN THE JAILHOUSE NOW (The Soggy Mountain Boys from the soundtrack to O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?)
IS IT A CRIME (Sade)
JACQUI (Clifford Brown & Max Roach)
LAURA (Sinatra again, I have a lot of recordings from over the half century he was making them)
LESSON # 8 from SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (Mandy Patinkin)
THE LONESOME DEATH OF HATTIE CARROL (the young Bob Dylan)
LOVE CHILD (Diana Ross & The Supremes)
MANHA DE CARNAVAL (Morning of the Carnival) (Luis Bonfa from the soundtrack to BLACK ORPHEUS)
MANY A NEW DAY (Shirley Jones from the OKALAHOMA! Soundtrack)
MENUET # 1 by Satie (Aldo Ciccolini)
MOANIN’ THE BLUES (Hank Williams)
MY LITTLE SUEDE SHOES (Charlie Parker)
NIGHTENGALE (Norah Jones)
NOBODY LOVES ME BUT MY MOTHER (B. B. King)
ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET (Sinatra again, the swingin’ era)
OPEN THE DOOR (from THE LAST EMPEROR sountrack)
PARADE (Lucisous Jackson, only 12 seconds long!)
PICASSO (Coleman Hawkins, solo, just him and his horn!)
RED SAILS IN THE SUNSET (a younger Bing Crosby & the Guardsmen Quartet)
ROCKIN CHAIR (Louis Armstrong & Jack Teagarden)
A SAILBOAT IN THE MOONLIGHT (Billie Holiday & Lester Young)
SALLY GAL (Bob Dylan, an outtake from the soundtrack to the Scorcese documentary)
SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES (Teddy Wilson solo, just him and the piano)
SOON (Frank Sinatra, live with an intro in his youngish voice)
STRAIGHT NO CHASER (Thelonious Monk)
SURFIN’ SAFARI (The Beach Boys)
TIPITINA (Professor Longhair)
VARIATIONS ON “I GOT RHYTHM” (George Gershwin live on the radio, with him introducing and explaining the variations, including a “Chinese version” imitating a “Chinese Flute” which he says are “always out of tune” etc. amazing to hear out of the blue)
WHEN NEW YORK WAS IRISH (Celtic Thunder, the original Terence Winch group & song)
WOODY’S RAG (HARD WORK) (Woody Guthrie)
YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY (Lester Young)
YOU’RE STRONGER THAN ME (Patsy Cline)
ZOMBIE (The Cranberries)

1 comment:

harryn said...

to say i love juxtapositions is probably a bit of an understatement ...
but i share the thrill of hearing it fresh - against the quality of another piece that's already made the cut into the archive ...
when i first started ipodding it created the same sort of excitement for me as when i got my first transistor radio and the dj's back in the early 60's would spin beatles against beach boys, everly bros., nat king cole, petula clark, supremes, etc. - i never knew what to expect but it was usually always a thrill - at high school dances, the shore, and public pools - music became an integrated part of the excitement of everything else - as well as the bikinis, first loves, etc - before the jading kicked in i guess ...
reacquainting myself through ipod has been great - the neighbors dog barking, motorcycles, and the endless drone of lawnmowers in suburbia are less of a problem beneath my ear buds while i'm painting or even contributing to the mundane drones ...
you gotta try the books and symposium podcasts next - i listened to the odyssey from newark to lax a few weeks ago - definately consciousness altering ...
love it.