One of them iTunes games.

I done stole this from my old lady’s blog. I love these kinds of shuffle games. They’re probably more fun to write than they are to read, in the long run, but I find myself with a snowed-in Sunday to kill.

The fonts’ll be all messed up since that seems to be what happens when you cut and paste. At least I got to use the contraction “fonts’ll”. Also, I accidentally listed mine in descending order, since I’m used to seeing music lists done in that order. I decided to just leave it that way to be exciting, unique, and impossibly sexy.
Like Annie, I opted to link the songs to YouTube videos whenever possible. By the way, whether you like the song or not, I highly recommend watching the “Kitty” video, especially if like me you enjoy watching cats do stupid things.

Put your music player on shuffle.Post the first 40 songs that come up. You can repeat artists if you want. If you have any repeats, skip to the next track. (From there, answer 38 questions about your 40 songs).


40) “Train in Vain (Stand By Me)” – The Clash
39) “Kitty” – The Presidents of the United States of America
38) “Cause I Can Do It Right” – Big Daddy Kane
37) “Your Genius Hands” – Everclear
36) “Trees Lounge” – Hayden
35) “Blue” – The Jayhawks
34) “Roll the Old Chariots” – Wood’s Tea Co.
33) “Shotgun” – Junior Walker and the All Stars
32) “Last Stop This Town” – Eels
31) “Wonderful” – The Beta Band
30) “Subterranean Homesick Blues” – Bob Dylan
29) “The Girls Want to Be With the Girls”– Talking Heads
28) “Daddy’s Little Pumpkin” – John Prine
27) “We Want a Rock” – They Might Be Giants
26) “Pablo Picasso” – The Modern Lovers
25) “Burn On” – Randy Newman
24) “I Can’t Wait to Get Off Work” – Tom Waits
23) “This is a Call” – Foo Fighters
22) “Who Do You Love?” – George Thorogood
21) “You Really Got a Hold On Me” – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
20) “Indianapolis” – Bottle Rockets
19) “The Legend of Xanadu” – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
18) “Happy Organ” – Dave “Baby” Cortez
17) “Stars” – Hum
16) “Disorder in the House” – Warren Zevon
15) “Know Your Onion!” – The Shins
14) “Glory of True Love” – John Prine
13) “Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley
12) “Furnace Room Lullaby” – Neko Case & Her Boyfriends
11) “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” – Elton John
10) “Down Along the Cove” – Bob Dylan
09) “Vanessa From Queens” – Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
08) “One Big Holiday” – My Morning Jacket
07) “Graceland” – Paul Simon
06) “Lowdown” – My Morning Jacket
05) “Tired of Sex” – Weezer
04) “’74-”75″ – The Connells
03) “Anticipation” – Delta 5
02) “I’ve Got a Feeling” – The Beatles
01) “You Better You Bet” – The Who


1. Which song do you prefer, #1 or #40?
Those are both good songs, but I’ll take “Train in Vain” (#40) over “You Better You Bet” (#1), though not by an enormous margin. Neither of these songs represents the best work of either The Clash or The Who, but they’re both catchy and fun. I used to think “You Better You Bet” was really stupid as a child, because my brother and I found the vocals ridiculous (which they are, but in a way I can now appreciate rather than mock) and we thought it was about a girl named Betty Bettybet.

2. Have you ever listened to #12 continuously on repeat?
I have never even listened to “Furnace Room Lullaby” on non-repeat until it came up while playing this game, but I liked what I heard. Neko Case is more Annie’s thing than mine, but I keep meaning to listen to more of her stuff.

3. What album is #26 from?
“Pablo Picasso” is from The Modern Lovers by The Modern Lovers. It’s a good time for everyone.

4. What do you think about the artist who did #15?
Actually I was just discussing The Shins with Annie. Some unfair part of me wants to dislike them, simply because they’re inescapable and too many people want to yak about them. In this case, it turns out the yakkers have solid reasons behind their ceaseless prattle. The Shins are a good band. They don’t do anything particularly daring instrumentation-wise, but they’re practically melody scientists. If you can write a catchy tune, like “Know Your Onion!” for example, you’re all right in my book.

5. Is #19 one of your favorite songs?

“The Legend of Xanadu” by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich is not one of my favorite songs. It is not even one of my favorite Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich songs. But I like it fine.

6. Who does #38 remind you of?
“Cause I Can Do It Right” by Big Daddy Kane doesn’t remind of a solitary soul. I’ve racked my brain, and really it only reminds me of Big Daddy Kane. Who rules, by the way.

7. Does #20 have better lyrics or music?
Not that they can’t play, but The Bottle Rockets are pretty lyric-oriented songwriters, and that’s certainly true of “Indianapolis”: “Can’t go west, can’t go east/I’m stuck in Indianapolis with a fuel pump that’s deceased”. Good tune.

8. Do any of your friends like #3?
I have no idea if anyone I know likes “Anticipation” by Delta 5. It’s possibly. I’ve been friends with an angry broad or two in my day.

9. Is #33 from a movie soundtrack?
As a matter of fact, I seem to recall (and a quick internet search confirms) that “Shotgun” by Junior Walker and the All-Stars plays over the opening scene of the movie “Misery”, while James Caan is getting into his fateful car accident. It’s impossible not to make unattractive pelvis-undulating motions in your computer chair while listening to “Shotgun”, by the way.

10. Is #18 overplayed on the radio?
Unfortunately, “Happy Organ” by Dave “Baby” Cortez is sadly underplayed on the radio. It’s just great. I love anything with organs in it, including “Happy Organ”, “96 Tears”, my wife, and hot dogs.

11. What does #21 remind you of?
“You Really Got a Hold On Me” reminds me of what a fantastic singer Smokey Robinson is, but most of all it reminds me of this.

12. Which song do you prefer, #5 or #22?
Let’s see, “Tired of Sex” by Weezer against “Who Do You Love” by George Thorogood. Both songs are big loud messes, so it’s a close race, but “Tired of Sex” has grown on me steadily over the years, while “Who Do You Love?” just kind of is what it is, although I’ve always liked the line “I got a cobra snake for a necktie”. That’s pretty badass, but as usual George (who I’ve always had a certain fondness for, even that ridiculous “Get a Haircut” song) didn’t write it. That’s a Bo Diddley original, and while it’s possible that Bo’s version might beat the Weezer song, George’s doesn’t quite.

13. What album is #17 from?
“Stars” is from Hum’s 1995 album “You’d Prefer an Astronaut”. I think it was on a car commercial recently, which wrecks it somewhat, but I imagine Hum was pretty thankful for the paycheck.

14. When did you first hear #39?
I first heard “Kitty” by P.O.T.U.S.A. upon purchasing their debut album on the basis of the then-ubiquitous single “Lump”, and putting it in the CD player. It’s the first track on the CD. It was the first of many spins of this particular disc. They had that perfect mix of catchy and retarded that rarely fails to engage me, for a few months anyway, whereupon I never want to hear it again, and then six years later I’ll put it on for shits and giggles and love it all over again from a nostalgic standpoint.

15. When did you first hear #7?
I honestly couldn’t say when I first heard the song “Graceland” by Paul Simon. I almost think my friend Ted put it on a mix tape, and I heard it in his car, perhaps en route to the Bangor Mall or the movies or something. That’s just a guess. It’s a good song that I don’t often get the urge to play.

16. What genre is #8?
I think My Morning Jacket would be considered a jam band. Let me check. I never know what anything is. Well, the internet isn’t telling me anything helpful. They get mentioned in that magazine Paste a lot, if that helps.

17. Do any of your friends like #14?
I’m willing to bet that absolutely zero of my friends (excluding my wife, who would probably recognize it but not be able to identify it by title) have heard “Glory of True Love” by John Prine, and my uneducated guess is that none of them would really give a crap about it either way. This is off his most recent album, which I’m just starting to appreciate. But if you’re curious about him, listen to his older stuff. Anything off “John Prine” or “Sweet Revenge” would be a good place to start. His live stuff is also usually a good introduction. I’m going to shut up now before this gets out of hand.

18. What color does #4 remind you of?
“’74-’75” by The Connells instantly conjures up a very pale green in my mind, and what a pretty song this is, incidentally.

19. Have you ever blasted #11 on your stereo?
I do most of my blasting directly into my eardrums through the headphones plugged into my computer, as it has no external speakers. But if I had a blasting-capable stereo, I would have no qualms whatsoever about blasting “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t like to hear this song at maximum volume, and I refuse to believe anyone who states otherwise. Elton John rocks the party that rocks the body, in case anyone asks you who does that. It’s a question that comes up from time to time.

20. What genre is #37?
I would call Everclear rock. Nothing too fancy about it. “Your Genius Hands” is from “World of Noise”, their first album, which never got much attention, and they crib heavily from Pixies on it, but I’ve always liked the annoyingly repetitive one-note riff on this song. Not sure why.

21. Can you play #13 on any instrument?
I imagine I could figure out “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley on guitar if I sat down and worked with it. I don’t detect a multitude of different chords in there. It might not sound that great but I could do it.

22. What is your favorite lyric from #30?
Quite a few lyrics in “Subterranean Homesick Blues” to select from, but the only one that ever stands out is the last one, when “the pump don’t work cuz the vandals took the handle”. Pump vandalizing: unforgivable!

23. What is your favorite lyric from #23?
“This is a Call” by Foo Fighters has some pretty inane lyrics. I don’t think meaningful poesy was foremost in Dave Grohl’s mind when he slapped this debut album together, but I always thought it had some catchy stuff on it. I guess I’d have to go with “Them balloons are pretty big”. Emily Dickinson eat your heart out.

24. Would you recommend #24 to your friends?
I doubt I’d think to recommend “I Can’t Wait to Get Off Work” by Tom Waits to anyone. Nothing against it, it’s just not a song that’s ever foremost in my mind. I just found out my mom likes Tom Waits. I don’t even know what’s real anymore.

25. Is #2 a good song to dance to?
I like most everything off “Let it Be”, this song especially, but “I’ve Got a Feeling” by The Beatles is not a good song to dance to. Maybe compared to, say, “Revolution 9”, but otherwise, not really.

26. Do you ever hear #16 on the radio?
I’ve not heard “Disorder in the House” by Warren Zevon on the radio. Barring XM or Sirius or whatever, I doubt I ever will.

27. Is #32 more of a “nighttime” or “daytime” song?
“Last Stop This Town” by Eels strikes me as a nighttime song.

28. Does #36 have any special meaning to you?
I love “Trees Lounge”, but I wouldn’t say there’s any special meaning involved.

29. Do any of your friends like #31?
I associate each of my friends with no more than one or two musicians, none of which are The Beta Band, so I wouldn’t know if any of them like “Wonderful” or not. “Dry the Rain” is a lot more fun.

30. Is #25 a fast or slow song?
“Burn On” is on the slow side. Randy Newman isn’t exactly known for writing barn-burners, although he did write one called “Let’s Burn Down the Cornfield”. So crops yes, barns no. This is the song they play over the beginning credits of “Major League”, and it’s one of my favorite songs of all time.

31. Is #35 a happy or sad song?
“Blue” is unquestionably a sad song. It’s called “Blue”, for God’s sake. It’s one of the most raggedly beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, and for that reason I don’t find myself playing it too often. It’s like listening to your dad sob softly in the next room.

32. What is one of your favorite lyrics from #9?
The one that sticks out is “Won’t you let me let me let me love you?”. I like “Vanessa from Queens” quite a bit, but more for the tune than for the words.

33. Is #34 better to listen to alone or with friends?
I really don’t like listening to music with friends. The shitty thing about friends is they tend to feel they need to express their opinions. “Roll the Old Chariots” is by Woods Tea Co., a little-known band that covers a lot of Irish standards, and it’s short, sweet, and a bit sad. Annie turned me on to them, and we used to play card games while listening to a live CD of theirs when we lived in Jay, so I have fond feelings towards them.

34. When did you first hear #27?
A pen pal from media camp (yes, I attended something called media camp, please don’t judge) sent me “Flood” by They Might Be Giants back in 1992 or 93. Not because she liked them, but rather because she despised them and wanted the tape out of her house. I gladly accepted it, since I only knew a couple songs and really liked what little I’d heard. I played that tape to death, and “We Want a Rock” was one of my favorites.

35. Name 3 other songs by the artist who did #29
Okay, if you say so. “Psycho Killer”, “Stay Up Late”, and “(Nothing But) Flowers” are three more good Talking Heads songs.

36. Do you know all the words to #6?
I find that I know really none of the lyrics to “Lowdown” by My Morning Jacket, other than “baa, baa, baa”.

37. Does #28 have better lyrics or music?
This is interesting, because although I rather like “Daddy’s Little Pumpkin” by John Prine, I’m not terribly impressed by either the lyrics or the music. I guess it’s a “whole package” kind of deal here.

38. What album is #10 from?
No clue, give me a second. All right, Amazon tells me that “Down Along the Cove” is from Bob Dylan’s album “John Wesley Harding”. I’m pretty green when it comes to Bob Dylan. I find either I like his songs a lot or I never want to hear them ever again.

There, that’s it for that. Thanks for bringing me three hours closer to death, iTunes game!



5 Responses to “One of them iTunes games.”

  1. First of all, “Kitty” is one of the best songs to karaoke to. As is “Lump” but you’ve got to really go for the high notes. When these songs come on in the karaoke bar, everyone is smiling. They’re so happy that someone is singing something other than “Goodbye Earl” by the Dixie Chicks or “To Be with You” by Mr. Big (I admit I’ve sang both, but I’ve never sang the Kid Rock/Sheryll Crow duet that is so ubiquitous in those bars).

    “Tired of Sex” is one of the best songs ever. When Rivers Cuomo screams, “OOoooH! OoOOHH!” it’s so gutteral and desperate it can make you cry.

  2. Is that duet the one where each of them has discarded the other’s photograph, and they sing mournfully about this action over a mind-numbing chord progression? I can see that being a popular karaoke song, as drunk rednecks with no range whatsoever could easily get through it.

    I’ve only sang 2 karaoke songs in my life: “No Scrubs” by TLC and “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher. The TLC song went over better than the Cher. I’ve never tried singing karaoke to a song I actually enjoyed! That might improve things. Too bad leaving the house is endlessly unappealing.

  3. What about Annie? Does she karaoke? I actually only get around to it about 3 or 4 times a year, but it’s fun. Another good one is “Self Esteem” by Offspring.

  4. Annie has karaoke’d in the past, although I’ve never seen it happen. She seems to prefer dancing over singing. She had an awkward karaoke experience with some friends at a notoriously uncharitable redneck bar a few years back that may have forever tainted her desire to karaoke.

    I always had a vague desire to do “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas, as I know it backward and forward and there’s a lot of good opportunities for meaningful fist-pumping.

  5. I love karaoke! I’m not very good at it, but that’s rarely stopped me.

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