I bought a 1GB iPod shuffle a few weeks ago

I wanted it for walking around, where the 80GB Classic I’ve got is just too clunky and insufficiently solid-state.

There was the requisite monkeying with LInux and its somewhat fractious relationship with iPods, and then I started putting stuff on it.

I’ve been so used to dealing with my music collection in its entirety, or at least in very, very large chunks–I started ripping things en mass in mid-’99–that it was sort of interesting to realize that I could get maybe 150 songs on the thing. I had to really think about what I wanted on there.

Some of it is obvious, at least to me: some Stevie Wonder, some Steely Dan, some Queens of the Stone Age, some post-Rattle-and-Hum U2 and all sorts of other eclecticism that has fascinated me for a long time.

Some of it was less obvious–for insance, I’ve been listening to Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” a lot of late. I got there in a way both obvious and circuitous.

I watch _House_ (I want to add, “of course”, but, of course, there is no “of course” about it), and at one point in the season finale I heard a cover of a song that I recognized but simply could not place.

The internets know everything, though, so in short order I was able to find out that it was a cover of the aforementioned Massive Attack song. I was then somewhat embarassed to read that the original version–which I own, and, obviously, find fairly recognizable, is the theme for the show.

Oh, well.

And then there are the desert island tracks. King Crimson’s “Discipline”, Led Zeppelin’s “Bron Yr Aur”, a few other things that I think I could listen to every day for the rest of my life in tight rotation and never get tired of.

And then there’s Jeff Buckley’s “Vancouver”. Everyone goes gaga over “Hallelujah”, but there is an echo of pain in “Vancouver” that punches me in the gut each and every time.

I’m bad about noting the anniversaries of deaths–I had to look up his on Wikipedia–so I’m a few days late in noting that it’s been 11 years since Jeff Buckley died, and not a week goes by that I don’t wonder what he would have accomplished.

And just to illustrate the self-referential nature of my musical tastes, the vocals for “Teardrop” were recorded shortly after Elizabeth Fraser (the vocalist on the track, and a friend of Buckley’s), got word of his death.

Published by

Michael Alan Dorman

Yogi, brigand, programmer, thief, musician, Republican, cook. I leave it to you figure out which ones are accurate.