A new year calls for a new divination from the iPod oracle. Last year’s reading predicted the encouraging outcome of The Futureheads’ “Decent Days And Nights”, which is a reasonably accurate description of 2006 (and the rest of the lyrics arguably apply, but they’re pretty vague).
Of course, I meant to do this on New Year’s Day as I did last year, but didn’t get to it until now. Nevertheless, it’s worth doing it three days late to see what’s in store for the remaining 362 days. As usual, the key is here.
- The Covering: Feist, “One Evening”
- The Crossing: Lindstrøm, “There’s A Drink In My Bedroom And I Need A Hot Lady”
- The Crown: Zero 7, “Warm Sound”
- The Root: Spiritualized, “Stay With Me”
- The Past: I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness, “According To Plan”
- The Future: The Hold Steady, “Crucifixion Cruise”
- The Questioner: Sufjan Stevens, “The Seer’s Tower”
- The House: Zero 7, “In Time”
- The Inside: Ladytron, “Seventeen”
- The Outcome: Islands, “Rough Gem”
The Crossing is funny, but makes me wonder if my iPod is not being synced properly. The Outcome, in addition to being the best song on the list, starts out talking about worker exploitation in diamond mines, so I’m going to assume this is a prediction that I will take a postdoc job by the end of the year.
I just noticed that I’ve only posted four times in the month of October. Um… here’s a Friday Random 10! (If only I had some cat pictures…)
- Stereolab, “Percolator”
- TV on the Radio, “Ambulance”
- Radiohead, “No Surprises”
- The Decemberists, “The Engine Driver”
- The Arcade Fire, “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”
- Nirvana, “Stay Away”
- Radiohead, “Paranoid Android”
- Sleater-Kinney, “The Remainder”
- Pixies, “Where Is My Mind?”
- Franz Ferdinand, “Evil and a Heathen”
This is from the four-and-five-star playlist, which accounts for the very high quality of the selection.
Purify the colors, purify my mind.
Purify the colors, purify my mind,
and spread the ashes of the colors
in this heart of mine.
From a playlist of songs rated four- and five-stars:
- The Reindeer Section, “You Are My Joy”
- Cat Power, “Werewolf”
- Pixies, “Havalina”
- Zero 7, “Speed Dial No. 2″
- Blonde Redhead, “Hated Because Of Great Qualities”
- Sleater-Kinney, “One Beat”
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Cheated Hearts”
- Built To Spill, “Conventional Wisdom”
- Sigur Ros, “Hoppípolla”
- Snow Patrol, “How To Be Dead”
A while back I saw that Blonde Redhead song on a list of the top “fuck you” songs of all time, which was entirely appropriate. Kazu Makino spits the bitter lyrics over sparse and nearly funereal instrumentation. But today I’m more in the mood for “Conventional Wisdom”, the best song from Built To Spill’s latest album:
Some things never change
Nothing’s gonna change that
Some things you can’t explain
Like why we’re all embracing conventional wisdom in a world that’s just so unconventional
I meant to post some filler-type stuff before I left, but lab priorities took over that time. Anyway, my flight to New York was uneventful and I can post the filler now that I’m here. A Friday Random 10, and below the fold, the key to that post from last week with the first lines of favorite books.
- Fischerspooner, “Invisible”
- Feist, “Inside And Out”
- Belle & Sebastian, “I Love My Car”
- Björk, “I Miss You”
- Jawbreaker, “Sluttering (May 4th)”
- Franz Ferdinand, “Come On Home”
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “Restless Sinner”
- Nirvana, “Lithium”
- Ratatat, “Breaking Away”
- Pixies, “Here Comes Your Man”
This one might have made for an interesting divination. Anyway, the books from last week:
I found this meme over at LiveJournal: pick 10 favorite books and list the first lines of each. Here’s my list, in alphabetical order by author’s family name.
- The gale tore at him and he felt its bite deep within and he knew that if they did not make landfall in three days they would all be dead.
- When I was about eleven or twelve I set up a lab in my house.
- A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy.
- It was love at first sight.
- The call from dispatch is such a provocation it causes him to jerk the cruiser off the street and into a parking lot, slam the transmission into PARK, and just sit there, working up a major case of the red ass.
- Veldt to scrub to fields to farms to these first tumbling houses that rise from the earth.
- Two hours before dawn I sat in the peeling kitchen and smoked one of Sarah’s cigarettes, listening to the maelstrom and waiting.
- When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta.
- The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed subcategory.
- The Creator sat upon the throne, thinking.
Guess the sources in the comments. Many of these will be easy for this audience. #9 is definitely the easiest; the hardest may be #4 since the line itself is pretty generic. Googling is obviously cheating but checking your own bookshelf probably not.
In another instance of iPod/real world synchronicity, I was listening to the end of Sleater-Kinney’s song “Jumpers”, where they repeat the line Four seconds is the longest wait, when I arrived at an intersection and looked over to see the crossing signal count down: 4, 3, 2, 1…
I take this as a clear sign I need to do a Friday Random 10 today.
- Pretty Girls Make Graves, “The Magic Hour”
- The New Pornographers, “The Mary Martin Show”
- Mogwai, “Golden Porsche”
- Yo La Tengo, “Return To Hot Chicken”
- Pretty Girls Make Graves, “Parade”
- Belle & Sebastian, “Your Cover’s Blown”
- Sleater-Kinney, “Rollercoaster”
- Kojak, “You Can’t Stop It”
- Autechre, “Iera”
- Lilys, “Still In All The Glitter”
Several of these songs are really good (and my iPod seems to be on an Élan Vital kick) but the best is “Your Cover’s Blown”—in fact, that song is a trump card in almost any set of 10 from my library. According to Last.fm it’s my second most-played song after My Bloody Valentine, “To Here Knows When”.
Say what you want and leave your shyness home
Do what you want and write a little poem
Leave it for her and live another day
Leave it for her the girl around the way
This one is obviously meant to be a divination, given the explicit appearance of two of the major arcana.
- The Covering: Low, “Pissing”
- The Crossing: The Afghan Whigs, “Fountain And Fairfax”
- The Crown: Neutral Milk Hotel, “The Fool”
- The Root: The Flaming Lips, “What Is The Light?”
- The Past: Teenage Fanclub, “Satan”
- The Future: Clor, “Dangerzone”
- The Questioner: Bloc Party, “Hidden Track (Remix)”
- The House: R.E.M., “Find The River”
- The Inside: Bright Eyes, “Devil In The Details”
- The Outcome: Animal Collective, “Turn Into Something”
Here’s the key. This is perhaps the most straightforward iPod tarot reading I’ve ever seen. Even the instrumental tracks in The Crown and The Crossing are helpfully named after actual tarot cards (assuming one takes “Satan” to represent the card of The Devil). The Covering, The Future, and The Outcome are especially direct in their lyrics, with the last track clearly pointing towards an impending transformation. Excellent, hopefully I’ll develop a cool mutant power.
The best song in the set is “Fountain and Fairfax”, although its relevance is less clear than some of the others.
Don’t you promise me what you cannot deliver
I’ll be waiting for you on Fountain and Fairfax
That intersection exists in Los Angeles, but I don’t know whether that’s the city the Afghan Whigs had in mind…
I’d like to make a real post today but given the number of things I need to do (getting ready for a trip to Mexico on Sunday) I may not get around to it. In the meantime, here are the next ten songs to play on my iPod:
- Belle & Sebastian, “A Summer Wasting”
- The Reindeer Section, “Where I Fall”
- Yo La Tengo, “Sugarcube”
- Get Him Eat Him, “Separate States”
- Yo La Tengo, “Double Dare”
- Autechre, “Ipacial Section”
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “And I’m Aching”
- My Bloody Valentine, “Several Girls Galore”
- Sleater-Kinney, “Rollercoaster”
- Belle & Sebastian, “Act Of The Apostle II”
The best song in this set is definitely “Sugarcube”:
Try to be more assured, try to be more right there
Try to be less uptight, try to be more aware
Whatever you want from me, is what I want to do for you
Sweeter than a drop of blood from a sugarcube
I felt like posting some filler, so here is a Friday Random Ten.
- The Shins, “Mine’s Not A High Horse”
- New Order, “Who’s Joe?”
- Orange Juice, “Falling And Laughing”
- Sleater-Kinney, “Hot Rock”
- The Boy Least Likely To, “My Tiger My Heart”
- The New Pornographers, “Breakin’ The Law”
- Cat Power, “Werewolf”
- Belle & Sebastian, “Meat And Potatoes”
- Warren Zevon, “Numb As A Statue”
- Dungen, “Sluta Följa Efter”
Number 11 was the “Legend of Pai Mei” dialogue from the Kill Bill, vol. 2 soundtrack. My iPod seems to like Orange Juice and Dungen more than I do, since these bands come up on shuffle more often than they really should. The best song in this list is definitely the Cat Power.
No tarot reading this time, although I’m tempted to divine the outcome of my March Meeting talk.
- The Arcade Fire, “Haiti”
- Elliott Smith, “A Distorted Reality Is Now A Necessity To Be Free”
- Iron & Wine, “Free Until They Cut Me Down”
- Cat Power, “I Don’t Blame You”
- Mylo, “Musclecars”
- Wolf Parade, “It’s A Curse”
- Ladytron, “Cracked LCD”
- Belle & Sebastian, “Like Dylan In The Movies (Live Version)”
- Arctic Monkeys, “A Certain Romance”
- Feist, “Leisure Suite”
That’s a pretty good set, actually. Number 11 is Sybris, “You’re Only Confident In Your Insecurities”, which would have been a bad one to draw if I had been doing the tarot version.