Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Art of the Shuffle, Vol. 1


When I was full-on at WOXY, I immersed myself in new releases nearly all the time. So much so, that I never lingered too long on even my most favorite new discs: gotta move on, gotta go, gotta find the next favorite band. As a result, I hardly ever touched my iPod. Hell, that's where the old stuff was! Still, I kept stockpiling CD's and would tell people that I was building my record collection for the rest of my life.

So now, nothing gives me a bigger kick than walking the dogs and putting the 40GB on shuffle and just being surprised as to what comes up. Obscure tunes, all-time favorites and songs I mentally note to delete are all fighting in the mix. I'll think a random segue might be worthy of airplay. Lately, if the mix is rockin', I've taken to driving past the entrance to our subdivision and head for the wide open spaces of Texas because nothing, absolutely nothing, beats driving with the sunroof open, the windows down, and the stereo cranked on a warm, sunny day. And, thank goodness, there's a lot of those in Austin.

Often I just enjoy the randomness of it all. I guess this is what I was missing out on by staying laser-focused on the radio station. Plus, I love how a shuffle often provides a glimpse, if not a snapshot, of one's collection and greater musical taste. Over the past few months, I've digitized so much music that my hard drive is full. My goal is, of course, to upgrade to the 160GB iPod. No videos. No games. Just music, as originally intended.

So, here's the latest long shuffle from my old beast, Version 3.1.1, currently with 5155 songs. There's still work to do. BTW, it looks like it's Foals, FTW:

A Place To Bury Strangers - Dead Beat
The Black Angels - Telephone
Atlas Sound (w/ Laetitia Sadier) - Quick Canal
Pixies - Down To The Well
Missing Persons - Walking In L.A.
Foals - Miami
Foals - Olympic Airways
Wolf Parade - Fancy Claps
Orange Juice - Poor Old Soul (Part Two)
The Beatles - Get Back (Love OST)
Chuck Berry - You Never Can Tell (Pulp Fiction OST)
The Maxwell Implosion - Grasshopper
The Long Blondes - You Could Have Both
M.I.A. - Paper Planes
Snow Patrol - Wow
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - I'll Still Be True
The Muslims (The Soft Pack) - Extinction
Rush - Limelight
PJ Harvey - Me-Jane
Kate Bush - Watching You Without Me
Foals - This Orient
Moby - Run On
Sonic Youth - Sugar Kane
The Psychedelic Furs - President Gas
Spacemen 3 - Walkin' With Jesus (Sound Of Confusion)
Squeeze - Up The Junction
The Kinks - A Well Respected Man
Daft Punk - One More Time
Elbow - Weather To Fly
David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
ABBA - Super Trouper
Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick (single edit)
Heart - Dreamboat Annie
Sex Pistols - No Feelings
Imelda May - It's Your Voodoo Working
Squeeze - Annie Get Your Gun
The Lodger - You Got Me Wrong
Jonsi - Around Us

What do some of your mixes look like?


  1. Excellent post Mike. Spot on!

    I think DC said it best once on a TWR episode that WOXY is some sort of armchair terrorist organization, and it was your all's hard work curating WOXY that taught a lot of people how to pay attention to their music. Thanks!

    Here are your instructions..

    1) Burn tracks to disc
    2) Go to car hour
    3) Turn key & insert disc
    3) Open sunroof, turn west out of subdivision & drive.

    The Bird and the Bee - Heard It On The Radio
    Young Galaxy - Long Live the Fallen World
    The Joy Formidable - The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade
    Emanuel & The Fear - Jimmie's Song
    Ra Ra Riot - You & I Know
    Daniel Martin Moore, Ben Solle - Something, Somewhere, Sometime
    Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
    The National - Lit Up
    The Features - Gullotine
    Drive By Truckers - Birthday Boy
    Fanfarlo - Drowning Man
    School Of Seven Bells - Windstorm
    Miike Snow - Black & Blue
    Los Campesinos! - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future
    Cymbals Eat Guitars - And The Hazy Sea
    Evening Chorus - Decisions
    Tallest Man On Earth - You're Going Back
    Regina Spektor - No Surprises (Radiohead Cover)
    My Gold Mask - I Don't Need the Reason
    LCD Soundsystem - All I Want
    Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
    Groove Armada - Paper Romance
    She & Her - Don't Look Back
    The Tallest Man On Earth - Graceland
    Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around

  2. i've only got my iphone with me at work, so it's only got relatively current stuff on;

    anomie belle - john q public
    class actress - let me take you out
    chapel club - surfacing
    a classic education - what my life could have been
    cocorosie - lemonade
    foals - spanish sahara
    ladyhawke - my delirium
    middle distance runner - the sun & earth
    the middle east - blood
    miike snow - sans soleil
    mura mura - rabbit
    pela - waiting on the stairs
    peter wolf crier - hard as nails
    sambassadeur - stranded
    sleigh bells - ring ring
    sunset rubdown - nightingale/december song
    surf city - headin inside
    sleepy vikings - flashlight tag
    sleepy vikings - calm
    tennis - south carolina
    these new puritans - we want war
    tigers that talked - duet
    the war on drugs - taking the farm
    allo darlin' - let's go swimming
    esben and the witch - about this peninsula
    julie peel - living in a movie
    say hi - zero to love
    lower dens - tea lights
    the national - afraid of everyone

    basically i'm trying to replicate a couple of hours of woxy programming

  3. I don't buy Apple products so I'm not sure if this is possible with an Ipod. That being said, I have a Sansa Vuze Mp3 player. I listen to newly downloaded music first. I then start in order from the beginning and listen to all music in order. I may try a shuffle but one thing I can't do - driving with the sunroof open. I live in NYC and do not own a car!

  4. My favorite mix is the 1999 Modern Rock 500. Back in the days before file sharing was illegal, I downloaded every song, and loaded them to about 28 CDs. I always have at least 3 or 4 of them on hand when I'm in my car.

    What I really miss, though, is rolling my car back an forth at a stop light on the East side of Cincinnati, trying to get better reception from 97.7 on my radio dial.

  5. I have a 1gb usb stick for podcasts and a 8gb usb stick for music. I also have a usb compatable car stereo so I can load loads of stuff on there for a week or so and if i get bored of the stuff on there (about 50 or so albums i think?) I can change it up. Within about 2 years or so the price of memory will fall so low that a 50gig usb stick will probably be around $20. Its crazy to think how cheap memory has become and so our abiliuty to shuffle huge amounts of music has increased massivly.

  6. Well, Mike, when WOXY disappeared in March, I did the same thing - put my iTunes music collection on shuffle - 20,000 songs, at least 2/3 directly traced to listening to WOXY since 1986. It was fun for a few months, but no matter how much I loved the old stuff (and some CD's I bought but had never really listened to), after a while I got to needing some new music. So I've downloaded or listened to every thing you've posted here many times over. I know at this point it's your hobby not your job, but everything you have time to post is appreciated.

    Over the years, I sometimes wondered whether I loved the music WOXY played simply because I had listened to it for so many years, or because WOXY played the kind of music I loved but simply didn't know existed until I heard it on WOXY. It probably doesn't really matter. But when you'd slip a a song into the standard WOXY mix from the pre-modern rock era, like an obscure Beatles song like "Savoy Truffle," I'd realize that in fact you were finding those hidden gems.

    So it is funny to me that the 60's and 70's songs that show up on your shuffle are part of that 1/3 of my songs that pre-dated the WOXY era. So I'm going to cue up Dreamboat Annie now. iTunes says I last listened to it 2/14/05.