In the meantime, have yet another meme, this one ganked from theonlytwin. By way of explanation, my iTunes is not just music I've downloaded, but also music that other people thought I might like and put on. So it's revelatory of my friends and lovers as much as it is of me.
You can learn a lot about someone from the music they listen to. Here's the game: hit shuffle on your music player, and write down the first 25 songs that come up. No cheating or skipping songs.
1. "Teargas Anthem," Desert Rat
It's one of those earnest lefty songs. I first came upon it at a Wobbly convention when a cute boy with bongo drums started a singalong of it. It works really well as a singalong but I'm a bit embarrassed listening to it.
2. "Everyone I Went to High School With Is Dead," Mr. Bungle
Mr. Bungle are criminally underrated, musically speaking. I don't actually find them that enjoyable to listen to, just interesting. Like jazz.
3. "Sans Toi"
Hmm I don't know who sings this. It doesn't say. Snark knows.
4. "Tags of the Times"
I don't know who this is either. The artist is also listed as "Tags of the Times." It's sort of apocalyptic hip hop or something.
Have I mentioned that my iTunes is catastrophically disorganized?
5. No freaking idea what this is called
My DJ friend got a hold of this project where they recorded a bunch of brilliant but obscure (in North America, anyway) Afrobeat artists in various villages. On tape. The tapes are really low quality but the music is amazing. I think this is from that.
6. "Launch Yourself," Adem
I don't know how to describe Adem. They're very strange, ethereal indie pop with lyrics about space. I like space.
7. "Fevered Ego," Bill Hicks
You don't know who Bill Hicks is? Shame on you. It's spoken word, but it's on my iTunes, so I guess it counts.
8. "Johnny's Speech," Van Dyke Parks
Okay, now we're getting into the realm of "music I actually listen to regularly." This is from "Lost in the Stars," which is an album of Brecht/Weill songs by various artists. Brecht/Weill songs are pretty much my favourite sort of music: weird, dark, nasty, and communist. This is an instrumental, despite the title.
9. "Ready, Able," Grizzly Bear
This is what you listen to if you're a Toronto hipster. It's like a badge of cool or something. I am not really that cool but my DJ friend is, and she sends me music like this a lot. They are great, though.
10. "Cannon March," Ohbijou
Toronto pride! I have no idea if they're big anywhere else, but they should be. I really like the singer's voice. She reminds me a bit of the Cranes.
11. "Paint it Black," Rolling Stones
This is the only song I like by the Stones. It has also been covered by every goth band ever.
12. "Hatoa," Bonobo
I somehow wound up with a whole bunch of Bonobo tracks. It's too mellow for my general listening, but not bad to have sex to. Or to do drugs to, if I still did drugs. Which I don't.
13. "Todo Cambia," Mercedes Sosa
Mercedes Sosa was an amazing folk singer from Argentina. Even though I don't understand a good 99% of what she's singing, her passion and sense of social justice somehow bleeds through the language barrier.
14. "Starry Night," Mazen Kerbaj
Oh man. Let me know if you want me to send you this one. Mazen Kerbaj is a blogger, musician, and comic artist from Lebanon. During the Israeli bombing of Beirut in 2006, he sat on his rooftop and recorded the shelling. And played trumpet along with it, because apparently he is the biggest badass ever. It's 6.32 minutes of the most chilling music you will ever hear.
15. "Song and Emotion," Tesla
I have no excuse for this one. I will claim I downloaded it because of the band's name.
16. "Ruled by Secrecy," Muse
One of my friends likes Muse and thought I should give them a listen. I hear they have something to do with Twilight, which is unfortunate.
17. "Runaway," Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Breathy indie rock with piano. It's very catchy.
18. "Ribbon Bows," Joanna Newsom
I gather that she is a newish artist, but she sounds like she belongs in a different era. Sort of folky-rootsy, and she has a wonderful voice.
19. "Shadrack," Juke Baritone
These guys are kind of Tom Waits-ish cabaret music. Pretty awesome.
20. "In the Devil's Territory," Sufjan Stevens
I don't know why everyone is so down on this guy. I like his lyrics a lot.
21. "Firehouse Intro," Aceyalone
This is just Aceyalone introducing his band. The rest of the album is good.
22. "No More Eatin'," Plan B
British rap is weird. It has as much in common with working class British punk as it does with American rap. This is mostly about poverty and drugs, without any of the glamorization.
23. "O Valencia," the Decemberists
If you haven't heard the Decemberists, stop what you're doing and download a song now. Any song.
24. "Bakul Bagan Road," Sunday Driver (UK)
Sunday Driver are a steampunk band heavily influenced by Indian classical music and an analysis of Orientalism. I discovered them a bit randomly and got obsessed because they are exactly up my alley. And pretty.
25. "Day to Day," Amy Millan
From a solo album by one of the members of Broken Social Scene. Pretty Canadian indie pop.