Known Johnson

May 11, 2005

It grows on the north side, I think

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 10:13 pm

Everyone’s talking about the Stones’ upcoming tour . . . well, okay, maybe not everyone, but it’s being mentioned here and there. In fact, one place I heard about it was this morning’s local newscast, where the catch line was “the Rolling Stones gather no moss . . . ” and I honestly heard it in jumbled English/Spanish as “the Rollings Stones gather no mas.” You know, no mas as in “no more,” meaning the Stones had broken up. I can’t say I’d be crushed – I’m not a fan except of a few songs – but I do have pretty much the entirety of Tattoo You burned into my brain from countless plays by my dad when I was younger. I’m not quite sure what it was about that album that appealed to him, but he sure does seem to listen to it a lot. Or did – I haven’t heard it played in quite a long time, but I assume it’s still a regular listen.

I accomplished another reformat of the Ipod tonight, not due to any error on the part of the Ipod, just on the user (me.) Last night I decided I’d up my music-geek factor by a few points and marked, in the comments box of all the mp3 files of the 2005 releases that I have so far, the month the albums were released. I then dragged this group of files over to the Ipod and created Smart Playlists that sorted by comments, one for each month. What I didn’t realize is that, for whatever reason, instead of updating what’s already on the Ipod, it added all these files to the ones that are already there. So pretty much every 2005 album that had been on my Ipod prior to yesterday suddenly had a nearly identical counterpart – the problem was, they weren’t showing as two copies of the albums but two copies of EACH SONG in every album, making listening to, for example, Nine Inch Nails’ With Teeth a really strange experience for the first couple of songs until I realized that, no, I didn’t accidently hit the “back” button on the Ipod. Checking through the albums of this year revealed that nearly every one had two copies of every song. When I got home tonight, I found out that it was approximately one full day’s worth of music – hundreds of songs – that I would have to manually delete one by one. So I sighed a couple of times real heavy, downloaded the latest Ipod Updater from Apple, and reformated “Artie the Ipod” (that was the name I gave it last time I reformatted.) So, at the moment, approximately 3000 must-have songs are making their way back onto my Ipod, now renamed “Randy.” But, you know, I try to look on the bright side – I am once again able to strip the Ipod back to “bare essentials” and maybe get some fresh material on there (or at least stuff I haven’t seen in the month or so since the last reformat.) So on goes some stuff that’s been getting ignored, like Death Angel’s classic Act III and, ripping in Itunes right now, Mercury Rev’s gorgeous Deserter’s Songs. Ah, hell, who am I kidding? This is all just part of the big Ipod game to me. It’s all fun, even reformatting and reloading for hours. I did warn you that I’m a music-geek, right?

The most fun thing about the Ipod is how it’s caused me to rediscover things that I may have overlooked. Take REM’s much-maligned Monster. Ten years ago, you couldn’t find a soul who’d admit to liking this album. Everyone just wanted another Automatic For The People, or more specifically, another “Everybody Hurts” (blech.) And, I suppose, at the time, I wanted something else like that too (but not another “Everybody Hurts” (blech – sorry, I already said that, didn’t I?) I’d take another “Nightswimming” or, I don’t know, “Sweetness Follows,” or, well, anything – it’s a great album.) But over the past few months of listening to things that pop up at random, I’ve found a great fondness for those confused Monster tracks – was REM trying to be a grunge band, were they just grasping at straws trying to retain some semblance of their former stature? I don’t know, and I don’t care today – it’s a hell of a fun listen, and I recommend you dig it back out to check out, too. It might just surprise you.

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1 Comment »

  1. I’ve always loved “Monster,” despite the naysayers. It’s a fun, rockin’ album. Hell, I even love “New Adventures In Hi-Fi.” While enjoy the “jangly” eighties-period R.E.M., I really enjoyed them a lot more when they began branching out more adventurously in the nineties (except for “Out Of Time,” which I liked when it first came out but sounds kind of dated nowadays).

    My favorite R.E.M. album has to be “Automatic For The People.” An absolute masterpiece. Not a single weak track in that one. Not even “Everybody Hurts,” which — despite the fact that it became overplayed five minutes after it was released — is a nice little tune.

    Comment by Chris — May 12, 2005 @ 5:21 am | Reply


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