Steinbeck on Random – 5.22.07

It’s been months.

And now, it’s back. Back with a vengeance. For several reasons.

First of all, I’ve created a playlist that has 1000 of my favorite songs. It’s a pure cross section of my collection – there’s at least one song from nearly every artist available. And, it’s all of the best songs, so we wont be surprised by some deep album track I’ve never bothered to listen to.

So, after months, the waiting can stop.

Wait no more. Let’s random this be-otch.

1. Debbie Gibson – “Lost In Your Eyes”
Greatest Hits

Oh God.

How embarrassing. Listen, this is not my song. I swear. In college, Kerrie would sing drunk, loud and proud to this song with her roommates and friends. With that in mind, those same friends ended up giving her this Greatest Hits CD for her birthday. And so, just like that, it ended up on Steinbeck.

It’s my fault, really. I wanted the most complete experience, which meant putting something from EVERY CD on the iPod, and from there, on the 1000 Songs playlist. I just never thought it would come up in public. Oh God.

2. Fragma – “Toca’s Miracle (Radio Edit)”

Okay. The joke’s up, people. I get it. Steinbeck is taking advantage of my aloneness to rub in every single non-Corey song in the collection. Toca’s Miracle? Really? I mean, this song is so far from my collection that I can barely name the song.

Of course, name it is one thing. Recognize it? I can do that. This isn’t just some crazy House Brit-Dance song – this is, to me, THE House Brit-Dance song, a memory that Kerrie brought back from her trip to England, a single that was popular for just a few months, a track that peaked when Kerrie’s Englishness peaked, while she was at the climax of her Anglophilia. She lived England to its fullest. And I live England through her. And this song helps. I can imagine myself drunk, at Tanner’s Pub, on the tables in a stupor.

So, as dumb as the song may seem, I still feel a little twinge when it comes on.

3. Lily Allen – “LDN”
Alright, Still

Okay, I can admit this song as mine.

Not only is Lily Allen British, and not only is this song a welcome respite AND segue from the previous song, but it’s one of my favorites from the past year. The album as a whole isn’t much of anything. But, the first three songs make up for the rest of it. It gets tired after a while (yeah, you’re against authority and you hate dudes and you swear and it’s great fun because you’re cute and English) but until that “tired’ point, Lily Allen is great fun.

Overall, it’s pop at its greatest. I can’t imagine she’ll do much more, but this is enough for an entire career.

4. Built to Spill – “Carry the Zero”
Keep it Like A Secret

I’ve never seen Built to Spill live. There are three living bands I’d like to see live before I die. Tool. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and Built to Spill.

And here’s the thing – I could have. They opened for Modest Mouse in Minneapolis. And where was I? I was just one hour away, in St. Cloud, a “sort-of” fan of both bands but not yet aware of what I was missing. Instead, I continued my duties as a Resident Advisor, months after I had stopped caring.

With that said, “Carry the Zero” is one of my favorites – it’s got great lyrics, and it’s one of the better first-song album starters.

5. Outkast – “Roses”
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

Hey Ya! is a great song. But I have always like Roses a hundred times better – both for the Prince-esque lyrics and vocals and the mention of poo-poo.

So, yeah. A Grammy was earned for this song alone.

6. Jimmy Eat World – “Opener”
The Emo Diaries: What’s Mine is Yours

Okay. I’ll admit. Before Jimmy Eat World was a viable, superstar, MTV entity (which, after a few months and a few silver looking shirts, dropped off like nothing ever happened), I was a big fan. And, while I liked their Static Prevails album, the true love didn’t start until I heard this song.

This song – the first song on the first Emo Diaries album – the first instance of having a complete compilation set based around the idea of emo music, the complex and ultra-emotional cry-fest that I loved through all of college. Some of it still stands up, and this song is one of them. It’s a cast off from a real album, but it’s one of my favorites, and it makes me proud of supporting the energy and great music that came out of the poppy-emo scene.

7. Elvis Costello – “Shipbuilding”
High Fidelity (Soundtrack)

I love this movie. And I love every song involved therein.

I love Nick Hornby, as much as he’s reviled by the literary community.

So there you go.

8. Jimmy Eat World – “Digits”
Static Prevails

See? If you mention a specific album, Steinbeck will fetch it, bringing it back to you like a dog eager to please, like an automatic vending machine designed to deliver safe and effective products with the push of a button. My little machine brought this to me, thinking I was missing it, thinking I was going without my daily fix of Jimmy Eat World.

The song starts off with an extended instrumental, then blasts into a typical Jimmy Eat World rocker. It is, for the record, one of my three favorite Jimmy Eat World songs (and don’t ask me to rank them… I’m just guessing that there aren’t three JEW songs better.) So it’s fun, all the same, to hear it. Yay for college.

9. Face to Face – “Blind”
Face to Face

I never owned this album. Kerrie brought this into our relationship.

That’s not to say I wasn’t a Face to Face fan. On the contrary – I loved these guys during my EpiFat punk era. I loved the poppy, happy punk rock they executed to a brilliant precision. And, if I had stuck around for an extra album, I’d have placed this album high on my list of favorites.

This song, especially, was one of the best, an often overlooked masterpiece in fast, emotional punk, a song easily remembered and quickly recognized. So well, in fact, that I felt incredibly familiar with it after just a few listens, knowing I’d had already encountered it a few years before.

10. The Doors – “Break On Through”
Greatest Hits

The Doors were a fascination through high school, when I dabbled in what I considered the “Big Four” of classic rock – The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who and The Doors (which is not to contain others that could be included, like The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin). So with that, I cling tightly to these songs. And, with age, I find them, for the most part, nostalgic relics.

Except for Pink Floyd and the Beatles. Both bands are beyond good, both in their smartness and their legendry.

This was lovingly handwritten on May 22nd, 2007