Sunday Shuffle – 1/15/12

So here it, the all new regular post I’ve been talking about, the Sunday Shuffle. Once a week, on Sunday, I will put my iPod on shuffle and talk about the first ten songs to come up, regardless of what they are or how I feel about them. I may end up doing themed shuffles based on playlists at some point, but for right now, this will be a shuffle of everything.

Over the years, I’ve had plenty of people turn to me for recommendations on good music to listen to. I thought this would be a fun way for people to see what I’m into and hopefully find some new stuff that they’re into too! That being said, I have every song I own on my iPod and this really will be a completely random selection, so the songs that come up may not necessarily be recommendations from me. But of course, you may also not have the same tastes as I do, and may end up loving a song that I really have no care for.

So without further ado, here goes:

1.  Immi – Alice (from the album Spiral [2010])

What a great place to start.  This song defines the randomness of the Sunday shuffle. Despite owning it, I definitely don’t recognize it, and may never have heard it before. I’m a pretty big fan of immi’s and her unique blend of Japanese pop music with some pretty interesting electronic dance music. This song is sort of just middle of the road and probably wouldn’t have convinced me to seek out more, but it’s not a bad song either. For a real treat, check out immi’s cover of The Cure’s Lovesong.

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2. Uplift Spice – Justice (from the album Memento [2010])

Sticking with the Japan trend, this time we move to the world of rock.  Uplift Spice is a pretty sweet Japanese hard rock band with some nice guitar work. My absolute favorite part of this band though is the female singer’s really unique, kind of theatrical vocal style. For those who know Shiina Ringo, it sounds a lot like her doing heavier rock style music.  Really cool stuff. I got a bunch of their stuff all at once and haven’t really listened to it all yet, but this happens to be a song that I’ve heard several times before and really like.  It may even be the song I first heard that got me interested in them.

3. Brandtson – Fighting Gravity (from the album Fallen Star Collection [1999])

The first American song on the shuffle this week, a song from the Deep Elm emo era. This is a band that I never really got into, but my sister used to listen to them quite a bit and I fell in love with two of the songs on this album (Breaking Ground and Things Look Brighter). Aside from those two songs, I’ve actually never listened through the entire album, and therefore don’t really know this song.  Listening to it now though, it’s pretty good.  Not my favorite, but I would definitely leave it on if it came up on shuffle. Kinda long though (for what it is)…

While I’m talking about this, I think I need to take a second to thank my sister for all of the music I’ve discovered through her.  Particularly in the second half of the 90s (but still continuing to this day), a lot of the indie rock, old school emo, and other lesser known music that I listen to has come from her.  Throughout the years, bands like Dashboard Confessional, Thursday, Death Cab for Cutie, The Faint, and a whole lot more were discovered through my sister. Who knows, if it weren’t for her, I may still be stuck listening to Nu-metal…

4. SBTRKT – Ready Set Loop (from his self titled debut album [2011])

Off again to another country, the next song comes from anonymous, London DJ SBTRKT. This guy is definitely one to keep an eye on.  Really cool, off-kilter, dancy music. This track is a bit of a quick one and definitely not the best on the album, but if it gets you to listen to some of his music it’s worth it. My favorite track on the album is definitely Wildfire, featuring Little Dragon. It’s a sweet dubsteppy track, with some really beautiful haunting lyrics.

5. Maximum the Hormone – Shimi (from the album Buiikikaesu [2007])

This next song comes from one of my absolute favorite Japanese bands ever, Maximum the Hormone, a crazy metal, punk, rock band that knows how to have a good time. This track returns me to those nu-metal roots I spoke about earlier, but without being lame. Maximum the Hormone just oozes cool. Like some of the other tracks, not my favorite song of theirs (it’s a little too chuggy and slow in parts), but it’s still a lot of fun and the very Japanese, melodic bits sung by their female drummer, Nao, break up the monotony pretty nicely.

6. Uplift Spice – Zero-In (from the album Paradigm Shift [2011])

So, 10 songs out of almost 7000, and we end up with two songs from the same band.  This time around, we’ve got a track from Uplift Spice’s newest album. This track is a bit more straight forward rock, with a bit of a breakdown in the middle.  Not bad, but nothing all that special. Still like her voice though…

7. Mew – Circuitry of the Wolf (from the album …and the Glass Handed Kites [2005])

Another country!  This time we’ve got Mew from Denmark, a really cool atmospheric rock band.  This comes from their second album, and it’s unfortunately just the musical intro to the album, so while still very beautiful, it’s a little bit boring. The album as a whole though is amazing.  I have to say I still enjoy all of the songs from the first album more as individual songs, but this album as a single piece of music works REALLY well. Also, if you have the chance to see these guys live, DO IT. Their music fills any arena and makes for a really cool experience.  It’s hard to believe such a big sound comes out of so few people. Plus the videos they display in the back are pretty cool as well.

This time I’m gonna put up a video with this track and the following track so you get a bit more than just the intro. Also, gonna use a live version, so you can get some idea of their live show. The second track, Chinaberry Tree, starts around the 2:30 mark.

8. Joey Eppard – Been to the Future (from the album Been to the Future [2002])

Back to America, we’ve got a track from Joey Eppard’s solo album.  Eppard is lead singer/guitarist of really cool prog rock band ‘3’ and brother of Coheed and Cambria drummer Josh Eppard. This guy is a brilliant guitarist with a really beautiful voice reminiscent of old Styx or something along those lines. This song is actually an acoustic version of a song off the ‘3’ album The End is Begun. Definitely give this one a listen, and more importantly, if you like prog rock at all, check out ‘3’, particularly Wake Pig and their best album The End is Begun.

9. Chromeo – Destination Overdrive (from their debut album She’s in Control [2004])

And now a trip back in time, or at least that’s how it feels. Chromeo puts out wonderful 80s style synthy electropop.  Think Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack. Their second album, Fancy Footwork, is by far the best, and as such, I don’t really know this song too well. That said, it’s still a fun song, and one that I would definitely listen to on a random shuffle.

10. Plus-Tech Squeeze Box – CM#&'($_?>! (from the album Cartooom! [2004])

Last, we find ourselves back in Japan with crazy picopop band, Plus-Tech Squeeze Box. These guys generally play synth-heavy pop music, but this track is a bit of an odd one. Starting as a relaxing lounge track, it ‘changes channels’ to a jazzy bass line, and then once again to a bit of dancey pop riff, all within the span of a minute or so… Not really a song, so much as an ad for Plus-Tech Squeeze box.  Hm, thinking about it, CM means commercial in Japanese, so I guess maybe that’s exactly what it is.

Sorry, no sign of this one online, so here’s a random mix of Plus-Tech Squeeze Box stuff.

So, all in all, not a bad mix of stuff for my first Sunday Shuffle. Not the best songs, but a nice array of things. Should definitely give you an idea of what’s in store in the upcoming weeks. Dance, pop, rock, metal, whatever you might like. No hip-hop this time, but there definitely will be. Hope you enjoy at least one of these songs and keep coming back for more!

This entry was posted in American Music, 音楽 (Japanese music), Music, Music of the World and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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