Tuesday, 30 January 2007

iPod war - Jiggy

Here's my random selection of 10 tracks from the 12,230 I currently have on the iPod:

1. Super Furry Animals - Download

A song which I originally considered to be one of the lesser tracks on Radiator, this haunting tune could even be one of the highlights. A great Gruff Rhys vocal, great piano...a great driving at night song.

2. The Kinks - Everybody's Gonna Be Happy

A bit "flower power" for my liking, as it's quite a bit dated. Not one of my favourite Kinks songs, but there's no denying that it's catchy, and the handclaps add a lot to the song.

3. Bob Dylan - New Morning

One of the least cynical and most positive songs in the Dylan catalogue, this is a pretty straight-forward love song, and one of the highlights from his 1970 album of the same name. A great melody, and feel-good lyrics. By 1975 he'd release his divorce album "Blood on the tracks".

4. Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A Changin'

A coincedence to get two Dylan tracks in a row. Everyone knows this song, one of his early folk classics. Not my favourite Dylan era (I prefer when he went electric), but there's no denying the power of this song.

5. Spiritualized - I Want You

Not a huge Spiritualized fan (despite the fact that I have 3 of their albums), this is pretty standard mid-90's psychedelic space-rock. It's okay but I don't think I'll ever really love this sort of music.

6. Menswear - Piece Of Me

A bit embarrassing that I have a Menswear album in my collection, as these guys are real Britpop "has beens". Not like Blur, Pulp and Oasis who survived the Britpop era intact (although some would argue against this). I'd like to be able to say I bought this album in the mid-90's, which is why I have it, but I actually bought it second hand in 2003. In all honesty this is a pretty good tune, although the lyrics are a bit cringe-worthy. Sample:

Sex is a secundary thing doomed to come dumb and king
What's your preference? Come on now and talk some sense

7. Simpsons - Dancin' Homer (Medley)

Hehehe. The "Capitol City" song by Tony Bennett from the season 2 "Dancin' Homer" episode of Simpsons. Brings back lots of memories from when Simpsons truly was a really good show, and not the abomination that it is now.

8. Radiohead - Street Spirit (Fade Out)

A true Radiohead classic, this closer from their 2nd album "The Bends" was one of the first songs which really made me fall in love with them. Despite the fact that they have progressed musically since this, this is an amazing song, and makes be long for another album like "The bends".

9. The Lemonheads - Mrs. Robinson

A cover by the Lemonheads, which was a bonus track on their excellent 1992 album "It's a shame about Ray". A good, if predictable, early 90's American rock version of the classic Simon & Garfunkel tune.

10. The Shins - Mine's Not A High Horse

Appropriate that this should come up in the mix, as I only just purchased their new album "Wincing the night away". This song is from their last album, "Chutes too narrow" from 2003. This album is one of my favourites from the past 5 years, a truly excellent album of indie pop done remarkably well. James Mercer is a brilliant songwriter with great vocal delivery, and it's minor classics like this which make CTW so brilliant.

So who won?


  1. Sorry Jiggy, but Wally has you on this one!

    The Shins and Radiohead brought you close but Wally's ripper opener (Already Gone - WAS!), a Beatles-strengthened middle and a golden INXS closer just pipped you by my reckoning.

    Now, what is Ex-NoMeat Pete bringing to the table? :)

  2. Remember Matty, it's a track-by-track war, not an overall "this guy has some choice cuts" in his selection war. Each track needs to be judged solely against the equivalent track in the opponent's list.

    Here's my take on the war at the moment, before Pete invades:

    "Download" vs "Already gone"

    I'd pick Download, although I can see how Already gone would be the more popular choice. I'll give Dean the win for this one.

    Winner: Wally

    "Everybody's gonna be happy" vs "Walking down a road"

    Not my favourite Kinks song, but that's a choice Split Enz song (even if it's relatively unknown.

    Winner: Wally

    "New morning" vs "Football crazy"

    Unless it's "Tie me kangaroo down sport", Rolf Harris ain't winning no iPod wars.

    Winner: Jiggy

    "Times they are a-changin'" vs "Never did no wandering"

    That's a Bob Dylan classic right there. Beats the Folksmen, sorry.

    Winner: Jiggy

    "I want you" vs "Up-a-ways"

    I don't like either of these songs particularly much, but I'd still give this one to Timmy.

    Winner: Wally

    "Piece of me" vs "Everything's turning to white"

    Paul Kelly is a DEFINITE winner here.

    Winner: Wally

    "Dancin' Homer" vs "A day in the life"

    As good as the Simpsons song is, A day in the life is one of the greatest songs of all time. No competition.

    Winner: Wally

    "Street spirit" vs. "It's alright"

    Street spirit is a 90's classic, an absolutely superb song and one of Radiohead's best.

    Winner: Jiggy

    "Mrs Robinson" vs. "Lovesong"

    I'd pick Lemonhead's cover here...

    Winner: Jiggy

    "Mine's not a high horse" vs. "Bitter tears"

    I gave Wally "Already gone" because it's the more popular choice, so it's only fair that the obscure Shins track gets benefit of the doubt here over the more popular INXS choice. But it is a great song.

    Winner: Jiggy

    It's 5-all, looks like a draw to me. C'mon Pete, show us your stuff!

  3. Ah. I *was* kinda taking the playlists as a whole (and I would still prefer to listen to Wally's). The problem with this selection starts with back-to-back Dylan (any artist with two in a row in this kinda lineup = bad!) followed by three sub-par songs. Weak middle IMO, I'd have switched off...

    However, you make the totally valid point that it's a track-by-track deal and I almost totally agree with your calls. "Almost" because the last two could go either way IMO.

    I don't like the Lemonhead's Mrs Robinson (of course the orig is fantastic!) and I do love Amiel's voice, even if Lovesong isn't a great song.

    And "Mine's not a high horse" vs "Bitter tears" is *really* tough. Gotta love that Shins action but the INXS cut is golden too and has stood the test of time...

  4. Hmmm, interesting, I didn’t think I would have got so close in your book Jiggy. Here is my take on it before Pete comes in.

    Download vs Already Gone
    I don’t know Download so I would have to go with Already Gone here. It is a great rocking track.

    Winner – Wally

    Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy vs Walking Down a Road
    I like both tracks, but its no contest for me, the Kinks win. I can understand Jeremy’s criticism of this track, but I just think its such a fun track.

    Winner – Jiggy

    New Morning vs Football Crazy
    I don’t know the Dylan track, but I don’t think Dylan can lose to a novelty track.

    Winner – Jiggy

    Times they are a changing vs Never Did No Wandering
    Again, Dylan triumphs with a classic track. Although I gotta say, despite being from a silly mockumentary, Never Did No Wandering is actually a good cut….

    Winner –Jiggy

    I Want You vs Up-A-Ways
    I am shocked that you gave this one to Up-A-Ways considering how much I know you hate it Jiggy….but I actually think you guys are a bit harsh on that track, its actually quite good.

    Winner – Wally

    Piece of Me vs Everything’s Turning to White
    I think its well known that I am a Paul Kelly fan, and this is one of his best tracks, so it wins fairly comfortably.

    Winner - Wally

    Dancin Homer vs A Day in the Life
    Again, how can a novelty track beat an all time classic? Rarely will it be able to….Another comfortable Wally win.

    Winner – Wally

    Street Spirit vs Its allright (cause she loves me)
    I really love this Cruel Sea song, and apart from the commercially accessible Creep and Karma Police, I have struggled to really be interested in Radiohead…so sorry, but I have to give this to the Cruel Sea.

    Winner – Wally

    Mrs Robinson vs Lovesong
    Lovesong is a nice enough song, and I agree with Matt that Amiel does have a nice voice, but I actually thought the Lemonheads did a great cover of Mrs Robinson, so that is my pick here.

    Winner – Jiggy

    Mine’s Not a High Horse vs Bitter Tears
    And again, here lies the problem with this sort of competition against Jiggy. His music collection is about three times bigger than mine (and yes there is a certain sense of satisfaction in having an ipod bigger than his with all this unused space while he struggles to fit his collection onto his current ipod). So there is a fair chance that many of the songs that come up on his collection are ones that I don’t know. Scarier still, sometimes they are even from artists that I have not heard of…

    Bitter Tears is a solid, typical INXS song, so I would have to give it to them here, but it is hard when you don’t really know the other track.

    Winner – Wally

    Overall result, before the blogger formerly known as (can I be the first one to call him symbol!!) comes up with his tracks….
    Wally 6 – Jiggy 4

    Come on Symbol, hurry up and post your collection….

  5. I think we can sum up this thread with the old adage about opinions being like a certain part of the body that everybody has. It's a bit like real-life wars; there isn't really a winner.

    Unlike real wars though, iPod wars are fun! So I'm prepared to battle you again in the future. But I am interested in seeing symbol's list.

    Despite our disagreement about who won, Mr Raffles, you do have to hear Street spirit by Radiohead. It's a classic track and you certainly don't have to be a Radiohead fan to appreciate it! If you like Karma police, you will love Street spirit.

    You may even love it enough to declare it a winner over that Cruel Sea song, which would take the iPod war back to a draw status...

  6. Alright, at long last, here's my attack (sorry for not having it as a new post):

    1. California Dreaming, Mamas & Papas - first up, it's not looking good. To be honest, I didn't even know this was on the iPod, but I must have liked it somewhere along the line.

    2. Alive, Oasis - a b-side from Jiggy, don't even really know the track. I'm beginning to feel like Napoleon invading Russia...

    3. Biomusicology, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - might need an aspirin after this one.

    4. Star Machine, Jebediah - forgettable song from their patchy sophomore effort. Kev Mitchell is certainly producing far more worthy material these days.

    5. The Killing Moon, Something for Kate - a decent cover of the classic Bunnymen tune, but nothing extraordinary.

    6. Night Walk, Belle & Sebastian - from their disastrous "Storytelling" soundtrack. Not anywhere near as bad as the film, though.

    7. Spring Rain, Go-betweens - finally, something with a bit of iPod-war firepower! Opening cut from the great "Liberty Belle..." album.

    8. ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayit'sworldwouldfallapart, Manic Street Preachers - probably the most ridiculously titled song of all time, coupled with incorrect usage of an apostrophe. Not a bad cut, though, from a top album.

    9. Bon Voyage, Split Enz - David Stratton writing in the Australia described it as "utterly shithouse."

    10. Finding you, Go-betweens - the live version from their 2005 dvd/cd release, "That Striped Sunlight Sound." Nice track, but here's further evidence for the major flaw in the iPod shuffle, namely that particular artists seem to crop up early time and time again. Oh well, could be worse, could have been Travis or Nik Kershaw.

    So there you go. I wholeheartedly surrender, and leave you wondering whether it was worth the wait. Clearly not. Looking forward to the next war, hopefully I'll fair a bit better! Thanks guys.


Sing some harmonies here: