Friday, October 28, 2005

Trapped in the iPod

Blah blah blah. Will I ever shut up about my iPod? Probably not. The iPod is the vessel from which I pour out all the meaningless drivel that I find interesting about music. I'm not one of those psychotic iPod geeks who has the iPod photo and the nano and the phone with iTunes etc etc. In fact, I don't sport the white headphones, or carry it about in my hand so everyone can see how cool I am. It's in the cheap slipcase it came in and the headphones were $4.99.

Ok, so what's the deal? Why keep on saying my iPod this, my iPod that? It's easier than saying MP3. I dunno. I am proud of the huge range of, for lack of a better word, crap that I have on it. I mean, if it holds 60 gig, why not try and fill it?

And why bring it up again, in this post? Oh, I'm-a going somewhere with this. My iPod is approaching a landmark, currently sitting at 7472 songs, twenty-eight short of the 7500 mark.
I would expect to hit 7500 some time this weekend, so y'all can go out and buy me the special cards Hallmark has created for those nuts who keep track of such things.

(By the way, that's only 30 gig worth of songs, or 21.7 days. I could conceivably go up to 15,000 songs).

In all fairness, they're not all songs, there is a lot of spoken word and poetry too. But mostly music, and I wide range, as I tend to have eclectic tastes. Really, those who knew me between 1983 and 1988, my formative years, may remember as exclusively heavy metal, with an occasional dash of the Beatles and a sprinkling of Harry Chapin.

In June, I was hanging in San Diego with my brother Seth at the Hilton where I was staying near our offices there. The rooms came with clock radios that had adaptors for mp3 players. We played a game, "Stump Bill's iPod". The object is to name an artist not on my iPod. Not impossible, but it takes some work. Seth got me after maybe ten guesses with a band whose name escapes me now, but it was a metal group I had heard of but did not have on the iPod.

The other day, as I was leaving work, I was chatting with Tina, a manager at work, and we played, and she got me after six or seven tries. I impressed her with having a track by Ani DeFranco, Sevendust, and Etta James. But she got me with R. Kelly. No R. Kelly on the pod, until today.

Now, I've got me some R. Kelly. And not his "I Believe I Can Fly," but his "Trapped in the Closet," parts 1-5. Oh, if you haven't seen the video and heard the songs, you haven't lived. "Trapped in the Closet" is a video soap opera that I believe is meant to be a serious artistic endeavor, but is so, well, over the top, that it is hysterical. Hey, I'll hand it to R., the tune is catchy, and it's interesting in the sense that it's interesting to watch nature films.

I'll spare you the plot. Oh no, I won't.

Rolling Stone calls "Trapped in the Closet," "a brilliant five-volume, sixteen-minute soap opera about a cheating husband." When asked by RS, "What line of yours makes you laugh every time you hear it?" Kelly's response is: "There's a whole lotta laughs. I'd say on the first chapter of "Trapped in the Closet" [sings]: "Shit/Think/Shit/Think/Shit/Quick, put me in the closet."

Now that's quality songwriting, and it actually works. If you have managed not to see this, and you want to see for yourself, check out part 1 of "Trapped in the Closet" here. You'll either like it and appreciate it, or you'll find it hilarious. I'm in the middle.

[Clarification: I don't have 7471 unique songs. According to my iTunes, I have 924 "duplicate" songs. Not quite. I have different versions of the same song. My admiration for Pearl Jam borders on obsessive, I have ten (10) concerts of theirs. Pearl Jam makes all their concerts available to fan club members after their shows, and I started with the show I attended at Madison Square Garden on July 9, 2003. Since the band never plays the same set, every concert is a variant of the others. That said, I have over 600 tracks (studio and live) from Pearl Jam alone (yes, 11 different versions of "Alive"). Cue: roll your eyes. I could spend another thirty sentences justifying it, but it's a losing battle, I know. But that may explain the high number of songs, although, technically speaking, there are over 1500 individual artists or combinations in the mix. This is why the shuffle feature is so appealing. There, I've beat the dead horse. Aloha.]


Anonymous said...

Do you have any of my favorite...Joni Mitchell? How about Gillian Welch or perhaps one from one of my new favorite bands, Son Volt? If you don't, you should. All great artists.

Just checking. I like games like "Stump the iPod."

Tattoosday said...

Wow, 1-2-3, yer out! You got me on all three. None of them are seeded on my pod.


Anonymous said...

Yahoo! I win. I had a sneaking suspicion those might be missing. Really, though, they're all worth a listen or two or ten...

Tattoosday said...

Problem corrected. Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi," Gillian Welch's duet with Allison Krause, "I'll Fly Away" from the O Brother, Where Art Thou?Soundtrack, and Son Volt's "Jet Pilot" are now on the pod.

Anonymous said...

Ok - it's taken almost a week, but I deceided if Jill could stump my husband - then I could really stump him. Especially given my "new Wave" day s in High school. If I used the names of all the groups I had albums for then we'd go on for days. So, instead I figure - let's try just the bands I went to concerts for. That way if anyone thinks they are too obscure ... I have the stubs to prove I saw them. APB, Gene Loves Gezebel, Belouis Some, Lone Justice (opened for U2) - I'm embarassed to say I saw Frankie Goes to Hollywood. And... while Ididn't see them in concert I just have to add them here... Blancmange, and Curiousity Killed the Cat. So, Bill, got any of those...?

Tattoosday said...

No no no no no, APB? Got me got got me got me.


Tattoosday said...


Gene Loves Jezebel. Check.
APB. Check.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Check.
Belouis Some. Check.
Lone Justice. Check.
Blancmange. Check.
Curiosity Killed the Cat. Check.

Thanks for feeding my obsession.


Anonymous said...

WOW - am I proud!!!
Are you actually listening to the stuff? because we can really get into the stuff I was listening to...

Anonymous said...

okay- given how popular they are these days I am pretty sure you have The Postal Service and Iron and Wine, but how about Andrew Bird? The Mysterious Production of Eggs is a cool album. I am also a pretty big Son Volt fan, especially the Album "Trace" so if you want to borrow some, I can pass them your way.

Jacob Sokol and i have been eagerly awaiting R.Kelly #6. We are big fans. Have you seen the Jimmy Kimmel parody: "The Pizza"?

Tattoosday said...

Postal Service, no. Iron and Wine, I have their song "Such Great Heights" from the Garden State Soundtrack, which is PHENOMENAL, one of the best soundtrack albums I have heard in a long, long time.

According to VH1's Best Week Ever, R. Kelly #6 is out and consistent with the previous 5 chapters. Haven't seen the Kimmel parody yet. Now I have something to do this weekend.

Tattoosday said...

"Sugar Pie" by the Subdudes, from the album "Anunciation."