Airport Shuttle Shuffle


HERC is always curious what other people are listening to - maybe they are listening to the most awesome song in the world and he hasn't heard it yet?  It's a blessing and a curse, this musical vampirism, this constant thirst for more music to listen to as if he has already listened to and fully processed the rest of the music in his collection.  (Spoiler alert: He hasn't. There are vinyl albums from the 70s, 80s and even 90s and as well CDs still sealed in the original shrinkwrap on his shelves because he bought them new at time of release and just hasn't listened to them yet.)

Another one of HERC's many obsessions is random or shuffled playlists.  There are several sites in the webiverse devoted to such playlists, five or six songs at a time, but HERC's favorite one thus far is Blake's Shuffle Shame:
This blog is a self-indulgent way for me to celebrate my music snobbery. Each week I will shuffle my itunes of over 12,000 songs. I will comment on up to 5 songs. If a song "shames" me, I will comment on that song and end the shuffle for the week. See the Ratings Key in the right margin for an explanation of my criteria.
You see, the man adds a new level to the "these are the five songs I just heard" game by bringing in an element of danger, almost a Russian Roulette vibe.

Here's the Shuffle Shame ratings key:
SHUFFLE GOLD: I love this song/artist. This rating will be for songs/artists that are important in defining my musical taste for any given period in my life.
SHUFFLE GOODNESS: I feel good when this song comes on. It may be an artist that I really like but a song that is not as strong as others.
MEH: This rating is for songs that I do not like but am not necessarily shamed by. I am likely to skip this song in a shuffle out of sheer indifference.
MILD SHAME: I am mildly shamed by having this song on my shuffle. It may be a pop song that I like or a guilty pleasure in some cases. It may also be my kids' music or other pop music that does not resonate with me. If this song were to come on during a shuffle, I might enjoy my guilty pleasure or skip it, but for this blog it is NOT a shuffle killer.
SHUFFLE KILLER: The definition of "SHUFFLE SHAME." I am truly embarrassed to have this song in my collection. If one of these songs comes up, I will kill the shuffle for that week.
It's that last one, the Shuffle Killer, that makes reading the Shuffle Shame site a unique experience.  His music mix is diverse and interesting although it does reveal his admitted "music snobbery" with his broad dismissal of songs that got radio airplay. By HERC's count, there have only been four Shuffle Killers thus far out of 61 playlists and he once cold stopped a mix after one of his favorite Van Halen songs came on, stating that no song could possibly follow it.

Our man Blake seemed to employ a sixth rating - No Shame - early on but dropped it or replaced it with one of the other rating listed above. [UPDATE: Blake clarifies this in his comment below.]  He provides YouTube links to songs for his readers' convenience - even the Shuffle Killers.

Of course, all of this begs the question: if he stocked his iTunes, why would he have songs to be ashamed of?  HERC pays tribute to Blake's site today by offering the following five songs he heard after he dropped his daughter off at the airport this morning while listening to his Spotify cache of just 985 tracks - all songs he chose to store on his iPhone.

Airport Shuttle Shuffle!

1. "She's So Cold" -- The Rolling Stones, Emotional Rescue (1980; 2009 remaster): Straight-ahead rock n roll with drummer Charlie Watts really giving a rock steady beat clinic.  When HERC first heard it as a young soul rebel, he liked it because Mick dropped the GD bomb. HERC swears he heard this song once immediately followed by "She Was Hot" in shuffle mode which is SHUFFLE GOODNESS.

2. "Malagueña Salerosa" -- Chingón, Mexican Spaghetti Western (2004): 
This Mexican music standard has been covered by hundreds of artists and is the song that plays at the end of the Kill Bill 2.  A live performance of the song is on the DVD and blu ray of the film as well.  One night at a local Mexican restaurant, HERC heard this song in full blown mariachi arrangement and the singer nailed it.  SHUFFLE GOLD!!

3. "Fast Times (The Best Years Of Our Lives)" -- Billy Squier, Fast Times At Ridgemont High soundtrack (1983):
Not gonna lie - HERC loves this soundtrack.  And Billy Squier.  Seen him in concert a few times, both as an opening act and the headliner, always a good show.  Interestingly, this song never shows up on Squier compilations and is usually replaced on VHS copies and TV showings of the movie.  Nevertheless, it is SHUFFLE GOODNESS.

4. "The Baddest Man Alive" -- The Black Keys + RZA. The Man With The Iron Fists soundtrack (2012):
A blues-based braggadocio with a lethal rap injection and window rattling bass.  The song is from a great soundtrack to an absolutely horrible movie. Seek out the 70 song Deluxe Ultra Pak soundtrack for two extra discs of soul music that defines SHUFFLE GOODNESS.

5. "Hey Man, Nice Shot" -- Filter, Short Bus (1995): 
The last track was slow burning and this one slows the tempo down to a crawl at the beginning, coming thisclose to being skipped.  It simmers and smolders before burning white hot and HERC is always reminded that he doesn't hear this song or "Take A Picture" nearly enough. SHUFFLE GOODNESS.

No mehs, no shame.  EZ PZ.  The airport is approximately 25 minutes from The Hideaway so there was one other song that played as HERC neared the old homestead: fittingly enough it was Elvis's "Viva Las Vegas", the very same Las Vegas his daughter was en route to.

And Blake, if you're seeing this, HERC hopes you get the opportunity to listen to more music.  And write about it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Herc, for the big shout-out! To clarify, a few months into it, I switched the "No Shame" rating to "Shuffle Goodness." "No Shame" was way too neutral and did not say much. I appreciate you reading it. I better go put up a new one. --Blake