Sucky Day Shuffle - a triple scoop

Bad days.  We all have them and for some us it seems to occur more than others.  As a big believer that you get out what you put in, HERC rarely has a sucky day but yesterday for a variety of reasons was one of those best left in the past.  He did manage to snag three different five song shuffles that played at different times throughout the day when he was alone in the car.  And to the woman in the car that pulled up beside HERC at the light and decided at some point during her day that her shirt was optional: Thanks.  It was that sight and these sounds that made a bad day better. But the best part was returning home to MRS. HERC and her loving brown eyes, plush lips and comforting arms.

between 1:30PM and 2:00PM - just after the indecent incident mentioned above

"Whataya Want From Me"  Adam Lambert, For Your Entertainment [2009]:
Not an Idol watcher but Adam's single transcended the manufactured hype, at least to HERC's ears.  He thought the song sounded vaguely P!nk-ish and sure enough, our girl Alecia did write it.  An in-car sing-along favorite. SHUFFLE GOODNESS.

Speaking of Ms. Moore, look who popped up next on the shuffle?  Visually, she does next to nothing for HERC but he's been a fan of her music since her mis-directed debut album. There is a raw nerve, a true emotion that comes through in everything she does.   Few female singers make HERC want to sing along loudly; P!nk is one of them.  SHUFFLE GOODNESS.

"Let It Be" – The Beatles, Let It Be [1970]:
Growing up, HERC always thought this was a John Denver song and The Beatles were covering it as he listened to his father's cassette of Poems, Prayers and Promises more often than we'll ever know. There is a serenity found within the vocals, the lyrics and the music no matter who sings and performs it.  [Yes, HERC knows the Beatles aren't on Spotify. Thanks, though.]  SHUFFLE GOLD.

Asher appeared on the national radar with his tale "I Love College" in 2009.  He released this sleeper single with the acronymous title the following year and watched it stall at #79 on the Hot 100.  HERC likes it, it's a got a positive message and a propulsive beat. SHUFFLE GOODNESS.  Bonus points for radio friendly edit with scratches in place of the "bad" words.

This was one of those rare instances where HERC was ahead of the hoi polloi, jamming out to this bouncy, uplifting ode to personal perseverance upon its release in 2011 ahead of the parent album, The Heist.  Once the inferior single "Thrift Shop" blew up on radio the older singles were trotted back out and "Can't Hold Us", upon its re-release, shot to the top of the charts.  Their performance of this song on SNL was even more incendiary with those tinny keyboard horns from the record replaced by live brass.  "That's what you get when Wu-Tang raised you."  Although it doesn't meet the criteria as stated for the rating, HERC awards the song SHUFFLE GOLD today.

between 10:15AM and 10:30AM

Built upon eponymous riff from Bo Diddley, Bobby Ray rides the rhythm for all its worth. And then at about 1:20, André 3000 comes creeping in and spits an extended verse.  It's all catchy and boomy and sadly peaked at #98, sealing its fate as a non-album single. SHUFFLE GOODNESS.

Loaded - The Best Of Blake Shelton [2003]:
This one owes everything to Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl"; it's just re-written as a country bromance.  Surprisingly co-written by Randy VanWarmer of "Just When I Needed You Most" fame.  The chorus alone lifts this song into SHUFFLE GOODNESS territory.

"roly poly" – T-Ara, Sexy Love [2011]:
It's K-Pop!  The biggest song over yonder in 2011 with nearly five million downloads and a mini-movie of a music video that recently surpassed 10 million views.  For HERC, it is sticky sweet ear candy even if he can only understand the title and a few other lyrics.  He likes em like dis, he likes them like dat.  Super catchy SHUFFLE GOODNESS.

The Journey - The Best Of Donna Summer [1977]:
A disco ballad?  HERC loves it although he's gonna dock himself a point for caching the single version rather than the album version of the song.  A minute is a minute people. SHUFFLE GOODNESS.

"Breakthru" – Queen, Queen 40 Limited Edition Collector's Box Set Vol. 3 [1991]:
The second single from the band's 1989 album The Miracle after the equally rocking declaration "I Want It All".   Sure, HERC could live without the misdirect that is Freddie's operatic opening but when that beat comes chugging in, who is he to resist?  Calling it SHUFFLE GOLD.

between 7:30AM and 8AM

HERC doesn't know what the song is about but he likes it.  He came to the music of O.A.R. (Of A Revolution) late in their career, five album's in, with the 2005 song "Love And Memories".  Is it really the same vocalist on both tracks?  SHUFFLE GOODNESS nevertheless.

Alright. Gord and the boys getting their swampy Southern boogie on despite living in the Great White North.  HERC is pretty sure he's got a live version in the shuffle that features a stretched out version of the song with Gord singing a David Bowie and a Beach Boys  song. his one is SHUFFLE GOODNESS.

"Heartbeat" – Don Johnson, Heartbeat [1986]:
This one is sure to generate derisive comments, as well sneers and guffaws.  HERC stands by it.  Horribly dated sound? Yes.  And surely, Sonny Crockett's Nash Bridges' Don Johnson's talents lie somewhere else other than the recording studio.  The soaring chorus makes it SHUFFLE GOODNESS.  Let 'em rip.

Holy freakin' cow.  That's a straight Deep Purple intro riff if there ever was one.  So good, so much sound from just three musicians.   HERC rolled the windows down and turned the volume up to share the music with his fellow morning commuters.  And that glitchy, scratchy guitar solo?  So close to SHUFFLE GOLD but not yet; still SHUFFLE GOODNESS.

After all that RAWK, this rockin' reggae recorded live in 2005 at hot Austin live spot is just what the doctor ordered.  The guitar work by Aaron Dugan is spectacular, easily making this live performance preferable to the original studio recording. While this live album is a decent listen, HERC recommends Live At Subbs, Vol. II, recorded and released six years later.  Another one on its way to SHUFFLE GOLD for sure but for now its SHUFFLE GOODNESS.


HERC's gotten a few emails about his SHUFFLE SHAME features: "What's the point?" they ask "You like everything."  So he'll explain the process once more.  

Blake started SHUFFLE SHAME in October 2011 with this stated mission:
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.
HERC borrowed the concept and applies the basic principles (reviewing up to five songs in a row as played in shuffle mode) to the 977 song, 12GB cache of Spotify songs on his iPhone (his 4th gen Touch has been acting up, so its been temporarily benched) although he is making an effort to listen to his iTunes library (which currently stands at just under 21,000 lossless tracks) more, if only for additional ideas to add to his Spotify Local Files (3009 songs, 27GB on his iPhone) which are songs not found in Spotify's library.  In addition to about 400 Beatles songs and nearly 300 AC/DC songs, Local Files contain about six dozen Led Zeppelin tracks as well as nearly complete discographies of Bob Seger, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Badfinger, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Joan Jett, Peter Gabriel, Steve Miller Band and Van Morrison. Various singles and missing album tracks make up the rest of the Local Files.  Still with him?

So far in the Shuffle posts HERC has written up, the pool has been from those (now) 3,986 songs on his phone.  But the thing is, HERC selected which songs to rip into iTunes from his CD and album collections, he chose what tracks to convert to 320 kbps OGG files in an attempt to match Spotify's files for his Local Files and he picked each one of the 977 songs in the Spotify Cache on his phone - the cache means the files are actually stored on the phone itself so no cellular data is used.  According to Spotify's site, only 3,333 tracks may be cached to any one device so HERC has a way to go and should easily be able to fit many more songs on the phone's 14.3GB of available storage.  If HERC personally chose each and every track in his library why would there be a song he didn't like?

Also, Blake, if you're reading this, HERC needs a ruling from the commissioner:  When shuffling tracks from a compilation album, do you use that album's date or the original album or single's date?  UPDATE 9/24/2013: Blake checked in with ruling below, in comments.


  1. Hi Herc,

    If from a compilation, I name the compilation as the album title and use that date. In the description, I will usually state when it was originally released. Glad you like the concept. --blake

  2. Y'all heard the commissh!