Now Playing: Nickel and Dime Radio w/Small Change (wfmu.org)
There was an interesting article in the New York Times a few weeks ago talking about the IPod community and the shuffle function on their beloved MP3 players. Apparently, there are a number of Pod people that strongly believe that their IPod has a brain and that the Shuffle function is not as random as Apple would have them think it is. There were testimonies from Pod owners suggesting that it responds to their mood by playing a certain song at just the right time. Others lamented that their IPod embarrasses them in front of their cool friends by playing that one bubblegum pop tune at exactly the wrong time. Still others swear that the player seems to prefer certain songs and plays them all the time.
Prior to the release of this article, I decided to try a little experiment of my own. While I don?t own a portable MP3 player that holds up to 10,000 songs, I always bring jukebox CDs into work and play them on my computer. For some odd reason, I never used Shuffle Play until last month. Between four different jukebox CDs, each of them holding between six and ten hours of music, I threw on Shuffle Play to see what the result would be.
It?s been an extremely fun ride. I like the idea of not knowing what?s going to come next. And Shuffle Play has a tendency to create segues that I never would?ve thought of (such as switching from legendary hip-hop DJ/producer Marley Marl to the fuzzed-out hard rock of Daisy Chainsaw, a segue so interesting that Shuffle Play did it twice in one week?using the same two songs). I did notice some repetition in the choices and it happened more often than I expected. For instance, the shuffle function on my Real One Player at work seems to really dig Primus. There are only five Primus songs on my jukebox disc containing 137 MP3 files (about 9.5 hours of music). And yet, it kept going back to those Primus songs, all of which happened to be cover tunes featured on the Miscellaneous Debris EP. Shuffle Play also took a liking to Prince and Frank Zappa, which is really weird because they?re two of my favorite artists.
Shuffle Play also enjoyed the comedy stylings of the late Robin Harris. It was almost as if the comedy bits were thrown into the mix to create a break between one genre of music and another. I kept thinking to myself, this CAN?T be random. And I have this one disc where half of it is filled with selections that I downloaded from the 365 Days Project, a site dedicated to ?outsider music? (rare celebrity recordings and novelty productions). That made for a real interesting time on shuffle ? just plain silly.
And being the total and complete geek that I am, I made a list of the top 50 artists in the mix by DJ Shuffle Play over the past month. I?ve indicated particular albums and songs where I could and even put an asterisk (*) next to anything that can be downloaded from 365 Days. No, I don?t have that much time on my hands?I really don?t?yet I still found time to do this. Don?t ask?
- Robin Harris ? Special Radio Edits from Be-Be?s Kids
- Primus ? Miscellaneous Debris
- Frank Zappa ? Sheik Yerbouti
- Bel Canto ? ?Unicorn?
- Prince (tracks from his Warner Bros. days)
- Therapy? ? Teethgrinder EP
- Moms Mabley ? Abraham, Martin & John
- DJ Hi-Tek & Talib Kweli ? Reflection Eternal
- DJ Drilla (unreleased downbeat joints)
- Invisible Skratch Piklz
- J.J. Johnson ? Man and Boy (soundtrack)
- Blackalicious ? ?Swan Lake? b/w ?Lyric Fathom?
- Cornelius - Point
- Marley Marl - Re-Entry
- Louis Farrakhan ? ?Is She Is, Or Is She Ain?t??*
- Freelance Hellraiser (bastard pop mashups)
- Ezekiel Honig (Microcosm Music/Anticipate Recordings)
- Nasenbluten (hardcore techno)
- Charles Bernstein ? Gator (soundtrack)
- Jerry Goldstein ? Sebastian (soundtrack)
- The Ken Nordine Group ? ?Six Commercials in Search of a Client?*
- Atrium (Astrakt Reality Records)
- People By Us ? ?Swinglargo?
- Discorobics ? ?Hokey Pokey Disco?*
- Shorty Petterstein ? The Wide, Wide World of Shorty Petterstein
- Star Ads (medley)*
- Opus III ? Mind Fruit
- Daisy Chainsaw ? ?Pink Flower?
- The Pixies ? ?Gigantic?
- Yo La Tengo ? ?Today Is The Day?
- Ween ? Pure Guava
- Techno Animal
- The High & Mighty ? Home Field Advantage
- Stark Reality ? Now
- The Sugarcubes ? ?Cindy?
- DJ Empirical ? ?Good to Be a Maneater?
- V/VM ? ?Simply?
- James Cotton ? ?Beat Ya!?
- John Oswald (Plunderphonics) ? ?Worse?
- Mudhoney ? ?Fix Me?
- Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra ? Waltz Darling
- Sean Thomas (Esho Recordings)
- Fabulous Souls ? ?Take Me?
- Zion I ? ?We Got It?
- Dondero High School Symphony Band & Chorus ? ?Fox On The Run? / ?Sunshine Of Your Love?*
- Dick Clark ? ?Open Letter To The Older Generation?*
- Bob Chance ? ?The Van Man?*
- Morvizion (tracks on hiptingle.com)
- The Space Lady ? ?Major Tom?*
- Marilyn Sokol ? ?I Want A Monster To Be My Friend?*