Three Of A Perfect Kind

February 8, 2010

I wasn’t sold on the whole iPod thing. Oh, I’d had an mp3 player by 2003 and embraced the small device. It held about 500 songs and I would almost daily change out some tracks while drinking coffee.

But, the iPods were pricier items and seemed to be overkill to me, clashing with my minimalist nature. Then I earned one as a bonus at work and quickly took to having 20,000 or so songs at my fingertips.

It allows me to pull up a playlist of early ’80s pop or ’70s light rock to keep things calm on the morning commute. And it provides a means of escape from work for short bursts during the day.

I manage to grab a handful of smoke breaks and I throw the headphones on as soon as I reach the elevator. Depending on the songs that shuffle up, I might be able to hear almost three songs before returning to my assigned spot.

I usually skip songs until I settle on one. Of course, it is my music, so I am quite fond of most of the stuff in there, but whatever pops up in the limited time span of a cigarette isn’t always the song I want or need.

So I surf.

But, sometimes, the first three songs that play are exactly what I want to hear at the moment. It’s like dropping a token into a slot machine and hitting three…what are the good ones? Cherries? Gold bars? Koalas?

Well, whatever pays out, I hit today. Three songs, not necessarily related in any obvious way, that made me smile as I enjoyed twelve minutes of blessed solitude…

Wall Of Voodoo – Mexican Radio
from Call Of The West

I’ve always loved Wall Of Voodoo as a band name. It simply speaks to me.

As for the band, it’s too bad that Wall Of Voodoo is only known to most listeners for Mexican Radio. The quirky song is an undeniable ’80s classic, but their first couple records are worth seeking out (and, to my delight, I happened across several last autumn on vinyl).

The Posies – Dream All Day
from Frosting On The Beater

In college, I received a promotional CD that was a sampling of Geffen acts and amongst the tracks were a pair from The Posies including the gorgeous Suddenly Mary. I fell in love with their flawless power pop immediately.

Through the years I haven’t always kept up with the band, but I have snagged a few of their releases and they haven’t failed me, yet. Frosting On The Beater arrived in the wake of grunge and as mainstream radio was beginning to embrace more modern rock acts. Dream All Day got some radio play, but the band criminally remained underappreciated.

John Hiatt – Shredding The Document
from Walk On

When I am at my work, it would be impossible for me to spit in any direction and not hit someone. Inmates have more space.

This claustrophobic situation makes those smoke breaks – and some music – such a glorious escape.

And being within earshot of so many folks who feel compelled to constantly perform makes Shredding The Document by the very talented John Hiatt a bit of gallows humor to me.

(and the closing lines where he “reveals” what his father said is a brilliant payoff)

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