Tonight when The Man and I got home from dinner with friends, I came into the office to start surfing, reading blogs and checking e-mail. I loaded up the music on my iTunes with the Genius tool Now if you are not familiar with Genius, it is a device on iTunes that will automatically build a playlist of songs based on one that you select. Tonight, I picked Remedy by the Black Crowes to form a playlist.
One of my favorite pleasures is stumbling across songs in my music collection that I have never heard. The first song on the list of 25 was Stranglehold by Ted Nugent. Now, I never really was a big fan of the Nuge. My older cousin Terry was into Nugent and had a couple of his albums back when I was a kid. With the first bars of the song before the lyrics began, The Man strolled into the office and said "Oh, Stranglehold. Cool!" (My guy amazes me at the oddest times. Here is a man who is comfortable listening to both Cher and Rammstein). I was only familiar with a couple of Ted Nugent tunes: Cat Scratch Fever, which kinda just annoyed me and Free for All, which I actually enjoyed and remember from my teens with adolescent delight from the "When in doubt, whip it out" lyric. Anyway, I'm sure I will return to Stranglehold to listen again. It’s a good rocker.
The next couple of songs that came up were songs that I am very familiar with: Authority Song from John Mellancamp's Uh-Huh album (I wore out that cassette tape while I was in high school) and Jealous Again by the Black Crowes (which I couldn't get away from listening to the radio back in the early 90s).
Next came a couple of classic rockers: Monkey Man and When the Levee Breaks. I heard the Rolling Stones song from listening to Let It Bleed many times and the Led Zepplin song was on steady rotation on AOR radio when I was a teen.
The song that came up after that was a bit strange for me. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by The Band. If I'd been creating the mix manually, I would have never included that song. The song has always been in my musical life from the time I watched The Last Waltz with my uncle back when I was ten years old. And then Up on Cripple Creek came up in the mix. iTunes was determined to pair The Band with the Black Crowes. Though I didn't see much influence from one to the other, who am I to question Apple?
Next up, the original song to build the mix: Remedy. This is one of my favorite rootsy rockers. I saw the Crowes tour behind The Southern Harmony and Music Companion and it was one of my favorite shows. They tore down Shreveport’s Municipal Auditorium. But the song rocking like early 70s Stones sounded unusual following a couple of more-mellow Band numbers.
Unchained by Van Halen, which I knew now but completely missed when I was a teen. I guess since Fair Warning was a bit darker than their other work, I had jumped directly from Women and Children First to Diver Down.
Returning to the Black Crowes, the mix went to Thorn in My Pride and then to Back in the Saddle by Aerosmith. And then to a very Black Crowes influencing Tumbling Dice by the Rolling Stones. Followed by 7mary3 performing Cumbersome, another song in my collection that did not sound familiar. I liked it, but it sounded too grungy and tough to me for this mix.
And then back to Van Halen’s Dance the Night Away, now a bit too poppy for the mix.
But then it jumped to Thank You by Led Zepplin, which I would not have matched with Remedy (but Led Zepplin sounds pretty good with most anything).
And then onto Pearl Jam’s Not for You. Again, too grungy and tough.
Back to Van Halen again for Running With the Devil, too hard-edged to be paired with Remedy.
Tuesday’s Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd came on next, and suddenly I was back as a teen driving my green Ford pick-up on the dirt roads in northern Louisiana.
The Waiting, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Yeah, I would throw this in with Remedy.
And back to the Stones with Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, the song that obviously most influenced the Crowes for Remedy: blistering guitar work, full background vocals, long instrumental break, its strutting style.
And bouncing back to Led Zepplin What Is and What Should Never Be. Again, I couldn’t see the connection to Remedy, but I’m not in charge here. Genius is.
Pink Houses, again from Mellencamp’s Uh-Huh. The Stones influence shining here too.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers with Here Comes My Girl came next. I don’t get the connection between the Black Crowes and Petty but maybe I not thinking about it in the correct frame.
Pearl Jam’s Corduroy came next, but as I said before “too grungy and tough” (but this is my favorite PJ song, so I let it play and took the time to backtrack and edit).
The set ended with Twice As Hard, so I guess ending a playlist based on an artist’s song with a song by that same artist is really kinda awesome. I’ll have to try that with Genius again sometimes. But for now, I’m going to rock myself to the bedroom. G’night.