Saturday, April 8, 2006

My Nano is brilliant

I'm grading. So I'm listening to the music I've so far managed to load onto my computer and onto my new birthday Nano to make the process less painful. I can't read literature or scholarly works or write with music, but I'm only now realizing that I can grade with music. (A sad statement about student writing, I'm afraid.)

Anyway, in the past, while listening to the Boyfriend's bigger iPod on shuffle mode (usually on car trips) I've noticed that shuffle isn't as random as we'd probably all like it to be. (I think there was a Slate article on why this is, but I'm too lazy to find it.) But in listening to my Nano I've decided that the shuffle programming, though not perfect, is nevertheless brilliant on a level approaching Hal. Seriously, I think it's sentient.

To wit - earlier today it played the following sequence:
Lemonheads - Second Chance
Beck - Scarecrow
Willie Nelson- Healing Hands of Time
The Lovin' Spoonful - Daydream
Ken Stringfield - Uniforms
Lemonheads - Ever
R.E.M. - Letter Never Sent

At first I was annoyed with the double appearance of the Lemonheads, but then I realized, holy cow, it's giving the Lemonheads a second chance in this string. And besides that, what more perfect way to break up a Mitch Easter-produced string (Stringfield and REM) than with the ultimate sensitive punk boy song. And just look at the American roots in that roster!

And by the way, I've said it before (though not here) and I'll say it again: The Lovin' Spoonful? Most underrated American rock band ever.

And speaking of jangle-pop strings, later today it followed R.E.M.'s Laughing with The Shins' One By One All Day. Until that moment I hadn't really realized it, but The Shins are the inheritors of the jangle-pop tradition, aren't they.

Oh yeah, and now it just followed Jon Brion with Clinic. Excellent.

Yup, my Nano is brilliant, say what you will about my taste in music!


Karl Steel said...

The Q is: Did the Lovin' Spoonful ever top their performance in What's Up Tiger Lily? W/out their performance, the film would have suffered from that most derided of traits: coherence.


One of my jobs is working in my U's tutoring area. What I need is a good song for the session I had on Friday. The fact that I had to explain that King Lear and Don Quixote are not both novels still makes my head hurt. So, a song for that, please.

Dr. Virago said...

You know, I've never seen that movie -- only clips of it -- so I didn't even know they were in it.

As for your tutoring experience -- wow. I will no longer assume that life would be lovelier if only I were teaching at a selective school. And I didn't even know there was a tutoring center at your U. Back in my day we did all ourselves -- uphill in the snow barefoot, too. :)

Don't have a song for you, though. Oh wait -- how about Beck's "Loser." Heh. (Oh, that's mean.)

Karl Steel said...

Oh the tutoring center's sort of new: only the last three years (part of a set of changes to the basic writing there that meant the departure of the medievalist in charge of the old writing program: broke my heart). It's a nice gig if you have enough teaching on your cv for the market because tutoring = no prep work. And a lot of different kinds of papers. And no agonizing about grades. Makes it, well, not easy, but possible to write a diss., look for work, teach an intro to lit course for cheap across the street, and have this low-work tutoring $$ gig at the big U.

"Loser" is a nice start, though. I'm not sure ultimately if it's about the student or me.

I wanted "Mannequin" by Wire, but I realized that this bit ("You don't even begin / To interest me, not even curiosity / It's not animosity, it's just you don't interest me") doesn't apply: I am interested in this student's terrible error, and I'm inclined to blame the teacher.

But not your praeternatural nano.

Dr. Virago said...

"Loser" is a nice start, though. I'm not sure ultimately if it's about the student or me.

Heh. I meant for the student -- but it's too mean, especially if you blame the teacher.

And I'm afraid my Nano doesn't have Wire on it, alas. But you know, it just recently coughed up a song that made me think of you and our goats conversation: Cake's "Sheep Go the Heaven." ("Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell." One more reason to dig goats, imho -- they're unfairly maligned in Xtn metaphor!)