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Guilty pleasures

July 18th, 2008 · 10 Comments

I’ve been memed by Radley Balko, who asks that I name the five most embarassing tracks on my iPod. Except since my actual day-to-day iPod is my phone, which only holds 8 gig, there isn’t really anything that embarassing on it, because it only holds 30 or so albums. There’s some fun-dumb stuff (Neon Neon, Hercules & Love Affair, Justice) but scrolling through, the only thing I might feel vaguely sheepish about fessing up to here is Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Birds of Fire. As a rule, I don’t feel guilty about my pleasures—and certainly not my current ones—so there’s not going to be much in this category.

Still, in the interests of proper self-humiliation, let’s see what’s buried in the full music library I keep on an external drive, and at least pull out the schlock that I have to cop to a residual affection for.

  • I had forgotten I’d somehow acquired four albums worth of Jamiroquai at some point. But I used to have my computer set to wake me up to “Black Capricorn Day” every morning, and just typing it now is causing a sort of involuntary head-bop.
  • I see there’s also a fair amount of Dave Matthews Band lingering in there. I haven’t actually listened to any of ’em in ages, but pretty sure I still know all the words to “Too Much.”
  • Ah, here’s one I actually have put on recently. The Wannadies’ “You and Me Song” from the Baz Luhrman Romeo & Juliet soundtrack.
  • Nine Inch Nails, “Something I Can Never Have.” Excuse me while I go buy some black nail polish.
  • Ani DiFranco & Utah Phillips, The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere. Every bone in my body wants to mock this. Anarchist/wobbly spoken word remixed by the poster girl for earnest folk rock over a bunch of guitar loops. If that description were a Jeopardy question, the answer would (or anyway, should) be “What is my private soundtrack in the ninth circle of hell?” — but I like it despite myself.

I tag Spack, Jill from Feministe, and either of the guys at Dial M for Musicology.

Tags: Art & Culture · Personal



10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Greg N. // Jul 18, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Dude, Pretty Hate Machine still rules, and I’m not ashamed at all to like Dave Matthews Band. But on both: I see where you’re coming from.

    And while I never bought any Jamiroquai records, I did have to listen to them all day ever day when I worked at Blockbuster Music back in high school. Shit is catchy.

  • 2 Franklin Harris // Jul 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Wait. Am I supposed to feel guilty about Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “Inner Mounting Flame”?

  • 3 PJ Doland // Jul 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm


    Only if you were a follower of Sri Chinmoy when you bought it.

    And for the record, my most embarrassing guilty pleasure is a copy of Mickey Mouse Disco on vinyl.

  • 4 mds // Jul 18, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    But I used to have my computer set to wake me up to “Black Capricorn Day” every morning

    Your computer? Dude, the nerd cred is good, but your friends have to get you drunker and even more laid.

    [Cleverly avoiding the main subject of the post, which would require bringing up “The Bangles’ Greatest Hits.”]

  • 5 Anthony // Jul 18, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    By whimsical/horrific coincidence, when I came across this post I was listening to “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree”.

    American Jamiroquai-listeners may not be aware of the fact, but the lead singer’s politics are gittish enough to mandate binning their music. He ponces about town declaring to anyone who will listen that if he wasn’t a singer he’d be an “eco-warrior”, in spite of the fact that he owns a fleet of supercars and spends most of his spare time burning round rural Buckinghamshire at 130mph.

    See also this:


  • 6 Franklin Harris // Jul 20, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    @PJ Doland

    I’m more concerned about the embarrassing Scientology link that comes with catching Return to Forever’s reunion show in Atlanta in two weeks.

    And I had that Mickey Mouse Disco album, on vinyl. I wonder if it’s still in storage…?

  • 7 Chris G. // Jul 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    To Franklin Harris – Return to Forever is a fucking awesome show, even though Chick used it as a platform to convert people to Scientology. Nobody in that band except for Chick is still involved in it. Although for pure scientology magic, nothing would top replacing Stanley Clarke with Billy Sheehan, and inviting Isaac Hayes and Chaka Khan to sing on top of the whole thing.

    That being said. Despite the political views, I still dig Jamiroquai, though really I only deeply enjoy the first three albums. Something was lost when Stuart Zender left. I don’t know whether it was because he left, or the major shift to more formulaic music coincided with his departure. It is unforgivable that Jay Kay scrapped all of Zender’s original bass parts from Synchronized. What a jerk. Stuart Zender is the reason I play bass.

    And Birds of Fire is essential. John McLaughlin proved that there was still tons of ground to be broken after Hendrix, a time when most guitarists quit searching for new sounds.

  • 8 Birdseed // Jul 23, 2008 at 6:56 am

    What on earth could possibly be embarassing about the You and Me song?

  • 9 seth // Jul 24, 2008 at 12:47 am

    The libertarian sentiment runs deep in The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere. It’s fairly elegant expression of the desire for freedom, autonomy.

    I listen to it all the
    time and I’m not ashamed to say it.

    It’s a great spoken word album. And I hate spoken word albums. But not this one.

  • 10 ゴヤール // Jan 20, 2012 at 2:27 am

    I only deeply enjoy the first three albums. Something was lost when Stuart Zender left. I don’t know whether it was because he left, or the major shift to more for