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Sunday Shuffle #452

I ran 4 miles this morning, my 50th run of the year. I managed to average 8:18 a mile, which is basically my average for the year so far (8:19). So far, I've run once every 2.26 days and averaged 3.48 miles a run. Pretty good.

The rest of my day will be busy with chores both inside and out, getting more schoolwork done, and hopefully squeezing in 2 episodes of Supergirl before they disappear from the CW app. Luckily, it should be a beautiful day and I do have some endorphins going, so I think I'm ready for it.

I hope you enjoy your day and accomplish as much or as little as you want/need to!

1. Feral/Radiohead (12) - last played on 1/12/13
2. The Queen's Approach/The Decemberists (5) - last played on 11/20/14
3. Fangless/Sleater-Kinney (13) - last played on 2/28/16
4. Written Invitation/The Whigs (8) - last played on 2/14/16
5. Demons Are Real/Guided By Voices (10) - last played on 4/21/17
6. The Geese Of Beverly Road/The National (7) - last played on 7/31/16
7. No Pointin…

Sunday Shuffle #451

It finally feels like spring.

I got my 4 miles in this morning, at an 8:16 average.

I can watch baseball on my TV this afternoon.

I've got schoolwork to do, but that's okay because I'm working towards what I want.

I hope you have a great day.

Let's get to today's ten...

1. Heartbreaker/The Walkmen (25) - last played on 9/18/16
2. I Guess I Remembered It Wrong/Superchunk (33) - last played on 2/20/17
3. Like A Hitman, Like A Dancer/A.C. Newman (12) - last played on 8/7/16
4. My Love Is Real/Divine Fits (26) - last played on 6/5/16
5. Slipping Husband/The National (14) - last played on 6/23/13
6. Show Yourself/Okkervil River (11) - last played on 6/26/12
7. I Lost You/Elvis Costello (11) - last played on 4/22/15
8. Guiding Star/Teenage Fanclub (12) - last played on 10/15/16
9. Damage/Yo La Tengo (5) - last played on 10/20/12
10. The Great Unknown/The Damnwells (12) - last played on 10/23/16

5 X 10

I've recently found myself listening to albums that came out 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years ago. Here are some thoughts...

The Broken West/I Can't Go On I'll Go On (2007) - "Down in the Valley" hooked me the first time I heard it streaming on KEXP. At the time, the band was still called The Brokedown, but that would soon change to due copyright issues; that's okay, I like The Broken West as a name better anyway. To get back to "Down in the Valley," what grabbed me were the ringing guitars, layered harmonies, and the organ that weaved in and out. And the lyrics, of course - "I had my feelings like the Dutchman has his gold/Deep in the canyon by the river that runs cold." Speaking of The Dutchman's Gold, that was the name of the EP that I learned had already been out and used my eMusic credits to grab it. "Down in the Valley" was the lead-off track, but there were six other great power pop songs and I was both in love and even mor…

Sunday Shuffle #450

Here I am at another anniversary-type number for the Sunday Shuffle. Hard to believe I've gotten up this high and that I've been doing this for over a decade. I've also been thinking I might get to here and then discontinue the shuffle, but now that I'm here...I at least want to hit 500, so I'll hang in for another year or so. I know a blog is such an old-fashioned thing at this point, but I am about to turn 46...you can draw your own conclusions.

To celebrate, I am not only going to run for 20 songs today, but I've also changed the theme of my blog. I'd had the previous theme for a very long time and it felt like time for a change. It's currently a rainy early spring day (and I'm on spring break), so listening to some music and doing some reading sounds like the right thing to do.

As always on these anniversary episodes, here's the history of the Sunday Shuffle...

#1 - 8/27/06
#50 - 8/19/07
#100 - 7/27/08
#150 - 9/9/09
#200 - 10/17/10
#250 - 10…

Sunday Shuffle #449

This week's shuffle is dedicated to the late, great Chuck Berry.

1. Minotaur/Cracker (6) - last played on 6/5/16
2. The First Song/Band of Horses (7) - last played on 6/4/16
3. Don't Tell Your Eyes/Joseph Arthur (6) - last played on 5/24/15
4. Honey Combed/Tweedy (6) - last played on 2/8/16
5. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere/Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs (3) - last played on 12/18/16
6. Imbecile Rages/Of Montreal (12) - last played on 9/19/14
7. Like a Real Smoothie/The Soft Boys (3) - last played on 11/1/11
8. Heart On A String/Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (9) - last played on 6/10/12
9. You'll Have to Go Sideways/The Soft Boys (10) - last played on 4/4/15
10. Some People Get Away/I Love Math (9) - last played on 1/17/16

Sunday Shuffle #448

I'm going to do a bit of a "spring forward" edition this morning, which means I'm going to skip over the first song that pops up and start with the second. I think I'll keep doing that throughout, so you get all the even numbered songs, #2 - #20. Why not?

2. Bechamel/Pernice Brothers (16) - last played on 5/15/15
4. Red Hill Mining Town/U2 (5) - last played on 3/13/16
6. Late-Century Dream/Superchunk (18) - last played on 11/18/15
8. Your Weather/Dinosaur Jr. (19) - last played on 8/3/16
10. Centre For Holy Wars/The New Pornographers (2) - last played on 1/27/15
12. Girls and Boys (Pet Shop Boys 12" Remix)/Blur (3) - last played on 2/28/16
14. Hard To Find/The National (25) - last played on 2/12/17
16. Metal School/Spoon (17) - last played on 1/20/17
18. I'm in Love (With Arthur Dove)/Portastatic (8) - last played on 7/29/16
20. Simple X/Andrew Bird (4) - last played on 5/1/16

Sunday Shins (Sunday Shuffle #447)

The Shins have a new album, Heartworms, coming out this Friday. Surprisingly, it is only their 5th album (the first one, Oh, Inverted World, came out in 2001). While doing an artist-oriented Sunday Shuffle is nothing new for me, the process today will be very different. I have their 4 albums on CD and have never ripped them to my iTunes. So, I'm going to use a random number generator to select from the 42 songs, with "Caring Is Creepy" being #1 and "Port of Morrow" being #42. There won't be any play counts, because I have no idea other than I've listened to these discs many, many times, particularly Chutes Too Narrow and Wincing The Night Away. Hopefully, the distribution is good, but we'll see once we get to today's ten...

1. Pink Bullets - from Chutes Too Narrow
2. Young Pilgrims - from Chutes Too Narrow
3. The Celibate Life - from Oh, Inverted World
4. Phantom Limb - from Wincing The Night Away
5. So Says I - from Chutes Too Narrow
6. Know Yo…

Sunday Spoon #3 (Sunday Shuffle #446)

Friday saw the release of new albums by Ryan Adams and Strand of Oaks, among others. It also put us a week away from the new Old 97s and a month away from the new Spoon album, Hot Thoughts. My Old 97s catalog is mainly on CD, which doesn't lend itself to a shuffle very well. On the other hand, I've already done 2 Sunday Spoons (the last being 6/21/15) and since I'm very much anticipating the afore-mentioned album, today seems perfect for doing a third. So, let's get to it...

1. Is Love Forever? (20) - from Transference
2. Who Makes Your Money (24) - from Transference
3. Loss Leaders (15) - from Soft Effects
4. No You're Not (19) - from A Series of Sneaks
5. Reservations (17) - from A Series of Sneaks
6. Dismember (11) - from Telephono
7. All I Got Is Me (10) - b-side to "Don't You Evah"
8. The Mystery Zone (23) - from Transference
9. Chloroform (16) - from A Series of Sneaks
10. Got Nuffin (6) - single version

Sunday Shuffle #445

I had a big Super Bowl shuffle post I was working on last week, trying something new too, and...I didn't get it finished before the game started, so I just deleted it. Oh well.

Let's get to today's ten...

1. If I Wanted Someone/Dawes (14) - last played on 4/4/15
2. Trip Through Your Wires/U2 (4) - last played on 4/1/12
3. Jackie/The New Pornographers (4) - last played on 11/13/16
4. Low Key/Tweedy (7) - last played on 3/23/16
5. Happiness Burns/Two Hours Traffic (5) - last played on 10/2/16
6. Insolence/Shearwater (13) - last played on 3/30/16
7. Black Like Me/Spoon (23) - last played on 1/21/17
8. I'll Still Be True/Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (15) - last played on 11/19/16
9. January Wedding/The Avett Brothers (12) - last played on 10/23/16
10. Platform Blues/Pavement (14) - last played on 7/24/16

Sunday Shuffle #444

Seems silly to do one of these today, but music has always been a big part of who I am. Music is something to be shared, something that can bring us together. We need that right now. We are all different, but we should be able to find common ground. Sure, a song is a small thing, but those small things add up. If you listen to this mix, I hope you find a song that you like, that brings you joy.
Here are today's ten...

1. Hands Up Baby/Camera Obscura (3) - last played on 3/13/16 2. Loss Leaders/Spoon (12) - last played on 5/22/16 3. Picking Up Too Fast/Centro-Matic (6) - last played on 6/28/15 4. Let It Be/The Beatles (6) - last played on 5/3/15 5. I Won't Back Down/Tom Petty (1) - I've listened to this hundreds of times on CD 6. Summer Is The Champion/Laura Veirs (5) - last played on 12/29/10 7. Maternity Ward/Art Brut (12) - last played on 1/4/15 8. I'll Be Your Key/The Jayhawks (9) - last played on 12/21/16 9. Farewell To the Pressure Kids/Broken Social Scene Present…

Sunday Shuffle #443

I still have my weekend house-cleaning chores to do and I need to get some more work done on my schoolwork. Also, the football games start at 2:00, so I'm going to get right to today's ten...

1. When I Was Young/Nada Surf (26) - last played on 4/6/16
2. Some Boys/Death Cab For Cutie (18) - last played on 4/21/15
3. Lines In The Suit/Spoon (5) - last played on 5/21/16
4. Calling All Doctors (alternate version)/Telekinesis (10) - last played on 11/16/14
5. Cowboy Song/Blur (2) - last played on 6/30/13
6. Press/Superchunk (27) - last played on 1/11/17
7. Silver Clouds/Bowerbirds (4) - last played on 2/23/14
8. Wave/Alejandro Escovedo (3) - last played on 2/18/12
9. Thirteen/Big Star (17) - last played on 6/29/16
10. For Annabelle/Band of Horses (30) - last played on 6/19/16

Sunday Shuffle #442

This is the second shuffle I've done today. I tried something new for the first one - using a Spotify playlist I've been adding to since the start of the year of every song or album I chose to play. It was up over 300 songs over more than 20 albums and at least as many single songs. I used shuffle mode for the playlist...and got 5 songs from one album, 3 from another, and 2 from a third. Not what I was looking for, so I scrapped it.

I'll have to go back to the drawing board with ways of incorporating Spotify into the Shuffle every week. Alternatively, I may just aim for 450 of these and call it done for a while, maybe combined with trying to make more playlists again. We'll see.

For now, let's get to the second version of today's ten...

1. Fleeting One/First Aid Kit (7) - last played on 12/26/15
2. It Was A Beautiful Car/M. Ward (8) - last played on 5/22/16
3. Think For Yourself/The Beatles (5) - last played on 3/9/16
4. Beautiful Beat/Nada Surf (9) - last play…

Ahead/Behind

I talked about how I've gotten very behind on my pop culture consumption in the end of year posts I managed to get written. One good thing about a new year is that it wipes my slate clean and I can start counting books and comics and so forth anew. Last year I managed to read only 46 books and 248 comics. I know it sounds absurd to lament that fact, but both totals are way down from 2015. However, I'm currently on pace to read 73 books and 502 comics this year. I'm well aware that won't happen, but it's fun to look at my pace for the year this early on and dream. Anyway, one reason I ran out of steam on my year-end posts was having to come up with new content about most items. To combat that fact, I want to write more about what I'm consuming when I'm doing it. So, here's the first brick in this year's wall (I hope it's not just a pile of bricks)...
Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson - Even though I got a half dozen new books at Christmas, I deci…

Sunday Shuffle #441

I wish I had "American Girl" in my iTunes, because it would be perfect for today's shuffle. Why? The titular girl stands on the balcony watching cars go by on 441 like waves crashing on the beach. Hi, giant music nerd here.

I was talking last Sunday about being unsure of the future of the Sunday Shuffle, but I had a good idea early in the week about how I could start incorporating what I listen to on Spotify. I'm not quite ready to do it today, but next week looks like it will be the day.

I know I petered out on the rest of my best of 2016 lists, but I went back to school on Wednesday and that was that. I do want to try to write more about my pop culture intake and was going to yesterday, but my schoolwork and the NFL playoffs got in the way. Maybe I can get something up later today or in the next few days. We'll see.

I think that's all the business I needed to talk about, so let's get to today's ten...

1. Embassy Row/The Broken West (10) - last playe…

Music 2016

I decided today that I did want to put some effort into more 2016 wrap-up posts after all. My music thoughts will be in two parts - this list of my 20 favorite albums and a post that accompanies my best-of playlist that will go up on Spotify. I normally do just a top ten list, but I've listened to so much good music this year that I wanted to expand the list. I love music and I want to share that love; hopefully, my few words on each might encourage you to check some of them out...

1. Drive-By Truckers/American Band - I've been a fan of the DBTs for over a decade, so a new album is a no-brainer. This one, however, is their strongest since Brighter Than Creation's Dark in 2008. I think they were energized by the political writing they did for this album, responding to the seemingly endless shootings of African Americans and other gun violence with some powerful songs like "What It Means" and "Ramon Casiano." Not every song is political; Mike Cooley gives…

Sunday Shuffle #440

I ran out of steam on my 2016 best-of lists and I don't feel like spending today writing them. I do need to do a better job of writing about things in the moment. For example, there were so many albums I loved last year that it would have been impossible to say things about most of them. I did try to write reviews for most of the books I read, but they were posted on my Goodreads account and then linked to my Facebook and Twitter. I'm sure I've said this at the beginning of many years and we'll see how well I do.

As for the Sunday Shuffle, I don't know how much longer I'll continue it. #450 sounds like a nice place to stop if I decide to do so. Then again, #500 sounds even cooler. The problem is that my iTunes only represents a fraction of what I listen to in a given week. Maybe I bring back the Sunday Sculpt once or twice a month. Maybe I try to put together a new playlist every month as well. I guess I'll just have to see where I go with all of it.

For no…