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Five songs off my iPod

August 15, 2014 - Zach Baker
Five songs, at random, from my iPod

1. Punkrocker by the Teddybears

Why it's here: I heard it in a car commercial, sue me.

But Iggy Pop's typically detached vocal works perfectly against the somewhat chaotic rhythm. The lyrics are also strong. I am particularly partial to the lyrics "You can hear me laughing to myself. If you could you would be someone else." This song also acts as a theme of sorts for me. I'm someone who doesn't cause trouble and works to not bother others. And yet, in my own way, I see myself as a punkrocker, someone who never quite fit in anywhere and had to create his own world.

Oh, come on, who am I, Robocop? Sounded better in my head.

2. Rag Mama Rag, The Band.

Why its here: It's here because The Band's second album is so good it was just easier for me to download the whole thing. And yet, this is not one of my favorite tracks. I love Levon Helm's voice, but his work on this song strikes me as ordinary. When he kicks it up an octave, he's fantastic.

3. Don't Let Go, Jeff Lynne

Why it's here: I love Jeff Lynne as a producer, and I'm a huge fan of ELO and the Traveling Wilburies. This song, off his 1990 album Armchair Theatre, appears to be an ode to Carl Perkins, an idol of Lynne's as well as George Harrison's. Despite being from England, Lynne's voice always has seemed to have a southern twang to me. Maybe it came from listening to a ton of rockabilly.

4. Bob Dylan, Just like a woman

Why it's here: Uh, it's here because it's one of Bob Dylan's best songs and one of his greatest recordings. It's flat-out magical and heartbreaking, a credit to the musicians, but also to Dylan's somber vocal. Some don't like Dylan's voice, but I've found that when he chooses to, he can convey emotions as well as anyone. This song is a perfect example. When Dylan says "I can't stay in here, ain't it clear?," I feel that. And that's whole point, isn't it?

5. Now we can see, The Thermals.

Why it's here: I actually heard it on an episode of Chuck. I didn't hear it again until flipping through channels on XM radio. And that's why I keep a pad and paper with me when listening to the radio. I don't know a ton about this band, which is strange, because I've managed to memorize all the lyrics to the song. It's just a flat-out rock song, and it rocks quite nicely, and the guitar solo at the end finds a nice groove.


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