This past week I finished digitizing my CDs - something I've been working at bit by bit for the past nine months. At last, the tedious process is done, and my iTunes collection sits at a portly 16,129 songs. 47.8 days of audio. 83.57 gigs.
There's music I listen to actively. There's stuff I used to be into. There's tons I haven't had time for yet.
If I set the thing to shuffle through my entire collection, anything might come up. So here are the first twelve tracks shuffle gave me yesterday.
I spliced short samples from each one into a single track. Click here to listen to it. It lasts four minutes and forty-some seconds, about the length of a single song.
1. Had me a Girl, from The Early Years, Volume 1, by Tom Waits. Some of his first demo recordings, not released publicly till the early 90s. Really easy to get into. He had a smooth, clear voice back then. His songs were simpler.
2. Snowbound, from Kamakiriad by Donald Fagen. Steely Dan's main brain and frontman released this concept album in the early 90s. I got into Steely Dan in Grade 12. No one I knew liked them. They were mine. I still like them.
3. Lights Out, from 20 Odd Years, by Buck 65. Hip hop. This shuffle pick marked the first time I'd heard it.
4. Once Upon a Time in the West, from Communique, by Dire Straits. I prefer the live version from Alchemy (the album that really made me a fan of the band) - a twelve minute rendition, with plenty of instrumental exploration. But this version is lean and clean.
5. Women Smoking Cigars, from Richard Jeni's Greatest Bits. Contrary to the title, the album's a single comedy concert, not a collection. Outstanding, too. Jeni was brilliantly funny, though not mainstream famous. He blew his brains out a few years ago.
7. One of These Days You've Gotta Pay, from Half a Village and Half a Show, by Ry Cooder and Nick Lowe. A not so great sounding bootleg concert recording. Great slide guitar playing from Cooder, though.
8. In For the Kill from La Roux's self-titled album. Electro-pop. I goddam love this album.
9. See the Leaves, from Embryonic by the Flaming Lips. I know next to nothing about these guys. Been meaning to get into em.
10. Make Me a Pallet on the Floor, by Jelly Roll Morton. Some of the dirtiest lyrics I've ever heard. Sung so gently, too.
11. Half Light II (No Celebration), from The Suburbs, by Arcade Fire. An absolutely triumphant album.
So there you have it: old stuff, new stuff, well loved stuff, unfamiliar stuff. And I've got a whole lot of music listening ahead of me.
What twelve random tracks does your collection kick up?