Tuesday, November 01, 2005

iTunes Tournament of 64, round 1

I'm calling this the iTunes Tournament of 64. The basic idea is to randomly choose 64 songs and pit them against each other with one being chosen the winner. Huzzah!

If you have a sufficently large collection of music you probably have plenty of end of the CD, back catalog music you don't spend much time with. So it will be interesting to see what happens when a fresh song comes up against a song you like, but may suffer from overplaying.

I used the iTunes party shuffle feature to pick my songs. You could just set to list 64 songs, but I found this led to frequent song groupings by artist. To try and make this as random as possible, here's what I did:
  1. Set party shuffle to 100 songs. The playlist I drew from has 7400 songs.
  2. Pick the top song.
  3. Resuffle, and repeat until 64 songs are selected.
  4. Play 1vs2, 3vs4, and so forth.
  5. Pick your favorite. Provide a short note.
  6. Repeat until 1 song reigns supreme.

A few notes:
  • I removed all audio books, comedy and spoken word, but left in holiday music. Adjust as you see fit.
  • I'm picking the "best" song; which I'll describe vaguely as the song I'm most likely to hit replay for.
  • When selecting my 64, I gave myself the option of picking the 2nd track on the list if the first wasn't appropriate.
  • An artist can appear more than once.
  • Probably want to keep your comments short at the beginning. The final song will win 6 contests, so don't blow it after round 1.
  • No apologizing for the music that is selected. It's in your library so deal with it.
  • Don't agonize over your winners. With 64 songs you'll have 3-4 hours of music, so go with your first impression.

Round 1 - 32 contests - is below. The winner is in bold and Round 2 will be in a following post.
  1. Victoria (Ray Davies) vs The Memphis Train (Rufus Thomas). Ouch. First contest is a tough one. Nice sing-along song by Davies, but I'll have to go with the classic Stax sound of Rufus.
  2. Popular (Kristin Chenoweth) vs Shenandoah (Richard Thompson). Dang. Popular is a fun, silly song (probably my favorite selection from the Wicked soundtrack) and Chenoweth is a treat to listen to. This might also be my favorite version of Shenandoah. Sorry, Richard; I'm going with Kristin.
  3. Seven Deadly Sins (Flogging Molly) vs Waltz Darling (Malcolm Mclaren). My daughter, not yet four, loves Flogging Molly. Gotta agree with her on this song and it's an easy victory over Mclaren's waltz.
  4. Abadou (Zap Mama) vs Get Up Offa That Thing (James Brown). I think Zap Mama's first two albums are best described as "What if Bobby McFerrin was four women?" Remember Eddie Murphy's James Brown Celebrity Hot tub? This song has every James Brown cliche you can think of, therefore it is brilliant.
  5. 5 You will Pay Tomorrow (Terence Trent D'Arby) vs Laughing at Birds (The Subdudes). I don't who The Subdudes are or why I have this CD, but I do and this a decent bluesy soul. D'Arby doesn't get my head a bobbing and that damn kazoo is annoying and distracting, so he gets sent home in what I'll call a minor upset.
  6. The Garden (PJ Harvey) vs Far From Me (John Prine). I own a John Prine CD for his Angel From Montgomery; one of the most depressing, yet beautiful songs I've heard. Have doubts? Listen to the definitive version by Bonnie Raitt. For the rest of it, he's a voice that takes getting used to and I'm not there yet.
  7. Spam (Dayroom) vs The Christmas Song (Jackson 5). Dayroom was probably popular at frat parties in Athens. But as they have a few songs I enjoy, I'll let that slide. However, Spam is a hidden bonus track, that's mostly a studio oddity and The Jackson 5 Christmas Album might be the best xmas album ever. No contest.
  8. Till I Whisper U Something (Sinead O'Connor) vs Baby Moon (Audra McDonald). These are two of my favorite singers, both are good songs, and it[s a shame one has to go out in the first round.
  9. I Hear the Bells (Mike Doughty) vs Billy (Del Suggs). If you like Jimmy Buffett, you'd probably like Del Suggs. Interesting factoid about Suggs is that it looks like he makes most of his living performing at the expense of Campus Activity Boards. Which is how I came to own his CD - it was a gift for helping him set up. Let's do the math: he claims about 100 shows a year, with a price of $1250 plus room and board. In the CAB world, that's very reasonable and for a performer it's gotta beat playing for tips in a bar.
  10. Santa Claus, Santa Claus (Louis Jorden) vs More than Meets the Eyes (Bangles). I'm a big fan of the Bangles first, more folksy, album. Infinately listenable.
  11. Good Enough (Sarah McLachlan) vs What Now My Love? (Miss Piggy). Maybe if Miss Piggy was served as a steaming platter of bacon.
  12. I Shall Believe (Sheryl Crow) vs The Pusher (S.W.A.T). Funny, as I was writing this The Pusher, in its original version, was just referenced over at Althouse. The S.W.A.T. CD is one of my more enjoyable possessions and deserves a post of its own, but for this matchup it's I Shall Believe.
  13. Body By Fisher (Zydeco Force) vs Geisha (Until December). I'm sure if this was 1989 I'd be all over Until December, but at my advanced age Geisha is 6.5 minutes of drudgery.
  14. The Volga Vouty (Duke Ellington) vs Ooooh Yeah (Voodolulu). When I saw this on the list I was very intrigued. Ellington's remix of the Nutcracker Suite is unmatched, yet I'm oddly intrigued with Voodoolulu. The more I listen to them the more I enjoy it. Maybe it has something to do with the main female lead sounding like Ruby, The Galactic Gumshoe. Here's a Voodoolulu link.
  15. Every Little Bit Hurts (Charles Brown) vs Furry Green Atom Bowl (Robyn Hitchcock). Oh, it hurts to send Robyn Hitchcock home early, so listen to Charles Brown and know what hurt sounds like. Maybe to make up for it I'll teach my daughter to sing Furry Green Atom Bowl.
  16. We Belong Together (Rickie Lee Jones) vs Tell It To the Sky (Tracy Bonham). Next.
  17. 7 Deadly Sins (Mary's Danish) vs There's a Moon Out Tonight (Capris). I like doo wop - doesn't that sound like a horrible ethnic slur - but not even close.
  18. A Spoonful of Sugar (Julie Andrews) vs Never Like This Before (Peter Wolf). Have you recently watched Mary Poppins? Ms. Andrews is walking a fine line of subtle sexual flirtation. Very interesting.
  19. Hometown New Orleans (Champion Jack Dupree) vs Writing on the Wall (Lowen & Navarro). Two songs I'm unfamiliar with. Ah, Dupree is stride piano New Orleans jazz; not much of a song, just kinda talking about New Orleans. I'll keep L&N around for another round while I try and remember who they remind me of.
  20. Oh Lawd, I'm on my Way (Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong) vs Lucy Doesn't Love You (Ivy). Can't much explain this pick. Ella and Louis singing Porgy & Bess should be a romp. Problem is, as much as I love the instrumentation on this production, the singing leaves me cold. It's Ivy in a Chaminade-style upset.
  21. Honey Bun (Mandy Patinkin) vs Hey (Shona Laing). For the record, I happily own every Mandy Patinkin CD.
  22. Living Loving Maid - She's Just a Woman (Dread Zeppelin) vs O Canada (Geddy Lee - south park). Fuck Canada. I don't like Rush and Dread Zeppelin is brilliant.
  23. Milord (Edith Piaf) vs Hard Times (Eddie Bo). The Sparrow, she is used to the disappointment.
  24. Grapefruit - Juicy Fruit (Jimmy Buffett) vs Borderline (Camper Van Beethoven). The worst thing about Buffett is the Parrotheads. Some of his early music is quite good, but he's been coasting for close to 20 years.
  25. Add It Up (Violent Femmes) vs Daddy Didn't Tell Me (Astors). Very good song by the Astors off the Stax label. If we're comparing 60's soul labels, Stax kicks Motown's a-s-s to the moon and back. Still, it will take much more to beat this live version by the Femmes.
  26. Mother Nature's Son (Beatles) vs Drunken Lullabies (Flogging Molly). Another Flogging Molly song easily advances.
  27. Lock Stock & Teardrops (k.d. lang) vs Rainbow Connection (Me First and the Gimme Gimmes). I thought k.d. Lang would win this one. I prefer her earlier torch and twang to her more recent just torch. When she sings country you can just tell she loves this music. Oh well, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes won me over.
  28. Ball the Wall (Professor Longhair) vs Blackbird (Bernadette Peters). I'm a big Bernadette fan, but she sings this song like a funeral dirge. Not the least bit enjoyable. For me, the definitive Blackbird is by Dionne Farris. Think I'll buy some more Professor Longhair.
  29. Hamlet (John Wesley Harding) vs Speak (The Roches). Good lord, Roches, that is just bad.
  30. Leave heaven Alone (Exene Cervenka) vs Lucky Day Overture (Tom Waits). The Overture is more of a transition piece and should have lost. It, however, had the good fortune to come against solo Cervenka.
  31. Whippin' Piccadilly (Petty Booka) vs Street Parade (Earl King). Petty Booka - Japanese ukelele duo; Earl King - kinda generic New Orleans 70s funk.
  32. Lost My Mind (Matthew Sweet) vs Under Pressure (Queen/David Bowie).Sorry, if Matthew Sweet isn't singing Girlfriend, I'm not interested.

Here’s the lineup for Round 2 (for a later post)
  1. The Memphis Train (Rufus Thomas) vs Popular (Kristin Chenoweth)
  2. Seven Deadly Sins (Flogging Molly) vs Get Up Offa That Thing (James Brown)
  3. Laughing at Birds (The Subdudes) vs The Garden (PJ Harvey)
  4. The Christmas Song (Jackson 5) vs Till I Whisper U Something (Sinead O'Connor)
  5. I Hear the Bells (Mike Doughty) vs More than Meets the Eyes (Bangles)
  6. Good Enough (Sarah McLachlan) vs I Shall Believe (Sheryl Crow)
  7. Body By Fisher (Zydeco Force) vs The Volga Vouty (Duke Ellington)
  8. Every Little Bit Hurts (Charles Brown) vs We Belong Together (Rickie Lee Jones)
  9. 7 Deadly Sins (Mary's Danish) vs Never Like This Before (Peter Wolf)
  10. Writing on the Wall (Lowen & Navarro) vs Lucy Doesn't Love You (Ivy)
  11. Hey (Shona Laing) vs Living Loving Maid - She's Just a Woman (Dread Zeppelin)
  12. Hard Times (Eddie Bo) vs Borderline (Camper Van Beethoven)
  13. Add It Up (Violent Femmes) vs Drunken Lullabies (Flogging Molly)
  14. Rainbow Connection (Me First and the Gimme Gimmes) vs Ball the Wall (Professor Longhair)
  15. Hamlet (John Wesley Harding) vs Lucky Day Overture (Tom Waits)
  16. Whippin' Piccadilly (Petty Booka) vs Under Pressure (Queen/David Bowie)


Anonymous Amy said...

Once I have time to load the new iPod up with all my music and get a better grasp on how to operate iTunes, I will have to take the challenge.

11/03/2005 08:43:00 AM  

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