a modern Samsung smart phone sitting top of a notebook. There is an image on the phone’s screen that looks like a vintage cassette tape, with a label reading: Mix Tape

above: photo by @felipepelaquim on Unsplash

I would like to bring back something from my old, regular blogging days of the mid-aughts: the Friday Random Ten. I don’t remember who started this tradition, but a bunch of us Philly bloggers would bring this around every Friday. The basic rules are:

  1. fire up your digital music player
  2. go to “all songs“ and shuffle play everything
  3. note the first 10 songs to show up, without skipping anything
  4. create your playlist

Sometimes we would also note our favorite or least favorite songs, bands from the list that we’d seen live, really random connections if a song popped up on someone else’s list, etc. The only things I would ever pass by were podcasts or audio books that may have inadventently made it through the “songs“ group.

My first MP3 player was a 40GB Creative Nomad Zen Xtra, and very sadly I no longer have it. I do still have my 2005 60GB iPod. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have everything on it, but it does have nearly 12,000 songs. It’s not as slick as a new iPod or iPhone — when I was on a retreat with folks from one of my groups, the younger ones among us were just amazed that it didn’t have a touch screen — but it’s gotten me through 18 years so far, and recently travelled cross-country on my Lincoln Highway road trip. It’s my trusty friend, and it’s staying with me until one of us passes on.

Neither the iPod nor my music folder on the external hard drive has everything I listen to, because over the past few years I’ve used streaming services. First it was Spotify, that I cancelled a while back; now it’s Deezer. I do have a record player and a double-deck cassette player that I’ve hooked up my old stero system. I’ve been trying to get back into buying music, especially physical copies when I can, including CDs but more often than not, cassette tapes and vinyl records. My brother’s record label, Virtua94, among some other artists I support, releases most of its albums on cassette as well as digital download.

Today’s Friday Random Ten, brought to you courtesy of that old iPod (is almost 20 years old considered vintage?):

  1. “Scrub Club Megamix” – DJ CutterJ, Noncents Vol. 2
  2. “Call and Answer” – Barenaked Ladies, Stunt
  3. “Moments of Pleasure” – Kate Bush, The Red Shoes
  4. “Stagger on Rejoycing” – Global Transmission, Y100’s Philly File
  5. “Snowball” – Moby, Hotel: Ambient
  6. “Mouth” – Bush, Razorblade Suitcase
  7. “South of America” – Phosphorescent, Daytrotter Session: Mar 7, 2008
  8. “Let Us Know” – Koufax, Daytrotter Session: Feb 15, 2007
  9. “Suck My Wallet” – The Grammar Club, MC Horse Rides Again
  10. “Show Me Your Heart” – Need New Body, UFO

Artists I’ve seen live: DJ CutterJ, Barenaked Ladies, Moby, The Grammar Club

Favorite track on the list: I’ve been feeling ’90s nostalgia lately, so I’m gonna go with “Mouth”

Least favorite track on the list: “Suck My Wallet”, because I think Grammar Club’s first album Bremelanotide was far superior