Thirty-eight days, four hours, 15 minutes, 57 seconds.
In that time, I could shave my beard and regenerate it to an even manlier version than what currently inhabits my face.
I could hand in a two-weeks notice, slightly more than 2 ½ times.
I could start training for a marathon, turn into a lean, mean, running machine, and then decide after Day 37 to stop training for a marathon when I remember that I’m not a douchebag (OK, that one was a stretch).
More realistically, that very specific amount of time is how long it would take me to work though my entire iTunes library. That’s right — 12,660 songs at 91.62 gigs of memory on Ye Olde MacTop. Of course, that’s not even including the unlimited number of songs I access through Spotify, YouTube, my modest vinyl collection, or the Neil Diamond and Hall & Oates cassette tapes in my car for emergency use only (translation: daily use).
Now, as a way to introduce myself to the hearingade faithful, I’m supposed to pluck 12 songs out of that infinite black hole of music nerddom for a playlist (or I guess officially “mixtape,” though I’m young enough I never did such thing before the dawn of the CD burner) that more or less defines me.
I devour music at an alarming rate. I work swing shift hours, which leaves me a shit-ton of time in the early-morning hours to float away into headphones land, checking out bands that get 4.0 ratings from Pitchfork or the Abby Holmes Official Stamp of Approval (she, of course, being the only person I know who rifles through ear-bonering music quicker than myself). So, that being established, how in the hell can I pick 12 measly songs? BISCUITS AND GRAVY, this is torture!
But by golly, I’m a team player, so here’s your 12 goddamn songs. And then here’s a fuckload more, because NOBODY TELLS ME WHAT TO DO, THAT’S WHY! I’M PISSED NOW!
Wilco – Impossible Germany
Shut up and listen to Nels Cline play the guitar, jerkass!
The Decemberists – The Island
Prog rock is badass, even if it’s done by a bunch of Portland folkies. C’mon, this is a simple fact. FUCK!
Queens Of The Stone Age – The Fun Machine Took A Shit And Died
The song title stole my anger’s thunder. THIS IS BULLSHIT!
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers – All My Love
Skinny white guys from 1960s England did the blues better than anybody. WHAT IS THIS, COMMUNIST RUSSIA???
The Moondoggies – What Took So Long
Please educate yourself on the vast and fruitful Seattle music scene before you start poaching off of me, you sycophantic parasite.
Hall & Oates – Private Eyes
No, that is not a joke. Does it sound like I’m joking? SHUT UP AND DANCE.
Benji Hughes – Baby It’s Your Life
I can’t be pissed while talking about Benji Hughes. His music makes me happy.
Warpaint – Elephants
See, here’s the problem I have with this friggin’ list — I listen to A LOT of bands fronted by or consisting mostly of women. But you take one look at these 12 songs and you’re like, “God, this asshole only likes shit by white dudes.” Erroneous. See, here’s one!
Blitzen Trapper – Furr
This is the best current indie-folk band out there, and if you think otherwise you’re dead-ass wrong. Nope, not an open discussion.
Fleet Foxes – Mykonos
I named my parents’ cat after this song. Yes, that’s totally a manly thing to do. Do I need to introduce you to my beard? Don’t anger my beard. You won’t like my beard when it’s angry.
Rage Against The Machine – Freedom
It’s all coming together now, isn’t it? Yep, that’s where all the anger and hostility came from. Crazy as it may sound, this band started me down the path of musical enlightenment during my pre-teen years. Don’t worry, I’m not like their typical fans. But poke the bear and you WILL get the horns, or whatever.
The Songs That Very Well Could Have Made The Cut But Don’t Bring It Up It’s A Sore Subject Because I Stayed Up Until 5:30 Combing Through iTunes: Alice In Chains – Rain When I Die; The Alligators – The Conqueror; Annuals – Brother; The Antlers – Pantheses; Arcade Fire – Rococo; At The Drive In – Quarantined; Dan Auerbach – Trouble Weighs A Ton; The Avett Brothers – Go To Sleep; The Band – Ophelia; The Band – Up On Cripple Creek; Band Of Horses – The First Song; Band Of Skulls – Honest; Battles – Race: In; Beach House – Norway; The Beatles – I Want You (She’s So Heavy); The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun; The Beatles – Two Of Us; The Besnard Lakes – And This Is What We Call Progress; Best Coast – Our Deal; Better Than Ezra – Good; Andrew Bird – The Twistable, Turnable Man Returns; The Black Keys – Psychotic Girl; Black Sabbath – Into The Void; Blind Melon – Galaxie; Blind Pilot – One Red Thread; Blitzen Trapper – Big Black Bird; Blitzen Trapper – Sadie; Blitzen Trapper – Astronaut; Blue Scholars – Seijun Suzuki; Built To Spill – Bad Light; CAKE – Mr. Mastodon Farm; Camera Obscura – French Navy; Neko Case – Margaret Vs. Pauline; Johnny Cash – Get Rhythm; The Cave Singers – Dancing On Our Graves; Jane Child – I Don’t Want To Fall In Love; Clutch – 10001110101; Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey – Easy Lover; Cracker – Euro-Trash Girl; Danzig – Snakes Of Christ; Death Cab For Cutie – I Will Possess Your Heart; Deerhunter – Desire Lines; The Devil Makes Three – Aces And Twos; Neil Diamond – Kentucky Woman; The Dismemberment Plan – You Are Invited; Dispatch – Open Up; Dr. Dog – The Beach; Drive-By Truckers – Zip City; Fleetwood Mac – Oh Well; Fleetwood Mac – You Make Loving Fun; Fresh Espresso – The Lazerbeams; Funkadelic – Super Stupid; Cee Lo Green ft. Phillip Bailey – Fool For You; Grizzly Bear – Ready Able; Ha Ha Tonka – Dead Man’s Hand; Daryl Hall – Babs And Babs; MC Hammer – This Is What We Do; The Hands – Wade In The Water/Lord’s Gonna Trouble/The Knife; George Harrison – All Things Must Pass; Hobosexual – Boogieshuttle; Incubus – Sick Sad Little World; Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick (Yes, the one-song whole album); Alain Johannes – The Bleeding Whole; Junip – Rope & Summit; The Killers – Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine; Albert King – Born Under A Bad Sign; King Crimson – Starless And Bible Black; The Kinks – Strangers; Kyuss – El Rodeo; Mark Lanegan – Message to Mine; Led Zeppelin – Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp; Led Zeppelin – No Quarter; Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears – Bitch I Love You; Jenny Lewis – The Next Messiah; Local Natives – Who Knows, Who Cares; The Long Winters – Cinnamon; The Mars Volta – Cicatriz E.S.P.; Mastodon – The Last Baron; Paul McCartney & Wings – Band On The Run; Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgettin’; Midlake – Roscoe; Midlake – Young Bride; Roger Miller – King Of The Road; Minus The Bear – Dr. L’Ling; Modest Mouse – Doin’ The Cockroach; Monsters Of Folk – Sandman, The Brakeman And Me; The Moondoggies – Night & Day; The Moondoggies – Old Hound/Make It Easy; My Brightest Diamond – Something Of An End; My Morning Jacket – Steam Engine; My Morning Jacket – Dondante; Graham Nash – Better Days; Harry Nilsson – 1941 (Solo Acoustic Version); Nine Inch Nails – Somewhat Damaged; Nine Inch Nails – The Great Destroyer; Old 97s – Four Leaf Clover; Pearl Jam – Down; A Perfect Circle – The Hollow; Elvis Perkins – While You Were Sleeping; Tom Petty – Honey Bee; Tom Petty – Don’t Fade On Me; Pink Floyd – Time; Pinback – Non-Photo Blue; Pink Floyd – Echoes; Queens Of The Stone Age – Regular John; Queens Of The Stone Age – You Can’t Quit Me Baby; Queens Of The Stone Age – Song For The Dead; Radiohead – Exit Music (For A Film); Leon Redbone – Ain’t Misbehavin’ (I’m Savin’ My Love For You); Rush – The Trees; SHIM – I Don’t Know Why; Elliott Smith – A Question Mark; Soulsavers – Revival; Soundgarden – Gun; Sparta – Cut Your Ribbon; Sufjan Stevens – Jacksonville; St. Vincent – Marrow; Truckfighters – Desert Cruiser; Tegan & Sara – The Con; Them Crooked Vultures – No One Loves Me And Neither Do I; Thin Lizzy – Emerald; Timber Timbre – Woman; Tool – Ænema; Traffic – John Barleycorn Must Die; TV On The Radio – Dirtywhirl; Van Morrison – Domino; Stevie Ray Vaughan – Little Wing; Tom Waits – Filipino Box Spring Hog; Jimmy Wakely – Moon Over Montana; The Watson Twins – Devil In You; Weezer – Only In Dreams; The White Stripes – Hello Operator; The Who – Eminence Front; Widowspeak – In The Pines; Wilco – At Least That’s What You Said; Wye Oak – For Prayer; Yeasayer – Madder Red; Yes – Starship Trooper; Neil Young – Tell Me Why; Neil Young – Out On The Weekend; Neil Young – F*!#In’ Up; Neil Young – Mr. Soul (MTV Unplugged Version); Frank Zappa – Muffin Man; ZZ Top – Cheap Sunglasses.