Dylan Goes Select-Rik: Shuffle Mode, Friday Morning 11.21.08

Isn’t the whole point of shuffle mode that you get a decently mixed selection of the music on your iPod, regardless of how many songs you actually have on your iPod? I understand if you have an iPod Shuffle with only enough room for a few dozen tunes and you end up the same artists (assuming you have multiple songs from the same artist on your Shuffle) over and over again. But I have 16,000-plus tunes, and possibly about a thousand full albums, jammed onto Ymir (the name of my particular iPod). So you'd think that my little metal monster would have no problem throwing down clear lines of division between similar artists. 

But… well... apparently not.

As you can see on the list below, in the space of seven songs, I end up with two each from the Davies brothers and the Johns – F. and L., respectively – and the iPod goes on like it had done its job properly and all that. Wait a minute, Ymir… didn’t I hit shuffle mode? And please don’t use the excuse that it's because I have so many full albums by these groups on the machine that it becomes hard to avoid them. I have a full twelve Kinks albums in the mix (along with a few stray singles) along with thirteen TMBG albums… yes, that’s true. But with the exception of Richman, Beefheart and the Muppets, every other group in this short list has more than five albums in the mix as well. Costello also has a dozen (I own about twenty of his, so don’t think that I am not being particular in the overall selection) and Floyd has nine.

It is the cramming together so closely of the Kinks’ tunes that has me worried. Dammit! For once (two days in a row, really), I chose “shuffle.” I purposefully tried to mix things up, and this is what I get. 

It’s like Ymir is so used to my just careening straight through a whole album, he gets confused and doesn’t know what to do. Or maybe he is scared to mix things up, thinking that he has mistakenly fallen into the wrong mode, and that I will wing him across the road if he doesn’t keep me pointed down the normal listening pattern. He’s almost like a tiny little TiVo, only more aesthetically pleasing. Whatever it is, I will chalk it up to loyalty on Ymir’s part…

  • Important in Your Life – Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers
  • Too Much Monkey Business – The Kinks
  • The Army’s Tired Now – They Might Be Giants
  • Set Me Free – The Kinks
  • Valium Waltz – Old 97s
  • Country Darkness – Elvis Costello & the Imposters
  • San Tropez – Pink Floyd
  • Something Grabbed Ahold of My Hand – They Might Be Giants
  • Interview: The Tooth Fairy – The Sifl & Olly Show
  • Ole! Tarantula – Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3
  • Frownland – Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
  • Get That Girl – Joe Jackson
  • Seymour Stein – Belle and Sebastian
  • Mahna Mahna – Jim Henson’s Muppets (The Muppet Show Soundtrack)

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