I've had my Sirius Satellite Radio for almost a month now, and I have to say it was a wise purchase. Regular radio just can't compete with the selection of artists, genres, sports, etc. Where else can I listen to live play-by-play of the Merseyside Derby, while staying up to date on this thing the kids are calling "Rock & Roll"?
I think the best part about my particular receiver, is the one feature it has that is almost like methadone to a channel surfin' fiend like myself. It' s called "S-Seek". Basically, you can save songs you like, and then be notified when it's about to be played on one of the channels.
My receiver only stores 10 at a time, unfortunately, so I have to be discerning about what makes the list. The major rules are pretty much that it A) has to be a song I don't have on a CD, and B) isn't played on conventional radio too often.
I know you are dying to see my current list, along with my comments on each selection. So, without further ado:
"Roll On", The Little Willies - Not since Wet Willie has a band with the word "Willie" in it captured the hearts and minds of America's youth. I've got 5 words for you - Norah Jones' Country Side Project. This is an original (they do a few covers on their album, including Willie Nelson's "I Gotta Get Drunk), and it only adds to my desire to whisk Ravi Shankar's adorable love-child away to some secluded cabin, with nothing but a piano, a case of Sam Adams, and several pounds of uncooked steak (for eating, sickos). Another one of my unconventional crushes. And now, a moment of appreciation for this Siren:
Sigh...well, that didn't help me at all. Oh, and it's a great song, too.
"Carolina Rain", Ryan Adams - The Jacksonville, NC native working his alt-country roots on his latest album (although some people freak out when you associate the word "country" with Mr. Adams' name). A pretty dark little ditty, but those are probably my favorite type of Americana music. It's chock full of pedal steel, and if that ain't country - I'll kiss your ass.
"Off The Record", My Morning Jacket - The proverbial needle in the haystack. After hearing it for the 2nd or 3rd time, I decided it was S-Seek worthy. I then proceeded to not hear it for over a week, constantly hoping to trap it for my collection. The beginning vocals are oddly reminiscent of "Up on the Roof". Supposedly, these guys are in the Wilco vein of Alternative music, but this song actually has a nice little old-school punk sensibility to it.
"Take Five", Dave Brubeck Quartet - This is one of those jazz songs that you would know if you heard...it just oozes cool. A great saxophone driven song, with an insistent little piano part underneath. I'm told this was typical of this group's sound. Getting to hear stuff like this on the radio is what makes Sirius worth it.
"Illegal Smile", John Prine - Prine's quirky breakthrough hit. It's usually on Outlaw Country, which I guess means it doesn't fit into the Nashville perameters. That's probably why I like it so much. It's timeless in that you could have imagined Jimmie Rodgers writing a similar song back in the 20's. This actually just acquired S-Seek status today.
"Bonita Applebum", Tribe Called Quest - An unexpected entry. Easily one of my favorite rap songs (and groups) ever, I stumbled across this Tribe piece while making one of my infrequent visits to the Hip-Hop section of Sirius. It's a clever little rap love song, which seems to be a lost art in that genre these days. Funny, self-depricating, great music underneath...and the fact that you can infer that the girl's name means "Beautiful Applebutt". Giggle.
"Beautiful Wreck", Shawn Mullins - Most people look at Mullins as a one-hit wonder, thanks to his overplayed "Rock-a-Bye" from the late 90's. Us in Atlanta know that he's been around since, just not getting much notice, including from me. This is a great song, and Mullins has a very unique vocal style for a singer/songwriter. One that I'm convinced I could pull off in karaoke.
"One Dime at a Time", Steep Canyon Rangers - These are my boys. I first saw them play at the Boone Saloon in 2004. Their bassist tipped me off to Midtown's Red Light Cafe, where I saw them for the second time. They're classified as bluegrass, but the lead singer lacks the high, lonesome sound of the old school purveyors. Really, they are more a mix of old-school country and bluegrass. A great live act, too.
"Don't Wait Too Long", Madeline Peyroux - Yes, I am heterosexual. I just love this chick's voice. The only knock on it is that it was used in that goofy Dockers' commercial where the chick and dude are eye humping each other from seperate trolleys, before trying to get on the other one's trolley - only to have it pull away. They think they missed their chance, but wait! The object of their affection has jumped off their trolley too, and they are both left on the street together! Blleeech - now that I realize that this is where I first heard this, it may not be staying on my list too much longer. If you haven't seen the commercial, enjoy this song - filth free.
"Do You Realize", The Flaming Lips - One of those bands that everyone who listens to them seems to love. This is a great song, and a testament to the diversity of this group. I figure I should get into them at some point, but then I'd have to take this off my S-Seek. Hard to believe they are only known in the mainstream for their novelty hit "She Don't Use Jelly".
A few other songs have served proudly - "The March" by Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Traveling Wilbury's "Handle with Care", Death Cab for Cutie's "Crooked Teeth, Beth Orton's "Conceived", and my pop guilty pleasure "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter. Feist is currently bucking for S-Seek honors.
The thought of having a receiver with more storage space brings a solitary tear to my eye. Sometimes, I think it's the only thing that keeps me going...but then I just go see what's on the TV.