These kids don’t recognize Axl Rose’s voice, I shockingly found out after I introduced a musical challenge game with my students last week. And that wasn’t all. They also couldn’t tell the difference between Faith Hill and Shania Twain, they had no clue who STP was, and they knew no ’80s songs that weren’t by Michael Jackson. Yikes.
The way the game worked was that I put my iPod on shuffle and in groups I let them listen to the first 45 seconds or so of the first 20 songs that came on in random order. They all recognized Taylor Swift, Jason DeRulo and Kanye West, but that was about it, such a sad commentary on popular music these days, and the fact that nothing “old school” is ever played in their houses, or if it is they just ignore it.
Or maybe I’m just outdated with a lot of my musical tastes. Regardless, I like to think at least I’m still eclectic that way. So I’m putting the old iPod on shuffle again and putting down the first 16 songs that show up (with thoughts as well) here to see how many you know. It’s time for the Saturday Shuffle…
1. Word 2 the Father – dc Talk. This one brings back memories of a time when all I listened to was Christian music.
2. Heartbreak – Sarah McLachlan. She doesn’t get older. She gets better. I think all of the heartbreak she went through inspired all of the lyrics on this album, and this song in particular.
3. Centerfold – Pink. No, this isn’t a cover of the J. Geils Band song from the ’80s. It’s Pink, and it’s loud.
4. I.R.S. – Guns N’ Roses. “Wouldn’t even matter, the things that I say. You’ve made your mind up and gone anyway.”
5. This Ship Goes Down Deep (Unplugged) – Black Lab. One of the most beautiful acoustic songs I’ve heard in a very long time.
6. I Believe in You – Snoop Dogg. I do own some rap, and amazingly enough this isn’t one of those offensive gangster rap anthems that Snoop seems to love so much.
7. Queen of Venus – Remy Zero. “Though the farm is bet, I still don’t have no opinion yet.” Yeah, I don’t quite get these lyrics.
8. Like It Or Not – INXS. This is the new look INXS, and some would say the inferior one, but my students don’t know either version.
9. Only Human – Jason Mraz. This song is from my favorite Jason Mraz album, and the last one he produced that still has some serious funk to it.
10. Plant Life – Owl City. These guys couldn’t write a “down” song if their life depended on it. The lead singer’s voice is like candy to my ears.
11. Destination Unknown – Smashing Pumpkins. This is a little known track off their B-Sides collection released in the mid-’90s. Maybe I really am obsessed with ’90s music.
12. Pack Your Sh*t – Mel B. From former Spice Girl and current judge on America’s Got Talent, she proves that she wasn’t the true singer or lyricist in the group.
13. We Just Wanna Party With You – JD with Snoop Dogg. “Breeze through the summer in a Hummer with tint. Or dip in the low, low, but that’s just for promo.” Yeah, that Snoop again with his dynamic rhyming skillz.
14. Hoochie Woman – Tori Amos. No, this isn’t an anthem in praise of all hoochie mamas out there. It’s a pretty song about a horse.
15. Jump On It – LL Cool J. “Hip hop died. Reincarnated through me. Now the promoters gotta double my fee.” He has a pretty high opinion of himself, that James does. Oh, and the ladies still love him.
16. Perfect (Perfecto Remix) – Smashing Pumpkins. Great song. Even better remix. Grunge with a twist.
Now I want to listen to “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.” The world is a vampire indeed.