Friday, March 5, 2010

The Word

Does anyone do iPod divination anymore? It was a popular blog meme a few years ago, but it seems to have had its moment. I always thought it was more fun than the traditional method with the Bible or Shakespeare, thanks to the bizarre collection of tracks I’ve got loaded on the gizmo. I’ve never given any thought to organizing what’s on my iPod, so it has evolved into a catchall for anything that briefly strikes my fancy. For example,  Philip Glass and the Alabama Sheiks currently share digital space with the Peterson field guide to North American bird songs and a podcast of John Pilger speaking at the University of Texas. Thus I can find myself seeking cosmic advice from coots and gallinules, or from "Funeral of Amenhotep III"—a process that is usually diverting, if not always enlightening.

I am of the magic triad school of Nanomancy—i.e., I dial back to the menu, hit “shuffle,” and take the first three tracks as my revelation. Here’s what I got today:

Bell & Cooper, “Horses Run Fast” from Forty Words for Fear (You can hear a demo version of this track here.)

I lock all the doors
I pull down the shades
I try to relax
But horses run fast

Horses run faster
Than I’ll ever go
Horses might die
If they try to go slow

Song number two: “Ya Rayah” (“Oh, Emigrant”) by Rachid Taha. The clip below is an extended live version that actually has a lot more user hits than the song’s official video. You’ll find a full translation of the lyrics here.

How many overpopulated countries and empty lands have you seen?
How much time have you wasted?
How much have you yet to lose?
Oh emigrant in the country of others
Do you even know what's going on?
Destiny and time follow their course but you ignore it

Track three was Ron Horton’s “Ruminations” from Subtextures. It’s an instrumental (and a brilliant one, by the way), which you can sample here. The ruminations are rather troubled, judging from Ron’s fraught trumpet work.

The Word: You are thinking too much and getting nowhere fast—thus, I believe, sayeth the iPod gods. No doubt they’re right.

The Fortune Teller, Jacob van Velsen, 1631


Perfumeshrine said...

Love the clip!! Makes me want to stand up and start moving my pelvis. :D

Hugs to you! Hope you're well.

BitterGrace said...

Rachid is impossible to resist!

I got mugged by the flu, but I'm on the mend. I hope you are enjoying beautiful early spring days, E.

Julie H. Rose said...

Ha! I stopped using "shuffle" because of all the bird calls & songs I have in ITunes. You have them too. It figures. Glad you're feeling better.

Why does it make people feel better to know others have the same quirks and obsessions? Of course, the answer is to feel less singular, but still . . .

Glad you are feeling better!

~x~ said...

has never heard of ipod divination.
maybe cause i don't have one...
but it's genius and i could certainly approximate it in itunes.


jmcleod76 said...

I've never heard of iPod divination, before. What a fun practice! I mostly use mine for audiobooks, these days. Right now, I'm listening to the final book of The Dark Tower. That could result in some interesting messages.

BitterGrace said...

I was kinda hoping some of you would chime in with your own iPod / iTunes revelations. I think I may start letting mine choose my perfumes...