Variation on a theme.
There's a long-standing blogosphere tradition of a "Friday Random Ten" -- set your iPod to "random", read off the first ten items, and blog them. (I even participated once myself.) Then there are variations -- Fred Clark on Slacktivist has been doing systematic Friday tens for some time now, reading off an alphabetical selection of his iPod with titles like "Racing to Rapture", "Not Nothing" and "Mr. & Mrs.".
Well, here's a variation: the Saturday Systematic X. It's Saturday, not Friday*; it's systematic, not random, as I'll explain in a minute; and since the system determines the outcome, the number is a variable -- X -- rather than a set number like 10.
Here's how it goes. You pick a word, type that into the search box of iTunes or the equivalent, and read off the list of pieces that are included.
So for the first week -- for no particular reason -- I typed "god" into my search box, and got 17 items, which I here present in alphabetical order by title:
1. Chorus: Glory to God in the Highest, Handel
2. God, John Lennon
3. God Bless My S.U.V., The Capital Steps
4. God Give Me Strength, Elvis Costello
5. God is Love, Marvin Gaye
6. God Only Knows, The Beach Boys
7. God Part II, U2
8. God Save the Internet, The Broadband
9. Hand Of The Almighty! (God Will Fuck You Up), John R. Butler
10. Little Tin God, Don Henley
11. Part 2: Chorus: Behold the L, Handel
12. Ravel:Ma mère l'Oye (4hands)/3: Laideronnette, imperatrice des pagodes, Ravel
13. The Messiah, Part 28. Chorus: He Trusted in God, Handel
14. The Messiah, Part 35. Chorus: Let all the Angels of God Worship Him, Handel
15. The Messiah, Part 51. Chorus: But Thanks Be to God, Handel
16. The Messiah, Part 52. Air(Contralt): If God be for us, Handel
17. With God On Our Side, Bob Dylan
It's systematic, since it depends on entering a word... but it's also random in lots of ways, of course. Not the least is that which items come up are a bit random, since they depend on how the titles were entered -- which in my case was frequently done by that automatic function in iTunes that looks at a CD and figures out the title -- often differently for different disks in a set (e.g. Handel's Messiah above), which I never bother to correct; I have copied them as is above, with all the variations intact). So, for example, Joan Osborne's "One of Us" was entered just as that and not as Joan Osborne, "(What if God Was) One of Us" -- which is how it's listed on the album cover, I think -- and thus doesn't show up. And I love that Ravel shows up for "des pagodes" -- the pagodas -- where, if only alphabetically speaking, God dwells.
Still, a fun list. At least I thought so. A lot of Handel.
It does make a damn strange mix to play (I've been playing it, in random order, as I write this), what with the leaps from song-structured music to snippets of classical music. But I sort of like it.
I may even do this again.
And now this is a meme: if you have an iPod (or the equivalent) and a blog (ditto), consider yourself tagged: do it yourself -- either on the word "god" or any other -- and report the results. (It doesn't have to be on Saturday -- whenever you read this, you're tagged!) And leave a link in the comments!
* Not for any interesting reason, or even for the alliteration, but because I just thought of it today.