34. “Bailero” from Chants d’Auvergne, Frederica von Stade with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Remember mix tapes?

Um. No.

Okay, I get it, Valley-Girl-Voiced Imaginary Reader. You’re younger than me. You can un-pause Spotify now.

Anyway, I would pick my songs and add up the times of each song to make sure I could maximize each 45-minute side of a 90-minute tape. Continue reading

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33. “Where the Streets Have No Name,” U2

U2 live in concert on My Shuffled Life.
Bono, impressed by Edge’s riffage, about 10 feet in front of me.

Almost two months ago I went to my first U2 show ever. In my review of four dudes in their 50s keeping my eyes as wide as a five-year-old who just got a puppy for two hours, I said something kind of important that I never really elaborated on much: I realized that U2 has been with me throughout my life more than I knew. Continue reading

31. “Imitation of Life,” R.E.M.

R.E.M. on My Shuffled Life
Michael Stipe dancing in the Toronto rain. (Photo courtesy Reuters.)

May 17, 2001 was a grey, drizzly day in Toronto. I remember that because I can photographically recall the weather on any day in my life. Okay, that’s not remotely true. I remember the weather because that was the day R.E.M. played a free outdoor show at Yonge and Dundas, promoting their new album Reveal, and it was a beautiful, wet thing. Continue reading

28. “Rub You the Right Way,” Johnny Gill

Johnny Gill

Puberty. One minute you’re 14 going on 15. Then it’s your birthday and you open a present and suddenly you’re aware that there’s a new perception of you. You were always just a kid. Presents had been fun. But now you’re turning into an adult. Or some scrawny, embryonic, grease-and-pimple-faced facsimile of one. And presents could be a little something other than fun. Continue reading