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Random Shuffle: The Beach Boys, The Jesus & Mary Chain, And Ella Fitzgerland & Louis Armstrong

"Surfin' USA" – The Beach Boys
From the album Made in the USA
Click here to download all songs featured in today's Random Shuffle.

It looks like we're gonna survive the Blizzard of 2010. I have maneuvered the wife's car out of the frozen drive way and she has now made it safely to work. I finished my morning ritual of e-mail/Facebook, then loaded the dishwasher, started a load of laundry and am ready to do some writing. The dog is slip sliding around on the snow and ice after having been kept inside all weekend. I'm getting a little stir-crazy after literally not leaving the house since Friday, but I'll pull through.

I know my friends from up north are ready to rain down a storm of "quit yer whinin'" and its true that what we got wasn't that insane – 7-9 inches of snow sandwiched between layers of ice is not The Day After Tomorrow and is likely just another January day for those in New Hampshire, but this is West Tennessee. We're not equipped for this stuff. The only salt I own comes in small shakers. I don't have any chains and if I did I wouldn't know how to apply them to my tires. The town is obviously not equipped for it either since I've seen hide nor hair of any sort of plow on my streets, and I live less than a mile from downtown.

To tell the truth though, its been kind of fun. The wife left school early on Friday and we spent the weekend watching TV on DVD and probably a half a dozen movies. Snacks all around. Blankets and the pets for warmth. Not a bad way to spend a couple of days, if I do say so myself.

But now, yeah, I'm ready for a little sun and surf.

"God Help Me" – The Jesus & Mary Chain
From the album Stones & Dethroned
Click here to download all songs featured in today's Random Shuffle.

Sometime right after I graduated from college I gave a large stack of CDs to my sister. Like a lot of people college was a very transitory period in my musical life. I came to college as a long-haired metal head and left it as a short-haired hippy. Much of that transition involved a girl, and, well a boy.

The girl was a girlfriend and she was totally punk rock. She loved the hard-edged noise boys. I was in over my head. For all my Nirvana and Pearl Jam she had two Dead Kennedys and four Henry Rollins. In the game of being hip she always won. I played along and pretended, but we both knew she was the leader of our two-person gang.

Eventually the relationship soured and so did my love for most of that music. You know how that goes, one day the girl goes and suddenly all the music you shared only invokes painful memories. Somewhere in the midst of all that landed the boy. Just a friend, who dug on the folk, the hippies, the jam band: John Prine, Lyle Lovett, the Grateful Dead. He began to turn me onto that scene and when the girl left I plunged headlong into it.

Enter the sister and her still passion for the hard rocking/alternative/grunge/whatever-you-call it music. I grabbed up all the music I couldn't stomach any longer and gave it right over to her.

Fast forward a decade or so and find me looking through some old bins of my sister's that the mother has been storing since my sister and her husband moved to China. Beyond the clothes, posters, and unused wedding gifts were loads of CDs, including a stack of albums that I had given her so long ago.

About Mat Brewster