Shazam. For those unaware, it’s a remarkable little app that let’s you use your phone’s microphone to identify whatever song you happen to be listening to.

It’s fucking magic. Also maybe a little bit obnoxious. But handy as hell.

I remember that I started using it on a first generation iPad, back when I still walked around with a shitty flip phone. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized that all this time the damn thing had been keeping track of everything I’ve ever used it to “listen to.”

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Looking through the list brought back strange memories of bars and parties otherwise lost to the ether of a hard decade. But also questions. “Why the hell did I need to Shazam Satisfaction??” for example. Or, “What the fuck is Escape From the Prison Planet by Clutch and does it suck as much as I think?”

It didn’t take long before I realized that in this collection of songs I had an opportunity.

I’ve never written much about music, and it’s been a long time since I did — 2014, to be exact, as you can see in the post that precedes this one, which I’ve resurrected from an old blog — but I write for a living and I played in a band for almost ten years. And… well… I have opinions…

“I know, at least a little bit, what it means to put a lot into a song and to put it out there for people to listen to and to care about the craft, and I respect the hell out of people who are able to make music, even if they’re not making the same stylistic choices that I would,” I explained in the aforementioned blog post. “That all said, some songs are fucking terrible.”

It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to enough current records to do those kinds of best of lists people like to do, and I was never going to burn my friends and review with brutal honesty all the shows I used to go to. But I sure as hell can do that to an established purveyor of trash! And though I’m hardly an expert, and can’t actually provide a good reason why anybody should care what I think about any of this, finding a way to share my thoughts on music — especially the stuff I think is really great — has long been in the back of my mind. So has been writing about something different than what I do in my daily life.

Enter this curious little list of songs on my phone, pulled on soundwaves from the goddamned air, and now I think I have my chance. Not just a chance to shit on things, but a chance to share music that I love and explore songs and artists that have passed through my atmosphere without me having the foggiest fucking clue who or what they are. A chance, if you’ll permit me to continue this a-little-too-masturbatory end flourish, to take some kind of a musical journey and to maybe even bring a few people along for the ride, if they’re into it.

These are songs I didn’t recognize…