Thanks to my buddies Kyle and Paul for the guest columns they provided for the past two weeks. I’m back like spinal cords, however, taking you on another tour through my music collection. It’s keeping me from watching my Giants play, but considering the score right now, that’s OK. Here’s what we get when we shuffle:

Track 1: “Hip Hop” by Mos Def (from “Black on Both Sides”, 1999)

Damn, what happened to Mos Def? He’s a legitimate triple threat as a singer, rapper and an actor, but he’s wasted his talent lately on half-baked albums (remember “Tru3 Magic”, the album that was released without a cover?) and mediocre movies (“Be Kind Rewind”). He’s got a new album scheduled for release next year. Hopefully, it’ll bring back the Mos we knew and loved, before the baby mama drama and the punching out photographies.

Track 2: “Dr. Heckyll & Mr Jive” by Men at Work (from “Cargo”, 1983)

Um…if you check yesterday’s posts, you’ll see that I just talked about Men at Work yesterday. This is an interesting little kowinkydink. When I was a kid, I loved this song. I’m honestly not sure I’ve given it a full listen since I was 7, though. Still a pretty good song. And it has a video. Wanna see it? I thought you’d never ask.

I’ll drag up a Police comparison once again and say while the Po-Po made better records, MAW made better videos.

Track 3: “Crack (demo)” by Run-DMC (from “Tougher Than Leather-Expanded Edition”, originally released 1988)

Remember back in the days when everyone had to do an anti-drug song? This was obviously before selling drugs became cool in hip-hop circles. This song is typical Run-DMC back and forth, but the most intriguing thing about “Crack” is the rumor that the song was supposed to be recorded with Michael Jackson, but Run, DMC and Jay found Mike weird and couldn’t relate. You don’t say, guys.

Track 4: “Why You Wanna Trip on Me” by Michael Jackson (from “Dangerous”, 1991)

I swear to you this was totally coincidental. This song was track 2 on “Dangerous” and finds the KOP bitching out the press for focusing on his…uh, pecularities while there are more urgent issues going on in the world. The man had a point. This was at the beginning of MJ’s new jack swing stage and stands as one of the better tracks on “Dangerous”, featuring a thumping beat and those signature MJ harmonies.

Track 5: “Flake” by Jack Johnson (from “Brushfire Fairytales”, 2002)

This is one of only a handful of tracks I’ve been able to tolerate Ben Harper on. For some reason, I’ve always thought of him as a poor man’s Lenny Kravitz and I just can’t get into him. This is also the song that introduced me (and most people) to Jack Johnson. I could definitely use anything that reminds me of summer now that I’m buried under 6970989 inches of snow in Massachusetts.

(and I’ll completely ignore the fact that the song is called “Flake”).

Track 6: “Bleeders” by The Wallflowers (from “Bringing Down the Horse”, 1996)

I will say this and watch any musical integrity I ever had completely evaporate: I enjoy hearing Jakob Dylan sing more than I enjoy hearing Bob Dylan sing. That said, I wish Jakob would come up with material as consistently well-written as his dad has. “Bringing Down the Horse” remains The Wallflowers’ only essential album. “Bleeders” sounds kinda like old-school Springsteen as sung by Tom Petty. It’s probably the best of the set’s non-singles. Now I feel bad for completely ignoring Dylan’s solo album from earlier this year. Has anyone heard it? Is it any good?

Track 7: “Reasons” by Earth, Wind & Fire (from “That’s the Way of the World”, 1975)

This is one of EW&F’s most memorable songs, despite the fact that I don’t think it was ever released as a single. I think I may have mentioned “Reasons” in a Falsettometer article a while back, and the high notes Philip Bailey hits on this song are pretty awesome. Even more awesome is the fact that Bailey can probably still hit the majority of those notes. Pretty amazing stuff. Here’s some old concert footage. The man is bad ass.

On that note, I bid you all a very smooth good night. If anyone wants to fill in next week, please let me know!!