ilEvs (Shuffled Elvis)

Over on The Sheila Variations blog, Sheila states, “It’s very weird to listen to [Elvis] on Shuffle. It’s vaguely schizophrenic, the material is often wildly uneven, but there is also a thruline which is his voice and also – I guess I would call it joy. He seems happy to be doing what he’s doing” (“Elvis Shuffle” — The Sheila Variations).

Although Elvis is not always a primary topic there, The Sheila Variations has featured many insightful Elvis posts lately. It’s always great to see Elvis-related posts on non-Elvis blogs. Be sure to check this one out, for both the Elvis and non-Elvis content.

As for me, I happen to do much of my Elvis listening in shuffled mode these days. I didn’t always listen this way, but the iPod Age has no doubt caused this habit to evolve in me.

Except when first experiencing a new album, I don’t often play Elvis in context anymore. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard the material in context so many times before, but I find that shuffling Elvis is a powerful way to get into his entire career without getting stuck on “I only like the 50s” or “I only like the 70s,” etc.

For instance, I just can’t take twenty or thirty of his 1960s movie tunes in a row. If instead sprinkling them among other songs I enjoy, though, I often pick up on a great movie song I may otherwise have missed (“Anyone” comes to mind, though that revelation actually came about during an all-artists shuffle).

Of course, the control freak side of me does not allow this to be completely random. I’ve got a series of smart playlists I use in order to carefully plan this randomness. More about that some other time. In fact, it’s been on my list of future articles for well over a year now! Maybe someday, I’ll actually write it.