As I Lay Dying Nick Hipa Blogs From the Road, Plays iPod Roulette
As I Lay Dying are on their first headline tour of 2011 with Winds of Plague and After the Burial in tow. The tour kicked off last weekend, and AILD guitarist Nick Hipa is checking in with Noisecreep each week to blog from the road, as they trek through cities they haven’t visited in years — or have never even been to at all.
The subject of this week’s debut blog from Hipa? iPod roulette. It’s quite the fun game for the members of AILD to engage in. You might want to try it at your next party.
“Downtime in the freezing cold of Fargo, N.D. is the mother of time-killing invention. For roughly two hours last night, we set each players iPod on shuffle in our best efforts to determine who has the most brutal and who has the least heterosexual music collection on the bus.
“Scoring was simple, for each song that was unanimously decided upon as being tough or at least ‘masculine,’ the respective iPod owner would be awarded a point. The scoring would continue until shuffle stumbled upon a hidden gem of music that an imaginary panel of dudes such as Slayer‘s Kerry King, Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews and Coors Original spokesperson Sam Elliot would collectively decide to be ‘not rad.’
“I’ve chosen these hypothetical judges purely because they embody traditional notions of bad mamajamas, but all in varying degrees. Once a song had been decided on as guilty, that players round ended and we proceeded to the next. After three rounds, the player with the highest total score was esteemed as the victor, while the lowest total scoring player was ridiculed and sent to their bunk (out of shame).
“A song-by-song recap is quite impossible for me, but the average run would span about five songs of respectable dude tunes before being crippled by femininity. Our merch girl Jovka, for example, was crushing fools with her iPod’s shuffle of Madball into This is Hell into obscure hardcore band into obscure hardcore band. It was after about nine rounds that Avril Lavigne interjected her Canadian sense of edgy pop into the mix; at which point Jovka’s hot streak was decimated.
“On the opposite end of the spectrum, our light dude Brian ‘Modern Day Ceasar’ Lareau had the shortest round total of zero when his iPod decided to play us a softer hit from the Barenaked Ladies catalog. His round ended before it really started!
“For every obvious point earner like Slayer, Hatebreed or Meshuggah, there were equal amounts of gray area selections by artists such as the Smiths, Thrice, the Mars Volta and even MxPx. It was interesting to learn what everyone deemed as acceptable and not; why Ryan Adams received a point but Morrissey did not; or why Aerosmith‘s ‘Crazy’ received a sing-a-long and ‘Yes!’ while Justin Timberlake‘s ‘Cry Me a River’ received a sing-a-long and ‘No!’ If anything, this became an accidental experiment as to what our respective tastes were in addition to how we all classified genres of music.
“Even more interesting was to note that every single round-ending song was met with great enthusiasm and incidental head bobbing. We started to realize that songs collectively agreed upon as being not bad to the bone were also determined to be good songs regardless. Turns out, all those gems of music filed under ‘guilty pleasures’ were universally — at least on our bus — appreciated to a certain extent.
“Although I had the lowest three round total of five points — thanks to Elvis Costello, Richard Swift and Django Reinhardt – this new sense of knowledge reminded me that nowhere in my entire collection of music were any of my pleasures guilty.
“I’m not the only one who walked away with this lesson, either, as [guitarist Phil Sgrosso's] longest running streak of 14 songs was ended abruptly by Ace of Base‘s ‘The Sign,’ of which he unapologetically championed his love for.”