Having grown tired of whatever feeble algorithm is at work in the shuffle function in my Windows Media Player at work, I’ve taken to reconfiguring my playlist either by songlength or alphabetically by title. Listening to a whole hour’s worth off 3:14-long songs gives you insight into the wisdom and shortcomings of the classic popsong format. But that too has its limitations. But organizing a playlist alphabetically by song titles yields some interesting results. Just yesterday I was cruising through the "S’s and I got to a set of songs with "Sugar" in the title. I was rocking Tommy James and the Shondell’s "Sugar on Sunday" and Jerry Garcia’s "Sugaree" and somewhere in there I came across a semi-forgotten gem by Half Japanese called "Sugarcane." (All Music Guide says they were "quite possibly the most amateurish rock band to make a record since the Shaggs" – that’s what I call praise.)
I’ll leave it to you to ponder what it might mean to be "deep down in the sugarcane." This song reminded me of a Charles D’Ambrosio story, with some grifters wandering around the midwest. Something’s definitely wrong here, but, as Captain Beefheart says, "at the same time it’s right."