Turn That Darned Thing Down, Part Two: Filler Tracks

Yes, this is a filler post. Another one. You can always tell the filler tracks. These are different from the excellent tracks that couldn't fly on the radio. These are the songs nobody plays live if there is enough material to go without them. Sometimes it means they're trying to keep you interested just long enough to get to something really great, and it can be better than nothing.

I'm flinging you filler because I'm working on something really great, when I'm writing and not writing blog posts. It's a story several years in the formation and I'm trying to make this year MY YEAR, the one in which I finally wrestle the sprawling story out and make it into something beautiful. Since starting writing here, it's been rather as though I think somehow that this, spitting out a few hundred words every week here in cyberspace, is going to get that story written. It won't. It helps. But the bottom line is that no amount of blogging is going to write my novel. Not this one, anyway.

So tonight, even though I owe you a post (or two?! time flies) I am going to have to insert a filler track while I tackle the bigger project. I'd like to mention that you can get a taste of said project by visiting the playlists I call The Book of John on my Spotify page. But that's all I will say about it right now.

If that isn't a great demonstration of what it's like to get a filler track when you're listening to an album that's otherwise pretty solid, here are a few more examples (and, as my sister and I determined years ago, they are debatable). I've called the list Polyfil after the coarse polyester mock cloud that I put in stuffed animals. It's cheap and hypoallergenic, like filler tracks.

For Your Playlist: Side C
1. "Andy, You're A Star" by the Killers
Yes, I love the Killers. And not everybody debates the merits of this song, as evidenced by the kind of cool bluegrass cover attached to the end of the playlist.

2. "Slow Down" by Ozzy Osbourne
Albums in the Eighties, especially by metal bands, are absolutely rife with filler. In fact, it may be argued, that in the Eighties, especially from some metal bands, you got entire albums made of filler. (Alice Cooper, I am looking at you. Lovingly.) Just goes to show you, it's important to try to stay relevant.

3. "Valle Mistico (Ruben Song)" by Conor Oberst
I'm sure Conor Oberst himself wouldn't consider this filler. I'm sure to him it has some higher purpose. All I hear is three inept horn blasts.

4. "Swollen Summer" by The Bravery
... I wouldn't underscore such lyrical brilliance as "Feels like a swollen summer, feel like I'm getting dumber" by making it the chorus of a song I was working hard on.

5. "Riding on the Wind" by Judas Priest
It's easy to pick on the Eighties metal. And I love Judas Priest, and Ozzy Osbourne, and Alice Cooper. But Screaming for Vengeance was such a sweet album and this is the track that struck a false note, to me. Formulaic, and hypermasculine. Le sigh.

6. Any song besides this one on the album it came from, which was 1987's Whenever You Need Somebody
See what I did there?

Until next time, turn it up to eleven. There IS some good stuff around the corner, so stay tuned.


  1. Aaggh! I got Astley'd! But I must interject that his only other notable single "Together Forever" was also from that album. Even with that said, I love what you did there.

    P.s. Hot Fuss was my favorite album from 2004-2006. I have always been puzzled by "Andy, you're a star" making the cut, but do find myself enjoying the eerie vibe. Filler song, yes, but not the worst. Now the Beatles "Honey Pie" from their White Album has filler written all over it.

    1. When I was working in an office, in an effort to be polite I would listen to my music with only one earbud in, and let me tell you, "Andy You're a Star" is a much more interesting song with half of it filtered out. I speak the truth.

      Also, you are welcome for the RR but you forgot to say 'spoiler alert'. *pout*