Playlist #109

It’s a rather gloomy Tuesday here in Northern Virginia, or maybe that’s just my interpretation of things. I’ll admit I’m currently looking at the world through shit-colored glasses, but that has less to do with the weather than it does some family stuff that’s going on. That being said, I’m headed to Oklahoma this afternoon, and it’s not a fun or pleasant trip that I’m embarking on.

  1. boygenius, “True Blue”: “When you don’t know who you are/You fuck around and find out,” is one of my favorite couplets this year.
  2. Adeem the Artist, “ICU”: Another in a string of thoughtful, heartfelt country songs from Adeem the Artist. I love their work. Songs like this always come around right when I need them.
  3. Bjork, “Army of Me”: “And if you complain once more/You’ll meet an army of me” sounds no less menacing given Bjork’s adorable accent. She really sounds like she could fuck you up if she wanted to.
  4. The Offspring, “Come Out And Play (Keep ‘Em Separated)”: Yeah, it’s a little left-field, given the general tenor and tone of the songs on this playlist so far, but I like to change things up from time to time.
  5. Peter Gabriel, “Love To Be Loved”: Whenever there’s a rough situation, I turn to Peter Gabriel, not so much because he speaks to the human condition (thought he does), but because he speaks so elliptically about things that are universal and deeply, deeply personal.
  6. Ray LaMontagne, “Trouble”: I dig this guy’s stuff, though I think I dug it more before I found out what a tremendous asshole he apparently is. How are all the sensitive singer-songwriter types just absolute jerks?
  7. Steve Earle, “Hard-Core Troubadour”: It’d be hard to imagine 2023 Steve Earle, with his almost-bald head and the long, long fringe of hair that hangs around that shiny peak, being considered a sex symbol and an iconoclastic rebel, but 1996 Steve Earle could get it.
  8. Taylor Swift, “Style”: She’s sold more records than I’ve had hot lunches. She could release an album that’s just her making fart noises with her armpits and it’d probably go platinum at least. The woman knows what she’s about.
  9. Toad the Wet Sprocket, “Last To Fall”: Latter-day Toad is kinda hit-and-miss, I think, but when it hits, it hits good and hard.
  10. Tom Waits, “Ice Cream Man”: With summer just around the corner, the ice cream guy has started coming around again. We’ve heard his truck playing “Turkey in the Hay” two or three times just over this past weekend. So I asked if our ice cream man was maybe Tom Waits, and my sister-in-law just gave me a weird look. She does that a lot.

Playlist #103

Happy Monday. We’re in the 4th quarter of school out here in Northern Virginia now. The home stretch. Here’s some songs to get you through the week, at least.

  1. Adeem the Artist, “Books & Records”: A song about leveraging the things you love just to survive and the hope that you’ll be able to recover them someday. It’s so sad and heartbreaking and hopeful that I just can’t help but love it.
  2. Dion, “Runaround Sue”: The song itself is pretty good, yeah, but it’s the vocalizations at the beginning and end that really get me on this one.
  3. Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, “What I Am”: Someday, I’m going to put together enough songs for a philosophy playlist. This will be the first song on that playlist.
  4. The Elected, “I’ll Be Your Man”: Did you want a sad some about trying to win someone’s heart? Because here’s a sad song about trying to win someone’s heart.
  5. The Mountain Goats, “Woke Up New”: If you really want to twist the knife in your own guts, you listen to the Mountain Goats. Because that’s all those guys do.
  6. Roy Orbison, “Workin’ For The Man”: “Well, I’m pickin’ ’em up and I’m layin’ ’em down/I believe he’s gonna work me into the ground” is just a banger of a couplet.
  7. Robert Plant & Allison Krauss, “Killing The Blues”: What did we do to deserve not one, but two whole albums of these two duetting? What dark pact did we make? What price will we have to pay on down the road?
  8. Paul McCartney, “Ballroom Dancing”: I had the album this song is from, Give My Regards to Broad Street, on a tape that my uncle (I think) made for my dad back in the 80s. Damn near wore that thing out. Kinda giggle at the line “Big B.D.” now (it stands for “Ballroom Dancing,” FYI).
  9. The Flaming Lips, “Vein Of Stars”: “Who knows, maybe there isn’t/A vein of stars calling out my name.” Wayne Coyne just knows how to write a good song, eh?
  10. Fleetwood Mac, “Storms”: I’ve come to appreciate the album Tusk over the past couple of years.

Playlist #76

Happy Indigenous People’s Day! This is your annual reminder that Christopher Columbus can suck it. I also have that neato Halloween story you can read available for the low, low price of $0.99! Anyway, on with the playlist!

  1. Adeem the Artist, “Going To Hell”: Just found out about this artist over the weekend, and I already love their work. They’re a non-binary pansexual folk musician, a combination of words that either piqued your interests or sent you running for the hills. This is their best song, if you ask me, though the one about Toby Keith is a close runner-up. Features the line, “Love ain’t just a feeling, it’s a god dang magic spell.”
  2. Counting Crows, “Hard Candy”: Sometimes, you just need some electric 12-string jangle in your music. This is a good song for that.
  3. Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train”: Did you know the album this song is off of, Grave Dancers Union, came out 30 years ago this past weekend? Doesn’t that make you feel old, especially since I’m pretty sure 1992 was actually only 10 years ago, if my brain is processing the passage of time correctly (spoiler: it isn’t).
  4. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, “Angel Dream”: I will always love the She’s the One Soundtrack. It’s so damn good, better than it has any business being.
  5. James Taylor, “Fire And Rain”: I mean, you can write some pretty songs about drug addiction, as it turns out.
  6. Green Day, “Hitchin’ A Ride”: Have I mentioned how much I enjoy the extreme tonal shift between songs on a playlist? Because I love it.
  7. U2, “Seconds”: Early U2 > Late U2. Fight me.
  8. The Who, “I Can See For Miles”: Sir, you’re farsighted. You cannot read a book right in front of your face. You probably need eye surgery.
  9. The Doubleclicks, “Oh, Mr. Darcy”: Everyone needs that one aloof asshole that you fall head over heels in love with but don’t want to admit it and then in the end you do admit it and they admit they love you and I think I’m starting to see the appeal of Jane Austen.
  10. Dan Auerbach, “Shine On Me”: I like this song, I really do, but I do not understand the wisdom of getting Mark fucking Knopfler to record a guitar track for your song and then not making it the most obvious part of said song. I just . . . how do you bury this at the bottom of the mix?!