Happy Monday! Today marks two years since I started doing the playlist a week thing. In honor of that, I’ve decided to revisit the first playlist and pick new songs by those ten artists. Have I doomed myself by placing a one-hit wonder on that first list? Let’s find out!
- Bruce Springsteen, “Radio Nowhere”: Starting out strong with the Boss, so there’s plenty of songs to choose from. This is one of the few latter-day Springsteen songs that I truly enjoy, and it reminds me so much of a song I wrote (“Complete Control,” for those who are curious). I think my song predated his, but I also doubt he knew anything about my song because it only got released this year finally.
- Johnny Cash, “A Boy Named Sue”: You can’t go wrong with a song written by Shel Silverstein and sung by Johnny Cash.
- Dog’s Eye View, “Umbrella”: Here’s where I thought I’d screwed myself. I barely remembered that first Dog’s Eye View song, and was pretty sure they hadn’t done anything else of note. Having heard this song, I’m still not 100% sure they did, but it’s…not bad. It’s okay. Fairly forgettable mid-90s earnest singer-songwriter stuff.
- Bob Dylan, “High Water (For Charley Patton)”: I blame this song for sending me down a delta blues rabbit hole last week. I ended up listening to a lot of Robert Johnson and Charley Patton. And boy, can Patton holler, y’all.
- The Interrupters, “Raised By Wolves”: These guys are just too much damn fun. I could honestly have picked just about any song off any of their albums and it would’ve been a banger. The “Ah-wooooo”s in the chorus kill me every time.
- Madonna, “Vogue”: It’s easy finding other well-known, popular Madonna songs. Finding other well-known, popular Madonna songs that I can stand? Taller order. This one’s pretty good for dancing music, I guess.
- Phoebe Bridgers, “If We Make It Through December”: Very quiet song, piano driven. Vocals almost a hushed a whisper. The lyrical content – about the struggles of surviving winter and the dark months – is quite depressing, but I kinda dig it.
- Redbone, “Come And Get Your Love”: Sometimes picking a second song from a specific band is a no-brainer. This is one of those moments.
- Aimee Mann, “Stranger Into Starman”: I’m a sucker for Aimee Mann songs and songs about crossword puzzles, so this was an easy pick.
- Hem, “The Pills Stopped Working”: My pills all still work just fine, singer for the band Hem. Maybe you need to go see your doctor again and get your prescriptions checked. Have you been taking the pills consistently? Have dosage levels changed?
Wednesday is the new Monday, am I right?
- Vaydra, “Talk To God”: The new single from the lady who sings with my brother, except it’s not the band they’re in together but a different band she formed that plays psychedelia. It’s pretty good. Check ’em out.
- Jake Blount, “The Downward Road”: Heard this guy on a Vox video talking about the importance of the banjo in historically black music. The song itself is pretty cool, drawing from traditional African American folk music and contemporary rap and hip-hop. I dig it.
- Glen Campbell, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”: Glen Campbell died in 2017 from Alzheimer’s, and he wrote and recorded this song just before that happened. It’s a stark look at what Alzheimer’s and dementia do to a person, erasing their personality and memories until there’s nothing left there. But it doesn’t really hurt them, it hurts the people around them who watch that person erode. It is one of my greatest fears that I’ll get dementia or Alzheimer’s and become a burden to those I love and not even know it.
- Rilo Kiley, “The Moneymaker”: I hadn’t listened to this album since the year it came out (which was . . . holy crap, 2007?!). This song holds up, I think, though the More Adventurous album is still my favorite of theirs.
- Stevie Ray Vaughn, “Pride and Joy”: Sometimes, you need some low-down, dirty, Texas blues (or “blooze”). This is one of those times.
- Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, “Straight Into Darkness”: Tom Petty is one of those guys who, even when he put out a mediocre album, it still has great songs on it. ‘Cause a mediocre Tom Petty song is better than about 70% of everything that comes out.
- Aimee Mann, “Looking For Nothing”: If you told me the only musician I was allowed to listen to for the rest of my life was Aimee Mann, I would not be entirely disappointed with that. You could do much worse.
- Drive-By Truckers, “Everybody Needs Love”: They do.
- Brian Fallon, “If Your Prayers Don’t Get To Heaven”: This dude absolutely loves the early ’60s girl groups and doo-wop and I am freakin’ here for it, yo.
- Led Zeppelin, “Fool In The Rain”: I love the drumming on this one.
This marks the one-year anniversary of me starting this playlist project. It’s kept me writing here for the whole year, which I like. I’ve even gotten back into working on Novel #7 (I’m well-past the halfway point, I think).
For this playlist, I thought about doing a retrospective, selecting my favorite songs from other playlists. But I decided against that. I’ll do another post later this week where I examine the playlists as a whole, looking at who got played the most and how many songs I repeated (I think just one? I’m not sure, but I’ll find out!).
Anyway, remember there’s the Patreon. I’m about to post April’s song. I’m pretty proud of it. Anyway, without further ado, here’s this week’s playlist:
- Dr. Dog, “Lonesome”: I love the guitar in this one. Pretty sure it’s a dobro or resonator.
- Andrew Bird, “Atomized”: Andrew Bird has a new album coming out this summer. I’m stoked. If this song is any indication, it’ll be a great one.
- Jorge Orozco, “Gran Vals”: Orignally composed by Francisco Tarrega, this is the song that Nokia got its ringtone from. It’s a very pretty song.
- Langhorne Slim & the Law, “Put It Together”: I’m a sucker for a shout-along chorus.
- The Doubleclicks, “This Is My Jam”: I like jam. Who doesn’t like jam? Commies, that’s who.
- Dolly Parton, “Jolene”: This is the slowed down version, the one from the 45 played at 33 1/3 RPM. It’s haunting.
- Aimee Mann, “Phoenix”: What is it about the way Aimme Mann writes and plays songs that just captivates me? I just love everything about her sound.
- Sam Cooke, “A Change Is Gonna Come”: Some days, you just need to let Sam take you home.
- Santana, “Evil Ways”: The way they add the, “baby,” to the end of certain lines in this song amuses me to no end.
- Bob Dylan, “Paths Of Victory”: My love for Dylan is no secret at this point. Someday, I’ll figure out an arrangement of this song for the guitar (rather than the piano he plays in this version). Until then, I’ll just have to sit and marvel at how well that man puts words together.
I’ve started creating weekly playlists, ten songs each. Trying not to repeat artists from week to week or on a playlist. Don’t want to replicate songs from week to week. Here’s last week’s playlist.
- Bruce Springsteen, “Ain’t Good Enough For You”: Uptempo and fun, a joyful bop to start us off.
- Johnny Cash, “Out Among the Stars”: Could anyone other than Johnny Cash write such a cheerful, uplifting song about a kid committing suicide by cop? No, they could not. And that chorus is awesome.
- Dog’s Eye View, “Everything Falls Apart”: You could have told me this song could have been written and performed by any of a few dozen guitar-based alternative rock groups from the ’90s and I would have believed you. It is so completely generic that you could replace the lyrics with gibberish and folks would still bounce around to it.
- Bob Dylan, “Positively Fourth Street”: The meanest kiss-off song in the business, even sixty or so years later. No one lays down a sick burn like a scorned Dylan.
- The Interrupters, “She’s Kerosene”: Who doesn’t like a little skank in their music? Commies, that’s who.
- Madonna, “Like a Prayer”: Remember how controversial this song and video were back in the ’80s? All those burning crosses and the Black Jesus! It’s a damn good song, though.
- Phoebe Bridgers, “Kyoto”: I dunno, I like the keyboards.
- Redbone, “We Were All Wounded at Wounded Knee”: Native American band telling it like it is.
- Aimee Mann, “Great Beyond”: I absolutely adore the work of Aimee Mann and I’m kicking myself for the “no back to back songs from the same musician/band” rule I established for myself already.
- Hem, “Great Houses of New York”: Every song by this band feels like it belongs with a film. It’s all very cinematic. This song is no exception, except it’s exceptionally amazing. Like all of Hem’s work.