Playlist #27

Good evening! As we roll into November, I have a new playlist full of tasty treats for you.

  1. Drive-By Truckers, “Daddy’s Cup”: When I saw these guys live about 15 years ago, they played this song, and damn if it didn’t blow me away back then. Who knew racing cars could make for compelling family drama?
  2. Yo La Tengo, “Deeper Into Movies”: I always feel like I should listen to these guys more. They’re very good at what they do, and what they do is quite nice.
  3. Wilco, “Handshake Drugs”: I enjoy playing this one on the guitar. It’s only got four chords and two verses, so even my tiny brain can remember it all.
  4. Rockwell, “Somebody’s Watching Me”: One of my freshman students was singing this song the other day. “How do you know that song?” I asked, as she did not strike me as the sort to listen to music that was more than six months old. “TikTok,” she replied, and a little piece of my curmudgeonly heart died.
  5. Bill Withers, “Ain’t No Sunshine”: When he repeats the “I know” over and over and over again, two thoughts run through my mind: (1) he forgot the next line and (2) how did he not pass out?
  6. Bruce Hornsby, “The Great Divide”: This guy writes good songs. I should probably listen to more than just this one and “That’s Just The Way It Is.”
  7. Bush, “Glycerine”: First of all, Bush is pretty terrible. Second, while this isn’t necessarily a good song, it’s at least entertainingly bad.
  8. Carole King, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”: Still one of the best, most underrated songwriters out there. Is there a bad song on Tapestry? No, no there is not.
  9. Charlie Sexton, “Burn”: Charlie Sexton, 80s heartthrob, Dylan guitarist, guy who puts out an album every decade or so. We’re way past due for a new one, Charlie. Let Bob spin his wheels behind a guitar for a few months, go record something for us.
  10. Courtney Barnett, “Pedestrian At Best”: Australian musician who has a wonderful off-the-cuff, relaxed lyrical style that I enjoy listening to, even if her voice is an acquired taste (and one the Wife has yet to acquire).

Playlist #6

I had some trouble putting together this week’s playlist. At first, I wanted to do all delta blues-type stuff, but I kept adding songs that weren’t in that style/genre. Then I finally deleted all of that playlist and put together what you see below, an R&B/soul set that I think is pretty good.

  1. Aaron Neville, “Everybody Plays the Fool”: Dude’s voice is very distinctive, and I like this song mostly for the little keyboard flourish at the end of the chorus.
  2. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”: This song just rules, plain and simple. The vocal delivery from both Gaye and Terrell is magnificent, and this is just one of the best R&B/soul songs ever.
  3. Aretha Franklin, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way That I Love You)”: Aretha is the queen, and this song is just one of many reasons why. Honestly, I could’ve put any Aretha Franklin song on this list and it would’ve slapped. She’s just that good.
  4. Nina Simone, “Strange Fruit (Live)”: Shivers. Every damn time. This woman…just…damn.
  5. Ike & Tina Turner, “Proud Mary”: No one does a rave up like Tina Turner. Ike can go to hell, though.
  6. Jackie Wilson, “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher”: Damn, but this guy’s voice. Just listen to him hit those high notes. It’s great.
  7. James Brown, “I Feel Good”: You can’t help but sing along with the Godfather of Soul when this one comes on.
  8. Ray Charles, “Hallelujah I Love Her So”: Ray just knocks it out of the park on this one. And every one. He’s just so good.
  9. Sam Cooke, “A Change is Gonna Come”: This man. This voice. This song. God damn.
  10. Bill Withers, “Ain’t No Sunshine”: The repeated, “I know,” over and over, long past when you’d think he’d run out of breath…so good. And fun to play on the guitar, too.