Playlist #82: Give Thanks!

Happy Monday, everyone! It’s a short week here, as Thanksgiving is this Thursday. A two-day work week? How will I ever survive? With a new, Thanksgiving-inspired playlist, that’s how!

  1. Neil Young, “Harvest Moon”: What is Thanksgiving if not a harvest festival? One without sacrifice to the harvest gods, that’s what. And you can’t tell me that’s right. The old gods grow hungry and angry. Hangry old gods. Don’t ignore them this year, I beg you.
  2. Alanis Morissette, “Thank U”: I’m not 100% sure why Alanis is thanking India and disillusionment, or quite what she’s thanking them for, exactly, but it’s a good song anyway.
  3. Wilco, “The Thanks I Get”: Yeah, this one was just featured a few weeks ago on another one of my playlists. It still slaps. What else do you want?
  4. Dido, “Thank You”: Remember when this song was everywhere for, like, a month in 1999? Man, turn of the millennium was a weird time. We were all pretty sure society itself was gonna collapse when January 1, 2000 rolled around, so we just listened to damn-near anything.
  5. Glen Phillips, “Thankful”: I always really enjoy Glen Phillips songs. They’re quirky and catchy and I just really dig them, okay?
  6. John Mellencamp, “Thank You”: I was listening to Mellencamp for most of the weekend (the newly-released extended version of Scarecrow, which is alright), so it only seemed appropriate to include one of his tunes on this list. Thematically appropriate, too.
  7. The National, “Sailors In Your Mouth”: It’s a Thanksgiving song, I swear.
  8. The Flaming Lips, “Thank You Jack White (For the Fiber-Optic Jesus)”: It’s truly, deeply weird, as all good Flaming Lips songs are.
  9. The Beatles, “Thank You Girl”: Sure, this is less about giving thanks in the traditional Thanksgiving sense of the word, and more “thanks for the sex stuff, lady friend.”
  10. The Band, “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)”: And to round things out, here’s another song about harvesting. I’m pretty sure King Harvest is some sort of simulacrum, a wicker and cornhusk concoction – or maybe even abomination – brought to life to bring the horror of the new harvest straight to you.

Playlist #81

You can tell it’s gonna be a Monday when you realize you wrote down this week’s playlist in the spot for next week’s playlist in your bullet journal. But hey, here’s ten songs in a specific order for you to listen to this week.

  1. Laser the Boy, “Don’t You Know Who I Am”: Laser, lead singer/guitarist for the Doubleclicks, has come out with a new solo single! And it’s really damn good. Like, really good. I’m a little jealous.
  2. Glen Phillips, “I Am A Riot”: You could almost see the first song on the list and this one as a question and answer. That amuses me.
  3. Natalie Merchant, “Cowboy Romance”: Last night before bed, I was watching an old NPR Tiny Desk Concert featuring Ms. Merchant, and man does her voice just get me right in the feels.
  4. Fleetwood Mac, “Rhiannon”: Speaking of singers who just hit you right in the emotions…
  5. Florence + the Machine, “Shake It Off”: Is this just the week I feature women who sing really powerfully in a variety of different ways? I guess so.
  6. Mavis Staples, “Wrote A Song For Everyone”: Yup. There’s a definite trend here. And a CCR cover.
  7. Lizzo, “Good As Hell”: I swear, I didn’t do this on purpose.
  8. Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins, “Born Secular”: Honestly.
  9. David Bowie, “Modern Love”: Is it the best David Bowie song? No. Is it a great David Bowie song? I would argue it is, but I might also be in the minority on that opinion. I dunno.
  10. Cat Power, “The Greatest”: Okay, just one more for the road.

Playlist #74

Happy Tuesday, folks. Got sick over the weekend, and took yesterday off to recover. Still feeling under the weather, but good news! It’s not Covid this time.

  1. Kate Bush, “Running Up That Hill”: We finally got around to starting Stranger Things season 4 over the weekend, and it’s quite good. The use of the Kate Bush song is perfect. I’m not ashamed to say I haven’t listened to much Kate Bush over the years; her stuff always struck me as too weird for my tastes. But this song slaps and deserves the attention it’s getting.
  2. Glen Phillips, “Held Up”: Sorta went through a Glen Phillips thing over the weekend, and this song especially spoke to me. Sung to me. Whatever.
  3. Bear Cub, “Hey B”: My brother used to play with this guy way back in the day (back when both of us had full heads of hair). He and his current singer, Kelly, did a cover of it about eight years ago. It’s quite good.
  4. Michael Penn, “No Myth”: Man, does this guy know how to write a bad song? No, no he does not.
  5. The Mountain Goats, “Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome”: Speaking of great songs, this one’s title tells you everything you need to know about it and then some.
  6. Paul McCartney, “Beautiful Night”: I rather liked McCartney’s Flaming Pie album, with its Beatles allusions and smooth early aughts production values and him obviously playing most every single instrument on the thing. Plus, it frequently featured Steve Miller (Mr. Space Cowboy himself), who is coincidentally still alive and still touring, God bless ‘im.
  7. Rhett Miller, “Terrible Vision”: I dig the Old 97s, and actually found them through the backdoor of lead singer Rhett Miller’s first solo album, The Instigator. This is the closer from that album, and it’s beautiful and flawed and wonderful.
  8. Jars of Clay, “Frail”: The re-recorded version of this song from the Furthermore collection. Their second album left me rather underwhelmed, compared with their debut and their third album, If I Left the Zoo.
  9. Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, “Hope The High Road”: I don’t think anyone else out there writes songs like this right now, and that’s a shame. Isbell is great at the hopeful, rocking anthem, and we could use more of those in these dark days.
  10. Toad the Wet Sprocket, “Enough”: Sounds like a classic Toad song with modern production, which is exactly what new Toad the Wet Sprocket albums should sound like.

Playlist #59

Happy Tuesday, folks! It’s officially summer break time! That doesn’t mean I’ve slacked off over on Patreon, though. There’ll be a new song each month, just like usual. Anyway, here’s this week’s playlist.

  1. Old 97s, “Holy Cross”: It’s just such a bleak song with such a great rhythm.
  2. The Wallflowers, “Sleepwalker”: “Now, Cupid, don’t draw back your bow/Sam Cooke didn’t know what I know.”
  3. The Minus 5, “Wasted Bandage”: Favorite line is, “dear physician, won’t you heal yourself?”
  4. Golden Smog, “Until You Came Along”: Love the jangly twelve string in this one. It’s an alt-country Byrds song, essentially.
  5. Gin Blossoms, “Just South Of Nowhere”: Early Gin Blossoms stuff is just so damn good.
  6. Justin Townes Earle, “Flint City Shake it”: A song that calls GM out on the carpet for its treatment of the auto workers in Flint, Michigan. Gotta love it.
  7. Jesse Malin, “Addicted”: I will never not love Jesse Malin, and this song – about the problems of modern society and its addiction to smart phones and Instagram – hits a lot of good points.
  8. Josh Ritter, “Getting Ready To Get Down”: “If you wanna see a miracle/Watch me get down.”
  9. Glen Phillips, “Men Just Leave”: I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Glen Phillips’ first solo album, and this song – about how men often suck – still hits too real.
  10. Wilco, “You Are My Face”: I love the middle part of this song, where the band really cuts loose. It’s awesome.

Playlist #44: Back in the Saddle

Happy Monday! I’m actually back to work today, after a month away taking care of the Wife. She’s improving every day, slowly but surely, and she’s well enough I’m comfortable leaving her home alone while I come toil away in education mines. A reminder that, if you want to support me making my own music, I’ve got that Patreon you can contribute to! I actually drop February’s song today!

  1. Genesis, “Turn It On Again”: I recently downloaded the album this song came from, Duke, and while this is definitely my favorite song off the whole record, the rest of the songs ain’t too shabby, either.
  2. Steve Winwood, “Back In The High Life Again”: “All the doors I closed one time/Will open up again.” Yes, they will.
  3. Aerosmith, “Back In The Saddle”: A bit of my anthem this morning.
  4. Andrew Bird, “Orpheo Looks Back”: Every playlist could benefit from some Andrew Bird, and I love this song.
  5. Bob Dylan, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'”: “Beyond here lies nothin’/But the mountains of the past.” Maybe not Dylan’s most profound work ever, but I still dig the rhythm of this song and the guitar work.
  6. Gorillaz, “DARE”: I could dance this morning, I think.
  7. Glen Phillips, “Duck And Cover”: A more stripped-down version of a song that appeared on his Winter Pays For Summer album off of Tornillo.
  8. The Gaslight Anthem, “Stay Lucky”: Someday, I’ll put together a playlist of songs that I love to play on the guitar. This song will also appear on that list.
  9. Frank Turner, “The Way I Tend To Be”: I love this song for the mandolin mostly.
  10. CCR, “Midnight Special”: Another that I love to play on the guitar and howl along to at the top of my lungs, as one does with CCR songs.

Playlist #38

Last week was a rough week, if I’m being honest. I was mostly over my case of covid, but still couldn’t return to work, and my wife…well, we had to take her to the hospital on Thursday because her O2 sats dropped dangerously low frighteningly quick. It’s only been in the past day or two that we’ve come to find out just how bad off she was. If we hadn’t taken her to the hospital when we did, she would not have survived the night.

So, she’s still at the hospital (in a covid isolation room where I cannot visit her), but thankfully on the mend. On Saturday, my old college advisor passed away suddenly from a brain aneurysm, which…yeah, still haven’t processed it. All of that probably explains the slower tempo and more downbeat list of songs on this week’s playlist.

  1. The Horrible Crowes, “Sugar”: I always thought it was more than a little daring to open the album with this song, which is by far more downbeat and subtle than what follows.
  2. Iron & Wine, “Hard Times Come Again No More”: I don’t know how I found this particular recording. I think it’s from the TV show Copper, if anyone remembers that (I never actually saw it, but still somehow heard this version of the song).
  3. Jars of Clay, “Faith Enough”: A song filled with contradictions and paradoxes.
  4. Jason Isbell, “Cover Me Up”: Beautiful and heartfelt and far more subtle than most of the songs I prefer by him, but no less glorious for it.
  5. The Wallflowers, “Up From Under”: If Breach isn’t the best Wallflowers album, it’s definitely top two. And while this isn’t my usual go-to song from that record, it’s still simple (for a song with a string arrangement) and beautiful.
  6. Willie Nelson, “The Rainbow Connection”: A voice and a song that I’m surprised it took so long to put together, though I have to ask – aside from this one and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” just how many songs are there out there about rainbows?
  7. The Beach Boys, “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times”: “Sometimes I feel very sad.” Sometimes Brian Wilson just cuts right to the damn chase.
  8. The National, “I Need My Girl”: I would like my wife home from the hospital now, please.
  9. The Flaming Lips, “Do You Realize??”: The happiest song about death that I know.
  10. Glen Phillips, “Train Wreck”: This one just sorta…feels right at the moment? That’s probably not good, is it?

Playlist #29

Happy Monday! Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and with it my lack of desire to do anything other than lounge around in bed all day. It’s getting colder outside and the days are shorter, so let’s listen to some music, what do you say?

  1. The Cactus Blossoms, “Mississippi”: David Lynch put this one in the revival Twin Peaks series. I liked the song, didn’t care for the show.
  2. Calexico, “Guero Canelo”: As previously stated, I’m a sucker for basically anything these guys wanna do, music-wise.
  3. The Decemberists, “We All Go Down Together”: Watched The Suicide Squad over the weekend. Loved the movie, especially the soundtrack, which featured a Decemberists song at one point. Not this one (no, it was “Sucker’s Prayer”), but I love this song regardless.
  4. The Georgia Satellites, “Keep Your Hands To Yourself”: If there’s a better song about waiting until marriage, I haven’t heard it.
  5. Glen Phillips, “Revelator”: Did not realize until quite recently that this is, in fact, a Gillian Welch cover. Live and learn, I guess.
  6. Golden Smog, “Until You Came Along”: I love the harmonies in this song. Love them.
  7. The Grass Roots, “I’d Wait A Million Years”: Every single song I have ever heard by the Grass Roots has been a banger. This one is no different.
  8. Hockey, “Song Away”: I don’t remember where I first heard this song. Probably on a TV show or something. But I dig it.
  9. Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell, “This Must Be The Place”: I’ve said before that I dig it when Sam Beam (the guy from Iron & Wine) collaborates with pretty much anyone. I haven’t ever heard a bad song come from him collaborating, and if he and, say, Calexico wanted to spend the rest of forever working together again and again and again, I would not complain.
  10. The National, “Wake Up Your Saints”: “Wake up your saints, Jenny, I need them,” pleads Matt Berninger. Same, Matt. I could use a saint or two in my corner.