Playlist #97: Songs About Songs

For years, I’ve wanted to gather enough songs to put together a playlist of songs about writing/creating/singing songs. And finally, here we are.

  1. Wilco, “Someone Else’s Song”: Sometimes we sing covers. Sometimes our own songs. Who knows.
  2. Elton John, “Your Song”: “But the sun’s been quite nice while I wrote this song” is just a nice sentiment and one that I, at least, could do with more of.
  3. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Wrote A Song For Everyone”: The song this whole list was built around! I have long loved this particular song and I especially appreciate the sentiment of it.
  4. Ben Folds, “One Down”: He was apparently once a professional songwriter, and they expected you to write 3.6 songs per week.
  5. Jason Isbell, “Songs That she Sang In The Shower”: Don’t we all sing in the shower? Aren’t the acoustics in there great?
  6. John Fullbright, “Write A Song”: It’s good advice. You should write a song. All of you. Like, right now.
  7. Dan Auerbach, “Waiting On A Song”: Sometimes songs just sorta come to you, fully formed and ready to go. Other times, you have to sit around and wait for them to arrive. And damn, do they take their sweet time.
  8. Jackson Browne, “Sing My Songs To Me”: Is it possibly the greatest display of ego to want to hear other people sing your own songs? Maybe, but I also have to imagine it’s the greatest honor you can receive as a songwriter: hearing someone else give their interpretation of your words and music.
  9. Paul McCartney, “The Song We Were Singing”: “And it always came back to the song we were singing/At any particular time,” is just one of the best lines you could ever hope to write. It’s so simple, but so evocative.
  10. Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”: Do I know much of anything about PATD? No. No, I do not. Do I care when the song title fits into the playlist theme this well? Again, no. No, I do not.

Playlist #89

So, first thing’s first…

I have a new album coming out this Friday, January 13th! It’s called Creature Comforts, and I’m super proud of it. My brother, Clif, mixed and mastered the album for me, and helped it sound its best. I can’t even begin to thank him enough.

If you want to join me on the journey to create the next album, you can support me on Patreon. I share new songs as I record them there.

  1. Ray LaMontagne, “Strong Enough”: It’s been a while since I’ve really listened to Ray LaMontagne. He hasn’t really changed, and that’s honestly okay. Dude found his niche and has settled in, releasing albums occasionally with solid songs like this one.
  2. Shampoo, “Trouble”: Snotty British pop from 1993, but it sounds like it could’ve been made in 1987. This sounds nothing like the rest of the post-Nirvana musical landscape.
  3. The New Pornographers, “Sing Me Spanish Techno”: I’ve never really listened to Spanish techno, but they make it sound very appealing.
  4. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Southern Accents”: So this song is kinda fraught with potential problems, I think. I know Petty came from Florida. He’s a southerner. But he’s also not an asshole. So I let this one slide. It helps that it’s such a well-written song.
  5. Fastball, “The Way”: Yeah, the band is named after a porno. It’s still a good song, though.
  6. Jason Isbell, “Super 8”: “Don’t wanna die in a Super 8 Motel” – A thing said by everyone who has ever stayed in a Super 8 Motel.
  7. Neil Young & The Stray Gators, “Bad Fog Of Loneliness”: If he’d replaced “A Man Needs A Maid” with this song, Harvest would be a perfect album. Well, and replacing “There’s A World” with “Journey to the Past.”
  8. Gotye, “Somebody That I Used To Know”: You didn’t have to stoop so low, y’know.
  9. The Goo Goo Dolls, “Sympathy”: Sure, it’s off the album the Goo Goo Dolls (terrible name) released after their big hit album, Dizzy Up The Girl, but this is one of their best songs, I think.
  10. Grand Funk Railroad, “Some Kind Of Wonderful”: “Can I get a witness?” Yes, yes you can.

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?