Playlist #80

Good afternoon, guys, gals, and enby pals! It’s another week, so here’s another playlist.

  1. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, “That’s All”: The woman who really ought to receive more credit for creating rock and roll.
  2. Spoon, “My Mathematical Mind”: Anyone who knows me knows my mind is not mathematical at all.
  3. Uncle Tupelo, “Moonshiner”: Never was a song about bootlegging and making your own whiskey up in a still in the woods so melancholy.
  4. Joe Walsh, “Rocky Mountain Way”: “And we don’t need the ladies/Crying ’cause the story’s sad.”
  5. Jesse Malin, “Addicted”: You gotta be real careful listening to this song while driving, or you’ll find yourself doing 90.
  6. Robert Johnson, “Cross Road Blues”: Does it get any better than Robert Johnson? No, it does not. This man was taken far too young.
  7. Chris Isaak, “We Let Her Down”: I played a song for my wife that I wrote and recorded the other day. “It sounds like Chris Isaak,” she said. And I agreed and was happy about that.
  8. The Minus 5, “Dear My Inspiration”: Had this song stuck in my head all morning. That’s not a bad thing. Scott McCaughey writes a damn catchy tune.
  9. T. Rex, “20th Century Boy”: C’mon, guys, it’s the 21st century now. Aren’t we due for an update?
  10. Townes Van Zandt, “Pancho And Lefty”: Is there a better story song about desperados trying their damnedest to escape their own sins, only to fail because of human frailty and the desire to get out a little bit ahead and yet still find yourself isolated and alone and incapable of feeling anything?

Playlist #64

Another week, another playlist! Don’t forget to support me making music over on Patreon. I’m posting a mix of one of my songs done by my brother next Monday, so be sure to check it out!

  1. Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, “Mysterious Power”: This guy does a lot of the music for a tv show called Sex Education on Netflix. It’s a funny show, you should check it out. And the music is pretty solid, too.
  2. Jesse Malin, “Crawling Back To You”: Saw this song on a Jesse Malin album I downloaded over the weekend. “Oh, it has the same name as that Tom Petty song,” I thought to myself. Folks, it is that Tom Petty song, and it’s a pretty good cover of it.
  3. The Beatles, “You Really Got A Hold On Me”: You can’t go wrong with the Beatles covering a doo-wop number. You just can’t.
  4. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Who’ll Stop The Rain”: There’s just something about CCR songs that always get me in a good mood.
  5. Tom Waits, “The Earth Died Screaming”: The Wife wants me to put together a playlist of weird songs. I told her it’d just be a Tom Waits playlist, then.
  6. The Gaslight Anthem, “Biloxi Parish”: I think The Gaslight Anthem may be one of my top five bands of the past fifteen or so years.
  7. Fleetwood Mac, “Rhiannon”: Just how common is the name Rhiannon, anyway? I can’t imagine there are too many of them wandering around.
  8. Jack Johnson, “Banana Pancakes”: I hate bananas.
  9. Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell, “This Must Be The Place”: Features the line, “Sing into my mouth,” which is probably the grossest thing I’ve ever heard Sam Beam sing.
  10. Neil Young, “Down By The River”: Neil Young gives me hope that even my crappy guitar solos aren’t so bad. “Solo? You mean play the same note 32 times in a row, right?”

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 #42: Love Stinks!

Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! Here’s some songs about love that anyone can enjoy, whether you’re single AF this year or happily married or anything in between.

  1. The Beatles, “I’m A Loser”: Back when I was in college, I put together anti-love playlists every Valentine’s Day. This one was a recurring feature.
  2. Sting, “She’s Too Good For Me”: It was true 15 years ago when I married the Wife, and it’s true today.
  3. Jesse Malin, “She Don’t Love Me Now”: I think it’s the guitars on this one that really do it for me.
  4. The Hold Steady, “You Can Make Him Like You”: “You don’t have to go to the right kind of schools/Let your boyfriend come from the right kind of schools/You can wear his old sweatshirt/You can cover yourself like a bruise.”
  5. The Grass Roots, “Things I Should Have Said”: Is there ever a bad time for a Grass Roots song? No. No, there is not.
  6. Placebo, “You Don’t Care About Us”: I swear, I had at least three friends who listened almost exclusively to this album during high school/college. If you didn’t do that, you probably also have at least one or two of those friends as well.
  7. Beck, “Loser”: When you can’t just say it in English, say it in Spanish as well: “Soy un perdador.”
  8. Barenaked Ladies, “One Week”: When you fight, you should always make up afterwards. Maybe don’t wait a whole week for it, though.
  9. Hank Williams, Sr., “You Win Again”: The resignation in his voice is just…damn, Hank.
  10. The White Stripes, “The Denial Twist”: “If you think that a kiss is all in the lips/C’mon, you got it all wrong, man.”

Happy Valentine’s Day 2017

When I was a younger man, single and insecure and full of anxiety and dumb ideas, I was a bit of a sad sack.  Okay, a lot of a sad sack.  I moped around the campus fountain at midnight listening to sad songs on my Discman like some mooney-eyed twit.  And I made mix CDs of songs about love gone sour and losers.

Nowadays, I tend to mope less, mostly because I finally got medication and therapy.  Marrying an amazing woman helped, too.  While I don’t make mix CDs anymore (I make playlists on my phone instead, because it’s 2017), I do still enjoy putting together thematic lists for special occasions.  While I think of myself as less of a loser than I once did, I thought it might be fun to put together one more Loser List for Valentine’s Day.

Before the list, though, a few words on this holiday.  I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day.  Maybe it’s a result of being single throughout college and grad school.  Maybe I resent being told I have to be romantic on a set day in a specific way (today’s comic is a pretty clear indicator that the Wife and I have our own unique brand of affection and romance).  Honestly, I don’t think there’s any real reason to feel obligated to do some big, ridiculous thing today, unless you really want to.  Some folks really love Valentine’s Day, and that’s great for them!  For the rest of us, let’s just act like it’s a regular ol’ Tuesday, and everyone has joined Garibaldi’s Red Shirts for the day for some weird reason.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the Losers List.

The Beatles, “I’m a Loser”: A Hard Day’s Night is one of my absolute favorite Beatles albums, and this manages to be one of the best songs on the record.

Beck, “Loser”: Like this song wasn’t going to show up on this list.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, “Even the Losers”: More a song of hope than anything else, it always gives me strength to think that even the losers can get lucky sometime.

The Avett Brothers, “Shame”: Sometimes we feel so sure of ourselves, only to realize we’re being tremendous assholes.

Bob Dylan, “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”: Blood on the Tracks is full of sad songs of love gone wrong, but this is one of my favorites.

Cake, “Friend is a Four-Letter Word”: If early-20s me had an anthem, this was probably it.  If anyone needed a punch in the face, it was early-20s me.

Camera Obscura, “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken”: “‘Cause I can’t see further than my own nose at the moment.”  Brilliant.

Sting, “Seven Days”: Sting’s face is pretty punchable, too, if only because he refers to his rival as “Neanderthal.”

Jesse Malin, “She Don’t Love Me Now”: I’m a sucker for great horn arrangements.

Led Zeppelin, “Hey Hey What Can I Do”: Your woman runs around on you while everyone’s at church?  Robert Plant feels your pain.