Playlist #84: Covers!

Happy Monday! It’s December now, somehow, and as usual I have a new playlist for you. But this one is all cover songs!

  1. The National, “Ashamed Of The Story I Told”: They don’t even really change all that much about the song, except the drum pattern is completely different and it somehow manages to totally change the feel and nature of the song.
  2. Johnny Cash, “Hurt”: It’s downbeat, somber, and a little harrowing. It’s also one of those covers that I would argue is better than the original.
  3. Old 97s, “Mama Tried”: The original Merle Haggard version is damn good (as are most Merle Haggard songs), but this one has the slightest edge on it, I think.
  4. The Byrds, “My Back Pages”: The Byrds could have easily just been a Bob Dylan cover band and I’d have been happy with that. They manage to transform every single Dylan tune they cover into a jangly, poppy slice of ’60s joy.
  5. Pomplamoose, “Maneater”: Watch out, boys, she’ll break your heart, huh? I’m more concerned with being eaten, personally.
  6. Spoon, “Held”: I just love the grit and thump of this song. So good.
  7. The Dirty Knobs, “Rumble”: Mike Campbell (formerly of the Heartbreakers) and some buddies got together to form this band, and they covered Link Wray’s ode to distortion and fuzz here. I love everything about the story of how this song got created, from Wray punching holes in his amplifier’s speaker with a pencil to radio stations refusing to play it because they thought it might incite juvenile delinquency.
  8. Jesse Malin, “You Can Make Them Like You”: Malin has been using this Hold Steady track as his closer for years, usually just him and an acoustic guitar. It’s pretty great.
  9. Tom Waits, “The Return of Jackie And Judy”: The Ramones were pretty ballsy. Case in point: they reference the two main characters in this song going to a Ramones show in the song. The chutzpah.
  10. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “I Put A Spell On You”: Fogerty and Co. had a good ear for an excellent cover song, and this rendition of the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic is no exception.

Playlist #60: Road Trip!

Happy Monday! I’m currently in Oklahoma, preparing to leave tomorrow for Utah with my mother to visit a number of national parks. So this is being written before I head out west, since I’m not sure I’ll have the time to write one the week of. Make sure to follow me on Patreon! I would appreciate the love, and you’ll appreciate the music!

  1. Johnny Cash, “I’ve Been Everywhere”: I’ve done a lot of traveling over the years. I haven’t been everywhere, mind you, but I’ve been to lots of places around the US. The last time I was in Utah was 1996, the year I won the coveted Cottrell Hiker of the Year award.
  2. John Mellencamp, “Rumble Seat”: Cars don’t have rumble seats anymore. We should bring them back, because I’m sure they’re super practical and not at all dangerous or anything.
  3. John Fullbright, “Jericho (Live)”: An Okie with a damn good ear for a good tune.
  4. David Gray, “Fugitive”: I happen to love David Gray’s Draw the Line album. It’s my favorite of his post-White Ladder work.
  5. Dawes, “A Little Bit Of Everything”: This song talks about making potatoes at one point. It’s weird and cute and I kinda love it.
  6. Deer Tick, “Easy”: I really enjoy this song and the harmonies in it, though you wouldn’t think the lead singer was capable of harmonizing with anyone.
  7. Uncle Tupelo, “No Depression”: After the school year I’ve had, I could use a vacation, especially one in a land that’s free from care.
  8. The Who, “Going Mobile”: It’s one of the most ridiculous Who songs out there (trumped only by “Eminence Front”). I love it anyway.
  9. Young Dubliners, “Last House On The Street”: My uncle’s band used to cover this song all the time. I like it.
  10. Willie Nelson, “Highwayman”: Who doesn’t love a song that goes from swashbuckling highway robber to starship captain in, like, four verses?

Playlist #1

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.

  1. Bruce Springsteen, “Ain’t Good Enough For You”: Uptempo and fun, a joyful bop to start us off.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The Interrupters, “She’s Kerosene”: Who doesn’t like a little skank in their music? Commies, that’s who.
  6. 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.
  7. Phoebe Bridgers, “Kyoto”: I dunno, I like the keyboards.
  8. Redbone, “We Were All Wounded at Wounded Knee”: Native American band telling it like it is.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.