Playlist #78

Wednesday is the new Monday, am I right?

  1. Vaydra, “Talk To God”: The new single from the lady who sings with my brother, except it’s not the band they’re in together but a different band she formed that plays psychedelia. It’s pretty good. Check ’em out.
  2. Jake Blount, “The Downward Road”: Heard this guy on a Vox video talking about the importance of the banjo in historically black music. The song itself is pretty cool, drawing from traditional African American folk music and contemporary rap and hip-hop. I dig it.
  3. Glen Campbell, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”: Glen Campbell died in 2017 from Alzheimer’s, and he wrote and recorded this song just before that happened. It’s a stark look at what Alzheimer’s and dementia do to a person, erasing their personality and memories until there’s nothing left there. But it doesn’t really hurt them, it hurts the people around them who watch that person erode. It is one of my greatest fears that I’ll get dementia or Alzheimer’s and become a burden to those I love and not even know it.
  4. Rilo Kiley, “The Moneymaker”: I hadn’t listened to this album since the year it came out (which was . . . holy crap, 2007?!). This song holds up, I think, though the More Adventurous album is still my favorite of theirs.
  5. Stevie Ray Vaughn, “Pride and Joy”: Sometimes, you need some low-down, dirty, Texas blues (or “blooze”). This is one of those times.
  6. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, “Straight Into Darkness”: Tom Petty is one of those guys who, even when he put out a mediocre album, it still has great songs on it. ‘Cause a mediocre Tom Petty song is better than about 70% of everything that comes out.
  7. Aimee Mann, “Looking For Nothing”: If you told me the only musician I was allowed to listen to for the rest of my life was Aimee Mann, I would not be entirely disappointed with that. You could do much worse.
  8. Drive-By Truckers, “Everybody Needs Love”: They do.
  9. Brian Fallon, “If Your Prayers Don’t Get To Heaven”: This dude absolutely loves the early ’60s girl groups and doo-wop and I am freakin’ here for it, yo.
  10. Led Zeppelin, “Fool In The Rain”: I love the drumming on this one.

Playlist #45

It’s a classic rock sorta Monday. Make sure to follow me on Patreon, where I’m starting work on March’s exclusive song!

  1. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, “Carry On/Questions”: I love the bassline in this song. And that wah pedal solo in the latter part of the song.
  2. Cream, “Badge”: This is clearly a George Harrison song and I won’t be taking any questions.
  3. The Animals, “Gonna Send You Back To Walker”: Who doesn’t love the Animals? No one. And if they do, cut them out of your life. You don’t need that kind of negativity.
  4. Jackson Browne, “These Days”: “Yeah, I’ve been out walking/I don’t do that much talking these days,” the song starts. And just gets better from there. I’ve always preferred the Jackson Browne version to the Nico version. Your mileage may vary.
  5. Led Zeppelin, “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp”: This song does stomp.
  6. Paul McCartney, “Junk”: “Buy, buy says the sign in the shop window/Why, why says the junk on the lawn.”
  7. The Rolling Stones, “Far Away Eyes”: Yeah, it’s goofy and clunky and not even a little bit authentic, but it’s a helluva good time.
  8. The Eagles, “After The Thrill Is Gone”: Over Winter Break, while I was back home in Oklahoma, I played this song with my Dad. He’d never played it on the guitar before somehow.
  9. Grand Funk Railroad, “Some Kind Of Wonderful”: Someone I follow on Twitter was saying yesterday that everyone should have a shout-along song. This one might be mine.
  10. Bruce Springsteen, “Rosalia (Come Out Tonight)”: Or maybe it’s this one. I dunno.

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.