Happy post-Thanksgiving Monday, folks. I know we’re all still waking up from the Turkey Coma and preparing to buy all the things (it is Cyber Monday, after all), but in the meantime I whipped up a new playlist for your aural enjoyment.
- Neil Young, “Rockin’ in the Free World”: The anti-consumerism, anti-capitalism of the song – especially the video – just hits the exact right spot for late-80s Neil.
- Arlo Guthrie, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”: Is there a more famous song about an event that sorta, kinda, maybe sorta actually happened? It’s one of the best shaggy dog stories ever.
- Stephen Stills, “Wooden Ships”: I love this solo acoustic version of the song. It’s just gorgeous.
- Tom Waits, “I’ll Be Gone”: “Tonight I’ll shave the mountain,” Tom begins, and it just gets weirder from there. But it’s a Tom Waits song, what did you expect?
- The Gaslight Anthem, “Boxer”: “You’ve got your pride and your prose/Tucked just like a Tommy gun,” the song begins, and I have a little point of contention to raise with Brian Fallon: who, exactly, tucks a Tommy gun under their arm or their jacket or wherever? Are Tommy guns really that common anymore? I wouldn’t think they are.
- Soul Coughing, “True Dreams of Wichita”: One of my favorite songs ever. Can’t really explain why.
- Jackson Browne, “Fountain of Sorrow”: No one writes a sad, bittersweet song like Jackson Browne. No one.
- The National, “Lucky You”: In my mind, this is the song where the National became the National. It’s the final track on their second record, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers, and it perfectly encapsulates what (especially early) the National was all about.
- Peter Gabriel, “San Jacinto”: I can’t explain what it is about this song that appeals to me. It’s probably the build to the end and the refrain of “I hold the line.”
- Pink Floyd, “Wish You Were Here”: Early last week, we sat and watched a series of videos on the Polyphonic Youtube page about most of the songs off the Wish You Were Here album. They’re the reason we listened to the album on our way to Ohio Wednesday. It still reigns as one of the best albums ever, and this song is the keystone to the whole thing. Everything else revolves around this one track, either building to it or coming back down from its height.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- Glen Phillips, “Thankful”: I always really enjoy Glen Phillips songs. They’re quirky and catchy and I just really dig them, okay?
- 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.
- The National, “Sailors In Your Mouth”: It’s a Thanksgiving song, I swear.
- The Flaming Lips, “Thank You Jack White (For the Fiber-Optic Jesus)”: It’s truly, deeply weird, as all good Flaming Lips songs are.
- 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.”
- 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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Who’ll Stop The Rain”: There’s just something about CCR songs that always get me in a good mood.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fleetwood Mac, “Rhiannon”: Just how common is the name Rhiannon, anyway? I can’t imagine there are too many of them wandering around.
- Jack Johnson, “Banana Pancakes”: I hate bananas.
- 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.
- 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?”
Did you think I’d forgotten? That I had decided to stop posting weekly playlists? No! I’ve just been visiting family in Oklahoma, and not everyone has reliable wi-fi. Anyway, here’s last week’s and this week’s lists. *EDIT* Now with links to the playlists on Spotify!
- Jelly Roll Morton, “Black Bottom Stomp”: There are legends (likely started by Jelly Roll himself) that he created jazz and that this is the first recorded jazz song. I’m not real sure on all that, but it is a good song.
- The Hotdamns, “Gina Lynn”: Our friend Danielle was in this band back in the day, and they’re really good. Y’all should check out their two releases available on iTunes.
- The High Kings, “Galway Girl”: I think I have this song because an after-school jam group I was playing with was doing it. It’s Irish and fun, as those things tend to be.
- Healthy White Baby, “Strong Reactor”: Great band, terrible name. Part of my web of Wilco-related groups (the bassist, Laurie Stirratt, is sibling to Wilco’s bassist John Stirratt). Ask me and I’ll gladly tell you. of how almost a dozen bands are all connected via the band Wilco.
- Faces, “Three Button Hand Me Down”: A fun story song about the suit that the orphan kid got when he left the orphanage and how it’s served him well all these years.
- Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, “Good Light”: A rootsy tune by a dude with an amazing beard.
- Dire Straits, “The Man’s Too Strong”: Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the Dire Straits album cuts are a little weak sometimes. For every “Sultans of Swing,” there’s a “Les Boys.” But this one slaps, folks.
- Spoon, “Do You”: I could just listen to the album this song is off of, They Want My Soul, over and over again, and frequently have.
- Monsters of Folk, “Say Please”: A collaboration between the likes of Connor Oberst, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, M. Ward, and Mike Mogis should be pretty damn good, but the album this song is off of falls pretty short of the God-tier supergroups like the Traveling WIlburys. This song is alright, though
- The Offspring, “Self Esteem”: A couple weeks back, I was playing guitar at my dad’s house, and my step-brother’s son, Bryson, apparently really like this song by the Offspring. It’s just three chords, so it was easy to learn. Hard to sing, though.
- Van Morrison, “The Great Deception”: I’ve been borrowing my father’s Mustang Mach 1 while I’ve been visiting (a very fun car to drive, let me tell you), and Van’s Hard Nose the Highway was one of the few CDs I borrowed from him to listen to in the car. I’ve heard “The Great Deception” about a dozen times in the past two weeks, and I’m still not tired of it.
- Lizzo & Cardi B, “Rumors”: It slaps. Lizzo drops what the young folks might refer to as knowledge on ya, and it’s just a really well-done pop/rap song.
- Shania Twain, “That Don’t Impress Me Much”: Is it possible to not sing along with this song when it comes on? I posit that it is, in fact, impossible not to sing along.
- Neil Young, “Harvest”: My brother played the dance remix version of this song for me last night. I now question everything I ever thought I understood about music.
- Placebo, “You Don’t Care About Us”: The ’90s were a wild time, weren’t they? Yes, yes they were.
- Uncle Tupelo, “Whiskey Bottle”: “Whiskey bottle over Jesus/Not forever, but just for now.” Chills, man.
- Zoe Keating, “Optimist”: I don’t usually listen to strictly instrumental music. I make an exception for Zoe Keating, a cellist who can make that thing sit up and beg if you want her to.
- The Killers, “Somebody Told Me”: Clyde maintains this is the best band (and their best album) of the 21st century. He might be right.
- Linda Ronstadt, “When Will I Be Loved?” I heard my uncle play this particular song so many times back in college and graduate school when he was playing in a country cover band. It is not recommended that you try to two-step to this one.
- Old Crow Medicine Show, “Wagon Wheel”: The bane of open mics across the southwest, but still a fun and easy song to rock out to.