Playlist #69 (Nice)

I was this close to just making it all songs about sex. But aren’t all songs about sex, when you get right down to it? Anyway, give me a follow on Patreon and support your local author/songwriter. Anyway, here’s the first playlist of the new school year!

  1. The Mountain Goats, “Training Montage”: “I’m doing this for revenge!” John Darnielle cries out at the start of the chorus, and damn if that isn’t just the best line in a song I’ve heard this year.
  2. Iggy Pop, “The Passenger”: Is it the most relentless chord progression you’ve ever heard? Maybe. Are Iggy and David Bowie’s yelped “la”s in the chorus earwormy? Definitely.
  3. Bruce Springsteen, “Ain’t Good Enough For You”: I’ve featured this song on a playlist before. It still slaps.
  4. Calexico, “Cumbia De Donde”: Did you know cumbia is a type of Latin American dance music that originated in Colombia? Because the guys in Calexico sure do, and they want you to know they do.
  5. Spoon, “Don’t Make Me A Target”: I don’t know what it is about the way this band breaks down a song and then rebuilds it using the same basic instruments as every single rock and roll band that has ever existed that kicks me in the ass every time, but it kicks me in the ass every time.
  6. ZZ Top, “La Grange”: Back when I worked at a private school, I taught one of my students how to play this on the bass (it’s only three notes that even I could figure out). It’s fun.
  7. Pearl Jam, “World Wide Suicide”: Even late into their career, Pearl Jam can still pull out all the stops and offer a rocker that rips the doors off.
  8. John Mellencamp, “Right Behind Me”: Meanwhile, John Mellencamp has resorted to recording in hotel rooms with equipment from the 1950s to get that sound just right.
  9. Jay Farrar, “Feel Free”: Jay Farrar’s songs have gotten more esoteric and inscrutable as time passes, but this one is still early enough in his solo career that the lyrics make some sense. And it references “non-profit radio,” which is what I thought NPR stood for for far longer than I’d care to admit.
  10. Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, “Be Afraid”: “Be afraid, be very afraid/But do it anyway,” is just some of the best damn advice you can hear right now, I think.

Playlist #58: End of the School Year

It’s the last week of school finally. It’s been a difficult year, to say the least. But I keep posting new stuff on Patreon and I keep coming up with new playlists here.

  1. Alice Cooper, “School’s Out”: Yeah, of course this song was gonna be on here.
  2. The Mountain Goats, “Fall of the Star High School Running Back”: Who hasn’t gone from being the star player on the football team to selling acid to cops?
  3. Paul Simon, “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard”: Ever have one of those troublemaker friends that your parents just couldn’t stand? Yeah, I did, too.
  4. Pearl Jam, “Education”: “I’m questioning my education.” Me too, Eddie. Me too.
  5. Sting, “History Will Teach Us Nothing”: I mean, maybe you just didn’t learn from your history class, Sting. Ever think it was you, not history?
  6. Sam Cooke, “(What A) Wonderful World”: I think I teach several Sam Cookes. “Don’t know much about history,” he sings. Yeah, my kids could sing that, too.
  7. Chuck Berry, “Schooldays”: “RIng, ring, goes the bell.”
  8. Nirvana, “School”: Kurt Cobain recognizes the need for recess and laments the lack of it in the modern educational schema.
  9. Belle & Sebastian, “We Rule The School”: The number of students in Belle & Sebastian who probably got beat up in high school on a daily basis is a nonzero number.
  10. Pink Floyd, “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2”: The use of the double negative in the chorus indicates you do, in fact, need education, Mr. Floyd.

Playlist #32

New week, new playlist!

  1. Pearl Jam, “Black”: I learned to play this song last week, only 20-some years too late for it to be relevant.
  2. Jonathan Edwards, “Sunshine (Go Away Today)”: Also learned this one last week. It’s fun and folky.
  3. Sting, “Shape Of My Heart”: I just really like the guitar figure in this one.
  4. The Decemberists, “Sucker’s Prayer”: I mentioned this one the other week, and then just put a different Decemberists song on the playlist instead. Here’s this one now.
  5. Big Red Machine, “Renegade (featuring Taylor Swift)”: Am I sucker for recent Taylor Swift? Yes. Is this song really gorgeous? Also yes.
  6. The Beatles, “For You Blue”: I dig George Harrison songs, and this one is just so much fun. John’s slide playing is gleeful and too much fun.
  7. The Avett Brothers, “Ain’t No Man”: I dig these guys, and this song is tub-thumpin’ good times.
  8. Wilco, “Everyone Hides”: I like how Wilco has eased into their dad rock years and are just hummin’ along, making laidback music and having a good time.
  9. Yael Naim, “New Soul”: Pretty sure this was a song featured in an iTunes commercial back in the day? I don’t remember. But it’s cute and lovely.
  10. The Horrible Crowes, “Mary Ann”: Sometimes, you just need Brian Fallon shouting someone’s name in the chorus.