Monday Tuesday, everyone! I didn’t post yesterday because I was celebrating our President the way God intended: looking at mattress sales! Here’s a playlist for y’all.
- The Rolling Stones, “Flip The Switch”: Even on their latter-day albums (this one’s from back in 97, but that still feels very latter-day for the Stones), they could still be relied on to rip the doors off the joint on at least one song.
- Sigur Rós, “Untitled #3 (Samskeyti)”: I’d never listened to these guys before this weekend. They’re Icelandic, sing in a made-up language to avoid creating a single interpretation of the songs, and everything is very cosmic, very ethereal, rather ambient. I kinda dig it.
- Laser The Boy, “Overthrow Your Masters”: A song about being yourself and kicking ass in D&D. I can dig it.
- Echosmith, “Cool Kids”: I heard it while I was in a store the other day and I dug it.
- Talking Heads, “And She Was”: If you can’t start your work week with the Talking Heads, then what is the point of anything?
- Steve Earle, “The Saint Of Lost Causes”: Steve Earle covering one of his late son’s songs. Very excellent, and brings a tear to one’s eye.
- Rhiannon Giddens & Iron & Wine, “Forever Young”: A Bob Dylan cover? On a playlist put together by me? Who would’ve thought such a thing could happen?!
- REM, “Sweetness Follows”: Probably one of my absolute favorite REM songs. It’s just so damn good.
- Old Crow Medicine Show, “O Cumberland River”: Did you know they did songs other than “Wagon Wheel?” Well, now you do!
- Nirvana, “All Apologies (Home Demo)”: When they talk about “raw” recordings, this is the sort of thing they’re talking about. Messily played, terrible audio quality, but that vocal is already perfect. Just perfect.
Monday was the Wife’s birthday! In her honor, you could contribute to her GoFundMe. Covid hit her hard and our finances harder, so every little bit helps. And I’m doing my usual thing over at Patreon, where a new song will drop this Friday! This week’s playlist is inspired by my Wife, who – when hearing the Tom Waits song on last week’s playlist – said, “Why not do a whole playlist of weird songs?” To which I replied, “You mean a Tom Waits playlist?”
- Tom Waits, “The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)”: I dunno, Tom. Your words are more than a little slurred here. I have my doubts about the veracity of your claim.
- The Magnetic Fields, “Epitaph For My Heart”: The Wife’s favorite Magnetic Fields song. It starts with a recitation of a warning on a door that threatens electrocution if you open it and gets weirder from there.
- Marcy Playground, “Sex & Candy”: Every time I hear this song, I think of that time I was working at the YMCA the summer after my first year of college, and when this song came on the bus, all the little children (like, 10 year olds) sang the first three words of the chorus – “I like sex” – and nothing else.
- Melanie, “Brand New Key”: Do roller skates even need keys anymore? It’s been so long since I wore a pair, but I’m pretty sure they don’t. Kids these days will never understand this song (not that I necessarily understand it myself, mind you).
- The Mountain Goats, “Cadaver Sniffing Dog”: Now, this playlist could have also just been a Mountain Goats playlist, and this song is a good example of why.
- REM, “Swan Swan H”: Does anyone ever know what Michael Stipe is singing about, including Michael Stipe? I’d wager the answer is “no.”
- Tom Lehrer, “Poisoning Pigeons In The Park”: This man takes a certain glee from killing pigeons in the park. He might be a serial killer.
- America, “A Horse With No Name”: Hint: you can give the horse a name, dude. You can call it whatever you want. It’s a horse, it don’t care.
- The Presidents of the United States of America, “Peaches”: Again, another band where I could have made a playlist just out of their songs and it would have fit right in.
- Carl Douglas, “Kung Fu Fighting”: As the t-shirt says, surely not everyone was kung fu fighting.
If I were a more clever person than I am, I’d have made this playlist all songs from the second album by bands. But alas, it’s a Monday morning, and cleverness can only take one so far. In other news, I did just drop the April song over on Patreon, which you should sign up for and follow me on for a song a month!
- Bill Small, “This Old House”: Where did I first hear this song? I think was at the Mansion on O Street, back when I was still playing there on Sundays. It’s a simple song with a nice gimmick (a house reminding the singer of all the times he had there but now the only reason to stay is gone).
- The Black Keys, “Unknown Brother”: I like the Black Keys. I know it’s kinda popular amongst certain music aficionados to pooh pooh them, but I always kinda liked their energy and songwriting.
- Radiohead, “Ill Wind”: I’m not as familiar with this song as I am with most of the songs I put on my playlists. And latter-day Radiohead is always kinda hit and miss for me anyway. But it’s an interesting song.
- Roy Orbison, “You Got It”: Roy Orbison + Jeff Lynne = stuff I will listen to on repeat.
- Elliott Smith, “Christian Brothers”: Did I originally put the Heatmiser version of this song on a playlist? Or was it this version? And why am I too lazy to comb through 52 other playlists to find the answer?
- Queen, “Fat Bottomed Girls”: They do indeed make the rockin’ world go ’round. More to the point, though, the first Queen CD I ever owned (an import from Hong Kong), a greatest hits collection, had the edited version of this song on it. The only difference between the two versions is there’s less Brian May guitar solo on the edited version. I ask you, dear reader, who in their right mind would want less Brian May guitar on a song? Not I. Not I.
- REM, “Nightswimming”: It’s just a beautiful song. Love the piano.
- David Gray, “What Am I Doing Wrong”: I’ve been listening to David Gray a lot this week, and digging through his older albums reveals a treasure trove of excellent songwriting (if not always excellent or interesting execution).
- Don Henley, “I Will Not Go Quietly”: Yeah, it’s another artist that it’s popular to shit on. I still like a lot of Henley’s stuff. He can be overbearing and preachy at times, but when he’s firing on all cylinders, he’s pretty great.
- Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, “Ain’t Nobody Got It Easy”: My Grandma Betty has a saying: “Nothing’s Easy.” The way she says it, you can hear the capital letters in each word. This song kinda reminds me of that.
I’m currently almost 40,000 words into Book 7. It’s coming along and I’ve found my groove again! Maybe it’ll be finished by this summer? Fingers crossed!