Playlist #83

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Stephen Stills, “Wooden Ships”: I love this solo acoustic version of the song. It’s just gorgeous.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. Soul Coughing, “True Dreams of Wichita”: One of my favorite songs ever. Can’t really explain why.
  7. Jackson Browne, “Fountain of Sorrow”: No one writes a sad, bittersweet song like Jackson Browne. No one.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.”
  10. 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.

Playlist #75

It’s a dreary, rainy Monday, but that does not stop the rock! Here’s this week’s playlist, hot off the presses.

  1. John Fullbright, “Paranoid Heart”: Okie singer/songwriter who just released a new album last Friday. It’s pretty damn good. The man knows how to write a song, and his backing band is strong.
  2. Wilco, “Remember To Remember Me”: Speaking of new albums, Wilco released a 20th anniversary edition of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot that contains loads of previously-unreleased stuff, including this early version of what later became “Hummingbird.”
  3. Jonathan Coulton, “Je Suis Rick Springfield”: Aren’t we all, just a little bit, Rick Springfield?
  4. David Gray, “Nemesis”: One of the more subdued songs from Draw the Line, but still a good one.
  5. Bon Iver, “Blood Bank”: Years ago, one of my coworkers asked me to help him record a little demo EP. We did it in my classroom at school. This was one of the songs we recorded (along with a Wilco tune and one by Trampled by Turtles. It was . . . eclectic).
  6. Modest Mouse, “Fire It Up”: Gotta get the blood pumping somehow.
  7. Moby, “Extreme Ways”: “Then it fell apart like it always does.”
  8. The Gaslight Anthem, “Placeholder”: This song is very evocative of the Anthem’s sound and style circa The ’59 Sound, and I am here for it.
  9. The Rolling Stones, “Play With Fire”: Maybe crotch fire. God only knows what venereal diseases Mick Jagger and the boys had back then.
  10. Peter Gabriel, “Intruder”: Hey, we hear you like gated reverb. Have a lot of it.

Playlist #73

First, news! I published a new short story that you can buy, right now! It’s a Halloween-themed Eddie Hazzard short story where he hunts a werewolf and is generally a curmudgeon about things. Go check it out! Without further ado, here’s this week’s playlist.

  1. Donovan Woods, “Lonely People”: “Lonely people/Wrote every song you ever loved.”
  2. Ben Harper & the Blind Boys of Alabama, “Take My Hand”: Sometimes, you need a gospel-tinged get-down. This song won’t disappoint.
  3. The Black Keys, “Burn The Damn Thing Down”: “She said, ‘I hate my job, I’m gonna burn this place down!’ And I said, ‘You better not!'” “She said it was an electrical fire.” “Oh.”
  4. Radiohead, “Lotus Flower”: Included mostly because I find Thom Yorke’s dance in the video hilarious.
  5. Tom Waits, “Down, Down, Down”: Do I feel a certain way this week? I dunno, maybe. Music can be a reflection of one’s feelings at the time. That’s a disconcerting thought, if this song is any indication, thoguh.
  6. The Gaslight Anthem, “Mama’s Boys”: “‘Cause there’s no room in heaven/For New York girls or mama’s boys.”
  7. Neko Case, “Hold On, Hold On”: First Neko Case song I ever fell in love with, but far from the last.
  8. Parker Millsap, “Truck Stop Gospel”: Reminds me of home and I-40. Doesn’t hurt that Millsap is an Okie.
  9. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, “Man On Fire”: Please, if you see me caught on fire, put out the fire. I do not enjoy being on fire. No one should.
  10. Eklipse, “Cry Me A River”: For the life of me, I cannot remember where I originally heard this song, but I Shazam’d it and it downloaded onto my phone without me even knowing that’s what Shazam was doing (it’s not a big deal, but a heads up would’ve been nice, Shazam). It’s good. Has a dark edge to it that I don’t usually associate with orchestral music.

Playlist #64

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Who’ll Stop The Rain”: There’s just something about CCR songs that always get me in a good mood.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Fleetwood Mac, “Rhiannon”: Just how common is the name Rhiannon, anyway? I can’t imagine there are too many of them wandering around.
  8. Jack Johnson, “Banana Pancakes”: I hate bananas.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?”

Playlist #55: Bob Dylan Cover Band

This week’s playlist is all Bob Dylan covers! Because I love me some Bob Dylan covers. Don’t forget to support me on Patreon.

  1. The Byrds, “My Back Pages”: Yeah, the Byrds make a bit of a career covering Dylan songs, and this is their best one.
  2. Faces, “Wicked Messenger”: Rod Stewart & Co. take an acoustic song from John Wesley Harding and make it rock.
  3. The Band, “This Wheel’s On Fire”: I mean, when you are Dylan’s backing band for several albums and use that as a jumping off point for your own separate career, you’re gonna borrow a couple of songs from the man. It only makes sense.
  4. George Harrison, “If Not For You”: I’ve always preferred Harrison’s version of this song to Dylan’s. That’s probably true of a lot of Dylan covers.
  5. The Gaslight Anthem, “Changing Of The Guard”: I have a soft spot for Street Legal, the album this song is off of, and the Gaslight Anthem provide a suitably raucous interpretation.
  6. Neko Case, “Buckets Of Rain”: You know how some folks seem to be made explicitly for certain songs? I think this is one of those cases.
  7. The Turtles, “It Ain’t Me, Babe”: The Turtles manage to pump quite a lot of energy into this song.
  8. My Chemical Romance, “Desolation Row”: It’s a tough song to cover, but they manage it in typical MCR style.
  9. The Hollies, “Mighty Quinn”: Did you know this song needed banjo? Because the Hollies did.
  10. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “All Along The Watchtower”: I mean, you knew this one had to be on here, right? It’s the quintessential Dylan cover. Of course it’s on here.

Playlist #44: Back in the Saddle

Happy Monday! I’m actually back to work today, after a month away taking care of the Wife. She’s improving every day, slowly but surely, and she’s well enough I’m comfortable leaving her home alone while I come toil away in education mines. A reminder that, if you want to support me making my own music, I’ve got that Patreon you can contribute to! I actually drop February’s song today!

  1. Genesis, “Turn It On Again”: I recently downloaded the album this song came from, Duke, and while this is definitely my favorite song off the whole record, the rest of the songs ain’t too shabby, either.
  2. Steve Winwood, “Back In The High Life Again”: “All the doors I closed one time/Will open up again.” Yes, they will.
  3. Aerosmith, “Back In The Saddle”: A bit of my anthem this morning.
  4. Andrew Bird, “Orpheo Looks Back”: Every playlist could benefit from some Andrew Bird, and I love this song.
  5. Bob Dylan, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'”: “Beyond here lies nothin’/But the mountains of the past.” Maybe not Dylan’s most profound work ever, but I still dig the rhythm of this song and the guitar work.
  6. Gorillaz, “DARE”: I could dance this morning, I think.
  7. Glen Phillips, “Duck And Cover”: A more stripped-down version of a song that appeared on his Winter Pays For Summer album off of Tornillo.
  8. The Gaslight Anthem, “Stay Lucky”: Someday, I’ll put together a playlist of songs that I love to play on the guitar. This song will also appear on that list.
  9. Frank Turner, “The Way I Tend To Be”: I love this song for the mandolin mostly.
  10. CCR, “Midnight Special”: Another that I love to play on the guitar and howl along to at the top of my lungs, as one does with CCR songs.

Playlist #22

Happy Monday, folks. Have a list of songs.

  1. Jay Farrar, “Feel Free”: For years, I thought NPR stood for “Non-Profit Radio.” It made sense, right? That is not what it stands for, by the by.
  2. The Gaslight Anthem, “Mama’s Boys”: The most Rolling Stones-iest song they ever recorded. It’s fun to sing along at the top of your lungs as you drive way too fast down the road.
  3. Ra Ra Riot, “Ghost Under Rocks”: I don’t even remember how it is I came to know about this band, but I’ve always liked the promise of this song (even if I haven’t cared as much for the rest of their output).
  4. Lil Nas X, “THATS WHAT I WANT”: First off, can we discuss the lack of an apostrophe in the title? That always annoys me. Grammar aside, the song slaps.
  5. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Featuring John Paul White), “Driver 8”: Did you know the REM song “Driver 8” had discernable lyrics hidden within it? And that they’re about a train driver? True story.
  6. ABBA, “Waterloo”: I’m a sucker for songs about historical subjects, and this is the second-best song about the Napoleonic Wars ever (the best is the 1812 Overture).
  7. The Mountain Goats, “Get Famous”: The continued prominence of the Mountain Goats gives me hope that even someone with a voice like mine could someday make it.
  8. George Harrison, “Cheer Down”: Not enough has been written about the wordplay and wry humor of George Harrison’s songwriting. This song is a great example of all that, and the guitar work is killer.
  9. Rhett Miller, “The El”: The way I found out about the Old 97s was by hearing this album by Rhett Miller first. Then I found Too Far To Care and it was all downhill from there for me.
  10. Gillian Welch, “Revelator”: So damn downbeat and depressing, melancholy and bittersweet and beautiful. So beautiful.

Playlist #18

It’s playlist time! Here it is on Spotify.

  1. David Bowie, “Starman”: We can all agree that Ziggy Stardust is, like, one of the best albums of the last fifty years, right? Right. It’s obvious.
  2. Bruce Springsteen, “My City Of Ruins”: the Boss’s paean to New York City following the September 11th attacks. I know he’s never really been known for his subtlety, and this song definitely ain’t subtle, but it’s uplifting and beautiful and I kinda love it.
  3. Pure Prairie League, “Aime”: While I was in Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago, we (meaning my father, my uncle, their cousin, and me) tried singing this song and recording it for posterity. Sadly, the backing vocals were “lost” (according to my uncle) and no one will ever hear it ever. Ever.
  4. Pearl Jam, “Hail, Hail”: When you just wanna crank up the volume on the car stereo, roll the windows down, and jam the hell out, it’s hard to top Pearl Jam.
  5. Owen Danoff, “Never Been Kissed”: I found this dude through a tweet from Nathan Fillion. That man has never led me wrong.
  6. Old 97s, “Champaign, Illinois”: If you’re going to rewrite Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” and turn it into a raucous rave-up, this is what it would indeed sound like. Exactly this, since that’s exactly what they did.
  7. The Gaslight Anthem, “Here Comes My Man”: With the “Ooh, sha-la-la”s this is like a punky version of a girl-group song, yelped by Brian Fallon instead of the Ronnettes.
  8. George Harrison, “Isn’t It A Pity”: George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass is the best post-Beatles Beatle album and I will fight you over this.
  9. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, “Sad But True”: I don’t really listen to much Metallica, but if more of it sounded like this I probably would.
  10. The White Stripes, “Offend In Every Way”: Sometimes you just need a good stompin’ blues-like song.