Playlist #56

Another school year is winding towards a close. Here in Northern Virginia, seniors are taking their final exams this week, and they graduate next week. Week after that, school’s over for everyone else. It’s been a…challenging year, to say the least. I’ll be glad to see the back of it.

Support me on Patreon! I’m about to release the song for May, and it’s a good one, if I do say so myself.

  1. Maria McKee, “Never Be You”: This song was written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell, and man, does it sound like it. Classic late ’70s/early ’80s Heartbreakers tone and style, through and through. I’d never heard this song before this weekend, but it’s good.
  2. The Black Keys, “Burn The Damn Thing Down”: Bluesy? Or Bloozy? It’s good, either way.
  3. Mike Doughty, “Fort Hood”: It takes some chutzpah to totally lift the coda from “Age of Aquarius” and use it as your chorus, but Mr. M. Doughty pulls it off.
  4. The National, “The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness”: They don’t usually do guitar solos, but they do one here, and it makes you wish they did them more often.
  5. Wilco, “The Thanks I Get”: Still the best Rod Stewart song Rod’s never sang.
  6. She & Him, “This Is Not A Test”: Fun and poppy. Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I still go back to this album. It’s just fun.
  7. Franz Ferdinand, “Do You Want To”: I’ll never understand how these guys aren’t bigger than they are. They do great, straight-ahead rock numbers with lots of arch humor and and nudging asides.
  8. Bruce Springsteen, “Radio Nowhere”: Even on later Boss albums, you can still usually find a good track or two. This one’s pretty solid. Avoid the remake of “Ghost of Tom Joad” he did with Tom Morello on 2013’s High Hopes. Those two are two great tastes that don’t taste great together.
  9. The Jayhawks, “I’d Run Away”: Love me some two-part harmony.
  10. Mark Knopfler, “Speedway at Nazareth”: I just love how this song builds. Not just in terms of the music – though the build to that coda is fantastic – but lyrically as well. Just a master class in how to write a great song.

Playlist #20

The school year is settling in (except for my freshmen, maybe), so here’s some tunes to cruise into mid-September to.

  1. Fleetwood Mac, “Tusk”: I love the drums on this one. The high school marching band that joins in halfway through is also pretty neat.
  2. Frank Turner, “Get Better”: “I’m trying to get better ’cause I haven’t been my best,” Turner sings, and damn if I don’t feel that most days.
  3. U2, “Hawkmoon 269”: Just what the heck is a hawkmoon, anyway? My Google-Fu is useless, at least since Destiny 2 released an exotic gun of the same name.
  4. Tom Waits, “(Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night”: I’m a sucker for any song title that starts with parentheses. And this song is just sad and sweet and gets me every time.
  5. Sublime, “What I Got”: I dare you not to sing along. You can’t not sing along.
  6. Walk the Moon, “Shut Up And Dance”: My niece likes this song. I think it’s pretty catchy, to the point that I find myself occasionally listening to it even when she’s not around (and sometimes putting it on a playlist, like this one).
  7. Elvis Costello & the Attractions, “Pump It Up”: It’s got a very insistent bassline and drumbeat that just gets into your brain and won’t let go.
  8. The Horrible Crowes, “Behold The Hurricane”: Brian Fallon just writes such catchy songs.
  9. Iron & Wine, “Claim Your Ghost”: Speaking of songs that are sad and sweet…
  10. The Jayhawks, “I’d Run Away”: The harmonies these guys got up to just send shivers down my spine.