Playlist #89

So, first thing’s first…

I have a new album coming out this Friday, January 13th! It’s called Creature Comforts, and I’m super proud of it. My brother, Clif, mixed and mastered the album for me, and helped it sound its best. I can’t even begin to thank him enough.

If you want to join me on the journey to create the next album, you can support me on Patreon. I share new songs as I record them there.

  1. Ray LaMontagne, “Strong Enough”: It’s been a while since I’ve really listened to Ray LaMontagne. He hasn’t really changed, and that’s honestly okay. Dude found his niche and has settled in, releasing albums occasionally with solid songs like this one.
  2. Shampoo, “Trouble”: Snotty British pop from 1993, but it sounds like it could’ve been made in 1987. This sounds nothing like the rest of the post-Nirvana musical landscape.
  3. The New Pornographers, “Sing Me Spanish Techno”: I’ve never really listened to Spanish techno, but they make it sound very appealing.
  4. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Southern Accents”: So this song is kinda fraught with potential problems, I think. I know Petty came from Florida. He’s a southerner. But he’s also not an asshole. So I let this one slide. It helps that it’s such a well-written song.
  5. Fastball, “The Way”: Yeah, the band is named after a porno. It’s still a good song, though.
  6. Jason Isbell, “Super 8”: “Don’t wanna die in a Super 8 Motel” – A thing said by everyone who has ever stayed in a Super 8 Motel.
  7. Neil Young & The Stray Gators, “Bad Fog Of Loneliness”: If he’d replaced “A Man Needs A Maid” with this song, Harvest would be a perfect album. Well, and replacing “There’s A World” with “Journey to the Past.”
  8. Gotye, “Somebody That I Used To Know”: You didn’t have to stoop so low, y’know.
  9. The Goo Goo Dolls, “Sympathy”: Sure, it’s off the album the Goo Goo Dolls (terrible name) released after their big hit album, Dizzy Up The Girl, but this is one of their best songs, I think.
  10. Grand Funk Railroad, “Some Kind Of Wonderful”: “Can I get a witness?” Yes, yes you can.

2019 (Music) In Review

Hey, I’m only a couple of weeks into 2020, so this isn’t too late, right? Right.

Anyway, here’s my favorite ten albums from 2019, in no particular order…

Gary Clark, Jr. – This Land

This guy just shreds, man. Plenty of chunky distortion and great guitar riffs, and his lyrics are pretty great, too.

The Mountain Goats – In League with Dragons

A concept album built loosely around Dungeons and Dragons? By the Mountain Goats? Sign me up for that gaming session!

The National – I Am Easy to Find

If this album only gave us “Rylan,” it would still be one of the best albums of the year. That the whole album is fantastic, start to finish, is just gravy.

The Highwomen – The Highwomen

My god, these harmonies! An update on the Highwaymen concept from back in the ’80s (that of Johnny Cash, Kris Kristopherson, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings fame) with a scad of kickass women grabbing music by the horns and it like it. I want more of this.

The New Pornographers – In the Morse Code of Break Lights

Is there such a thing as a bad New Pornographers album? I’ve yet to hear one. Weird that it didn’t have a Dan Bejar-led song on it, though.

Andrew Bird – My Finest Work Yet

Bird continues to put out challenging, engaging music consistently with each release, and this one is no exception to that. “Bloodless” was one of my favorite songs of the year.

Wilco – Ode to Joy

A mostly-acoustic affair, but it finds the Chicago band writing some of their best songs in years. It’s cozy, comfy, rainy Sunday afternoon music. And Jeff Tweedy still keeps my dream of chunky guitar hero alive.

Lizzo – Cuz I Love You

Didn’t expect this one, did you? Well, I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that guy who really likes to listen to Lizzo play the flute like a badass.

J.S. Ondara – Tales of America

Sometimes, you say it best with just an acoustic guitar and minimal backing. That’s Ondara’s debut, Tales of America, which I found through NPR. The previous sentence is the whitest sentence I have ever written, and I used to write term papers about English religion and society during the theatrical reformation period.

The Black Keys – Let’s Rock

What? Sometimes, I just like straight-ahead bluesy rock. This is not an interrogation. Go away.