Playlist #65 – Stranger Things

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?”

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. REM, “Swan Swan H”: Does anyone ever know what Michael Stipe is singing about, including Michael Stipe? I’d wager the answer is “no.”
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Carl Douglas, “Kung Fu Fighting”: As the t-shirt says, surely not everyone was kung fu fighting.

Playlist #4

The end of the school year is fast approaching. Here’s some songs to ride out this week:

1. The Pixies, “Where Is My Mind”: The Wife loves the Pixies. I’m pretty okay with them most of the time.

2. Toad the Wet Sprocket, “Inside”: Most ridiculous name for a band ever? It’s definitely in the top ten. Awesome song? Also definitely.

3. 2Pac, “Keep Ya Head Up”: Uplifting rap about respect for women. A good ‘un.

4. XTC, “Stupidly Happy”: It’s a goofy song that I just love to pieces.

5. William Elliott Whitmore, “Diggin’ My Grave”: This guy does more with a banjo and a stomp box than most bands do with a full ensemble. He also sounds like he’s had a few packs of cigarettes too many.

6. Traffic, “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys”: If there’s a stinker on the list this week, it’s probably this song. It’s too long and pretty repetitive. The only reason I put it on is because I read that one of the Mussel Shoals Rhythm Section (who play on the album this is from) passed away this weekend.

7. Tom Waits,”Sixteen Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six”: If there’s a more sinister line than “I’m gonna whittle you into kindlin’,” I don’t think I’ve heard it.

8. Tom Lehrer, “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park”: First heard it many years ago on the Dr. Demento Show, and the tune holds up. Can’t help giggling every time I get to the line, “And maybe we’ll do in a squirrel or two.”

9. Tennessee Ernie Ford, “Sixteen Tons”: Sure, it’s predominantly about how awful the blue collar worker’s life is, but there’s also that verse about how you shouldn’t mess with him because he’ll kill you. And that’s pretty baller.

10. Filter, “Take a Picture”: For about two months during my freshman year of college, I was completely obsessed with this song. I even bought the CD that it was on (this is what we had to do back before you could just download whatever songs you wanted onto your phone, back in the distant 1990s). It was…not at all like the rest of the album.