I’ve gathered together a collection of songs, and put them together into a YouTube playlist.  I was working with Spotify, but I could not find 4 of these 13 songs there, and everything is on YouTube.  If you need better sound dynamics, I’m sure you can find sources elsewhere for most of these.  I’m really sorry for the commercial interruptions – that’s not my doing.   Playlist #1

No theme for this playlist.  Simply an introduction to songs that I think are great and songs that I want people to listen to.  And if you don’t like one, don’t listen to it, but you’re still better off knowing about it.  Listen to anther song.  Here’s the list:

  1. Bauhaus — Bela Lugosi’s Dead
  2. Of Monsters and Men — Little Talks
  3. Hoodoo Gurus — (Let’s All) Turn On
  4. X — Soul Kitchen
  5. Frank Black — Nadine
  6. Patti Smith — Birdland
  7. Goat Girl — Country Sleaze
  8. Glass Animals — Youth
  9. Jack Kerouac — McDougal Street Blues
  10. Tom Waits — Jersey Girl
  11. Liz Phair — The Tra La La Song
  12. Gil Scott-Heron — The Bottle
  13. The Who — Love Reign O’er Me

Here are some liner notes:

Bauhaus.  Cool song to start a set – the long intro makes you settle in a little bit.  I recently re-watched Bowie’ film, The Hunger, which uses this song in the opening scene, and I have to say, the movie makes me less interested in being a vampire.

Of Monsters and Men.  As long as we’re talking about monsters…

Hoodoo Gurus.  A much forgotten band from the 1980s, these guys really had the stuff.  If I make a top 5 list of favorite-ever songs, I think this would be on there somewhere.  Great use of tandem vocals as instruments.

X. These guys! Harmonizing vocals and speed guitar from a rockabilly-punk band, these guys are fantastic.  I love the idea of cover songs, as long as the band make the song there own.  This is a good example of that.

Frank Black.  I just like how the song shimmers.  I like how it sounds like Country music, which I don’t listen to.  A long time ago, I went to a show in Santa Barbara.  John Doe, of X, opened, then FB and the Catholics, the headliners, played.  When Frank came out, he told this story; he said he’d promised John not to tell the story.  We’d had rains just that day or the day before, and I’m telling you, even for a Seattleite, when it rains in Santa B., man, it really rains.  So Frank tells us that John owns a ranch in the area, and his road flooded and he couldn’t drive out.  Luckily, John’s a private pilot, so he walked over to his neighbor’s farm and borrowed the crop duster, and flew himself into the show.   Rock ‘n’ Roll, baby.

Patti Smith.  Love Patti.  Love her poetry and her songs and her books and her photography and her persona.  She doesn’t just have the stuff, she is the stuff.

Goat Girl.  Favorite song of 2016.  I can’t wait to see what they can put out in 2017.

Jack Kerouac.  Sometime in the 1950s, Steve Allen invited Kerouac onto his talk show.  They talked, normal chit-chat that you hear on talk shows, then Steve invited Jack to read several pieces of his poetry, while Steve played little jazz riffs on the piano.  Later, they went into a studio and made a spoken word / jazz album.  (I’ve read this both ways – maybe the studio sessions came before the talk show appearance?  Doesn’t matter.)  I am generally interested in spoken word mixed with music – watch this space for more.

Glass Animals.  I joined a record-of-the-month club earlier this year, and I acquired this album in August.  (I’ll write a piece about the club later.)  I’d never heard of the Glass Animals, but I really like this record.  I have to admit, I have no idea what to do with it.  I mean, I’m no master of the segue, but this one is puzzling.  I love that.  It means, I hope, that I’m still growing and still finding new things that interest me.  I discovered that I have a need – can somebody help me with a beginner’s guide to Hip Hop?

Tom Waits.  There’s a TV concert somewhere on YouTube where Tom makes fun of himself – people always wondered what it would sound like if he sang a lot of “sha la las”.  It’d sound pretty good.

Liz Phair.  We’ll follow up the ‘sha la las” with some ‘tra la las’.  There’s a really cool compilation album, Saturday Morning Cartoon’s Greatest Hits, where artists cover theme songs from old-time cartoons like, The Archies, Scooby Doo, Hong Kong Phooey, Speed Racer, and this from The Banana Splits Adventure Hour.

Gil Scott-Heron.  I love this song.  Don’t know much about him, but he has some songs on my MP3 player.  And the incredible video is 1970s-bleak-cool.  I cannot find a version of this to buy/download – I’ve searched for vinyl and digital, I’ve searched Amazon, Spotify, and the local record shops.  There is a nine-minute version, by somebody else, but I don’t want that.  This is the version.

The Who.  This is a good way to end a night.  I don’t listen to The Who very often anymore.  At one time I would have called them my favorite band, and I still think they’re great.  I have all of my old cassette tapes out in my woodshop and I can play them on this crappy little stereo that I have out there. I imagine that eventually the sawdust will kill everything, but so far, we’re still working.  Out there, sometimes, I’ll listen to Quadrophenia, and I’ll listen to both sides back to back (it’s a double album: 4 LP sides equates to two sides of a cassette).  And when this song comes on, last song of side B, I know it’s time to go do something else.  I’ll start cleaning up and close down the shop for the night, and when the song’s over, I’ll go inside and do something else.  This song, is a great song to close a set and wrap up an evening.


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