Well, after three straight lists of nothing but dudes, my 1973 list blew up with the ladies. I told you I never forgot about them – I never forget about The Ladies. (I’m trying to figure a way to make that sound more sexist without using profanity, but I can’t.) The point is, 1973 is perhaps one of the best years for women in soul, let alone women in other genres of music. But I’m mostly interested in soul and jazz, so that’s what Cassie is gonna be forced to listen to.
“Call Me (Come Back Home)” by Al Green
God, if I could go back in time, I would amend my “Top 5 Album Openers” post to include this song. It sets the tone for perhaps the greatest soul album of all time. I’m Still In Love With You perhaps has the greatest sentimental value for me, but Call Me is just a better album. And the title track is without a doubt one of the best things Al Green has put out into the world. It has the majesty and grace (and Debbie) and sublime subtlety of Mona Lisa’s upturned half-smile, all wrapped up in a much slicker and hotter package. Those reading closely there: Yes, I did compare the Mona Lisa and “Call Me” and came down on the side of the latter. Mad? Tough shit. It’s way better. Plus, you can get down to “Call Me.” Try getting down in front of the painting – I doubt the Louvre guards would be much into that. (Or would they?)
“Killing Me Softly With His Song” by Roberta Flack
I would’ve been amiss had I not mentioned this song, for two reasons: First, it’s a great song; second, it was perhaps the most popular song of the year in ’73. The lyrics are heartbreakingly beautiful and the music is simple but breathtaking. It does have that half-cheesy sound to it, what with the overdrawn organ and nylon-string guitar, but the drummer really hangs you on for dear life. It’s why The Fugees’ 1995 cover works so well: They stripped the song down to its roots and were left with that thick, thick beat. Though I really could live without without fucking Wyclef Jean saying “One time” a hundred times.
“So Very Hard To Go” by Tower of Power
I have talked about this song many times before. But like a lot of things that are overplayed, it’s because it’s simply that good. It’s in my list of Top 5 Breakup Songs as the ultimate accepting-your-fate song. I wish I could, just once, go into a breakup with the kind of dignity and grace the singer does. You can ask any of my exes, they’ll tell you how that wasn’t even close what I did. Perhaps it would help it was soundtracked by Tower of Power with that kind of fat horn section. I think life, in general, would be better if we all had that fat, fat horn section playing in the background at all times. Think about it. Work would be better, driving around would be better, sex would definitely be better, and the horn sections would be better. That’s right: recursive horn sections. Horns in horns in horns!
“Angel” by Aretha Franklin
Ok, I know I’ve come out before on hating spoken word introductions to songs. I’ll be honest, I have to suck it up and just get through it every time I listen to this song. But once I do, and get to the meat of the song, I realize this song is The Goddamn Batman. In fact, Claire and I coined using that meme as a phrase replacing “it’s the jam” specifically because of this song. I know “Respect” gets far, far more airplay than this song, but I think this is the quintessential Aretha song. You know what? I can’t do this song justice talking about it. You have to just hear it. Now.
“Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & The Pips
This is perhaps a bit oddly specific, but I totally have a thing for a female vocalist with mixed-sex backup singers. I can’t get enough of it. I mean, how awesome would, say, The Temptations have been if Aretha Franklin (no disrespect to Ms. Knight, but Aretha just has better pipes) sang lead and Ms. Knight, Mavis Staples, and The Temptations sang backup. Oh god, I think my ears just came. (Gross.) The point is, this song has some serious chops, and it’s only enhanced by the mixed-sex backup singers. And by the by, it also is featured in one of the best musical moments on tv ever. (The best part is just how earnest Tracy Morgan sounds apologizing to Ms. Gladys Knight.)
Let’s face it, guys: Smoking is cool.
It’s cool because now it’s become of confluence of cool things: Anti-establishment (everywhere places are cracking down on smoking in public, and in some cases, in private), anti-health, and a retro throwback. The latter two are inextricably linked. 70 years or so ago when smoking was ubiquitous, it was still cool. “A Real Man” smoked Marlboro’s. Joe Camel wore a hep black leather jacket and Ray-Bans. James fucking Dean smoked like a chimney. Smoking was so cool, when research started showing, hey, you will die if you smoke all the time, people didn’t quit smoking. And now that we’ve known about the health risks for decades, people born into a world of anti-smoking ads everywhere still light up.
Think about that for a second. I’ve known my entire life (even before I could legally smoke) that smoking causes all sorts of diseases, the biggest being the horrible death of lung cancer, but I still took it up. I didn’t do it for some grand anti-establishment statement, I just thought it was cool, and it turned out to be the greatest single ice-breaker I’ve ever had. Smokers have their own built-in community, tight-knight and hacking up a lung. If you wanted a cigarette, there’d always be someone willing to smoke with you, bum you a cigarette, and have a chat. In fact, I’d say the anti-smoking movement has only made the connections between smokers stronger, as now we have to congregate outside in small clumps to fight the elements when we go to bars and restaurants (or, really, anywhere).
But there was a time, not that long ago, when smokers lived untouched. We could sit at a bar, have a beer, listen to some music, have a chat, and smoke a cigarette in peace. We were people, normal people, instead of the freaks outside freezing in the cold and wind or choking in the heat and humidity. We could see our favorite bands and not worry about missing the best song for the fag break, or safely watch every pitch at the O’s game without worrying about missing that elusive grand slam.
That’s what this playlist serves to help us remember: the elusive smokey bar scene, one straight out of a 50′s detective movies about the 20′s. You know, where everyone wears fedoras and suits and ties and slinky dresses and pearl necklaces (back before that was slang for something gross). The kind of bar where there was a raggedy old Wurlitzer in the corner churning out the hit parade, with a million stories in the Naked City, on a dark night in a city that knew how to keep its secrets. That, or a seriously old black man fronting a band on its last throes, eking out a measly melody with a torn-up rhythm, a skinny guitar sound poking its disheveled self out of a weary amplifier. He has a cigarette sticking out of the tops of the strings at the head of the guitar, at this point mostly ash, just holding its shape for a minute before his last lick knocks it into his bourbon on the rocks. No one in this bar pays them no mind, anyway, they have their martinis and manhattans to worry about. Nobody really talks, either; they just stare wistfully into their drinks, and stab their butts in the ashtray with a weary fury. It’s an absentminded maneuver, the putting out of your dead cigarette – you know its coming but still are surprised, and if you forget, it guts itself out on your yellowed, tobacco stained fingertips.
It’s seemingly always nearing last call, and the place is as dark as is it is outside, save for the thin, off-white florescents hanging from old, burnt out fans, the bulbs teetering clumsily as the fans wobble off-center. Nothing ever works right in this joint – the taps are on-and-off, the ice-machine rattles something fierce, and the bartender would rather wipe down glasses than get you your drink. And there it hangs, right about the bartender, the thick cloud of smoke, the one we always seem to want to complain about now. It’s never in your face, but you can never get away from it. And it never smells stale – the smell of fresh cigarettes being lit always seems to take over the smell. You know the smell and the sounds well: the click of the Zippo opening, the flash of the flame catching the paper, and the dark, roasted, heady scent of fresh tobacco aflame. There’s nothing else quite like it in the world – even the smell of a campfire doesn’t hold the same sort of nostalgia and wonder a fresh cigarette aflame does.
A woman sits two stools down from you, in a black dress, and a hat with a torn veil, and asks you if you wouldn’t mind lighting her smoke. You oblige her, and she puts her white gloved hand on yours as you light it. This is when the band announces their set break, and they set down their instruments on the stage and walk outside for smokes and a joint. You take it upon yourself to fire up that old Wurlitzer in the corner, plunking down two for a quarter, a dime for a dance, filling the place with the tin-eared sounds of….what?
Well, that’s what I tried to do with this first take of the playlist. I didn’t quite capture that scene. I think at first I was trying to hard too re-create what I would like to hear in a bar, not what would play in the scene above. Here’s the first draft, and feel free to add your suggestions in the comments, and look forward to more edits in the future.
I swear to your god (or gods), there must’ve been something in the water in 1972.
I would run down the amount of amazing albums that came out this year, but I really don’t feel like spending 30 minutes just typing that long list up. Suffice to say, do yourself a good favor and check out Wikipedia’s list of albums released in 1972. If you can’t find one album on there you don’t like, you’re not doing it right.
That comment isn’t directed to you, Cassie; I know you are going to like the songs I’ve picked out to represent this diverse year. If you don’t, you officially will have no soul. This is perhaps my favorite year ever of music made, and I warn longtime readers (if those exist? Even my closest friends don’t read this with any regularity) that I will be re-hashing some songs I have talked about many, many a time. But some of these songs are just so classic and iconic to the 70′s that I’d be doing Cassie a wild disservice by not putting them on here. Basically, talking about these songs again and again is exactly the opposite of my warning last week about not being able to talk about Led Zeppelin – a few of these songs may be overplayed, but it’s because they are worthy of that kind of airtime. More than worthy.
“I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)” by Stevie Wonder
This song is just gorgeous. I will forever love it as an album closer (and honestly, if I re-did that list, it would probably kick another song off), and it’s moving up on my list of favorite love songs. I’m not going to say it has the most going on, but the instrumentation is solid, and Mr. Wonder’s vocals are rock solid. And while the last bit of it can get repetitive quickly, it makes you completely forget you were bored with its outro. Holy crap, does that funk hard.
“Use Me” by Bill Withers
It kind of always shocks me when people can’t tell me who sang this song – is Bill Withers just not really a household name? Everyone has heard this song, along with “Lean on Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine” (coincidentally, “Use Me” and “Lean On Me” are found in succession on the same album, Still Bill, released this year), but not many people seem to be able to place a name to the song. Well, you better know it. And beyond that, I would be hardpressed to say that this song is the best on the album! Still Bill is a classic album, and if “Use Me” has to represent it, I’m alright with it, as long as everyone knows this is fucking Bill Withers. Also, how awesome is this song, right?
“Loving Cup” by The Rolling Stones
I mentioned this song briefly earlier this week in my So Hot Right Now post, and suffice to say, I’m hooked on it right now. But that’s not (entirely) why it’s on this list. It’s a rare instance where I can put a song by a world-famous rock band in the context of the bet. There was a good period of time where I could not listen to anything but 100.7 on the radio in my car, and I was doing multiple laps a week between here and St. Mary’s College. In that at least year long time, I never once heard this song on that station. I wouldn’t at all be shocked if someone requested it and they played it – after all, it’s on what could easily be considered the Stones’ best album, Exile on Main St. I’m not going to take any guff about cheating here by using the Stones. It’s a great song, but it’s not played with the frequency of any of their other songs.
“Don’t Do It” by The Band
I have a serious love affair with The Band. It’s pretty full blown – I’d wager I’ve seen The Last Waltz more than The Godfather by a factor of 5 or more. This song opens the movie, despite it being the encore and thus the final song The Band plays on stage as “The Band.” (Bonus: The picture of Mr. Helm above was taken from the title sequence of The Last Waltz, while he’s singing this song.) The track on Spotify is from a best of, as I cannot find the version released on the live album Rock of Ages. This song choice is, perhaps, skirting the rules a wee bit. It was recorded in 1971, and the song is a cover a Marvin Gaye song recorded in 1964, and I have no good information on when The Band started playing this song live, but the album on which the song was included was released in 1972. And come on, it’s a great song. Levon Helm’s voice is just awesome, and he truly does Marvin Gaye justice. And The Band with a horn section is the best Band.
“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green
Do I even really need to say why this is a good song? It’s the song one thinks of when they think of The Right Reverend Al Green, and it’s no small wonder why. The vocals are silky smooth and the music behind is as miniscule as possible in order to emphasize Mr. Green’s performance, which is nothing short of a miracle. If I had to pick a song to represent the 70′s as a whole, it would be this song. And I know other songs may be more representative of the overall sound of the 70′s, this song is perhaps the best. Honestly, I could’ve boiled the whole bet down to this song – if Cassie likes this song, she would’ve been proven wrong; if she doesn’t, she can safely say she doesn’t like the 70′s. Granted, my ego is far too big to allow myself that kind of restriction, so the bet must continue.
So, I really hate fake applause to start a track, and also any talking or fucking around after the track is over. It’s why, as good as The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is, I can’t listen to it start to finish – the classroom scenes after each freaking track is insanely annoying. Can’t it just the music? Do we really need the fake context?
However, I have two tracks with this fake applause/bullshit after the song on my list this month. It’s part of a So Hot Right Now list that is filled with musical paradoxes – stuff I’ve always avoided I now like, stuff I wouldn’t put up with anywhere else but here, and bands I’ve always claimed to dislike I’ve found favor in. The big one of these is the inclusion of Justin Timberlake.
I’ve never been a huge fan of popular music, both the genre of pop and music that everybody liked (in fact, I used to be super hipster about it and figured if it had universal appeal, there was something wrong with it), but Justin Timberlake’s new album is surprisingly good. And not just in the way pop music can happen to be good, but actually musically good, by basically staying in the lines. He doesn’t wow anyone with new sounds, just perfecting that great soul-meets-r&b-meets-dance music sound that modern pop music seems to be straying away from. I’ll never understand – that sound is what made Michael Jackson so good, why not do it again? The lead track on this list, “That Girl,” isn’t quite like a Michael Jackson sound, but it has that thick, deep soul sound that came around with the aforementioned Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo and Jill Scott (notice a pattern there that Timberlake isn’t a part of?) and has big horns. If we were ever to get a Real Funk Revival, it would have to be lead by Mr. Timberlake.
As much as a shock as liking JT’s album was, that’s the kind of feeling I got when I heard the opener to Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside’s new album, Untamed Beast, “They Told Me.” I had been drifting around in a fog for the past few weeks, not really happy or sad, just doing, and Spotify’s radio was playing the same crap it always does (has anyone noticed how bad that service is? It repeats songs all the damn time.) and then that big guitar, thick with reverb and echo, something like out of a nightclub in LA in the 50′s smashing into a nightclub in Seattle in the 90′s, shot through me like .50 caliber hollow-point. It’s a shocking track, even though the sound is fairly similar on their first album – similar, but nowhere near as good. This song shows the sound that band is meant to make, and the sound that could make them.
A few quick hits:
I suffer from crippling bouts of ego when it comes to music – I tend to believe that if I like something, there’s good no reason that anyone could have for disliking it. Perhaps that’s how I got into this bet: I simply couldn’t conceive of a world where someone didn’t like music from the 70′s. Of course, that audacious statement was quickly tempered, but the sentiment stands, I believe. Cassie simply does not like “that 70′s sound.”
But what is that sound? Is it horns and black people? Is it loud guitars and high pitched vocals? Is it warbling singer-songwriters tapping out melodies on a cheap guitars? If it’s disco, I get it. Disco is awful, and deals a good bit of damage to good 70′s funk music, as it is unfairly lumped into the same category more often than not. But after last week, I had to try to hone in on what it is Cassie does not like about the 70′s, forcing me to drastically alter the list I had planned a week or two ago.
This list is quite different from the one I had planned, and certainly not (totally) representative of what I love from 1971. Also, with the restriction of no classic-rock-radio-eligible songs, I have to begrudgingly leave off everything on Led Zeppelin’s fourth untitled album, released in ’71. I have heard every single one of the songs on that album on 100.7, and it’s a darn shame – if this was a list of my personal favorites from 1971, or a list of the best songs released in 1971, at least one of those songs would be on there.
“(I Know) I’m Losing You” by Rod Stewart
But I do get to put at least a few of my favorite songs on this list, and this is right up there. It’s one of my Top 5 Covers, and I’m convinced, somewhat controversially in most circles, that this version is better than the Temptations’ version. It has more oomph, more pop, and hands down more desperation. The original version doesn’t quite match the ferocity in Stewart’s voice: the growling, the grabbing, the clawing, the calling, haunted power he rasps out. You can’t help but feel for him, despite knowing he sang a song about kicking some girl out of his bed in the morning the very same year. The song reaches a fevered pitch by the end, with a wild and maddening drum solo, and cuts out in the best way possible, right back into the main line. I’m really not sure how anyone can prefer the original.
“Gotta Keep Moving” by MC5
This was one of the new additions to the list, and it’s a song I knew I knew when I put it on, but didn’t remember it when my boss suggested it to me. If I want to hone in on what Cassie doesn’t like about the 70′s, here’s a good song to at least rule out a chunk. It’s got that late 60′s rockabilly feel, but with a very early punk idea. Is this what she means when she says she doesn’t like 70′s music? This is a great song, and not at all something most people would point to as “that 70′s sound.”
“I Just Want To Celebrate” by Rare Earth
This song seems to straddle that line of “70′s sound,” as it it’s fairly funky, but it’s all guitar driven without any horns. The swirling harmonies are my second favorite part of the song, as my favorite can only be when that wonderful drum beat drops back into the nothingness of feedback, then the main vocal line is restarted. God, it’s one of my all time favorite break-downs (look for Top 5 Break-downs at a later date, now that I’ve brought it up).
“Tired of Being Alone” by Al Green
Here’s where I step out on a ledge, 70′s style. If you’re looking for what most may define as “that 70′s sound,” this certainly is it. Smooth falsetto vocals with great backup harmonies and tight, punchy horn hits. But I’m totally unconvinced anyone in their right mind could hate this song – it’s so lovable, as Al Green in the 70′s is just the man who hugs you close with his voice. I mean, he wants to fuck you when he’s done singing, but at least the singing is good foreplay. And honestly, who wouldn’t have sex with Al Green when he’s done singing to you? No one, that’s who.
“Jeepster” by T. Rex
I almost never have any idea what the hell Marc Bolan is signing about. A jeepster for your love? What the shit? But he has great songs, and I had to choose this one over the much more popular “Get It On,” as the latter is in like 1201936 commercials. It sounds like it belongs playing on a radio in the background of a Quentin Tatantino movie (actually, it probably is in one), which means it’s exactly the kind of 70′s sound I’m concerned with. Is this what Cassie doesn’t like about the 70′s?
Alright, Cassie, it’s time to begin this little bet of ours. We start today at the beginning – 1970. I’m not going to paint you some elaborate musical picture like you’d hear in a narration of a show about the 70′s; though, actually, that sound kind of fun. Imagine the voice of the guy from Behind the Music as you read this:
It seemed like just yesterday that the peace-loving hippies were dancing in the mud at Woodstock when tear gas and batons rained down on the crowds at Altamont. Was it so long ago that Bob Dylan was strumming an acoustic guitar and singing about peace and The Beatles wanted to hold our collective hands? By this time, Dylan had been in seclusion for years, and the Beatles had ended their awful infighting with the release of Let It Be and their subsequent breakup. No, this was the year of Black Sabbath and the birth of heavy metal; this was the year the US spreads in war in Southeast Asia to Cambodia, causing mass death and wild protest. We saw the rescue of Apollo 13 and the death of Jimi Hendrix; this was 1970.
Ok, I could’ve done a lot better, but thinking and writing in that voice is hard, man!
“Caravan” by Van Morrison
Van Morrison is a charming, charming mofo. He writes such wonderfully uplifting and powerful music, and yet I’ve only ever heard his most famous songs on 100.7 The Bay: “Moondance” and “Brown Eyed Girl.” This is a terrible shame; both Claire and I have talked on separate occasions how terrible it is these are the most played songs by Van the Man. “Caravan” is a wonderful example digging in deeper to an artist you may like but haven’t heard much beyond the radio. It has everything you’d want, Cassie, in a song from the 70′s: horns, a big sexy voice, and happy-go-lucky “la-la-la’s.” I just wish I could give Cassie the live version from The Last Waltz- it’s one of the best performances of the concert, which is saying a lot, considering the list of performers. But I can’t send her a link to that clip because it’s from 1976, and that might unfairly influence her decision on the song itself, since it’s so damn good. It would be cheating to do that. But, the studio version from 1970 does do a great job of conveying the essence of the song.
“ABC” by Jackson 5
The Jackson 5 were freaking huge in 1970 – if I’m not mistaken they released three albums that year. Can you imagine a group of that prominence releasing three albums in one year anymore? I mean, Justin Timberlake is one of the most famous pop stars out there right now, and his album released this past month was the first in 7 years. But beyond all that, this song is infectious. A bit overplayed, yes, but one cannot judge the merit of a song simply based on its airplay. The most overplayed song of all-time, “Stairway to Heaven,” isn’t, by any stretch of imagination a bad song (it’s quite good, in fact); it’s just played far too often for it to have any powerful effect on one’s ears. I mean, we’ve all heard “ABC” a hundred times, but I’d challenge anyone to sit down and listen to it for real and not come away loving it and singing it in their head.
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” by Stevie Wonder
This song is a bit of a risk for me, as Cassie has claimed to not like Stevie Wonder at all. Don’t worry, Wonder-lovers like myself out there, I intend to press that issue. Hard. This song is fun and upbeat, with truly amazing vocals by Wonder and his backing vocalists. There really isn’t too much, lyric-wise, as the melody of the chorus really is the selling point of the song. It’s a song you really can get up and dance to, and I hope you do.
“Little Green Bag” by George Baker Selection
This song I’m completely sure I’ve never heard on 100.7 The Bay, despite its prominence on the “Super Sounds of the Seventies” radio station in Reservoir Dogs. I think it’s a pretty weird song, but it’s got such a feel to it – It’s halfway between a song you’d find on a jukebox in a seedy underground club and a lounge song you’d hear in a Vegas casino in the late 60′s. I feel like a lot of rock was doing this in 1970. The change from the 60′s to the 70′s took a year or two to really sink in. I like to think the 70′s really didn’t get started, as a musical sound, until “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye came out the next year, but we’ll get there next week.
“The Love You Save” by Jackson 5
Yeah, I had to put two Jackson 5 songs on this list. Like I said, they were fucking huge in 1970. Plus, the song, while being instantly recognizable to someone who lived in 1970, is no longer as played as some of their other songs. This is a damn shame, as it’s perhaps my favorite Jackson 5 song. It has the best intro and bridge riffs they ever did, and Michael is in rare form as lead singer. I can’t get down with abstinence message (I may be one of the few people out there who advocate for teenagers to have more sex then they are – if they learn how to do it safely and have a good relationship with sex early, they don’t have to go through terrible sex dysfunctions later in life), but it’s a really fun song, and it’s tough not to like it.
“Religion Full of Lead” by Hollywood Blanks
I like to win.
It’s often a problem. I take losses very hard, which was terribly hard being the worst baseball player ever to grace the fields in Pikesville. I mean, I was the kid who, when I went up to bat, the rest of the team slumped their shoulders and muttered under their breath, “Fucking wonderful.” God forbid there were two outs. Perhaps that’s where my current competitiveness stems from: The need not to be “that guy” at the plate.
But there is that thrill of losing though. The idea that you can put your everything into a game and still come out on the wrong end drives me, as I’ve been on a baseball team where we lost every single game in the season. Twice. To any other person this would be disheartening; they’d lose their drive to win and just never compete again. But I haven’t. I still want to win, and still take on hopeless causes just out of the belief, the faith that I can overcome.
Hence my bet with my friend Cassie. I was talking with her the other day about my last bet with Lucy (which I totally won!) and I asked her what she thought of the playlist. She said she liked most of it, but didn’t like the songs from the 70′s. This confused me, as absolutely none of the songs were from the 70′s. I then asked her what she meant by this, the songs all being from before or after the 70′s. She said, “Well, ok, but I just really don’t like any songs from the 70′s.”
This was ridiculous, and I told her so. How could you not like anything from the 70′s? The Band, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, fucking Led Zeppelin. It was patently insane, and I told her so. She then claimed she likes what she hears on our classic rock radio station, 100.7 The Bay. I told her that was fine, but there was so much stuff out there beyond the Top 40 station of Classic Rock; and yet, she stuck to her guns.
The bet was formulated quickly. I told her she was crazy to say she didn’t like anything from the ’70′s, and I could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt she was wrong in that claim. I offered to find 1 song per year that I think she will like, and it quickly became a thing. Here are the rules:
Pretty straightforward, right? We’ll begin with the year 1970 tomorrow, and good luck to us all.
This list is a bit of a departure for me in a couple places. The opening song, “One Thing Leads to Another,” is a great example of this. I’m not usually into the 80′s glam rock, but I saw the movie The House of the Devil the other day, and the scene where the main character is jumping and dancing around this creepy house really stuck with me, and I couldn’t get the song out of my head.
I’ve had a renaissance with Towson University’s radio station, WTMD, in the past week or two. Usually when I go back and forth from work, I listen to sports radio for two reasons: I’m a huge Ravens and Orioles fan, and the speakers in my car are totally blown out. (This happened after a particularly bad day at work when I just had to listen to “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” by Arcade Fire at 170182710 decibels.) One morning last week, I got disgusted listening to drunk idiots call into the sports station (only idiots call into sports radio stations, and only drunk idiots call into the sports station at 3 am on Saturday) and blindly stabbed at my radio presets, coming up with WTMD, and getting the wonderful track by an Irish band, Little Green Cars, playing “The John Wayne,” which I since have played for everyone and their mother because I think it’s so freaking cool.
Quickly following that song was “Saving Grace,” by Tom Petty. I’ve never really been a fan of Tom Petty – I’ve always found his music rather bland, and in some cases, downright bad. Yeah, I’m talking about “Free Fallin’.” Deal with it. But somehow that morning I connected with this song, and it had to go on the list.
A few other standouts: