I’ve been Wilco (The Album) the short shrift for a decade. It’s an excellent collection of songs and stands up as well as anything Wilco have put out. Tracks from it make up half the playlist. Bull Black Nova is probably my favourite.
Pearl Jam released Dance Of The Claiirvoyants in January. Pearl Jame are trying a new direction and style with this track. I listened to it a few times the day it came out and liked it. But I couldn’t even hum it now, so maybe tapping the heart icon was premature?
The rest of the top tracks are a hangover from sitting in the sun with random “radio” streams on in the background. Favourite among those is Holly by Aussie muso Hayley Mary.
Recently Stereogum posted a short article about members of System of A Down and Avenged Sevenfold covering Radiohead’s Street Spirit (Fade Out). I’m always up for a Radiohead cover so I bookmarked the page and finally watched it this evening and commented on the post:
This version is not for me but I was stoked to see that the artist painting a excellent portrait of Radiohead is Bill Sienkiewicz, one of my favourite comics artists ever. I don’t know why they were yelling at him in a container, though. That’s impolite.
In early December Spotify compiled my Top Songs of 2019. Leaving aside there is a whole bloody month to go, the results were a little surprising. Venus by Bananarama took the top spot, followed by Battlefords by Hawksley Workman. Tay-Tay’s Me! rounded out the top 3. I know my daughter and I listened to Me! a lot. I would have picked Battlefords for most played. But Bananarama? I suspect the list may not entirely be in order.
There’s some really great songs in the 100 best. Befor We Were Together by Margaret Glaspy is an airworm I was happy to entertain. The various pieces from Blizzard Entertainment games got me through some tough spreadsheets. The National’s I Am Easy To Find contributed a lot of songs.
Fucking Bananarama, though. I remember putting it on for the kids maybe once?
This month is mix of all-time favourites and new-to-me songs. No Doubt’s Don’t Speak, Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead Or Alive, and Biz Markie’s Just A Friend are singalong bangers. Get Me is probably my most played Dinosaur Jr song, thanks to it’s inclusion on the first The Trip compilation.
But the best track this month has to be 16 Words, a kindof protest song by Margo Guryan, who recorded the song at age 70. The lyrics are a repetition of a quote from George W. Bush asserting some bullshit about Saddam Hussein’s attempts to create weapons of mass destruction.
This playlist is mostly tracks I’ve very much liked in the past and it’s the first time I’ve told Spotify of my fondness.
Most of the tracks, too, were added while singing along to a Spotify radio playlist based on I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ by Scissor Sisters. Honestly, reader, I don’t think there’s a better seed song for a playlist. Every track is golden.
My favourite old track was Parables by Rebekah Higgs, an artist I found via an SXSW mp3 download probably a dozen years ago. I distinctly remember playing some new songs on the stereo in the other room and sorta dozing. When Parables came on I was kinda, sorta unsure if I was fully awake. Dream pop indeed.
There’s some new tracks from the new The Hold Steady album on there. A couple of tracks from The National’s excellent I Am Easy To Find. And a bunch of britpop and songs I’d dance to if I was the kind of person who found dancing fun.
I found The Hold Steady in late 2006, just after the release of their third album Boys and Girls In America. I was a new dad, it was a hot summer, and I spent many afternoons pushing a pram around the neighbourhood listening to Craig Finn sing about killer parties, whiskey & ginger, and shenanigans in the chillout tent. I dove into the back catalog and became a firm fan of their bar band meets beat poet vibe.
The later albums were pretty good rock albums but the storytelling didn’t grab me as much. Craig Finn released a few solo albums that seemed closer to the mark. I knew they’d released a new album recently but hadn’t taken the time to give it a solid listen.
After watching this performance for KEXP, that’s gonna change. Denver Haircut and You Did Good Kid seem like a return to the style that I came to know on sunny hills near my house. Thrashing Through The Passion is first up on the playlist tomorrow.
I use an IFTTT applet that adds song that I’ve saved on Spotify to a monthly playlist. In September I heart-ed 17 tracks.
If I had to pick the top three I’d have to go for SPINSTER CYCLE by Rosie Tucker (the lyrics), THE HYMN FOR CIGARETTES by Hefner (great repetition), and MILLION DOLLAR SECRET by Lucius (Nels Cline and the big choruses).