Halloween, Redux

A repeat of an older Halloween playlist: spooky songs about ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and kittens.

“The Black Rider” – Tom Waits
“Halloween” – Sonic Youth
“Human Fly” – The Cramps
“Night Of The Living Dead” – The Misfits
“Dead” – Pixies
“Will We Be Scared?” – Thee Oh Sees
“Wolf Like Me” – TV On The Radio
“Same Ghost Every Night” – Wolf Parade
“Ghost In The Sky” – Sparklehorse
“Death To Everyone” – Bonnie “Prince” Billy
“Give Up The Ghost” – Radiohead
“The Witching Hour” – Philip Selway
“Ghost Ship In A Storm” – Jim O’Rourke
“Our Kitten Sees Ghosts” – Califone
“They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!!” – Sufjan Stevens
“Werewolf” – Cat Power
“We Only Come Out At Night” – Smashing Pumpkins
“Ghosts” – The Amazing
“Ghost” – Neutral Milk Hotel
“Death Valley ’69” – Sonic Youth
“The Fear” – Pulp


Autumn, Redux!

Here’s a repeat of a playlist from a few years back: Autumn, Redux!

The theme for today is autumn. The set starts with a trio of songs that are technically about the end of summer, the last waning days of warm afternoons and increasingly cool evenings before you head back to school. Then a bunch of songs that are either explicitly about autumn, or just sound particularly autumnal, such as the Nick Drake tunes. Other songs are about fog, wind, and rain – which California eagerly anticipates in this year of severe drought.

“I Know Where The Summer Goes” – Belle & Sebastian
“A Summer Song” – Chad & Jeremy
“Indian Summer” – Beat Happening
“Autumn Almanac” – The Kinks
“My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion” – The Flaming Lips
“Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground” – The White Stripes
“Rains On Me” – Tom Waits
“Autumn Sweater” – Yo La Tengo
“Autumn Music 1” – Max Richter
“Kicking Leaves” – The Pastels
“Autumn Leaves” – Vashti Bunyan
“Autumn Music 2” – Max Richter
“River Man” – Nick Drake
“Waltz #1” – Elliott Smith
“The Wind” – Cat Stevens
“Blowin’ In The Wind” – Low
“Marigan Child” – John White
“The Fog” – The Amazing
“M62 Song” – The Doves
“Come Wind Come Rain” – Vashti Bunyan
“Cello Song” – Nick Drake
“Faust Arp” – Radiohead
“So. Central Rain” – Grant-Lee Phillips

Truth And Lies

What is true? What is false? When do you trust someone? When do you believe them? These are national questions, lately. Here’s a musical answer:

“You Better Let That Liar Alone” — The Carter Family
“My Children Walk In Truth” — Johnny Cash
“Lies” — The Knickerbockers
“Liar, Liar” — The Castaways
“It’s Not True” — The Who
“La-La-La Lies” — The Who
“Don’t Lie To Me” — Big Star
“Violent Femmes” — Lies
“Lie To Me” — Tom Waits
“Liar” — Sex Pistols
“Liar” — Bikini Kill
“You Can Tell The Truth Now” — The Dutchess And The Duke
“Truth Doesn’t Make A Noise” — The White Stripes
“If It’s True” — Yo La Tengo
“No One Will Ever Love You” — The Magnetic Fields
“As Honest As A Liar Can Be” — Jeff Hanson
“Truth And Honesty” — Aretha Franklin*
“Love Is The Truth” — Jack White*
“A Mind Of Her Own” — Pedro The Lion*
“I Swear It’s True” — Weezer
“Do You Realize??” — The Flaming Lips

* by request


I don’t have kids, but my friends do, and the thing that surprised me most once they started popping out babies was the extent to which parenting choices are scrutinized and judged. Whether to have a home birth, whether to breastfeed, whether to let kids cry themselves out, how to discipline, etc. There are competing ideologies every step of the way, and I’ve witnessed parents judge others mercilessly. “Oh, you’re bottle feeding? Well, your kids are going to grow up to be emotionally stunted ax murderers. Congratulations.” I was not expecting this. I thought everyone would just get along. Perhaps rock and roll can offer helpful advice?

“Get A Job” — The Silhouettes
“Yakety Yak” — The Coasters
“The Kids Are Alright” — The Who
“Beat On The Brat” — The Ramones
“Just Like My Father” — The Violent Femmes
“My Son Calls Another Man Daddy” — Hank Williams
“I Had A Real Good Mother And Father” — Gillian Welch
“Poor Mum” — Nick Drake (sung by his mother)
“I Wish My Baby Was Born” — Tim Eriksen, Riley Baugus & Tim O’Brien
“Don’t Drop The Baby” — Low
“If Children Were Wishes” — Wye Oak
“Kid” — Pretenders*
“Child Is The Father Of Man” — The Beach Boys*
“To Find You” — Robert Deeble*
“Had A Dad” — Jane’s Addiction*
“Been A Son” — Nirvana
“Little Fat Baby” — Sparklehorse
“Mother” — John Lennon
“The Meaning Of Life” — Levi Fuller*
“Teach Your Children” — Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
“No Children” — The Mountain Goats

* by request

Crimes And Misdemeanors

In honor of the Mueller investigation and various other current events involving Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, I’m playing songs about judges, juries, law, and jail.

“I Got Stripes” — Johnny Cash
“Criminals” — Uncle Tupelo
“The Tijuana Jail” — The Kingston Trio
“The Laws Have Changed” — The New Pornographers
“Jail La La” — Dum Dum Girls
“Criminal” — Jean Jackets
“The Whole Of The Law” — Yo La Tengo
“Judge, Jury And Executioner” — Atoms For Peace
“Johnny 99” — Bruce Springsteen
“Henry Kissinger Is A War Criminal” — Virgin Of The Birds*
“Stupid Marriage” — The Specials*
“Olympia” — Dirty Face*
“Rude Boys Outa Jail” — Neville Staple AKA Judge Roughneck*
“It’s A Crime” — The Magnetic Fields
“Breakin’ The Law” — The New Pornographers

* by request

What’s In A Name Part II

“Mabel” — Beekeepr*
“Victor Bockris” — Virgin of the Birds*
“Candy-O” — The Cars*
“Tyrone (Live Version)” — Erykah Badu*
“John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” — Sufjan Stevens*
“Martha” — Tom Waits*
“Pablo Picasso” — The Modern Lovers*
“Glenn Tipton” — Sun Kil Moon*
“Wendell Gee” — R.E.M.
“Mildred Pierce” — Sonic Youth*
“Alison” — Elvis Costello
“Ollie McGee” — Richard Buckner*
“Frank Sinatra” — Cake
“Cath…” — Death Cab For Cutie
“Maybellene” — Chuck Berry
“Ana Maribel” — Hot Day At The Zoo
“Cath Carroll” — Unrest*
“Carrie Anne” — The Hollies

* by request

What’s In A Name?

This week and next I’m playing songs consisting of proper names. Harry Patch was the last surviving veteran of World War I in the UK. Stetson Kennedy infiltrated the KKK and shared their secret rituals with the writers of the Superman radio program. Eleanor Rigby was a lonely woman. Bo Diddley was Bo Diddley.

“Julie Ann Johnson” — Leadbelly
“Bo Diddley” — Bo Diddley
“Stetson Kennedy” — Billy Bragg & Wilco
“Barbara Ann” — The Beach Boys
“Eleanor Rigby” — The Beatles
“John Prine” — Low
“Georgia Lee” — Tom Waits
“Roman P” — Psychic TV
“Jonathan David” — Belle & Sebastian
“Tom Courtenay” — Yo La Tengo
“Harry Patch (In Memory Of)” — Radiohead
“Isobel” — Björk
“Pauline” — The Minders
“Valerie” — Amy Winehouse
“Jackie” — The New Pornographers
“Sylvia” — The Antlers*
“Johnny Ryall” — Beastie Boys*
“Emily Kane” — Art Brut*
“Henry Lee” — Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds feat. PJ Harvey
“Alta” — Ty Segall*
“Jessica” — The Allman Brothers Band*

* by request