As you reach a certain age

Eclectic Playlist Series 2.08 – November 2015


Even within as curious and compelling a genre as Northern Soul (an odd, ex-post-facto, non-genre genre, truth be told; but a great one), “You Don’t Mean It” is a curiosity. Its origins are couched in contradictions if not outright mysteries, beginning with the simple fact that the singer, initially identified as Towanda Barnes, would later call herself Gloria, and pretty much disappear in any case. The recording itself, meanwhile, exudes such jittery energy as to sound warped and partially mistaken. The fact that it can lead us seamlessly into the acoustic stompiness of Carlene Carter’s Rockpile-fueled heyday tells us something about the profundity of what those Motown folks were up to for a blessed number of years (Northern Soul was founded upon nothing as much as an unmitigated worship of Motown castoffs). As for the seamless segue from Traffic’s self-titled semi-psychedelic 1968 album into a bravura reemergence in 2015 by the stately but beat-driven post-punk pioneers New Order, what that illustrates, clearly, is the aesthetic and emotional necessity of eclectic listening. (By the way, do yourself a monster favor and listen to the New Order song even if you don’t listen to the whole playlist. So good.) And yes: “October in the sky” I missed by a few days, but the closing song this month epitomizes the bittersweet joys of autumn with exquisite lyricism and melodicism, and on my Northern, soulful calendar it’s still autumn for a while yet, so drink it in and thanks for stopping by.

“Tayter County” – The Cavedogs (Joy Rides for Shut-Ins, 1990)
“Please Take Me Home” – The Bird and the Bee (Recreational Love, 2015)
“The Crook of My Good Arm” – Pale Young Gentlemen (Black Forest (Tra La La), 2008)
“The Story of a Rock and Roll Band” – Randy Newman (Born Again, 1979)
“When the Night Comes” – Jeff Lynne’s ELO (Alone in the Universe, 2015)
“You Don’t Mean It” – Towanda Barnes (single, 1967)
“Love is a 4-Letter Verb” – Carlene Carter (Blue Nun, 1980)
“Bothered” – Over the Rhine (Ohio, 2003)
“Don’t Change Your Plans” – Ben Folds Five (The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, 1999)
“Forty Thousand Headmen” – Traffic (Traffic, 1968)
“Nothing But a Fool” – New Order (Music Complete, 2015)
“Watch Your Step” – Anita Baker (Rapture, 1986)
“Survivor” – Cindy Bullens (Desire Wire, 1978)
“Somewhere in Between” – Kate Bush (Aerial, 2005)
“Bankrobber” – The Clash (single, 1980)
“Bud” – Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (Herb Alpert’s Ninth, 1967)
“Trouble” – Shawn Colvin (A Few Small Repairs, 1996)
“You Get What You Deserve” – Big Star (Radio City, 1974)
“Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” – Arcade Fire (The Suburbs, 2010)
“The Birds Are Leaving” – Boo Hewerdine (Thanksgiving, 1999)

3 thoughts on “As you reach a certain age”

  1. Absolutely LOVE this playlist! But Mixcloud’s unskippability is highly annoying. The first time I played it, my browser crashed near the middle of the playlist, and I had no way to resume it. I know there are licensing issues but still.

    Anyway, my main point is: great playlist! Thanks for sharing!


    1. Sebastián – Glad you enjoyed, and sorry about the Mixcloud issue. I’m not sure what is going on at your end but at my end, you can drag the large dot (the one that indicates your listening progress within the player) to the right and move it wherever you want it to go. Now then, you do have to guess regarding where you’re trying to land, but the track information that comes up as you move the dot will help you figure out where you are. Not ideal, and you can’t go backwards, but I do think you should be able to start up a playlist and advance forward.

      Now, obviously, were it a Spotify playlist, you could skip however and whenever but Spotify’s disadvantages are serious, from my point of view: first, they don’t have all the songs I end up wanting to use; second, no segues.

      Thanks in any case for pushing through the pain and listening anyway! I appreciate the kind words. ~J


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