Some kind of solitude (Eclectic Playlist Series 6.03 – March 2019)


Each month I feel inclined to introduce the new playlist with yet another harangue about the benefit of diversity in music (and everywhere else!). I do try to resist the urge; the exhortation after all is to show, not tell. So, putting aside all my cultural and socio-political theorizing (executive summary: diversity is beneficial!) here we are, yet again: a 20-song playlist featuring music from six different decades of rock’n’roll, incorporating a good variety of genres and sub-genres, this time including classic rock, new wave pop, art punk, rocksteady, jazz fusion, singer/songwriter music, R&B, and various stripes of alternative and/or indie rock. You know: the usual suspects.

If you just happen to be arriving at one of these playlists for the first time, you might want to check out the landing page for the whole series, here, which not only explains a little of the underlying intention, but offers up a link to all previous EPS mixes, of which there are 62 now, including the new one below.

A few notes:

* Revisiting the wonderful “Somerville” from the Pernice Brothers convinces me I really need to investigate Joe Pernice’s back catalog–with which, I admit, I’m entirely unfamiliar. So much music!

* I suppose I couldn’t give Jules Shear the only word on the disintegration of his relationship with Aimee Mann back in the day. That’s apparently what “If She Knew What She Wants” was about, which was featured here last month. Mann in turn wrote pretty much a whole album about the break-up: ‘Til Tuesday’s last release, the quite excellent Everything’s Different Now. Featured here is the final track, and hardly the only one about Mr. Shear.

* Jenny Lewis is doing a fine Stevie Nicks imitation all of a sudden.

* According to reliable accounts, “Hey Bulldog” was the last song recorded by the Beatles as an honest-to-goodness group, with all contributing in the studio at the same time. And, as luck would have it, there was actually a film crew on the spot. For a good time, check it out on YouTube–this was them as they actually recorded it, not staged after the fact.

* Portishead seem to exist in their own separate musical world. Their last album, released in 2008, still sounds as if we haven’t caught up to what they’re doing.

* Ellen Foley had a bit of a moment in the late ’70s into the mid-’80s, not least because she was going out with Mick Jones of the Clash for some of that time. So: do you have any idea what the Clash did after recording Sandinista!? They played as Foley’s back-up band on Spirit of St. Louis. All four of them. What’s more, Strummer and Jones co-wrote six of the album’s 12 songs (including the extravagantly titled “The Death of the Psychoanalyst of Salvador Dali”). The LP has kind of gotten lost over the years, probably because it didn’t make much of an impact at the time in the first place–but it’s a fascinating and often entertaining artifact. In the end, Foley ended up better known either for dueting with Meat Loaf on the rococo classic “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (that’s her: “What’s it gonna be, boy?”) or for being in the cast of the hit comedy Night Court for a couple of years in the mid-’80s. She has at long resurfaced as a musician in the 2010s, releasing an album called About Time in 2014, and doing some touring since then.

Full playlist below the widget.

“Hey, St. Peter” – Flash and the Pan (Flash and the Pan, 1978)
“Future Me Hates Me” – The Beths (Future Me Hates Me, 2018)
“It Ain’t No Big Thing” – The Radiants (single, 1965)
“The Disappointed” – XTC (Nonsuch, 1992)
“Torchlight” – Ellen Foley (with Mick Jones) (Spirit of St. Louis, 1981)
“Somerville” – The Pernice Brothers (Live a Little, 2006)
“Twelve Thirty (Young Girls are Coming to the Canyon) – The Mamas & The Papas
     (The Papas & The Mamas, 1968)
“Ask the Angels” – Patti Smith Group (Radio Ethiopia, 1976)
“The Man Who Played God” – Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse (feat. Suzanne Vega)
      (Dark Night of the Soul, 2010)
“Cinnamon Girl” – Prince (Musicology, 2004)
“Right By Your Side” – Eurythmics (Touch, 1983)
“Baby Why” – The Cables (single, 1968)
“On The Inside” – Rosanne Cash (Interiors, 1990)
“Red Bull & Hennessy – Jenny Lewis (On the Line, 2019)
“Lovely Day” – Bill Withers (Menagerie, 1978)
“Magic Doors” – Portishead (Third, 2008)
“Pretend We Live Forever” – Chelan (Equal Under Pressure, 2015)
“Hey Bulldog” – The Beatles (Yellow Submarine, 1969)
“How Can You Give Up?” – ‘Til Tuesday (Everything’s Different Now, 1988)
“Beauty and the Beast” – Wayne Shorter (Native Dancer, 1974)

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