December 17, 2014

149 Threatens Millions

  1. "YYZ" • A prog-rock instrumental, and as with so many instrumentals, the band (Rush*) struggled to name the song, so they used the airport code for Toronto?
  2. "West End Girls" • Pet Shop Boys*
  3. "Frank & Ava" • Suzanne Vega
  4. "If I Had A Boat" • Lyle Lovett*
  5. "Sussudio" • I only put this Phil Collins on this mix because of a wonderful pun my wife told this month.
  6. "The Boys Of Summer" • Don Henley
  7. "Dead And Gone" • The Black Keys
  8. "Weeds Or Wildflowers" • Poor Old Shine
  9. "Low" • R.E.M.
  10. "Dreams" • I recenly discovered two different covers of this Fleetwood Mac song, but I couldn't use the Killers version because it was too scary, so here's Whiskeytown! Believe it or not, I discovered this cover when I pressed pause on my TiVo: a character on the rom-sit-com A to Z had it on their playlist!
  11. "Heartbeat [remix]" • The Psychedelic Furs
  12. "Adult Education (Special Rock Mix)" • Daryl Hall & John Oates
  13. "Mad About You" • Sting
  14. "Mad" • Anthony Hamilton
  15. "Riding With The King" • Eric Clapton & B.B. King
  16. "Night Still Comes" • Neko Case
  17. "I Just Wanted To See You So Bad [Live]" • Lucinda Williams
  18. "I Saw Her Again Last Night" • The Mamas & The Papas
  19. "You Won't See Me" • The Beatles
  20. "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town" • One of the best rock concerts I've ever been to was recorded! Woot! This is Pearl Jam at the height of their powers and popularity, April 12, 1994 at the Orpheum, closing their set with my favorite song from the new album.

*Tracks 1, 2, & 4 from the "Karen scrounged from the Goodwill for me" Collection
Screenshot from the sitcom "A to Z" where I spotted the 'Whisketown' song.

December 15, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014!

I love creating playlists of Christmas music as much as I love creating playlists the other 11 months of the year.
The best Christmas playlist I ever heard was the three-hour Christmas special on WBLM in Portland, Maine. I was travelling on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day several times in the late 90s, and this special was very good company. Picture Meg Ryan at the beginning of You've Got Mail but more rockin; The special consisted of many of the "Christmas songs by rock bands" we hear so often in December, mixed together with pop-culture tidbits from our favorite TV shows and movies, and an ongoing news report from NORAD, tracking Santa's progress from the North Pole by radar.
"Horses horses horses..."
A year or two after I first heard that special, I was hired at WBLM as a DJ and producer, and I got to meet and thank the Production Director who created it (damnit I forget his name!) Thankfully for me, I managed to make a cassette copy of the whole three-hour special off his master tape...where are those cassettes?
Since then I've been creating my own Christmas playlist. It's not 3 hours long, but its in that same spirit. Unlike my other 150+ playlists on this blog, each time I create a new Christmas playlist, the song selection only evolves, I don't turn over the whole list for twenty new songs each time. Here's my playlist for 2014:

1.      "Sleigh Ride" Fun.
2.      "Valley Winter Song" Fountains Of Wayne
3.      "Jingle Bells" Ella Fitzgerald
4.      "The Evil Santa" Bill Murray & Gilda Radner*
5.      "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" U2
6.      "I'll Be Home For Christmas" Aimee Mann
7.      "Christmas Wrapping" The Waitresses
8.      "Rod Serling Explains Christmas" Christopher Guest*
9.      "Winter Wonderland" Ray Charles (from When Harry Met Sally)
10.   The Beatles Christmas Fan Club Record 1963
11.  "Hang Yourself Now" This mashup by DJ BC rearranges the lyrics of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" to very comedic effect: "Faithful friends who are dear to us...will be miles hang yourself now!"
12.  "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" Diahann Carroll
13.  "The Littlest Christmas Tree" Brian Doyle-Murray*
14.  "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
15. Michael BublĂ© & Shania Twain singing The Drifters arrangement of  "White Christmas" 
16.  "Christmas Time Is Here" Tony Bennett singing the song from the Charlie Brown Christmas special.
17.  "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" She & Him
18.   The Birth Of Santa? Produced by Nat Woodward**
19.  "All I Want For Christmas Is You" Idina Menzel
20.  "Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)" Elvis Presley
21.   Chrisssssmassss! Produced by Nat Woodward**
22.  "Wonderful Christmastime" Paul McCartney's original recording is to tinny and cheap, any cover has to improve on his boring arrangement. Thank you The Shins!
23.  "The Christmas Song" Paul McCartney
24.  "Auld Lang Syne" Guy Lombardo
25.  "Skating" Vince Guaraldi Trio
*Tracks 4, 8, and 13 are from the National Lampoon Radio Hour, an early 70s syndicated radio show/precursor to Saturday Night Live.
**Tracks 18 and 21 are radio "sweepers" I produced for a now-defunct radio station.