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Old 04-26-2021, 11:38 PM   #1
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Desert Island Mini - LP Island - Master List and Discussion Thread

Lady and gentlepeople, it's my honor to wreck this ship with you. Let the contents of this island age like a fine wine. Away we go, like a sail's force into the night. On to the listening!

Fine print: this thread is for general discussion about the tournament, rules, voting, etc. Specific comments on the lists themselves belong in the listening threads. Any running diaries go there. Also, disclaimer in the fine print... let's send good vibes all around, people. NO REFUNDS.

P.S. next to every link you'll find a second link with a REVIEWME tag. This will lead you to a google form to capture some thoughts, ideally during or after your listen of this list. That link is the same link for every list here: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6 - be a good sport, it's anonymous, so only fill it out once per list. All listeners are welcome to fill it out, even if you didn't submit a list. It's unofficial and designed for good vibes all around at the end!
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:39 PM   #2
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iron yuppie
a.k.a. iYup, iYupster, Iron & Yuppie, The Yuppie Puppy

TWO SONGS

Over the course of a few days last spring, I heard two songs in random situations that immediately resonated with me: “Voices Carry” and “It’s Obvious.” I built a playlist around them. Hope you enjoy it.

1. ’Til Tuesday - “Voices Carry” - Voices Carry (4:23)
2. A Flock of Seagulls - “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You) - Listen (5:30)
3. Eurythmics - “Here Comes the Rain Again” - Touch (4:54)
4. Visage - “Fade to Grey” - Visage (3:59)
5. Gary Numan - “Films” - The Pleasure Principle (4:09)
6. David Bowie - “Always Crashing in the Same Car” - Low (3:35)
7. Eno, Moebius, Roedelius - “The Shade” - After the Heat (3:11)
8. Cocteau Twins - “Lazy Calm” - Victorialand (6:34)
9. The Durutti Column - “Love No More” - Vini Reilly (2:47)
10. Felt - “Fortune” - Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty (3:31)
11. Young Marble Giants - “Credit in the Straight World” - Colossal Youth (2:29)
12. Au Pairs - “It’s Obvious” - Stepping out of Line: The Anthology (6:17)
13. The Raincoats - “Ooh Ooh La La La” - Moving (3:09)
14. Maximum Joy - “Silent Street / Silent Dub” - Silent Street / Silent Dub (7:53)
15. Laurie Anderson - “From the Air” - Big Science (4:33)
16. Peter Gabriel - “This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds)” - So (4:22)
17. The Cure - “The Walk” - Greatest Hits (3:31)
18. Depeche Mode - “Never Let Me Down Again (Tsangarides Mix)” - Never Let Me Down Again (4:22)

LINK: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6r...vCGqyspT5WjFxE
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total runtime: 1hr 19min



GirlsAloudFan
a.k.a. GAF, GAF Aloud Fan, A Loud Fan

SONGS I LISTENED TO IN THE LAST YEAR WHILE DRINKING COFFEE IN THE MORNING



1. John Barry Orchestra - "James Bond Theme" - Dr. No (1:48)
2. Slowdive - "Alison" - Souvlaki (3:51)
3. Drugstore - "El President" - The Best of Drugstore (2:51)
4. Pulp - "Like A Friend" - This Is Hardcore (4:31)
5. Ride - "Vapour Trails" - Nowhere (4:18)
6. Blur - "The Universal" - The Great Escape (3:59)
7. Elbow - "One Day Like This" - The Seldom Seen Kid (6:34)
8. Sonic Youth - "Tunic (Song For Karen)" - Goo (6:19)
9. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - "Love Burns" - B.R.M.C. (4:05)
10. Hayley Williams - "First Thing To Go" - Flowers For Vases/Descansos (2:59)
11. Longpigs - "Lost Myself" - The Sun Is Often Out (5:04)
12. The Strokes - "Ode to the Mets" - The New Abnormal (5:52)
13. The Human League - "Louise" - Hysteria (5:00)

LINK: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2p...5ac85246534f50
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total Runtime: 57:11



the tourist
a.k.a. Seattle's Best, on tourist, baby daddy

IDIOT SLOW DOWN: a mini desert island excursion



These are all songs I desperately love and many of them belong in the top 3 of each artist’s repertoire in my opinion. Each of these songs brings back vivid memories and nostalgia for different times and places, friends old and new and some long gone. Sometimes when life gets busy and maybe panic sets in we just need to slow down and enjoy those moments, those memories. I hope everyone finds at least something that resonates with them whether an old favorite or even more so if it’s something from one of the lesser-known artists.

Now I’ll add a few notes about some of the songs. Deep Sea Diver is an artist I’ve championed around these parts for awhile and I hope you all dig this one and look into them further - Jessica Dobson is one of my favorite modern guitarists. Noah Gundersen has come onto my radar in a big way over the last few years and AFTER ALL was the song I was introduced to him by - the main guitar riff reminds me of a slowed down version of Pride. Author’s Is It Far Or Is It Close is one of my top albums of its decade and I’ll probably include a song from it on every desert island we have for awhile, as long as we continue to have them. The American Frontier, for those that don’t know, is me and I thank each of you who have given my album a spin - and if you haven’t yet, you should because I think you’ll like it.

Credit to a good friend of mine for introducing me to many of these artists over the last six years (Jay Som, Deep Sea Diver, Noah Gundersen, Author, Alabama Shakes) and encouraging me to listen to more of certain artists I only knew casually (Jay Som, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kendrick Lamar). He will probably be playing drums for me live when things open back up, and likely will play some guitar and bass on my next record. I told him about desert island and almost suggested he join interference just to take part because he dug the concept, but I didn’t want to do that just in case it seemed self-serving since I know his taste in music reflects my own fairly closely. If we do this again and you all don’t mind, I might invite him to the next one.

I hope we keep doing these. Even if interference goes away. In the event that this is the final desert island, though, I decided to use my namesake at the heart of the order. I’ve been keeping it in my back pocket for that inevitable someday, and decided I shouldn’t wait any longer.

01. The Cure - “Push” - The Head On The Door (4:31)
02. Jay Som - “Baybee” - Everybody Works (3:45)
03. Deep Sea Diver - “Notice Me” - Secrets (4:36)
04. Unwed Sailor - “Moon Coin” - Heavy Age (3:26)
05. The American Frontier - “And When We Reach The End” - Memories (5:59)
06. Noah Gundersen - “AFTER ALL (EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME)” - WHITE NOISE (4:02)
07. Author - “Is It Far Or Is It Close” - Is It Far Or Is It Close (3:30)
08. The National - “Pink Rabbits” - Trouble Will Find Me (4:36)
09. Radiohead - “The Tourist” - OK Computer (5:26)
10. Arctic Monkeys - “Star Treatment” - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (5:54)
11. Alabama Shakes - “Gemini” - Sound & Color (6:35)
12. Childish Gambino - “Redbone” - Awaken, My Love! (5:26)
13. Bon Iver - “10 d E A T h b R E a s T” - 22, A Million (2:24)
14. HAIM - “Forever” - Days Are Gone (4:05)
15. Taylor Swift - “Style” - 1989 (3:51)
16. Carly Rae Jepsen - “Emotion” - Emotion (3:17)
17. Kendrick Lamar with SZA - “All The Stars” - Black Panther The Album Music From And Inspired By (3:52)
18. Lupe Fiasco - “All Black Everything” - Lasers (3:40)

LINK: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0q...Rxq-EaaC_6nCLA
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total Runtime: 79:00
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:39 PM   #3
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Cute Irish Bono
a.k.a. CIB, Everything's Bono in Texas

IS THIS PAIN FUTILE OR SOMETHING MORE?



It goes without saying 2021 is just as uncertain as 2020. Economic crisis. Political and social tensions and divisions. Oh, and this thing called COVID is still changing the very fabric of our society; so many deaths-and smiles and hands shakes are a custom of yesterday. But is there hope?

During this pandemic, I began to reevaluate my faith in God. Some things I uncovered weren’t pretty, but some discoveries were a catalyst for change in my life. And this ignited a new purpose for me. These times of isolation have been challenging, but they also gave me a lot of time to think.

This playlist features some “Christian” artists, but the songs themselves aren’t overtly Christian. My purpose in including them was to spotlight my soul-searching for this year. “Don’t Stop the Madness” by Tenth Avenue North says, “All I hear is what they're selling me/That God is love; He's isn't suffering/And what you need is a little faith in prosperity/But oh my God I know there's more than this/If You promise pain, it can't be meaningless/So make me poor if it's the price for freedom.” The part of “If You promise pain, it can’t be meaningless” really stood out to me and became the framework for this playlist and trying to make sense of pain and even denial about suffering in our society.

Other songs on here capture a feeling of isolation, anxiety, relational conflict, and depression. I tried to make this playlist more introspective than heavy on the instrumentation. I hope you enjoy.

1. Love and Rockets - Ball of Confusion (Single Version) - Sorted! The Best Of (3:33)
2. Tenth Avenue North - Don’t Stop the Madness - The Struggle (4:43)
3. Coldplay - 42 - Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends (3:58)
4. Oasis - Slide Away -Definitely Maybe (6:33)
5. Fort Frances - Another Life - The Front Page of the Modern Age (3:28)
6. Will Reagan - Your Love Is Better - Endless Years (5:21)
7. Local Natives - Garden Of Elysian - Violet Street (4:37)
8. Young the Giant - Superposition (Reprise) - Superposition (Reprise) (3:47)
9. Longwave - I Know It’s Coming Someday - The Strangest Things (4:16)
10. The Beatles - Taxman – Revolver (2:39)
11. Cat Stevens - Trouble - Mona Bone Jakon (2:48)
12. U2 - 13 (There is A Light) - Songs Of Experience (4:20)
13. Nick Waterhouse - Dead Room -Holly (2:52)
14. Josh Garrels - A Long Way – Home (5:01)
15. Blur - No Distance Left to Run – 13 (3:29)
16. The Airborne Toxic Event - Half Of Something Else - All At Once (4:39)
17. Delay Trees - The Atlantic – Readymade (7:12)

LINK: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...0QtS0FLfI1V4eY
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total Runtime: 69:56



LuckyNumber7
a.k.a. Lucky, LN7, Ellen Seven

POP SANDWICH



From the same people who brought you Bonocat on the iPod commercials, Pop Sandwich is filled with big hits - the fans will love it!

A little background - I used to make playlists once monthly for nearly six years straight. The rules were straight forward - ten to twenty songs, loosely broken up into a third of music I know, a third of music that's old and people generally know, and a third of music that's new(ish). In addition to that breakdown, some attempt to transition or phase between songs. On occasion, I'd also try to mimic concert structures. Consider this playlist to be me playing an old game. In all likelihood, I'll provide a longer explanations in conversation for those who care for additional info!

1. Britney Spears - Lucky - Oops!... I Did it Again (3:26)
2. Outkast - Dracula's Wedding (feat. Kelis) - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2:32)
3. Mashrou' Leila - Aoede - Ibn El Leil (4:37)
4. Sir Sly - You Haunt Me - You Haunt Me (3:42)
5. Gnarls Barkley - Just a Thought - St. Elsewhere (3:43)
6. LCD Soundsystem - Get Innocuous! - Sound of Silver (7:12)
7. Editors - Papillon - In This Light and on This Evening (5:24)
8. And One - Military Fashion Show - Bodypop (4:28)
9. New Order - Regret - Republic (4:10)
10. VHS Collection - Stranger - Stereo Hype (4:15)
11. The Naked and Famous - Blinding Lights - Blinding Lights (3:07)
12. Night Riots - Young Lore - Young Lore (4:18)
13. Kid Wave - All I Want - Gloom (3:50)
14. Joy Division - Atmosphere - TOTAL (4:12)
15. Phosphorescent - Song For Zula - Muchacho (6:10)
16. Cubicolor - Points Beyond - Hardly A Day, Hardly A Night (5:27)
17. FM Attack - A Million Miles Away - Astrowave (3:57)
18. Coldplay - A Spell a Rebel Yell - Violet Hill (2:48)
19. Issam Alnajjar - Turning Me Up (Hadal Ahbek) -Turning Me Up (Hadal Ahbek) (2:24)

LINK: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2d...T1aYdhtHMOi76w
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total Runtime: 79:00



Axver
a.k.a. Ax, Axver Rose, Real Nz Like

HINDSIGHT IS 2020

I know “the year that was” is not a particularly original concept, but I hope this list might introduce some of you to a few good tracks you missed. I’ve tried to give it a bit of structure beyond just being a mixtape of cool tunes. It opens with loud and intense songs from the realms of punk and shoegaze: heavy tunes to thrash out the heaviness of the plague year and all it entailed. It then works its way through some tunes that articulate depression and others that express affection—I had a strange year on both fronts. It fairly well covers the diversity of material I enjoyed last year and in preparing the list I had a handful of moments that drove home just how profoundly music affected and sustained me in 2020.

I should say that my original concept was to do a “top 20 for 2020”, featuring my top 20 songs on the one-per-artist rule, but although this is indeed 20 tracks, it is not quite my actual top 20. The following songs from my top 20 missed the cut:
  • "Stardew”, Purity Ring. This is my favourite song of 2020, but I used it in last year’s DI and wanted to avoid repeats. I was going to include “Pink Lightning” to give Purity Ring representation, but as much as I adore the song, its intro sucks. Nah.
  • “Ancestral Recall”, Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou. This is my second-favourite song of 2020, but I suspect that it will not be to most tastes on B&C. I have not shied away from heavy music in making this list, but “Ancestral Recall” is straight-up harsh-vocal sludge metal intensity. When it came to the crunch (i.e. my list was about 30 seconds over the limit), I ditched it for a shorter song that had been on the brink of inclusion and might be more to B&C’s satisfaction.
  • “Cascades”, Sleepmakeswaves. It too was in last year’s DI, so I put in my second-favourite from their album instead, “Zelda”.
  • “Sandcastles”, Cable Ties. Last year’s DI, again. I chose my second-favourite from the album, again.
  • “Folding”, Hum. It was too long, and the extended outro was a drag on the list, so I brought in the more concise “Step Into You”.

I name these so that you can put together a little “extended cut” if you enjoy what’s here. I really hope you do: these songs mean a great deal to me, some in ways that I cannot properly articulate. We are fortunate to live at a time when we can enjoy a wealth of music from around the globe even when we are stuck in our houses. I’ve missed live music dearly, but through music streaming and emptying my wallet every Bandcamp Friday, I’ve derived meaning and pleasure and still felt connected to the world at large. The album name of the last song on the playlist, The Long Now, describes the times very well.

Take care everyone, and I hope that wherever you are, you and yours are keeping well.

1. Cable Ties – “Tell Them Where to Go” – Far Enough (4:03)
2. I Like Trains – “Dig In” – Kompromat (3:26)
3. Stay Inside – “Monuments” – Viewing (3:21)
4. Hum – “Step Into You” – Inlet (4:04)
5. Phoxjaw – “Half House” – Royal Swan (3:55)
6. Peel Dream Magazine – “Pill” – Agitprop Alterna (3:19)
7. Soccer Mommy – “Circle the Drain” – Color Theory (4:40)
8. Egoism – “You You” – On Our Minds EP (2:53)
9. Katie Dey – “Darkness” – Mydata (3:01)
10. Kučka – “Ascension” – Ascension single (3:22)
11. Young Ejecta – “Call My Name” – Ride Lonesome (3:56)
12. Empathy Test – “Love Moves” – Monsters (4:06)
13. Mint Julep – “Some Feel Rain” – Some Feel Rain single (4:56)
14. Blondfire – “Marigold” – Marigold single (3:31)
15. Mild Orange – “First Taste” – Mild Orange (3:08)
16. Aleah – “The Tower” – Aleah (5:05)
17. Myrkur – “House Carpenter” – Folkesange (3:38)
18. Health – “Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0.” – Disco4 :: Part I (5:13)
19. Sleepmakeswaves – “Zelda” – These Are Not Your Dreams (5:31)
20. The Luxembourg Signal – “When All That We Hold Decays” – The Long Now (4:36)


LINK: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/24...Rjykxzpz8zsozQ
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total Runtime: 79:00
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:39 PM   #4
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gump
a.k.a. gump, The Artist Currently Known as gump, Gump

CONTRA O VENTO



tldr version: this is a playlist of amazing late 60s/70s Brazilian music, which emerged in the context of an anti-dictatorship struggle, and which the current political context in the country makes particularly relevant and prescient. If you have time, here are the details:

 

Brazil, 1964. A democratically elected President is removed from power in yet another self-proclaimed anti-Communist military coup (against a non-Communist administration, to be clear) supported by the US in Latin America (with plenty of local support, to be clear). There is a saying across the region: there has never been a coup in the US because there is no US Embassy in Washington, DC. Was that ever true in the 60s and 70s. The newly installed transitional regime promised progress - "order and progress", as written in the Brazilian flag - but expectedly devolved quickly into an authoritarian dictatorship. Censorship offices were set up to ban books and approve newspapers before they went to press. Congress suspended. Students, union leaders and other opponents of the regime pulled from classrooms and workplaces never to be found again. Those who could afford to, particularly in the political and artistic class, left the country, taking political asylum in Chile (that is, until Pinochet took over, in yet another US-sponsored coup) or in Europe. Political repression and state-sponsored violence became commonplace, particularly in the late 1960s, a period that became known as the "Lead Years". Lead as in the noun, not the verb. The chemical element, Pb, atomic number 82. The heavy metal that kills you.

It was exactly in this period that Brazil saw the emergence of what would turn out to be its most important artistic movement in a half-century (and since).

Tropicália was not born as protest music. Its intellectual peers were artists, not political leaders. Chief amongst its influences was 1920s São Paulo, a vibrant literary and artistic scene that pushed the boundaries of Modernism and avant-gardism in the continent. Their secular Bible, if you will, was the so-called Anthropophagic Manifesto. Drafted in 1928 by Oswald de Andrade, one of the great Brazilian Modernist poets, the Manifesto played with racist tropes about savages and cannibals in the tropics, unsurprisingly common among the enlightened Europeans who embarked on adventures to write about colonial South America. It reclaimed those terms, and argued that the greatest strength of Brazilian culture - and the only way to assert its independence - was the ability to "cannibalize" other cultures while making them its own. That would become Tropicália's motto 50 years later.

Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Os Mutantes, Rogério Duprat (a lesser know member of the movement, though possibly the most influential, a Billy Martin to virtually all of the Tropicalistas). Like everyone else in the late 1960s, they were listening to Revolver and Sgt Peppers, to Pet Sounds and Are You Experienced?, to Forever Changes and Odessey and Oracle. They read Sartre and Beat poetry, watched Truffaut and Godard. But their goal was to create something truly Brazilian. They admired how João Gilberto created a new genre, Bossa Nova, with Chega de Saudade (1959) and how Jorge Ben reinvented modern samba with Samba Esquema Novo (1963). They drew on the neglected musical traditions of the country, in particular Afro-Brazilian culture, often relegated to the periphery due to racism and the legacy of slavery. And so they went about cannibalizing all of those influences, foreign and domestic, creating something truly unique and Brazilian.

Distorted guitars juxtaposed with classical strings and heavenly vocal harmonies. Synth fills and syncopated Afro beats (no wonder David Byrne loved them). Samba and psychedelic rock. Deeply political messages presented interwoven in abstract lyricism (surely designed to confound the military censors). A counter-culture movement that was broadcast live on mass TV. Its paradoxes were entirely the point.

The initial reception to Tropicália wasn't kind. If you think Dylan at Newport was a rough crowd, here's a description of an early concert that involved some of its main characters:

"The booing and jeering was soon so loud that Veloso struggled to be heard over the din, and he again deliberately taunted the leftists [fact check: not really leftists] with his sexualised stage actions. Within a short time the performers were being pelted with fruit, vegetables, eggs and a rain of paper balls, and a section of the audience expressed their disapproval by standing up and turning their backs to the performers, prompting Os Mutantes to respond in kind by turning their backs on the audience. Infuriated by the students' reaction, Veloso stopped singing and launched into a furious improvised monologue [https://youtu.be/4xEz2uva_ZE?t=353], haranguing the students for their behaviour and denouncing what he saw as their cultural conservatism. He was then joined by Gilberto Gil, who came on stage to show his support for Veloso, and as the tumult reached a crescendo, Veloso announced he was withdrawing from the competition, and after deliberately finishing the song out of tune, the Tropicalistas defiantly walked offstage, arm-in-arm"

Of course this became the soundtrack to an anti-dictatorship movement. Their politics were often hidden in double entendres and subtleties, like in most good protest art. But make no mistake: you can hear the rebellion not only in the words, but in the music itself.

Tropicália as a movement was short-lived. By 1968, it was all but over. For a musical collective, a tightly bound group of artists, it was hard to continue when its two engines, Caetano and Gil, were in exile after being arrested by the military regime.* But Tropicalia left its imprint on a generation of musicians - who adopted their taste in experimentation and aspects of their revolutionary sound. You can hear its influence through a variety of genres and artists that emerged in the 1970s, many of whom were not part of the original movement. My list starts with the core of Tropicália but then moves outward to other musical currents in Brazil. Ultimately, they were all flowing from the same river, and speaking to the same socio-political context. Raul Seixas' baião-tinged psychedelic rock. The psych pop of Clube da Esquina, a collective of artists from Belo Horizonte. The radical Bossa-Nova infused folk of Chico Buarque. The second half of the playlist delves into the soul and funk sounds that emerged in particular in the Afro-Brazilian community, which combined those genres with psychedelia, samba and Bossa Nova.

* Caetano's albums in exile are a wonder. His lyricism translated quite well in English. This verse from A Little More Blue, the opening song in his , written in London, kills me every time:

One morning they came to take me to jail
I smiled at them and said "alright"
But alone in that same night
I cried and cried again
But today, but today, but today, I don't know why
I feel a little more blue than then


This is Brazil's past, but also its present. Today, thankfully we do not see activists disappearing after encounters with the army intelligence services. But as I write this, on 1 April, the anniversary of the military coup, I see the Vice-President of the country, a former General, tweeting about how, 57 years ago, "the Brazilian people, with support from the armed forces, prevented the Communist Movement from setting its flag in the country". I see the latest number of daily COVID-19 deaths, 3,673 today alone, a quarter of those in the world, a tragedy made possible certainly by the destructiveness of this virus, but mostly by the incompetence, inhumanity and viciousness of a buffoon of a man, a proud ignoramus, a disgrace of a president with only one notable moment in an utterly unremarkable career as a congressman: using his five seconds of fame on a roll call impeachment vote in 2016 to publicly praise the man who tortured the woman whom he was voting to remove from office. The 1960s are now.

Amongst foreign audiences who appreciate the music but not necessarily the background, there is a general sense that Tropicália and Brazilian psych-pop are sunny music. And I can understand that: it's bright, it's comforting, it's sexy. Heck, I enjoy it on sunny days. But make no mistake: underneath the beauty is a dark current, an effort to make sense of the inexplicable, to cope with suffering, to resist the effort to silence us. And that task, sadly, is not finished.


A rundown of the tracks

 

Módulo Lunar (Lunar Module): The opening track comes from a forgotten gem, Os Brazões' self-titled debut (and their only record). They were known mostly as a studio band for Gal Costa and Tom Zé, but this record is Tropicália in a bottle: the blend of styles (this is like three songs in one), experimentation, psychedelia all coming together.

Alegria, Alegria (Joy, Joy): One of my top 10 songs of all time, by my favorite Brazilian lyricist. Don’t let Caetano's angelic voice fool you. Despite its mostly gentle pace, this song packs an emotional punch. It became an anti-dictatorship hymn in Brazil, an ode to freedom, even if the lyrics are not directly political. It draws heavily on pop art (as the album cover hints at), with references to Coca Cola, Brigitte Bardot, shotguns, guerrillas, presidents and spaceships in the span of a few lines. The title of this playlist comes from the first verse of this song - "walking against the wind, no handkerchief no ID", supremely lyrical in Portuguese (translations unfortunately don't do this song justice).

Não identificado (Unidentified): The queen of Tropicália, Gal Costa. I avoided using the gorgeous Baby, a Caetano composition that Gal's heavenly delivery turned mainstream, possibly the most popular song of that period (my favorite version, though, is not Gal's, but the one included in the Mutantes' debut, sung by Rita Lee, with the psychedelic influences dialed to 200%). That said, "Não identificado" may be Gal's best song. It's the opener to her immaculate solo debut, one of the greatest albums in Brazilian music. The smooth transition from the distortion to the synth line to the strings and then her voice kicking in gets me every damn time. One of my favorite love songs.

Ando Meio Desligado (I've Been Kind of Disconnected): Os Mutantes are the most important rock band in Brazil, so picking a song from their vast catalog was pretty hard. I settled into a song that is more representative of their Tropicália sound, before they went into harder rock and more experimental directions. It also has an amazing solo at the end. Rita Lee, who has lead vocals here, went on to quit the band a couple of years later and enjoy a tremendously successful solo career that included a couple of excellent glam rock albums. Personal story: she was my dad's classmate in primary school, and her artistic aura was already visible in the couple of photos that survived from the yearbook.

The next couple of songs gets us into the Psych Rock/Folk current that was really all over that period, and though they often don't have the readily apparent Tropicália sound, intellectually I can't dissociate them from that movement. Secos & Molhados would eventually adopt more of a Glam sound (they hinted at it already early on, particularly in their androginous aesthetics and in Ney Matogrosso's high-pitched vocals, with purposefully fluid and playful gender identities). This song comes from their earlier, predominantly psych period. "Sangue Latino" (Latin Blood) speaks to the violence caused in Latin American soil by the European colonizers, while exulting the resilience of those who survived. It was obviously also speaking to that particular era of authoritarianism in Brazil, and connecting the local struggle with that faced by some of its neighbors. It contains some great lyrics: "My latin blood, my captive soul / I breached treaties, I betrayed rites / I broke the lance, I threw into the nothingness a cry – a release". This is followed by Raul Seixas, one of the great singer-songwriters in the country, with one of his most popular songs, Metamorfose Ambulante ["Walking Metamorphosis"]. As others in this list, he is known for blending regional musical styles (in his case, from the state of Bahia in the northeast) with foreign rock. His sound here makes me think of Woodstock and the 1960s counter-culture. Seixas had a close artistic partnership with writer Paulo Coelho, who co-penned many of his lyrics (surely bringing in some mysticism to the work).

The stretch from Tom Zé to Lô Borges explores the Brazilian Psych Folk tradition. Tom Zé is one of the most idiosyncratic Brazilian artists, who has almost as many styles as he has records. This song is not as experimental as most of his work, and definitely not representative of his oeuvre, but (i) I like it and (ii) it fits well here. The next four songs all come from different musicians associated in some way to the Clube da Esquina collective, a group of musicians from Belo Horizonte (Esquina means intersection, they are named literally after the intersection of two streets in the neighborhood where they met and played). They are a different group of musicians than those in the Tropicália movement, but share a number of intellectual affinities. Their music was just as revolutionary, and the group produced perhaps the most acclaimed Brazilian record of all time, the self-titled "Clube da Esquina" (I purposefully avoided songs from that album as it is so popular, but please check if out if you haven't). Milton Nascimento went on to become the most recognized figure of this group, recording albums with Wayne Shorter, winning Grammys, etc [personal note: one of my best friends is also good friends with him, and 20 years ago I spent an evening chatting with him after seeing him in concert, in a memorable evening that I just wish I was more mature/fluent in music at the time to enjoy even more].

Chico Buarque's Deus Lhe Pague [God Bless You] marks a transition of sorts in the playlist. Chico worked mostly on the Bossa Nova/Samba tradition, and was often more revolutionary in his lyrics than in his sound. His father was perhaps the most important Brazilian sociologist, and Chico instills a certain intellectual cache to his work (he is also a novelist). His best album, Construção, recorded after he spent almost two years in Italy in political asylum, is nothing if not revolutionary, including in the music. The title track is a tour de force. Deus Lhe Pague is not far behind. It is ferocious, its angry pulse matched by some of the most direct anti-dictatorship lyrics [https://lyricstranslate.com/en/deus-...ngtranslation] in this playlist: "For the scaffoldings, all edges, from which we have to fall / God bless you"

The second half of the playlist starts with Nara Leão's Opinião [Opinion], and the sound will be markedly different from the first part: heavier emphasis on rhythms (samba and bossa nova), and later on Afro-Brazilian traditions and soul. Opinião is as fierce as any song here ["They can arrest me, they can beat me up / I won't change my opinion"], and it's the oldest song in the playlist, recorded right as the military took over. With Elis Regina's "O bêbado e o equilibrista" [The drunkard and the tightrope walker], you see a bit of hope about the post-dictatorship world, a celebration of Brazil's revival and the imminent demise of the dictatorship. Elis' song (written by Aldir Blanc and João Bosco) is about the amnesty law, and the imminent return of those who were abroad in exile. The imagery in the lyrics takes my breath away:

"Hope
Performs on the tightrope clutching a parasol
and every step of the way
might mean a nasty fall.
Bad luck!
The balancing acts of hope know
that every artist’s show
must go on."

The next several songs here draw on Afro-Brazilian culture, mostly from Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. The lyrics are not as openly political or directed at the military regime. Rather, the politics are in celebrating traditionally marginalized black culture. You can notice this in the titles. Luiz Melodia's album is called "Black Pearl"; Os Tincoãs' can me translated as "The Afrochants of the Tincoãs", we have a "Banda Black Rio", Novos Baianos are identified by their home state of Bahia, a poor state whose inhabitants - many black - were discriminated in southern, white Brazil. Erasmo Carlos' De Noite na Cama has a berimbau - an African single string percussive instrument, know for its role in capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial arts/dance [side note: this album has an interesting story: Erasmo Carlos used to be part of a rival movement to Tropicália, known as Jovem Guarda, which was generally dismissed as too poppy and unambitious musically or politically. He found a new record deal when Jovem Guarda was dying out, which gave him more independence. He then hired Rogério Duprat, the famous Tropicália producer, called a bunch of musicians from bands like Os Mutantes and others, and recorded this Psych gem, his best album].

This is really all a lead-up to Jorge Ben's Taj Mahal, from his groundbreaking album, Africa Brazil. This is when Jorge Ben went fully electric, after a series of wonderful, mostly acoustic albums [personal note: he is my favorite Brazilian live performer, full of energy, known for his incredible live shows. I saw him once in Olinda, next to Recife, during Carnival in 2000, and still recall that show]. It's an incredibly important album in Brazilian music, and yet it doesn't sound "important", but just plain fun.

Gilberto Gil - Cérebro Eletrônico (Electronic Brain) - We are back at the heart of Tropicália. Gil, Caetano's artistic companion, could not be more different. Whereas Caetano tended to be more introspective and melancholy, Gil is as joyful as they come, even when he is dealing in sad themes (Aquele Abraço, his farewell song before leaving to seek asylum abroad, is a good example). I deliberately placed his song together with Jorge Ben's, rather than at the early portion of the list, because they are spiritual brothers in "joie de vivre" (and recorded a great album together - Ogum, Xangô - the year before the release of Africa Brasil). Cérebro Eletrônico has some of my favorite guitar work from that whole period, and just such fantastic production all around.

The great Tim Maia, Brazil's foremost soul singer, follows with one of his psych laden songs, a mood piece. He was kind of confusing during this period, recording a bunch of songs that proselytized for a cult he had joined, but it's impossible not to be drawn by his voice and charisma.

We end on a quintessential Tropicália song, Tom Zé's Parque Industrial (Industrial Park). This is a satire about the notion of progress - progress as promised by the military men in power, who wanted to replace what they saw as a backwards version of Brazil with an industrialized and more urban country, like a Robert Moses on steroids (they literally built a highway crossing the Amazon Forest), with little regard to what was destroyed in the process. Tom Zé's lyrics make me think of Don Draper selling an ad campaign to a witless client. This version is not the original, from Zé's wonderful record Grande Liquidação, but a different recording contained in the Tropicália compilation Panis et Circensis. It brings many of this playlist's heroes together - Caetano, Gil, Gal, Os Mutantes - each with a different verse, reflecting the truly collective aspect of the movement. As a closer, I tried to reimagine this song as a statement: true progress was not new roads, airports or factories, but the end of a regime who killed to sell a lie. They lost. And they will lose again.

Fin.


1. Os Brazões - "Módulo Lunar" - Os Brazões (4:52)
2. Caetano Veloso - "Alegria, Alegria" - Caetano Veloso (2:48)
3. Gal Costa - "Não Identificado" - Gal Costa (3:18)
4. Os Mutantes - "Ando Meio Desligado" - A Divina Comédia ou Ando Meio Desligado (4:46)
5. Secos & Molhados - "Sangue Latino" - A volta de Secos & Molhados (2:08)
6. Raul Seixas - "Metamorfose Ambulante" - Krig-Ha, Bandolo (3:51)
7. Tom Zé - "Qualquer Bobagem" - Tom Zé (2:52)
8. Arthur Verocai - "Na boca do sol" - Arthur Verocai (3:00)
9. Milton Nascimento - "Fé Cega, Faca Amolada" - Minas (4:38)
10. Nelson Angelo e Joyce - "Vivo ou Morto" - Nelson Angelo e Joyce (2:23)
11. Lô Borges - "Aos Barões" - Lô Borges (2:32)
12. Chico Buarque - "Deus Lhe Pague" - Construção (3:19)
13. Nara Leão - "Opinião" - Opinião de Nara (2:32)
14. Elis Regina - "O bêbado e o equilibrista" - Essa Mulher (3:50)
15. Luiz Melodia - "Vale quanto pesa" - Pérola Negra (3:11)
16. Os Tincoãs - "Dora" - O Africanto dos Tincoãs (2:40)
17. Novos Baianos - "Mistério do Planeta" - Acabou Chorare (3:38)
18. Erasmo Carlos - "De Noite na Cama" - Carlos, Erasmo (3:17)
19. Jorge Ben Jor - "Taj Mahal" - África Brasil (3:07)
20. Gilberto Gil - "Cérebro Eletrônico" - Gilberto Gil (1969) (3:34)
21. D'Angelo - "Curto de Véu e Grinalda" - D'angelo (2:38)
22. Banda Black Rio - "Maria fumaça" - Maria Fumaça (2:25)
23. Tim Maia - "Ela Partiu" - Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia (4:16)
24. Multiple artists - "Parque Industrial" - Tropicália ou Panis et Circensis (3:17)

LINK: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/26...Rz2RY5Awd8EXfQ
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total Runtime: 1 hr 18 min



LemonMelon
a.k.a. LeMel, MelonLemon, Le Melón

IT'S ALL TOO BEAUTIFUL



It's been one year since Interference embarked to Quarantine Island for its 11th main installment of Desert Island. If you are still around for this mini version, I want to say how happy I am for that and that I am able to join you once again. It has been a brutally challenging year for health, economics, politics and society at large, but we made it. You are stronger than you know and have so much to offer the world.

The following 79 minutes of escapist pop, psychedelia and jazz was compiled as a response to the light America sees at the end of its own long, dark tunnel, but it pulls from the outside world, featuring a number of tracks sung in French and Portuguese. While I, as an American, can be grateful for my country's brightening prospects with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's also important to remember that we share of each other's suffering and triumph. We are in an ongoing global fight.

The music I am bringing to you is joyous, buoyant and colorful, but much of it was created during times of great sociopolitical unrest. These musicians did not forget pressing matters, but responded to them the best way they knew how. Do not forget the ongoing pain of others; spend each day mindful of reality and consider how you can help. Always to give to others from the surplus that you've been given. The world is a cruel place; if we aren't helping each other, the systems set in place certainly will not either.

As you listen to this playlist, please appreciate the gift of music that we share with one another. It eases our misery and brings us joy. It's all too beautiful.

1. Emitt Rhodes - "Fresh As a Daisy" - Emitt Rhodes (2:51)
2. The Left Banke - "She May Call You Up Tonight" - Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina (2:21)
3. Michel Polnareff - "L'amour avec toi" - Love Me Please Love Me (3:07)
4. The Hollies - "Carrie-Anne" - Evolution (2:55)
5. Small Faces - "Itchycoo Park" - There Are But Four Small Faces (2:51)
6. The Millennium - It's You - Begin (3:21)
7. The Cowsills - "The Rain, the Park & Other Things" - The Cowsills (3:04)
8. Sagittarius - "My World Fell Down" - Present Tense (2:54)
9. The Zombies - "Maybe After He's Gone" - Odessey and Oracle (2:33)
10. The Mamas & the Papas - "Monday, Monday" - If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears (3:28)
11. Stone Poneys - "Different Drum" - Evergreen, Vol. 2 (2:39)
12. Françoise Hardy - "Comment te dire adieu" - Comment te dire adieu (2:28)
13. The Association - "Windy" - Insight Out (2:54)
14. The Lovin' Spoonful - "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice" - Daydream (2:26)
15. The Free Design - "Kites Are Fun" - Kites Are Fun (2:42)
16. Margo Guryan - "Sun" - Take a Picture (2:36)
17. Serge Gainsbourg - "Bonnie & Clyde" - Initials B.B.
18. Brigitte Fontaine - "Il Pleut" - Brigitte Fontaine est...? (2:35)
19. Scott Walker - "On Your Own Again" - Scott 4 (1:44)
20. Lô Borges - "Homem Da Rua" - Lô Borges (2:00)
21. Milton Nascimento - "Tudo que você podia ser" - Clube Da Esquina (2:57)
22. Jorge Ben - "Oba, lá vem ela" - Força Bruta (4:12)
23. Vinicius de Moraes, Maria Creuza & Toquinho - "Lamento No Morro" - La Fusa (2:31)
24. Elis Regina & Antônio Carlos Jobim - "Águas de março" - Elis & Tom (3:34)
25. Stan Getz & João Gilberto - "Só danço samba" - Getz/Gilberto (3:45)
26. Novos Baianos - "Preta pretinha (Reprise)" - Acabou Chorare (3:22)
27. Gal Costa - "Baby" - Gal Costa (3:32)

LINK: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6k...a7c435dcec4d40
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total Runtime: 79:38



Joey788
a.k.a. Joey, Because JoeyNumber788, cobbler's pet roo

KEEP GOING



For this playlist, I focused on creating a vibe that would evolve over the course of its runtime, choosing
artists I’ve never used before in Desert Island, with a couple of exceptions. But as we start to come out
of one of the most challenging periods in our lifetimes, the anxiety, anger, chaos and sadness of the past
year heavily influenced my choices. While I wouldn’t call this an explicit pandemic or 2020 playlist, it
does reflect the moods and struggles of recent times, ending on a note of resilience as we hopefully
start to recover and rejuvenate. Even in the worst moments, keep going.

1. The Staves - “Tired as Fuck” – Tired as Fuck/Train Tracks (3:37)
2. Lande Hekt – “80 Days of Rain” – Going to Hell (3:41)
3. Long Neck – “Milky Way” – Will This Do? (3:47)
4. Wolf Alice – “Sky Musings” – Visions of a Life (2:58)
5. The Cure – “M” – Seventeen Seconds (3:04)
6. EMA – “I Wanna Destroy” – Exile in the Outer Ring (3:07)
7. Algiers – “Void” – There Is No Year (2:57)
8. Foals – “Providence” – Holy Fire (4:08)
9. Steven Wilson – “Abandoner” – Insurgentes (4:48)
10. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – “LIFE ON MARS?” – Watchmen: Volume 3 (Music from the HBO
Series) (2:54)
11. FKA twigs – “home with you” – MAGDALENE (3:45)
12. Christine and the Queens – “People, I’ve Been Sad” – La vita nuova (4:21)
13. Lorde – “Supercut” – Melodrama (4:38)
14. Depeche Mode – “Waiting for the Night” – Violator (6:07)
15. Sufjan Stevens – “Tell Me You Love Me” – The Ascension (4:22)
16. Talking Heads – “Road to Nowhere” – Little Creatures (4:19)
17. This Is the Kit – “Keep Going” – Off Off On (6:39)

LINK: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5j...Ri2hHwIjuu30OA
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total Runtime: 1:09:12
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:39 PM   #5
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namkcuR
a.k.a. ???, currNam, Rucknam

UNPLUGGED ISLAND



 
Ever since being exposed to MTV Unplugged(still the best thing MTV ever did imo) - which premiered in 1989 but didn't get super-popular until 30 years ago in 1991 when Paul McCartney released the first MTV Unplugged album - in my childhood, I have loved acoustic/unplugged music. With that in mind, I have made a list that is entirely(well, 98% anyway, there are the tiniest bit of electric flourishes here and there) acoustic in nature. I feel like this kind of music has an intimacy to it, a purity, and an emotional immediacy to it that is just very fulfilling when done right. I think there's also a timelessness to it. There are songs written in seven different decades on this list, but with every song either minimally produced in its original form, or stripped of its production in subsequent form, it would be more difficult to tell which song is from which decade if you didn't already know better.

And I can safely say that, given the mini nature of this DI, this was the most difficult time I've ever had cutting a list down to the appropriate time constraints. So many great tracks that didn't make the cut. One of my main guiding lights when making decisions about what to cut was 'is this too obvious?'. I just didn't want to have a bunch of stuff that you've all heard a million times(or if I did include a song you've heard a lot, I wanted it to at least be somewhat fresh in the acoustic context). Like, there's probably a bunch of early Dylan tracks that would've been right at home, but the biggest contenders are songs you've all heard so many times. Even more so for the Beatles, as they're one of the most beloved bands around here(there, and everywhere). I even had GnR's "Patience" on the list for a long time, but it's such a standard and I needed the six minutes, so I had to cut it. I only used one track from an actual MTV Unplugged album, dispensing with the others I was considering; Nirvana and Alice In Chains' Unplugged albums are deservedly legendary and I figure most if not all of you are familiar with them, so those tracks didn't make it either.

Anyway, enough about what didn't make it. I'm going to just write a little paragraph about each track I've selected to offer my insights. My hope is that some of these tracks make you see a song, or even an artist, in a way that maybe you hadn't before(I know this won't be the case with all of them, but maybe some of them). I'm sure none of you were expecting to see a DI list with Kiss, Bon Jovi, and Sammy Hagar on it, but here we are, and I stand by my choices.

---

I always wanted to have a Zeppelin track on here, as I've always absolutely loved their exploration of their more acoustic/exotic side on III, IV, and even Physical Graffiti. Those albums are peak Zeppelin imo. I really wanted to make a list without any tracks that anyone has used in a DI before(and I went back through all the old DIs to make sure), and classics like "Tangerine", "That's The Way", "Going To California", and "Bron Yr Aur" have all been used before. So I was deciding between "Friends" and "Battle Of Evermore"(and an obscure acoustic instrumental cover of "Kashmir"). I went with Evermore, because I think it's a beautiful and under-appreciated Zeppelin track. I had to use the shorter instrumental version from the deluxe edition bonus disc, because I just didn't have room for the original. But I think it's an excellent opener for this list, because the imo hypnotic guitar/mandolin work here really does a great job of setting the mood and creating the atmosphere for the list. And it segues into the next track seamlessly.

---

GAF used "Friend Of The Devil" in its original form on one of his lists years ago; the song was originally played at a pretty fast pace, but Jerry Garcia at some point later in the 70s heard someone do a much slower cover of it, and he loved it so much that he and the Grateful Dead started playing it like that at their live gigs. I grew up listening to their "Dead Set" live album, which has a fantastic slow(but not acoustic) performance of the song on it. In 1991, Garcia and his longtime friend David Grisman recorded an acoustic album, and one of the songs they did was this slower "Friend Of The Devil". I love this recording - it's just so chill and mellow and soulful, and the guitar work is so good. It was recorded only four years before Garcia's early passing. Artists who are gone became a subtheme of this list as it went on.

---

Dave Matthews Band does not have a big fanbase here(though I know Ashley is or was a fan), and I know they take a lot of shit despite their massive popularity - whether it's because of his voice or the attitude of their fans or whatever, I don't know. I do like them quite a bit, I think they're phenomenally talented musicians. That said, for me, "Crush" has always been their greatest track, and honestly I think it's one of the great love songs of the last 25 years. I nearly put the studio version on my DI list last year, but I just couldn't find the room for it. This, the first in a series of four live tracks, is an acoustic performance by Matthews and DMB lead guitarist Tim Reynolds, and it's so freaking good. Reynolds in particular turns in some of the best guitar work on this whole list. (Mixing live material with studio material can be tricky, but there's minimal crowd noise at the beginning of this track, so the transition is pretty smooth.)

---

For me, there are two stand-out tracks on Bowie's 2003 "Reality" album: "Bring Me The Disco King", and this semi-acoustic gem "Days". It's a fairly simple song, both musically and lyrically, but I think it conveys so much emotionally despite this. This is a fully-acoustic live performance - a "digital bonus track" from 2010's "A Reality Tour", his last live album released in his lifetime, documenting his final tour in 2003-04. There is something poignant about hearing him sing about "all the days of my life" in such a musically naked setting on his last tour.

---

Chris Cornell was - it still hurts to say was - one of the greatest rock vocalists of his generation, maybe of any generation. Later in his career, he became a fairly prolific acoustic artist, even doing a whole acoustic tour on his own, and recently a posthumous album of acoustic covers was released. He has a bunch of great acoustic tracks, and I had a really hard time picking one - it came down to the wire - but ultimately, the others that were in consideration just didn't fit for one reason(too long) or another(segue trouble), so I ended up selecting his performance of "Like A Stone", live from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto, off his Songbook live album. "Like A Stone" was the second single from the first Audioslave album, and it holds up in this powerful, completely stripped down solo acoustic performance.

---

There are only a handful of Kiss songs I would listen to on purpose. Their cover of "God Gave Rock'N'Roll To You" from the "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" soundtrack is among them, because there's a lot of nostalgia attached to it for me because of the movie. But their best song by far imo is "Beth", the 1976 ballad penned and sung by drummer Peter Criss(which maybe explains why it's so atypical of the band). This is the only track on this list I've taken from an actual MTV Unplugged album, and the significance requires some context.

Kiss's OG makeup era was from 1973-83. In 1983, with founding members Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley gone, they ditched the makeup and commenced their "unmasked era", which went until 1995. They had some success early on in this era with singles like "Lick It Up", but by the early/mid 90s, they had, like many other bands of their ilk, fallen on hard times with the rise of grunge and alternative rock. The band were invited to do an Unplugged in the fall of 1995, and Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons secretly invited Criss and Frehley to join them for a few songs at the end of the gig, one of which was "Beth". So in this performance of "Beth" you're hearing the first time the four original members had played together publicly in 16 years. The mini-set with the OG lineup was so well-received, that less than seven months later, that OG lineup was on stage at the Grammys, in full make-up, announcing a reunion tour to start that summer, which was the start of the band just milking their brand for all it was worth for the last 20+ years. So this "Unplugged" gig was pretty much the last thing they did unmasked and the last thing they did before going into "milk it" mode.

I love this performance of "Beth". The song has a classic, beautiful melody, and I love the way Frehley's lead guitar, Stanley's rhythm guitar, and Simmons' bass interact with each other in this rendition. Frehley has a great solo too. Also, you can't see it unless you watch the video, but it's kind of endearing how enthusiastic Criss is to be singing his song with the band again. It's just this rare moment for Kiss where there's no makeup, no pyrotechnics, no over-the-top theatrics, but just four guys sitting with their instruments playing a classic song. It's a window into Kiss being an actual band instead of a cartoon.

---

"Song For The Asking" is a Simon & Garfunkel track that I feel doesn't get enough recognition. It's one of the most beautiful songs Paul Simon wrote for the duo, and that's saying something. Garfunkel has even cited it as his favorite. Also, the crowd noise at the beginning made it ideal for transitioning out of the four-song run of live material and back into studio material.

---

"Kyoto" was a standout on Phoebe Bridgers' "Punisher" album, but now I almost can't listen to the album version anymore in light of this Spotify-exclusive mostly-acoustic rendition of the song. Jackson Brown is featured, contributing gorgeous vocal harmonies. I feel Bridgers' vocals and melodies more acutely when contrasted against this sparse instrumentation. This is such a great version.

---

"No Code" never got as much love as other Pearl Jam albums around it, but I've been on record for years that it's one of my favorites. This is the second straight DI where I'm including a track from it("In My Tree" made the last one). As far as I'm concerned, "Off He Goes" is one of the best songs Eddie Vedder and the band ever wrote. He's processing his newfound fame and difficulty relating to his old friends, and he's doing so in an unguarded, musically compelling way. I believe there are some flourishes here and there of electric guitar in this song, but it sounds like 95% acoustic, so I'm counting it.

---

"Stranger Things Have Happened" is an acoustic deep cut from the Foos' 2007 album "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace". I think it's one of the most beautiful tracks Dave Grohl ever wrote, but relatively few outside of their hardcore fanbase know about it, and the band has never played it live. Great melody and vocal take, and the guitar soloing at the end is a special highlight, with Grohl and Chris Shiflett going at it. Happy to share this one.

---

Obviously Bon Jovi is not very popular around here, but I would remind everyone of JBJ and Richie Sambora going on the MTV VMAs in 1989 and doing Livin' On A Prayer and Wanted Dead Or Alive acoustically. It's one of the most famous VMA performances ever and it is known to have at least partially inspired the creation of MTV Unplugged. I have always felt that Sambora was the bigger talent of those two guys, and I feel this track, an acoustic version of "Born To Be My Baby", bares that out. Upon doing some research for this, I found out that this is actually the original, first-recorded version of the song, but that the producer of the album persuaded the band to re-record it full-band. To me, the full-band album version has nothing on this acoustic version, which was recorded a year before the VMA performance and originally released as a single b-side and later on the deluxe version of "New Jersey", the album the song was on. Sambora is the star of the track, with his vocals(his harmonies in the choruses and throughout outshine Jon by a lot) and guitar work(I love the solo towards the end). There's a moment at the end of the second repetition of the chorus where Sambora just holds a long note - "...made to be your maaaaaaaaaaaan" - and then launches into the solo, that just does it for me. Give it a chance.

---

When we were all talking about Eddie Van Halen after his passing six months ago, Ashley said the following:

"One of these days I'll go full bore guilty pleasure and put 'Dreams' on a list."

Well, I've done it, albeit not with the original track, and I don't feel the least bit guilty. Hagar did this album with his guitarist Vic Johnson in 2014 where they re-recorded tracks from throughout his career acoustically, and this was on it(the only Van Halen track they did). Hagar-era Van Halen was my first favorite band when I was a little kid and there are a number of tracks, including this one, that have stayed with me over the years. It's a good version - Sammy can still sing pretty well. I also like it as a tribute to EVH, as even though he's not playing on the track, it's still his musical composition, and it's still one of the bigger hits his band ever had.

---

While on a long plane flight some years ago - probably 2015 - I watched a movie called "If I Stay" on the little 3-5 inch screen on the back of the seat in front of me. The movie stars Chloe Grace Moritz as a teen Cello prodigy who falls into a coma, and her life beforehand is flashed back to while she's in the coma. Long story short, it's a melodramatic teen romance thing, and I wouldn't really recommend it - I don't even remember all of it - but what always did stay with me was that Moritz's character was in a band in the movie, and that band did an acoustic cover of "Today" towards the end of it. It's basically acoustic guitar, cello, and vocals, and it's always stayed in my mind. It strikes me as sort of half chamber pop and half what it would've sounded like if the cast of Glee had ever done the song.

"Willamette Stone" isn't a real band, but rather the fictitious band in the film. It's more difficult than you would think to figure out who was really playing on the track(I know Moritz didn't actually play the cello, and I know that the guy playing her love interest did the lead vocals). Anyway, I just think it's an interesting take on a song we've all heard so many times. It's prettier and far less angsty than the original(including the whole second verse only being done instrumentally), and in the end what it really does is shine a light on what a great songwriter Billy Corgan was/is at his best.

---

Pink Floyd's 1969 album "More" came at a unique moment in time for the band. Syd Barrett was already gone, and David Gilmour was in, but the band were kind of searching for their identity. The songs on this album aren't of the psychedelic flavor of Barrett's stuff, but the band hadn't yet forged the progressive rock sound that would make them legends starting with "Atom Heart Mother" either. It's not the most cohesive album, as the songs are all over the map. There are songs like "The Nile Song" and "Ibiza Bar" that sound like proto-Grunge, decades ahead of their time; the jazz-tinged "Up The Khyber"; the international flavor of "Main Theme", "A Spanish Piece", and "Dramatic Theme"; and then there are tracks that are more straight-ahead and more "pop" in nature, like "Cymbaline" and this track, "Green Is The Colour", a gorgeous Waters-penned acoustic ballad sung by Gilmour. It's a beautiful melody and one of Gilmour's most tender vocals. There is a tremendous warmth about this track, from the guitar tone to the vocal to that tin whistle in the background(played by Nick Mason's wife at the time, according to Wiki). Apparently they only ever played it electrically live, but I think this original acoustic version is tops. A real gem from Floyd's early days.

---

I guess we all know about Elliot Smith at this point - how he is posthumously regarded as one of the great songwriters of his generation despite not being known until the last years of his life. I heard "Say Yes" for the first time in a while a few months ago, and when I started this list I knew I had to include it. It's one of his most well-known tracks - maybe only "Miss Misery" is known more - but it's just pretty close to a perfect pop song - the melody, the wordplay, the musical left-turn of the middle 8, the simplicity of the whole thing, it's just so good. It's downright Beatlesque. I honestly think it would fit in nicely on Rubber Soul, and I'm not sure there's much higher praise I can give than that.

---

Torres is one of my favorite new-ish artists of the last few years, and this track - "Gracious Day" - off her latest record "Silver Tongue", is one of her best. It was released as the second single, but I didn't even know that when I put the song on the list(it's not like a Torres single is going to be promoted much). It's a great choice for a single though - a beautiful, sentimental melody that is somehow bittersweet, delivered via a great vocal that sees her going into a higher register than she normally does in some places. I played this track for my dad, and he said he liked it, and that it reminded him of Joni Mitchell. I hadn't thought of it before, but he's right, the way she's singing here, it does kind of sound like Joni. High praise.

---

"The Needle And The Damage Done" is probably one of Neil Young's greatest tracks, for how much it conveys with so little, but I felt like Young's original didn't pass the "is this too obvious" test. I really don't know much about Laura Marling, but when I stumbled on this cover, I recognized the name because some of you guys have spoken fondly of her fairly recently, so I gave it a try. This is a great cover. She doesn't do anything earth-shattering here, it's a pretty straightforward cover, but her voice has this smooth, velvet quality to it that works so well for the song, and her guitar work is on point. I added and dropped and re-added this to the list several times, but in the end, I like it enough that I really wanted to include it.

---

"Dreams" might be Eddie's musical composition, but he's not actually playing on the version of the track I included, and I felt like "Spanish Fly" was a perfect way of paying tribute to him with his actual playing on this list. Essentially a short EVH solo track off Van Halen's sophomore album, clocking in at just over a minute - this is as good an example as any of Eddie's prowess on the guitar.

---

As part of my ongoing quest to increase appreciation for RHCP around here, I've included this number, "Road Trippin'", the closing track of their 1999 classic "Californication". Kiedis has never been known as a great lyricist, but this quiet ballad about friendship is one of his best and most direct/genuine. Musically, it's primarily a Frusciante composition, as it was based on a chord sequence he was playing around with, and it also is of a piece with a lot of the solo work he'd do in the years immediately thereafter. The story goes that the two of them and Flea were on a road trip together shortly after Frusciante re-joined the band(the first time) and, after surfing together, John picked up his guitar and started playing these chords, and then Flea joined in, and then Kiedis started improvising a melody, and that was that. I've always loved this song - the reflective, sad-and-happy-at-the-same-time guitar, the sing-along melody, the stirring string arrangement in the middle 8, Frusciante's vocal harmonies, all of it. One of their greatest tracks.

---

I'd often heard people mention David Gilmour's 2006 solo album "On An Island", but I'd never really listened to it...strange as I'm a huge fan of him and Floyd. Anyway, I saw a YT clip of him around his house playing something from the album with his daughter, and I liked what I heard, so I checked some of the album out. This is a lovely little song that was apparently the third single from the album, featuring his wife Polly Samson's poetic lyric over Gilmour's typical laid back, mellow, atmospheric guitar work. This is the kind of song that washes over you.

---

And finally, Eva Cassidy. I assume you all know who she is by now, but a brief recap of her story just in case: Born in 1963, she was singing and playing guitar in bands from the time she was 11, but was pretty much unknown outside of her native D.C. by the time of her death in 1996 at the age of 33 of cancer. She didn't have much original material that we know of; she was an interpreter, singing everything from pop to jazz to country. She was reportedly incredibly shy and had anxiety playing in front of large crowds Apparently, she had drawn some interest from record labels in her lifetime, but I guess they wanted to make her "more accessible" and she was unwilling to make those compromises, from what I gather(information is limited).

So she only released a few independent albums, and a live album recorded in early 96, before finding out that cancer from a mole she'd had removed several years earlier had spread. She was diagnosed in July and was gone in November. The folk singer Grace Griffith met Cassidy shortly before her death and convinced her label to sign Cassidy. A compilation album of some of Cassidy's recordings up to that point was made and released two years after her death. Another two years after that, the BBC radio personality Terry Wogan played some of the tracks to his sizable audience. It caught fire after that, and long story short, Cassidy is now regarded as one of the greatest voices of her generation.

"Over The Rainbow" - as in the Wizard Of Oz - is one of her most well-known tracks, along with Sting's "Fields Of Gold" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time". This rendition of "Over The Rainbow" is breathtaking, and makes for a show-stopping closer for this list. It speaks for itself. Appreciate not just the superlative vocal performance, but also her stellar guitar work(pretty sure it's her playing).

She was a massive, massive talent taken way too soon.

---

That does it. I really thought I wouldn't write that much this time, but...it seems I have. Anyway, I've really enjoyed putting this list together(although, as usual, I'm just a little sick of it after listening to it so many times in the process of making it) and I'm pretty proud of the flow and the segues throughout. I hope you get something out of it.


1. Led Zeppelin - "Battle Of Evermore(Mandolin/Guitar Mix From Headley Grange)" - Led Zeppelin IV(Deluxe Edition) (4:13)
2. Jerry Garcia & David Grisman - "Friend Of The Devil" - Jerry Garcia & David Grisman (7:05)
3. Dave Matthews w/Tim Reynolds - "Crush" - Live In Las Vegas (7:45)
4. David Bowie - "Days" - A Reality Tour (3:25)
5. Chris Cornell - "Like A Stone(Recorded Live At Queen Elizabeth Theatre)" - Songbook (4:04)
6. Kiss - "Beth" - MTV Unplugged (2:55)
7. Simon & Garfunkel - "Song For The Asking" - Bridge Over Troubled Water (1:51)
8. Phoebe Bridgers(featuring Jackson Brown) - "Kyoto" - Spotify Sessions (3:30)
9. Pearl Jam - "Off He Goes" - No Code (5:58)
10. Foo Fighters - "Stranger Things Have Happened" - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (5:21)
11. Bon Jovi - "Born To Be My Baby(Acoustic Version)" - New Jersey(Deluxe Edition) (4:54)
12. Sammy Hagar w/Vic Johnson - "Dreams" - Lite Roast (3:54)
13. Willamette Stone - "Today" - If I Stay(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2:42)
14. Pink Floyd - "Green Is The Colour" - More (2:59)
15. Elliot Smith - "Say Yes" - Either/Or (2:19)
16. Torres - "Gracious Day" - Silver Tongue (2:34)
17. Laura Marling - "The Needle And The Damage Done" - Blues Run The Game (2:02)
18. Van Halen - "Spanish Fly" - Van Halen II (1:02)
19. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Road Trippin'" - Californication (3:25)
20. David Gilmour - "Smile" - On An Island (4:03)
21. Eva Cassidy - "Over The Rainbow" - Songbird (4:27)

LINK: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/32...e303f54d2c478c
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total Runtime: 80:28



LJT
a.k.a. Lil Joshua Tree, Eljit, R wee LJT

THE AFTER PARTY



This is just going to be a more optimistic counterpoint to my last entry. Things are looking up at least here in the UK at the moment and the list is a reflection of that. It's basically a soundtrack to what I hope will be my first long night out til the wee hours of the morning, starts out a bit tentatively but gets into its groove by the mid point and gently then relaxes you into a happy sleep at the end of the night or next morning (hopefully!).

01. Polly Scattergood - "Red" - In This Moment (07:16)
02. Loma - "Elliptical Days" - Don't Shy Away (04:30)
03. Ultraísta - "Tin King" - Sister (03:55)
04. Gorillaz - "Momentary Bliss (feat. slowthai and Slaves)" - Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez (03:41)
05. Jenny Hval - "Ashes to Ashes" - The Practice of Love (04:15)
06. A. G. Cook - "The Darkness" - Apple (05:11)
07. Kelly Lee Owens - "Jeanette (Edit)" - Single (03:05)
08. LCD Soundsystem - "Tribulations" - LCD Soundsystem (04:59)
09. The Blessed Madonna - "He Is the Voice I Hear" - Single (10:29)
10. Hot Chip - "I Feel Better" - One Life Stand (04:40)
11. Caroline Rose - "Feel The Way I Want" - Superstar (04:04)
12. The Rapture - "In the Grace of Your Love" - In the Grace of Your Love (05:34)
13. Four Tet - "You Are Loved" - New Energy (06:09)
14. Blanck Mass - "Starstuff (Single Edit)" - Single (03:54)
15. Tom Adams - "Come On, Dreamer" - Silence( 05:34)

LINK: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6k...TzyhCFeThIe0Tg
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total Runtime: 77:00
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Old 04-27-2021, 03:10 AM   #6
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Cheers for sorting! Looking forward to the lists.
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Old 04-27-2021, 04:16 AM   #7
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I like how my write-up and LM's share a lot in their general sentiment, even though our lists are totally different.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:09 PM   #8
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Some of you are freaking hard to come up with nicknames for

Also, shoutout to the former host LeMel, it’s very involved and as such I now understand why he was so adamant about receipt in some specific format. Coincidentally, he’s the only one I feel like I only had to copy and paste. Coincidence? I think not!
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:21 PM   #9
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What are the chances that the two playlists that contain a significant chunk of Brazilian music, perhaps for the first time in DI history, end up being back-to-back in the same edition? The fact that Elis Regina features in two playlists blows my mind.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gump View Post
What are the chances that the two playlists that contain a significant chunk of Brazilian music, perhaps for the first time in DI history, end up being back-to-back in the same edition?
Haha, I was going to say the same thing. I had assumed the groups were randomized but that's a wild coincidence.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:29 PM   #11
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Removed tourist first and then picked at random, yeah
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:50 AM   #12
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I was paying my mobile bill on the AT&T website, and there was a message in my inbox that offered me a free 6 months of Spotify Premium.
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Old 05-02-2021, 12:09 PM   #13
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So go make a list and tack it on to the end of the game.
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Old 05-02-2021, 05:36 PM   #14
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Sorry... wrong thread post. Lol.
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Old 05-02-2021, 06:45 PM   #15
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So go make a list and tack it on to the end of the game.
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Old 05-02-2021, 07:44 PM   #16
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I don’t care, I doubt anyone else does.

This game is an opportunity for togetherness in an otherwise cold and barren forum. Come sit by the fire.
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Old 05-02-2021, 11:48 PM   #17
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I don’t care, I doubt anyone else does.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:21 AM   #18
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The response I was waiting for.
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Old 07-05-2021, 08:30 PM   #19
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We have an update to a final group member's list fir namkcuR, I'm permitting it because I've been providing an all-along MO of relaxation here, I hope everybody is cool with that. If you've already listened to his list, throw shit at him but be kind about it.


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a.k.a. the guy who didn't just copy this format

UNPLUGGED ISLAND



 
Ever since being exposed to MTV Unplugged(still the best thing MTV ever did imo) - which premiered in 1989 but didn't get super-popular until 30 years ago in 1991 when Paul McCartney released the first MTV Unplugged album - in my childhood, I have loved acoustic/unplugged music. With that in mind, I have made a list that is entirely(well, 98% anyway, there are the tiniest bit of electric flourishes here and there) acoustic in nature. I feel like this kind of music has an intimacy to it, a purity, and an emotional immediacy to it that is just very fulfilling when done right, and as such I have selected very pretty, very melodic songs that play to those characteristics. I think there's also a timelessness to it. There are songs written in eight different decades on this list, but with every song either minimally produced in its original form, or stripped of its production in subsequent form, it would be more difficult to tell which song is from which decade if you didn't already know better. So timelessness is certainly a theme here.

And I can safely say that, given the mini nature of this DI, this was the most difficult time I've ever had cutting a list down to the appropriate time constraints. So many great tracks that didn't make the cut. One of my main guiding lights when making decisions about what to cut was 'is this too obvious?'. I just didn't want to have a bunch of stuff that you've all heard a million times(or if I did include a song you've heard a lot, I wanted it to at least be somewhat fresh in the acoustic context). Like, there's probably a bunch of early Dylan tracks that would've been right at home, but the biggest contenders are songs you've all heard so many times. I had GnR's "Patience" on the list for a long time, but it's such a standard and I needed the six minutes, so I had to cut it. I only used one track from an actual MTV Unplugged album, dispensing with the others I was considering; Nirvana and Alice In Chains' Unplugged albums are deservedly legendary and I figure most if not all of you are familiar with them, so those tracks didn't make it either.

Anyway, enough about what didn't make it. I'm going to just write a little paragraph about each track I've selected to offer my insights. My hope is that some of these tracks make you see a song, or even an artist, in a way that maybe you hadn't before(I know this won't be the case with all of them, but maybe some of them). I'm sure none of you were expecting to see a DI list with Kiss, Bon Jovi, and Sammy Hagar on it, but here we are, and I stand by my choices.

It is my hope that this list will make you see some songs, or even some artists, in a way you hadn't before(though that is more likely with some than with others).

---

I resisted putting a Beatles track here until the very end - and went with a cover at that so there's at least a chance it's something you haven't heard a million times - when a separate decision resulted in me needing to find a different, shorter track to open the list. I've always loved McLachlan's beautiful voice and Blackbird is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, so it's a great match. And it flows perfectly into the next track

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GAF used "Friend Of The Devil" in its original form on one of his lists years ago; the song was originally played at a pretty fast pace, but Jerry Garcia at some point later in the 70s heard someone do a much slower cover of it, and he loved it so much that he and the Grateful Dead started playing it like that at their live gigs. I grew up listening to their "Dead Set" live album, which has a fantastic slow(but not acoustic) performance of the song on it. In 1991, Garcia and his longtime friend David Grisman recorded an acoustic album, and one of the songs they did was this slower "Friend Of The Devil". I love this recording - it's just so chill and mellow and soulful, and the guitar work is so good. It was recorded only four years before Garcia's early passing. Artists who are gone became a subtheme of this list as it went on.

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Dave Matthews Band does not have a big fanbase here, and I know they take a lot of shit despite their massive popularity - whether it's because of his voice or the attitude of their fans or whatever, I don't know. I do like them quite a bit, I think they're phenomenally talented musicians. That said, for me, "Crush" has always been their greatest track, and honestly I think it's one of the great love songs of the last 25 years. I nearly put the studio version on my DI list last year, but I just couldn't find the room for it. This, the first in a series of four live tracks, is an acoustic performance by Matthews and DMB lead guitarist Tim Reynolds, and it's so freaking good. Reynolds in particular turns in some of the best guitar work on this whole list. (Mixing live material with studio material can be tricky, but there's minimal crowd noise at the beginning of this track, so the transition is pretty smooth.)

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Chris Cornell was - it still hurts to say was - one of the greatest rock vocalists of his generation, maybe of any generation. Later in his career, he became a fairly prolific acoustic artist, even doing a whole acoustic tour on his own, and recently a posthumous album of acoustic covers was released. He has a bunch of great acoustic tracks, and I had a really hard time picking one - it came down to the wire - but ultimately, the others that were in consideration just didn't fit for one reason(too long) or another(segue trouble), so I ended up selecting his performance of "I Am The Highway", live from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto, off his Songbook live album. "I Am The Highway" was the fourth single from the first Audioslave album, and it holds up in this powerful, completely stripped down solo acoustic performance.

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For me, there are two stand-out tracks on Bowie's 2003 "Reality" album: "Bring Me The Disco King", and this semi-acoustic gem "Days". It's a fairly simple song, both musically and lyrically, but I think it conveys so much emotionally despite this. This is a fully-acoustic live performance - a "digital bonus track" from 2010's "A Reality Tour", his last live album released in his lifetime, documenting his final tour in 2003-04. There is something poignant about hearing him sing about "all the days of my life" in such a musically naked setting on his last tour.

---

There are only a small handful of Kiss songs I would listen to on purpose. Their cover of "God Gave Rock'N'Roll To You" from the "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" soundtrack is among them, because there's a lot of nostalgia attached to it for me because of the movie. But their best song by far imo is "Beth", the 1976 ballad penned and sung by drummer Peter Criss(which maybe explains why it's so atypical of the band). This is the only track on this list I've taken from an actual MTV Unplugged album, and the significance requires some context.

Kiss's OG makeup era was from 1973-83. In 1983, with founding members Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley gone, they ditched the makeup and commenced their "unmasked era", which went until 1995. They had some success early on in this era with singles like "Lick It Up", but by the early/mid 90s, they had, like many other bands of their ilk, fallen on hard times with the rise of grunge and alternative rock. The band were invited to do an Unplugged in the fall of 1995, and Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons secretly invited Criss and Frehley to join them for a few songs at the end of the gig, one of which was "Beth". So in this performance of "Beth" you're hearing the first time the four original members had played together publicly in 16 years. The mini-set with the OG lineup was so well-received, that less than seven months later, that OG lineup was on stage at the Grammys, in full make-up, announcing a reunion tour to start that summer, which was the start of the band just milking their brand for all it was worth for the last 20+ years. So this "Unplugged" gig was pretty much the last thing they did unmasked and the last thing they did before going into "milk it" mode.

I love this performance of "Beth". The song has a classic, beautiful melody, and I love the way Frehley's lead guitar, Stanley's rhythm guitar, and Simmons' bass interact with each other in this rendition. Frehley has a great solo too. Also, you can't see it unless you watch the video, but it's kind of endearing how enthusiastic Criss is to be singing his song with the band again. It's just this rare moment for Kiss where there's no makeup, no pyrotechnics, no over-the-top theatrics, but just four guys sitting with their instruments playing a classic song. It's a window into Kiss being an actual band instead of a cartoon.

---

"Song For The Asking" is a Simon & Garfunkel track that I feel doesn't get enough recognition. It's one of the most beautiful songs Paul Simon wrote for the duo, and that's saying something. Garfunkel has even cited it as his favorite. Also, the crowd noise at the beginning made it ideal for transitioning out of the four-song run of live material and back into studio material.

---

"Kyoto" was a standout on Phoebe Bridgers' "Punisher" album, but now I almost can't listen to the album version anymore in light of this Spotify-exclusive mostly-acoustic rendition of the song. Jackson Brown is featured, contributing gorgeous vocal harmonies. I feel Bridgers' vocals and melodies more acutely when contrasted against this sparse instrumentation. This is such a great version.

---

"No Code" never got as much love as other Pearl Jam albums around it, but I've been on record for years that it's one of my favorites. This is the second straight DI where I'm including a track from it("In My Tree" made the last one). As far as I'm concerned, "Off He Goes" is one of the best songs Eddie Vedder and the band ever wrote. He's processing his newfound fame and difficulty relating to his old friends, and he's doing so in an unguarded, musically compelling way. I believe there are some flourishes here and there of electric guitar in this song, but it sounds like 95% acoustic, so I'm counting it.

---

"Stranger Things Have Happened" is an acoustic deep cut from the Foos' 2007 album "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace". I think it's one of the most beautiful tracks Dave Grohl ever wrote, but relatively few outside of their hardcore fanbase know about it, and the band has never played it live. Great melody and vocal take, and the guitar soloing at the end is a special highlight, with Grohl and Chris Shiflett going at it. Happy to share this one.

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Obviously Bon Jovi is not very popular around here, but I would remind everyone of JBJ and Richie Sambora going on the MTV VMAs in 1989 and doing Livin' On A Prayer and Wanted Dead Or Alive acoustically. It's one of the most famous VMA performances ever and it is known to have at least partially inspired the creation of MTV Unplugged. I have always felt that Sambora was the bigger talent of those two guys, and I feel this track, an acoustic version of "Born To Be My Baby", bares that out. Upon doing some research for this, I found out that this is actually the original, first-recorded version of the song, but that the producer of the album persuaded the band to re-record it full-band. To me, the full-band album version has nothing on this acoustic version, which was recorded a year before the VMA performance and originally released as a single b-side and later on the deluxe version of "New Jersey", the album the song was on. Sambora is the star of the track, with his vocals(his harmonies in the choruses and throughout outshine Jon by a lot) and guitar work(I love the solo towards the end). There's a moment at the end of the second repetition of the chorus where Sambora just holds a long note - "...made to be your maaaaaaaaaaaan" - and then launches into the solo, that just does it for me. Give it a chance.

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When we were all talking about Eddie Van Halen after his passing six months ago, Ashley said the following:

"One of these days I'll go full bore guilty pleasure and put 'Dreams' on a list."

Well, I've done it, albeit not with the original track, and I don't feel the least bit guilty. Hagar did this album with his guitarist Vic Johnson in 2014 where they re-recorded tracks from throughout his career acoustically, and this was on it(the only Van Halen track they did). Hagar-era Van Halen was my first favorite band when I was a little kid and there are a number of tracks, including this one, that have stayed with me over the years. It's a good version - Sammy can still sing pretty well. I also like it as a tribute to EVH, as even though he's not playing on the track, it's still his musical composition, and it's still one of the bigger hits his band ever had.

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While on a long plane flight some years ago - probably 2015 - I watched a movie called "If I Stay" on the little 3-5 inch screen on the back of the seat in front of me. The movie stars Chloe Grace Moritz as a teen Cello prodigy who falls into a coma, and her life beforehand is flashed back to while she's in the coma. Long story short, it's a melodramatic teen romance thing, and I wouldn't really recommend it - I don't even remember all of it - but what always did stay with me was that Moritz's character was in a band in the movie, and that band did an acoustic cover of "Today" towards the end of it. It's acoustic guitar, cello, and vocals, and it's always stayed in my mind. It strikes me as sort of half chamber pop and half what it would've sounded like if the cast of Glee had ever done the song.

"Willamette Stone" isn't a real band, but rather the fictitious band in the film. It's more difficult than you would think to figure out who was really playing on the track(I know Moritz didn't actually play the cello, and I know that the guy playing her love interest DID do the lead vocals). Anyway, I just think it's an interesting take on a song we've all heard so many times. It's prettier and far less angsty than the original(including the whole second verse only being done instrumentally), and in the end what it really does is shine a light on what a great songwriter Billy Corgan was/is at his best.

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Pink Floyd's 1969 album "More" came at a unique moment in time for the band. Syd Barrett was already gone, and David Gilmour was in, but the band were kind of searching for their identity. The songs on this album aren't of the psychedelic flavor of Barrett's stuff, but the band hadn't yet forged the progressive rock sound that would make them legends starting with "Atom Heart Mother" either. It's not the most cohesive album, as the songs are all over the map. There are songs like "The Nile Song" and "Ibiza Bar" that sound like proto-Grunge, decades ahead of their time; the jazz-tinged "Up The Khyber"; the international flavor of "Main Theme", "A Spanish Piece", and "Dramatic Theme"; and then there are tracks that are more straight-ahead and more "pop" in nature, like "Cymbaline" and this track, "Green Is The Colour", a gorgeous Waters-penned acoustic ballad sung by Gilmour. It's a beautiful melody and one of Gilmour's most tender vocals. There is a tremendous warmth about this track, from the guitar tone to the vocal to that tin whistle in the background(played by Nick Mason's wife at the time, according to Wiki). Apparently they only ever played it electrically live, but I think this original acoustic version is tops. A real gem from Floyd's early days.

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I guess we all know about Elliot Smith at this point - how he is posthumously regarded as one of the great songwriters of his generation despite not being known until the last years of his life. I heard "Say Yes" for the first time in a while a few months ago, and when I started this list I knew I had to include it. It's one of his most well-known tracks - maybe only "Miss Misery" is known more - but it's just pretty close to a perfect pop song - the melody, the wordplay, the musical left-turn of the middle 8, the simplicity of the whole thing, it's just so good. It's downright Beatlesque. I honestly think it would fit in nicely on Rubber Soul, and I'm not sure there's much higher praise I can give than that.

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Torres is one of my favorite new-ish artists of the last few years, and this track - "Gracious Day" - off her latest record "Silver Tongue", is one of her best. It was released as the second single, but I didn't even know that when I put the song on the list(it's not like a Torres single is going to be promoted much). It's a great choice for a single though - a beautiful, sentimental melody that is somehow bittersweet, delivered via a great vocal that sees her going into a higher register than she normally does in some places. I played this track for my dad, and he said he liked it, and that it reminded him of Joni Mitchell. I hadn't thought of it before, but he's right, the way she's singing here, it does kind of sound like Joni. High praise.

---

I recently binged "Peaky Blinders" on Netflix, and this song - Laura Marling's "What He Wrote" - was used in an episode; I'd never heard it before, but even as it was playing in the show, I knew I wanted to find a way to include it in my list, and my list was already "finished" at that point. That led to a series of late changes. Anyway, I love this track - there's this sense of foreboding about it while simultaneously being pretty, and her velvet voice captures both things perfectly.

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"Dreams" might be Eddie's musical composition, but he's not actually playing on the version of the track I included, and I felt like "Spanish Fly" was a perfect way of paying tribute to him with his actual playing on this list. Essentially a short EVH solo track off Van Halen's sophomore album, clocking in at just over a minute - this is as good an example as any of Eddie's prowess on the guitar. And it segues perfectly into...

---

As part of my ongoing quest to increase appreciation for RHCP around here, I've included this number, "Road Trippin'", the closing track of their 1999 classic "Californication". Kiedis has never been known as a great lyricist, but this quiet ballad about friendship is one of his best and most direct/genuine. Musically, it's primarily a Frusciante composition, as it was based on a chord sequence he was playing around with, and it also is of a piece with a lot of the solo work he'd do in the years immediately thereafter. The story goes that the two of them and Flea were on a road trip together shortly after Frusciante re-joined the band(the first time) and, after surfing together, John picked up his guitar and started playing these chords, and then Flea joined in, and then Kiedis started improvising a melody, and that was that. I've always loved this song - the reflective, sad-and-happy-at-the-same-time guitar, the sing-along melody, the stirring string arrangement in the middle 8, Frusciante's vocal harmonies, all of it. One of their greatest tracks.

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"Dust In The Wind" is probably one of the only really obvious tracks on here. I think it gets made fun of, but I don't care. It's a great lyric, beautiful melody, iconic guitar work, just a great song, and fits perfectly between these two tracks.

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And finally, Eva Cassidy. I assume you all know who she is by now, but a brief recap of her story just in case: Born in 1963, she was singing and playing guitar in bands from the time she was 11, but was pretty much unknown outside of her native D.C. by the time of her death in 1996 at the age of 33 of cancer. She didn't have much original material that we know of; she was an interpreter, singing everything from pop to jazz to country. She was reportedly incredibly shy and had anxiety playing in front of large crowds Apparently, she had drawn some interest from record labels in her lifetime, but I guess they wanted to make her "more accessible" and she was unwilling to make those compromises, from what I gather(information is limited).

So she only released a few independent albums, and a live album recorded in early 96, before finding out that cancer from a mole she'd had removed several years earlier had spread. She was diagnosed in July and was gone in November. The folk singer Grace Griffith met Cassidy shortly before her death and convinced her label to sign Cassidy. A compilation album of some of Cassidy's recordings up to that point was made and released two years after her death. Another two years after that, the BBC radio personality Terry Wogan played some of the tracks to his sizable audience. It caught fire after that, and long story short, Cassidy is now regarded as one of the greatest voices of her generation.

"Over The Rainbow" - as in the Wizard Of Oz - is one of her most well-known tracks, along with Sting's "Fields Of Gold" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time". This rendition of "Over The Rainbow" is breathtaking, and makes for a show-stopping closer for this list - it's too powerful to be anything but the closer. It speaks for itself. Appreciate not just the superlative vocal performance, but also her stellar guitar work(pretty sure it's her playing).

She was a massive, massive talent taken way too soon.

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A final note - I liked the symmetry of the list starting with "blackbird singing in the dead of night" and ends with "if happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow/why oh why can't I"; I imagine the symbolism of it starting and ending with birds as being akin to the floating feather that bookends Forrest Gump.

That does it. I really thought I wouldn't write that much this time, but...it seems I have. Anyway, I've really enjoyed putting this list together(although, as usual, I'm just a little sick of it after listening to it so many times in the process of making it) and I'm pretty proud of the flow and the segues throughout. I hope you get something out of it.


1. Sarah McLachlan - "Blackbird" - Rarities, B-Sides, and Other Stuff, Volume 2 (2:21)
2. Jerry Garcia & David Grisman - "Friend Of The Devil" - Jerry Garcia & David Grisman (7:05)
3. Dave Matthews w/Tim Reynolds - "Crush" - Live In Las Vegas (7:45)
4. Chris Cornell - "Like A Stone" - Songbook (4:04)
5. David Bowie - "Days" - A Reality Tour (3:25)
6. Kiss - "Beth" - MTV Unplugged (2:55)
7. Simon & Garfunkel - "Song For The Asking" - Bridge Over Troubled Water (1:51)
8. Phoebe Bridgers (featuring Jackson Brown) - "Kyoto" - Spotify Sessions (3:30)
9. Pearl Jam - "Off He Goes" - No Code (5:58)
10. Foo Fighters - "Stranger Things Have Happened" - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (5:21)
11. Bon Jovi - "Born To Be My Baby(Acoustic Version)" - New Jersey (Deluxe Edition) (4:54)
12. Sammy Hagar w/Vic Johnson - "Dreams" - Lite Roast (3:54)
13. Willamette Stone - "Today" - If I Stay(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2:42)
14. Pink Floyd - "Green Is The Colour" - More (2:59)
15. Elliot Smith - "Say Yes" - Either/Or (2:19)
16. Torres - "Gracious Day" - Silver Tongue (2:34)
17. Laura Marling - "What He Wrote" - Peaky Blinders(Original Music From The TV Series) (4:04)
18. Van Halen - "Spanish Fly" - Van Halen II (1:02)
19. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Road Trippin'" - Californication (3:25)
20. Kansas - "Dust In The Wind" - Point Of Know Return (3:26)
21. Eva Cassidy - "Over The Rainbow" - Songbird (4:27)

LINK: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/32...e303f54d2c478c
REVIEWME: https://forms.gle/iLJox4f1e68SiPFY6

Total Runtime: 80:00
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:11 PM   #20
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