"Be thankful every day for everything, and pray. . ."
"Seven Curses" by BOB DYLAN:
One of the darkest, most powerful Dylan songs I've ever discovered was included in the 3 CD box set The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3, the same release from which I previously cribbed "I'll Keep it With Mine." "Seven Curses" tells the story of a man named Old Reilly who goes to jail for stealing a horse and is sentenced to hang. Reilly's daughter hears news of her father and comes bearing riches to free him, but the judge gives her only one option: you must sleep with me to free your dad. The way Dylan describes the tragedy of the pay-off of the judge's sexual bribe without actually describing the act itself is chilling: "The gallows shadows shook the evening / In the night, a hound dog bayed / In the night, the grounds was groanin' / In the night the price was paid." I won't spoil the ending, but suffice to say that "Seven Curses" is as old-school-Country and cold blooded as it gets.
"Sea Ghost" by THE UNICORNS:
Always a mix-tape favorite.
"Dancing Girls and Dancing Men" (live)
"Dancing Girls and Dancing Men" by ROBERT POLLARD:
The sad reality that Guided by Voices are no more shouldn't have an effect on recognizing the continuing greatness of frontman Robert Pollard. I've recently been loving the live version of "Dancing Girls and Dancing Men" (I'm also including the album version, from Pollard's From a Compound Eye double LP). I thought I'd read somewhere that Pollard was releasing a double CD "Best of" from his Fading Captain series of albums, EPs and ephemera. Since I've fallen behind on trying to keep up with the prolific Pollard, this will be a nice way of trimming down his expansive catalogue to the most listenable bits.
"Problem Child" by THE DAMNED:
Every six months, I have a new favorite Damned song. This one just recently beat out the old favorite, "New Rose."
"Teen Age Riot" by DAVID KITT
"Teen Age Riot"
"Teen Age Riot" (live, 2003)
"Theresa's Sound World" by SONIC YOUTH:
While Goo was the first Sonic Youth album I ever heard, Daydream Nation was the first Sonic Youth album I ever owned. For no other reason than that the record store was out of stock in the former, so I went with the remaining album I thought had the best cover art and song titles. "Eric's Trip," "Total Trash," and the best one of all, "Teen Age Riot." Since I was 14 years old, just back from a YMCA summer camp where I'd discovered Goo, my CD buying dollar meant a lot to me. It took a long time, and probably a couple of miserable Omaha summer lawn mowings, to save that kind of money. I remember my thoughts at the exact moment on this song, the album opener, when that fast guitar finally kicks in at 1:22: "Worth the money."
David Kitt, a singer/songwriter guy who dabbles in a bit of electronica, brilliantly extracts the melody of this song and shows any doubters the clever pop sensibilities hidden in some of Sonic Youth's more structured songs. I apologize for the static-y bits that pop up toward this song's end. If you find it really frustrating, I suggest actually seeking out and buying the track or album from a store near you.
As for "Theresa's Sound World," I guess the only reason I'm including it in tonight's playlist is that it kicks fucking ass.
"Kerze" by Gerhard Richter