# 2 – “Crazy” – Patsy Cline – “Patsy Cline Showcase” (1961)

Dec 31
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Not that many years ago, when almost everything Country was a decided “NO” for me, I still loved Patsy Cline and this classic penned by Willie Nelson. This is probably one of the few points on my Top Ten chart that actually converges with the taste of others. Those hurtin’ love songs are prime real estate for songwriters. Angst and despair make for good music that so many of us can relate to.

“They don’t write ’em like that anymore” (name that tune):

“Hey Jude” – The Beatles (1968) – It’s all just warm up; the party doesn’t really even start until the vamping begins. Unbelievably great!

“Last Dance” – Donna Summer – “Thank God It’s Friday” (1978) – I didn’t realize how much I loved or had missed this song until I heard it in the middle of a huge party 14 years ago. We were hanging out on Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Eve. The place was packed with revelers holding down their spots for the Rose Bowl Parade the next day. Right about the stroke of midnight this song was cranking out of someone’s stereo right next to us. I don’t know, it just seemed so perfect. RIP Donna Summer

“Let’s Stay Together” – Al Green (1971) – Uncomplicated, unambiguous sentiment flawlessly delivered.

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” – Jimi Hendrix – “Electric Ladyland” (1970) – Mind bending stuff, this here.

– DAVE

# 3 – “Rearviewmirror” – Pearl Jam – “Vs.” (1993)

Dec 30
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When was I going to get around to all of those Seattle bands anyways, you say? I was a young man in the Emerald City right about the same time that all of the guys in the big Seattle area bands were also young men. It was back in the day when I could easily down a six pack in the hour and a half between work and Friday night hockey games (I can’t meet that pace anymore or hit up Friday pucks), Xavier McDaniel and Dale Ellis used to literally fight each other in the streets, first term Clinton, MTV actually still playing music vids, and Must See TV. All that stuff is starting to or has long sense faded for me but I can still make it out if I look hard enough.

I remember the night Pearl Jam played this song on SNL. I was sitting there in my room thinking have those guys lost their minds, have I lost their mind, who hasn’t lost their mind. I’m so glad for PJ’s longevity. The other of the Big 4 (Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice and Chains) have had a lot of Rockstar twists and turns that Eddie and the fellas managed to steer clear of which doesn’t factor in on how I judge them.

Some o’ the grungiest:

“Yellow Ledbetter” – Pearl Jam (1992) – Probably my favorite Mike McCready work is encased in this song.

“Breed” – Nirvana – “Nevermind” (1991) – “We can plant a house, we can build a tree”

“Blow Up The Outside World” – Soundgarden – “Down On the Upside” (1996) – “Superunknown” was definitely one of those albums that I overindulged in but even if that hadn’t been the case, this song is still my favorite by these guys.

“I Am The Highway” – Audioslave – “Audioslave” (2002) – It was absolutely surreal how I first heard this song. The worst day of my life was well underway. It was September 13, 2003, I can remember it like it was this morning. My mom had just passed away. About an hour after she was gone and I left her side, I walked out of the hospital in an absolute daze so that I could go home and take a shower and call a couple people. I got in my car and as I started it, this song came on. It was as if Chris Cornell was singing a message that my mom had told him to give to me:

Pearls and swine bereft of me
Long and weary my road has been
I was lost in the cities
Alone in the hills
No sorrow or pity for leaving I feel

I am not your rolling wheels
I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride
I am the sky

– DAVE

“Some Riot” – Elbow – “The Seldom Seen Kid” (2008)

Dec 29
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Off of a great album by one of my top, probably, three favorite musical artists, this song is a piece of brooding, self loathing art. This one lacks the Hollywood ending which makes me love it more. The BBC session is stupendous and the outro puts shivers down my spine.

“Black Star” – Radiohead – “The Bends” (1995) – I’m playing up the contrarian angle here a tad with my Radiohead pick which I guess fits with what these guys like to put on their concert playlists.

“Fair Verona” – Dan Mangan – “Nice, Nice, Very Nice” (2009) – Here’s another one along with a handful of other Mangan songs (“Road Regrets,” The Indie Queens Are Waiting,” “Not What You Think It Is”) that could easily make my main list.

“Baby Doll” – Dan Wilson – “Free Life” (2007) – When this dude isn’t helping out folks from: Adele to Nas to Pink or calling out “Closing Time” he makes a pretty mean solo product.

“Skinny Love” – Bon Iver – “For Emma, Forever Ago” (2007) – Pretty much perfect.

– DAVE

# 5 – “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” – Elvis Costello and the Attractions (1978)

Dec 28
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The countdown rolls on and at #5, Elvis! Such a perfect song, written by Nick Lowe, and Elvis just belts it out in that big booming voice. I was in attendance at the last show that Elvis did with The Attractions, in the same building that I mentioned last night (the Mercer Arena). That was a phenomenal show that went on forever and then I got to see him a couple years later, solo, at Bumbershoot. The guy is awesome.

Others I like in a similar space:

“This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” – Talking Heads – “Speaking in Tongues” (1983) – Just a gem. David Byrne and the gang have been so iconic and original.

“Son’s Gonna Rise” – Citizen Cope (featuring Carlos Santana) – “The Clarence Greenwood Recordings” (2004) – I guess I think this is a pretty boss album since my next two selections are going to bring it to a four count as to how many songs on this album make my list.

“Pablo Picasso” – Citizen Cope – “The Clarence Greenwood Recordings” (2004) – Good song that becomes great…

“My Way Home” – Citizen Cope – “The Clarence Greenwood Recordings” (2004) – …when part of a couplet.

– DAVE

# 6 – “You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar But I Feel Like A Millionaire” – Queens of the Stone Age – “Songs for the Deaf” (2002)

Dec 27
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LOUDER!!! No matter how many times I listen to this song, it fires me up. I dare you to listen to this and not turn up the volume. LOUDER!!! Twenty years ago, my Favorite Songs list would have included this, the songs that I list below and more of the same with maybe one or two spots left over for something that wouldn’t rattle all of the dishes off the shelves in my house. LOUDER!!!

Keep Crankin’ It:

“Jesus Built My Hotrod” – Ministry – “Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs” (1992) – Well if the album title doesn’t make you blush… I almost went into Ministry autopilot and picked NWO when I slammed on the brakes and went with JBMH

“Mr. Brownstone” – Guns N’ Roses – “Appetite for Destruction” (1987) – Wow, I’m blown away thinking about the fact that this album is going on 30 years old. One of the greatest rock and roll albums of all time IMO.

“Holy Diver” – Dio – “Holy Diver” (1983) – I’m trippin’ even more realizing that this album came out only four years before “Appetite for Destruction” but not as much as I was trippin’ the night I saw Dio in the Mercer Arena. Man, that was a fierce contact high. RIP RJD.

“Quiet Little Voices” – We Were Promised Jetpacks – “These Four Walls” (2009) – I saw these cats at Neumo’s about four years ago and loved it. Raucous, youthful, and propulsive – good ingredients for a rock and roll song.

“Killing in the Name” – Rage Agains the Machine – “Rage Against the Machine” (1992) – I really should have attached this song to yesterday’s post but it works all right here.

– DAVE

I M Soooooooo FUlllllllllllllll!!!

Dec 26
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Ohhhhh, Santa brought me a belly full of ham, turkey, sausage, carbs galore, pie, sushi, beer, and wine so my comments tonight will be kind of brief. The one thing that Santa brought me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t eat was a pair of SMS Synch by 50 headpones. Sweet as!!! My ears are in heaven.

# 7 on the big list:

“No Diggity” – Blackstreet (Featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen) – Another Level (!996)

There are songs on my list that express sentiments that have more personal resonance than “No Diggity” but I am going to call it and say that there is not a more stylish song on my list. The alternating rapped and sung verses, perfect flow, and all laid over the Bill Withers sample makes this a perfect song. Timeless – that is what this song is.

Others in the same realm:

“Mistadobalina” – Del tha Funkeé Homosapien – “I Wish My Brother George Was Here (1991) – Same word, “timeless.”

“Fight The Power” – Public Enemy – “Fear of a Black Planet” (1989) – A protest song put together by the iconic New York crew, I’ve wondered recently if this song is getting revisited much in light of the recent strife in NYC.

“Ashin’ Kusher” – Kid Cudi – “Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager” (2010) – Menacing and predatory, this belongs in a soundtrack… maybe in some Denzel vehicle where he’s playing a scary “Training Day” type of character.

‘m.A.D.D. City” – Kendrick Lamar – “Good Kid, M.A.D.D. City” (2012) – This is the guy who I said the other day has been tearing up my earbuds. This thing is so gritty and his tone makes it sound so urgent.

“Bullet and a Target” – Citizen Cope – “The Clarence Greenwood Recordings” (2004) – A heavy hitter, Cope really knows how to string words together. Kind of like Zac Brown or Pearl Jam, I could just throw a dart, pick a Citizen Cope song and be happy regardless.

– DAVE

# 8 – “I Remember” – Yeasayer – “Odd Blood” (2010)

Dec 24
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Just to add a little color, I decided to look up some other “# 8 songs of all time.”

Last year, checking in at # 8 on Billboard’s 55th anniversary Hot 100… “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John. Makes me think of leg warmers.

For this year, Spin Magazine is going with “Suffering” by War on Drugs… solid

Love songs? Billboard says, “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)” – Stevie B… Double Skinny Grande Meh…

What say Rolling Stone about the Country All Time # 8… “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard

And, to round it out, just for fun, how about the 8th most popular Karaoke song? “Dreams” – Fleetwood Mac… It’s true “Players only love you when they’re playing…”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This little Yeasayer song though, cool stuff. Heartfelt, poppy yet different, youthful, hopeful, a little sad… BUT WHOA, watch out for the video… WHAT THE? Nah, it’s cool. I don’t love love love Yeasayer but I’ve always got this song in my library and on various playlists.

Some others, tangentially relevant if you enjoyed this:

“Do You…” – Miguel – I always imagine songs like this blasting out of my mobile deck when I get my shave ice truck set up down at Kalamas.

“Nightswimming” – R.E.M. – You shiny happy people can keep your orange crush, I’m going for a swim tonight.

“The Scientist” – Aimee Mann covering Coldplay’s original – The original is cool but I get more enjoyment out of what Mann brings to it.

“I Remember You” – Skid Row – Always the opportunist, I managed to sneak a hair band ballad into the mix.

– DAVE

# 9 – “Low Road” – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – “Grace Potter and the Nocturnals” (2010)

Dec 24
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Checking in at # 9 on Play On Daily’s Top All Time Songs chart, Ms. Grace Potter and her fantastic bandmates, The Nocturnals. The version that I am posting is from Live Fron Daryl’s House, the cool used-to-be web series, that I think was picked up by Palladia. I love this song and Grace Potter regardless but I get extra appreciation for a song when I see other artists who dig each other’s work and it’s pretty obvious from the vid that Daryl and the boys are really into it.

Grace Potter is perched at the top of the heap of rock and roll, bluesy mama/divas in my book. Full of soul and sizzle, authentic, genuine – she is crazy good and backs it up with an impressive catalog of work.

Some others worth mention that somehow fit with Grace Potter and/or “Low Road” would be:

“Crystal Ball” – Pink – “Funhouse” (2008) – I’m always kind of on the lookout for that special song, kind of in the backwaters of an album that never gets any radio play. This one fits.

“Landslide” – Fleetwood Mac – “Fleetwood Mac” (1975) – Love the Dixie Chicks version almost as much as the original… hate The Smashing Pumpkins version (but don’t hate The Smashing Pumpkins).

“Dust to Dust” – The Civil Wars – “The Civil Wars” (2013) – If I was a talented songwriter like Joy Williams and John Paul White, they of the disbanded awesome duo The Civil Wars, I would write a sad song about how much it sucks that they are no longer together.

“Goodbye in Her Eyes” – Zac Brown Band – “Uncaged” (2012) – I could just throw a dart at a wall full of Zac Brown songs and be happy with whatever song it struck but I’ll go with this one. These guys and a certain hip hop artist that I’ll get to in a couple days are pretty much wearing out my earbuds these days. Yup, I’m weavin’ all over the road.

“Stubborn Love” – The Lumineers – “The Lumineers” (2012) – Gotta say, I over listened to this one a couple summers ago, to the point where I hardly ever spin it anymore. Still a great song, off of a great album that introduced these guys to the world.

“Ghosts” – The Head and the Heart – “The Head and the Heart” (2011) – I listened to the heck out of this song to but I never hit a saturation point. I’ve heard it live eight times as well, as that’s how many times I’ve seen them in concert.

– DAVE

Top Ten Song List – Coming in at # 10

Dec 23
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There will be some surprises on this list. There will be some songs that maybe, not ten people in the entire world would put on their Top Ten list.

There isn’t too much science to my list. It’s just kind of recollects songs that I get pretty excited about when I hear them whether I’ve heard them 20 times or 20,000 times. I tried to not pack this list with a bunch of stuff that I’m really into right now because maybe I don’t really dig the song that much and am just into the fact that it’s new. On the other hand, I tried to not exclude songs that, once upon a time, I listened to so much that now I can barely stand the mention of said song without feeling like I need to reverse the contents of my stomach (sorry, a whole bunch of Green Day and Bruce songs). I’m probably not being totally fair and representative in my omission of a bunch of stuff that I listened to when I was a young man and don’t have much room for any more. So here it is. I’ll probably try to make this an end of year tradition so it’ll be interesting to see which of these songs earn a spot again next year.

# 10 – “Vessel” – Zola Jesus – “Conatus” (2011)

Say who, say what? This is one of those that I’m guessing not a lot of people have on their All Time list but I love it.

There are a lot of themes covered in my Top Ten songs. Social issues, protest songs, personal demons, heart ache, redemption, human stuff… rock and roll, country, hip hop, and in between. And then, there’s this song. I have not the foggiest shred of a clue what this song is about. That makes it kind of fun though. Like a reverse coloring book where somebody would give you pages all swatched out and then you could add the lines, dimensions, or shading as you see fit.

It’s a little, or a lot more electronic than most of the stuff on my list and while some people throw the Lady Gaga comparison at Zola Jesus now and again, I kind of think of a female fronted Nine Inch Nails. Anyways, I love this song and I have a specific UFC fighter who I am going to tweet and suggest that they use this as their walk out music.

Some honorable mentions that in some loose sort of way (for me at least) fit with this song:

“Neessun Dorma” – best served by a prolific tenor of your choosing

“Raconte-Moi Une Histoire” – M83 – “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” (2011) The frog song, this one came oh so close to making the main list

“Too Insistent – The Dø – “Both Ways Open Jaws” (2011) As I said last week, a little ditty by a little French/Finnish band that more people should know about

“Matilda” – Alt-J – “An Awesome Wave” (2012) Another one, very close to making the big list, this song gets extra points for the reference to one of my all time favorite movies “The Professional.”

– DAVE

“Cough Syrup” – Young the Giant – “Young the Giant” (2010)

Dec 20
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Solid show last night from these guys here on Oahu at Republik. It was a great night hanging out with the other inhabitants of our Music Appreciation Commune and I am looking forward to many more of those nights in the future.

– DAVE