“i” – Kendrick Lamar – “To Pimp a Butterfly: A Blank Letter by Kendrick Lamar” (2015)

May 31
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Some honest impressions of the real, unwashed world, free of superficiality, can be found on Kendrick Lamar’s second major release.


“Lilac Wine” – Jeff Buckley – “Grace” (1994)

May 30
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When I lived a more structured life, I used to fill Friday’s Play On space with covers… Maybe it’s time to buy a planner, one made out of paper-y, analog… maybe I should write blog posts on pieces of paper and mail them to every single person who has ever visited this site… maybe I should carve posts into the sides of trees… Where am I…

Covers! Maybe I should re-start Cover Fridays.

Okay let’s do that. Jeff Buckley will lead things off with a bottle full of beautiful intoxicants.

I made wine from the lilac tree
Put my heart in its recipe
It makes me see what I want to see
And be what I want to be

– James Shelton


“XVI” – Dan Mangan + Blacksmith – “Club Meds” (2015)

May 27
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Dan Mangan is a Play On Daily fave and the feeling must be mutual seeing as how he released “Club Meds” on my birthday.

Everyone needs some Canadian rock and roll heroes. In my school boy days, I would air guitar to April Wine (“I Like to Rock”), Rush has been quite ageless, there’s Metric, The Dears, BNL… I like ’em all but I love Dan Mangan.


“Gold” – Imagine Dragons – “Smoke + Mirrors” (2014)

May 25
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Who are the top o’ the heap “stadium rockers” these days (not counting bands that give us free, unsolicited music on our iDevice)?

Foo Fighters…
Mumford and Sons…
Imagine Dragons

That’s my Big Three (I would put Kings of Leon in a respectable but decidedly distant 4th place).

Imagine Dragons really fortified their position with the terrific “Smoke + Mirrors.” That second album is what people really look for to see if acts have any endurance skills. It looks like they’ve passed that test and now they are geared up for what should be one of the highest grossing tours of the summer.

I’ll pay some extra cash and fly to see them if I can get about an hour and a half of them and Kendrick Lamar sharing the stage.


“It’s Up to You” – The Specials – “The Specials” (1979)

May 23
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Not that I don’t love the whole of this thing but cut everything out and just let me follow that bass line for three and a half minutes.


“That Don’t Fly” – The Posies – “Every Kind of Light” (2005)

May 22
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Sad news overnight concerning the passing of Posies drummer Darius Minwalla.

I saw The Posies at Bumbershoot a few years back. I feel like I must have seen them sometime in the 90’s but that’s unverifiable. If I hadn’t seen them before Bumbershoot it’s a bit surprising since I played “Dear 23” until it was threadbare.

I’m sure that they sounded great that day at Bumbershoot but what I’ll always remember about that show is Stringfellow (who I feel might have drank a couple of bottles of vino before the show) stripping down to nothing but drawers. It was raining – the typical, Seattle, half-hearted pissy kind of rain – The Posies were rockin’ out on the lawn stage on Broad Street and Stringfellow decided it was “clothing optional day.”

RIP Darius Minwalla


“Surrender” – Cheap Trick – “Cheap Trick at Budokan” (1979)

May 22
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I went to get a drink at they gym this morning, pre-dawn, and the person who had just used the fountain had an unmistakable smell. Nope, not sweaty McMuffin-fortified compression shorts. Not, Axe “5 AM Gym is The New 2 AM Club” advanced formula lady killer spray-on. Neither of those.

When I tell you what the water drinker smelled like, you’ll be like “heh, say wha’?” So many of you will know exactly what I’m talking about. You may have never said to yourself “I miss the smell of blankty blank.” But you know what it is. You’re going to have cravings when I tell you. You’ll want to transport to a decade or so ago. When you go peeling out of your driveway to slake the craves that I have just dumped in your lap, you should make sure to get a plastic grocery bag and be prepared to have the night clerk at 7-11 look at you a little crooked headed.

Are you ready to smell what I smelled? You weren’t there with me. It’s inexplicable as to why anyone at a 24 hr. exercise parlor would wear this fragrance for their early morning pump session. You weren’t there with me this morning but now you are because anyone who used to be a goodie hoarding 10 year old will never forget this smell.

The person in front of me, hydrating at the fountain at the gym, this morning smelled like the sort of heaven that emanates from a bountiful trick or treat bag. You’re with me now. Yeah, you can smell it. All mixed up – Milk Duds, Milky Way, Butterfingers, Jolly Rancher, Junior Mints, Baby Ruth, Tootsie Pops, and Bazooka bubble gum – has there ever been a more pleasing aroma for a kid than the smell of a bag full of trick or treats?

I’m going to be so disappointed when I smell unwashed Icy Hot tomorrow morning at the fountain?


I thought of this song in relation to David Letterman signing off. I remember after Jay pulled his little coup, Cona ran a montage encapsulating his brief run with this Cheap Trick classic backing it, during his last show. It’s fitting for Dave as well, at least through the chorus, because Dave never changed it up that much and stayed true to what got him there. I love the Jimmys and I’m sure Colbert will be excellent taking over for Dave but Letterman was classic and kind of served as a transfomational key player connecting a couple of generations in late night TV. I appreciated him and although I’ve aligned myself recently with Fallon, I’ll miss Dave.