Ah well. Anyway. It's the weekend now, and I haven't seen a Saturday morning since God knows when, and long may it continue.
This week's Guest Editor is a long-time friend of this blog. In fact, as I believe I said the last time he appeared in this slot, he's the first blog that I found when I hit the "next blog" button in Blogger. As it turns out, he's also the only worthwhile blog that I have ever discovered through hitting that button.
Ladies and Gentleworms, without further ado, it is my great pleasure to offer up for your earworming pleasure.... one of the real gentlemen of the internet....
Besides feeling like a Triple-A player getting a cup of coffee in the majors, the thing I dig most about my yearly guest spot on the earworms of the week is seeing where my tastes go year-by-year. In 2005, I was listening to Mike Doughty. 2006 showed up, and even though it didn't make the list, I'm still listening to Mike Doughty. Guess whose forthcoming album I'm really looking forward to in late '07 or early '08? Yeah, Mike Doughty. But I digress - there's plenty of other stuff that gets stuck in my head (but not Kelly Clarkson. This time).
By the way, Swiss, shouldn't we trade CDs sometime? [ST's note: absolutely we should. Let's do that]
Anyway, on to the list:
10. Tay Zonday - "Chocolate Rain."
This song is the fucking terrible internet sensation of the week. I hope none of you have seen this, or any of its parodies on YouTube. I hope, if you've seen it, that this doesn't put it back in your head. I hope reading this doesn't inspire curiosity to look for it in those of you who haven't seen it. I hope once you find it, that it doesn't get stuck in your head for all eternity. I hope by the end of this column, you don't find yourself singing "Chocolate Rain, blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah..." Good luck.
9. The Arcade Fire - "Keep the Car Running."
Everybody goes all gah-gah over the Arcade Fire's first album, but I don't really get that one so much. The second one, which spawned this track, seems to be a little more cohesive, and definitely produced the more standout tracks. Like this one. I still don't get the fuss over this band, but this song is a total keeper.
8. Galactic featuring Chali 2Na of Jurassic 5 - "Think Back."
Tops on my musical wishlist in recent months is some improvisational funky jazz with a rapper on top of it. Think Soulive's live show (guitar and keys solos included) with some awesome lyricist dude freestyling all over it. This, a collaboration with some notable hip-hoppers by one of the better funky jazz outfits in America, is almost it. A little too stiff and unimprovised, but close. I'm digging it.
7. The Raconteurs - "Steady as She Goes."
I'm lukewarm on this album, but mad hot on Jack White's guitar pyrotechnics. This song, particularly the part of the chorus consisting of "steady as she goes" has been stuck in my head since I picked it up a few weeks ago.
6. Mark Ronson - "Just."
Someone in my office has found it necessary to ask me if I listen to any Radiohead that's not a cover. The answer is not really (Warren Haynes, Easy-Star Allstars and the Devil's Workshop Big Band all do more), and the same can be said of me and Bob Dylan. Ronson's added horns and backbeats make this song funky as hell and catchy as balls.
5. Wilco - "The Thanks I Get."
This song was cut from the recent Sky Blue Sky record I haven't shut up about lately. If you've popped over to my site in recent months, you've heard me mention this record. If you've hung out with me lately, you've probably heard me talk about this record. If you've ridden in my car or listened to a burnt mix CD from me lately, you've probably heard pieces of this record. It's a gorgeous song, unfortunately cut from a great disc, and it's been stuck in my head for three months.
4. Drive-By Truckers - "Never Gonna Change."
DBT, to me, is country. It's not your faux-twangy Kenny Chesney bullshit, it's gritty, straight from the heart, three-guitar rockage featuring some of the best storytelling I've ever seen. This, from Jason Isbell (the third, probably best, and and now departed of their songwriters), is a prime example. I can not help wholeheartedly rocking out every time I hear "you can take me to the Colbert County jailhouse. You can throw me off the Wilson Dam, but there ain't much difference in the man I wanna be and the man that I really am."
3. Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds - "Eh Hee."
Yeah. Writing an earworm column is a lot like going to the doctor. It doesn't do you any good if you're not honest. I've got a pretty mixed relationship with Dave Matthews Band - they were the best thing since sliced bread for me in high school, then, somewhere around the year 2000, they just stopped making good music, like someone just flipped a switch. One weakness for me still, though, is Dave's acoustic performances with Tim Reynolds. Tim's a nasty, bad man on acoustic guitar, and his rockin' accompaniment somehow freshens Dave's tired tunes. Next thing you know, you're walking to work thinking "eh-EEEH-HEE" to yourself.
2. Grace Potter - "Here's to the Meantime."
There are many things going for Grace Potter. First, she has a fantastic voice. Second, she performs both on a B3 and on a Flying V guitar. Finally, she's gorgeous. What's not to like? Her tunes are soulful and remniscent of a Janis Joplin-meets-The Band thing, and she's spunky and awesome. My girlfriend would be a huge fan if not for the mild crush I've got on her.
1. Jason Isbell - "Brand New Kind of Actress."
Two tunes by the same songwriter in the same list, but since this is off of his debut solo record, it doesn't count as a repeat. The whole end of this song with the sing-song twang-rock repetition of "put the piece away, I don't care what you did" keeps me listening to this song over and over again. Isbell knows what he's doing - he's combined his gritty storytelling from DBT with the glossy production required to be a hit with crossover audiences, and he's combined them into something awesome. I'm almost more excited to see what becomes of him than I am for DBT's eighth album next year.
OK! Thanks guys. Check out some of these tunes if you like, and hope you enjoy. Cheers.
Always a pleasure to have you round these parts Charlie, always a pleasure. I love having some of our friends from the USA appearing in this slot... it's the way that they pick a mixture of things that are familiar to me (Mark Ronson, the Ranconteurs, The Arcade Fire) with things that I have absolutely no clue about (Jason Isbell, Grace Potter, Drive-By Truckers). By the sounds of it though, and after a totally coincidental conversation with Hen and Lord B, it looks as though my internal jukebox is going to have no escape at all from Tay Zonday.
Good to have you back Charlie, and see you again in 2008?
Next week: me. I think it's time I had another go.
Until then... it's a bank holiday weekend here, and the sun is forecast to be out for once. Happy days!
[Previous Guest Editors: Flash, The Urban Fox, Lord Bargain, Retro-Boy, Statue John, Ben, OLS, Ka, Jenni, Aravis, Yoko, Bee, Charlie, Tom, Di, Spin, The Ultimate Olympian, Damo, Mike, RedOne, The NumNum, Leah, Le Moine Perdu, clm, Michael, Hyde, Adem, Alecya, bytheseashore, adamant, Earworms of the Year 2005, Delrico Bandito, Graham, Lithaborn, Phil, Mark II, Stef, Kaptain Kobold, bedshaped, I have ordinary addictions, TheCatGirlSpeaks, Lord B rides again, Tina, Charlie II, Cody Bones, Poll Star, Jenni II, Martin, Del II, The Eye in the Sky, RussL, Lizzy's Hoax, Ben II, Earworms of the Year 2006, Sarah, Flash II, Erika, Hen, Pynchon, Troubled Diva, Graham II, Cat II, Statue John II, Sweeping the Nation, Aravis II, Olympian II, C, Planet-Me, Mike, Michael II, Eye in the Sky II]