The world is pretty hard to stomach these days for obvious reasons. The way our world leaders and mainstream media have most people brainwashed and turning on each other over a myriad of topics is deeply disturbing, to say the least so, I find myself turning to music more and more to keep my mind right. I’ve been dabbling with sound bath meditation lately with very positive results but that wouldn’t make for a very interesting playlist. That said, I’ve been pulling together songs that work for me for one reason or another. Maybe they’ll do something for you too. // jump to playlist
Strange Days – The Doors
My friend Paul lived two backyards and a cul-de-sac away and he was all about The Doors when we were in high school. The Columbia House Record Club was a thing back then and he had every album The Doors made that he could get his hands on and listened to them ALL THE TIME. It drove me crazy back then but later in college when we lived together, I came to enjoy their musical stylings quite a bit. As I think about it now though today, I enjoy The Doors the band and less Jim Morrison the individual. Based on my investigations he seems like kind of a selfish dick and the band would not have made as many albums or had the success they achieved if it were solely because of Jim Morrison and his antics. That guy was a train wreck, without them he’d have gone nowhere.
I Found Out – John Lennon
I was never really a huge fan of any of the individual Beatles as solo artists. They each have released songs that I like but I’ve never been moved to immerse myself in their solo efforts to better acquaint myself with them. Recently I decided to listen to John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band for shits and giggles and this song stood out and stuck in my head. I then later heard it randomly in the wild and that struck me as really fucking odd so it makes the cut I guess.
Trouble Every Day – Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention
This one came across my transmissions from the universe and punched my brain in the face the other day as this was basically my South Minneapolis neighborhood earlier this summer. This song was released in 1966 and is based on the 1965 Watts Riots. The more things change the more they stay the same. (see: racial violence, social injustice, sensationalist journalism.)
Well, I seen the fires burnin’
And the local people turnin’
On the merchants and the shops
Who used to sell their brooms and mops
And every other household item
Watched the mob just turn and bite ’em
And they say it served ’em right
Because a few of them are white,
And it’s the same across the nation
Black and white discrimination
Yellin’ “You can’t understand me!”
‘N all that other jazz they hand me
In the papers and TV and
All that mass stupidity
That seems to grow more every day
Each time you hear some nitwit say
He wants to go and do you in
Because the color of your skin
Just don’t appeal to him
(No matter if it’s black or white)
Because he’s out for blood tonight
Psychotic Reaction – The Count Five
These guys wore Count Dracula-style capes when playing live, so there’s that. One-hit wonders in their late teens and early 20s, they all went to school and became plain old adults, the end.
Barbacoa – Guantanamo Baywatch
They’re making surf, garage rock in Portland, Oregon. Coincidentally, there are a number of Pacific Northwest bands on the playlist this go-round. Not sure how that happened. I wonder if these guys even surf. Does it matter? I’ve always wished I knew how to surf. Snowboarding is as close as I’ve come, and yes, I know it’s not the same.
Alabaster – All Them Witches
These guys are one of my favorite recent discoveries. Trippier than Black Sabbath but heavier than Pink Floyd, poetic like Jim Morrison without the toxic ego nonsense. This track will scratch that itch. Watch this live recording if nothing else today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwTWRN-emPk I’d love to get a sonic bath in that studio with them. It’s definitely a jam. Vibrate your soul.
Lost Heads – Moon Duo
Another psychedelic rock band formed in 2009 by Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada which explains why the sound appeals to my ears. Not the same but similar.
That Girl Suicide – Brian Jonestown Massacre
From their debut album Methodrone, BMJ has way too many good songs so I started at the beginning for this selection. If you ever get a chance you should try to watch the 2004 documentary film Dig!. It’s a great intro to the band.
Sadness/Porno For Pyros + Ripple/Jane’s Addiction – Perry Farrell
I’ve likely touched on the fact that Perry Farrell has been hugely inspirational as an artist. I loved this Grateful Dead cover when it came out but was hugely disappointed when Jane’s Addiction broke up and was then skeptical of a new band… but Porno For Pyros did not disappoint. I saw them live for each of their tours and they were every bit as good as Jane’s Addiction live in their own way. I originally had Perry’s new Satellite Party track on the playlist but it didn’t flow as well with what was around it. It’s really good though. You should check it out if you’re looking for some decent updated alt-rock.
Tomorrow Never Knows – The Beatles
This is where the Fab Four finally went off the reservation and embraced the potential of the recording studio without having to reproduce the results live. Now, a highly influential recording in the psychedelic and electronic music genres, the song was originally trashed on by many fans and journalists who simply were not hip to what they were laying down. It was apparently too far out for their delicate sensibilities.
Hey Hey What Can I do – Led Zeppelin
Released in 1970 as the B-side of the single Immigrant Song, I was that kid in the 80s sitting by the radio with a blank tape waiting for the radio to play this fucking song for years to no avail. FINALLY, I found a copy of the single once I could drive myself to the record store. It wasn’t released until 1990 on CD and now you can listen to it WHENEVER YOU WANT on Spotify. Kids these days, they have no fucking idea what suffering is.
How Much For Your Wings? – The Black Crowes
From their fourth studio album, I saw these guys live a number of times with some good friends. They always do good things for my mood and being able to design a poster for one of the shows was certainly a feather in my cap.
The Wheel/Jerry Garcia
I came to know this song through the Grateful Dead. I’ve always loved the original studio recording better than their live jams of this one which typically sounded more tired and less uplifting to me. Too slow. Plus, I love the silky slide guitar sounds on the album version. So satisfying.
The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down
You can’t let go and you can’t hold on
You can’t go back and you can’t stand still
If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will
Aint it the truth!
Thanks for reading!