Hey, hey! Episode 26 is out and here’s the playlist for this week! It’s on time! Holy cow, what happened??
This week’s episode is the second half of my interview with Sterling Roig! Let’s get into it!
1. “Back Stabbing” – James Hall: Another blistering track from the album ‘Pleasure Club’ from James Hall. Sterling played drums on this track and I love how it takes a minute to orient the kick drum to the beat of the song, and then that weird recorder part starts. It’s kind of like my ears are drunk and stood up too fast.
2. “Illustrated Babies” – James Hall: More from the Geffen debut record by the James Hall Band. If you didn’t live through the ’90s in your 20s, it’s going to be impossible for me to explain to you what it was like to be a slacker who obsessed about details and tried really hard to Get It Right absolutely all the time. I could play you this song, though.
3. “Need My Man” – James Hall: Man, the ’90s were a weird time, aesthetically, but I have to admit to you that I still love the LOUD-quiet-LOUD thing that the Pixies hammered into our brains.
4. “Young” – Silkworm with Kelly Hogan: We talked about Kelly Hogan in Episode 25, and I said “She sang on the BEST Silkworm song on ‘Italian Platinum'”, and this is exactly the song I was talking about. I have heard this song 500 times if I’ve heard it once, and not ONCE has it failed to bring tears to my eyes. Kelly is magical. She is the John Bonham of singers; somehow making it both seem effortless and as if every note is life-or-death at the same time. Genius.
5. “I Like to Keep Myself in Pain” – Kelly Hogan: From Kelly’s 2012 solo album, this song shows even more of Kelly’s range. I love her approach to the first verse, as a slightly ironic, semi-detached Peggy Lee chanteuse, but then she goes for that enormous sustained note and sets the sky on fire. I could write 500 words on just the timbre of her voice, but you have two ears and a heart, too, so I’ll shut up while you listen.
6. “Daniel Died” – Mr Lewis and the Funeral 5: Speaking of timbral moods, everything about this song is so well-considered and perfect for the cinematic world it creates: the tape-delay slide of the lead guitar, the echo around the vocal, the guttural honk of the baritone sax in the chorus- I wish I’d produced this. I’m already looking forward to seeing these guys at the Chicken Ranch Records showcase at SXSW in March of 2020.
7. “The Unfortunate Death of the Lords” – LORDS: LORDS are one of my favorite bands of all time. How many bands can cite both Captain Beefheart and Led Zeppelin as influences? I played this record for a young band I was producing and one of them said “It sounds like the music from Squidbillies,” and I started to say… “You have to understand how Appalachian music came up through blues and rockabilly to influence English musicians from the late ’60s and early ’70s, only to get drenched in acid and baked in the Sonora Desert, then get reinterpreted by… y’know what? Never mind. Sure, it sounds like the Squidbillies, if you’re FUCKING DEAF.”
8. “God’s Medicine” – John Moreland: Well, I guess I’m just gonna put all the songs on the playlist that stab me right in the heart, this week. John Moreland writes from a deep blue place that feels just like, I mean EXACTLY like, my deep blue place. “But my grandmother/still gives me/ ten bucks on my birthday/She told me/That sleep was God’s medicine.” His record ‘In the Throes’ is on Bandcamp, and it just incredible. If you ever escaped from a small, Southern town but never completely got the stain out of your head, this album might be for you.
9. “Next to Nothing” – Five Eight: I think about the lyrics from the second verse of this song at least once a week. We took like four years to make this album, but this song just jumped up out of the ground nearly complete. Still super proud of this record. (Especially the second verse of this song.)
10. “Ottte” – Triple X Snaxxx: Analog synth madness from Chapel Hill. Now is the time on Sprockets when we get nostalgic about how German anti-fascist anarchist communes from the ’60s morphed into either Baader-Meinhof or Kraftwerk. If your banker was a former Nazi, I guess you could either kidnap his nephew or reinvent pop music. “Fun fun fun on the Autobahn…..”