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The Crash and Ride Playlist for September 12, 2019

This week’s guest is Stephen Cramer, who is a music promoter and not a musician, BUT we did an extra episode this week with Chad Cochran, who has shot a bunch of photographs of Americana Musicians for his series “I Didn’t Want to Tell You.” I’m going to highlight some of those instead!

1. “Dyin'” – Elizabeth Cook: One of the things I love about the current crop of Americana stars is their obsession with  great guitar sounds. Check out the solo in this track. Everything about this song sounds pretty great to me.

2. “Black Leaf” – John Paul White: Formerly half of the Grammy-winning duo The Civil Wars, John Paul White continues to write great songs that feel like tiny movies. If I had to guess what Elliot Smith would have sounded like if he’s been from Alabama, this would be my guess.

3. “All I Know” – Lydia Loveless: Lydia was the breakout artist for Chad Cochran as a portrait photographer. She’s a brutally honest writer and fearless performer. I’d really like to see live and be in her world for a while.

4. “Shine On” – Steve Poltz: I first heard of Steve Poltz through Chad’s “I Didn’t Want to Tell You” photos from No Depression’s Fall Wellness issue. I tabbed through a bunch of his songs, and ended up settling on this one because it feels to me like Shawn Mullins rhapsodizing over Ry Cooder’s soundtrack from Paris, Texas. Atmospheric and kind. 

5. “Depressive State” – Jaimee Harris: Another artist I discovered from Chad’s photos. I LOVE this song. It feels like a telegram from the future to me from ten years ago. “Will I ever be ok?/And not someone that everyone hates?” Jaimee’s voice is like a black velvet painting of Loretta Lynn. So glad I found this song.

6. “Carolina Ghost” – Caleb Caudle: Caleb Caudle was one of the first artists Chad shot because of their mutual acquaintance Sloane Spencer of the Country Fried Rock podcast. This song has Wurlitzer electric piano AND pedal steel, so it’d have to go really wrong for me to hate it.  

7. “Certain Slant of Light” – Vigilantes of Love: I referenced this song in my interview with Chad. You can hear the interview I did with Bill Mallonee back in episode 22. 

“Tell me your deep, dark secret
Yeah, and I will tell you mine
Oh, is that your deep, dark secret?
Oh well, never mind”

mic drop.

8. “Broken Man” – Chris Canterbury:  A fellow Chicken Ranch Records artist, I heard an upcoming unreleased track from Chris this week. It was just as great as his past work would lead you to expect. Here’s another portrait of a broken man with broken dreams, in a broken town. “The sun doesn’t shine on a broken man.”

9. “Keep the Homefires Burning” – Sarah Shook: Another “I Didn’t Want to Tell You” artist, I had a hard time picking a song of hers for this list, because they’re all so fully realized.  A friend of mine dated a girl who’d crack the top on a fifth and toss it out of the window of the car, because “We’re not gonna need that again.”  Sarah’s Appalachian yelp of a singing voice reminds me of that girl in many, many ways.

10. “All Strung Out Like Christmas Lights” – Elizabeth Cook and Boo Ray: One more tune by Elizabeth Cook and my friend Boo Ray, who was a guest on Episode 15. There are few genres of music I enjoy more than playing Western Swing, and I would love to sit in on this tune some time. If the truest part of art is in the tiny details, “All strung out like Christmas lights/on a low country, hot summer night,” is right down the middle. Nice work, everybody.

The Crash and Ride Playlist for Sept 7th, 2019

Hey, this is late again, but things happen when you’re doing two episodes in one week! Better late than never!

Let’s do this!

  1. “Baby Bird” – Whores: This week’s guest is Christian Lembach, and Whores is his band. This blistering track is the lead-off track on the ‘Clean’ record, and captures the vulnerability and duplicity of self-destruction, and considering the content of the interview, I find it especially interesting.
  2. “Baby Teeth” – Whores: Y’know, sometimes when you’re on dope your teeth fall out. This song is rough, but incredibly cathartic.
  3. “Playing Poor” – Whores: What’s the opposite of “easy listening”? This is the opposite of “easy listening.”
  4. “Wires” – Red Fang: Christian mentioned touring with Red Fang. I love Red Fang. This song is by Red Fang. They rule.
  5. “Kubbbi” – Triple X Snaxxx: The analog synth gods of Chapel Hill bring you more bleep bloop goodness. I love this band. You should listen to more synth rock/kraut rock.
  6. “We Can’t Have Nice Things” – Kelly Hogan: From Kelly’s solo album from a few years ago. Her luminous, bell-like voice makes this song a stroke of tragic genius. She’s the best,
  7. “Pint of Wine” – LORDS: Another brilliant band who flared up like a Roman Candle and then vanished before most of the world even noticed. LORDS are, I guess, my favorite band, honestly. They’re just so good. They will be on a lot of these playlists.
  8. “Over Jordan” – Papa M: David Pajo is a survivor. This is the solo project of the former Slint member. Meditative, thoughtful, mournful, gorgeous. Hoping to get him on the show before the end of the year.
  9. “Noplace I” – Aidan Baker, Simon Goff, Thor Harris: The mighty Thor Harris’ improvisational project with Aidan Baker and Simon Goff. This is an improvisational band of multi-instrumentalists that met and recorded this album in three hours in Berlin.
  10. “Had/Have” – The Pauses: No, wait, THIS is my favorite band. This is the heartbreaker off their most recent album, ‘Unbuilding.” It captures so much of that sad, still feeling of a breakup, when your heart fills with rainwater and gravel.

The Crash and Ride Playlist for August 31st, 2019

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…..”

The Crash and Ride Playlist for the week of August 24th, 2019

I guess Monday/Tuesday is when I do this, now. Whee. HEY, IT’S THE CRASH AND RIDE PLAYLIST FOR EPISODE 25!

This week’s guest is Sterling Roig, a dear friend of many, many years, and former drummer for the James Hall Band. I’ve put a couple of songs from them on this week’s list, as well as some songs by former and future guests, and some songs by people I love, whether they’ve been on the show or not! Let’s get into it, shall we?

1. “Illingness” – The James Hall Band: This was the lead-off single for James’ first Geffen album, ‘Pleasure Club.’ Man, the whole world was green, then, and it felt like anything was possible. James and his band were cocked and loaded to be the Next Big Thing, and then their record company fell away from beneath them. This felt like an incredible warning shot across the bow, though, and it’s a great snapshot of what might have been.

2. “Pleasure Club” – The James Hall Band: The first song on the ‘Pleasure Club’ record, this disorienting, manic blast of paranoia and sexual tension was a such a great monkey-wrench-to-the-forehead of an introduction to the band.

3. “Fellowship of Hunted Things” – Lincoln Barr: Y’know, Lincoln was last week’s guest, and he was so honest and pure, I keep coming back to his record ‘Trembling Frames’ in awe. Listen to Episode 24, then come back to this track in particular, and see if it doesn’t just crush you.

4. “A Solitary Slip” – Will Johnson: My friend Will is about to go out on tour and we’re going to try and sit down for a talk either in Atlanta or Asheville. Probably one of the few artists who can say “Jason Isbell wrote a song about me,” so if you’re not familiar, you should dig deep into Will’s work, as well as his work with his former band, Centromatic.

5. “Curse Your Branches” – David Bazan: David Bazan is great, isn’t he? I think you can tell a lot about a person by which Bazan/Pedro record they keep in heavy rotation. I’m sad to inform everyone who cares about me that mine is ‘Curse Your Branches.’ It’s ok, I’m fine.

6. “Real Down Town” – Bill Mallonee: Bill was on Episode 22 and we had a great talk. Bill is basically a perpetual motion machine of songwriting, but most of his work is NOT on Spotify. This is a tune from some years ago, but make sure you make your way over to his bandcamp and then just throw a dart. It’s all so good.

7. “I Have a Prepared Statement” – Whores: Last week I spoke with Christian Lembach from Whores for the show. That interview will be out in about two weeks. Whores is a bracing and astringent noise rock band that flies all over the world spreading sunshine and roses everywhere they go. If they come to your town, don’t miss them.

8. “Foreign Object” – Multicult: I am going to keep forcing you to listen to this song until you realize that Jake Cregger is a genius drummer. What kind of bent mind comes up with a beat like this?

9. “Sycophant” – Powder Room: All of the interstitial music from the show comes from the first Powder Room album, ‘Curtains.’ Powder Room is a tragically underrated band, and I’m not just saying that because I played with them. Gene Woolfolk is a great guitarist, but more importantly, he writes phenomenal hooks. This is from the Powder Room record I played drums.

10. “The Ballad of Bones and Blood” – Mr Lewis and the Funeral 5: I’m hoping to talk to one of the guys in the Funeral 5 for the podcast, soon. I love this band. The Funeral 5 make me feel like I should be leaning on the fender of a taxi outside of a St Louis diner where there’s a guy in a corner booth taking illicit bets on the 1962 World Series. This band is the snub-nosed .38 of rock. A hoodlum’s gun, two-tone oxfords, a girl named Sophie who cracks her gum when she winks at you. The album ‘Before the World Beat You Down’ is one of my favorite movies that only plays in my head.

The Crash and Ride Playlist for the week of August 17th, 2019

These keep getting later because it’s back to school time and all that, but I still love you all.

Here’s this week’s playlist!

“How to Escape” – Lincoln Barr: This week’s guest is Lincoln Barr, a fantastic singer/songwriter who made his first mark in Seattle, but now resides in Columbia, SC. His album ‘Trembling Frames’ is a meditation on his life as the oldest child of a violent man. This song really brings home the feeling of wanting to escape from the wrath of someone who won’t protect you.

“Nothing But a Tail #2” – Lincoln Barr: Lincoln also composed the soundtrack for the film ‘The Past Is Never Dead’ and released those songs as the album ‘Cruel Dream.’ During the interview, Lincoln told me that the songs on the soundtrack are from the same sessions where he wrote the songs on ‘Trembling Frames.’ You can feel that same vibe, I think.

“Cruel Dream” – Lincoln Barr: One more instrumental track from the ‘Cruel Dream’ soundtrack. Super moody, meditative, dark stuff.

“Giving Up My Inheritance” – Lincoln Barr: One more track from ‘Trembling Frames,’ a song about resisting the cycle of sadness and violence that passes abuse from generation to generation.

“$10 Bill” – Mr Lewis and the Funeral 5: These guys are one of my favorite bands, and are labelmates of Five Eight on Chicken Ranch Records. The dark, post-jazz influence of Lincoln’s songs made me think of Mr Lewis, so I wanted to throw this tune on the playlist this week. This song always kills, live.

“White as Whispers” – Gray Hairs: A band I love from Nottingham in the UK, from the Gringo Records label. I love this guitar player, and he’s been in two of my favorite bands in the world. I kind of hope to have Chris on the show some time, but you know how the English areā€¦. not big on feelings talk.

“Rock and Roll Queen” – SheHeHe: Athens punk hellraisers, SheHeHe are so great. Guitarist and vocalist Noelle Shuck was a guest of the program back on Episode 6th. They play in and around Athens ALL THE TIME, so don’t sleep on this band.

“Jan 3” – Improvement Movement: Improvement Movement is Anthony Aparo (Episode 7) and a rotating cast of musical geniuses. I love their take on modern psychedelia. Tune in, turn on, kick ass.

“Billion Walkmans” – Lacy Jags: Speaking of modern psychedelia, Lacy Jags are friends from Chapel Hill. PDP played a couple of shows with them this summer and they are great. ‘Meddle’-era Pink Floyd meets The Church.

“It’s Only a Bargain if You Want It” – Des Ark: Way back on Episode 10, I talked to Evan Rowe, and he was sometimes drummer for Des Ark, a band I discovered back in the days of MySpace. I was always super into Des Ark and didn’t even know that I was being introduced to Aimee from this band once at Hopscotch, which is probably just as well, because I would have FANBOYED SO BADLY. Aimee is great and this is just one of the many great Des Ark songs.

The Crash and Ride Playlist for August 10th, 2019

Hey, I know I’m a day late with this. I had to go to the mountains for a day and do a little fly fishing after talking to Tim Midyett about it. Sometimes you have to go stand thigh-deep in an ice cold river and pray for summer to end.

Here’s this week’s playlist!

  1. “Can’t Find a Hat” – Mint Mile: Tim Midyett’s new project, this is my favorite song of theirs so far. I love how it toes the line between melancholy and honky tonk anthem. Seems like a good direction to go in, these days.
  2. “Couldn’t You Wait” – Silkworm: The thing I hate to admit about Silkworm songs is sometimes I have no idea whether a song is a Tim song or an Andy song. Whichever, this is the track I played with them the one time I sat in with Andy and Tim in Chicago, and it nearly made me cry, it was so amazing. They say “Don’t meet your heroes.” I say “Get better heroes, pal.”
  3. “Nerves” – Silkworm: I think this is my favorite Silkworm song. It’s the one most evocative of touring in the ’90s, and wondering why some bands become ridiculously good, while others become ridiculously successful.
  4. “Fleece” – Bottomless Pit: Man, this song crushes. It’s the first song on the last BP LP. That riff. In headphones, this song feels like deep water.
  5. “Farewell Trasmission” – Songs:Ohia: Rest well, Jason Molina. This is my favorite Songs:Ohia track, and I sometimes plug my bass in, turn this up as loud as I can, and play along. It’s my form of meditation.
  6. “All My Happiness is Gone” – Purple Mountains: Man, the lyrics to this song. Rest well, David Bermann. “Lately I tend to make strangers wherever I go/Some of them were once people I was happy to know.” This song is the source of the lyrics I read in the intro, this week. There’s such a contrast between the bouncy new wave beat of this track and the darkness of the lyrics. There’s so much to unpack here.
  7. “Don’t Fade On Me” – Magnolia Electric Co.: More brilliance from Jason Molina.
  8. “Random Rules” – Silver Jews: Another track from David Berman. “In 1984 I was hospitalized for approaching perfection.”
  9. “FF=66” – Jawbox: Tim and I talked about Jawbox some in the interview, and our friends The Pauses are out on tour with them now. I saw them live in like 1991 and cut my long hair off the next day. This was the first recorded track I ever heard from them and it nearly ripped the rest of my hair out, too.
  10. “Escape from Nebula M Spacehunter” – Daikaiju: This is on here for two reasons: 1. Daikaiju is one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen, and 2. I’m missing them as I type this, because they’re in Atlanta tonight and I’m not. Meh.

The Crash and Ride Playlist for August 3rd, 2019

This week’s episode is an interview with my friend Bill Mallonee. Interestingly, Bill does not use or believe in Spotify, but like me he loves Bandcamp. When I asked Bill to send me a playlist of his favorite work, he sent me 11 links to individual tracks on Bandcamp. I love this idea.

Check out Bill’s work below!











And one more to grow on…

The Crash and Ride Playlist for July 27th, 2019

This week’s interview is with Mike Dickinson of Austin-based Chicken Ranch Records. Mike has been a huge supporter of independent rock for many years, including my own bands Five Eight and Pinky Doodle Poodle. I made this week’s playlist using only Chicken Ranch Records releases!

1. “The Ballad of Bones and Blood” – Mr Lewis and the Funeral 5:  Five Eight and Pinky Doodle Poodle shared the bill with these guys this year at SXSW, and they never fail to deliver. Just an outstanding band, they sound like music from a haunted jukebox in a diner filled with the souls of pickpockets and gamblers, frozen in purgatory, where the year will always be 1961.

2. “GO PZ GO” – Peelander Z: This song is like twenty seconds long, but I get pumped every time I hear it, so I decided to use it as an intro to…

3. “Bike Bike Bike” – Peelander Z: Japanese punk party rockers Peelander Z make me realize that there are dirty Ramones alleys and surf safaris in Tokyo, too. If you don’t have fun at a Peelander Z show, there’s a podcast for depressed musicians you need to check out….

4. “Voice of Memphis” – Negro Terror: Memphis’ all-black punk band, Negro Terror, was just starting to break out when their lead singer and guiding spirit Omar Higgins died suddenly from a totally treatable and unfortunate illness. They are brash, noisy, and angry like every great hardcore band from the last century, and they were poised to do great things. Rest in power, Omar.

5. “Matches” – The Waymores: The Waymore feel to me a little like a significantly more authentic version of The Knitters, the Americana side-project of LA punk godparents, X. This song shows their deeply insightful take on the kind of classic hard-luck redneck anthem that serves to elegize the misanthropes and outcasts who always have the barstool closest to the side door or who get a cell all to themselves upstate.

6. “Hurt You” – Five Eight: From the remastered release of Weirdo, our ill-fated final record for Sky Records back in the ’90s, this is the song we joked as the “feel-bad hit of the summer.” With acoustic bass played by my then-roommate Dave Domizi, this colossal downer of a tune is still kind of my favorite song from that album.

7. “Refinery Town” – Chris Canterbury: I saw Chris play a solo set at the Chicken Ranch showcase last spring at SXSW, and he absolutely silenced a room full of people who were waiting to jump around and shout along with Peelander Z. People are reverent in the presence of the truth, and Chris brings it. I felt honored to be there. I hope he asks me to play some shows with him some time.

8. “Hoy Hoy” – Flat Duo Jets: Mike mentioned in the interview that he always wanted to find a way to work with Flat Duo Jets, and he did put out a record for them a few years ago. Dexter Romwebber is one of the great unsung legends of indie rock in the South, and I’ve never seen them turn in a bad show. Five Eight once lived in the house under which Dexter is seen sleeping in the ‘Athens GA Inside Out” film. It was a lot smaller town, then. Hoy, hoy indeed.

9. “Little One” – Komorebi: Komorebi is trip hop from New Delhi. Everything she does is amazing, and I was fortunate enough to play drums for her when her drummer was unable to get a visa to play SXSW last year. We had one rehearsal, and we bonded over how great her work is. I’m hoping to convince friends at Moog Fest to bring her over next year. Check out the video for this tune in the show notes for Episode 21. I have soem unreleased stuff that would also blow your mind.

10. “Hey Little Birdie” – Starlings, TN: Sadly, Starlings TN’s last show was a couple of years ago, now, but I always loved seeing them at the Chicken Ranch shows. Harmonies, string band tunes, murder ballads, they had it all. I hate that they’re no longer together.

11. “What’s Your Matter” – Thee Idylls: I love the intense focus on melodies in this band. They’ve been described as garage rock, with a strong streak of southern indie kudzu mysticism, which seems about right to me. This is from the EP they released with Chicken Ranch, and I like how rowdy it is.

The Crash and Ride Playlist for July 20th, 2019

So, yeah, I know I’m writing this two days late, but I can explain, really. I mean, it won’t happen again. Well, maybe it will. Anyway, I’ve been on the road and my phone died. I mean, is dead. I have to get a new phone this week.

Here’s the Spotify playlist for July 20th, 2019! This week I released Episode 20, and I interviewed the band Friendship Commanders. They’re a power duo from Nashville. They recorded at Electrical Audio with Steve Albini. I think they’re amazing.

“Saw and Heard” – Friendship Commanders: These two move as one mind. It’s never more evident than on this track. Jerry is one of my favorite drummers. This rips.

“How to Spot a Coward” – Friendship Commanders: Hm, funny thing- this also rips. They are phenomenal live. You should see them.

“Horrify” – Friendship Commanders: This remains my favorite FC song, not least because of the great circular drum riff in the verse. I love the way it opens up in the chorus and surges forward, only to lock back into that circular feel in the verse again. Fuck the video for this song, though. Not a big fan of seeing someone I care about getting murdered, even if it’s all theatrical. Nope.

“Playing Poor” – Whores: Mr Sunshine, Christian Lembach, with another perfectly howling noise rock banger. I’m hoping to get him on the show, soon. This song feels to me like Unsane as played by a hemi ‘Cuda.

“Deluxe Electric Ninja Mistress” – Daikaiju: Pinky Doodle Poodle played with Daikaiju in Chattanooga, TN, at a club the size of the men’s room at CBGB, and yet it was one of the most magic and electric shows I’ve ever seen. This band is both literally and figuratively on fire. See them if they come to your town.

“Mad Tiger DX” – Peelander-Z: Thanks to our association with Chicken Ranch Records, Five Eight and Pinky Doodle Poodle have been able to play with Japanese punk party mayhem band Peelander-Z. Their live show is unforgettable and hugely fun.

“You Don’t Have a Choice” – Easter Island: I engineered and mixed “Better Things,” Easter Island’s first EP, then got asked to play drums for them after Jon Cable, their original drummer, left the band. This is from their second album, “Frightened,” which I also engineered and mixed, along with two former guests of the show, Grant Curry and Richard Salino. They’re currently on tour and I got to see them the other night. Their new bassist is just amazing, and their old bassist has moved to lead guitar. Dreamy, ethereal, pop shoegaze.

“(Eyes in the) Tap Room” – The Gary: PDP played with the Gary in Austin and they killed. I love this band. I love this song. Dave and Trey will always be two of my favorite people on the planet. This song, though. Holy shit.

“I’m Fucking Dick Dale” – Motherfucker: I have seen Athens noise rock trio Motherfucker absolutely laser beam a room on many, many occasions. This song is always a treat live. Sadly, drummer Erika couldn’t play Saturday night’s Slop Fest show due to a really terrible injury. She’s expected to make a full recovery, but y’all send good vibes and love. She’s one of my favorite people and I hope to do an interview with her soon.

“Leviathan, Bound” – Shearwater: This is one of Thor Harris’ many, many bands. I didn’t really know their work before I interviewed Thor, so I’m digging in. This is one of my favorite tracks, so far. Apparently, Thor can do anything.

“Sparrows” – The Low Lows: I played with Parker Noon’s band, The Low Lows, on an EU tour in 2006, and it was the best tour of my life. We toured as a three piece, did a bunch of dates in the UK, then went to France and Spain, and it was one of the finest experiences of my life. Parker is maybe too private to sit down with me for an interview, but I’m going to keep asking.

Crash and Ride Playlist for July 13th, 2019

Here’s the playlist for this week’s episode! Ryley Walker is such a gifted guitar player that it’s easy to forget that he’s an excellent songwriter and arranger, too. I have three different songs from him on this week’s playlist that show different facets of his considerable talent.
There’s also some songs from bands I played with on tour this week, and some friends, guests from past shows, etc.

“Rocks on Rainbow” – Ryley Walker: Ryley and I talked a little bit about our shared love of Richard Thompson and his slack-key tuning/fingerpicking style. Ryley has his own special take on this, perhaps less averse to dissonance as Richard Thompson, but no less affecting. This track is hypnotic and lovely.

“Busted Stuff” – Ryley Walker: Ryley and I didn’t get into a discussion about the whole “Lillywhite Sessions” record, but if you want some background, I’d suggest reading the Pitchfork review of it. I didn’t really understand why Ryley covered an unreleased Dave Matthews Band record in its entirety, and maybe I still don’t, but the Pitchfork review contextualizes it in a way I couldn’t here. Walker, of course, makes this song his own and extraordinary.

“On the Banks of the Old Kishwaukee” – Ryley Walker: This song really calls back to Ryley’s love of Fairport Convention, and showcases his knack for melody and his ability to write strong electric folk tunes.

“Coming Up for Air” – The Gary: My band PDP recently played with the Gary in Austin, and they are one of my favorite bands in the world. Singer Dave Norwood’s vocals always conjure a certain character in my head: A really solid, gentle guy who has been pushed nearly to the point of breaking, and now there’s going to be a fight.

“Song 25” – The Austerity Program: There are very few bands in the world who capture existential despair and a Southern Gothic level of anxiety than the Austerity Program. Going down the rabbit hole of their recorded output is a journey into a Dustbowl of shattered expectations and tragedy. Surprisingly, in person, Justin Foley is absolutely hilarious. I guess it’s true what they say: The Austerity Program is a land of contrasts.

“Just Say Something” – Endiana: PDP played some shows with Endiana a few weeks back, and I just love their incredible facility as players and their laconic lyrical approach and performance. Easily my favorite Indianapolis band of all time, and worthy of more of your attention.

“Stay” – Paper Saints: Another band I recently met on tour. I hate these sorts of cheap comparisons, but it’s just so hard not to say this: If Siouxsie and the Cure and Psychedelic Furs had formed a super-group… The late 2010s goth revival is making the ghost of my teen self so happy, and not just for the shaggy black haircuts and padlock chokers. The commitment to melody here is really inspiring to me. Great band.

“Mental Illness as Mating Ritual” – Whores: Future podcast guest Christian Lembach not only has a great noise rock band, his song titles have little worlds wrapped up in them. See also: “I See You Are Also Wearing a Black T-shirt”. Christian and Kevin Chapman, the guitar player from Paper Saints, were once roommates. Small world.

“Outlive You” – Friendship Commanders: Next week’s episode will be an interview with this absolutely stellar Nashville band. I’m going to keep hammering this band into your ears until you realize that you should love them.

“Herzog” – Five Eight: This is the band for whom I’ve played drums for like 30 years. This is our song about Werner Herzog trying to figure out what happened to the dude who got eaten by bears.

“Alcoholics and Meth Addicts” – The Powder Room: Just a reminder that this is the band who wrote the Crash and Ride theme song. I love this band and played with them for a while. Gene, the genius behind these melodies and great guitar parts, now plays lead guitar for T Hardy Morris. This song, though, is SUCH a banger. I bang my head every time I’m editing it into an episode.