Vol. 22: “Crackerman” Stone Temple Pilots

“I saw Stone Temple Pilots this weekend. I liked them better the first time around…when they were called Pearl Jam.” –David Spade on SNL, 1992 Amazon.com Widgets Stone Temple Pilots have fought off critics and controversey almost as long as they’ve been making music . Although Core, their debut album has sold over 8 million copies to date, Weiland, the Deleo brothers, and Kretz had the […]

Vol. 21 “Alone (Shakin’ Sugar)” Wilco

“Its vaporous, insinuating, rusty-carousel melodies start to carve out a permanent orbit in your skull.” -from Entertainment Weekly’s review of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 2002 These days, it’s hard to call anything Wilco’s done overlooked. Given my unabashed fandom for the band though, I figure it’s inevitable that I would find a way to work them […]

Vol. 20: “Don’t Worry Baby” Derrick Harris

“It was all, ‘You’ve got to look this way,’ ‘write this kind of song this way,’ I got really disillusioned with the Christian Music industry,” –Derrick Harris Created as a gift for Brian Wilson on his 60th birthday, Making God Smile is not just a collection of covers. In fact, it may be completely unique […]

Vol. 19: “Smokin’ From Shootin” My Morning Jacket

“Wasting all your time on drama, could be solving real crime, waste away your mind too…” -My Morning Jacket, from “Highly Suspicious” Amazon.com Widgets Louisville Kentucky’s My Morning Jacket made their name sounding something like trippy alt-country with their first album, The Tennessee Fire in 1999. For two more albums, they rode a wave of […]

Vol. 18: “Back of a Car” Big Star

“We’ve sort of flirted with greatness, but we’ve yet to make a record as good as Revolver or Highway 61 Revisited or Exile on Main Street or Big Star’s Third. I don’t know what it’ll take to push us on to that level, but I think we’ve got it in us.” – R.E.M. guitarist Peter […]

Vol. 17: “Listen To Your Woman” Steve Kolander

“There’s a new swivel-hipped, forelock-in-the-face loverboy in town.” –Eric Levin, People Magazine, 1994     Steve Kolander was rockabilly when rockabilly wasn’t cool, to borrow a line from Barbara Mandrell. Sometimes I wonder if he was ever told that the ’50s ended. Back in ’94, this song was featured in New Country magazine, which the […]

Vol. 16: “Another Believer” Rufus Wainwright

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney Amazon.com Widgets Those words from Walt Disney punctuate the end of Meet the Robinsons, one of my favorite movies of the past […]

Special Edition: “Ice Ice Baby” Vanilla Ice

“Theirs goes, ‘Ding ding ding dingy ding-ding.’ Ours goes, ‘Ding ding ding ding dingy ding-ding. It’s not the same, it’s not the same…’” –Vanilla Ice, defending “Ice Ice Baby” against charges of plagiarism. Amazon.com Widgets It’s nothing short of a tragedy that both “Under Pressure” and “Ice Ice Baby” were huge hits, using that same […]

Vol. 15: “Pancho and Lefty” Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson

“I kinda always knew it wasn’t about Pancho Villa, and then somebody told me that Pancho Villa had a buddy whose name in Spanish meant ‘Lefty.’ I know that’s strange, huh?” –Townes Van Zandt Amazon.com Widgets Sometimes a great song sits on someone’s shelf for years before it’s even recorded. Often one’ll barely make a […]

Vol. 14: “Come Downstairs and Say Hello” Guster

“Dorothy moves to click her ruby shoes, right in tune with Dark Side of the Moon” Amazon.com Widgets So begins the understated intro of the song that is arguably this Boston’s band’s best work. The line takes its cue from a quirky coincidence reportedly first noticed by stoners that the 1973 Pink Floyd album fits […]