Friday, May 13, 2016

Songs for My Brother

It's our annual staple here at YDP - on my brother's birthday we celebrate by gifting him some music.  Doesn't have to be new (although a lot is), it just has to be what's on heavy rotation here currently at YDP headquarters.

Ready for this year's installment?  OK, here we go:

Cuz I'm Here - Greyhounds: I'm a big fan of blue-eyed soul, and these guys are arguably the best in the business right now.  Really want to see these guys live.

1000 X's & O's - Prince:  With his recent passing, it would seem a miss not to include some Prince in this lineup.  While his newer stuff is a little more difficult to grasp, this is a recent one that really resonated with me.

 As I Walk Away - Yuck:  Yuck is making music right now that most bands wish they could make.  A lot are shooting for this kind of sound, but lack a lot of cleanliness and melody.  These guys are doing it very well.

Spirits - The Strumbellas: The award winner for the song on this list that will get stuck in your head all day.

Astonished Man - Thao & The Get Down Stay Down: Everyone has a story of how they were into a band well before they hit it big.  I'd like to think that applied to me with Thao.  There is no hotter band than this right now, and I've been enjoying their unique vibe for years.  A bit of an acquired taste, but good stuff.

Mistakes - Lake Street Dive: More blue-eyed soul?  More Minneapolis connections?  Yes, please, to both.

Lazarus - David Bowie: If we're doing Prince, we're doing Bowie too.  This is so, so Bowie on a lot of levels, and is arguably his greatest song ever.  

Willow - Israel Nash: I have been way into this guy for a while now.  I just flat love a pedal steel guitar, especially when it shows up in unexpected places.  He uses it a ton, and this is one great example.  Cool band, cool sound.

Lover Come Back - City and Colour: Almost a pop effort from these guys.  Highly enjoyable little tune.

Bad Blood - Ryan Adams: Ryan took Taylor Swift's 1989 album and covered the whole damned thing, track for track.  He even named it the same thing.  You'd think it would suck, right?  No way.  The reworked songs have added depth and are frankly incredible.  This is just one example.  The whole album is worth a listen.

With a Little Help from My Friends - Joe Cocker: Speaking of covers, here is a guy that usually did them very well.  While this song is very old, it has aged well.  

Fire Away - Chris Stapleton: The lone country representation from this list.  Voice sounds familiarly like Springsteen in some instances.  And, of course, there's a pedal steel guitar...

Crazy Mary - Pearl Jam: I'm not a fan of Pearl Jam - not at all.  There are only two songs in their entire library that resonate with me.  This is one of them.  The Victoria Williams classic is reworked exceptionally well here, and really matches the weirdness of the song.  

The Ecstasy of Gold - Ennio Morricone: From The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, this track is finding its way into a couple of pieces of current advertising.  Metallica actually used this as their walk-up music for one of their tours.  Good tune to have playing when humping up a hill during a jog or on a bike

She Can't Tell - MOTHXR: I usually don't go for the more electronic stuff, but the guitar and funkiness of this one puts it on this year's list.

Head Over Heels - JD McPherson: Hard core old school 50's rock and roll.  This guy is a real treasure.  

That's this year's installment.  Happy birthday, bro.  Can't want to see you in person and talk about this (and about 100 other things...)

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