Playlist of the Month – April 2012

It’s the third edition of my striking new feature, “Playlist of the Month”, and despite my track record I haven’t given up on it (yet).  This month, I’m feeling nastalgic.  To best exploit this feeling in a way thay makes writing my blog easier, I’m just gunna go ahead and make a playlist of some music that i was listening to in high school.

High school was when my musical tastes were started to grow out of the the deveolping stage and into the establishing stage.  In Junior and Senior year, I was allowed to drive around the family’s pickup truck.  Don’t get excited, it wasn’t anything special.  It was a compact truck.  A small, old as balls, super-no-frills Chevy S10 with a handful of mechanical problems and awful tan paint.  When I say “tan”, I only say so because I think that’s what was listed on the bill.  I’ve also seen it referred to as light brown, but both are lies.  It was band-aid colored and eventually earned the nickname “Khaki Truck”.  Even though my Dad owned the car, he let me use it enough that I started to think of it as mine.  I’d drive the thing to and from school and all over town, all the while cranking whatever stupid music I was into at the time, and mostly from crappy home burned CDs on a crappy personal CD player, crappily piped through the truck’s crappy speakers with one of those craptastic tape-deck converter tape-y… things.  Driving around to my own soundtrack was the closest thing I had to freedom in those days, and I reveled in it.

I listened to a relatively eclectic mix of music so this month’s sampling won’t have any real theme.  It’s just stuff that I listened to back in the day.  It may also end up being a bit of a schizophrenic mish-mash.  Whateve’s.  You don’t give a shit, right?  Here we go.

Aaron’s Notes April 2012 Playlist of the Month:

Megadeth – Almost Honest

I had three versions of this song on my HDD back home in high school, and I loved them all for different reasons.  It’s one of those songs that covers a specific part of the human experience in such a way that, even though I’d yet to experience it, I totally knew what it was saying.  I never understood the rift between Metallica and Megadeth fans past the politics.  If Spotify had any Metallica in their library, they’d be on this list.

Alice in Chains – Brother (from MTV Unplugged)

The MTV Unplugged album of Alice in Chains was awesome in that it managed to at least do justice to most of their all-electric songs and even elevated a handful, like this one, to more than just hard, grimy, grunge rock.

Albert King – Laundromat Blues

I probably couldn’t pick a favorite Albert King song unless you held a gun to my head, but this would probably be high on the list.  Born Under a Bad Sign was probably the first Blues song I learned to play, and I preferred his version the most.  He was also the first old artist I’d come across that I’d never really heard before.  Sure, my Dad would play him from time to time, but not nearly as much as harsh wale of Muddy Waters or the overly-joyous hums of B.B. King.  Albert King’s style slide right in between and right where the Blues is best – sheer depression.

Garbage -Stupid Girl

I honestly don’t feel like Stupid Girl was ever my favorite Garbage song, but I haven’t listened to them in so long, I really couldn’t name what was.  All I know for sure is that I really did like the group’s music.  It was one of the first chick-lead and adored bands that I could admit to myself that I liked.

System of a Down – Chop Suey!

I don’t think this album was actually out before I graduated, but SoaD was a pretty big part of my senior year in high school, so I wanted to make sure they got represented in some way on this list.  Sense I’m using Spotify to share this list, sometimes I have to bend the rules of my own list to make it work.

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun

I know this band was on last month’s playlist already, but whatever.  I probably listened to the Animals every single day of Junior and Senior year and I still pop on a song or two of theirs every now and then.  I loved them so much after learning this song (as most wanna-be guitarists do), I went on to start trying to learn as many other songs of theirs as I could.  I can probably still play a few, though most were learned off of the internet using tabs, so I’ve probably been playing them wrong all along.

James Brown – I Got the Feelin’

James Brown is probably the first artist to actually make me want to get up and dance.  I like his other music, too.  I love It’s a Man’s World and that one about heroin.  That being said, it’s clearly his dance music that matter most.

Live – Lankini’s Juice

I don’t know when I first discovered Live but I do know that this band was involved in one of the first successful music recommendations given to me.  Up until more recent years, I’ve been pretty closed minded and maybe even dickish about listening to new music.  I knew a few songs of theirs and loved them but hadn’t listened to any others.  When my friend Jackie recommended the album Throwing Copper to me, I was skeptical.  But when I listened, I agreed.  I totally dug the album with only one or two songs that didn’t really hit for me.  Remember those days?  When you could listen to an album the whole way through more than once?

Danzig – Twist of Cain

In retrospect, a lot of the music that Glenn Danzig wrote, recorded, or produced was kinda… ridiculous.  That includes Twist of Cain, but regardless of how ridiculous this song may be, I still love it.  And when I heard those first few notes on the self-titled first album, I knew that my obsession with Danzig ran deeper than Mother and a handful of Misfits songs.  Raw, dark, hardcore, and fuckoff crazy.  That’s what Danzig’s music is like.

Johnny Cash – Hey Porter!

Ol’ John Cash is one of those musicians that’s hard to beat.  So much so that, even though I’m completely aware that he counts as a Country artist, I just don’t see him that way.  Every genre has an artist or two that can’t really be claimed by that genre or sub genre, but Rock, Country, and Blues seem to trade the most, and Johnny has songs that could easily be categorized as any.  He also has one of the only live albums that I actually like.

Stone Temple Pilots – Sour Girl

If it isn’t already, STP should find its way onto one of those Top 100/ Top 500 best artists of all times lists.  Hmm… that would be a fun thing to do on 3 Guys… Anyway, I’d already known that I loved their music, but the first three albums shared a very distinctive feel.  When No.4 came out with a distinctively different sound that still, somehow, sounded like STP, I was pretty damned happy.  I also identified with this song in some… less than savory ways.  Yep.  I’m kind of a scumbag.

Misfits – Where Eagles Dare

This song is awesome.  That’s all there is to it.

Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five

Dave Brubeck is awesome.  Yes.  The albums he recorded with this quartet were also awesome.  I prided myself on knowing a bit about Jazz back in high school and probably bragged about it in ways that would make adult Aaron sick.  Looking back on things, I can recognize just how pedestrian my understanding of Jazz was then.  Frankly, who the fuck hasn’t heard of this song?  But I still love the song and the artist.  Afterall, there’s something that modern me hates far more than shallow-cuts listener – people who abandon good music because other people have heard of it. I know we all like to assign this attribute purely to hipsters and Indie music these days, but trust, people like that exist for all genres.  I’ve been seeing it a lot in Rap and anything resembling Electronica these days, and I’ve definitely seen it in Jazz.  It’s like wine culture, and I fucking hate wine culture.

tl;dr – It’s a playlist.  Just listen.

What the hell ever happened to MTV Unplugged?  Man, that was a really good program.