West Coast Playlist June 8, 2011Posted by Matt in music, vacation.
Tags: 2Pac, Billy Bragg & Wilco, California, Everclear, Jamey Johnson, josh ritter, Kings of Leon, L.A., Led Zeppelin, Merle Haggard, Motley Crue, playlist, The Doors, vacation
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Over the years we’ve taken a few small vacations – St. Louis, Atlanta, and visiting friends in Mobile – but never anything particularly far away. This year, though, we found ourselves with a small windfall and decided to splurge, planning the trip for which Diana has been yearning for some ten years.
In case you didn’t know, when she and her family moved to the south back in the 90’s, they came from a town on the central coast of the Golden State, leaving behind a host of relatives and friends, all of which she has only seen a handful of times in the intervening years. She has an uncle and aunt who live in Huntington Beach, so when we were debating the idea, she called them and secured us a place to stay in their house, thus cementing our plans.
So, now that you know the basics of our trip, surely there is one big question that comes to mind: What should be on the playlist for our trip to Southern California? To answer that, I’ve spent a few minutes of my lunch break scouring through the thousands of songs on my iPod for those that mention California or Los Angeles in their titles and I found a fairly hefty list. Check out the ten below and give me ideas for others to add.
10. Billy Bragg & Wilco – California Stars
A nice folk music tune from the kings of alt-country that I’ve liked for some time.
9. The Doors – L.A. Woman
I’m not a huge fan of The Doors, but how can you make a list of L.A. songs and not include this one?
8. Kings of Leon – California Waiting
This closer from their first album shows that great time before KoL became one of the hottest acts on the market.
7. Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles
Sure, pretty much every song the Crue did was about the trashy side of L.A., but this title track from their most recent release was an easy choice.
6. Josh Ritter – California
I’ve been saying for years that Josh Ritter may be the best singer-songwriter of my generation, so it’s only natural that he have an entry on the list.
5. Jamey Johnson – Playing the Part
Country music’s current outlaw once had a foray into reality television several years ago. This is the story of a man out of his element, lamenting a time when, “the only L.A. I knew was lower Alabama.”
4. Everclear – Santa Monica
Sure, it’s not a great song, but it always brings back those great memories of playing in a crappy band in a garage.
3. Merle Haggard – A Friend in California
Haggard sang a good deal about California, but often it had an almost hopeless, John Steinbeck type of vibe. That being the case, this upbeat number gets the nod over those.
2. 2Pac – California
Why? Because “California, knows how to party!”
1. Led Zeppelin – Going to California
For some reason this is the song that always pops into my head first when I think of our upcoming trip. It’s one of Zeppelin’s folksier works and I’ve always liked it a great deal, dating all the way back to when I first started listening to them as a teenager.
So, what else should be added to the list?
Ten for Friday (?): Mama Songs May 7, 2010Posted by Matt in top ten.
Tags: Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, LL Cool J, mama songs, Merle Haggard, Mother's day, Ozzy Osbourne, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Dead Weather, top ten, Tupac, Willie Nelson
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David Alan Coe (probably the only time you’ll here him quoted around here) once sang that a defining characteristic of the “perfect country and western song” is a mention of “mama.” With Mother’s Day around the corner and that statement from Mr. Coe in my head, I thought this would be a good day to list ten songs from my Ipod or my memory that mention mother, mama, or ma in the title. Granted, these songs are not all necessarily about mothers, but this was much easier to come up with. So, without further ado, here is your Mother’s Day top ten.
10. Ozzy Osbourne – Mama I’m Coming Home
Aww, the Prince of Darkness gets a little sentimental. According to Wikipedia the song is actually about his wife, Sharon, but it still fits the criteria for this list.
9. The Dead Weather – Treat Me Like Your Mother
Because it’s Jack White and he should be on every list.
8. LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out
The story goes that LL Cool J’s grandmother told him to “knock out” his critics when they said that his career was going downhill in the early 90’s, so this is the comeback (Don’t call it a comeback!) song he gave us.
7. The Beatles – Your Mother Should Know / Mother Nature’s Son
These may not be their best songs, but come on, they are the Beatles!
6. Aerosmith – Mama Kin
Once upon a time, long before they wrote songs commemorating Bruce Willis saving us from the destructive power of a giant meteor, Aerosmith was actually relevant. This song is proof.
5. Pink Floyd – Mother
A great song in which Roger Waters incessantly asks “mother” questions like a pestering 3 year old (Mother do you think they’ll drop the bomb? / Mother do you think they’ll like this song?…).
4. Tupac – Dear Mama
Everyone’s favorite thug gets all sweet talking about his mama. Awww…
3. Willie Nelson/Waylon Jennings – Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys
Listen up mothers. If you need advice on raising your children, Willie Nelson is definitely the one to ask.
2. Bob Dylan – It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
Even though its cryptic lyrics are up for any number of interpretations (that’s what Dylan does best), it does mention Ma and it does come from Bob Dylan.
And the greatest mama song is…
1. Merle Haggard – Mama Tried
One of my favorite songs of all time, this one just had to lead the pack when it comes to mama songs.
I turned 21 in prison / Doing life without parole / No one could steer me right / But mama tried, mama tried.
You just don’t get any better than that.
So, what else should be on the list?