Welcome back! This issue’s playlist should be called songs about sadness, fucking up, clarity or blame. All tracks are added to the Overarching Gunning For Hits Playlist after the previous issue’s.
So please start this issue’s playlist with:
Fountains Of Wayne / Bright Future In Sales
Aside from being a near-perfect pop song, this captures the pure bullshit of work repetition / angst when you work for someone else. Like Cook. Fountains were so much more than their hits; the first few albums are amazing.
Tsar / Everybody’s Fault But Mine
Another song of beautiful rage and denial by my favorite band of the 21st Century.
Silver Sun / Cheerleading
Silver Sun; how did that never happen? Stupendous pop songs. Martin would put a bullet in someone for them.
Joan Jett / Backlash
One of those great Joan Jett shoulda-been hits. Pretty sure I saw the only live performance of this with Westerburg in Minneapolis. It was sublime. I love them both.
Hole / Celebrity Skin
Courtney is probably who Diane was at the beginning of this story. Diane has changed, Courtney still seems like she’s Courtney. I had a nice chat with her on the steps of the Standard Hotel on Sunset once. She’s cool.
Carpenters / Hurting Each Other
Martin likes all kinds of pop music. Even stuff that wouldn’t be considered cool. The Carpenters have rarely been considered cool, and I'm not sure they gave a fuck. Karen’s voice is one of the most beautiful, clear sounds in all of pop, Richard should be recognized with Brain Wilson as an arranger and they did lots of undeniable songs.
Big Drill Car / About Us
Seems like the other side of the Carpenters tune. Ouch. BDC includes guys from the Doughboys and All Systems Go, who are also worthy of your attention.
Elvis Costello / Boy With A Problem
Startlingly real. One of those moments before Costello lost it where he was pushing into new territory and it all clicked.
Jayhawks / Save It For A Rainy Day
For when you’ve burned out your schtick. The Jayhawks are nice guys, great songwriters and deserve your attention.
Manic Street Preachers / Slash N Burn
There’s an energy of self-destruction here that suits this issue. Despite attempts to romanticize it, here’s nothing cool or noble about burning out.
Sugar / The Act We Act
Relationships are complicated. From the majestic, near-flawless Copper Blue.
Cheap Trick / Busted
Like when your friends tell you you’ve fucked up - there’s only one thing to do; hear them. There’s not nearly enough Cheap Trick on this playlist.
Alejandro Escovedo / Sister Lost Soul
This speaks to me of all the lost people and the accompanying sadness. Sometimes people die, sometimes they’re still here but they’ve just gotten lost - it’s nearly impossible to save someone from themselves.
Richard Marx / Don’t Mean Nothing
Richard Marx is another artist who’s not considered cool, but he is (check out his twitter) and he wrote some classic songs. Here’s a true story of record company hubris involving Richard; he was pretty much Capitol Records best-selling act, but the newly-installed President of the label was a big alternative rock guy and felt Marx was an embarrassment. So when Richard showed up at the Tower to take a scheduled meeting, Mr President ghosted him, instead focusing on the remodel of his office bathroom (an unnecessary undertaking that cost an insane amount of money). That fallout wasn’t good for anyone.
Johnny Nash / I Can See Clearly Now
Speaking of clear, beautiful voices… Are you not moved? Bonus points for being on the Grosse Point Blank soundtrack
AC/DC / Highway To Hell
See you next issue!