Lightnin' Hopkins, available on various compilations, most music services
What men like Mozart were to Austria, performers like Hopkins are to the United States. The guy turns a single acoustic guitar into a veritable symphony of sound and hand movement.
While the guitar has been around for centuries, it was not the Old World that mastered it but the New. A large, mostly barren continent was tamed by its legendary musicians, many of whom younger generations tend to forget about, despite being able to download music in mere nanoseconds.
Performers like Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, The Carter Family, Ralph Stanley, Waylon Jennings, Fats Domino, Marty Robbins, Dizzy Gillespie, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, Ellis Marsalis, Billie Holiday, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton...
It's all blues in the end, baby. All blues. And you either get it, or you don't. God have mercy on those who don't.
Black Flag, 7" Single, (Posh Boy, 1981)
This is one of the last studio recordings featuring early BF vocalist Dez Cadena, the precursor to that other guy, that angry bodybuilder dude with the tats...
You know, what's his name? The guy who does the spoken word albums? The dude from the Independent Film Channel who kinda dresses like me?
Mr. Rollins, please don't kill me. Your neck veins scare me.
Seriously, dude. I worshiped The Boxed Life in high school. Changed my life and helped make me the nonconformist, impractical bastard that I am today. And you alone may share my grief, the dreaded fountains - for - armpits curse, that is the bane of the tee-shirt wearin' thinker's existence.
A COUNTRY BOY CAN SURVIVE [VIDEO]
Hank Williams, Jr.,
That's How They Do It Down in Dixie- The Essential Collection (Curb, 2006)
When I got home from work this afternoon, I just had to play this song, a protest of sorts.
While running some work-related errands after lunch the other day, I heard a group of kids making fun of this older guy, a gentleman who wore his decades as a farmer on his face, for, well, just being an old guy who speaks slow and country.
I've had conversations with the guy before, a cool cat with lots of stories about his time in the Army, growing up in rural Kentucky, and his giving up on a college scholarship to be a farmer. When he was younger, the man was a fighter. He fought for his country, fought the banks, and fought the goddamn State of Indiana to keep funding for the public school his kids and grandkids attended.
He deserves his own song on the Playlist. And a lot more respect.
Jesse "The Devil" Hughes, avail. via Artist MySpace Page
Yup. This track, from that former Republican speechwriter and Eagles of Death Metal vocalist, is completely amazing, a New Wave-ish cover of a great Distillers song, probably one of the best Brody Dalle and Co. every recorded.
I first discovered this unreleased gem through a blog lurker, actually. Who knew there were so many Distillers fans out there?
MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT [VIDEO]
LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out (Def Jam, 1990)
You know, I'm just now starting to get well enough to resume my morning chin-up routine. Five sets of eight reps each.
NPR? I don't do that shit. Frankly, Morning Edition puts me to sleep - almost as pointless as commercial radio. I'd still listen occasionally, if Bob Edwards hadn't been booted to make the suits happy. His voice, at least, had rhythm and inflection, much like Mr. Cool J.
And who the hell wants to shadow box in a lonely apartment at five in the morning, listening to a newscast? Seriously.
And while I'm ranting... I miss Around The Way Girls. Maybe I'm just getting old, but Around The Country Club Girls just don't cut it.
Around The Way Girls are generally more independent, make ratty flannel boxers look sexy, and can just keep it real 24-7. Around The Country Club Girls are high maintenance, shallow, and just about as interesting and intelligent as a dead ferret.
Raekwon and Prince Po, The Vatican Mixtape, Vol. 1 (2006/2007)
Wow. There are still emcees in the Rap Game who know how to turn a simple loop and a catchy flow into dance floor perfection.
Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Blank Generation (Sire, 1977)
There's something ominous about this song turning 30 years old this year. It's hard to believe that the Sex Pistols' only true studio album turns the big 3-0 this year, too.
Raza De Odio, La Nueva Alarma (Scarlet, 2004)
I'm not afraid to admit that I still dig Heavy Metal. And there are only two places on earth that still seem to appreciate the musical genre - Europe and, of course, Central America.
The Razas, based in Italy, are known for their blend of that old-school crunch, with just enough flamenco-influenced leads to make things interesting. And this song, originally by New York thrash pioneers S.O.D., proves that the world can be united through the art of headbanging.
DICKS HATE THE POLICE [MP3]
The Dicks, 1980-1986 (Comp., Alternative Tentacles, 1997)
When I was still big into actually living like a Punker (Christ, even the memories stink of cheap beer and ratty jeans worn for weeks straight), this song was one of my favorites by one of the Greatest Punk Bands in the history of the Great State of Texas. The AT compilation covers their best stuff.
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