I’ve been kinda feeling like crap all day. Bad week for it. I’ve got a lot to do.
When I’m not feeling well and I’m at work, I tend to shut up and just power through the day. I’m actually ridiculously productive on days like this. Part of it is my music choice. Today’s playlist has been on my iPod for a long time, and I think it was a pretty good one. I titled it “Tucker Crowe’s Greatest Hits.” Tucker Crowe is the central character of Nick Hornby’s book “Juliet, Naked.” He’s a reclusive musician. The playlist is essentially a bunch of stuff that was going through my head while reading the book, stuff the book more or less made me buy/revisit, and stuff that made me think of the book sometime later. The playlist is pretty old, so maybe there are some other choices I’d make if I did it now…but it got me through work today, and that’s enough for me to want to post it.
A couple of notes…
1. Sorry for the self-indulgence of including some of my own songs on it. Particularly sorry for the songs that I did that are cover songs. That probably seems kinda big-headed…but it was all in fun. I’m not claiming my versions are better than the originals.
2. Sorry it’s so long. I envisioned it as a fictional “greatest hits,” but it quickly turned into a “boxed set.” 🙂
3. I’m including a few notes about some of the songs/choices. So hopefully those otherwise uninterested will find that interesting. I’m also including some links to some of the artists that I know some of my friends won’t be as familiar with for various reasons. Please explore them if you’ve got a minute.
4. This playlist also kind of informs some of the musical direction of stuff I’m presently writing. So consider it a little bit of a tease of things to come, too.
Now…with no further ado…here is a really long playlist that makes working on insurance claims all day go a little more smoothly. 🙂
“Tucker Crowe’s Greatest Hits”
- “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen – Performed by Derek Brink as an acoustic demo. I’m thinking of doing it regularly as a cover. I do it a little more up-tempo than Cohen does, and I think I serve the song fairly. May even spring for fair-use of the copyright to put it on an EP…that’s how much I like it.
- “In Between Love” by Tom Waits
- “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
- “Take it Easy” by The Eagles
- “Dark End of the Street” by Dan Penn and Chips Moman – Originally recorded by James Carr. The version I used is Frank Black’s cover of it from his “Honeycomb” record. It’s pretty faithful to the Muscle Shoals sound, but Black sings it in a higher register. I like that…but I like it even more when the harmony kicks in. It’s done in a lower register by none other than the song’s co-author Dan Penn. And the word for it? “Smoooooth.” So smooth, I added an extra “ooo.”
- “White Light/White Heat” by The Velvet Underground – This version is an acoustic version preformed by Reed and Pete Townshend on the “In the Attic” DVD/CD set that Townshend released with his (still?) girlfriend Rachel Fuller a couple of years ago. LOVED Reed’s performances on that thing.
- “Best of My Love” by the Eagles
- “Sweet Jane” – by the Velvet Underground
- “Behind Blue Eyes” by Pete Townshend/The Who – Chose to use Townshend’s solo version from his “Lifehouse Elements” record he put out a while back. It has a sparse quality I really dig.
- “The Name of This Thing is Not Love” by Elvis Costello
- “Sweet November” by Derek Brink – Released as a “demo only” version through my website. Presently still online…soon to be gone forever.
- “Be the Rain” by Neil Young & Crazyhorse
- “Susanne” by Leonard Cohen – Performed by Derek Brink as an acoustic demo. I recorded it the day after I saw Cohen in concert. He did this song that night (as every night) and it was spooky and spiritual. Tried to re-capture that myself. Failed. But I liked how the guitar came out.
- “Peace in Our Time” by Ray Davies
- “In the Time of My Ruin” by Frank Black
- “Darkness on the Edge of Town” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
- “The Real World” by Ray Davies
- “Lola” by The Kinks
- “Buckets of Rain” by Bob Dylan
- “Massif Central” by Frank Black – Acoustic version from the “Christmass” EP. One of my favorite FB songs. One of my favorite songs.
- “Where is My Mind?” by The Pixies – but done by Frank Black on the same CD as above…
- “Shelter from the Storm” by Bob Dylan
- “Either Side of the Same Town” by Elvis Costello
- “Down to You” by Frank Black
- “Dirt in the Ground” by Tom Waits – And yes, I went with the original recording, which is so sparse, it’s almost scary.
- “Backstreets” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
- “Celluloid Heroes” by The Kinks
- “Sweet Annie” by Tree by Leaf
- “Jesus Gonna Be Here” by Tom Waits
- “Now and Then” by Pete Townshend – Used the live “Maryville Academy” version.
- “Nothing Clings Like Ivy” by Elvis Costello
- “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed
- “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy” by The Kinks
- “Exit Wounds” by Tim Barry
- “On My Feet” by Derek Brink – Originally written as “part two” of my track “Off My Feet” from the “Things I Meant to Say” record. Hasn’t made it to a record yet…but this demo was done with the intention of it becoming a Blue Tattoo song. Don’t know if it still will or not. Technically, don’t know if the band’s still called Blue Tattoo or not either…so…
- “I Dreamed of My Old Lover” by Elvis Costello
- “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by The Eagles
- “Please” by Derek Brink – Off the “Out from the Light” record, of course.
- “Tangled Up in Blue” – Bob Dylan
- “Jesus was an Only Son” by Bruce Springsteen
- “Walter Reed” – by Michael Penn – An acoustic version appearing on the “deluxe” copy of “Mr. Hollywood Jr. 1947”
- “Oh! Sweet Nuthin'” by The Velvet Underground
- “The Real Me” by Pete Townshend/The Who – Used an acoustic version (which I’ve since ripped off in my own act) from the aforementioned “In the Attic” DVD/CD set.
- “Most of the Time” by Bob Dylan
- “4th Time Around” by Bob Dylan
- “American Splendor” by Eytan Mirsky – Eytan Mirsky has recently visited my blog and even commented on a post or two. I promise that the inclusion here is not me just trying to get another post from him. 🙂
- “Who Loves the Sun?” by The Velvet Underground
- “Alison” by Elvis Costello
- “Do it Again” by The Kinks
- “Like a Hurricane” by Neil Young – In my opinion, this is the song that created the “alt-country” genre.
- “Sad & Sweet” by Derek Brink – Another demo I put out on my website.
- “Don’t Try to Make Me Real” by Pete Townshend
- “Rain on the Scarecrow” by John Mellencamp (I think he’d dropped the “Cougar” by this time, but I don’t recall off the top of my head.)
- “Meet Me in the Morning” by Bob Dylan
- “Walk on the Wildside” by Lou Reed – Fun fact: The saxophone at the end of the track was played by glam-icon David Bowie.
- “Strange Goodbye” by Frank Black – Fun Fact: This song was performed by Frank and his ex-wife…after their divorce. Strange indeed.
- “Born in this Town” by Derek Brink – FYI…one of my favorite things I’ve written…
- “Down By the Riverside” by Michael Penn – Which, incidentally, is the song that got me into Penn’s music, due to its appearance in the “Comedians of Comedy” movie. I’d heard “No Myth” before…but this one sold me.
- “I Can Tell” by Michael Penn – Also from the deluxe edition of “Mr. Hollywood…” Really emotional, powerful song.
- “Pale Blue Eyes” by Lou Reed/The Velvet Underground – Acoustic Version performed by Reed and Pete Townshend from the “In the Attic” thing (again). I love, love, LOVE this version of this song. It was already great…but it’s even better.
- “You and Your Perfect Life” by Derek Brink – One of the better things I’ve written in the last year. Made available as a free demo on my website. Might go onto a full record, re-done and cleaned up of course. VERY inspired by the Hornby book that started this whole list.
…and that’s how I spent my work-day. Hope at least some of you found that fun. Hope you’ll also check out some of the stuff you don’t know.