Five Songs, 5/1/2017

A new month for Five Songs! How long will this keep going? I don't know, but I've managed to get past the first couple weeks just fine, so maybe this has some legs. This entry also has a playlist.

Oh man, we just miseed Steel Pole Bath Tub's "Train to Miami" for this collection. Ugh, such a good song. But rules are rules!

NoFX, "Mean People Suck"

NoFX delivering a super sophisticated message with this song, which can be summed up as "mean people suck". The breathtaking nuance they display here would be a hallmark of their punk career. Anyway, NoFX is one of those immutable yardsticks of music, a benchmark that you can use to explain other bands. "Yeah, they're like NoFX crossed with..." or "they sort of sound like NoFX, only they...". That sort of thing.

Carla Thomas, "A Woman's Love"

Another single from that Stax/Volt collection, which I'll link to in the "previously" down below. Carla Thomas was one of the major artists of the label during these years, and I'm always happy when she pops up.

(previously)

They Might Be Giants, "Kiss Me, Son of God"

I first heard They Might Be Giants during the summer of 1989, when I was at debate camp in Berkley for a few weeks (shut up!). Because we drove down, my friend Bill and I totally overpacked, bringing with us not only an Apple II, but also a CD player, a rarity among the other kids at the camp. This, by the way, was the first time I'd been on my own for this long, and I think fourteen-year-old Josh handled it pretty well.

Anyway, because we had a CD player, we were pretty popular, since we could actually play some decent tunes. At one point, one of the other campers asked if he could play a new CD he'd bought, which turned out to be They Might Be Giants' Lincoln. I was fascinated by it, and kind of loved what I heard, but I got distracted and forgot to write down the name of the band, and regretted not acting on it right away. It wasn't until I was in Hastings in Spokane and they put Flood on the stereo that I recognized what I was hearing, and I bought Flood and Lincoln that same day. I played those two tapes so much I wore them out, resulting in my rebuying them. My mother heard me playing them so much that the mournful "Pencil Rain" had her worried that I was really depressed. Anyway, Lincoln rules, and this song rules.

(previously)

MU330, "Tell Another One"

Here, we actually hear a song from that album I thought I didn't own but turned out to already have. And, again, this doesn't really sound materially different in approach from their previous stuff. Still pretty bouncy fun, though.

(previously)

Gift of Gab, "To Know You"

Gift of Gab is the MC from Blackalicious, who made a couple of stone cold classics (Nia and Blazing Arrow). His solo stuff is still very strong, but missing a little bit of the spark that made those records so amazing. However, his talent for spinning dextrous rhymes is still there, so it's still good stuff.