January Jonesing

23 Jan

With spring seemingly an eternity away, and the last playlist a lifetime behind, its time for another Unsung batch of songs. These are the tracks that have been looping in my mind’s jukebox as of late. Eclectic, rare, popular, populist, and full of linky links. Enjoy!

  1. Rodriguez “I Wonder” – Searching for Sugar Man is a must see documentary for anyone who appreciates the Unsung. It might be one of the greatest Unsung stories of all time actually. And this song should have been a massive hit for the humble and austere Rodriguez. I’m thankful it has seen the light of day.
  2. Hozier “Someone New” – this Irish folk rocker is having quite a year isn’t he? Going from strength to strength with each new release, and each song a natural extension of Take Me To Church (check out this fine tribute by his fans). I can’t get the hook of this one out of my head.
  3. Basia Bulat “Tall Tall Shadow” – for a song to be an absolute classic, it has to sound fresh and new, but also be timeless, and not get stale dated like funky cheese (see: everything by every pop artist since 2009). This could have been released anytime in the last 50 years and still make sense and sound good. Another bright shining Canadian star, channelling Joni Mitchell and Natalie Merchant, reminding us all that you can’t run from your actions. Time to face that shadow, you January groundhogs!
  4. The Killers “Shot At The Night” – unlike our friend Basia, our buddy Brandon Flowers is unabashedly of a time when synthesizers ruled the land. My friend Tim thinks this is the best song of 2014 (even if it was released for Christmas 2013) and he’s not afraid to tell you all about it, along with all his other great picks for the year that was. Check it out, exclusively here.
  5. Al Green “I’m A Ram” – I’ve already ranted and raved about the genius of Al Green. This is the point in the album “Al Green Gets Next To You” where you are baptized by the holy spirit of funka soul and your life as a heathen is behind you. Here comes 2015. Ram on.
  6. The Zutons “Valerie” –  Warning: you are soon to be inundated with all things Mark Ronson. This guy is a bit of a super producer who has ecelectic tastes and a famous bunch of friends. His Bruno Mars track is already dominating the charts, and there will be others that follow. But ‘Valerie’ is where he got his start. The excellent Amy Winehouse version made her famous, but I’m digging the earlier Zutons version, and particularly this live one from Glastonbury. Don’t they look like they are having fun, those Brits? Bucket list: Go to Glastonbury before I am too old to wave a flag.
  7. Mickey Newbury “Why You Been Gone So Long” – this song was a direct influence on Kris Kristofferson and led him to write Me And Bobby McGee. And thus concludes the geeky music trivia portion of this playlist.
  8. Sunday Valley – Never Go To Town Again” – as I celebrate Sturgill Simpson’s victorious signing with Altlantic Records (he’s in some good company), let’s take a visit to his first band, Sunday Valley. I think he may have just invented heavy metal country. Brilliant.
  9. JJ Shiplett “Darling Let’s Go Out Tonight” – If Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen grew up in Calgary…..this is what they would sound like.
  10. The Velvet Undergound “Foggy Notion” – Speaking of Atlantic Records, the Velvets were there once. This is a demo off of their debut record. Gawd could these guys swagger. A million light years ahead of their time. The Velvet were underrated, then overrated, and now forgotten or taken for granted. If you are into the Strokes or anything to do with being NYKool, for the love of Lou Reed, please go check out their discography!!!
  11. Robert Plant “Rainbow” – I like living in a world with the possibility of epic battles between dwarves, elves and orcs. And l like living in a world where Robert Plant still croons like a Tolkien mystic about things that we only dream to see. I think he is probably walking along a misty mountain countryside right now, singing to himself, and that gives me comfort.
  12. The Tallest Man on Earth “Graceland”- the spiritual inspiration for Unsung is my favourite album of all time. The reimagining of its title track is different/good….on occasion it gives rise to goosebumps. Enjoy this January journey, and here’s hoping that you find the reason that you can’t explain.
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