My Top Songs Of 2020

I’m not going to write an essay about 2020. That’s been done elsewhere and I have nothing to add to the conversation. Though the three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote, “stink, stank, stunk,” there were some bright spots. Here are 85 things that brought me joy. Happy New Year, everyone!

  1. everything i wanted – Billie Eilish
  2. WAP – Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
  3. deathbed (coffee for your head) – Powfu feat. Beabadoobee
  4. Savage – Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé 
  5. Stay High – Brittany Howard
  6. Dynamite – BTS 
  7. Shameika – Fiona Apple 
  8. Tap In – Saweetie feat. Post Malone, DaBaby & Jack Harlow   
  9. Delete Forever – Grimes
  10. Mariners Apartment Complex – Lana Del Rey   
  11. Polyaneurism – of Montreal  
  12. Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely – Pretenders  
  13. Stupid Love – Lady Gaga
  14. Call My Phone Thinking I’m Doing Nothing Better – the Streets feat. Tame Impala 
  15. Surrender – Will Butler  
  16. JU$T – Run the Jewels feat. Pharrell Williams & Zack De La Rocha 
  17. BLACK PARADE – Beyoncé 
  18. Lifetime – Romy 
  19. Fool’s Gold – Lucy Dacus 
  20. Identical – Phoenix  
  21. ilomilo – Billie Eilish  
  22. Hallelujah – HAIM    
  23. Quarantine Boogie (Loco) – Walter Martin    
  24. Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America – the 1975   
  25. Texas Sun – Khruangbin and Leon Bridges 
  26. Ghosts – Bruce Springsteen 
  27. Settling Down – Miranda Lambert  
  28. He Loves Me – Brittany Howard  
  29. Pictures of Flowers – Jess Williamson feat. Hand Habits 
  30. The Valley of the Pagans – Gorillaz featuring Beck   
  31. my future – Billie Eilish    
  32. hot girl bummer – Blackbear  
  33. Drinks – Cyn   
  34. I disappear in your arms – Christine & the Queens  
  35. Say So – Doja Cat 
  36. Sea Salt & Caramel – Dent May  
  37. Gaslighter – The Chicks  
  38. 4 American Dollars – U.S. Girls 
  39. No Time to Die – Billie Eilish  
  40. Murder Most Foul – Bob Dylan 
  41. Lockdown – Anderson .Paak     
  42. When the Way Gets Dark – Lucinda Williams  
  43. Straight to the Morning – Hot Chip feat. Jarvis Cocker   
  44. Sleep at Night – The Chicks    
  45. Jason – Perfume Genius    
  46. Black Qualls – Thundercat feat. Steve Lacy & Steve Arrington   
  47. Smiley Face – Duck Sauce  
  48. Blinding Lights – the Weeknd   
  49. Country Radio – Indigo Girls      
  50. One and Done – Bright Eyes    
  51. Hole in the Bottle – Kelsea Ballerini with Shania Twain     
  52. Bluebird – Miranda Lambert   
  53. FTP – YG      
  54. You Can’t Rule Me – Lucinda Williams      
  55. Don’t Wanna – HAIM     
  56. Rager teenager! – Troye Sivan    
  57. SUGAR – BROCKHAMPTON    
  58. Bad Decisions – the Strokes    
  59. Miracle of Life – Bright Eyes feat. Phoebe Bridgers 
  60. Dora – Thierra Whack   
  61. On the Floor – Perfume Genius     
  62. Don’t Stop – Megan Thee Stallion feat. Young Thug         
  63. Front Lines – Conway the Machine  
  64. xanny – Billie Eilish      
  65. On My Own – Shamir       
  66. Without You – Perfume Genius       
  67. Why I Still Love You – Missy Elliott     
  68. The Streets Where I Belong – Annie        
  69. Leader of the Delinquents – Kid Cudi     
  70. Song 33 – Noname     
  71. Anthem – Father John Misty  
  72. Lilacs – Waxahatchee  
  73. Body Memory – Jess Cornelius  
  74. Come Thru – Summer Walker with Usher    
  75. Aries – Gorillaz feat. Peter Hook & Georgia  
  76. Riding Solo – Hinds      
  77. Cool Off – Missy Elliott       
  78. Sweeter – Leon Bridges feat. Terrace Martin 
  79. Video Game – Sufjan Stevens     
  80. Love Is a Drug – Empress Of          
  81. Kyoto – Phoebe Bridgers   
  82. ATM – Too Free  
  83. Momentary Bliss – Gorillaz feat. Slowthai and Slaves     
  84. Harlem River Blues – Steve Earle         
  85. In My Bones – Jacob Collier feat. Kimbra & Tank and the Bangas

Your (Almost) Daily Playlist (7-3-20)

Inspired by the July 3 birthdays of Erasure’s/Yaz’s Vince Clarke, Laura Branigan, Heatwave’s Johnny Wilder Jr., Elle King, Fontella Bass, Johnny Lee, Betty Buckley and The Seekers’ Judith Durham, and the July 2 birthdays of The Temptations’ Paul Williams, Vince Staples, Justice’s Xavier de Rosnay, Monie Love, Saweetie, Burna Boy and Michelle Branch.

My Top 100 Songs of 2017

Without any comment, herewith is my list (and playlist) of my 100 favorite tracks of 2017.

Okay, one comment: I was a Johnny-come-lately regarding Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow,” so I’m saving that for my 2018 list.

1. On Hold – the xx
2. Black Beatles – Rae Sremmurd feat. Gucci Mane
3. Slide – Calvin Harris featuring Frank Ocean and Migos
4. Young, Dumb & Broke – Khalid
5. Mask Off – Future
6. Los Ageless – St. Vincent
7. The Story of O.J. – JAY:Z
8. Pills – St. Vincent
9. New York – St. Vincent
10. Everything Now – Arcade Fire
11. Praying – Kesha
12. Pure Comedy – Father John Misty
13. Passionfruit – Drake
14. Havana – Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug
15. Feels – Calvin Harris featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry and Big Sean
16. Bad and Boujee – Migos feat. Lil Uzi Vert
17. HUMBLE. – Kendrick Lamar
18. Be the One – Dua Lipa
19. Love on the Brain – Rihanna
20. We the People… – A Tribe Called Quest
21. Green Light – Lorde
22. Candy May – Alex Cameron
23. To the Moon and Back – Fever Ray
24. Name for You – the Shins
25. Sign of the Times – Harry Styles
26. rockstar – Post Malone featuring 21 Savage
27. It’s a Shame – First Aid Kit
28. (No One Knows Me) Like the Piano – Sampha
29. Bank Account – 21 Savage
30. Hot Thoughts – Spoon
31. The Way You Used To Do – Queens of the Stone Age
32. Bad Liar – Selena Gomez
33. Chanel – Frank Ocean
34. Liger – Young Thug & Carnage
35. 4:44 – JAY:Z
36. High Ticket Attractions – The New Pornographers
37. Stranger’s Kiss – Alex Cameron with Angel Olsen
38. Tonite – LCD Soundsystem
39. Thinking of a Place – The War on Drugs
40. Over Everything – Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile
41. Ascension – Gorillaz featuring Vince Staples
42. All Night – Beyoncé
43. Little of Your Love – Haim
44. Waiting on a Song – Dan Auerbach
45. Accelerator – Paul White ft. Danny Brown
46. iSpy – Kyle featuring Lil Yachty
47. Shine on Me – Dan Auerbach
48. The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness – The National
49. No. 28 – Methyl Ethel
50. I Feel It Coming – the Weeknd feat. Daft Punk
51. Better Than Me – Blood Orange feat. Carly Rae Jepsen
52. Call the Police – LCD Soundsystem
53. Love Galore – SZA featuring Travi$ Scott
54. DNA. – Kendrick Lamar
55. No Plan – David Bowie
56. Holding On – The War on Drugs
57. Runnin’ Outta Luck – Alex Cameron
58. Amputation – Jesus and Mary Chain
59. Love – ILoveMakonnen featuring Rae Sremmurd
60. Malibu – Miley Cyrus
61. Want You Back – Haim
62. Carin at the Liquor Store – The National
63. Long Time – Blondie
64. Secrets – The Weeknd
65. Wyclef Jean – Young Thug
66. Slip Away – Perfume Genius
67. Bop N Keep It Dippin’ – Dizzee Rascal
68. XO Tour Llif3 – Lil Uzi Vert
69. Dis Generation – A Tribe Called Quest
70. Play the Field – Partner
71. PRBLMS – 6lack
72. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – DMX
73. Colors – Beck
74. BagBak – Vince Staples
75. I Think of You – Jeremih feat. Chris Brown
76. Perplexing Pegasus – Rae Sremmurd
77. Wreath – Perfume Genius
78. Swang – Rae Sremmurd
79. Shining – DJ Khaled feat. Beyoncé and Jay-Z
80. Say Something Loving – the xx
81. Dear Life – Beck
82. Heatstroke – Calvin Harris feat. Young Thug, Pharrell Williams & Ariana Grande
83. Zayn Malik – Swet Shop Boys
84. Give It Up – Angel Olsen
85. Sky Walker – Miguel featuring Travi$ Scott
86. Total Entertainment Forever – Father John Misty
87. Hallelujah Money – Gorillaz feat. Benjamin Clementine
88. Ballad of the Dying Man – Father John Misty
89. I’m Better – Missy Elliott featuring Lamb
90. Told You So – Miguel
91. Mad as Hell – U.S. Girls
92. LOYALTY. – Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna
93. Bam – JAY:Z featuring Damian Marley
94. I Dare You – the xx
95. Andromeda – Gorillaz featuring D.R.A.M.
96. Rage – Vic Mensa
97. Whiteout Conditions – The New Pornographers
98. Stick to Your Guns – Watsky feat. Julia Nunes
99. When I Was Young – MØ
100. Never – J.I.D.


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It’s Danger Mouse’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

About Bill Cosby, rapper A$AP Rocky recently said, “He did so much positive things leading up to one thing, which he was convicted of being innocent for, by the way.” First off, it’s so many positive things, not so much. Secondly, it’s for which he was convicted of being innocent. Thirdly, one gets convicted of being innocent? No wonder our nation’s jails are overcrowded. Go on, $AP. “All you remember is the 56 woman and all that kind of shit.” Yes, all that kind of serial rapist shit. Nobody remembers he introduced the world to Fat Albert and Raven Symone. Just rape rape rape and more rape. Oh, sorry. I interrupted this genius again. Back to you A$$. “I’m not his lawyer, but I do know he’s innocent.” And even if he is guilty, “All we know is that he was accused, he allegedly raped however many woman he raped, which, you got, it’s so much issues in the world, you know I’m saying?” I know what you’re saying! There are so many issues in the world, so why spend any time on one of the issues in the world, that being the issue of crime?

I expected better from the guy who rapped “I be fuckin’ broads like I be fuckin’ bored / Turn a dyke bitch out have her fuckin’ boys, beast” and “I swear that bitch Rita Ora got a big mouth/ Next time I see her might curse the bitch out/ Kicked the bitch out once cause she bitched out/ Spit my kids out, jizzed up all in her mouth and made the bitch bounce.” It turns out he’s not as intelligent, articulate and thoughtful as those lyrics make him out to be.

The only time I ever bought the “clean” version over the “explicit” version of a song is when I got A$AP Rocky’s “F**kin’ Problems,” from which the dyke bitch lyric is taken. The beat is great, but the lyrics are so over-the-top misogynist, and that’s saying a lot for a genre in which far too many lyrics are extremely misogynist.

Rocky is a talented guy, albeit one with a vile attitude toward women. Usually I can separate the person from the art. I love the movie Chinatown, even though its director, Roman Polanski, pled guilty to statutory rape. I love the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” even though the producer of those records, Phil Spector, is presently serving time for second degree murder. I love Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” even though he’s Robin Thicke. I don’t know what I’ll do if Chris Brown ever releases a halfway decent song. Good things the odds of that ever happening are mighty slim.

I’m not defending these artists. Being a monster and being talented are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes I can listen to or watch the art and not think about the crimes allegedly committed. Is that wrong? If it is, that’s my f**kin’ problem.

CeeLo Green gave us the great “Fuck You” in 2010. In 2012, Green was accused by a woman of drugging and sexually assaulting her. CeeLo’s attorney said the sex was consensual, with the singer tweeting “If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously, so WITH Implies consent. People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!” Fuck you.

I still listen to Green’s “Fuck You,” but I don’t set out to listen to his newer music. In part it’s because of his attitude. Even if he didn’t drug and or rape this woman, I read his tweets about rape and think “Does that make him crazy? Probably.” To be honest, I also don’t listen to his newer music because it sucks. Everything the man has done since “Fuck You” is pretty bad. Did you hear his song “Robin Williams” from last year? It’s shit. I’m not saying I’m glad he died, but the actor is lucky he never had to hear it.

So I’ll listen to “Fuck You” and I’ll listen to “Crazy,” the worldwide smash he had as one-half of Gnarls Barkley. The other half of the duo, Brian Burton, professionally known as Danger Mouse,” celebrates his 39th birthday today. Tunes du Jour kicks off its weekly dance party with Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” Will I be celebrating when CeeLo’s birthday comes around? Maybe by singing “Fuck You.”


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50 Songs Named After Real People

Today is the birthday of two music icons – Jam-Master Jay of rap pioneers Run-D.M.C. and disc jockey Wolfman Jack. Besides their place in their history of rock and roll, both men have another thing in common – they were the subjects of songs. That inspired me to put together today’s playlist – songs named after real people.

I found fifty songs whose titles are actual people. Actually I found more than fifty, but I didn’t want to subject you to Chiddy Bang or Mac Miller. I made a few rules for myself:
1) The title can’t have words besides the person’s name, hence no Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes” or Sleater-Kinney’s “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.”
2) The title has to be the full name the person is known by, so no “Springsteen” by Eric Church or “Jessica” (about Jessica Simpson) by Adam Green. Allowed are “Galileo,” “Joan of Arc” and “King Tut,” as that is how most people identify Galileo Galilei, Joan d’Arc and Tutankhamun.
3) The song doesn’t have to be about the person after whom it is titled, so “Jack the Ripper” and “Rosa Parks” are in.
4) The track has to be on Spotify. This means I left out Bob Dylan’s “George Jackson” and Hoodie Allen’s “James Franco.”

Amazingly for a playlist based on such a goofy concept, it holds together quite well, if I say so myself.

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