Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 2-17-24

A used unwashed black t-shirt worn by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong during the promotion of the band’s American Idiot album sold for $2500 at a charity auction, with the proceeds going to the Oakland School of the Arts. I would love to dispose of my laundry pile the same way, but I doubt anybody would pay more than $400 for my sweat-stained socks.

Billie Joe Armstrong was born on this date in 1972. Tracks from his band are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 9-22-23

“I love rock ‘n roll, so put another dime in the jukebox, baby”

Would the youth of today understand those lyrics from Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ cover of The Arrows’ “I Love Rock ‘n Roll?” “What’s a jukebox? What’s a dime?” I hear them asking. If that song were written today, how would it go?

“I love rock ‘n roll, so stream your favorite song on your smartwatch, baby”

“I love rock ‘n roll, so send payment via Venmo so you can unlock the playlist you want to hear, baby”

“I love rock ‘n roll, so tap your phone to connect to the speaker’s Bluetooth and hit play on your selection, baby”

“I love rock ‘n roll, so say ‘Hey Siri, play some rock ‘n roll and feel free to include women and Black artists because you’re not Jann Wenner, baby’”

“I love rock ‘n roll, so use your smartphone’s camera to scan the square-shaped QR code to be redirected to a website or an app where you can choose from a variety of songs and see the ratings, reviews, and popularity of each and select the song you want and it will be added to the queue and play when it’s your turn, baby / I love rock ‘n roll, so come and take some time and dance with me”

That last one just rolls off the tongue. So singalongable!

I love rock ‘n roll and I love Joan Jett, who turns 65 today. A handful of tracks by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts are on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 12-9-22

Today’s playlist celebrates the December 9 birthdays of Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, Green Day’s Tre Cool, Joan Armatrading, Jessie Hill, Cybotron’s Juan Atkins, The Osmonds’ Donny Osmond, Uffie, Imogen Heap, Donald Byrd, Dan Hicks, Sylvia, and Neil Innes; and the December 10 birthdays of Commodores’ Walter Orange, The White Stripes’ Meg White, Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis, Placebo’s Brian Molko, Paul Hardcastle, Kyu Sakamoto, Peter Sarstedt, Wang Chung’s Jack Hues, Chad & Jeremy’s Chad Stuart, and Teyana Taylor.

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Throwback Thursday: 1994

Nineteen ninety-four was not one of rock and pop music’s pivotal years. I didn’t realize how lackluster it was until compiling this week’s Throwback Thursday playlist. I always begin such lists with a look at the pop charts of the year being spotlighted. What a sad state of affairs they were in 1994! I found around 15 good songs that peaked in the top 40 that year, and included all of them in this list (except for Ƭ̵̬̊’s “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” which is not on Spotify). A few great songs came close to making the Top 40, such as Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” (peaked at #41) and The Breeders’ “Cannonball (peaked at #44). More great (mostly “alternative”) tracks would have made the Billboard Hot 100’s top 40 if not for Billboard‘s archaic rule that in order for a song to be eligible for the Hot 100, it needs to be commercially released as a single. Record companies stopped releasing many singles in the late 80s so as to force consumers into buying more profitable full-length albums. What that means is the Hot 100, which was supposed to represent the 100 most popular songs in the US, did not represent the 100 most popular songs in the US. And what mad the top 40 in 1994 was a lot of wussy drek. And Kurt Cobain died in 1994. Not a good year for music. Here are its gems:

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Records of the Year

The Grammy Awards are being presented tonight. Woo. It’s billed as “music’s biggest night,” just as May 7 through May 16 is billed as “the biggest week in American birding,” if only because ten days is a lot for one week. Birders. Am I right, people? Performers at this year’s Grammys include Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak doing their new song, because what better way to celebrate the music of 2020 than with a single that was released last week? Performers I’m looking forward to include Miranda Lambert, Cardi B, HAIM, Megan Thee Stallion, Brittany Howard, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, and Billie Eilish, whose “Everything I Wanted” is up for Record of the Year. That’s my favorite of the nominees, though I think the award will go to Beyoncé for “Black Parade,” and I have no problem with that. However, if the award goes to that record I never heard of until I started typing this sentence, sneakers will be thrown at my television (though that record may be good for all I know). For Album of the Year my vote goes to Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters, as it was handily the best album of 2020. It probably won’t win, seeing as it wasn’t nominated. What was nominated over Apple’s album? That Coldplay album you forgot about and the Jacob Collier album you never heard of until you started reading this sentence (though that album may be good for all you know). Of the albums nominated, I’d pick HAIM’s. It’s very good. Not Fetch The Bolt Cutters good, but very good nonetheless. If HAIM win I hope they hand their award to Fiona Apple live on the telecast, which would be super impressive, seeing as they won’t be in the same room. I’m sure tonight’s show will include a tribute to dead people done by living people who are no match for said dead people. I’d rather want a montage of clips of the dead people performing when they were living people. <Fill in the blank> screaming is not representative of what made Aretha Franklin amazing. No disrespect to <fill in the blank>, but there’s more to being the Queen of Soul than having a mic and ovaries.

It’s easy to shit on the Grammys, as they are so shittable, but to be fair, not every Record of the Year is as terrible as 1988’s recipient, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Here are thirty of the better winners:

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