Every week since September, we’ve been asking Arkansas musicians to make digital guest mixes for our Rock Candy blog. Check out a few of the lists, which you can hear at wordpress-237995-832720.cloudwaysapps.com/guestmix, below. There you’ll also find more from the likes of The Coasts, CT (Rwake, Iron Tongue), Andrew Morgan (Country Florist, Chinese Girls) and Pepperboy.
I’ve never been a good DJ really, always throwing in a Rossini aria or some spoken word ballad by Johnny Cash at a late-night party, but I do listen to music constantly and had fun putting this list together. I narrowed it down to music I’m listening to a lot this week, some of my all- time favorites, and mostly (hopefully) a playlist that others might enjoy. I could go to the moon and back explaining each and every song, its instrumentation, lyrical structure, its meaning to me, its meaning in our culture, and so on. Maybe we can do that at a late-night party.
1. Johnny Cash, “Out Among the Stars”
2. Sturgill Simpson, “Life of Sin”
3. Dolly Parton, “Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8)
4. Isaac Alexander, “It’s Not True, It’s Just You”
5. Gram Parsons, “Still Feeling Blue”
6. Jesse Aycock, “Out to Space”
7. Eagles, “Journey of the Sorcerer”
8. Patsy Cline, “Back in Baby’s Arms”
Romance ruins everything. It pervades into every fiber of our social tapestry and fills our minds with the mirage that is wholeness. We are obsessed with “having it all,” whatever that means individually. And when we cannot have it, we feel a varying sense of loss that often propels us toward self-injury. At many different points in my stumble I have felt this pang. For me, music has become the anti-venom; a place to sit down inside myself and find balance. A space to appreciate what my efforts could conjure without being bound to notions of completion and failure. So, here’s my mix, “Songs to Keep Me From Jumping From Tall Things.” Enjoy and share. Dance a step or two.
1. The Walkmen, “In the New Year”
2. Jay Electronica, “Exhibit C”
3. Bright Eyes, “I Will Be Grateful for This Day”
4. Adam Faucett, “Love”
5. TV On The Radio, “Wolf Like Me”
6. MF DOOM, “Lemon Grass”
7. Shuggie Otis, “Aht Uh Mi Hed”
8. Steel Pulse, “Your House”
9. The Clash, “Ghetto Defendant”
10. Shabazz Palaces, “Are You … Can You … Were You? (Felt)”
11. Femi Kuti, “Oyimbo”
This is my Saturday night/Sunday morning mix. At my house, marking the ebb and flow of days is almost ritual. For years, my wife, Robyn, and I did not officially end our week and signal the beginning of the weekend without dropping the needle on Hound Dog Taylor’s “Genuine House Rocking Music” LP. Still, when I hear Hound Dog say, “OK baby, look out honey, let’s go to town town …” at the beginning of “Gonna Send You Back to Georgia,” it feels like Friday night and a highball full of bourbon. Most of those nights, the record played through both sides before we were properly ready for whatever we had planned. If this record can’t rock your house, you live in a storm cellar.
As important as it is to begin Saturday night right, I like bringing the weekend to a peaceful, recuperative close with some serious soul singing. One of the things my friend and fellow former member of the Southern Baptist Cult, Jim Dickinson, and I bonded over was the fact that good old-time gospel singing was the only church we could ever get behind and maybe the only keys to the kingdom you can hang your hat on.
Nothing says some of these can’t be transposed from Saturday to Sunday and vice versa. No judgment.
1. Hound Dog Taylor, “Gonna Send You Back to Georgia”
2. Los Lobos, “Mas Y Mas”
3. Alvin Robinson, “Down Home Girl”
4. Bo Diddley, “I’m Looking for a Woman”
5. Treat Her Right, “I Think She Likes Me”
6. R.L. Burnside, “Old Black Mattie”
7. Bobby King and Terry Evans, “Bald Head”
8. Al Green, “Love and Happiness”
9. Staple Singers, “Freedom Highway”
10. Sam Cook and the Soul Stirrers, “How Far Am I From Canaan”
11. Sister Rosetta, “Up Above My Head”
12. Pops Staples, “I Shall Not Be Moved”
13. Mississippi Fred McDowell, “When I Lay My Burdens Down”
14. Mahalia Jackson, “Precious Lord”