This is #50. I wanted to do something special to mark a half-century (plus a couple) of these playlists. So, as promised, here’s a throwback with material that mostly predates me.
Because of a guy from Alabama named John Brooks McLemore. He’s the subject of a new podcast from the This American Life and Serial folks called S-Town or Shit-Town. (That was what JBM called his hometown of Woodstock, AL.) The podcast is fascinating, and well worth your attention for its seven-plus hours. The main speaker is Brian Reed, who works at TAL. He and his staff chose a song by the Zombies, “A Rose for Emily,” to outro each episode. That was my inspiration, and last song here, before the usual YLT.
JBL was born in ’66, at the beginning of the so-called psychedelic era, so there are 66 tracks. (Actually, 67. But Dylan’s “Jet Pilot” is basically a demo of “Tombstone Blues.” Fwiw, the typical run-time for these playlists is around 3:15 for 45 tracks. This one is 3:14. Songs were shorter then.) There are some big names and some little names, all collected loosely under the label “psych-rock.” Roughly, this is music from the mid-late ’60s, with a few tracks from the early ’70s. A lot of it has (what seems to me) the signature wiggy guitar and/or organ sound from that period.
Complilations of material are common. (The Graduate and The Big Chill soundtracks are two well-known examples.) But the best, and most comprehensive, is Nuggets, lovingly assembled in 1972 by Jac Holzman and Lenny Kaye, who would later join the Patti Smith Group. Nuggets was originally a double-album, but it became a four-disc set in 1998. That set isn’t on Spotify, but somebody made a playlist with most of the songs. I raided that, for sure, but I also asked for help. So a special thanks to LN alum Ed Martin and our musicologist pal Darryl Norsen.
This week’s header image is by @almasolderlind from Ello. Thanks for that, too.
Oh, and an update: There may be some new non-playlist content in the proverbial works here at LN.
From me, not fan-fave OM. Smh. He’s now on “indefinite sabbatical,” per the Slack message that I got this morning when I settled into the morning at the office. Apparently, Turks & Caicos has a university (alt-TCU?) that “needs” an adjunct in music blog theory. And they’re willing to pay in the mid-six figures. Not tenure-track, but still. Damn. And, yeah, in case you were wondering, this gig was the subject of those phone calls from a few weeks ago. Travel safe, dude. Send a postcard or something. We’ll hold down the fort. And by we, I mean me.
Anyway. I’m considering a reboot of the award-winning “Jazz Is…” series, and a debut of “The Classical,” a monthly (hopefully?) thing about, uh, classical music. I’m also in talks about a punk monthly and something about the Grateful Dead and/or Phish. Stay tuned.
More soon. (It’ll pry be another eclectic playlist. Sorry.)