Listening to good music while driving is one of the greatest pleasures in life. And finding new music has never been easier, thanks to Spotify and YouTube. I’ve got some songs on my brain that you might like.
There are many artists who died before they could grow old. Cass Elliot was one such person. Fortunately, she left behind a great legacy. Aside from her work in The Mamas and the Papas, Cass Elliot released several solo albums before her death in 1974. “Make Your Own Kind of Music” is probably the best song in her catalog. It’s a fantastic song to listen to in the morning. Aside from its uplifting tempo, it also acknowledges the risks inherent in forging your own path:
“You’re gonna be knowing
The loneliest kind of lonely,
It may be rough goin’,
Just to do your thing’s the hardest thing to do.”
Honorable mentions from the 60’s: “You’re Dead” by Norma Tanega, “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “People Are Strange” by The Doors.
I never really delved into disco or funk when I was younger. I wish I had gotten into it sooner, because hot damn the genre is fantastic. So many good songs. KC and the Sunshine Band may be better known for “Get Down Tonight” and “That’s the Way” but I’m partial to “I’m Your Boogie Man.” Perhaps because it’s a bit more subtle than the others? That’s not saying much. I really don’t know.
Honorable mentions from the 70’s: “I’d Rather Be With You” by Bootsy Collins, “Your Song” by Elton John, “Dancing Queen” by ABBA.
Is there any other song that covers the nuclear apocalypse in such an upbeat fashion? I can’t think of any right now. But what I do know is that Nena created an insanely catchy song. Perhaps the Cold War was worth it after all.
Honorable mentions from the 80’s: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds, “The Winner Takes It All” by ABBA, “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon.
Over the past year or so I’ve come to the realization that I do not identify with portion of the internet that is perpetually cynical and dismissive of anything new. I’m genuinely excited for the live action adaptation of Aladdin. Like most Disney animated movies, it’s got some infectious songs that are ruthlessly efficient. “One Jump Ahead” is among the best. Brad Kane really nailed the whole young, cheery, thief vibe with his singing.
Honorable mentions from the 90’s: “A Whole New World” by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” by Elton John, and “Circle of Life” by Elton John.
I have no idea how I completely missed The New Pornographers. I inhaled The Shins, The Decemberists, and Death Cab For Cutie in high school, so you’d think I’d have eventually discovered the band at some point. Oh well. At least The New Pornographers have made a lot of albums over the years. And they really haven’t lost their step.
Honorable mentions from the 00’s: “The Hardest Button to Button” by The White Stripes, “Hard To Explain” by The Strokes, and “Vindicated” by Dashboard Confessional.
Are you in the mood for some Jackson Five style funk? I’ve got good news: Vulfpeck is oozing with it. This newer group has released a new album pretty much every year for the last several years. Pretty impressive.
Honorable mentions from the 10’s: “Digital Witness” by St. Vincent, “Everything Now” by Arcade Fire, and “Applause” by Lady Gaga.
Ok, that’s it for me. What have you been listening to? Podcasts are also welcome.