November 6, 2013


The Playlist

Feature Track “Walk Me To The Door” The Luv’d Ones (Truth Gotta Stand, 1998)

Guys – I found your new rock crush. Her name is Char Vinnedge and her band was The Luv’d Ones.

The Michigan native formed The Luv’d Ones in 1965, along with her sister, Chris, and two others, Mary Gallagher and Faith Orem. They were quickly signed to Dunwich Records and put out a string of singles over the next three years.

From TGA: “Char was the undisputed leader of the gang; not only did she sing lead vocals, play lead guitar and write the original songs, but also took care of their equipment, bookings and artwork, and even drove the van when required. … Char had a habit of tuning her Gibson SG down a full step, which played a huge part in why the group’s music has frequently been described as ‘dark’, ‘gloomy’ or even ‘haunting’. In addition, Char’s preference for minor keys, her lead vocals (she usually sings in her lower register and hardly ever uses any expressive singing techniques) and the accompanying harmonies contribute to the ‘darkness’ often heard in the music.” (source)

Just listen to the track – this woman could shred. She idolized Hendrix and, after The Luv’d Ones disbanded in 1969 having never ‘made it,’ Char was invited by his bass player, Billy Cox, to play on his album Nitro Function (which I’m sure we can all agree is a terrible title).

In 1997 Sundazed Records signed a five year agreement with the group to, at long last, release their assorted singles and demos as a full length album. Sadly Vinnedege died of a heart attack shortly after finalizing the deal, before Truth Gotta Stand got it’s official release.



November 5, 2013


The Playlist

Feature Track “Woody & Dutch on the Slow Train to Peking”
by Rickie Lee Jones (Pirates, 1981)

Fact: Tuesdays are the worst days.

Fact: Rickie Lee Jones can fix that in the first minute of this song.

I had a serious moment with this album over the weekend – specifically one of those, ‘I’ll just put this on while I read my book… but how can I read my book when I’m dancing all over the house??” moments. Pirates was Rickie’s sophomore release, which chronologically put it just after her breakup from Tom Waits, but it’s hard to find any melancholy or bitterness in the thing. Sure it opens with the cinematic and lush “We Belong Together” but then it skits and skedats all over the damn place, including this sweet layover in bebop-ville, because Rickie Lee Jones is literally perfect.

(It also put her back on the cover of Rolling Stone,
back when Reagan was targeting the Clean Air Act…
good times.)

November 4, 2013

The Playlist

Feature Track “Something” Beatles cover by The Leisure Society
(Mojo Presents: Abbey Road Now!, 2009)

“Aren’t you done with covers yet?”
Oh come on, you know me better than that. Besides, look how precious these guys are!!

I stumbled across this compilation put out by Mojo covering The Beatles’ Abbey Road 40 years after its initial release (4 years ago). It’s got all sorts of Ducks’ favorites on there (Jeffrey Lewis, Noah & the Whale, Low Anthem, etc) but the track that stole my heart was the sweetly cinematic version of “Something” by The Leisure Society.


November 2, 2013


The Playlist

Feature Track “Car” Built to Spill cover by Emily Reo

I forget exactly what brought me to Emily Reo, but as I scanned the handful of songs she has posted on Grooveshark I came across one called Car, which it took me a moment to recognize as a Built to Spill song…

which of course led me to Built to Spill covering Macy Gray’s “I Try” (because it’s one of the best things that ever happened)…

which resulted in me noticing Macy Gray had put out a crazy album of all covers in 2011…

at which point the challenge was set:
Could I make a full 20 song playlist where each song was a cover being done by the artist who’d been covered in the last song?

The answer was/is YES, but it’s hella hard, and thusly I proudly present this post-Halloween, dress-up-in-you, covers mega-list (working title).

November 1, 2013


The Playlist

Feature Track “I Don’t Know How” by Best Coast (Fade Away EP, 2013)

There’s a new single out from Best Coast, and it sounds like Best Coast, the way Best Coast has always and probably will always sound. I’m totally OK with that.
There are a million and one bands in the world and a lot of them are doing super interesting things, so great for those guys – I like to listen to them too.
I also like to listen to Best Coast because I am a California girl they freaking get California. They are SoCal. The blurb for this video calls it “reliably sun-drenched” and that’s Best Coast in a nutshell. No need to over think it.

Here are three more videos to prove my point and put you in the right mood:

and here’s a playlist:


October 30, 2013

The Playlist

Feature Track “I Got Gold” by Willy Mason (Carry On, 2013)

Now that’s what a happy dance looks like! After all of yesterday’s grouchiness I’m so glad this song found me. I’m not sure if I’m missing a deeper metaphor, or if it’s just supposed to be a good time, but it’s excelling at the latter.

Willy is five months younger than me but has a tendency of sounding decades older. The son of two folk singers, he grew up making music, putting out his first commercial release nine years ago – an EP featuring tracks like “Oxygen” and “Hard Hand to Hold” that made a lot of folks sit up and take notice. This track comes off of his third album, and most recent release, Carry On.  Enjoy!

October 29, 2013

The Playlist

Feature Track “New York City’s Killing Me” by Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs (2010)

The next person to say, “it’s only Tuesday” will see me snap in two. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I hate my commute.

  • 10 minute walk to the BART station – fine (unless, like today, I get all the way there before realizing my wallet is in yesterday’s coat pocket at home – in which case it becomes a 30 minute ordeal).
  • 40 minutes wedged between strangers, and their smells, and their lack of patience, and the jerkiness of train brakes, and all of the iphones.
  • 15 minutes on foot through the Mission where what little sense of whimsy I might still be holding on to is all but smothered by the smell of urine and dead pigeons.

And there’s the knowing I have to do it all again before I can just be home, laying on my floor and trying to self-medicate my back pain away.

So anyway, here’s a playlist that’s as cheerful as all that!

10-29-13 by Shiny Shoes on Grooveshark

  (Sorry, guys. There’s always tomorrow.)