Sunday Music: Playlist For May 2020

The spring of 2020: under quarantine, but still coming into summer. Here’s a playlist of some new (to me) and old favorites that I’ve been listening to. This one starts off pretty high energy, mellows into some R&B, drops in on some New Orleans horns, gets rocking, and then turns almost country (almost, but not quite). There are two bonus live cuts tagged on at the end from John Prine and Bill Withers, RIP. Here it is on iTunes and Spotify.

  1. “Biggie / Tupac Live Freestyle (feat. DJ Mister Cee, The Notorious B.I.G., and 2Pac)” by Funkmaster Flex and Big Kap. A friend text me this song a few months back and I just kept putting it on.
  2. “Run (feat. Jadakiss)” by Ghostface. That “RZA verzuz DJ Premier” battle had me going back through all sorts of stuff. Always loved the energy of this song.
  3. “Ooh la la (feat. DJ Premier and Greg Nice)” by Run The Jewels. Classic sample and new RTJ? Can’t wait.
  4. “Ghost of Soulja Slim” by Jay Electronica. I for one am completely ok with hearing them stretch out over beats like this. Kind of reminds me of…
  5. “Accordion” by Madvillain. …MF DOOM’s style. Especially with Madlib doing the beats. Maybe one of my favorite random references ever, “Muttley with sick laughter.” Any topic is fair game with DOOM, even 60s cartoon characters. Speaking of ALL CAPS…
  6. “SONGS ABOUT YOU” by Chika. She’s one to watch. If she wants to go pop, she can. if she wants to rap, this is proof she can do that too.
  7. “Just The Two Of Us (feat. Bill Withers)” by Grover Washington Jr. Can we just pause to remember how badass these simple chord changes are? And that groove? Damn.
  8. “Be Here (feat. D’Angelo)” by Raphael Saadiq. Speaking of damn, this song is a little too sexy. Kind of like…
  9. “Sexual Healing” by Hot 8 Brass Band… Marvin Gaye getting the New Orleans treatment. Yes, the tuba and the sexiness brought me back to this one, I just love this cover so much.
  10. “I Fall In Love Every Night” by Born Ruffians. I could go deep on this one – the melody and lyrics against the chords make this extra special.
  11. “5 Years Behind” by THICK. It’s not just finding out you’ve been left behind, it’s that feeling of falling farther behind. “I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed / if I didn’t let time take control of me.”
  12. “Pwr Cple” by Worriers. This is such an adult breakup pop-punk anthem, I love it.
  13. “Wartortle” by Dogleg. This song has such an emotional rawness that keeps coming in waves from all directions. They really understand the contrast of how soft makes loud louder, major makes minor sadder, and vice versa.
  14. “Anaphylaxis” by PUP. “Was it the allergies or just me being me or both?”
  15. “Proofs” by Mates of State. Existential crisis music, for couples!
  16. “Witches” by Waxahatchee. This album has really grown on me. She can be so brilliant and if you’re not paying attention it slips by. But when you catch it… “The myth won’t love you like no other babe.”
  17. “End of my Rope” by Pokey LaFarge. I had kind of written him off as novelty, but this song got my attention. “Tall tales can’t cover up what can’t be seen / feeling better is the same old pipe dream.”
  18. “Call it a Day (feat. John Paul White)” by Caleb Caudle. I mean, all I hear is the guitar.
  19. “Hope the High Road” by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. I understand the plea to America angle, but he always writes truths that have cascading layers. This album and song got a lot of play while I was waiting for the new record. “I used to want to be a real man, I don’t know what that even means.”
  20. “Lake Marie” by John Prine. His gangster rap anthem – it’s got local history, love, murder, and a catchy hook. Gold.
  21. “Angel From Montgomery (Live)” by John Prine and Bonnie Raitt
  22. “Hope She’ll Be Happier (Live)” by Bill Withers