1. Brian Eno & John Cale – Spinning Away
Last night, I was outside of Men Oh Tokushima Ramen with a group of friends, talking about our mutual interest in seeing the recent, disastrous, Lindsay Lohan-fronted film The Canyons and waxing about how despised it has been by critics. (We watched it later in the night, and for the record, it is exactly as bad as it is claimed to be, not even so-bad-it’s-good.) On the topic of movies that got terrible reviews but that we actually liked, the 2000 movie The Beach came up. It was a crudely executed platform for Leonardo DiCaprio to run around all sexy and shirtless on a very scenic Thai beach, but it had a high entertainment value and a pretty great soundtrack for that era (Underworld, New Order, Blur, Leftfield, Twin Peaks composer Angelo Badalamenti even does a track on it with Orbital) and nestled amongst the tracks was Sugar Ray of all godforsaken bands covering this Eno/Cale masterpiece. Don’t believe me? Listen for yourself. And don’t tell anyone, but their cover is not half bad. Anyways, it reminded me to listen to the original, which is amazing.
2. Willie Nelson – Last Thing I Needed the First Thing This Morning
“What do you listen to?” “Oh, I like everything. Well, everything but country.”
No. Fuck you. Get some Willie Nelson in your life. Cozy up to a box of Kleenex for this one.
3. Gerry Raferty – Baker Street
I’ve taken to listening to the “Classic Rewind” station nonstop for the past week (I recommend weaning yourself off of Spotify’s teat of predictability and letting the gods of the radio airwaves endow you with whatever treasures they will) and holy shit, no one tells you how good saxophone-driven ballads sound blasting out of your car in Los Angeles after dark. Seriously, crank this with your hair swept back and do 50mph on Sunset and tell me that you don’t feel like a private investigator who always get his guy.
4. King Krule – Easy Easy
How is this dude 18-years-old? Kid’s got the deep guts of someone three times his age. He’s like Tom Waits, Billy Bragg, and Elvis Costello in the body of The Breakfast Club-era Anthony Michael Hall. I fell into a King Krule k-hole the other day and never looked back.
5. Van Halen – Why Can’t This Be Love
We’re all aware of Fleetwood Mac’s comeback in youth cultural vocabularies, as well as the Millennial adoration of Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, etc. So where’s Van Halen’s moment? Every single one of their goddamn songs is a stadium-worthy anthem. Listening to this song is like shotgunning a can of Red Bull on top of a mountain with lightning striking its pinnacle and the love of your life standing before you. I’m not even messing with you. I often wish rock ‘n’ roll was still epic like this and that 14-year-olds were having romantic moments to this kind of shit in parking lots instead of giving each other handjobs to Bruno Mars or whatever they’re doing. Till then, I’ll just be lip syncing to this on my own.