Me & My Radio, 2019 Version–
Some of us spend a lot of time alone in the car; some for different reasons spend a lot of time alone at home, wherever that might be. Some do both, for long doses, and there are ways in our electronic world to not feel lonely when alone, particularly cell phones. but having ditched the Cable TV at home, I had effectively cut off my addiction to the NBA via League Pass, TNT, or ESPN, as well as HBO and Showtime, all that, and had never subscribed to Netflix, Pandora, SiriusXM, nor Audial books: I had to revert to my preference to religiously rely on RADIO as my backdrop…. But in this current iteration of my life, it became more than background, a distraction, a relief from work…it became more like a lifeline, a friendly connection with the world as I dealt with abrupt isolation, after 30 years of continuous family life and marriage.
As I implied, left all 5 TV screens back at the house. Had no couch. Can’t be a couch potato in this new life without either of those options. Brought my essential books, cases of old notebooks to pore through, my laptop, my ancient beat-up beatbox radio, and my digital CD player. Otherwise, I’d moved into a fully furnished place with no spouse, no kids, no dawg, no cats, not even house plants I could talk to or water. So in my 3rd floor walk-up I would leave the radio on, playing EQX exclusively, thus I did not have to come home to a lifeless room. EQX was my consolation, my Greek chorus, my familiar drone of life substance when I returned, feeling empty– somewhat liberated, but desolate.
I came to this place–voluntary solitary confinement, I called it, to write, to process my last few decades of life, not to simply escape. I’d put off and postponed my own creative passion for most of my life so far, and felt the sand running out of the hourglass.
I was not afraid of silence, needed lots of it, in fact– but music had always been my support group, my armor, since the day I got my first transistor radio at age 8, and I wasn’t about to give that up. No, needed it more than ever. Sometimes slept with it on, lot too loud; the rest of the time I’d pop Early EQX live within 15 seconds of exiting the bed. Coffee, spring water, and 102.7FM kept me going.
Dateline, November 1984–
1st Time I Heard ‘EQX…Anecdote #1:
As a young regional sales guy at the time, evangelical about selling solar products during the first Green Wave, I was on the road constantly, starting with the fateful year of 1984 George Orwell had designated as ominous, in many ways that hadn’t quite come true yet. And in my vehicle I was what you’d call a “radio station fiddler”…. compulsively changing the dial to find a compelling song or two in a row. It was an audial version of OCD, or ADD, whatever– I just did it without thinking about it. I had previously worked, or should I say, volunteered as a freelance record spinner in college radio stations for 5 or 6 years, off and on, so I was musically an indie/underground snob, and tried to avoid pop music in all its putrid forms. Even in my 20s, I detested WPYX and their drooling frat boy DJs with their pseudo-gravelly voices and slavish devotion to the most obvious and overplayed hits of the prior decade or two of dinosaur rock. But WQBK, a semi-alt station in Albany at the time– formed some competition on the dial at 103.9FM, or whatever it was at the time. A guy named Lyn Brehmer was on that station and one day he was playing Bob Dylan’s tune “Tangled Up In Blue” which was great singalong music while driving between appointments all over hell. When he switched to something like The Eagles or Jackson Brown I flipped the knob left and heard a sound that wasn’t there before. At 102.7FM they seemed to be broadcasting from Vermont, how exotic, and I believe they were playing a Talking Heads tune that was NOT old news “Psycho Killer”– I’m thinking it was Naive Melody, a quirky ballad from David Byrne that deviated from the hit machine kind of sound he had already succeeded at since the 1983 album featuring “Burning Down The House” plus the legendary tour of that same year, this was the kind of off-beat single you didn’t hear elsewhere at the time, unless you bought the album and played it yourself… but soon the Vermont djs seque’d into playing REM, The Cure, Psychedelic Furs, Flock of Seagulls, Echo & The Bunnymen– later I was hearing The Pretenders, The Minutemen, Dead Can Dance, and soon a new bunch dubbed Phish, stuff that would normally be found only on college radio stations like WRPI or WSPN, but here it was on a commercial station that seemed to have a powerful, 50,000 watt signal. My fiddling days, it turned out, were over, and the dial of whatever I was driving back then got stuck on 102.7FM. I didn’t realize that 35 years later, in a world of constant change, I’d once again be hooked on EQX– a media outlet I first thought of as being intended mostly for Vermont ski bums– which I was assuredly not. But I liked what I was hearing. Truthfully, I didn’t think at the time either of us would last this long…but they just celebrated their historic 35th birthday as I was sporadically tapping this belated blog… but I’ll say it again: Love Live Independent Radio, amen. In a world of commercial homogeniety and blather on the airwaves, we are fortunate here to hear one of the 3 or 4 best independent commercial stations in the nation, bar none.
Anecdote #2—Feb. 2019: The Toro Y Moi revelation
Somewhere deep in the northeast winter of 18-19, when the solo scenario of my separation had deeply settled into my psyche, I was washing a few accumulated dishes at the windowless sink in the corner of my studio apartment, with my phone streaming WEQX on the board shelf above my head… Suddenly I hear a burping synth like a new message coming from Herbie Hancock’s grandson or something, layered with a bouncing jouncy upward beat that made me pause before I heard the hipster words of the 32 year old composer that were to come–
” Imitation Always Gets A Bad Rep, Man../
Witches Brew Had Me At The First Sip, Man..”
I ‘d been weened as a teen on the immortally bizarre double album dubbed Bitches Brew, man, years before this singer was born–in fact I named my first son Miles in tribute to that recording. He was sort of sampling it, paying homage to it, gently mocking the grab at history he was borrowing. I turned off the faucet to listen to more:
“Smells like autumn, smells like leaves,
you don’t know you’re rust and not belong so much…
and then you get…left alone,
and my Where-abouts Unknown…”
those word being sung by a previously obscure (to me) 2019 artist… were a precise if indirect quote of a book by Alan Watts, circa 1973– the summer before I went off to college, when I imagined myself a Zen Transcendentalist. I once coveted that book, and regularly used the same phrase at times. Collective consciousness, How’d he know about that?
A bit later, this tidbit of wisdom, in rhythm: “People Tend To Listen…/
When They See Your Soul ”
and I start realizing how advanced this alt songwriter’s wisdom is… I look up his name: Toro Y Moi as a stage name of a dude otherwise known as Chaz Bear, aka Chazwick Bradley Bundick… and the point is, WEQX is the only way I would’ve heard this tune, this artist, this freuency, 102.7FM– Toro Y Moi and the station’s waves brought me out of that dishwashing funk, and I went back to my writing desk and tried to jam like I was in the band during the Bitches Brew sessions, just free associating in rhythm, man. Thanks Chaz…
Anecdote #3-– Down the Highway earing TheBeths in the car–
I was heading down to (the now-sadly defunct) Jupiter Hall at Crossgates Mall on February 12th of 2019, my journal tells me, to see another amazing concert WEQX had hyped so well– New Orleans funk band Galactic. I could not stand the thought of missing it, as I had on two previous occasions in the past decade, though I had no one to go with and it was a 35 mile drive down to the end of the Northway, and yet I was sailing south on the smooth ass I-87 pavement thinking at the time how proud my younger self would be of my still-attempting-to-be-a hipster self a few decades later, and this sassy sardonic voice female voice with an Aussie accent (turns out she was from New Zealand) starts singing a tune cleverly called “Future Me Hates Me“– because I was in the reverse position, already the Future Me, living with regrets and scars and hard-earned wisdom as her youthful vim and feisty vibe that totally turned around my thought pattern. As I gathered on the first time round, the bouncy song was about a love affair she knew she might regret if she entered into it.
Her song spoke to the fear of new episodes, the regrets we impose on ourselves in advance for making what seem to be bad moves, self-sabotaging moments, but the music behind this drama was uplifting, catchy and damn near addictive– Galactic put on a memorable kickass show I’ve written about elsewhere, the concert that pulled me down I-87 was great and well worth the trip. But the next night at home when I heard The Beths’ debut tune again I found myself looking up her lyrics and then played the Y0u Tube version over and over that whole night in my music lisnin’ chair. So the elder version of Me is/was obsessing over a tune written and sung by a woman roughly 1/3rd my age from the other side of the world, realizing she taught me something about perspective, about melding a quirky lyric to a briskly swinging alt-pop mini-symphony, a sad ballad with some buoyance to it and I never would have fuggin’ heard it were it not for the constantly changing and inventive playlist of a Vermont station based in a Victorian farmhouse in Manchester, roughly 45 miles away…
You might be rightfully wondering why, on a Saratoga-based blog, on a site under the banner of saratoga.com I am writing about a Manchester, Vermont radio station…in a neighboring state. Well, because it permeates our airspace, it flavors virtually every day as my go-to backdrop, because it inspires and nurtures us, those who still love the free radio airwaves; as it brings us the proper mix of established cool alternative tunes plus the endless prospect of the new. You see, WEQX 102.7 FM is increasingly rare and unique in its independence as a regional radio station with a powerful signal and widespread cultural presence. Based on where its advertisers are, in many ways it caters just as much if not more to Albany, Schenectady,Troy, and yes Saratoga Springs than the municipalities near where its station is located…although it enjoys mutual support and rapport with the ski areas of southern and central Vermont, as well as the entire greater Capital District of Upstate NY.
Now I tried for years to get used to the local frequency which prides itself on playing “Listener suppported radio” with no advertising at all, but in fact they still had subtle corporate plugs that implied sponsorship, but still had to run so many donation campaigns that it became more tedious than a few interspersed ads per hour. Sorry, that is my opinion. You can’t have it both ways– to say you don’t run any ads, except to some generous donors. More importantly, the music they were playing, which got more old-folkier and more tame than my taste could take. I missed the cutting edge stuff, the younger groups that EQX features. You are not going to hear Squid or Murder Capital over there, no Big Thief, no DJ Shadow, probably not the Beastie Boys nor Radiohead, no Nine Inch Nails or Minus the Bear. Simply put, the cool thing about EQX’s business model is that they are indeed independent and sometimes defiantly so… but also certainly self-supporting, not asking for donations, not NPR-affiliated, and yet commercials are worked into their format in a less-coercive way than anywhere else. I declared to myself a few years back it was worth hearing the occasional McDonald’s or TOYOTA commercial in order not to have to live through fund-raising drives; I’m sorry, I couldn’t take any more of that.
Over time and right up to the present, , WEQX has featured hip advertisers like Troy’s famous Brown’s Brewery, Altamont’s Indian Ladder Farms, Frog Alley in Schenectady, Saratoga’s & Manchester’s Northshire Bookstore, Mountain Man Outdoor Supply in Saratoga Springs, The Safety Warehouse in South Glens Falls (near Exit 17), Fountain Square Outfitters in downtown Glens Falls, Albany Distilleries, music venues like the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, Jupiter Hall (sadly extinct) and now Sky Loft at Crossgates Mall, The Hollow Bar & Kitchen, on North Pearl, and The Plalace, in downtown Albany, Nanola in Malta, SPAC of course, and Putnam Place in Saratoga Springs, and eateries like Slidin’ Dirty (Troy and Schenectady) , Lumber Jack’s Coffee & Snacks in Hoosick, etc. etc.: all places you’d feel good about supporting anyway. And if we hear a car commercial or fast food plug, it doesn’t seem as obnoxious here as it does on Clear Channel’s brash and head-bashing manner.
I feel and felt the same exhilaration I did about Toro Y Moi and The Beths when I first heard the following dozen or so pieces of ear-candy EQX has placed into my skull as of late 2019– you listen a couple of times in a casual fashion; next thing you know, you’re hooked:
“When Am I Gonna Lose You?” by Local Natives, ridiculously addictive, and I don’t usually fall for falsetto choruses…
“Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile” by The New Pornographers, quirky, great lyrics like the above, missed their concert, ugh
“It Might Be Time” and “Patience” by Tame Impala: some call it Yacht Rock, but Kevin Parker is cool in any case…
“Dive” by local group The Parlor, just so savory are the melodies and harmonies herein…
Then the opposite verb, “Rise”… by In The Valley Below… you might swear these are equally matched local talent
“Eat, Sleep, Wake” by Bombay Bicycle Club…like all the “B”s in their name and Bounce & reverb Bass in this tune
“Memphis” by Kitten, a saucy feline indeed…breathless and jaunty…
“NOT” by Big Thief ( 6 minutes in length including a beautifully dissonant 2 minute guitar coda to take it out..)
“Shakin’ Off The Rust” by The Blue Stones
“Uneventful Days” by the prolific Beck with its notable TABLA-led mantra that is so simple and somewhat featured here…
“Simply Surviving” by The Greeting Committee, most energetic band seen at Larkfest last May, so young & so good…
“Tenderness” by Jay Som …new voice to me, a pleasant blend of haunting harmonic crooning and staccato chorus…
“So Heavy I Fell Thru The Earth” by Grimes
“Rocket Fuel” by DJ Shadow w/ De La Soul
“Hell and Back” by Bakar
All of the above– all release during the second half of 2019, or new– tend toward my ideal of being either inspirational or psychically soothing… in other words, addictive.
But then there are throwback tunes each day where you find yourself checking the EQX Playlist becuz you wonder what they were, but how could you have missed that song when it first came out? Like one Saturday afternoon when I heard Josh Homme’s voice but did not know the name of this amazing love rock love song called “Make It Wit Chu...” (by Queens of the Stone Age, 2007)…
Here we have the infinite range of indie music, plus a reassuring raft of great tunes that are established already, pours forth from this endless audial spring of WEQX like clockwork on a daily basis. Unlike the Top 40 stations, the stations that play same hundred ancient classic rock chestnuts, and even the other quasi-alt channels– EQX pulls from a database of music that is seemingly several thousand options deep….and always prepared to startle us, turn us on to something obscure and new (Going Underground, especially), or remind us of the brilliance of certain alt-rock building blocks from the 80’s, 90s, early 2000s.
At one point in the late 90s when I was trying to establish my client relationships with those a generation younger than me, I took out a Saratogian ad that said–
“Shouldn’t your Realtor know the difference
between Smashing Pumpkins and Screaming Trees ???”
Flash forward after a couple decades of EQX listening and concert-going to learn the difference, for instance, between Portugal. the Man, Young The Giant, Cage The Elephant, Minus The Bear, and any other bands that have “THE” as a middle name. I am quite clear on each of these now. I know the difference between The Cold War Kids, Coldplay, and The War on Drugs. I can tell Big Data from Big Thief, and recall Big Country, a group that reminds me of Foals. I can distinguish Weezer from Wilco and Ween (not really the last one, I just liked that name. Company of Thieves, Band of Horses, Band of Skulls, same thing. I can identify Bombay Bicycle Club but not the Paranoid Social Club. Despite all this I take Tame Impala’s admonition to those my age seriously:
You’re not as cool as You used to Be!
It Might Be Time to Face it!
LOL Kevin Parker, thanks, I know.
It was at Upstate Concert Hall a while back for when I brought Miles along to see The Record Company for a second time together, this time without our respective significant others, when I gazed around at the packed crowd EQX had mustered for this stellar performance, coaxing its listeners to come to a former shopping mall retail outlet in Clifton Park to see a great national-level touring band in the middle of the week. Slightly ahead of me in line at the bar was one of the few dudes who looked close to my age, everyone else seemed half as old or less. I congratulated him on his good taste in music, asked him how he’d heard about the concert and he laughed and told me Luke, the evening DJ at EQX was his son. I said, OK then that explains it. You raised your kid right.
It occurred to me that most of the 20- or 30-somethings that were in attendance probably also had parents who exposed them to great music, though some may have found it on their own. Never did I get any sense of ageism in EQX’s appeal– the 35th anniversary commemoration showed that a slew of listeners were there from the start, in the mid-80s. Fortunately however, there is a huge and healthy crop of younger listeners who share the same passion for the music played on this station.
That sense of inclusion applies equally to the abundance of female artists who are represented on the station’s playlists, the boundary breaking of country/folk/blues/bluegrass artists and also, especially recently, more black artists like .clipping and DJ Shadow who would not likely find airtime in too many other places. They are equal opportunity disc spinners.
So, it is fine to be accepted, but specifically,… why has the station become my BFF?
First off, defining terms:
To me, BFF means simply “Best Fuggin’ Friend– Right Now!– At the moment, In the moment, not necessarily “Forever” …. one just can’t predict that far ahead, lol….life is full of changes.
I have a couple of BFFs already, great dudes I can talk to about just about anything in the roller coaster of our respective lives, both named Dave, and both dudes of great musical taste and knowledge, albeit fond of different genres than each other. With those guys however, I cannot share my enthusiasm for the Sturgill Simpson performance I saw at SPAC in Fall of 2018, whereas EQX has now started playing a single from that Country Crossover artist with a vicious guitar and stern & sterling voice. I can’t quite get them to understand how heavy & dynamic Portugal. the Man was that night at the Palace in Albany a year and a half ago, or why I thought “Last Kiss” by Minus The Bear might be the best sad song of the past decade, or how great SPOON was at the Upstate Concert Hall 2 years ago, or how quirky and cool the Rochester band Joywave was at the same place a year or so ago, or why I would become a fan of a young group of Kansas City kids named The Greeting Committee, or how amazingly tight an Austin band named White Denim was just recently at Putnam Place in Saratoga– most people my age or close to it don’t really care for , or share, my fascination for this sort of stuff. My collective BFFs at EQX do, and aside from the Outlaw Festival at SPAC, the radio station promoted all the aforementioned shows and at least some of their DJs are usually there to embrace the experience too..
What does a reliable Best Friend do for you?
They are there for you 24/7…(hard for any one human to be, actually)… they are not selfish with their time…are always available as a go-to option…
They console you and pick you up when you are down, depressed, fatigued, or totally devoid of inspiration…
They greet you when you get back from workdays or day trips…now that you are spouse-less…
They let you know about events that might be exhilarating to attend…they encourage you to participate in life…
They will let you be alone when you need quiet… not insulted when you turn them off…
Conversely, They will keep you from being or feeling alone when you feel weak or antisocial…
They will make you laugh when you need it…usually unexpectedly…
They will sense your moods and inspire you in subtle ways…
And if you are like me, they will turn you on to new music…
WEQX 102.7 FM has hit all these buttons for me in the past 15 months.
Whether the DJ in question at the time was: JEFF, KELLER, RYAN, SHEA, LUKE, NIKKI, McCALLA or longtime veteran JOEL when he expertly subs in… or recent new voice JOY, and even their Anonymous Automated Overnight System, the experience has been consistently stellar for me in listening for a good chunk of every damn day of my 15 month stay in that now past tense 3rd floor walk-up apartment.
I will always applaud them for unwittingly helping me through this difficult & dicey phase. I’m sure there are a myriad, thousands of others scattered across corners of 4 states in the northeast that feel the same way, for a host of different reasons and circumstances… and we all probably have our favorite DJs, depending on whose type of style or humor or depth of knowledge on any given day suits you the most. The point is, oon this station, the announcers are not only ALLOWED to have unique personalities; it is virtually mandatory.
Here’s a few words from my perspective about each:
JEFF as the morning guy and never seems to miss a 6 a.m. start up even though he attends 200 concerts per year & unpretentiously projects the ability to party around the clock; he is the jovial, sardonic Ring Master of the EQX schedule, most visible face in promoting events & live music, not averse to popping cans of beer or hard cider at about 8 in the morning when reps from Brown’s Brewing or Indian Ladder Farms visit his show on Thursdays and Fridays. His stamina, without ever complaining about the hours he keeps, is legendary. He does a killer Jam ‘N Toast show on Thursday Nites till 11pm, lives an hour away i Albany, and will still be popping beers live on the air in Manchester each Friday morning sans complaint, a willing consumer of fine brews, ales, what-have-you. He is the King of Audial Frivolity, yet the highly organized Program Director as well. Amazing.
RYAN is one of the young bloods who’s injected a new voice and style to the airwaves over the past couple years– Early on, when I started hearing him playing “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum I figured his parents must have been from my generation, or he did some rock digging on his own. He does the daily Retro Lunch, featuring late 70s and 80s-early 90s music, as well as a Sunday morn version of same, so his song research belies his age. He picks up the reins, soberly, ironically, and calmly, as Jeff signs off with his signature “SEE YA!” at 10 a.m… and runs the show till 3PM. He looks and sounds young, and gets some flak for that, but has proven to be musically wise beyond his years.
KELLER is the suave pro who handles the 3-7pm shift and hence guides the late afternoon drive audience, and handles the famous “Top 5 at 5” countdown, which assembles the most requested songs of each day and keeps us on top of what tunes are trending upward. His insights and detailed background stories on featured artists are always intriguing, and is an excellent interviewer of live performers on the WEQX House Sessions. He seems like the glue-guy on the team, not flashy or as irreverent as some, but the steady force whose voice is reassuring and familiar, and seems like he’s been there forever.
LUKE is the 27 year old wunderkind of esoteric music knowledge who has already ascended to Music Director status and seems to be in charge of supplying the constant feed of new, sometimes obscure, almost always stimulating, alt music that keeps this station on the cutting edge. Like Jeff he fanatically attends the South-X-Southwest shows in Austin each year, and comes back with first hand reports of groups like Chai (from Japan) Squid (whose tune “The Dial” took off this year), Wargirl, and literally dozens of others each week which most of us never heard of before, but love to be on the cutting edge in hearing his finds. If you read through his play list on the nights where he does his “Going UnderGround” show, the average listener won’t recognize more than a handful of any performers he’s playing, but 95% of the time, he’s bringing us just topnotch music, unknown or barely known, from all over the world.
SHEA is the most refreshing-est change to the EQX lineup over the past couple years, and adds a necessary dose of diversity, race, feminism, and even some raw political views to a station that had always featured a lot of cool female voices, but none quite like hers. For one thing, she plays the hippest background “beds” any ex-jazz DJ could hope for on a non-college, non-NPR radio station– John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Monk…you never know what she might play behind her, but its old school hipster sound compels you to focus a bit harder to hear it. Her approach is urban-sassy without being too overwhelming and her sincere love of a broad range of musical styles is apparent. She frequently refers to certain preferred singer/performers as “my future ex-husband” which always cracks me up. She cheers on LGBT causes, and mocks the guy she dubs “The Liar In Chief” on a regular basis: you’re not going to get any of that on a Clear Channel station. Shea is a hoot, quirky and as irreverent as Jeff in her own way, and progressed greatly in her on-air confidence; her style now is smooth, assured, less breathless than at first… and she always signs off in a compassionate plea to her listeners to let them know she cares… She usually handles mid-day shifts on the weekend, and changes up the vibe when she does.
NIKKI is a Vermont-based veteran of the scene, one of the two or three most long-lasting of the current DJs… her domain is The Dead Zone on Wednesday nights, the acoustic Coffee House on Saturday mornings (again, a nice change of pace) andd she fills in on a regular basis for anyone who needs a break or goes away… A consummate pro on her own, and a big promoter of Max Creek and other local bands of note. Her voice is a signature part of a lot of the station promos. She brings some deep rock roots to the air in terms of comparisons, as when she recently compared the long guitar tailspin of sonic dissonance at the end of NOT by Big Thief to the Neil Young band Crrazy Horse…again, you’re not gonna get that kind of specific insight except here.
MACALLA is a bit outside the standard smooth FM DJ mold himself, and appropriately so as he holds down the late shift on weekend evenings and brings a comic male energy to the mike– a bit rambunctious, hyped without being too crazy, he brings enthusiasm and a comic/whack trademark teaser when he gives you a list of upcoming songs, “AFTER THIS, WHEN WE GET BACK, BABY!” which makes one more tolerant of the intervening commercials.
I commend and appreciate them all.
When you are going thru a separation/divorce — as half of American humanity has already done– you have to be careful not to gripe or moan too much to your closest friends; it’s just not cool and there’s only so much anyone else can help, you’ve got to process the mess of your life on your own as you go. A radio station that speaks to you directly, almost psychically, with synchronicity of thought and music, lyrics and sentiments linked together on a regular basis… that entity in and of itself bears the quality of a superb friendship. It certainly beats the hell out of anything you can get on TV, social media, or the Internet, in my opinion, and it doesn’t require your full visual attention in the meantime. You can cook, eat, clean up, write, research, read, rest, exercise, meditate, whatever…while the BFF chooses the music track and you absorb it or dismiss it, as needed.. If and When I ever get my Saratoga book finished, I will dedicate its progenesis to EQX , among my other suppportive & creative friends.
Postscript One– Late December Addendum
Top 20 No, 60, No, 75!!! of Last Decade… belatedly submitted by Wayne Perras to EQX:
“Hot Thoughts,” Spoon
“Feel It Still” Portugal. the Man
“Wolf Like Me” TV on the Radio
“Back Pocket” Vulpeck
“I Want You” Marian Hill
“Window” Company of Thieves
“Crystallized” by The XX
“Laredo” Band of Horses
“Wild Horses” Bishop Briggs
“Blood Buzz Ohio” The National
“Lotus Flower” Radiohead
“Are U Mine” Arctic Monkeys
“Do I Wanna Know?” Arctic Monkeys
“Violent Shiver” Benjamin Booker
“Tryin’ To Be Cool” Phoenix
“Rip Tide” Vance Joy
“Don’t Wanna Fight” Alabama Shakes
“Right On” Galactic
“Off The Ground” The Record Company
“Rita Mae Young” The Record Company
“Get Out” Frightened Rabbit
“The Way You Used To Do” Queens of the Stone Age
“Broken Heart” Chris Cornell
“Tearing Me Up” Bob Moses
“ Call Tha Police” LCD Soundsystem
“My House” David Byrne
“High Enough” K. Flay
“Lucky One” Tom Morello with K. Flay
“Somebody I Used To Know” Gautier w/ Kimbra
“Last Kiss” Minus The Bear
“Night Time” Superorganism
“Little Black Submarines” Black Keys
“You’re Somebody Else” Flora Cash
“Life To Fix” The Record Company
“If U C My Enemies” Rubblebucket
“Holdin’ On To Life” Broken Bells
“Don’t Cling To Life” (lol) The Murder Capital
“Love Is Mystical” Cold War Kids
“You’re Scarin’ Me” Ron Gallo
“Nobody Speak” DJ Shadow w/ Run The Jewels
“Last Thing on My Mind” Joy Formidable
“Default” Django Django
“Bad Guy” Billie Eilish
“Now or Never Now” Metric
“Never Back Down” Bob Moses
“Go!” M83 (feat.
“Left Hand Free” Alt J
“Coffee” Sylvan Esso
“Bloom” I Am Dynamite
“Turning Into Water” Maybird
“South” Hippo Campus
“Reflektor” Arcade Fire
“Jungle” Tash Sultana
“Pumped UP Kicks” Foster The People
“Holdin’ On To Blck Metal” My Morning Jacket
“A Copy of A Copy” Nine Inch Nails
“lost In My Mind” The Head and The Heart
“Will Do” TV On The Radio
“Summer Sun” Boy and the Bear
“Freelance” Toro Y Moi
“Hold On” Alabama Shakes
“Mouthful of Diamonds” Phantogram
“Shine My Diamond Ring” Sean Rowe
“Dive” The Parlor
Postscript #2– Christmas Music!
I was ensconsed in a new setting over the Christmas Holiday as I finally finished this long-ass piece , and I wasn’t planning on listening to the pre-recorded music assembled by the staff at EQX– thought it was time to indulge in my own CDs at top volume with no one else in my building… but I succcombed to the Seasonal Spirit, and was enchanted by the non-cliche’d variety of their 2-day playlist:
Here were my favorite tunes from Dec 24-25th–
- Billy Paul Williams & Nicole Henry (with horns!) — a cookin’ jazzy version of Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
- Timbuk 3– “All I Want For Christmas, is World Peace”
- Christmas Time– by Ivy, whoever that might be
- Blue Christmas, original Elvis Presley version
- Fun. by Sleighride
- Winter Wonderland by Phantom Planet
- Eric Clapton’s Christmas Tears”
- Brian Seltzer’s Orchestra doing “Jingle Bells”
- Aretha Franklin, “Joy To The World”
- Bing Crosby’s classic “White Christmas”
- Bing & David Bowie “Little Drummer Boy”
- “Linus & Lucy” by Bela Fleck & The Flecktones
- Dido, “Christmas Day”
- Traci Chapman, “O Holy Night”
- Willie Nelson, Please Come Home for Christmas
- Bob Marley, “White Christmas”
- “Last Christmas” by The XX
- Joey Ramone “Please Come Home”
- Beck “Little Drum Machine Boy”
- Pearl Jam “Santa God”