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Dave Elder's Favorite Songs Playlist

Songs 41-49

Song 49, Tuesday, 8/13/2013 -- Saint of Circumstance by The Grateful Dead, written by John Perry Barlow and Bob Weir. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is just a still of the album cover Go to Heaven, but if you play the video, you will at least hear another really good tune. Anyone who knows the Go to Heaven album probably figured out in advance what today's song would be -- Lost Sailor segues right into this song, and I kept that segue on my Eighties Favorites 3 cassette. The Berkeley house I lived in for most of the eighties had 6 bedrooms, all arranged in a very well-designed and compact place that looked like a small bungalow from the street, so my housemate Bob and I had quite a few other housemates there. One of those housemates for a few years was Bob's coworker Mikie, who was a big Dead head -- I'm not sure he listened very much to anyone other than the Grateful Dead. Having him in the house, with his room just off the kitchen, I got to hear a lot of songs that I might not have otherwise, and I soon took a liking to this song and the one before it.

Song 48, Monday, 8/12/2013 -- Lost Sailor by The Grateful Dead, written by John Perry Barlow and Bob Weir. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is just a still of the album cover Go to Heaven, but if you play the video, you will at least hear a really good tune. This song has a meandering quality in the music that paints a background closely fitting the story of the lyrics, and as you listen, you can feel like that lost sailor out on the water somewhere, not really sure where you are or which way you're headed. Somehow, that meandering quality also makes for compelling listening, and sounds even better to me now that it did when I first heard it about 30 years ago.

Song 47, Sunday, 8/11/2013 -- Some Dreams Come True by The Bangles, written by Walker Igleheart and Debbie Peterson. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. I really enjoyed the music of The Bangles from the first time I heard them, and I think they ended the argument over whether women could play serious rock and roll -- while maybe they weren't Led Zeppelin, they were definitely rocking out, and this song, from their third LP Everything, is a fine example. I also have to admit that as a guy I enjoyed hearing a group of attractive women sing and play a love song with a few intriguing and suggestive lines.

Song 46, Saturday, 8/10/2013 -- Song for Katrina by Steve Forbert, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is just a still of the album cover Little Stevie Orbit, but while it's not much to look at, you will hear a really good song while playing the video. Back to my Eighties Favorites 3 cassette, Steve Forbert was tagged as the new Dyan around the turn of the Eighties, and he didn't quite live up to that level of hype, but he did have some really good songs on his first few albums. This song comes from his third album Little Stevie Orbit, and I wouldn't call it a great one, but it's a nice and simple little love song that seems to get better every time I hear it.

Song 45, Friday, 8/9/2013 -- Blow 'em Away by Chuck Brodsky, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. Friday being Friends Day on my favorite songs playlist, I knew Chuck from the Berkeley songwriters circle that I hung out with in the 1980s, and I even sold him my '72 Datsun station wagon when I left town, heading back to the East Coast. I rarely do covers, but I made an exception for this song, because I thought it was one of the funniest tunes ever, and it always made me laugh, so I thought it might have the same effect on an audience, and it always has. The last time I saw Chuck was, I believe, 20 years ago, in a folk club in Cambridge, but I recently reconnected with him via Facebook, and so it seemed like a good time to put up one of his songs here.

Song 44, Thursday, 8/8/2013 -- Too Close to the Light by The Long Ryders, written by Stephen McCarthy, Sid Griffin, Tom Stevens and Greg Sowders. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is just a still of the album cover Native Sons, but you'll hear a really good song if you play the video, even if there isn't really much action on the visual side. My Eighties Favorites 3 cassette closes side 1 with Rebels, and opens side 2 with this song. In 1985, I made friends with a fellow musician who was a big fan of The Long Ryders. He made me a cassette of his favorite Long Ryders songs, and before long I was scounting the record stores for the LPs myself. Having loved The Byrds a couple of decades earlier, it wasn't surprising that I connected with the music of a group who also really loved The Byrds. This song comes from their first full-length LP, 1984's Native Sons, and though it's almost 30 years old, the lyric "Like a lawman checking your ID, first thing you know you're a little less free" applies even more today than it did when I first heard it.

Song 43, Wednesday, 8/7/2013 -- Rebels by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, written by Tom Petty. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is just a few stills, including one of the album cover Southern Accents, some shots of TP and the band including a live one, and TP on the cover of the Rolling Stone, but even though there's not a lot to look at, if you play the video you will hear a really good song. I heard Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on their first tour, opening for Elvis Costello in late 1977, and I thought the band sounded pretty good. I liked their early albums, and kept up with them for quite a few years. Southern Accents was their 6th album, and a fitting addition to their discography back in '85. I liked this song on first hearing, and got the LP not long after it appeared. As it turned out, I got to hear Mr. Petty on stage not long after getting the record -- my housemate Bob was working as a stage hand for Cal Performances in Berkeley, and he got me on the guest list for a few special shows, one of which was Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, and that was quite a show.

Song 41, Monday, 8/5/2013 -- Tried to Be True by The Indigo Girls, written by Amy Ray. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is a live performance of the song, because I couldn't find a video of the recorded version. On my Eighties Favorites 3 cassette, Born in the U.S.A. follows Even the Score, but I already included that song on Day 9 because it was the 4th of July and that seemed like an appropriate day for that song. About this Indigo Girls song, I liked just about all of their first record from my first time listening to it, but this one is probably my favorite track, not for any reason I could name exactly -- I just really like the song a lot.

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