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Dave Elder's Favorite Songs Playlist

Songs 91-108

Song 108, Friday, 10/11/2013 -- The Day Roy Orbison Died by The Marys, written by Don Brody. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is a bunch of stills of Roy, some of which apparently may not be available anywhere else. Friday being Friends' Day, today's song is by The Marys, which was a duo of Don Brody and Ann Walsh when I knew them in the early 1990s, and I thought they were just about the best musical thing happening in Hoboken at the time. I, along with many of Don's other musical friends, was truly saddened on The Day Don Brody died, in late December of 1997. I often wish that more people than the few of us who knew them and heard them perform could know about the music of Don Brody and The Marys.

Song 107, Thursday, 10/10/2013 -- Something Wild by John Hiatt, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The video is of John performing the song on Austin City Limits with a backup band, and it sounds pretty close to the record, though he also adds in an interesting and fun introduction. The video weirdly also includes his introduction to the next song, so maybe it could have been edited better, but these things sometimes happen on YouTube. Anyway, being a singer/songwriter type myself, I always like to see another one get some respect, especially when the song sounds this good and is this deserving of respect. John took a phrase from the '60s -- something really wild was the same as something really cool -- and he turned it into an evocative lyric idea that seems to go in 10 different directions at once, which is something really wild.

Song 106, Wednesday, 10/9/2013 -- Cannonball by The Breeders, written by Kim Deal. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. When does a riff tune not sound like a riff tune? When it sounds like this song. Some riff tunes, like Jumpin' Jack Flash and Space Cowboy, sound like riff tunes because the riff is the obvious driving force of the song, but Cannonball is just as much a riff tune, but in a less obvious, more understated way -- that hypnotic riff is the reason to keep coming back to hear this song over and over, but you might not notice because it's not out in front the way it often will be on a riff tune. To be clear, I hope this doesn't sound like I'm putting down riff tunes in any way -- some of the best rock and roll songs are riff tunes, and plenty of them show up on my list of favorites.

Song 105, Tuesday, 10/8/2013 -- Graduate by Third Eye Blind, written by Stephan Jenkins and Kevin Cadogan. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. From what I can tell by the comments about the video, the video maker is not connected with the band, but I liked the video enough that I think maybe the band should have paid him to make it. I find it an entertaining video that makes sense with the song, in contrast to so many music videos that shuffle in song performance segments with seemingly random visual imagery that may or may not relate to the words and/or the music in some way. Apart from the video, this song stands as a strong example of the rock and roll revival that happened in the 1990s, and its success is proof that the songwriters did graduate.

Song 103, Sunday, 10/6/2013 -- Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down, written by Brad Arnold, Matt Roberts and Todd Harrell. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. I like the way this song clearly conveys the feeling of carrying the world on your shoulders, knowing how that world might shatter if you make the wrong move and it falls off of your back. A person carrying that weight usually knows how the wrong decision could hurt the ones depending on him (or her), and how he (or she) won't look much like a comic book superhero if that happens.

Song 101, Friday, 10/4/2013 -- Gonna Get You There (O.F.I.F.O.T.O.) by Ilene Weiss, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. I like the video for this song quite a bit -- it has some good visuals, including a shot of a very young Ilene. Friday being Friend's Day, I first heard Ilene on a visit to Manhattan in the mid-'80s, when I dropped in on a showcase set she played at a little folk club in Greenwich Village, and I liked her set a lot. I got to meet her a few years later when I moved to Brooklyn, and when I started a folk coffeehouse in Park Slope with a couple of friends in the early '90s, we made sure to book her for a show there. I only heard this song recently, but it's a good example of the Ilene's songwriting approach -- simple and straightforward but with a bit of a bounce in the melody and a taste of understated humor between the lines.

Song 100, Thursday, 10/3/2013 -- A Change Would Do You Good by Sheryl Crow, written by Sheryl Crow, Jeff Trott and Brian MacLeod. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The video has some entertaining moments, as Sheryl seems to be in the middle of a change that might do her good. I guess it makes sense to follow Found Out About You with a song about making a change, because after finding out, it's probably a good time to make a change.

Song 99, Wednesday, 10/2/2013 -- Found Out About You by Gin Blossoms, written by Doug Hopkins. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. Around the time this song came out, I found myself in a situation with a woman that sounded a lot like the story this songwriter is telling, and though the lyrics might not be that deep or poetic, they do tell that story very well. I've heard those whispers at the bus stop and the rumors about nights at the schoolyard. I also really like the guitar leads on this song, and the way they weave around the moving rhythm guitar lines.

Song 98, Tuesday, 10/1/2013 -- Smooth by Santana, with Rob Thomas (of Matchbox Twenty), written by Rob Thomas and Itaal Shur. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video visual is just a still of the Supernatural cover, but playing the video, you will hear a really good song behind that cover. Following his band's appearance at Yasgur's farm, Santana, like a lot of performers on that bill, got a lot of attention, and he followed up with a couple of very popular LPs that got a lot of radio time in the early '70s. It was inspiring when Carlos teamed up with a bunch of younger musicians in the late '90s for a CD full of collaborations, including this one with the lead singer of Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, which became a big hit, and justifiably so. As the opening line goes, "It's a hot one." Yes, it is.

Song 97, Monday, 9/30/2013 -- No Excuses by Alice in Chains, written by Jerry Cantrell. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. If I had to pick a favorite from my iPod '90s Favorites playlist, it would be a close call between this one and the song that opens the playlist (Wash it Away by Black Lab -- Day 88). I really like the hypnotic feel of the guitar chording and the vocal harmonies that ride on top of them. This is one of those songs where, even after hearing it hundreds of times, I'm still not sure what some of the words are, but the song sounds so good that it doesn't matter to me -- the lines may be deep and poetic, or not, and one of these days I will look them up and find out, but knowing probably won't make any difference to how much I like this song.

Song 95, Saturday, 9/28/2013 -- Shine by Collective Soul, written by Ed Roland. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. Returning to my iPod 90s Favorites playlist, this song comes next. While the early '70s had lots of good rock-and-roll, as the decade went along, the good songs seemed to become fewer and further between, and the trend continued through most of the '80s. Then at the dawn of the '90s, a lot more good music started happening, much of it going under the tag of grunge or alternative. Collective Soul was a part of that resurgence, with this song starting them off. I only had to hear this song a few times on the radio before knowing that I wanted to get the CD and find out more about the band.

Song 93, Thursday, 9/26/2013 -- Dreams by The Cranberriess, words written by Dolores O'Riordan, music written by Dolores O'Riordan and Noel Hogan. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. Being a songwriter with some folk leanings, when I hear a song on the radio that also has some folk influences, it will always get my attention the first few times around, whether or not it's actually a song that will keep me interested. This one definitely hit my radar not long after it appeared, and I found that it just kept sounding better the more I heard it. Along with a good set of lyrics rocking along in a folkie kind of way, this song also has some interesting and unique harmonies, of the kind that have become increasingly rare in the big time music scene.

Song 92, Wednesday, 9/25/2013 -- Fell on Black Days by Soundgarden, written by Chris Cornell. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is a lyric video, and this song has some pretty good lines so you can find out what they are as you listen to the tune. Getting back to my iPod '90s Favorites playlist, this song follows Hitchin' a Ride. I missed a lot of Soundgarden's stuff the first time around, but the engineer I worked with on the Country Drivin' sessions back in the mid-'90s was a big Soundgarden fan, and he got me interested in hearing more of them. Around the time the band broke up, I picked up a copy of A Sides and I liked almost every track. This song I really liked, so when I finally got an iPod and put together a playlist of '90s favorites, I put this one pretty close to the beginning.

Song 91, Tuesday, 9/24/2013 -- Hitchin' a Ride by Green Day, lyrics written by Billie Joe Armstrong and music by Green Day. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. For a change, the YT video is an actual music video, and not an annoyingly dumb one like many real music videos end up being. I wouldn't call it a really good music video, like the one for Patti Rothberg's Treat Me Like Dirt (Song 17), but it's not bad, and after it's over you don't feel like your time was wasted and your mind was temporarily turned to jelly, the way the great majority of music videos will make you feel, especially the major label ones. That said, to me this song sounds so much better than the video looks. I like the fiddle part that starts the song off, and the way the rhythm section then kicks in and starts rocking. I didn't hear a whole lot from Green Day that got my attention before Nimrod, but when that CD came out and some of the songs hit the airwaves, it sounded really rocking and I had to get a copy. I've listened to this song a lot in the last 2 decades and it stills sounds really rocking to me.

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