In the Distance, Oblivious Playlist
Eleven Musical Distractions



October 2022
Hampton Sky





Notes (Quotes are from song lyrics):

  1. "You and your kind are killing rock and roll, it's not because you are O L D, it's cause you ain't got no soul!"

    You know, music is the best thing. There are things you can say with music that you can't really say any other way. You can make a statement, you can make fun of people, you can call upon whatever gods you might believe in to rise up for whatever cause you deem worthy. You can say things with melody, rhythm, humor, anger, intensity, or just plain silliness. You can also say one thing one day, and someone else can say the exact opposite thing the next day, and they're both smart and interesting and valid. But here's a damn fine story for you: Mojo Nixon was performing in Austin in 1992, when who jumped up on stage and wanted to sing a duet of this song? Yes, Don ("especially the part about not getting together with Glenn Frey") Henley. As Mojo said later, "He must've had balls bigger than church bells to do that."

    For me, I'm at a point in my life where I can admit that I grew up listening to (and even liking) The Eagles. But Mojo will always have the mojo.

  2. "Black sheep of the family not like I wanna be but the Bible belt choking me, that has a latch key, may come from a bad seed but I'm tumbling like a tumbleweed"

    Alabama's Early James is the real deal. Of this song, he said, "It's mostly about how in growing up you always have that moment where you look back on your past and go, 'Damn, I was stupid and gullible back then.' In reality, ten years later you'll think the same thing again about that 'grown up' version of yourself. Like getting a pat on the back while being pickpocketed." The man can also play some guitar.

  3. "Turmoil and passion, such wondrous things, what they called summer lovers happening in spring. Who's dreaming of who tonight? Who'll be waking by your side?"

    I always loved the smart little duo of Abby DeWald and Amanda Barrett, who supposedly formed when looking for a neighbor's lost cat in a musician and guitar collector's back yard, who encouraged them to start a band. I never saw them live, but have read that their shows featured skits, props, costumes and slide shows. Which all sounds not unlike our playlist picking ceremony. Plus, who can say no to a badly filmed 15 year old concert video?

  4. "On the sidewalk, Sunday mornin', lies a body oozin' life, someones sneakin' 'round the corner, is that someone Mack the Knife?"

    "Mack The Knife" was written by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht for their 1928 music drama The Threepenny Opera, and was added to the production as a last minute way of introducing Macheath, the main character, to the audience. I've always pictured this tune as a jivin' 60's number done by one or more members of Sinatra's Rat Pack, with requisite foot tappings and finger snappings. But Dave Van Ronk gives it a wavering sense of both uncertainty and danger somehow.

  5. "It's like a dime a dance, I'll take a chance, I will because he needs me"

    We've brought you Mountain Man. We've brought you Sylvan Esso. The A's are basically the same thing, but completely different. "He Needs Me" was written by Harry Nilsson for the "Popeye" movie (see also the Shelley Duvall version). We're so happy to bring you this song! And even happier to bring you this video!

  6. "Eat! Drink! Lay down with the beauties of this earthly world, I think that they want to lay down with you"

    "Solar Pilgrim" is Twain's second appearance in our playlist. This is definitely the kind of stuff we fall for.

  7. "It's four in the morning, the end of December, I'm writing you now just to see if you're better"

    Over the years so many people have covered Leonard Cohen. A few of them have been life-alteringly good. A lot have been... somewhat less than that good. I'll go on record as saying that I haven't heard anyone cover Cohen this well since Jeff Buckley. If anyone has the vocal chops and the subtlety to tackle his lyrics, it's our friend Mister Rateliff. And I've never heard a better version of this song.

  8. "Well a swallow will tell you without using misleading, heartrending words, when we are inhuman, we're one with the birds"

    Bonnie Prince Billy has been in our playlist three times now. His solo work is always thoughtful and smart, but it's his collaborations with Bill Callahan and (here) The National's Bryce Dessner and contemporary chamber ensemble eighth blackbird that really expand his impact.

  9. "When you go away I am big-boned and fey, in the dust of the day, and in the dirt of the day"

    New York's Belle-Skinner is one of those artists who don't fit neatly into a genre, or even a decade. Here she is covering the wonderful Joanna Newsom. I also really like The Moscow Coup Attempt version of this lovely little song.

  10. "Sometimes, I'm staring at the road, sometimes, I'm just listenin' for the gate, but I don't mind waiting on you"

    I really like the quiet darkness of Danny Garcia's Reverend Baron.

  11. "Told you once and I told you twice: Why be mean when you can be nice? Come on, be kind to me!"

    Allow us to plug the sweetest little movies you will see this year. This version of the Michael Hurley song is actually sung by the two actors in the film. Dale Dickey is a force to be reckoned with, and Wes Studi is a sweet and underplayed soul. If you get a chance to see it, we both highly recommend the visually, emotionally, and musically beautiful "A Love Song".



For your listening pleasure, there's also a giant list with all 307 songs from all 28 months. Check out the ItD,O All Time Playlist,
as well as ItD,O Greatest Hits Volume 1, (our 11 best songs from our July '20 to May '21 playlists),
and ItD,O Greatest Hits Volume 2 (June '21 to April '22).