In the Distance, Oblivious Playlist
Eleven Musical Distractions



May 2021
Shiplock Heron





Notes (Quotes from song lyrics):

  1. "Waiting, hating the shit life throws my way, hating, waiting to make my escape, I wanna go to the beach"

    I love Bill Callahan. I love Bonnie Prince Billy. I love Iggy Pop. I love this song. I love this video. I love the beach. Let's go.

  2. "Now that we parted, there's just one sound that I just can't stand, I can't stand the rain against my window"

    Like a lot of 60s and 70s R&B singers, Ann Peebles cut her musical teeth in gospel music, before finding her career in St. Louis and Memphis. She explains how the song came about, and we see Ann entertaining a room full of 1970s white people who seem a little uncertain how they're supposed to react. (And, seriously, is that Andy Kuafman in the white jacket at about 1:03? And is that a Muppet of some sort around 2:01?). Loosen up, folks, this is good stuff.

  3. "Yeah and sell your belongings, all your clever drawings, try to make a dollar from the grave"

    We didn't really plan it this way, but May seems to be alumni month on the playlist. Shakey Graves is one of five artists (six if you count Bonnie Prince Billy from above) this month who are back for their second visit. "Them city boys in country clothes": The only possible complaint anyone could come up with about Shakey Graves is that he's too damn cute to sing like he does, referenced by some of the comments on this video: "He makes my ovaries sweat and I'm a straight male", and "This is the kind of video you never ever let your girlfriend see." While I don't really have that issue, I fully concede that Shakey = Hottie.

  4. "From this time, unchained, we're all looking at a different picture, through this new frame of mind, a thousand flowers could bloom"

    Acclaimed British singer-songwriter John Martyn covers Portishead. (Hat tip to Christina for sending this one in).

  5. "I'm walking all day, I'm gonna reach the town, I believe I hope I can make it yeah, Because my feet ain't gonna let me stop"

    Not sure why it's taken us this long to get The Queen of Soul into our playlist. Time to remedy that, and throw in a little Duane Allman for good measure.

  6. "That's when I feel the most alive, masochistic kisses are how I thrive"

    Moses Sumney is also back in the playlist this month (readers may also make the argument that May is hot guy month in addition to alumni month). As much as we like his music, I've gotta say I love this video even more. Seriously, you need to see this.

  7. "It's not just sentimental, she has her grief and care, but the soft words they are spoke so gentle, it makes it easier, easier to bear, yeah"

    Otis Redding also returns! With probably the definitive Otis Redding song. This is so simple, so perfect. Three minutes and twenty-one seconds of soul. Listen to the way his voice moves with the arrangement: organ, piano, guitar, horns.

  8. "I ain't never been loved and I hope I never will, because this lovin' proposition will get a poor body killed"

    Esther Phillips also brings her soulful intensity back for a second visit.

  9. "Oh, Leviathan in the sea, lawd, I would kick my tail and go, you know I sure wouldn't be found, out by this old stony shore"

    From his website: "C.W. Stoneking is an artist for whom 'unexpected' is probably the default setting. How else to describe such a fine purveyor of American roots music who also happens to be a towering, youthful-faced white Australian man? He surprises first-time listeners, throws curveballs at long-time fans, and everything he does contains at least some background level of bafflement for all involved." From 2005's King Hokum, we'll go "Way Out in the World".

  10. "Most girls prefer a young man 'cause a young man is strong, but I'd rather put up with this old man than have a young man doing me wrong"

    We've had this playlist for eleven months now. We start each month with 20 songs, ten submitted by me, ten by my girlfriend. We've had a couple of month where we've submitted different songs by the same artist, but this month, by sheer coincidence, we both submitted the exact same song. If you know anything about us, it makes sense that this would be that song.

  11. "You think you could help me swim, but I've already sunk"

    We've been happy to bring you some hot guy playlist alums, but we'll leave you with my musical crush alum. Angie McMahon might be my favorite new artist I've found since we started doing this playlist, and this song is about as sweet/sad/beautiful as anything we've brought you. I could listen to her passionate voice all day and all night, and I can't recommend 2020's Piano Salt highly enough. The original version of this song (which is still amazing) has Angie on her guitar with her band, but we're bringing you the the "piano" version (Thanks, Phoebe!). Just try to watch this video and not develop your own Angie McMahon crush.

    This brings us to the end of our eleventh playlist of eleven songs. The last year or so has been tough on all of us, but we hope we've introduced you to a few new artists, re-heard some old favorites, maybe turned you on to a cover you'd never heard before. More than anything, we hope we've brought something positive and inspirational into your life the last eleven months. As a bonus, see the links below for some special extras. As always, thanks for listening and reading, and we'll see you next month for eleven more.



Special Bonus Playlist! After eleven playlists of eleven songs, here's our ItD,O Greatest Hits.


Need more? How about one giant list with all the songs from previous months? Check out the ItD,O - All Time Playlist.





If you're interested, email updates with new content (including a link to a new music playlist) are sent out once a month. Info is never shared.