So Old It’s New ‘2’ set list, airing 7-9 am ET Saturday, Dec. 31/22

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

    1. Pearl Jam, Spin The Black Circle
    2. U2, New Year’s Day
    3. Graham Parker, Mercury Poisoning
    4. Jimi Hendrix, Manic Depression
    5. Nirvana, Polly
    6. Smashing Pumpkins, Drown
    7. Alice In Chains, Dam That River
    8. Soundgarden, Jesus Christ Pose
    9. Mudhoney, Overblown
    10. Mother Love Bone, Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns
    11. Dead Kennedys, The Man With The Dogs
    12. Megadeth, Anarchy In The UK
    13. Nash The Slash, Dead Man’s Curve
    14. Ike & Tina Turner, Sexy Ida – Part 1
    15. Ike & Tina Turner, Sexy Ida – Part 2
    16. Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Folsom Prison Blues
    17. Johnny Cash, Solitary Man
    18. Jason and The Scorchers, 19th Nervous Breakdown
    19. The Rolling Stones/Mick Jagger, Memo From Turner (Performance movie soundtrack version featuring Ry Cooder on slide guitar)
    20. David Baerwald, Hello Mary
    21. Fludd, Cousin Mary
    22. Tommy James, Draggin’ The Line
    23. AC/DC, Dogs Of War
    24. James Gang, The Bomber
    25. Alice Cooper, Devil’s Food/The Black Widow
    26. Joe Cocker, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (live, Mad Dogs & Englishmen album version)
    27. The Guess Who, Coming Down Off The Money Bag/Song Of The Dog
    28. Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town
    29. Pearl Jam, Last Kiss

Set list with my track-by-track tales:

  1. Pearl Jam, Spin The Black Circle . . . Pearl Jam goes punk about their love for vinyl records amid ambiguous lyrics arguably, depending on various interpretations, comparing addiction to music to drug addiction. All songs, if one digs into them, have interesting histories and backgrounds as does this one, from the band’s Vitalogy album, 1994. Not all band members, apparently, were on board with the punk rock direction the song took, but it was an outlier, for the most part, amid the album overall.
  1. U2, New Year’s Day . . . I don’t usually play hits, it’s a deep cuts show as I probably say too often in perhaps trying to ‘excuse’ playing hits. Thing is, though, that this song is 40 years old now (!!??) and 1. The show is called So Old It’s New (so, theoretically, this could be new to some). 2. one of my catchphrases for the show has forever been “old bands, old tracks, old bands, their new stuff if they’re still active plus occasional singles one may not have heard in a long time’. And by that I mean singles from not only very prominent bands but singles from others like, dunno, say Stray or Savoy Brown or The Velvet Underground or whoever, that never charted. In any event, so, I present to you New Year’s Day with the great – and almost always true – opening verse lyric: Nothing changes on New Year’s Day. And it usually doesn’t, just as on Christmas or any other ‘special’ day, stuff still happens, good and bad. They’re all just another day amid the flawed human condition, albeit all of them celebrated for obvious reasons and the idealistic hopes and dreams they promise and, sometimes, deliver.
  2. Graham Parker, Mercury Poisoning . . . The then very angry young man’s diatribe about his former record label. And it’s good, musically, too, so you actually listen to it. And by that I mean, there’s many great songs lyrically but if you don’t have compelling music to carry it, nobody’s going to listen to/hear it.
  1. Jimi Hendrix, Manic Depression . . . Look at the track listing for Hendrix’s 1967 debut album Are You Experienced and it’s essentially a greatest hits album, but then that was the case for the three Experience studio records. Amazing stuff, amazing artist. Anyway, Manic Depression is one of the tracks and I’m using it for two reasons. 1. It’s great and I like it. 2. It introduces a ‘depressing’ Seattle grunge sounds set from the 1990s when bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and so on broke big with great music and often depressing, lived-life lyrics. Not that other artists had ever written about such things, they had, but the Seattle sound seemed ALL about that to the point that one was like, people, try to be happy and they probably were but perhaps it was also a clever marketing tool. In any event, great music resulted. A lot of those bands, some who made it bigger than others, were featured on the 1992 Singles movie soundtrack album, from which I’ve drawn much of the succeeding set.
  1. Nirvana, Polly . . . I’ve always loved and hated this song. Check that. Hated is too strong a word. I’ve always been uncomfortable with liking it, perhaps better expressed, and that’s due to its subject matter which is of course what makes great art – we can love it but it can also make us uncomfortable. It’s a compelling and arresting song, musically, but it’s about the abduction, rape and torture of a 14-year-old girl returning home from a concert in Tacoma, Washington, in 1987. Horrible.
  2. Smashing Pumpkins, Drown . . . I don’t play guitar – have one but have been too lazy to learn, maybe a 2023 resolution – but love the what I’ll term the ‘scratchy’ guitar on this one. It’s the extended version of the track, from the Singles soundtrack of Seattle sounds that broke big via Nirvana, that I mentioned earlier.
  1. Alice In Chains, Dam That River . . . Hard, bleak, brilliant. “Maybe I don’t give a dam anyway’. Yeah.
  1. Soundgarden, Jesus Christ Pose . . . Kick butt tune from Badmotorfinger, the 1991 album that first brought Soundgarden to mainstream notice before their blockbuster breakthrough with 1994’s Superunknown album and hits like Black Hole Sun and Fell On Black Days.
  1. Mudhoney, Overblown . . . Hard, fast stuff from one of the somewhat less well known Seattle bands, still around, always interesting reading about the family trees of such groups which, in Mudhoney’s case, featured future members of Pearl Jam – Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard.
  1. Mother Love Bone, Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns . . . See my thoughts on Mudhoney, re the band. As for the music, a great extended track – it’s I suppose grunge if one wants to categorize such things but it’s also at parts progressive, ‘naked’ vocals just out there over a bed of largely acoustic instrumentation at first, just a cohesive, interesting, compelling track.
  1. Dead Kennedys, The Man With The Dogs . . . If you need a head shred to, as Funkadelic once titled a great album I’ve drawn from, free your mind and your ass will follow, I suggest playing the Dead Kennedys. Crazy good.
  1. Megadeth, Anarchy In The UK . . . Kick ass cover of the kick ass Sex Pistols tune.
  1. Nash The Slash, Dead Man’s Curve . . . Screeeech on the brakes and turning the musical wheel as we negotiate the curve, musically, from the grunge and such to this as always interesting in whatever Nash The Slash did, cover of the 1964 Jan and Dean hit. On to some funk.
  1. Ike & Tina Turner, Sexy Ida – Part 1 . . . As I said, funk. Crazy good. Tina, perhaps more, justifiably, celebrated as a performer, wrote this sexy sucker.
  1. Ike & Tina Turner, Sexy Ida – Part 2 . . . Tina wrote this continuation, too.
  1. Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Folsom Prison Blues . . . Cover of the Johnny Cash tune by the brilliant Canadian combo of Tom Wilson, Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden. Another of those instances where a side project becomes a working band.
  1. Johnny Cash, Solitary Man . . . Somebody covers Cash, Cash covers somebody. In this case, Neil Diamond on what is my favorite Neil Diamond song and just a great tune, regardless and no artist could eff it up. Nor does Cash.
  1. Jason and The Scorchers, 19th Nervous Breakdown . . . I find it interesting that my favorite band, The Rolling Stones, don’t often play this great tune live yet it’s been covered by many, including this, er, scorching version by The Scorchers.
  1. The Rolling Stones/Mick Jagger, Memo From Turner (Performance movie soundtrack version featuring Ry Cooder on slide guitar). . . . Interesting history on this tune. This is the version, essentially a Jagger solo version and likely the best known as it appears as a Rolling Stones track on some compilations, from the movie Performance. Ry Cooder shines on slide guitar. The Stones did their own, jauntier, arguably rawer since Keith Richards was on guitar, version which later appeared on the grab-bag Metamorphosis compilation issued during the Stones/Allen Klein/Abkco Records battles, but the Performance version likely remains the best take.
  1. David Baerwald, Hello Mary . . . From one of the two Davids (the other, Ricketts, went into production work) from the one and only brilliant David + David Boomtown album release in 1986. Baerwald, amid film soundtrack and other work, has released sporadic albums since, this one from his first solo release, Bedtime Stories, in 1990. He did a few widely-released albums released via conventional physical means after that but since then any new music, so far, from him has been released only on the web and even so it’s difficult to find.
  1. Fludd, Cousin Mary . . . From the ‘old singles you haven’t heard in a while so they fit in a deep cuts context’ file.
  1. Tommy James, Draggin’ The Line . . . As with the Fludd tune. He had lots of hits but this is likely my favorite.
  1. AC/DC, Dogs Of War . . . From the 2014 album Rock Or Bust, the first to feature rhythm guitarist Stevie Young, replacing his uncle Malcolm, who was ailing at the time and eventually died. Stevie had also replaced Malcolm, then battling alcohol abuse, during the band’s 1988 Blow Up Your Video album tour.
  1. James Gang, The Bomber . . . Extended killer cut from the Joe Walsh-led band’s second album, Rides Again, 1970.
  1. Alice Cooper, Devil’s Food/The Black Widow . . . Vincent Price is, er, priceless near the end of the first tune, and a great rocker it is, from Welcome To My Nightmare, the first Alice album after the breakup of the original band which was a name Vincent Furnier adopted but also the name of the band to that point. Great combo track.
  1. Joe Cocker, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (live, Mad Dogs & Englishmen album version) . . . Beatles cover, of course. And brilliantly done by Cocker, arguably one of the kings of covers.
  1. The Guess Who, Coming Down Off The Money Bag/Song Of The Dog . . . Such a fantastic ditty from the Share The Land album. It came after Randy Bachman left the band, which then increasingly became the Burton Cummings band as he asserted dominance albeit within the context of brilliant post-Bachman guitarists like Kurt Winter, Greg Leskiw and, later, Don McDougall.
  1. Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town . . . Cover, done by many but I think this is the best one, for me at least, since it’s a more rock-oriented take, of the Mel Tillis tune. I always think of my late dad when I hear it. I remember him playing it, was first time I heard it. He emigrated from Europe after World War II, was into classical and opera but interestingly developed a love for country and country-ish music, from whence I by osmosis got into such artists as Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell. And this tune. An old work colleague once told me he thought it was a shitty song. What? Ridiculous. Also, interestingly, the ‘crazy Asian war’ in the lyrics is usually assumed to be about the Vietnam War but Tillis always said it referred to the Pacific war in World War II, mainly the USA vs Japan although other countries like the UK and its then-empire were heavily involved.
  1. Pearl Jam, Last Kiss . . . Cover of the 1961 hit by Wayne Cochrane. And on that note, a last kiss to 2022 as we embark on 2023. Back on Monday, Jan. 2. Happy New Year, everyone.

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