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5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To: Artist Takeover Edition

This week on 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To it is an Artist Takeover Edition! That means that this week, we step aside and let our favorite artists talk about their favorite songs. Listen to Glass Animals, David Gray, The New Pornographers, Spoon, and King Tuff talk about the songs that they love. I love these because we get to peak behind the curtain. We get to hear the songs that influence the songs. What makes Glass Animals sound like Glass Animals? How does ska music from the late ‘60’s influence the music that Spoon makes? Find out on 5 Songs this week.


 Glass Animals Pick: Erykah Badu- “The Healer”

Glass Animals is a new band that I believe has some real staying power. The most remarkable part of Glass Animals is the production. They make a lot with relatively few elements. Luckily I was able to talk with their lead singer, Dave, about the kind of music that inspires his own. He told me he loves this song by Erykah Badu for that same reason. You can hear his explanation, given in his beautiful British accent below.

Erykah Badu’s album, New Amerykah, Pt. 1 (4th World War), was released in 2008.

Listen if you like: Glass Animals, R&B, a great example of bare bones production.


The New Pornographers pick The New Pornographers- “The Bleeding Heart Show”

Each week I ask an artist to pick a song for 5 Songs. Carl Newman, the lead singer of The New Pornographers picked a song by The New Pornographers. But it was not narcissistic, it was actually very thoughtful. This introduction came at the end of a 15 minute conversation that we had together that you can listen to here. Newman says that this song defines him, and even though the lyrics are shrouded in metaphor it is really personal for him. Listen to his full explanation, and the song in the SoundCloud link below.

The New Pornographers album,  Twin Cinema, came out in 2005.

Listen if you like: AC Newman, Nico Case, indie.

Spoon’s Pick: Toots and the Maytals- “54-46 Was My Number”

I had never heard someone say their song with as much confidence as Brit Daniels. It was a declaration. “54-46 Was My Number.” He said, as if starting a story about how the number really was his. In person, Britt Daniel was a little impersonal, but not in a bad way at all, in fact, I found it rather comforting. There was no BS. It was professional. I felt like it allowed him to just be in his head, so he kind of spoke like no one was there, and because if it, I think he gave a pretty good explanation of why he chose 54-46 was my number by Toots and the Maytals.  

54-46 Was My Number was released in 1968.

Listen if you like: first wave ska, making an entrance, call and response.

David Gray picks Paul Westerberg- “Vampires & Failures”

David Gray was in our studio recently. He was a great talker. After he introduced, "Vampires and Failures" by Paul Westerberg, I told him that his description reminded me of a Nick Cave song. After explaining to him that I just saw 20,000 Days on Earth at the Milwaukee Film Festival he launched into a huge story about a four day music festival in 1997 in Ireland that he and Nick Cave played together. He said that Nick was a great guy who loved to laugh and tell stories, but couldn’t start a fire to save his life.

Paul Westerberg released this song under the pseudonym Grandpaboy on an album called  Dead Man’s Shake, in 2003.

Listen if you like: The Replacements, Nick Cave, The Rolling Stones.

King Tuff picks David Peel and the Lower East Side- “The Lower East Side”

King Tuff played at the Cactus Club last Friday. I knew we couldn’t get him to perform in our studio because we were having a fund drive, but I asked my boss if we knew someone at SubPop Records who might have his contact info. He did. I e-mailed his manager and King Tuff stopped in at 88Nine HQ to have a conversation with me. You can listen to our whole talk by clicking here.

I asked King Tuff to pick a song for 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To and introduce it. He picked David Peel and the Lower East Side’s “Lower East Side.” Like King Tuff it is clever, catchy, and makes a little innocent trouble. Listen to his introduction and the song itself below.

David Peel and the Lower East Side released The American Revolution in 1970.

Listen if you like: Greenwich Village punk, degenerate music, humor.