5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To is a collection of our newest favorite songs. Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about the music they love.
Listen to the whole segment and all the songs below.
1. Elvis Costello picks “Dwa Serduszka, Cztery Oczy” by Joanna Kulig
My guest today is Elvis Costello. Born Declan Patrick MacManus in 1954 in London England, Elvis Costello has been a staple of music everywhere since his debut album “My Aim Is True” in 1977. He’s won just about every kind of award there is, he’s in The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, he’s collaborated with Burt Bacharach, Paul McCartney and plenty of others.His unique style of storytelling and music has led him to worldwide acclaim and millions and millions of fans. He’s got a new album out and it’s fantastic, it’s called “Look Now.” We’ve been playing the song “Unwanted Number,” my guest today is Elvis Costello.
Justin Barney: Elvis Costello, what is the last song that you couldn’t stop listening to?
Elvis Costello: You know I was trying to think of what this might be. A song that I find is very haunting to me at the moment, I don’t know the title of it. Because I saw a film a couple of weeks ago and I found myself singing this tune and I go ‘what is that tune?’
It’s from a movie I saw in Liverpool a few weeks ago and it’s a Polish film so I can’t tell you the title of the song because it’s Polish. I can’t get that tune out of my head so I guess that’s a good thing -if you hear it a couple times in a movie and then you can’t shake it, that’s got to be a great song, hasn’t it?
The movie’s called “Cold War.” That’s what it’s translated to be and I think it’s coming out in November. So that’s honestly the answer. I mean, it isn’t what I heard on the radio, it isn’t what I’ve discovered on a record, it’s one I went into the cinema to see the drama, and the song ended up sticking with me, you know?
Justin Barney: That’s really a testament to the song.
Elvis Costello: I’d say so, I’d say so. I think it was a traditional chant that was adapted into a sort of like a jazz song, and it’s so memorable.
Justin Barney: Well I’m going to try to find that song. Do you know any indication if I were to look at the tracklist, what it would be?
Elvis Costello: Well I think if you go online and you type in the words “Cold War” and “film,” you’ll see the trailer and the trailer features that song very prominently. In fact, it runs for the whole length of the trailer.
Justin Barney: Alright.
Elvis Costello: So that’s the same as kind of, hearing it on the radio isn’t it? You know I don’t know whether you can play it yet. You know, I don’t know that it’s been issued yet but, at least for your own ears you can hear this lovely song and just hear what a beautiful performance it is.
Justin Barney: Alright,I found it. The song is by Joanna Kulig from the soundtrack of “Cold War.”
- This song is featured in the Polish film “Cold War”, released in 2018.
- “Cold War” is screening at the Milwaukee Film Festival this Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Oriental Theater.
- Listen to if you like: jazz singers, chansons, the Milwaukee Film Festival
- FULL INTERVIEW
2. Interpol picks “Black Tux, White Collar” by A$AP Rocky
Our guest today is Paul Banks, lead singer of Interpol. Interpol is a post-punk band from New York City that’s been around for the better part of a decade. They’ve released a handful of amazing albums, their newest being “Marauder” of which we are playing the song, “The Rover.” My guest today is Paul Banks, lead singer of Interpol.
Justin Barney: Paul, what is one song right now that you can’t stop listening to?
Paul Banks: “Black Tux, White Collar” by A$AP Rocky is the song that I have in heavy rotation today. It my go back to “Mob Ties” by Drake tomorrow, but today it’s that one.
Justin Barney: What does “Black Tux, White Collar” do for you?
Paul Banks: Well it’s just a great record. “Testing” is the name of it. He’s got some really interesting production choices, and it’s a sick beat, and then it goes into some hook-y chorus-y parts that are very air-y and vibey.
It’s a great record overall and then you get to the end of it and that one comes on and it’s like, “Oh my god, this is still dope.”
Justin Barney: Yeah, I feel like delivery is such an important thing especially in hip-hop. What do you like about A$AP Rocky’s?
Paul Banks: That’s a very good question. I think in the new generation there is a couple guys that are really really relaxed on mic. I think 21 Savage is that way and I think that A$AP just sounds like a cool dude. And I think probably part of what that is is how relaxed he is.
The wordplay is good. He’s got a very relaxed cool flow that sounds effortless.
And on a record like, “Testing” it’s like a production carnival where it’s going all over the place in a really interesting way.
- A$AP Rocky’s new album, “Testing” is out now.
- Listen if you like: 21 Savage, Drake, the new school of hip-hop
- FULL INTERVIEW
3. Jessica Hopper picks “The Hissing of Summer Lawns” by Joni Mitchell
Our guest this week is Jessica Hopper. Jessica Hopper was an editor for Pitchfork Magazine, also for MTV News, she’s written several books including “The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic” which is excellent. Her new memoir, “Night Moves” is equally as excellent. We recorded this after her reading at Boswell Books which is why we are in hushed tones. My guest this week is author Jessica Hopper.
Justin Barney: Jessica, what is one song you can’t stop listening to, or one song you want to talk about?
Jessica Hopper: One song that I can’t stop listening to is the title track of Joni Mitchell’s 1975 album “The Hissing of Summer Lawns.” It is a song that is very much like a departure from the rest of her work though it’s very much in league with the rest of her album. It’s very much a portrait of a suburban life but it is really about the story of a woman who, her life is defined by her marriage by her partnership and in some ways illuminates just how invisible she is as a person to her husband but also in the wider world and sort of losing herself in this marriage. But it’s a really interesting song musically, in part, because it’s sort of the dawn of, it’s very emblematic of Joni Mitchell’s turn towards jazz.
The arrangement of it is incredible and the people who are playing on it, you know, we hear them again two years later on Steely Dan’s “Aja” and by that point people seemingly could be revered for doing sort of jazz fusion but uhh, I guess not if you’re Joni Mitchell.
Was that in some it’s the hissing of summer lawns by Jenny Mitchell of her 1975 album of the same name.
- “The Hissing of Summer Lawns” was originally released in 1975.
- Listen to if you like: Joni Mitchell’s amazing lyrics, her turn towards jazz, the players on Steely Dan’s “Aja”
4. Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie picks “Future Me Hates Me” by The Beths.
My guest today is Ben Gibbard, lead singer of the band Death Cab For Cutie.
This is usually the time where, in case you don’t know who the band is, I add a little context so that you have some background. But, if you are listening to 88Nine and you don’t know who Death Cab For Cutie is…I don’t know what’s going on.
So, I’m just gonna assume you know who Death Cab For Cutie is. Their latest album is called “Thank You for Today” and we’ve been playing the song “Gold Rush.” I caught up with Ben in the green room of The Sylvee.
Justin Barney: The interview is really easy. It is just “what’s the last song that you couldn’t stop listening to?”
Ben Gibbard: I suppose the last song I haven’t been able to stop listening to is a song by The Beths called “Future Me Hates Me.” When that record came out about a month ago, I just totally fell in love with that band. It’s just a great pop song, it’s an incredibly catchy song.
I just love the idea of a song being about you know this “if we get together, if the future me is gonna hate me for all the things that I’m gonna go through in the course of this relationship” is just a really kind of clever and cool kind of a concept for a song and it’s just so well written I think it’s both very heartfelt and humorous at the same time.
- The Beths are based in Auckland, New Zealand. They self-released “Future Me Hates Me” in August of 2018.
- Listen to if you like: Hinds, Lala Lala, Bleached
5. M. Ward picks “No Money in This Deal” by George Jones
Our guest today is M. Ward. M. Ward is a musician from Portland. He has released a bunch of albums with a bunch of different projects and he was half of She and Him, a project with Zooey Deschanel. He was also in Monsters of Folk, the supergroup and he has released a whole bunch of solo albums. His most recent is “What a Wonderful Industry” that he chose to release totally independently, by himself. We are playing the song “Miracle Man” from that album. My guest today is M. Ward.
Justin Barney: What is a song right now that you can’t stop listening to?
M. Ward: the first one that comes to mind is this old George Jones song that I discovered on this compilation.
Justin Barney: I love country music.
M. Ward: I don’t know how much old country you guys play on your station.
Justin Barney: Doesn’t matter, we’ll play it. What’s the George Jones song?
M. Ward: It’s called “No Money in This Deal.”
Justin Barney: That sounds great, what’s it about?
M. Ward: You know, I think he kind of used money for a metaphor for a bunch of different things, he’s basically saying “that dog don’t hunt,” that kind of argument. There’s no money in this deal, this relationship isn’t going anywhere.
George Jones’ voice on those early records, you know I could really listen to those any time.
Justin Barney: You know there’s something about George Jones’ voice, I’m with you. I don’t know what it is, do you?
M. Ward: Yeah I can’t put my finger on it either, but it’s clear that he is enjoying himself. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and he just has this gift – this beautiful low voice that nobody else has. You know, so many people have tried to imitate it but he is the guy that does George Jones the best.
My favorite songs of his are the ones that have a little bit of humor in them, and you know it’s a hard to do, it’s a hard thing to pull off.
Justin Barney: Yeah he’s got a little bit of humor and a lot of sadness too, it’s like the whole spectrum of emotions, you know?
So the song that you can’t stop listening to is “No Money in This Deal” by George Jones.
M. Ward: Yes, I hope you like it.
- George Jones first released “No Money in This Deal” as a single in 1954.
- Listen to if you like: old honky-tonk music, fiddle, M. Ward
- FULL INTERVIEW