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. 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
2. “Sports” by Viagra Boys
One song that I can’t stop listening to this week is “Sports” by Viagra Boys. This song has a couple of things going for it that I think make it succeed and make it a really great song.
The first is that it is difficult being comfortable behind a microphone. If you hear anybody speak behind a microphone, being comfortable is kind of the main thing. That’s why everyone loves Marcus Doucette, because Marcus sounds great and super comfortable behind a microphone. Sebastian Murphy sounds like that in this song. It just kind of sounds like somebody gave him a microphone and he just sang the first things that came to his mind.
Those things that come to his mind are funny which really helps the song. It’s about sports and in the song the way he says “baseball…” “basketball…” lets you know how little lyrics matter and also they just sound good in the spots. In it the whole thing kind of lays on this vocal delivery from Sebastian Murphy that is really laid back, comfortable and funny.
It also succeeds in the music, because the music is doing the same thing: it is held together by how little it tries. It is punchy, garage-y and punk. This whole song kind of succeeds at how much it doesn’t try at all
- Viagra Boys released “Sports” in 2018
- Listen if you like: hearing random activities that people sometimes do rhymed with various sports, Riverwest, da Pack
3. Joey Dosik picks “Phone” by Louis Cole
Our guest today is Joey Dosik. He is an L.A.-based musician. He was in the band Vulfpeck and he also released a couple solo albums that are absolutely fantastic. He just released this album called “Inside Voice.” It is soulful, he plays the keys and we have been playing the song “Don’t Want it to Be Over,” which feels like an instant classic. My guest today is Joey Dosik.
Justin Barney: Joey what’s one song right now that you can’t stop listening to?
Joey Dosik: Oh wow, I’ve been really in love with another L.A. artist, a friend of mine, his name’s Louis Cole and he put out a record a few weeks ago and there’s a song on it called “Phone” that’s just really pretty and pulls my heart strings with the melody and has a cool beat on it. Yeah that one has been on heavy rotation.
Justin Barney: What part of it pulls at your heart strings?
Joey Dosik: It’s the melody, it’s the melody. The words are pretty simplistic having to do with you know, trying to get ahold of someone on the phone and just these phone relationship that we have with our loved ones. Yeah it’s a beautiful song.
Justin Barney: It’s crazy how a melody can pull at your heart strings. I think we want it to be words but it’s something about how notes are put together that can pull at your heart strings and pull your emotions.
Joey Dosik: Yeah you know i think it can be anything, it could be any element of a song sometimes it’s the strings, or the drums or i do think that lyrics can do that too. Then there’s that sort of, that ultimate lyrical-melodic combination.
- Louis Cole’s album “Time” was released August 2018.
- Listen if you like: Thundercat, Vulfpeck, Rhythm Lab
4. Tarik Moody picks “Perdida” by Biig Piig
My guest is our very own DJ Tarik, AKA “The Architect”.
Justin Barney: Tarik what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?
Tarik Moody: Right now I’ve got this artist out of Ireland. Somehow I seem to find Irish artists a lot.
Justin Barney: Which is funny because it’s not really your brand at all.
Tarik Moody: I think of all the artists that have came here, that have played here that I have championed have been Irish. There’s this scene in Ireland that is doing some interesting stuff on the hip hop, soul, R&B vibe, which is not the first country that you think of when it comes to those sounds.
Justin Barney: We were listening to this before and you were like “guess where she’s from” and I was like, “This is trick question.”
Tarik Moody: I’ve got this artist who’s like only twenty years old, her name is Biig Piig which is probably the weirdest name for an artist. The song is called “Perdida.”
Her music is kind of this smokey vibe trip hop, brings back the days of trip hop without sounding dated. It’s the music you listen to on a Sunday morning, drinking whiskey.
It’s an escape kind of music you know, the world is crazy, social media gets you upset, you put this on and it’s like a vacation from the craziness. That’s what she does for me in that song. One of her song from last year was “Vice City” and it kind of like puts me in a different headspace and this is the same way cuz she like “drink my wine, just leave me alone” that’s the song, it’s an escape song, I think we need more of those. We’ve got enough dance, we’ve got enough hype songs, we got enough break up songs, we need something to just escape and reflect. That’s what that was.
Justin Barney: “Perdida” by Biig Piig
Tarik Moody: Oink oink.
- “Perdida” was released on August 27 on Biig Pigg’s “Big Fan of the Sesh, Vol.1” EP.
- Listen if you like: Billie Holiday, downbeat chill songs, drinking whiskey on a Sunday morning
5. “Bella Ciao (Goodbye Beautiful)” by Marc Ribot feat. Tom Waits
We have new music from Tom Waits. I know that I am excited about this, but it’s not going to be as exciting for some people because Tom Waits’ voice is not for everyone. But his voice is an instrument in and of itself. Granted, it’s an instrument that’s been in the basement for a couple years, and has a busted string and a hole in the back, but it’s still an instrument.
He has a voice that encapsulates sadness, so I could not be happier for this song.
He is pairing up here with Marc Ribot who is a famous guitarist. Ribot is releasing an album called “Songs of Resistance 1942-2018” of which he is enlisting a bunch of vocalists to be on it with him, and on this one is Tom Waits.
The song is “Bella Ciao (Goodbye Beautiful)” which is an Italian folk song written in the mid-’40s. It became the anthem for anit-fascist resistance against the despot Mussolini and here, it is repurposed in a new way for a new era.
- “Songs of Resistance 1942-2018” was released September 14, 2018.
- Listen if you like: The greatest voice of all time, protest songs, being really, really sad