For our feature Nice Playlist, Brah, we ask some of our favorite musicians to make a themed Spotify playlist for us. You know, Songs to Make-out To, The Worst Bands I Have Ever Heard, Songs Your Mom Would Like, we just ask them to be creative, and then we post them to The Ardent Music Blog and share them with you. When you’re looking for a good Spotify playlist, now you know where to look. This week we invited singer/songwriter Jon Lindsay to put one together for us. We invite you to take listen to the playlist while you read why the musician included each song. Enjoy!
It’s no secret that greater NC has one of the best music scenes anywhere. It’s also not much of a secret that I’m a sucker for super-fanning my pals from around these parts, getting deeply lost in the genius of their eclectic work, and yes – being that loud, well-meaning asshole in the front row pounding on the monitor to the back beat and singing along at the top of my lungs at the shows we play together, or that I make it out to attend. It’s always deeply comforting for me to have their familiar voices creeping outta the van speakers on a harsh morning leaving Boston, or rocking me to sleep in a lonely hotel room in West Hollywood or Detroit.
So here’s a Spotify playlist for The Ardent Music blog that I pulled together to share some of the bands and tracks that get us thru out there on the road, and that I find myself coming back to the most. Of course this thing could go on forever and it pains me to pick such a small sampler. Also, many bands I would’ve included don’t seem to be on Spotify yet, so just imagine that somewhere in this sequence is some Max Indian, Tomahawks, Organos, Tender Fruit, The Light Pines, Lonnie Walker, and geez it’s lunchtime already.
Mount Moriah – “Lament”
“If this will be anything then let it be over / ‘cause the heart can’t keep trying to love something it doesn’t.” I mean, enough said, right? “A mouth full of bees couldn’t stop me from whispering I don’t love you” gets the point across pretty well, too. Mount Moriah is poised for greatness, but I think the word is already out!
Superchunk – “Digging For Something”
I hope I haven’t ruined this crispy track for the rest of my band by rocking it so much in the van. When we pulled up to check into our hotel to play Hopscotch Fest 2011, our hotel lobby was directly behind the main stage at City Plaza, where the band was shredding this song to pieces on a beautiful afternoon to a raging sea of bodies… I had to sit there with the windows down and wait for this song to finish. And my band is like, “We just heard this after Cracker Barrel.” Anyway, made me so humbled (along with the rest of that lineup, sheesh!) just to be in the mix of that festival.
The Old Ceremony – “Til My Voice is Gone”
TOC are near and dear friends of mine. Can’t believe they’ve put up with me since 2007! Consummate dynamics are always to be expected from the band and real-deal storytelling is always the deal with Django – who has no problem being as hilarious as he is sincere. Talk about a juggernaut of tightness and creativity – this is a real old skewl rock and roll band. This track encapsulates the story of my life, and just about everything I stand for, philosophically.
Benji Hughes – “Love On A Budget”
Of all his many brilliant songs, this one used to make me and drummer David Kim tear up during the second verse most every time we played it. Bonus: here’s my favorite live version of this one:
Jolene – “Birdland”
John Crooke never knew a flat note or lazy lyric in his life, and this band had all the heart in the world. “Birdland” gets me high. At our December tour-closing show last year at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, I got the very sad word about 45 minutes before hitting the stage that Rodney Lanier, Jolene’s multi-instrumentalist and a friend of mine, had passed away. I put on this track, had a drink(s) for Rod and was somehow able to go on with the show. It was not easy, to say the least.
Schooner – “My Friend’s Band”
Schooner has a way of making everything seem easy. The songs breathe so well that every time I listen to their albums I feel like I’m peering in on a living snow bubble world that will go on forever, keeping itself company just fine without me when I pop my head back outta the glass. “My Friend’s Band” pissed me off the first time I heard it with how damn good it was. That’s just how grown-up I am ;)
The Catch Fire – “Younger Every Summer”
Well here’s the shameless inclusion of a single from my side project The Catch Fire, from our debut album Rumormill, (Dec 6, 2011 on No More Fake Labels). In the band is Big Mike Mistchele, Adam Roth and John Cates and me. I’m way too close to this one to offer words, so enjoy the track.
Floating Action – “50 Lashes”
I listen to these dudes religiously. They’re super vibed-out on the warm and funky side of things for a song-oriented rock band, which I love. They’ve tapped into the essence of a form to operate in which allows them to to be free and tell their own truths.
Nicole Atkins – “War Torn”
Nic’s an old pal and I was lucky enough to play a couple shows with her a few years ago. This was one of my favorites in the set.
The Love Language – “Anthophobia”
Hard not to blow my voice out on long drives when I’m at the wheel, everybody is sleeping and I’m left to my own devices with some TLL records – can’t help but sing along with these sad, sweet summer hymns. This one is a personal favorite.
Hammer No More The Fingers – “Mushrooms”
Just played with these bros last weekend in Wilmington, a town I love. After the show at our shared merch table, I spent like 20 minutes trying to drunkenly explain to Joe all the subtle nuances I find so sick in his guitar tone. These guys are great!
The Houston Brothers – “Chimney Rock”
Charlotte buddies of mine with an organic sound that leads with raw vulnerability and refreshing spareness in a powerful, emotive package, combining my favorite New Wave textures with a quieter, dream-folk pallet. “Chimney Rock”, from their EP The Archer gets me every time, most especially around 3:36 when we’re invited to “come here, just a little closer where the grass is green and the sun is shining” by a shiny gang vocal.
Filthybird – “I’d Like To Know”
I just got turned on to Filthybird in the past year or so from some Raleigh pals. They are way up my alley to say the least and I’m super glad to have their stuff. This track is a new single for them from this year, and it gets me pumped about whatever the hell they’ll bust out with next.
Small Ponds – “Loneliness”
The first Small Ponds EP is minimalist, masterful, and lyrical and vocally sublime. A true gem. “Temptation is the one true romance / first kisses are the only kind” is a lyric never far from my mind.
The Rosebuds – “Come Visit Me”
These songs destroy me so much but I can’t get enough. Just like the character voiced by Kelly on this one. “Come Visit Me” is endlessly relatable. “I need you to save me even if it makes it worse”… “Even if it fucks me up”. It fucks ME up to play this record, but I can’t resist!
Jon Lindsay is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer with an impressive resume to show for his time so far on earth. After going solo in 2009 from prominent roles in several well known bands (most notably Benji Hughes and The Young Sons), the Oregon-born, North Carolina raised artist released 2 critically acclaimed EP’s, a stunning debut LP (2010′s “Escape From Plaza-Midwood”), AND a debut LP “Rumormill” for his side band, The Catch Fire, all while playing upwards of 150 national shows between 2010 and 2011. Due this spring is more work from Jon Lindsay; his highly anticipated LP #2, entitled “Summer Wilderness Program.”
Check out all of our Spotify playlists on The Ardent Music Blog! Thanks to Jon Lindsay for contributing!