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 Mike Pomranz of World Blanket 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!
One of my favorite parts of music is rediscovering music.
Each year is a never-ending stream of new releases, typically piling up while your still digesting the records accumulated during every previous year of your life. But luckily, you don’t have to keep up. Sometimes you just want the equivalent of musical comfort food: Sure a hot new restaurant opened up, but let’s just go to the same Italian place we’ve been getting pasta at for years.
For me, 2011 was all about the 1970s. The completist in me took hold and I realized three things: 1) Most of the classic rock CD collection I acquired as a kid had never even been imported into my iTunes. 2) A suddenly, seemingly insurmountable number of my favorite albums I didn’t even own. 3) A ton of great ’70s artists I had been avoiding all together. Probably due to my apprehensions about failing steps 1 & 2.
And so last year became the year I tried to patch many of the holes in my favorite decade of music. And surprisingly, last year became the most enjoyable year for music I can remember in a long time.
Here are 9 tunes that I can’t believe I was living without.
1) Electric Light Orchestra – “Telephone Line”
Of my most neglected artists, ELO topped the list. Growing up in the ’90s, a lot of teenagers had the entire catalog of bands like Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, but for obvious reasons, not many kids were pining for a new Electric Light Orchestra box set. This situation needed to be rectified. According to my iTunes, “Telephone Line” got the most plays of any song last year, and though it may be a bit of a clichéd choice, can you fault me?
2) The Doobie Brothers – “I Cheat the Hangman”
In revisiting The Doob’s records, Stampede quickly overtook the hit-laden album The Captain and Me as my favorite. The brilliantly produced and orchestrated “I Cheat the Hangman” is easily the LPs highlight, taking listeners on a nearly “cinematic” journey. It left me wondering how a band can put so much work into an album track, until I later learned that this 6 1/2 minute epic was released as a single. Mind-blowing.
3) Humble Pie – “You’re So Good for Me”
Inspired by reading Keith Richards autobiography, 2011 was also the year of learning to re-appreciate open tunings. But you don’t need to know anything about guitar to hear that “You’re So Good for Me” could be one of the most neglected classic rock gems of all time. Humble Pie is so undervalued it’s kind of sickening.