Get Up and Go (Friday Gold #9)

I’m writing this on Monday, March 13—the first workday after springing forward.

All in all, I’m happy about the time change and having more daylight in the evening. But the delayed sunrise sure does make it tough to get up and go in the morning.

Here are a few of the songs that help me start my day.

1. Black Coffee – Ray Charles

2. Gotta Get Up – Harry Nilsson

3. Bald Headed Woman – The Kinks

4. Breakfast in bed – Dusty Springfield

5. Coffee in the Morning – The Stolen Sweets

6. Black coffee in bed – Squeeze

7. Funky Mama – Lou Donaldson

8. I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl – Nina Simone

9. First in Flight – Blackalicious

10. Get Up and Go – Jason Lytle

Time is on My Side: 10 Songs for Springing Ahead (Friday Gold #8)

Last week in Portland we had a day that started with snow (in March!) turned to a sunny, 50 degree afternoon and ended in rain. A homeless man outside the grocery story told me: “Winter and spring are duking it out and winter is sure to lose. It’s just a matter of when.”

We’re a bit closer to spring’s inevitable victory this weekend and we’re moving the clocks ahead an hour to get ready for it (I know, I know, celebrating spring is not the official reason we change the clocks).\

With that in mind, here are 10 songs about time.

1. One O’Clock Jump – Jimmy Smith

2. Let the Good Times Roll – JD McPherson

3. Time is On My Side – Irma Thomas

4. Just One Time – Don Gibson

5. Three O’Clock in the Morning – Dexter Gordon

6. Funny How Time Slips Away – Willie Nelson

7. Long Time – Buddy and Judy Miller

8. Right Place Wrong Time – Dr. John

9. Six O’Clock – Ringo Starr

10. Out of Time – The Rolling Stones

As Soon As the Weather Breaks (Friday Gold #7)

Ever since I was old enough to understand the concept of spring, the beginning of March has had me longing for sunshine and more time spent outside.

I remember being taught “If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.” Now I wonder if my teachers really believed that or if they were just trying to find ways to keep us busy.

Weather proverbs aside, the official start of spring is March 20. Here are some songs to help get you through the last days of winter.

1. Shelter from the Storm – Bob Dylan

2. Spring (Among the Living) – My Morning Jacket

3. Worried Bout the Weather – Justin Townes Earle

4. Lovely Weather We’re Having – Louis Armstrong

5. Fallin’ Rain – Karl Blau

6. Spring is Here – Bill Evans

7. Spring is Here – Nina Simone

8. Stormy Weather – Reigning Sound

9. Brave the Storm – Graham Coxon

10. As Soon as the Weather Breaks – Bobby “Blue” Bland

We the People: The Power of Protest Music (Friday Gold #6)

We live in troubled and uncertain times.

That phrase, or some variation of it, has been fitting almost without fail throughout history.

Artists and musicians have unfailingly responded to the issues of their times with work that protests injustice and provides commentary on the controversies of the day.

The best of this work remains powerful and feels relevant today, just as the best of today’s protest art will inspire viewers and listeners for decades to come.

1. Know Your Rights – The Clash

2. We the People – A Tribe Called Quest

3. Masters of War – Bob Dylan

4. The Day After Tomorrow – Tom Waits

5. Redemption Song – Bob Marley

6. Hey Mr. President – Peter La Farge

7. MariKKKopa – Desaparecidos

8. Fight the Power – Public Enemy

9. Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday

10. D’Angelo & The Vanguard – The Charade

A Good Flying Day: Music from The Sadies (Friday Gold #5)

More people should know the music of The Sadies. Formed in Toronto in 1994, they released their 10th full-length album, Northern Passages, last week.

In addition to their own albums, they’ve been credited as the primary backing band on several others, notably The Tigers Have Spoken (Neko Case & The Sadies) and Country Club (John Doe & The Sadies).

Their albums tend to be a mix of country western and rock, occasionally interspersed with interludes that sound like they might belong in a modern spaghetti western movie. Sound good? Yeah, of course it does.

There’s too much good music to cover in one, 10-song playlist. But, if you’re new to the band, consider this a jumping off point.

1. Another Year Again

2. Lay Down Your Arms

3. So Much Blood

4. A Good Flying Day

5. It’s Easy (Like Walking) (featuring Kurt Vile)

6. The First Inquisition (Part 4)

7. I’m An Old, Old Man (Trying to Live While I Can) (Andre Williams & The Sadies

8. Higher Power

9. Detroit City (John Doe & The Sadies)

10. Another Season Again

Be mine, America (Friday Gold #4)

2016 wasn’t exactly the year of love and kindness.

2017 is off to a pretty rough start in that regard too.

I think maybe we could use a reset—or at least a quick break—and the week of Valentine’s Day seems like a pretty good time for it.

Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, Trump supporter, or one of the disillusioned people in between, this playlist is my Valentine to you. I hope it brings you a little joy today.

1. Smile – David Byrne

2. The Best Things in Life Are Free – Sam Cooke

3. Be Mine – Alabama Shakes

4. Junie – Solange

5. Domino – Van Morrision

6. The Glory of Love – Nina Simone

7. Uh-huh – Sinkane

8. We Can Make It – George Jones

9. All You Need is Love – The Beatles

10. Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think) – The Specials

Halftime show: A playlist alternative to what’s on TV (Friday Gold #3)

Wardrobe malfunctions and Prince’s mind-bending performance aside, Super Bowl halftime shows tend to be fairly boring. Even a solid performance still ends up feeling forced and lackluster with the spectacle overpowering the music. A medley of songs, a bevy of backup dancers and a surprise guest are all standard parts of the performance script. Lady Gaga is sure to up the ante this year, but I’d still rather spend halftime taking a TV break.

Here’s what I’ll be listening to.

1. One Step Beyond – Madness

2. Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones

3. Heroes – David Bowie

4> What’d I say (Part I and II) – Ray Charles

5. Stuck Between Stations – The Hold Steady

6. How Many More Years – Howlin’ Wolf

7. Can I Kick it? – A Tribe Called Quest

8. I’m Ready – Fats Domino

9. Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

10. I Fought the Law – The Clash