By suggestion, instead of flooding everyone with nearly a dozen songs all at once, we're going to break this feature into smaller, more digestible parts. So, today, four songs. Tomorrow, even though it won't be Wednesday, five more songs. If you liked it the old way, let me know.
Still, great music, presented for your enjoyment, below the cut:
The Nails, "Home of the Brave"
The Nails were a Denver-based band that came up during the era of new wave, and despite their one cult hit — the skeletal synth-pop of "88 Lines About 44 Women" — they never really quite fit in with that crowd, or anywhere else, really. "Home of the Brave" might sound a little hokey today — I honestly don't know. After listening to this song pretty regularly for the last 25 years, I still can't put my finger on what it is exactly that keeps me coming back. But I do.
James McMurty, "Ruby and Carlos"
Nobody can spin a yarn in song like Austin's James McMurtry. He can cram an entire novel into a six-minute song. A one-time Tucson resident, this son of Lonesome Dove author Larry McMurtry has had a great local following, especially these last few years. My vacation in Seattle is luckily timed just right to catch McMurtry at Ballard's Tractor Tavern tonight and I can't wait for this song.
Stewart Copeland has always been the most interesting member of The Police, at least to me — his father was in the CIA and his illustrious brothers, Miles and Ian, left an indelible stamp on the biz via IRS Records and FBI Booking. And as a kid who grew up on both The Police (the soul of which was always Copeland's drumming) and TV's the Equalizer, for which he did the soundtrack, it didn't really get any cooler — in a spazzy, dorky, drummerly sort of way. Copeland has created a sizable catalog of percussion-saturated compositions, soundtracks and albums, but it was his early effort to have a side band, Klark Kent, that best captured his absurdist sensibility outside the confines of His Royal Stingness. Nevermind the KKK on the album cover — the Copeland family obviously just has a thing for 3-lettered organizations.
Mudhoney, "You Stupid Asshole"
This was the first 7 inch I bought, at the ripe age of 13. A split with the band Gas Huffer, Mudhoney rips through this Angry Samoans track with pure hellfire. It will always remind me of being a bored miscreant, hanging out in record stores and bothering the clerks all day. Cheers to youth.