The Month In Music: November

From new wave to soul, England to Africa, a “Big Baby” to a recently departed legend, this month’s playlist has something for everyone. 

Fire In Cairo // The Cure

Holy shit, y’all. This has been my jam all November. The sexiest song Robert Smith and the boys ever whipped up if you ask me, i.e. “Shifting crimson veil silken hips/Slide under my hand swollen lips/Whisper My name/And I yearn/You take me in your arms and start to burn” and I could LIVE off of the instrumental break at 2:22.

Dizzy // GOON

Read about this band in Rolling Stone. Yes, I’m actually a 62-year-old man with very strong opinions and all of Eric Clapton’s boxed sets. Not really. But basically. Anyways, all you kids wearing those Nirvana naked baby shirts will probably like this.

Velvet Snow // Kings Of Leon

Wow. The new Kings Of Leon album was pretty bad. Like, “millennial whoop” bad. So bad, I had to go back and listen to the first few Leon albums. The good ones. The lean, greasy, dangerous burners that made me still listen to their latest offering even though I think I already knew it would make me sad.

Whine and Grine/Stand Down Margaret // The English Beat

“Whine and Grine” is a super pervy song by Prince Buster that the English Beat decided to smash up with their anti-Margaret Thatcher song. Doesn’t make sense. Yet it totally does. I had the pleasure of interviewing frontman Dave Wakeling on Election Day, which led to the only enjoyable discussion about politics I’ve ever had. Cheers, Dave.

Winter Lady // Leonard Cohen

Still listening to lots of Leonard. Still hurts.

Didn’t Want To Have To Do It // Cass Elliot

Mama Cass did a long-forgotten album with Dave Mason from Traffic, who I had the pleasure of interviewing this month. And while we didn’t discuss said album, I came across it in my research, which then sent me down a Cass-shaped rabbit hole, where I found this. Her voice is just so brilliantly suited to this song. Dreamy.

Wives & Lovers // Dionne Warwick

WARNING: This song deals with extremely misogynistic and outdated themes, i.e. You better be dressed to the nines every time your “man in the gray flannel suit” husband comes home to eat the five course meal you slaved over, otherwise you’re giving him license to cheat on you with one of the office secretaries.

That being said, I shamelessly love it. It’s used (ironically) during one of my favorite movies of all time, First Wives Club—if you haven’t seen it do yourself a favor—and Ms. Warwick’s voice is heaven.

Day Dreaming // Aretha Franklin

Someone posted a screenshot of this on Instagram. I mentally bookmarked it. Promptly forgot about it. Remembered it as I was sitting in a bath (I’m not kidding.) I fell in love. ARETHA IS THE QUEEN.

Young Man’s Blues // Mose Allison

This cat is so smooth, but look at that picture! He looks like your math professor! I first heard about Mose thanks to the beautiful Richard Farina’s book, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me (read it, you’ll feel 1,000 times cooler). Also, if you’re under thirty this song might ring a little too true.

I’m Coming Home // Lee Fields & The Expressions

Stone cold, solid gold, ooey-gooey-chewy soul goodness. I mean, this is a dance-around-in-your-socks type of joint.

Get It Myself // D.R.A.M.

1. THE ALBUM COVER (!!!!)

2. What a fantastic, confidence-boosting gem. “I had to tell myself to go and get it myself.” Brb, gotta go live by that motto.

Government Center // The Modern Lovers

I’ve been doing some serious listening prep for a Jonathan Richman concert I’m #blessed enough to be attending in December. The funnest song about government since “I’m Just A Bill.”

Virginia Plain // Roxy Music

I don’t get a lot of Brian Eno music. Sorry. Sue Me. Disown me from the music community. But before you do, just know that most of Roxy Music stuff I can get behind. Like reallllllyyyy behind.

Disintegrating // Willis Earl Beal

I saw Bleed For This this month (A. because I’m a good daughter who goes to the movies with her dad and B. because I have an unrelenting and irrational thing for Miles Teller). This song crops up about halfway through the movie and I was transfixed. The collage-y ness of it is just so interesting. It’s so dreamy, but sounds like life at the same time.

Emotions And Math // Margaret Glaspy

Do I remember how I came across this? No. Does every word of this hit me in an almost healed wound I have right in the middle of my heart? Yes. And I love absolutely any and all songs that have that damn guitar riff. You know the one. Dun-dun-dun-dunnhhh/Dun-dun-dun-dunnn. I think that in the time it took me to type that out I got a little more dumb.  

Love Will Find A Way // The Reels

So when I was doing prep for my Dave Mason interview, there was quite a bit of confusion. Turns out, there’s another Dave Mason. I mean I’m sure there’s a lot of Dave Masons--but this Dave Mason is in a band called The Reels. I was halfway through listening to this album before I realized he was NOT the Dave Mason I would be speaking to. Embarrassing, but it led me to this uber-80’s gem.

Wasted // The Vapors

Because The Vapors can do a hell of a lot more than turn Japanese.

Song Of The Sun // Fell Runner

I spoke with the SUPER TALENTED Tim Carr, who is the drummer in this band (and an incredible solo artist who you will be reading a lot more about on this blog). They’re really into African rhythms and melodies. Super rad. Check ‘em out.

I Can’t Go On Without You // Kaleo

I read about this band in one of Greil Marcus’ ‘Real Life Rock Top Ten’ articles and decided to check them out. They are currently filling the vacuum-that-was-once-my-soul until Hozier finally releases another damn album.

Ain’t Got No/I Got Life // Nina Simone

This month was a bit of a rough one for me. Why are Novembers always hard? Anyways, this song lays you down nice and low before it swoops you up to the highest highs; a surefire pick-me-up. And Miss Simone, as ever, is a lightening bolt.