Podcast #8: List Songs
Here at YuppiePunk World HQ we love to group things, be it literary tattoos, rock stars that died at age 27 or rejected movie posters. It’s one of our favorite things to do. We even do it in our podcasts, focusing them on a theme: trios, bands named after cities, actors who sing, etc. Which leads us to our current podcast: A list of songs that list things. As per usual, the songs are available ala carte until they expire, or you can grab them all in the podcast itself, which you can subscribe to here.
REM – “It’s the End of the World As We Know It and (I Feel Fine)”
This song lists seemingly random things in a stream of consciousness rant, but listen closely and you’ll notice several names with the initials L.B., inspired by a dream of Michael Stipe’s. According to Peter Buck, the song was also inspired by Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” so where better to start the podcast than with those two tracks.
Bob Dylan – “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
Zimmerman’s free association mashes up Kerouac and the Beat poets in four verses tackling the government, counter-culture, civil rights and war. Oh, is that all?
Jim Carroll – “People Who Died”
A laundry list of the author/musician’s friends that died, died. And how: Eddie got slit in the jugular vein.
Johnny Cash – “I’ve Been Everywhere”
Written by Geoff Mack in 1959 with a list of places in Australia, the song was later adapted with the names of American locales and was a hit for a variety of artists including The Man in Black. Just where the hell is Ombabika (fourth place, third verse) anyway?
Mary Lou Lord – “His Indie World”
A tour of mid-90s indie rock bands from a singer/songwriter who had her heyday in the mid-90s.
Dan Bern – “Year by Year Home Run Totals of the Great Barry Bonds (live)”
We didn’t say the lists had to be interesting.
Billy Joel – “We Didn’t Start the Fire”
Even amongst Billy Joel fans, this isn’t considered one of his finest works, though high school social studies teachers were no doubt appreciative of its lyrical crash course in modern history. The song was supposedly inspired by a conversation with Sean Lennon, but we’re guessing he’s bummed he didn’t inspire “The Stranger” or something cooler instead.
The Nails – “88 Lines About 44 Women”
Just as the title says, singer Mark Campbell reads through his little black book, detailing his sex life circa late ’70s New York City.
Queens of the Stone Age – “Feel Good Hit of the Summer”
Nicotine, valium, vicodine, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol. Cocaine.
Bouncing Souls – “These Are the Quotes from our Favorite 80s Movies”
Don’t mess with the bull, you’ll get the horns. Or at least these famous movie quotes.
Paul Simon – “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”
Written after his divorce from his first wife, the song hit #1 in 1976 and has remained the biggest song of Simon’s solo career.