Playlist:

Ding Dongs’n’Things Voice Farm
“A Ding Dong is a chocolate cake produced and distributed in the United States by Hostess Brands and in Canada from Saputo Incorporated under the name King Dons; in some U.S. markets, it was previously known as Big Wheels… The company marketed the snacks on the East Coast as Big Wheels, to avoid confusion with Ring Dings, a similar and pre-existing treat by Drake’s Cakes. The names were consolidated in 1987, when a short-lived merger of Drake’s with Hostess’s parent company (then Continental Baking Company) briefly resolved the Ring Ding–Ding Dong conflict.” —Wikipedia

Open Your Eyes Lords of the New Church
Imagine my surprise when I looked up the Wikipedia page for this album, the Lords’ debut, and saw my own name. The review quoted is one I wrote for the All-Music Guide many years ago, and while I knew that stuff had been floating around the web all these years, to suddenly see yourself cited as some kind of authority is strange. Though not displeasing.

Party Town Dave Stewart & the Spiritual Cowboys
This is a smashing tune by the redoubtable Mr. Stewart — the non–Annie Lennox half of Eurythmics — but when it came out I got that feeling, like you do sometimes, that it was a one-off and the album would never live up to it. Well after all these years I finally just listened to it for the first time on Spotify, and you know what? I was right.

Pimper’s Paradise Bob Marley & the Wailers
“Rumbling through surrounding trees and across the rivers of bloody Babylon, the vibrant melody of Bob Marley’s Pimper’s Paradise emerges as a revolutionary guard, or knight in true honour, against a pattern and practice of cultural, social, and national degradation.” —Andrew Isaacs, The Gleaner

Candy Darling Daniel Ash

Edie Sedgwick James Ray & the Performance

It Wasn’t Me Lou Reed & John Cale
“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.” —Andy Warhol

Are You Holding? William S. Burroughs
Is it maybe time to watch Drugstore Cowboy again? It’s been a while.

Poison Pen Bauhaus
Basically a rewrite of “Waiting for the Man,” which Bauhaus also did — though, to be honest, not especially well.

Sister Morphine Rolling Stones
“Mick Jagger wrote the music in Rome in 1968. Marianne Faithfull wrote the lyrics, but The Stones did not give her an official songwriting credit until they released it on their 1998 live album No Security…. Ry Cooder played the bottleneck guitar on this track. He was filling in for the drug-addled Brian Jones, who died before this song was released, but after it was written. This was the only song on Sticky Fingers that Mick Taylor, who replaced Jones, didn’t play on.” —Songfacts.com

To Parter Butthole Surfers
Every so often, in a quiet moment, I remember that at one point — before the Butthole Surfers’ name stuck — Gibby, Paul, and co. were calling themselves “The Inalienable Right to Eat Fred Astaire’s Asshole.” And I giggle to myself.

Clear Spot Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band
In the space of just over a year, Ted Templeman produced Clear Spot, Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey and St. Dominic’s Preview, two Doobie Brothers albums, and Little Feat’s Sailin’ Shoes. Which is… something.

Long Live the New Flesh Bianca O’Blivion & Max Renn

Big Brother/Chant of the Ever-Circling Skeletal Family David Bowie
“Given the portentous menace of the finished track, replete with space-age synthesizers and distorted saxophones, ‘Big Brother’ betrays a surprisingly mixed parentage. On the one hand the lyric recalls earlier Bowie tracts — the opening phrase about ‘dust and roses’ echoes the ‘dead roses’ of ‘Aladdin Sane,’ while the soft falsetto section and the ‘glass asylum with just a hint of mayhem’ both revisit ‘All the Madmen’ — but on the other hand the chording and lyrics of the chorus are inescapably reminiscent of of the Bonzo Dog Band’s burlesque 1969 entreaty to ‘follow Mr. Apollo’ (Diamond Dogs drummer Aynsley Dunbar had played with the Bonzos in 1969, but this is probably just coincidence).” —Nicholas Pegg, The Complete David Bowie

I’m Set Free Velvet Underground
“That particular song always resonated with me but it took about 25 years before I thought about the lyrics. ‘I’m set free, to find a new illusion.’ Wow. That’s saying we don’t go from an illusion to reality (the western idea of ‘Finding The Truth’) but rather we go from one workable solution to another more workable solution. Subsequently I think we aren’t able and actually don’t particularly care about the truth, whatever that might be. What we care about is having intellectual tools and inventions that work. [Yuval Noah Harari in his book Sapiens] discusses that what makes large-scale human societies capable of cohering and co-operating is the stories they share together. Democracy is a story, religion is a story, money is a story. This chimed well with ‘I’m set free to find a new illusion.’ It seems to me what we don’t need now is people that come out waving their hands and claiming they know the Right Way.” —Brian Eno

We Now Return Control The Voice of Control
“Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem.” —Trillian

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