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You know how it goes. You’ve had a long week, rife with classes and work and other responsibilities, but all you want to do is crack a beer and get some sun. Luckily, your good buddy Karl is here to give you the new edition of Porch Jams, all handpicked from the annals of music to perfectly complement your porch brew experience.
Fan Favorites are picked from the top comment from the previous edition.
My favorite is based on whichever suggested track I dig the most.
Be sure to leave your own suggestions in the comments for a chance to be
featured on next week’s list. Let’s crank some tunes.
Fan Favorite: Band on the Run, Paul McCartney and Wings
Suggested by hartt. Paul definitely kept his own style rolling well after his days as a Beatle, and most people will point to this tune as one of his finest. The band Wings, not to be confused with the banging sitcom of the same name, is a talented group in their own right. If anyone thought McCartney wasn’t bound to do alright as a frontman, tracks like this prove them dead wrong.
Karl’s Favorite: Cover of the Rolling Stone, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show
Suggested by The Floor Mat. I’m more partial to Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, but these guys are a solid listen too. There was a time when being on the cover of a publication like “The Rolling Stone” meant you were a talented musician and not a mass murderer, but things change. Guess that’s just how life goes.
1. Close But No Guitar, Toby Keith
The final song on Keith’s debut album, back when country singers had soul and great hair. It’s the definition of mellow and has some damn catchy lyrics. When Toby Keith croons it in that deep drawl, it turns into a downright excellent, albeit cookie cutter, type of country tune.
2. American Badass, Kid Rock
The baddest white boy north of the Mason-Dixon brings some serious heat. Combining slick rock stylings with a little bit of rap, Kid Rock perfectly plays off the Motor City’s reputation in a style that’s all his own. Michiganders tend to be obsessed with the Kid, and anyone that packed a little chip on their shoulder in the early 2000s typically feels the same way.
3. Jane Says, Jane’s Addiction
A common suggestion in the comments section and an all-around favorite. It’s not heavy hitting, but it’s textbook alt-rock and a genuinely quality tune. Get a load of the bassline. Definitely worth blasting at high-volume to get your buddies out of bed before noon.
4. Ragged Old Flag, Johnny Cash
It’s technically a poem (by Cash’s own admission), but I’d be remiss to not put this song on the list so close to Independence Day. It’s easily one of the most beautiful works ever exposed to a wide audience, and Cash delivers it perfectly. Capturing a sense of national pride, community ties, and the memories of generations. Best listened to in a dusty room or while cutting onions.
5. Some Kind of Wonderful, Grand Funk Railroad
Mowing down pedestrians on a moped while jamming to this or Eddie Rabbit was the best part of San Andreas. Even when you’re not committing crimes against humanity, it’s a wonderful listen. It builds upon itself so naturally that you can easily go from a hungover seated position to fully upright and locked. Your legs, not your boners, sickos. Huge hit with the ladies as well.
6. Poppin’ My Collar, Three 6 Mafia and Project Pat
Middle school dances were always awkward until they turned on this jam. Then the people monitoring shit lost all control and things got wild. Shortest DJ gig of my life. It goes without saying that Three 6 is one of the finest groups to come out of Memphis, and the boys from the Dirty South don’t disappoint with this iconic jam.
7. Money for Nothing, Dire Straits
If you’ve never gotten stoned and giggled like a madman at the video, you’re probably a better man than I. That trippy little “I want my MTV” opening sets things up perfectly, and the meat of the song is equal parts angry middle-aged dude and rock icon. I like to think that Mark Knopfler spends his days jamming on a porch, then shaking his fist at the kids who stop to listen.
8. Saturday In The Park, Chicago
This would also be on the upcoming “Ideal Songs for Singing Too Loud at Bars” playlist. Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Chicago deviates from their typically heart-wrenching stuff to show off some musical range. You can’t beat a little trumpet on the porch.
9. Tangled Up In Blue, Bob Dylan
We like to joke about Bobby around here. It’s ok, the guy can afford a little criticism. There’s no denying that he’s a key figure in the history of American music, however, mostly for tunes like this one. Like most of his stuff, it goes on for a while. Unlike songs that do so for having a twenty-minute guitar solo, it’s because Dylan has something to say. Prick up your ears and listen.
10. Fishin’ In The Dark, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (what a fucking name, huh?) absolutely crush this jam. On the surface, it’s just another tune that could be a predictable pop classic. Thanks to expert instrumental skills and impeccable pacing, it transcends falling into that hole. Songs like this are perfectly reflective of the art they reference: Easy to imagine, but difficult to execute. Sex, not fishing. Fishing is just downright challenging.
11. Neck of The Woods, Birdman ft. Lil Wayne
It’s a hot song by a cold dude, made that much better by Weezy’s presence. I recently caught Birdman on an episode of Highly Questionable, and the dude pretty much nails the whole image thing. Cash money, expensive tastes, and a penchant for high stakes on Madden. Even though he’s devolved into a bullshit meme, there’s no denying that the man has a lot to be respected for in terms of music.
12. Counting Flowers on the Wall, Statler Brothers
This is, without doubt, my favorite song about a break-up. That refusal to admit defeat coupled with some downright hysterical lyrics is a surefire way to put things in perspective. Be like the Statler Bros and never back down. It also reminds me of Bruce Willis after he wastes John Travolta (spoilers?), so that’s always a plus.
13. Lodi, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Another hit from Fogerty and the boys. Maybe they’ll fly me down to Louisiana to kick the shit out of me one day. That’d be rad. As for the song, there’s a lot to take in. The signature CCR sound isn’t better exhibited anywhere, from that relentlessly easy-going guitar to the lyrics that roll on like the mighty Mississippi. What a country.
14. I Can See Clearly Now, Jimmy Cliff
Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! You know where that’s going. How great is Cool Runnings? It’s made better with this song, a scorching cover of the Johnny Nash classic. Usually, we go with originals in these parts. This song being a key component of the coolest bobsled movie in history just gives it that little bit of street cred to vault over the first take. “We from Jamaica, we have a bobsled team.” Fuck, that’s gold.
15. Lawyers Guns and Money, Warren Zevon
The Zev man breaks onto the list again with this huge take on the world at large. For an artist that’s so easily forgotten, the guy has a great body of work and a lasting impact on music. I can’t get enough of that downright angry piano opening. Lawyers, guns, and money are also exceptionally F.
Again, don’t forget to leave your suggestions in the comments for a chance to be featured on next week’s list. As always, don’t drink and drive.
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