Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The 885: Essential Music, part 2

WXPN is now in the midst of its annual 885 Countdown, featuring the 885 Essential XPN Songs - the songs that define the station from the perspective or our listeners. None of my choices were played during day one of the 885...but I'm sure some will show up. Here are a few more choices from my personal list that I submitted back in June.

7. B.B. King/Eric Clapton - Riding With the King. XPN is one of the few places you can hear the blues, and for purists, there is no better show than The Blues Show with Jonny Meister. But there is something about this collaboration between blues legend King and rock guitar-god Clapton, as they do a classic John Hiatt tune. I've always loved both Clapton and King, and I love how they work together, with Clapton clearly tipping his hat to one of his heroes. This album also won the Grammy for Best Traditional Blues album in 2001.

6. Bruce Cockburn - If I Had a Rocket Launcher. Cockburn is another artist I discovered while working in college radio in the late 70s/early 80s. This was about the time that he had his first big hit with "Wondering Where the Lions Are." I ended up spending a ton of money to import all of his older vinyl from Canada, and then moved forward with him as he continued to release new albums. This isn't my favorite Cockburn song, but I think it exemplifies much of his career: a catchy pop song with an overtly political message, and curiously was Cockburn's only other hit here in the U.S. The song is from 1984's "Stealing Fire," and I think the video even got played on MTV a bit. I haven't followed Cockburn's music as much in recent years, but his music from the 70s and 80s can still get to me.

5. Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Possess Your Heart. This was a big song for XPN this year and for some reason it has really grabbed me. I've been aware of Death Cab since their inception, but never really got into them. But this song did it for me. I've never been a big fan of overly repetitive songs, and while some may think of this song in that way, I think of it as hauntingly beautiful. Great video, too.

I'll have a few more of my ten Essential XPN Songs tomorrow. But again, don't forget to listen to the countdown on XPN, and feel free to comment here. What's YOUR essential XPN song?

1 comment:

Jeff said...

"Rocket Launcher" is a good snapshot of Cockburn's music with political commentary. If I were going to pick something from from the past 12 to 15 years, "The Charity of Night" exemplifies Cockburn's non-political music. He's a fabulous guitarist, and his playing and songwriting can hit me on multiple levels.

As for Death Cab -- I had never really heard them before "I Will Possess Your Heart." As creepy as the song can be, it is a beautiful, catchy tune that stalks you like the protagonist in the song. It's a great, great song.