The Sunday Funday Playlist – October 9, 2011

1.  Audition – Red Wanting Blue

I was way late jumping on the Red Wanting Blue bandwagon.  These guys have been around for a decade, and I only started listening to them in February after seeing them with Erinn when they opened for Honor By August.  I am completely in love with Scott Terry’s voice and his old-school rock band dedication to making music.  Their new album, From the Vanishing Point, comes out in January, but this is the first single.  I have been singing it for days now.

2.  The Fear – Ben Howard

Brit songster Ben Howard’s new album Every Kingdom was released this week and it’s GORGEOUS.  This song speaks so much truth to me right now it almost breaks my heart. “I’ve been worrying that I’m losing the ones I hold dear; I’ve been worrying that we all live our lives in the confines of fear.” Brilliant writing.  This acoustic version is especially stunning.

3.  State of Love & Trust (Pearl Jam Cover) – Gaslight Anthem

New iTunes Session up for pre-order this week…some of my favorite Jersey boys, Gaslight Anthem.  Bunch of great covers listed, but this one was available to purchase and I’m SO STOKED about it.  This song was my anthem for the summer of 1996, when I was dating Charlie, a Pearl Jam nut who played drums in a cover band.  I spent the entire summer driving back and forth from Chestertown to Annapolis to see him play and I swear, I probably had six different mix tapes with this song on it.  Such memories.  Gaslight does it justice.  Unfortunately, the rock version isn’t available on SoundCloud…but this version, an acoustic version that sounds like it was recorded in someone’s living room after a couple of beers and is complete with them talking about the intricacies of the “guitar part”, is.  And it’s still awesome. Rock on, guys.

4.  Chains of Love – Ryan Adams

On Friday, Ryan’s new album, Ashes & Fire, arrived in my mailbox and although I’ve only had a few spins through it, I’m already well “in like” with the whole record.  Ryan’s one of those artists that is so complex sometimes that it takes me a good few weeks to get through all the layers and figure out what I really love.  That said, I can tell you that this record is way more up my alley than some of the stuff he’s done in the past few years.  Way back to his singer-songwriter style, that I love … So far, this one is my favorite.  But that’s bound to change by next week.

5.  Breaking – Christopher Jak

An exchange of e-mails with one of my favorite songwriters this week has inspired the last track of the Sunday Funday playlist.  See the post before this for me going on (and on and on) about Christopher Jak and his unbelievable talent.  This song is from his Folk EP, which you can download for free right now on Noisetrade.  Just listen to the first freaking line…the man is poet.

Christopher Jak … Free Music, Take 2!

He may run, but he can't hide...Jak is back!

If you’ve never heard me talk about Christopher Jak…well, either you’re a new reader or I don’t like you very much.  In my top five artists OF ALL TIME, Jak is simply one of the best songwriters out there.  Period. The man is just brilliant.

In fact, he wrote my favorite line of any song, ever.  You can find it in his song “Something” … “All I want in life is just a color picture of beauty in a golden frame of mind…” It’s so wonderful.  And his writing is FULL of stuff JUST like this.  He calls some of what he writes “Sad Bastard” music….I call it genius.

These days, he spends more time producing that he does writing and putting out his own music, but occasionally, he surprises me with an e-mail letting me know he’s up to something.  This week, I got a note advising me that he’d put one of the EPs he released last year, The Folk EP, up for free download over at NoiseTrade.  If you don’t have it yet, I highly advise picking it up.

Let me give you some reasons WHY you should be listening to this little 5-song gem.  A) This is what the EP opens with…I swear to God, this is how the man writes…it’s unreal…. “I’m the human wrecking ball and you’re the love grenade, we leave a trail behind us like a suicide parade…”  B) Cover of Neil Young’s “Birds” that will leave you breathless…. C) Acoustic version of Jak’s own song “Begin to Cry” (which is probably his biggest sleeper hit)… D) This line in “Down Below”: “I was a man on fire asking you to dance, but having been burned before, you’re not chances on me…”

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

And…for you fans…rumor is that Jak has booked some studio time.  Perhaps we’ll see new music from CJ in 2012?  A girl can dream….

If you’re a new fan, pick up other Jak music here:  The Leadfoot Lover EP | The New Nostalgia | Applause of the Rain | (And here’s one that not many people know about) Christmas Wouldn’t Be the Same Without You (Breaking My Heart) – with The Heyday