Sunday, December 15, 2013


Music is as much a part of the holidays as Christmas elves, Christmas ales and Christmas presents. Make sure your playlist isn't a white elephant by cooking this baker's dozen of records into your mix.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Vince Guaraldi Trio

Every holiday playlist begins here. It would be like having a tree without lights to not include A Charlie Brown Christmas on your seasonal soundtrack.

From the opening keys of O Tannenbaum to the Green Sleeves finale, Vince Guaraldi (piano), Monty Budwig (bass) and Colin Bailey (drums) wrapped up THE classic Christmas record in 1965 for an annual television special that's just as essential.

It's nearly impossible to pick a favorite. Mine include Linus and Lucy, Christmas Time Is Here (vocal) and Hark, The Herald Angels Sing.

Feel free to do the Snoopy dance early and often no matter what the holiday.

Horny Holidays!

Horny Holidays

Mojo Nixon & the Toadliquors

While A Charlie Brown Christmas ranks as the all-time family classic, there is no better late-night adult listening than Mojo Nixon & the Toadliquors' Horny Holidays!.

It's rude, nude, juvenile and a rockabilly blizzard that often borders on sacrilegious. It's also impossible to sing the original lyrics after hearing the Mojo version.

For instance, "We three kings of Orient are/drinking whiskey in a nude bar."

Hit the egg nog as hard as you can and make your holidays Toadliquor horny.

Hipsters' Holiday Vocal Jazz & R&B Classics

Hipsters' Holiday: Vocal Jazz & R&B Classics

Various Artists

If you only get one multi-artist Christmas compilation, it's hard to top this one. But, break out your furs, because this 1989 Rhino Records bash is for the heppest cats only.

There's Louis Armstrong on Cool Yule; 'Zat You, Santa Claus; and Christmas Night In Harlem; Miles Davis on the cynical Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern); Lena Horne on Jingle All The Way; and Lionel Hampton on Merry Christmas Baby.

While Eartha Kitt purrs through the classic version of Santa Baby, Pearl Bailey tops the wish list with her Five Pound Box Of Money.

The Tim Fuller Experience transforms Silent Night into a cheesy night club number without pandering into parody.

Hipsters' Holiday is your invitation to the coolest Christmas party ever. It makes for quite a night, but not a quiet one.

Christmas with Johnny Cash

Christmas with Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

If you're worried about the state of your soul after listening to Mojo Nixon, follow it up with the voice I've always believed that God sounds like - Johnny Cash.

The Man in Black blends his heavenly vocals into a collection of traditional treasures including Hark The Herald Angels Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful, Away In A Manager, Joy To The World and Silent Night.

Lesser known lights include I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day, The Gifts They Gave and Merry Christmas Mary.

The Christmas Guest, The Christmas Spirit and Christmas As I Knew It are the season's story songs of story songs.

Elvis Sing The Wonderful World of Christmas

Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas

Elvis Presley

It wouldn't be Christmas without The King.

Given his gospel background, Elvis is as equally sincere on the religious numbers as he is on the rockers.

There are plenty of Elvis Christmas collections available, and the crown jewels of this one are I'll Be Home On Christmas Day, If I Get Home On Christmas Day, and the extended version of Merry Christmas Baby.

The girly shrieks on the live version of Blue Christmas from his 1968 television special also make it among the best early presents you'll ever hear.

Christmas In The Heart

Christmas In The Heart

Bob Dylan

How would you like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island ... with Bob Dylan?

This 2009 release may be the most surprising one to ever hit the holiday record bins.

With proceeds benefiting multiple world hunger organizations, perhaps the most accomplished songwriter of all time takes on 15 Christmas classics.

Regardless of whether it's a religious standard such as Hark The Herald Angels Sing or a playful Winter Wonderland, Dylan croaks through them all in his late-career voice and, somehow, it works.

The most astonishing moments are the opening Here Comes Santa Claus, the Cajun-flavored Must Be Santa and the tropical Christmas Island, if for no other reason than you can't believe it's Bob Dylan singing these songs.

Santa's Got A Brand New Bag

Santa's Got A Brand New Bag

James Brown

James Brown has a Christmas list for Santa and it's not filled with frivolous requests.

He delivers this 16-song card with a message that's not always an easy one to hear. He's appreciative for all his fans have done for him, but he wants the love spread to everyone.

When he opens with Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto, he means it.

Santa's Got A Brand New Bag comes with all the funk/blues trimmings you would expect, and it's a reminder that the soul of Christmas doesn't come from a department store.

Take heed to the Godfather of Soul, "Let's make this Christmas mean something this year."

Blue Yule

Blue Yule

Various Artists

Break out the guitars, harmonicas and pianos for this smorgasbord of both kinds of blues: those that make you feel better and those that make everyone else feel worse.

This aural shopping bag includes legends such as Louis Jordan (Santa Claus, Santa Claus), John Lee Hooker (Blues For Christmas) and Lightening Hopkins (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year).

Sonny Boy Williamson delivers the one of the best of the 18 songs with Santa Claus in which he pulls out all of his baby's dresser drawers in search of his presents.

Some Christmases are happy. Some are sad. These blues go with either.

Little Steven's Underground Garage
Presents Christmas A Go Go


Little Steven's Underground Garage Presents Christmas A Go Go

Various Artists

Keith Richards' cover of Run Rudolph Run makes this worth searching out no matter what else is on it.

But, this is a Little Steven production, which means plenty of psychedelia from the Underground Garage with loads of guitar ribbons, girl group bows and stocking stuffer surprises - including Bob Seger's Sock It To Me Santa, Darlene Love with the E Street Band on All Alone On Christmas and Soupy Sales' Santa Claus Is Surfin' To Town.

There's also blues, hot rods, British sounding Santas, and even one from Joe Pesci (the hilarious If It Doesn't Snow On Christmas).

By all means, dig this Christmas A Go Go.

'Tis The Season For Los Straitjackets

'Tis The Season For Los Straitjackets!

Los Straitjackets

Los Straitjackets prove once again that nearly any song can be ridden onto a wave of surf guitars and that sometimes Santa wears a Mexican wrestling mask.

This 13-song instrumental collection from 2002 includes Here Comes Santa Claus, Jingle Bell Rock, Frosty The Snowman and, of course, Feliz Navidad.

Los Straitjackets put another present under the tree in 2009 with Yuletide Beat.

Cowabunga Christmas time!

We Three Kings
Christmas Favorites


We Three Kings Christmas Favorites

Rev. Horton Heat

When the Rev (Jim Heath) decided to make a Christmas album, he debated playing it straight with his own brand of guitar chaser or twisting the tunes for adult ears only.

Ultimately, Rev. Horton Heat rode the former route to holiday royalty on this 2005 release. The trio rips through 13 familiar favorites with plenty of psychobilly solos.

The shiniest ornaments are Frosty The Snowman, Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and Run Rudolph Run.

Billboard Rock 'n' Roll Christmas

Billboard Rock 'n' Roll Christmas

Various Artists

Cheech & Chong's Santa Claus And His Old Lady is the stoner Christmas classic and reason enough to have this compilation.

"A little for Santa, a little for the reindeers, a little more for Santa."

Queen, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, The Beach Boys and the Dave Edmunds Band also add to the rock 'n' roll revelry.

Billy Squier, Weid Al Yankovic, Foghat, Canned Heat, and The Kink's Father Christmas tie the bow on the collection.

Sprinkle this magic dust liberally.

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

Shelby Lynne

I readily admit to having a crush on Shelby Lynne and her work after 1999's I Am Shelby Lynne.

I've purchased everything she's put out since and, while nothing has topped I Am Shelby Lynne, she's never disappointed. Willie Nelson loves her too. She's a staple almost anytime he does one of his multi-artist projects.

Her Christmas collection is mostly acoustic, Southern drawl sultry and undeniably sexy in a subtle way.

"I'll bring the nog/You put on the log/It's a Christmas party."

What time and where? I am so there; because, you are so right, "Ain't nothin' like Christmas."

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Boy Crazy
Lydia Loveless is the little girl with the big voice.

She's the 20-something cowpunk princess from Coschocton who could become queen with her toxic tales of liquid and personal debauchery.

The critical legend that began with her 2011 debut on Bloodshot Records  - Indestructible Machine - grows with the new EP, Boy Crazy. Both were preceded by 2010's The Only Man.

Comparisons to the Furnace Room Lullaby twang of Neko Case are fair, but she never went Lydia-level wild.

Boy Crazy is five songs of bad love, longing, heartbreak and one psycho Lover's Spat.

All I Know is the long-distance affair that can't be satisfied and All The Time is the break-up that still maddeningly aches. The aquatic erotica of The Water makes it one of the sexiest odes to a former lover you'll ever hear.

The title track, meanwhile, trips on lust for an older man: "I know the situation's shady, but they used to say I was just boy crazy."

Nonetheless, all pale beside Lover's Spat, which Loveless wrote for the Dead Girlfriends (her sister's band) and in the liner notes thanks them for "letting me take it."

There hasn't been a one-nighter go this wrong since She's Insane by the Favors. But instead hiding in the bathroom, he's "running around naked by the side of the road."

Loveless purrs, "When the cops get called you can hide in the closet or behind my back/Oh, why don't they understand it's just a lover's spat?"

This time out the band includes guitarist Todd May, drummer Nick German (replacing her father Parker Chandler), guitarist Jay Gasper and bassist Ben Lamb - Loveless' husband and formerly of the X-Rated Cowboys. The cover art is by Columbus' former king of the Sovines, Bob Ray Starker.

It all adds up to an irresistible tease before a planned full-length release entitled Somewhere Else in February 2014.

If this EP is any indication of what's coming, it'll be another reason to go Lydia Loveless crazy.


To All The Girls ...
For his second release of 2013, all the honeys make Willie Nelson and Trigger sound that much sweeter on To All The Girls ... a collection of country, crooners and gospel with a nod to his 1984 hit with Julio Iglesias.

Like his earlier effort this year, Let's Face The Music And Dance, the now 80-year-old Willie stays mostly mellow on this 18-song set of variety show duets that occasionally edges towards over-orchestrated.

His partners range from Rosanne Cash to Alison Krauss to Emmylou Harris, as well as less famous singers such as Melonie Cannon, Lily Meola and Tina Rose.

Some of the songs - Dolly Parton on From Here To The Moon And Back and Sheryl Crow on Far Away Places - are most notable for their understated co-starring performances.

The brightest highlights come from Miranda Lambert on She Was No Good For Me, Wynonna Judd on Bloody Mary Morning, Loretta Lynn on Somewhere Between, Mavis Staples on Grandma's Hands, and Shelby Lynne on Till The End Of The World.

Earlier this year, Lambert also claimed one of the top spot collaborations on the title track of John Fogerty's Wrote A Song For Everyone revisit to some of his most treasured works.

On To All The Girls ..., Nelson and his daughter Paula combine for a quietly haunting version of Fogerty's Have You Ever Seen The Rain.

Others appearing on the set include The Secret Sisters, Carrie Underwood, Norah Jones and Brandi Carlile.

Given the endearing campiness of the original and Nelson's universal belovedness, this record is begging for a return by Iglesias and an all-star choir update of their hit by the all girls called To All The Willies We Loved Before

Friday, November 29, 2013


To get from Columbus, Ohio, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, you head north on High Street with a simmering hate until it burns into a full blown fury three hours later.

It's a tradition of derision handed down from generation to generation for more than 100 years.

The Dead Schembechlers are (L to R) bassist Bo Vicious, drummer
Bo Scabies, vocalist Bo Biafra and guitarist Bo Thunders.
It's been going on longer than the World Series. Its bad blood boils at temperatures only imagined by the Hatfields and McCoys, the Yankees and the Red Sox, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

This is Ohio State vs. Michigan.

This is The Game.

Its fans become foul-mouthed and mean-spirited while spewing vitriolic lore they will retell until the end of time.

Wolverine Destroyer
The Dead Schembechlers wear their Block O hats of hate with pride.

They are the "Best Damn Punk Band in the Land."

They are the scarlet and gray defenders of all things Buckeye and Woody Hayes.

Their 2005 debut, Wolverine Destroyer and its 200H8 follow-up, Rodriguez To Ruin, are mostly punk songs you know with new lyrics you'll quickly understand.

The characters are real. You've seen them, loved them and loathed them. You've laughed at their follies and cried for the injustice of those victimized by the International Wolverine Conspiracy.

Rodriguez To Ruin
"We swore in blood on a stormy night to keep Ohio from the grasp of the evil Michiganites," the Dead Schembechlers declared on their self-titled theme song.

The Buckeye victories and heroes (Savior Woody, Ted Ginn, Mike Nugent) are toasted loudly. The Michigan shortfalls and goats (Mike Lantry, Rich Rodriguez, Chad Henne) are ridiculed even more raucously.

Many of the lyrics are not for the feint of heart. The Dead Schembechlers melodically drop the "F-bomb" as often as the Wolverines do passes.

Their most famous Hate Michigan Rally came on the day their ironic namesake, Woody's hated rival and best friend, Bo Schembechler, died in 2006, just before a No.1 vs. No.2 match-up in Ohio Stadium.

What began as a sold-out homage to The Game became twisted national news as a press conference was called to discuss whether or not a concert by the Dead Schembechlers should go on in light of the death of The Schembechler.

A "God Bless Bo" message was put on the Newport Music Hall marquee and, just as the 42-39 Ohio State victory lived up to the hype on Saturday, so did the concert the night before.

There was a touching toast to Bo before Watershed (three of the four Dead Schembechlers) opened for themselves as their Columbus rock war horse alter egos. Then, 1,800+ reveled in a blaze of scarlet lights with the Schembechlers in our bile for all things maize, blue and with an "M" for "Moron" on their hats.

The fallout from the concert and the game that followed will live in the Buckeye/Wolverine legend forever:

*After much debate over whether or not the teams should play in a rematch for the national championship, USC mauls Michigan in the Rose Bowl 32-18. Seven days later, Ohio State is obliterated 41-14 by a Florida team coached by previous OSU assistant and future head coach Urban Meyer.

*The following season, Ohio State heads back to the national championship game to lose to LSU 38-24, as the plot for SEC World Domination takes further hold.

Three Chords And A Cloud of Dust II
*In 2007, Watershed releases Three Chords And A Cloud Of Dust II from their performance at the Hate Rally the year before. The tour to support the record is the jumping off point for the 2012 memoir by bassist Joe Oestreich, the incredible Hitless Wonder: A Life In Minor League Rock And Roll. In one of its few disappointments, there are no mentions of the Dead Schembechlers or the band's escapades as Buckeye super heroes.

*Also in 2007, HBO produces the documentary Michigan vs. Ohio State: The Rivalry, an in-depth view into the history of The Game. The 2006 Hate Rally footage and commentary from Bo Biafra are among its many highlights. It remains a multiple must-view every football season no matter which colors you sport.

*Michigan coach Lloyd Carr retires after the 2007 season and a 14-3 loss to Ohio State in Ann Arbor. He is replaced by Rich "Weasel" Rodriguez, who is three and out as the Michigan head man and 0-3 against the Buckeyes.

*In the International Wolverine Conspiracy's greatest victory, two of Ohio State's greatest Wolverine Destroyers - Jim Tressel and Terrell Pryor - are taken down in "Tattoo Gate." Tressel is forced to resign with a 9-1 record against Michigan and Pryor's senior season is sacrificed in the self-inflicted fallout. He leaves with a 3-0 tally in The Game.

*Before the 2011 season, Brady Hoke takes over the Wolverines, while Buckeye native son Luke Fickell does his best to steer the scarlet and gray in a one-year appointment. Michigan wins The Game 40-34 in Ann Arbor.

*The 2008 and 2010 editions of the Hate Rally are just as spirited, though held in smaller venues with slightly sloppier performances. In further evidence that the International Wolverine Conspiracy exists, the 2012 event was announced, then mysteriously cancelled. According to the Dead Schembechlers web site, Bo Biafra remains kidnapped and held at Camp GitMoeller for "Re-Education Through Wolverine Labor." Perhaps, no future indeed.

In 2012, Meyer returned to his Ohio roots with rock star credentials as the new Ohio State coach. At the time of this writing, his teams have yet to lose a game and stand at 23-0, including a 26-21 win over the Team Up North.

The wounded Wolverines are a woeful 15-9 in the same period and Hoke's hot seat is smoking. They are showing highlights of the 1969 upset of Ohio State in Ann Arbor for inspiration, as the point spread grows to 16 points in favor of the Buckeyes for Saturday's pending entry into the record books.

Even so, beware the International Wolverine Conspiracy in these strange times. A game against Michigan State is coming next week in the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis and the Buckeyes could go 26-0 and not even play for a national title in that time frame. But, that's another story.

And, no matter what the records, The Game is the always the one that matters the most.

As Bo Biafra says, "When Wolverines surround you/Charge both ways just for luck/Cause it's not the size of the Buck in the fight/It's the size of the fight in the Buck."

A Dead Schembechlers Playlist for the "Family Tailgate"

While the Dead Schembechlers throw the F-Bomb and dirty Michigan jokes with deft accuracy, they also can be enjoyed at the family tailgate with this as your playlist from Wolverine Destroyer and Rodriguez To Ruin:

Dead Schembechlers
Bomb Ann Arbor Now
Bo For 24
I Peed In Ann Arbor's Water Supply
Tedd Ginn Did Everything
M Means Moron
I Don't Want To Go Up To Ann Arbor
Stukas Over 23
Good Gave Nugent's Toe To You
Schembechler Kicked My Crippled Dog
Wide Left: The Ballad Of Mike Lantry
Dead Schembechlers (Reprise)
Rodriguez I A Weasel
You Lost To Appalachian State
I'm So Bored With The SEC
Buckeye Surfer Girl
We Don't Give A Damn For The Whole State of Michigan
The Ann Arbor Chainsaw Massacre Christmas Song

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


There may not be another artist whose songs and performances have been more packaged and repackaged than Johnny Cash.

But, when it's a collection like LIFE UNHEARD, that's not a bad thing.

A companion piece to the new LIFE UNSEEN: Johnny Cash - An Illustrated Biography, this 12-song CD includes two unreleased songs and six live performances among its audio booty. All of the previously available material is spread among the Legacy Recordings' Bootleg Series offerings.

As with any new compilation, it's only a duplicate if you've purchased the pieces before. Part of the overwhelming appeal of the LIFE UNHEARD collection is the history that's included.

The sound quality of the opening Big River is a little muddy, but it's Johnny Cash.

In Vietnam.

In 1969 at a club.

And, there's a June Carter Cash introduction to open the song.

I Walk The Line comes from the 1964 Newport Folk Festival, while What Is Truth and the always uplifting Daddy Sang Bass - arguably the centerpieces of LIFE UNHEARD - were recorded at a 1970 White House performance for then President Richard Nixon.

What Is Truth speaks of the perpetual rift between the younger generation and the one before it, no matter which eras they come from.

"The old man turned off the radio
Said, 'Where did all of the old songs go?
Kids sure play funny music these days.
They play it in the strangest ways.'
Said, 'It looks to me like they've all gone wild.
It was peaceful back when I was a child.'
Well, man, could it be that the girls and boys
Are trying to be heard above your noise?
And the lonely voice of youth cries 'What is truth?'"

The other live cuts include Give My Love To Rose and (Ghost) Riders In The Sky.

The two newly released efforts are Ben Dewberry's Final Run about a fatal train crash and the happily upbeat Movin' Up.

Restless Kid, Life's Railway To Heaven, It Takes One To Know One and Truth round out the UNHEARD dozen.

No matter how much Cash you have, you need to bank this one too.


"Life and death. The change to rearrange you. Life and death."
Joan Jett on Unvarnished

The leather has turned blood red and the lyrical tone tuned decidedly more serious, but the growl and the guitars remain pure Blackheart on Joan Jett's Unvarnished.

It shows a more personal side of the 55-year-old trailblazing survivor of nearly four decades in the rock 'n' roll circus that began with her stint in The Runaways.

For Jett's first studio release since 2006's Sinner, she writes or co-writes nine of the 10 songs. Dave Grohl collaborates and plays "100 different instruments" on Any Weather (606 Version). Nearly all of the cuts are filled with messages and questions about mortality, loyalty, lost love and the future price of past indiscretions.

On Unvarnished's centerpiece, Hard To Grow Up, Jett laments:

"I wake up feeling crazy
Keep losing people, just lost my mom
So difficult to fathom that they're gone

I could go out and party
But nothing kills my pain
So helpless and there's no one I can blame"

Fortunately, not all life reflection has to be quiet or acoustic.

Like Social Distortion on its last two releases - Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes and Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll - Jett and the Blackhearts face their demons and death with axes in hand and the amps turned up to 11.

They also take chops at social media narcissism on TMI and the demeaning absurdity of the Reality Mentality. The collection closes on the weary but hopeful notes of Different and Everybody Needs A Hero.

Rock 'n' roll needs heroes like Jett just as much and Unvarnished shines as further proof that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame should find a landing strip for her soon.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Buckeye pride ran wild at the inaugural, sold-out Ohio State Four-Miler on November 10.

More than 9,400 runners - including several former Buckeye football and basketball players - started outside Ohio Stadium with a goal to "Finish On The 50" on a blustery Sunday morning. I finished just behind linebacker great Bobby Carpenter.

The course wound throughout The Ohio State University campus and never felt crowded despite the narrowness of some of the streets and the high number of participants.

The touchdown came when entering the stadium, running down the field and turning to the finish for a view of each runner on the giant South Stands scoreboard screen.

The Ohio Stadium medal will be hard to
top, especially for the scores of running
Buckeyes in the inaugural edition of
the Ohio State Four-Miler race.

Only my second run since the October 20 Columbus Marathon, it was an invigorating jaunt and a certain tradition in the making for an OSU alum like myself.

The 10 a.m. start made for a more leisurely morning than most race days and the single water stop around the halfway mark ran smoothly for all.

Given the inclusiveness of the distance and the Buckeye ties, look for M3S Sports to grow this to 15,000 or more participants in the very near future.

My Ohio State Four-Miler Running Statistics:

0.43 Mile Warm-up in 4:27
Mile 1: 8:16
Mile 2: 8:42
Mile 3: 9:07
Mile 4: 8:44
Total/Average Mile Pace: 34:51/8:43 per mile
1849/9409 Overall Place
1209/3832 Men's Division
134/655 50 & Over Men's Age Group

*My Ohio State Four-Miler Race Day Soundtrack:

1. We're All Gonna Die Someday by Kasey Chambers from The Captain
2. Super 8 by Jason Isbell from Southeastern
3. Carl Perkins' Cadillac by Drive-By Truckers from The Dirty South
4. Box Full Of Letters by Wilco from A.M.
5. Silver Threads And Golden Needles by Linda Ronstadt from The Best Of Linda Ronstadt -The Capitol Years Disc I
6. Lungs by Lyle Lovett from Step Inside This House Disc I
7. Flyin' Shoes by Lyle Lovett from Step Inside This House Disc II
8. Marry Me by Drive-By Truckers from Decoration Day
9. Girl Of The North Country by Johnny Cash with Joni Mitchell from The Best Of The Johnny Cash TV Show: 1969-1971
10. Jagged by Old 97's from Fight Songs

*Pulled from 2013 Columbus Marathon Soundtrack on iPod shuffle.


Feels Like Home
Sheryl Crow has flown an arrangement away from a commercial country sound throughout the two decades since the release of her multi-platinum debut, Tuesday Night Music Club.

On Feels Like Home, Crow wings right into the country landscape as though she's sliding on a favorite pair of old boots.

Throughout her eighth studio album, Crow bursts with the same sexy sunshine that has shone so brightly during her career and turns up the twang just enough to mine country chart gold without sounding like she's playing a temporary part.

In the  liner notes, she gives "MAJOR THANKS to Brad Paisley for his belief in me and for being a tried and true friend." Paisley co-writes one song and plays slide guitar on another. Additional Nashville star lights come from Zac Brown, Ashley Monroe, Vince Gill and "Mellow Mafia" member Dan Dugmore.

We Oughta Be Drinkin' references Willie Nelson's Whiskey River and staying at home to "roll a big fat one and watchin' Nashville alone" before giving into "that heavenly neon light" in a thematic update to her first hit and ode to day drinking - All I Wanna Do.

Shotgun recalls Steve McQueen, and there's plenty of bad love too strong to resist on Give It To Me, Callin' Me When I'm Lonely and Nobody's Business.

The first single, Easy, charts a staycation of beer, tequila and margaritas. Then, "we'll put on bug spray and we'll lose our clothes."

The Paisley collaboration - Waterproof Mascara - is the first of two single mom dramas that also includes the closing Stay At Home Mother. Her product endorsement is: "Thank God they make waterproof mascara/'Cause it won't run like this daddy did."

Crow calls Nashville home and don't be surprised if more of her future sounds continue to be classified as country, even if they sound like they were made in the same neighborhood as before.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


My 2013 Columbus Marathon time wasn't as fast
as hoped, but my soundtrack never let me down.
The crowd, staff and volunteers didn't either.
I made it to Boston after hitting Mile 18, just beyond the trip around and through Ohio Stadium.

More correctly, Mile 18 made 765 miles of running - the distance from Columbus to Boston - since this marathon training journey began on April 4.

This was my 14th marathon overall and my "Lucky 13" for Columbus, which sometimes it was and sometimes not so much.

Running a marathon is almost always a satisfying pursuit. Some days you race the course; some days you just finish it.

This Columbus Marathon was the latter. But, my music never let me down and neither did the crowds, staff or the volunteers.

The streets of Columbus were filled with more well-wishers than I've ever seen and most of the route was packed, save for a few remote areas around the Ohio State campus. My favorite signs were "Smile If You Peed A Little" and "You're Running Better Than The Government."

The Nationwide Children's Hospital Miracle Mile Patients who appeared on the course in person and on posters were an inspiration throughout, especially during the tough stretches. This year's marathon raised more than $1.25 million for the hospital.

Every marathon is a celebration day, especially if
the soundtrack includes this live version of
 Led Zeppelin's Since I've Been Loving You.
The Columbus Marathon volunteers manned the fluid and nutrition stops to near perfection, which isn't an easy feat, and never more appreciated than after being in a race when they aren't.

My luck went "13" early when I stepped on a stray safety cone that drifted into Broad Street a little more than a mile into the race. I didn't go down, but immediately felt the familiar pain of an ankle sprain and saw 747 miles of training flash before my eyes in an instant.

I kept moving and logged my fastest miles through the first half of the race wondering if the discomfort would get worse. The pain never did, but my ankle was predictably swollen afterwards.

By mile 14, I realized my goal of breaking into the 3:40's in Columbus probably wasn't going to happen this year, but collecting another sub-4:00 finish was still well within in reach.

Around Mile 19, when the 4:00 pace group blasted by, those aspirations adjusted also to "enjoy the day, enjoy the crowd and enjoy the music." I consoled myself that the extra minutes meant more songs I would have missed on an otherwise glorious day.

The other "13" luck came as the miles progressed and the readings on my Nike+ watch grew less and less in sync with the official course miles. You can only laugh when you're late-marathon achy, the watch says you just made it through another mile and the corresponding course marker is nowhere in sight.

When the finish came into sight, Lucinda Williams' Changed The Locks played on my iPod. This year might have kept the locks on a "3:4Anything" but I'll be back. I just need to speed up the tracks underneath my training.

Song For The Soundtrack:
A Song For Leonard Cohen

My 2013 Columbus Marathon Race Day Soundtrack Pulled from the Pool by the iPod Shuffle

*The "most magical marathon" songs are marked in bold.

Aaron Neville, Ruby Baby
Amanda Shires, A Song For Leonard Cohen
Ashley Monroe, Weed Instead Of Roses
Boston, More Than A Feeling
Bruce Springsteen, The Rising
Court Yard Hounds, Then Again
Court Yard Hounds, The Road You Take
The Cramps, Sheena's In A Goth Gang
David Bowie, (You Will) Set The World On Fire
Dead Shembechlers, Bomb Ann Arbor Now
Song For The Soundtrack:
Rocket Queen
Don Henley, Heart Of The Matter
Drive-By Truckers, Marry Me
Drive-By Truckers, Let There Be Rock
Dusty Springfield, Just A Little Lovin'
The Fleshtones, Ghoulman Confidential
Fleetwood Mac, Gold Dust Woman
Guns N' Roses, Rocket Queen
Iggy & The Stooges, Beat That Guy
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Outfit
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Soldiers Get Strange
Jeff Bridges, Maybe I Missed The Point
Jerry Lee Lewis, Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
Joan Jett, Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah!)
John Fogerty, Lookin' Out My Back Door
Kasey Chambers, We're All Gonna Die Someday
Keith Richards & The X-Pensive Winos, Gimme Shelter
Song For The Soundtrack:
The Weight
Kris Kristofferson, Ramblin' Jack
Led Zeppelin, Since I've Been Loving You (Live)
Leonard Cohen, Darkness
Linda Ronstadt, I Ain't Always Been Faithful
Linda Ronstadt, Silver Threads And Golden Needles
Liz Phair, Never Said
Love For Levon All-Star Band, The Weight
Lucinda Williams, Changed The Locks
Mojo Nixon, You Can't Kill Me
Motorhead, Ace Of Spaces
Motorhead, Born To Raise Hell
Motorhead, Metropolis
Neil Young And Crazy Horse, Tom Dula
Old 97's, 19 (Live)
Public Enemy, He Got Game
Song For The Soundtrack:
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Ramones, Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
The Replacements, Customer
The Replacements, Give Me Noise
Rolling Stones, Dancing In The Light
Rolling Stones, Happy
Rolling Stones, Jumpin' Jack Flash
Ryan Bingham, Guess Who's Knockin'
Shelby Lynne, Breakfast In Bed
Sheryl Crow, We Oughta Be Drinkin'
Shooter Jennings, Manifesto No.1
Social Distortion, California (Hustle And Flow)
Steve Earle, Amerika V. 6.0 (The Best We Can Do)
Th' Flyin' Saucers, She's Evil
The Stooges, Free & Freaky
Song For The Soundtrack:
Guess Who's Knocking
Talking Heads, Crosseyed And Painless
Ted Nugent, Stranglehold
Thee Invaders, I Wanna Eat Your Brain
Uncle Tupelo, Whiskey Bottle
Warren Zevon, The Hula Hula Boys
White Stripes, Jolene (Live)
Wilco, Box Full Of Letters
Willie Nelson & Family, Matchbox
Willie Nelson, The Harder They Come
X-Rated Cowboys, $100 Guitar
X-Rated Cowboys, End Of The World

The Miles According to the Official Columbus Marathon Timing

10K: 54:22
13.1 Miles: 1:56:03
28K: 2:36:09
20 Miles: 3:06:54
26.2 Miles: 4:17:59
Average Pace Per Mile: 9:51

The Miles According to My Nike+ Watch

Total Time: 4:18:00
Total Distance: 26.48 Miles
Average Pace Per Mile: 9:44 

Mile 1: 8:53
Mile 2: 8:33
Mile 3: 8:43
Mile 4: 8:36
Mile 5: 8:44
Mile 6: 8:37
Mile 7: 9:07
Mile 8: 8:45
Mile 9: 8:39
Mile 10: 8:51
Mile 11: 8:57
Mile 12: 8:50
Mile 13: 8:55
Mile 14: 9:01
Mile 15: 9:12
Mile 16: 9:39
Mile 17: 9:56
Mile 18: 10:36
Mile 19: 10:28
Mile 20: 11:24
Mile 21: 11:21
Mile 22: 11:04
Mile 23: 11:09
Mile 24: 11:44
Mile 25: 11:46
Mile 26: 11:37
"Mile 26.48": 4:42