Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sad songs, angsty albums, and a twilight tune

Yesterday, I promised to give my current playlist of melancholy songs, but perhaps I promised too much. My playlist is ever-evolving, my purposes changing. While I wanted to listen to depressing music this weekend, when the weather was cold, today with temperatures finally promised to hit above freezing for the first time in weeks, I find myself wanting to venture outside and to listen to something more uplifting.

Oh, well, for the next miserable or cold day, here's the playlist I was able to compile since the weekend (in no particular order, or in any order of preference). If you're wondering about inclusions, see the criteria I listed yesterday.
  • River - Joni Mitchell (Blue album)
  • Clouds - Joni Mitchell (orchestral version)
  • Amelia - Joni Mitchell (orchestral version)
  • One - U2
  • Taxi - Harry Chapin
  • How Soon Is Now - The Smiths* (video at:
  • Handbags and Gladrags - Rod Stewart
  • Dancing Barefoot - Patti Smith
  • Creep - Radiohead
  • Gethsemane - Richard Thompson
  • I Still Dream - Richard Thompson
  • Blood And Roses - Smithereens
  • John Barleycorn - Traffic
  • Somewhere in America There's a Street Named After My Dad - Was Not Was
  • All Of This And Nothing - Psychedelic Furs
  • Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd

Favorite moody/melancholy albums from my past:

Wave - Patti Smith
Low - David Bowie/Brian Eno
Joshua Tree - U2
Shoot Out the Lights - Richard and Linda Thompson

And the exhilarating/depressing video I mentioned yesterday? Johnny Cash performing "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails. It's a stunning marriage of music and imagery, and particularly poignant since Cash knows he's near the end of his life when he made it. It's heart-wrenching to hear him sing about his "empire of dirt" since he's sitting in his house amid memories and accolades. But it's also exhilarating, for me, because it offers a summary of a creative life that few people get to leave behind. And I'm not even, usually, a Johnny Cash fan.

It's on YouTube now at: - but if it's not there in the future, you should be able to find it by googling ("Johnny Cash" and hurt video).

[I found this on my own, but it's also listed near the top of Spike TV's 11 most depressing songs of all time.]

No comments: