I decided to take a page out of Margaret's hard drive and try this 8tracks thing. So, instead of giving you three recommendations like I did last week, here's eight (the three from last week, plus five new ones) neatly packed into a cohesive, fluid playlist.
1) The Band / "Tears of Rage" / Music From Big Pink -- Despite The Band's isolated but massive success with "The Weight," "Tears of Rage" is the song that convinced me to listen to, study, and appreciate The Band or be devoured by my own tragic ignorance.
2) Built to Spill / "You Were Right" / Keep It Like A Secret - Fans of melody, guitar riffs, and something new that results from the interplay of melody and guitar riffs will love Built to Spill, and fans of Built to Spill will love Keep It Like A Secret.
3) Fleetwood Mac / "Dreams" / Rumours - Rumours is a shameless and refreshingly self-aware pop album, and may be one of the best such records ever released.
4) The Mountain Goats / "The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton" / All Hail West Texas - AHWT is the pinnacle of John Darnielle's lo-fi stage, and "The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton," along with "The Fall of the High School Running Back" and "Jeff Davis County Blues" wrings every last drop of superb storytelling from the weathered songwriter ... that is, if you ignore the other outstanding record Darnielle released the same year, Tallahassee.
5) Bruce Springsteen / "Thunder Road" / Born To Run - "Thunder Road" converted me from a Bruce-hater to a tight-lipped, guilty fan. The rest of Born to Run converted me to a disciple.
6) Van Morrison / "And It Stoned Me" / Moondance - I can say with 100 percent confidence that Van is the best pudgy Irish R&B singer I've ever heard (sorry, McLovin).
7) Patsy Cline / "She's Got You" / Universal Masters Collection - This is the most in common I ever thought I'd have with my Nana besides our genes.
8) Bob Dylan & The Hawks / "Like A Rolling Stone" / The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live, 1966: The Royal Albert Hall Concert - As tired as "Like A Rolling Stone" has become over the years to more-than-casual Dylan fans, perspective makes the heart grow fonder when you think about the bog shit he and the pre-Band Hawks had to wade through to play the rock'n'roll they loved. Robbie Robertson said they used to listen to live cuts from the 1966 tour in their hotel room just to make sure they weren't crazy for thinking it sounded incredible. Turns out, they weren't.