What’s on your Ultimate Playlist?

It’s Me-Me Monday again, and that means I want to hear all about my readers.  Today’s topic is music.  Each of you will be invited, at the end of this post, to share your ultimate playlists with me.  So put on your thinking caps.

When I have time, I love perusing the celebrity playlists at iTunes.  True, a lot of time I hear music I wouldn’t listen to while I cleaned dog poop off the rug.  Sometimes, though, I hear a song that becomes part of my iTunes Top 50 Most Played.

With equal interest, I look at novelists’ playlists.

Covers from the Morganville Vampires series

I’m not prejudiced.  I even look at literary agents’ playlists.  Kristen Nelson, agent and blogger extraordinaire, always has a line at the beginning of her blog saying what’s playing on her iPod or XM radio right now.  If I don’t know the song, I sample it on iTunes.

The following is my ultimate playlist, which includes a short explanation of why I picked each song. The links will either take you to You Tube or iTunes.

Be sure to sample a couple of songs you don’t already know.  Word of mouth–even if it’s online–is how I find 99% of my new music.

Seed of Memory by Terry Reid — This song plays as the credits roll on The Devil’s Rejects.  The song follows an intense death scene, and it just fits.  I’ve found it’s a great cruising song.

Fun Factoid:  Terry Reid was asked to be the lead singer the group that would become Led Zeppelin and turned them down.

Jolene by Ray Lamontagne:  This is one of my favorite performers.  He has a beautiful voice, and his songs have the most haunting lyrics.  In this one it’s

A picture of you holding a picture of me
In the pocket of my blue jeans
Still don’t know what love means

Fun Factoid:  Ray Lamontagne decided to become a singer/songwriter after waking up on morning to Stephen Stills’ “Treetop Flyer” playing on his clock radio.

Plus one:  “Jolene” plays as the credits roll on The Town.

Life without You by Stevie Ray Vaughan — I’m a lifelong fan, and the song I’d want on my ultimate playlist evolves.  Right now, it’s “Life without You” because the music starts with sort of a dreamy quality but builds in strength as the song goes on.  Stevie was truly taken from us too early.

Fun Factoid:  Stevie wrote “Life without You” upon the death of his friend and mentor Charley Wirz, who was the owner of Charley’s Guitar Shop in Dallas, Texas.

Plus one:  Stevie’s tattoo looks sort of like a baby peacock, but Stevie’s intent was for it to be a phoenix rising from the ashes.  He got it in 1973.

Clay Pigeons by Blaze Foley — Blaze Foley is one of those artists who achieved fame after death.  He died a rather tragic death back in the late 1980s.  It’s a shame because he was an excellent songwriter.  This song has served as advice to me during some hard times.

Fun Factoid:  There’s a rumor that Blaze Foley’s body had to be dug up to retrieve a pawn ticket from his suit.  The pawn ticket was for a guitar.

Blue Jeans Blues by ZZ Top — I’m not a real Texan if I don’t love ZZ Top.  Their music is the soundtrack to my life.  The first time I heard this song, I was completely awed because it is such a departure from the rest of their music.

If I had a Boat by Lyle Lovett — This song is so special to me.  I interpret the lyrics as “don’t just dream; dream big…and go for it.”  Whenever I want to quit writing, I listen to this song.  If I don’t dare to dream, and if I don’t push myself to try…well, I’ll never be able to ride my pony on my boat.

Fun factoid:  Lyle Lovett was married to Julie Roberts 1993-1995.

Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana — This was a hard pick.  Nirvana was/is one of my Best of All Time rock bands.  They were ahead of their time in so many ways.  Twenty years later, their music still sounds contemporary and fresh.

Fun Factoid:  The title came from a nickname Courtney Love had given Kurt Cobain.  The original title was “Heart Shaped Coffin.”

Changed the Locks by Lucinda Williams — I’m a huge Lucinda Williams fan.  I chose this song out because it is such an accurate representation of my personality.  Yes, this is stuff I’d really do if it were possible.  When I’m done with somebody, I am done.

Fun Factoid: Tom Petty covered this song.  Sample his version at iTunes here.

Devil May Dance by A. J. Roach — I discovered this wonderful song on the now cancelled United States of Tara.  I started sampling A. J. Roach’s music on iTunes and got really into it.  I think he has a beautiful voice, and he writes these really poignant lyrics.

At the Crossroads by Sir Douglas Quintet — I love this song for a couple of reasons.  Sir Douglas Quintet–which was founded by Doug Sahm–had a great sound.  They blend a lot of Texas sounds in their music, and it feels like Texas.  It’s also a favorite because of the lyrics:

But you just can’t live in Texas
If you don’t have a lot of soul

Fun Factoid: Freddie Fender makes a dedication to Doug Sahm of Sir Douglas Quintet on Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.  Fender and Sahm later played together in the Tejano band, Texas Tornados.

Cat Scratch Fever by Pantera — This is a band from Arlington, Texas whose original lead singer–Dimebag Darrel–died a tragic death.  Their cover of Cat Scratch Fever was one of their best moments.

Fun Factoid:  This song was originally written and recorded by Ted Nugent, who is an interesting Texan in his own right.


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