I have kind of specific old man taste.
  1. “Visions of Johanna” - Bob Dylan
    This guy has everything I love about a Dylan song. It sounds all pretty, is full of ridiculous word play, is kinda mean-spirited, and prompts a lot of head scratching that’s all… but what does it MEAN? It seems to me it’s just about fucking one person and wishing they were a different person.
  2. “Rocks Off” - The Rolling Stones
    “Sunshine bores the daylight out of me”? Come on, that’s too great! I had an ex who wrote me a long email explaining why it was absolutely imperative that I get my shit together and accept that “Exile on Main Street” is a better record than “Sticky Fingers.” And it totally worked! Possibly related: that ex is in federal prison now.
  3. "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me" - Warren Zevon
    Absolutely the best song ever written about Jackson Brown complaining that he got laid too much.
  4. “Hold On” - Tom Waits
    It’s so hard to pick a favorite Waits song. (You do realize no one is actually asking you to do that, right?) “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis” is a contender because it’s so devastating but also so funny (although begrudging credit goes to Bukowski for that, so…), and also stalwarts like “Anywhere I Lay My Head” and “Come on Up to the House.” But this one just gets me right in that bloody muscle living inside my ribcage.
  5. "A Change is Gonna Come" - Sam Cooke
    The all-time greatest American song, I declare here and now!
  6. “Ship of Fools” - John Cale
    I really love John Cale. I feel like he was more integral to the Velvets’ sound than he gets credit for. Or maybe he does get that credit, I don’t actually know. Anyway, this song is wonderful, particularly the live versions.
  7. "When You Were Mine" - Prince
    The human condition.
  8. "Fountain and Fairfax" - The Afghan Whigs
    The Whigs are my goddamn favorites. I got to watch them play this song from stage next to the mixing board once, and it made this cynical little asshole beam.
  9. "Woolly Bully" - Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs
    I would like a half-sleeve of different interpretations of the woolly bully.
  10. "Free Fallin'" - Petty
    Vampires, Reseda, bad boys. I'm in.
  11. Going to Georgia, Mountain Goats
    Suggested by @videodrew