In the Wilderness: Meat Puppets, 1986-1991

In the Wilderness

In the Wilderness is a feature in which a group of Strange Currencies contributors examine an overlooked period of an artist’s career. While originally intended as a podcast, “social distancing” has necessitated a different approach. For the time being, In the Wilderness has taken shape in the form of a “Slack chat.”

For this installment of In the Wilderness, I am joined again by my friends J Long and George Budney. Last time, the three of us discussed Frank Black and The Catholics. This week’s conversation was based around a band that was just as important to us in the early years of our friendship, Arizona’s own Meat Puppets.

In our Slack chat, we focused on the Meat Puppets’ career from 1986-1991. These “wilderness years” found the band engaging in several unpredictable stylistic shifts, following their acclaimed albums Meat Puppets II (1984) and Up on the Sun (1985), and preceding their commercial breakthrough that came with 1994’s Too High to Die, and its hit single “Backwater.” If you are unfamiliar with those two mid-eighties records, I highly recommend that you remedy that (before diving into the era covered in this piece).

Most of the albums that the band recorded during this period were released on the ultra-influential Southern California label SST Records. The freedom of recording for an independent label allowed singer/songwriter/guitarist Curt Kirkwood, his brother Cris (bass, backing vocals), and Derrick Bostrom (drums) to take an exploratory approach to each record, resulting in a great deal of stylistic diversity – often within the albums themselves. Following 1989’s Monsters, the group signed with London, releasing their major label debut, Forbidden Places, in 1991. Here are some of our thoughts on the music that Meat Puppets released during that era:


MR: Yo yo yo.

GB: Need a few minutes still.

MR: Okay. I’ll listen to In a Car [the Meat Puppets’ first EP, which spans five tracks in just over five minutes].

JL: I listened to In A Car once in the jungle. Like, the actual jungle, with huge-ass iguanas running around. It was hair.

MR: Should we begin by defining “hair?”

JL: The meaning has drifted a bit to become more inclusive. It originally referred to a certain kind of unfashionable hard rock.

MR: I’ve always thought of it like the definition of pornography, which we discussed recently.

JL: You know it when you see it.

MR: For instance, any guitar part that you can imagine being played with closed eyes is “hair.”

JL: Any exaggerated face is automatically hair.

GB: Loud music with heavily prominent electric guitar. But there are different types of hair, son. Poison is hair, but according to your dad, so is Weezer.

JL: He was right. We made fun of him for it, but Weezer really IS hair.

MR: The relevant question here is, “were the Meat Puppets hair during this era?”

JL: Meat Puppets had considerable hair in this era, be it when it was created, when we found it, or now.

MR: We’ll talk about some specific examples soon enough, but I believe the answer is a resounding “yes.” With that said, it’s not necessarily the damning thing that I probably considered it to be when we first heard this stuff.

GB: It’s hair in the same way jam bands can be hair. If they are hair, I’d make the argument that Creedence is hair. On the other hand, there is a little too much Allman Brothers for it to come away completely clean.

JL: It once referred to something we hated. It has come to include many things we like, things that are ridiculous on a level we can appreciate.

MR: Fair enough.

GB: The ridiculous is crucial to the enjoyment. I only resist calling it “hair” because of the potential negative connotations, but yeah: Meat Puppets are hair.


MR: So, we had to work a little harder to define this “wilderness” era than the clean delineation we had for Frank Black and The Catholics. Why does focusing on 1986-1991 make sense here?

GB: Because that’s what it is. Everyone knows Meat Puppets II and Too High to Die, but the rest is lost between “Lake of Fire” and “Backwater.” If those were two places on a map, this would be all the weird places in between, where they tell you not to drink the water…

JL: …And not to touch the food. Meat Puppets II and Up on the Sun are nearly universally acclaimed. But people don’t always agree or know what to do with what followed.

MR: Yeah, I figured that the acclaim of Meat Puppets II and Up on the Sun kept them out of “the wilderness,” as did the success of Too High to Die. That’s why it made sense to me.

GB: Even the album names suggest wilderness: MirageForbidden Places

JL: There’s a LOT of weird stylistic changes of venue in the time after Up on the Sun, and before their gold record.

MR: With that said, there was a big part of me that wished we had included Up on the Sun as I listened to these albums this week. I probably listened to Up on the Sun four or five times this week, and the others two or three times each. There are a lot of parts of these albums that I really like, but I’ll be honest, we’re not covering a single album today that I love.

JL: Perhaps, but I love parts of all of them.

GB: Mirage comes closest for me, but it’s probably number four on my list for them. All have their moments.

Out My Way, EP (1986)

JL: Shall we start with Out My Way?

MR: Yeah, let’s. Out My Way is a definite 180 from Up on the Sun, right?

GB: I don’t know if it’s 180. It’s a departure, and them trying to be more commercial, but it’s still them.

JL: It is notably different for sure. It has a few moments in common, but perhaps not many. I’m not sure “commercial” is the word I’d pick, but the more I think about it, the more it works.

MR: I guess part of the reason that I found myself wishing that we were gonna cover Up on the Sun is that it is such an atmospheric record. I feel like there isn’t a lot of “atmosphere” to Out My Way.

JL: There’s less looseness, which contributes to the atmosphere on prior albums.

GB: I was reading something the other day that they were targeting ZZ Top as a model. I can see that for 1985. Top hasn’t quite gotten cheesy, but they were blusey-country-rock. “She’s Hot” feels like them trying to be ZZ Top “commercial.”

JL: They got closer to ZZ Top a few years later.

MR: ZZ Top is definitely a frequently cited point of reference – even by the band. I never wanted to accept that as a teenager, but I can definitely see it. I mean, that opening riff of the title track is super ZZ Top.

GB: Same. I don’t like saying it now, even.

JL: It gets interesting when they weave a little weirdness into the formula.

MR: What tracks stand out from the EP?

JL: “Mountain Line” is my favorite.

GB: Same, and “Not Swimming Ground” is a good lead-in to it. I’ve told a ton of people over the years that they should be the state band for Arizona. Those the two songs are good examples for my case. It sounds like the place, and the time, a little.

MR: That may be the closest that it comes to the sound of Up on the Sun.

JL: That album builds, in my opinion. Each song is a little better than the one before – although I confess, I don’t usually sit through “Good Golly Miss Molly.”

GB: This one is better in the second half, do agree.

MR: Yeah, the Little Richard cover isn’t good. I like “Other Kinds of Love” quite a bit, although I’d love to have a shot at remixing it. There are some really cool guitar parts that are kind of buried in the background. I think it’s the most atmospheric one of the bunch.

JL: Yeah, “Other Kinds of Love.” That’s the one with that wacky reverb sound. I think They Might be Giants borrowed it for their track “Space Suit.” We will get to some albums I wish I could remix. This one has a few moments like that. The “haze” doesn’t bother me here as much as it does on some others. In general, I mean. I read once that Derrick Bostrom oversaw the mastering, and they basically remastered straight from the CDs.

GB: “Everything is Green” has always appealed to me. Has a bit of a surf vibe.

JL: That’s a bonus track, I think. I admit, I don’t think I’ve heard it.

MR: I was gonna say, I don’t have that one.

GB: 2011 reissue. Can never tell what’s OG. Perils of the digital age, without album info/liner notes. Goes to show I didn’t steal ALL of my music from you. I picked my copy up at a Thanksgiving show a few years ago.

MR: I like the title track as well. I got really familiar with it through No Strings Attached [a 1990 “best of” compilation of the Meat Puppets’ years on SST Records]. That was the only way I had stuff from this era – outside of Mirage and Forbidden Places – for many years.

JL: When I went to school in 1995, my Meat Puppets collection was complete except for one album, which was the first album I picked up once I arrived.

Mirage, LP (1987)

MR: Okay, let’s move on to Mirage, which I think sounds more like a successor to Up on the Sun than Out My Way.

GB: It’s my favorite of the bunch.

MR: We tend to hold off on these things, but it’s my favorite as well.

JL: I like it a lot. It’s always been a hard sell for most of my friends though. My friends who aren’t you guys. That album sounds like it’s made of glass.

MR: Do you mean that it’s thin sounding?

JL: No, not thin. More like shiny. Gleaming and polished. Like you could see it from space.

MR: I can see that. Very “glimmery” guitar sounds.

GB: Oh yes, I can see that. Especially compared to Out My Way and Huevos.

JL: Do you remember when I bought Mirage?

MR: Nope. When?

JL: I bought it at Zia in Phoenix. You, me, and your brother were there. I bought that and In A Car together, and your brother said “JEEZ WHY DO YOU LIKE THESE GUYS, THEY’RE SO FUCKIN BORING.”

MR: Now I know which brother. I remember you buying In a Car, but didn’t recall that Mirage was part of that transaction too. I was trying to remember when I got this album. I knew a lot of it from No Strings Attached, which I got in the summer of 1995. 

JL: I will say, it’s hard to convince anyone who doesn’t know, that the same band that made Mirage, also made In A Car.

MR: Yeah, those two are a 180, for sure. I think Mirage is almost like two different albums. There’s a psych-y atmospheric half, and a weird glossy pop half.

GB: I don’t know if it’s a straight half-and-half album. It bounces between pop and psychedelia, often mid-song. “Leaves” is an example of that switch in tone.

MR: There’s a lot more space in these songs than any other from this era. Mirage actually sounds like it was made by a band that came from a desert.

JL: 1980s Puppets had a tendency to be a bit dark in tone, often to its advantage, sometimes to its detriment. Works great on “Seal Whales,” “Two Rivers” [both from Up on the Sun]. This album doesn’t do that.

MR: I LOVE “Two Rivers.” I’ve been thinking about how great that song is all week. One of my favorite album listens – which I’ve managed to recreate a few times – is putting Up on the Sun on at around the New River exit [on the Black Canyon Freeway], right as the sun starts to go down. Heading north, it’s dark by the time you get to those weirdly evocative exit names (Crown King, Cleator, Bloody Basin Road), which fits perfectly with the second half of that album.

JL: Yeah, that’s awesome. Those albums always remind me of the Arizona desert at twilight.

MR: I always want something like that from Mirage, and you get about half of it.

JL: You can get a bit of that evocative thing from Mirage on a cloudless full moon night between Tucson and Phoenix. There’s a long stretch where the desert is peppered with broken bottle glass, and presumably, broken windows and mirrors. Helps to be walking to get the full effect.

MR: Walking through the desert between Phoenix and Tucson in the middle of the night? Fuck that… With that said, I can totally see that working.

GB: Any time of day, fuck that.

JL: I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.

MR: What stands out from this album, song wise?

GB: “Mirage” is a good opener. “Confusion Fog” has the rambling feel I’ve come to associate with better Puppets songs. “Confusion Fog” feels like an answer to “Lost.” A couple years perspective added. Also a fan of “Quit It” and “A Hundred Miles.”

MR: “Confusion Fog” is my favorite from this whole era, though I can see why fans of their earlier stuff might not care for it. I like “Quit It” and “Beauty” a lot. Again, both of those were on No Strings Attached, but they’re good, spacious “desert pop,” or something like that. Listening to “Leaves” now. That’s a good one too. Again, lots of atmosphere. That’s when the Puppets are at their best in my view.

GB: “Leaves” is my favorite on the album, I think. But it’s a day-to-day pick for me with this album. Not one that is an absolute “yes” consistent favorite. I will say, it is a consistent album, but it suffers from being a follow up to two potential masterworks.

MR: What would we consider missteps on it?

JL: “Liquified” feels like an afterthought.

GB: “Liquified” doesn’t work. It doesn’t fit.

JL: I could probably find three or four more natural places for it elsewhere in their discography.

MR: Okay. I was figuring you guys might say that. It’s really out of place, and such an odd end to the album. I can’t say that I’m a big fan of “Love Our Children Forever” either.

GB: Just for that title. They don’t work as well when they slow down.

JL: “The Wind and the Rain” is a better slow song on this disc.

MR: Yeah, much better. I feel like it’s a good album that botches the landing.

GB: I’ll agree with that.

JL: That’s pretty apt, I think.

Huevos, LP (1987)

MR: So, Huevos followed just six months later. Much different sound, especially for such a quick turnaround.

JL: I’ve read before that Mirage was a drag to make, and difficult to play live. The idea was to make a barnburner quickly, of mostly first takes – that was more fun to play live too.

GB: Huevos stylistically sounds looser/more fun. I heard Curt describe why they called it Huevos – because like eggs, they can only be done once. Feels like a lot of first/second takes. They do feel like they’re messing around more/potentially doing a bit more drugs… Feels like a bad weekend in Mexico.

JL: I’ve heard two reasons for the name. George listed one. The other is that “huevos” also means “balls” and the idea is this album would have more balls than Mirage. It’s also where the ZZ Top comes out more.

MR: Yeah, this is where the ZZ Top thing really shows. It’s also where Curt starts leaning into the Molly Hatchet voice a little more.

GB: The Muppets voice. I’ve been trying to think of a way to describe it. Molly Hatchet is perfect.

JL: Yeah, my wife describes it as Kermit the Frog meets Pee-Wee Herman.

MR: Highlights from Huevos?

GB: “Crazy.” “Look at the Rain,” even though the first ten seconds remind me of Everclear.

JL: “Look at the Rain” is great. You probably saw that coming. I think I’ve heard Mike Watt cover it.

MR: Definitely my favorite.

GB: “Bad Love” tries… but that damn Molly Hatchet ramble…

JL: “Paradise” is a bit better. “Automatic Mojo” is a weird one for me. I like what I imagine the song is going for, but it’s one of those where that dark wooly tone doesn’t work as well. Oddly, it needs a little MORE hair.

GB: We all have a recommended hair level. Sometimes not enough is just as bad.

MR: It does feel like it’s caught in a weird middle ground.

JL: Yeah, that’s how I see it too.

MR: I won’t lie, this is kind of a weak album for me. I’ll refer back to the No String Attached compilation (again). The Mirage tracks led into “Look at the Rain,” followed by “I Can’t Be Counted On” and “Automatic Mojo.” There were A LOT of listens where I just pretended that “Look at the Rain” was the last track. I think “I Can’t Be Counted On” is pretty good. It’s goofy, but kind of fun.

JL: “I Can’t Be Counted On” is like Meat Puppets’ version of Frank Black’s “Horrible Day,” so naturally I dig that one too. It’s kinda weird to me SST picking “I Can’t Be Counted On” as representative enough to go on a greatest hits comp.

MR: I find the whole SST affiliation during this era to be odd. I have a hard time believing that Huevos came out on SST. The unironic embrace of “guitar rock” must’ve rubbed some people at the label in the wrong way.

JL: Greg Ginn is a huge guitar nerd.

MR: A huge nerd in general, from what I’ve heard, but there was definitely a lot of punk posturing; a full-fledged embrace of ZZ Top might have [been] a little off-putting.

GB: Especially with what Top was doing at that point. This would have been around peak “She’s Got Legs” era.

MR: Keep in mind, my knowledge of ZZ Top is still largely confined to their radio hits. They have at least one album from the seventies that is reasonably well-regarded.

JL: SST was starting to go a bit off the rails by this point. Some would say diversify, others would say diverge, or digress. I halfway wouldn’t be surprised to find out they tried to put out a Phish album or something.

MR: That’s true. And the Puppets certainly weren’t the only group to “evolve” during their time with the label. With that said, there’s not much on Huevos that I dislike. It’s just not what I was looking for in a Meat Puppets album.

GB: It’s a bleed together album for me. It’s not terrible, but it’s not their best.

MR: In the long (two week) history of In the Wilderness, we tend to get into a discussion of cover art at around the halfway point. I feel like cover art is a bit of an elephant in the room when discussing the Meat Puppets, though some of that is due to albums that fall outside of our range for today’s conversation.

GB: I applaud Curt Kirkwood for always bringing the weird. Huevos is the most conventional/best, but they all are endearing.

JL: Huevos is fine, although I hate eggs. I don’t think Mirage is the worst thing in the world. There, I said it. It is bright and garish and in your face in a way that I associate with the things I didn’t like about the 1980s, instead of the things I do. But I’m at peace with it.

GB: Fits your “see it from space” comment.

MR: Are all five of these from this era Curt’s artwork?

JL: I have this weird gut feeling Bostrom did Mirage. I wouldn’t bet my life on it though.

MR: I actually unironically like the Out My Way cover. I was looking up prices of the record on Discogs earlier, partially because of the art.

GB: Out My Way is my favorite of them.

MR: Keep in mind, much of my memory of this era is tied to the No Strings Attached comp.

JL: No Strings Attached is fucking atrocious.

No Strings Attached, compilation (1990)

MR: Another “halftime” diversion: You guys have both seen the Puppets in recent years. I missed them last time they were up here. How does this era fit into their present day set lists?

JL: They don’t play much of Mirage. They play the most recognizable tunes from Huevos. “Touchdown King,” sometimes.

GB: Huevos seems like it lends itself well to playing live.

JL: George can confirm, when we saw them in Phoenix recently, they’d go off on these jam tangents, and like five different times during the show, they came back to this one excerpt from “Seal Whales,” like a recurring motif. I dug it.

GB: It’s true, it was cool.

Monsters, LP (1989)

MR: Alright, Monsters.

JL: This is that “last album to complete my collection” I was talking about. Bought it about two weeks after arriving in Tucson. I had the rest already.

MR: It definitely had a reputation at the time of being the least essential. No Strings Attached didn’t help that, for me. The representatives were “Attacked by Monsters,” “Meltdown,” and “Like Being Alive.”

JL: For me, it’s the album that sounds the most like a wool blanket is covering the amps. “Meltdown” is hair.

MR: “Attacked by Monsters” is hair.

JL: Yeah, “Attacked by Monsters” too. HAIRRRR!

GB: The album cover is total hair. Reminds me of the old Toy Machine skate logo.

JL: Yeah, I can see that. Similar art style.

GB: “Flight of the Fire Weasel” coulda been a “car chase” playlist song.

MR: Those fake synth horns in “Light” are really bad, right?

JL: Yeah.

MR: I try not to let one small element of an otherwise decent song ruin it, but those are really bad.

JL: They’re probably from some Dungeons and Dragons game on the Apple IIe.

MR: It’s too bad, because that’s one of the least “wool blanket” sounding songs on the album. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good wool blanket, but the Puppets thrive on space.

JL: Agreed.

MR: There’s none on this album.

JL: Ever read Mark Prindle’s reviews?

MR: No. I’ll read his when he reads mine. Name does sound familiar though, so maybe. I read a lot of music stuff. That’s pretty much all I do these days.

JL: I remember him saying Monsters was the best sounding, how they ‘finally got it right’ on that one (my words, not his, but that was the gist of it). He’s a good read, but I disagree with his assessment on that one.

MR: Okay, maybe I won’t read his then… It’s my least favorite. I have a hard time finding much to like on Monsters. “Touchdown King” is pretty good.

JL: Sometimes a contrarian streak comes out when 90% of what you think about is old records. I like “Touchdown King.” I don’t think I always did. I think that song sounds less dated, or “of its time” than anything else on that album.

MR: I get that, and I really want to find the contrarian angle on this one. However, where I can appreciate Huevos, but say that it’s not what I’m looking for in a Meat Puppets album, I have a hard time with even appreciating Monsters.

GB: It’s not their worst of the period, but it’s definitely not the one they got right. So hard to get into because it’s so muddled.

MR: “The Void” is HAIRRRR!

JL: Yeah, “The Void.” Major league hair. I want to say I might have heard that live at some point. I’ve partied a lot, and it never made the world obey for shit.

MR: Strange album. I don’t have much more to say about Monsters. Anything else from you guys?

GB: I’m good with it.

JL: I’ll give it a close listen tonight. I haven’t done that in a while. Sometimes distance makes the heart grow less convinced it was recorded and mixed in your neighbor’s bathroom behind a big ass pile of dirty blankets.

Forbidden Places, LP (1991)

MR: Alright, so somehow London Records hears these last few SST albums and decides that the Meat Puppets can make the transition to a major label. Did they pull it off with Forbidden Places? They certainly cleaned their sound up.

JL: I’ve always liked it.

MR: Me too. It’s a bit up and down, but a solid record overall.

GB: They definitely improved. I feel like “Sam” is what they wanted Monsters to sound like.

MR: “Sam” definitely feels like a better realization of their “hard rock” sound than anything on Huevos or Monsters.

JL: Yeah, I can see that. I guess I never thought of it as being an extension of that, but hell, mission accomplished.

GB: I’ll also say that this: Forbidden Places probably gets the most play live, of these. “Sam” is freaking great live.

JL: It was cool to see that they really can do it live. I love “Six Gallon Pie.” It was good to see them revisit the Dukes of Hazzard chase music from Meat Puppets II. When I was in college, I used to put “Six Gallon Pie” on one turntable, with this record of Nixon’s speeches on the other. Somehow, it always lined up right, the music would pause for a moment, Nixon would say something stupid, and then that duck quack would come in, then the hillbilly shred would cut him off in an amusing way. Probably more amusing if you’re stoned.

GB: Haha. Nixon would’ve hated it.

JL: Good.

MR: Nixon’s always good for a laugh… What are the other highlights? “Whirlpool” is a favorite. I heard They Might be Giants’ cover version first, but this one is really good.

GB: Agreed – a standout. “Popskull” is a good foreshadowing for Too High to Die. I enjoy “No Longer Gone,” for no reason in particular.

MR: Yeah, “No Longer Gone” has a desert-y sound. I like “This Day” and “Another Moon.” They’re very “MOR” compared to earlier Puppets, but solid tracks. The title track is HAIRRRR! ZZ Top is back with a vengeance…and some vocoder shit.

JL: That was the clowns they sent in from “Popskull.” Clowns gonna clown. I like Forbidden Places quite a bit. As an album, it’s the most solid.

MR: Do you know if they shopped these specific songs as demos to London, or were they signed off of Monsters? It seems like the major labels were something of a “wild west” situation in the early nineties, so I suppose anything is possible.

JL: I believe they sent demos to London. I read they had begun negotiations with a different major label, but that evaporated. I think that guy resurfaced at London. Something like that.


MR: It seems like we’ve already tipped our hands on this question, but what are the favorite/least favorite albums from this era?

GB: Oh man, yeah, we’ve tipped it. Mirage/Monsters. I’d tend to prefer Mirage because it feel the most “Puppets” to me.

MR: I’m in agreement. Mirage is my favorite and Monsters is least. I’d be inclined to direct a newbie to Forbidden Places, but it’s out of print, and apparently not even on Spotify (UPDATE: it now is).

JL: I’d struggle to pick a favorite between Mirage or Forbidden Places. I like them both a lot, and it would depend on whether I felt like hearing something more countrified, or not. I’m not very good at trying to pick an objective favorite. Like, in a vacuum, which one is the better album. I’m usually terrible at that. You guys are better at it.


MR: I’m curious how much you guys think the fact that the Puppets were a “local” band had on our appreciation of them.

JL: Good question. They were, and they weren’t, you know? I wanted to feel like they were a local band, but I was a little kid when they made these records. Especially, for me, I felt like Arizona didn’t appreciate them. But that’s a function of time as much as place.

GB: It’s played a part, for sure. At the time I didn’t care. It’s more of a factor for me now, mainly because I can hear the place in the music. It’s not lost on me that I live in the neighborhood they grew up in and lived in the same neighborhood they did in Tempe when I was in college. There is a DNA to those places in the music. They have a very Phoenix/Tempe in the 1980s feel. Calexico can make a case, but the Meat Puppets are Arizona’s band.

MR: I definitely feel like the stuff of theirs that I like the most seems very much tied to the landscape of Arizona. I think I appreciate that even more now than I did growing up. Especially since I don’t live there anymore. I’m certain that I would’ve gravitated toward II and Up on the Sun regardless, but the fact that they existed “close by” helped to make them ours. Do you remember when I had that ridiculous idea to try to get them to do a show in Flagstaff? Naturally, Shaft [my high school band] would’ve been the opener.

JL: Naturally.

MG: I had that in the back of my mind while reading that article yesterday [a 1998 article from the Phoenix New Times, which describes in great detail Cris Kirkwood’s struggle with drug addiction after the band’s breakout success].

JL: Man, we wouldn’t have had any idea what we were getting into.

MR: Absolutely. I guess they were in the process of entering another “wilderness” era at that point.

GB: A much harder and darker one. The not fun kind.

MR: Yeah, that article is brutal. I had forgotten a lot of the specifics.

JL: Yeah. I feel bad for hounding Bostrom as much as I used to, using that newfangled “World Wide Web” thing at the time. Had no idea what was going on. I just figured they were all sitting in some room together writing all these psychedelic tunes still. He sent me the lyrics to “Big House” though.


MR: Okay, time to make a playlist. I didn’t know that Out My Way wasn’t on Spotify until just now, so we’ll have to consider that. It’ll make this a bit more difficult. Should we make the list based on including songs from Out My Way? It seems fair to include it.

GB: Agree. Needs to be included.

JL: Sure. For the tracks that aren’t on Spotify, we’ll just ask them to come over and play them live.

MR: Really, it’s not asking too much. Alright J, you have the first pick:

JL: “Look at the Rain”

GB: “Confusion Fog”

MR: “Whirlpool.” Round two:

JL: “Sam”

GB: “Six Gallon Pie”

MR: “Beauty.” Round three:

JL: “Another Moon”

GB: “Leaves”

MR: “Quit It.” Round four:

JL: “Mountain Line”*

GB: “Touchdown King”

MR: “Out My Way.”* Last round:

JL: “A Hundred Miles”

GB: Going with “Mirage.”

MR: “Other Kinds of Love.”* Okay. It’ll be a little short since we picked a few from Out My Way [tracks marked with an asterisk], but they’ll be there in spirit.

GB:

MR: HAIRRRR!!!

Authors

  • Matt Ryan founded Strange Currencies Music in January 2020, and remains the site's editor-in-chief. The creator of the "A Century of Song" project and co-host of the "Strange Currencies Podcast," Matt enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has a particular affinity for 60s pop, 90s indie rock, and post-bop jazz. He is an avid collector of vinyl, and a multi-instrumentalist who has played/recorded with several different bands and projects.

  • George Budney is a guest writer for Strange Currencies Music. Though he has no musical talent himself, he has the good fortune of friends that do. His interests include music, old cars, dogs, and other fringe pursuits.

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