Tag Archives: Billy Bragg & Wilco

Oct. 19 – California Stars (603)

I’d like to dream
My troubles all away
On a bed of California stars

Jump up from my star-bed
Make another day
Underneath my California stars
They hang like grapes

On vines that shine
And warm the lovers’ glass
Like friendly wine

So I’d give this world
Just to dream a dream with you
On our bed of California stars
 – “California Stars” – Woody Guthrie/Wilco

Like ships passing through the night, I’ll be taking over for Dan in the studio this week. As many of you know, Meghan and I had an opportunity to take a little vacation to wine country/San Francisco to celebrate our anniversary. California is indeed a land of contrasts. Rolling, grapevine-lined hills slowly merge into the Pacific before the sea water gives way to brilliant sunsets. But inland, massive cities bustle and brine in a mix of financial districts, locale flavors, homeless neighbors and high art. It’s no wonder California is often the songwriter’s muse.

What’s your favorite California-inspired song? Today on Great River Radio, I’ll play a few of mine, including tracks from Semisonic, Warren Zevon, Rufus Wainwright, R.E.M., Wilco and Dawes. I may even take a request or two. I also had a chance to listen to some great new music on the trip, so expect to hear a few tunes from Ryan Adams, Marketa Irglova, Gary Clark Jr, Kathleen Edwards, Beirut, Wild Flag and Mates of State.

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
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Playlist
Invisible Riverside-Ryan Adams
California-Semisonic
California-Rufus Wainwright
California Stars-Billy Bragg & Wilco
I Remember California-REM
Time Spent in Los Angeles-Dawes
Desperado Under the Eaves-Warren Zevon
California-Low
How Come You Never Go There-Feist
At Least I Have You-Mates of State
State/Meant-Megafaun
Now You Know-Marketa Irglova
Don’t Owe You A Thang-Gary Clark Jr
Goshen-Beirut
Change the Sheets-Kathleen Edwards
Dixon’s Girl-Dessa
Romance-Wild Flag

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Nov. 3 – Writers & Writing

John Willmot penned his poetry
riddled with the pox
Nabokov wrote on index cards,
at a lectern in his socks
St. John of the Cross did his best stuff
imprisoned in a box
And Johnny Thunders was half alive
when he wrote Chinese Rocks
Nick Cave (“There She Goes My Beautiful World”)

There are some songs that when you listen to them, you realize that you are listening to poetry (or in other cases, a short story) set to music.  The best songs capture that art within an art – great writing and great composing – and result in something unforgettable. Which is not to say there aren’t a million songs that have great music and silly words, or wonderful lyrics and unlistenable melodies.  (Of course, you never hear anything like that on Great River Radio!)  But looking for songs that are well crafted in both ways is what we are all about here.

Today, GRR is going to showcase some well written songs about writers, writing and the creative process.   Since this is a radio show developed by English majors, this is a Confluence theme that is close to our hearts.  You’ll be hearing songs about Jack Kerouac, Emily Dickinson, John Berryman, Collette and Whitman, as well as the Nick Cave song quoted above in which he makes a plea for creativity to come down from the heavens (or at least from his girlfriend muse).

Before we get to the authors and writing Confluence, we’ll have new and local music from Rogue Valley, Elvis Costello, Sharon Van Etten and Daniel Lanois’ current project, Black Dub.  Our show opener, today’s river song, will be a preview track from the Decemberist’s upcoming release, scheduled to drop in January.

English majors and readers, you can’t miss this show!

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.

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Brian & Dan

Playlist
Down By The Water-The Decemberists
Political World-Bob Dylan
I Believe In You-Black Dub
For The Summer-Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs
Rockaway-Rogue Valley
Northern Lights-Communist Daughter
The Spell That You Cast-Elvis Costello
One Day-Sharon Van Etten
Paperback Writer-The Beatles
Writer’s Minor Holiday-Calexico
Writers Retreat-Lloyd Cole
Stuck Between Stations-The Hold Steady
Cleaning Windows-Van Morrison
You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go-Shawn Colvin
The Underwood Typewriter-Fionn Regan
Lady Writer-Dire Straits
Walt Whitman’s Niece-Billy Bragg + Wilco
Slouching Towards Bethlehem-Joni Mitchell
Dangling Conversation-Simon and Garfunkel
There She Goes My Beautiful World-Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

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