How About Tin-Pan Alley?...
I’ll admit, it’s not for everyone. In fact, it’s more so for a very small, select few, but I happen to love this era of music. Most people have heard those phonographic, tinny songs from the 1920s and 1930s, but Tin-Pan Alley came in the decades before them, coming after ragtime and largely preceding late jazz. It lasted from around the late 1890s to the early 1920s, and I would argue that Billy Murray and Bix Beiderbecke were its most prominent artists. It mainly professed short, comical or love songs. Here are just a few songs from this era, and some of my personal favorites (in no particular order):
“Come Josephine in My Flying Machine” (Billy Murray and Ada Jones; 1911):
“When Francis Dances With Me” (Billy Murray and Ada Jones; 1922):
“You Took Advantage of Me” (Bix Beiderbecke; 1928):
“In the Old Town Hall” (Billy Murray; 1921):
“When I Leave the Worl Behind” (Henry Burr; 1915):
“Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built fot Two)” (Edward M Favor; 1894):
“Carolina in the Morning” (American Quartet with Billy Murray; 1923?):
“I’ll See You in C-U-B-A” (Billy Murray; 1920, in response to Prohibition):
“Turn Back the Universe and Give me Yesterday” (Orpheus Quartet; 1916):
So, once again, these are a very acquired taste, I suppose, but I like songs like this. The great news is that if you like this music, there are thousands and thousands of other songs from the Tin-Pan Alley Era (I had to narrow them down quite a bit to result in the list above, but there are quite a lot of other great ones out there). For a little more information, if anybody is interested, you can try this post of mine linked here: https://theprose.com/post/374078/a-short-biography-of-billy-murray-1877-1954
Long Hair Turning Gray
Larry McMurtry probably ought to be considered a national treasure. He’s written a hell of a canon of the American West, like almost a hundred books, and The American West at its most raw, is America at its most honest. My own father is not a man of fiction but he loves Lonesome Dove and holds it dear to his heart.
General Custer and Crazy Horse have been written about so many times it’s annoying, even asinine, commonplace and cliché; but for my money, McMurtry did it the best, he’s provided us with the end-all-be-all biography of each man.
And he wrote one of the finest Texan coming of age stories of all time--with a father who’s hard on those he loves because he loves them, a wildcard and free willing and night-city seeking step-son, and finally the youngest son, the story’s protagonist who deals with existential crisis of this life as often as he has to deal with material issues and hard drama between his father and older brother--in his debut play, “Horseman, Pass By.” I’m not a man who cries, nor a man who easily relates to much, but I remember reading that play in high school and I tried but could not help myself from my eyes swelling up with salt water. I felt that story, big time.
But this post is about one song written by McMurtry’s son. And it’s not a great song, and I can’t explain why I love it. And I’ve tried listening to more music by James McMurtry and just don’t dig it.
I think I like this particular song because I can relate to mediocrity. The song is less than spectacular, and James McMurtry’s career is also well less than stellar, and I believe this song captures that essence pretty damn perfectly. Its opening line I especially appreciate so much that it makes me smile and chuckle to myself every time I hear it, “Sick of this small town bull shit, I’m not staying in school.” Then later on, it’s simple but it’s pure and true: “Meanwhile I got a gram [of weed most likely, maybe coke] and a real good ride [first time buying a car most likely] / And don’t you know I hurt way down inside.” I feel that, big time. It’s not that good a song at all, but it so easily portrays a certain struggle that I relate to so well.
It’s written by a man who must live in the shadow of his acclaimed father. It’s a difficult realm to live in. The song, called, “Just Us Kids” enunciates that certain pain and heartache, the misery and rare good-time feeling of forgetting that one might have to live up to some idea, that one might just have fun for a minute, that one might be themselves and that it might be okay, that even God might understand and might even appreciate it.
None of this is new although some of these over 500 songs may be new to you.
Eight chapters of music covering practically every genre' you can think of.
Think of it as walking through history and how music has changed,
and yet hasn't changed at all. There is still the rhythm,
the lyrics and the feel good sound of a time that just felt right.
1. 8 Graves
Favorite songs by them are Burning Alive, Bury Me Low, Numb, Two Wrongs, Evil, Cold World, and RIP
Favorite songs by them are Stay & Decay, The Underground (made with 8 Graves), Revenge (And A Little Bit More), and Oh Raven (Sing Me A Happy Song)
3. The Unlikely Candidates
Favorite songs by them are Novocaine, Your Love Could Start A War, and High Low
4. Palaye Royale
Favorite song by them is Lonely
5. Bring Me The Horizon
Favorite songs by them are 1x1 (feat. Nova Twins), OBEY (feat. YUNGBLUD)
6. Three Days Grace
Favorite song by them is I Hate Everything About You
7. Five Finger Death Punch
Favorite songs by them are A Little Bit Off, Coming Down, and Remember Everything
8. A Day To Remember
Favorite song by them is Resentment
Favorite songs by them are OBEY (with Bring Me The Horizon), Parents, original me (feat. Imagine Dragons), Lemonade (feat. Denzel Curry), and Loner
10. Imagine Dragons
Favorite songs by them are I'm So Sorry, original me (feat. Imagine Dragons), Zero, Machine, Digital, Roots, Shots, Warriors, and Who We Are
These are all my favorite artists at the moment. Most of them are alternative rock, although there's some edm/indie music in there too.
Hope you enjoy!
I’m fully taking this as an opportunity to gush about Hozier. I love all of his songs and I talk about him enough that *most* of my friends started listening to more of his music. He’s most well known for the song Take Me To Church, which is an absolute bop that fits about every single emotion I’ve ever felt. It’s my go-to song for scream-singing with a group of friends late at night, but it’s also the perfect soundtrack for all of my mental breakdowns. Just saying.
If I absolutely had to choose just one song from him, I’d probably start with Jackie and Wilson, but then I go and list all the other ones that come to mind:
-As It Was
-Dinner and Diatribes
-In A Week (feat. Karen Cowley)
-Would That I
I’ll stop myself now, but honestly, all of his songs are good.
Also, he accidentally uploaded this video to his Instagram story and I have it bookmarked on my computer and probably watch it way too often https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tQ-CRfZrhk
Even though I do have a playlist of entirely Hozier songs, I listen to a bunch of other underappreciated artists too:
Chloe Moriondo- I love her Spirit Orb EP, and I’m considering the song Bugbear as my graduation song. Her Youtube channel has a ton of song covers, and she just makes me smile. Also, I’m obsessed with her music video for Kindergarten - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIs5il5HHyw
Mxmtoon- Her music has a more calm vibe to it, I really like her Dawn & Dusk album. There’s this concert video that popped up in my Youtube recommendations that I also have bookmarked- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJlVuZYA-J4. I don’t know if this is something I would laugh at if I didn’t already know the song but there’s that.
Cavetown- Not one of my absolute favorites, but worth mentioning because he still has a lot of good songs. My favorite is probably Devil Town (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBWQ2vVH43g this version in particular) Also, his music videos are really cute, I love the chaos in Lemon Boy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-itZVX-SUkI), and the art for Home is gorgeous (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2APLh8_ExU0). He also did a song featuring Chloe Moriondo called Snail, and her background vocals in that just get me every time.
Cullen Vance- My favorite Celtic musician. He has a cover for Fireflies which I love (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMAqzxHcGxs) and a cover of Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom which makes me laugh (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGEIWXAzKZI) Also, no hate but it’s better than the original.
Yungblud- This one probably looks out of place, but I’d be lying to myself if I denied enjoying his music. He appeals to the angsty teenager in me.
And some songs I have on repeat recently:
Girls- Girl In Red
Daylight- Joji, Diplo
Boys Like You- Dodie
1980s Horror Film II- Wallows
Glitter and Gold- Barns Courtney
Line Without a Hook- Ricky Montgomery
Bottom of the River- Delta Rae
It Wasn’t Me- Shaggy, Rik Rok
Georgia- Pheobe Bridgers
Dirty Nikes- Ruth B
pov: we’re in love too late (soundtrack)
this december - rick montgomery
i wanna be yours - arctic monkeys
sports - beach bunny
i like the way - lovely the band
stars - grace potter and the nocturals
affection - between friends
dangerously - charlie puth
past lives - borns
i use these all to write for a few select characters :) hope you like them.
I wrote this song in 2016 in the midst of a terrible depression. Check it out if you like :)
I listen to pretty much everything. If you like instrumentals, Philip Glass's Metamorphosis 2 takes my breath away everytime!
Tom Rosenthal- indie, quirky, hopeful music that has themes of hope and human connection
favorite album(s): Z-Sides
favorite song(s): How This Came to Be, Hugging You, It’s Ok
Sleeping At Last- indie, orchestral, beautiful melodies and poetic lyrics that focus on the universe and the human condition
favorite album(s): Atlas 1, Atlas 2
favorite song(s): Four, Uneven Odds, Mercury
Ben Platt- broadway pop, amazing vocals, themes of love, relationships, and break ups
favorite album(s): Sing to Me Instead
favorite song(s): Ease My Mind, Share Your Address, So Will I
Alex Blue (her newer music)- indie, soft, hopeful and thoughtful lyrics
favorite album(s): Good Company
favorite song(s): Yes, But Not Yet, Pray It Away, Blue
girl in red- indie pop, indie rock, very gay, upbeat melodies
favorite album(s): BEGINNINGS
favorite song(s): girls, maybe, 4 am
Music (PLEASE LISTEN!! But, its Japanese tho)
4. After The Rain (Unit)
1. Deathly loneliness attacks (cover)-by Mafumafu
2. Season after season-After the Rain (unit)
3. Hazy Moon-Mafumafu
4. I think I just died (cover)-Soraru
5. I was human (cover)-Soraru
6. Little Love Song (cover)-Amatsuki
Ok so I don't really listen to some artists per say... I have more of a playlist of random songs I love. So here it goes-
Let me down slowly by Alec Benjamin
Perfectly Imperferct by Delcan J Donovan
Can't help falling in love with you by Elvis presley
Edelwiss by Elvis presley
The sound of music by Julie Andrews
Sixteen going on seventeen by Charmian Carr, Daniel Truhitte, Sara Zelle, Dashiell Eaves
I wasn't sure about giving hindi songs too but there are some I love so why not?
Jeena Jeena by Arijit singh
Kabira by Rekha Bhardwaj, Tochi Raina
Vaaste by Dhvani Bhanushali
Yeh Hasin Vadiyan by A. R. Rahman, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam,