Jane Asylum

When my mother wasn’t walking around the house belting out early 60s’ girl-band lyrics, she was collecting compilation albums, specifically from K-Tel. She may not have had the most refined taste, but she enjoyed variety, or at least that’s what I recall. I poured over them all, preferring some sounds to others. And when I found the perfect song, I’d play it over and over until ready to perform my latest theatrical dance incarnation.

With my family all gathered on floral grey sofas in our basement apartment, I’d set the vinyl on the turntable of a brown fibreboard stereo and not-so-carefully lower the needle. It would pop, screech, and crackle before any music spilled from the weaved-wheat speakers. My toes would press, lift, and sweep through the blue-green shag carpet, my arms would flail, and the music would bass and treble through my soul.

I’m no longer that 6-year-old doing private-audience interpretive dance routines, but my passion remains just as intense. I have no special superpowers as a curator — just my love of sounds and lyrics that transport, transform, move, and make your body groove.

I’m A Mover – Free

13 October 2021

English band Free’s “I’m a Mover” is music to my ears, and it’s the track I want to listen to while driving my pony on a stretch of cracked grey highway over green hills.

Song in 60 Seconds

24 September 2021

A MusicTo collaborative playlist of songs in and around one minute – featuring artists like The Clash • Bad Religion • M.I.A • Cru • Opeth • Pratley • BA Johnson • The Linda Lindas • Ramones

French Girl Nigerian Boy

22 September 2021

Do you want to get lost in a moment? – featuring artists like Lovage • WizKid • Burna Boy • DaVido • Sudan Archives • Juniore • The Avener • Sudan Archives

The French girl releases her legs from the Nigerian boy’s hips. The hem of her black mini-skirt slides down her thighs as her suede ankle boots graze the floor of the passenger train’s toilet. He tosses the condom into the metal bin and pulls up his zipper. Breathless, eyes glossy and sparkling, they embrace. He rests his forehead against hers. She smiles.

Tracks to Take you to Europe

17 September 2021

Be Inspired to make the journey as others have been inspired before you – featuring artists like Fortheringay • Orbital • The Stranglers • The Beautiful South • The Tallest Man on Earth • Yo La Tengo • Beirut • Soccer Mommy • Them Crooked Vultures • Dua Lipa

Lying Eyes – Monophonics

13 September 2021

Any track from this band would pair well with Chuck Berry’s “My Mustang Ford,” but I want to drive into a more or less psychedelic blues and garage rock direction. This makes “Lying Eyes” the perfect fit.

My Mustang Ford – Chuck Berry

19 August 2021

When I started curating Music to Play in Your Vintage Mustang, I had a very specific trajectory in mind. In fact, the initial name of the playlist was Music to Play in Your 60s Mustang.

People – Les Bods

16 March 2021

I can’t believe that it has been just short of a year since Les Bods, a band out of Brighton, England, sent me their first single, “People.” I also can’t believe it has been a year since this COVID-19 shitshow began.

Beam Me Up – Gloria

15 February 2021

While the band is on the verge of releasing a new LP, Sabbat Matters on March 5, 2021, this track is off of In Excelsis Stereo (2016). And if their new album is as great as this one, then we all have some fantastic tunes to look forward to in our near future.

My Ultimately Alternative Relationship with PJ Harvey – Part 3

16 January 2021

I slip out of bed, stagger in the dark, bounce off the door frame to my office, power-up my laptop, stumble to the kitchen, turn on the coffee machine, quickly turn it off, grab a mug from the cupboard, try again.

As much as I’d love to be the kind of person who wakes up beating my chest and singing PJ Harvey’s “Me Jane” to start the day, all I’ve got to motivate me this morning is, “Ahh, coffee.” Which is more than most mornings, at least.

Sympathy For The Devil – The Rolling Stones

11 January 2021

It’s unlikely that anyone needs to be introduced to the Rolling Stones, or to “Sympathy for the Devil,” for that matter. This specific version is from the 50th anniversary edition of Beggars Banquet, originally released in 1968.

Woman – Down Dirty Shake

4 January 2021

If 2020 were a woman, this blues-rock track — also called “Woman,” from San Francisco-based band Down Dirty Shake — would undoubtedly make for a more than appropriate theme song.

Birds – Crown Lands

8 December 2020

I stumbled across their track “The Witching Hour” a couple of months ago and it sent me flying back in time to the early 90s, sitting in a former cathouse-turned-bar, listening to the likes of Soundgarden over the speakers

My Ultimately Alternative Relationship with PJ Harvey – Part 2

24 November 2020

“Alternative music is a bit vague,” Adam says.

“Embodies the spirit of alternative?” I ask. This is the first time I’ve been able to meet up with both of my fellow expat friends since the pandemic began.

“Grunge?” Lauren pulls a duck face.

Ghosts of music past aside, genres in almost any media are easy to define, but alternative? Even the Grammy organization has changed the definition a half dozen times since 1991, “as recently as last year,”…

My Ultimately Alternative Relationship with PJ Harvey – Part 1

10 November 2020

“4-Track Demos,” my friend Adam — who used to be semi-obsessed with PJ Harvey — says.

“Yep,” Lauren agrees. “4-Track.”

I’m trying to remember the first PJ Harvey album I ever owned and make the mistake of saying it only included three or four tracks, but 4-Track Demos was released in 1993 and this isn’t it…

Sweet Jenna Please – Sugartone Noise Co.

27 October 2020

I love the ebb and flow of this particular track, but their debut album, Local Band Asked to Leave, is filled with classic rock-influenced gems framed with a sense of humor, from the opening track “Warmup,” to the closing track “Exit

Say Hello – Fuzz

29 September 2020

When I first heard “Say Hello” by Fuzz, I was immediately reminded of my former dismissiveness of the genre and its roots, so I’m laying this cool retro-flavored track on you to make up for it.

Burning Down – SVVAMP

25 August 2020

Listening to “Burning Down”, from Swedish band SVVAMP’s 2016 self-titled debut album, I picture myself wearing oversized headphones, lying on a shag carpet, chilling after smoking some weed.

Boom Swagger Boom – The Murder City Devils

17 August 2020

I’m keeping the energy level high this week with garage punk band The Murder City Devils…

You’re All Talk – The Pandoras

28 July 2020

At a time when some of their contemporaries, like The Bangles, were embracing mainstream pop success, California’s The Pandoras were leaning back into the 60s with an aggressive thrust forward into 80s punk rock…

No Other Thing to Do for Be Famous – Lesbian Speed Dating

21 July 2020

I can still hear the crunch as my teeth cut through a tart garlic kosher pickle before buying a half litre of them, and as I do, the tease of smoked kielbasa turns me around and carries me to the deli counter like a Loony Toons character floating on air. I meant to buy 250 grams. I get 500…

It’s Not My World – The Ar-Kaics

8 July 2020

It’s not my world. This is a phrase that has fallen from my lips with a disappointed sigh a few times over the years. However, 2020 has seen these words (or others to the same effect; swearing is usually involved) escape from my mouth more often than not…

Follow Me Home – The Mystery Lights

30 June 2020

What can I say—I absolutely love this band. The Mystery Lights were formed by Michael Brandon and Luis Alfonso in 2004, but somehow I’m just discovering them now, and I’m having the time of my life listening to their 60s-psych-inspired punk/rock sound…

All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

16 June 2020

Jimi Hendrix was an exceptional musician, a rock’n’roll pioneer, innovator, and experimentalist, and his music has left a huge impact and lasting influence on music and musicians over the last 50 years or so…

Girl – The Heavy

2 June 2020

The Heavy—consisting of Kelvin Swaby (lead vocals), Dan Taylor (guitar), Spencer Page (bass guitar) and Chris Ellul (drums)—are an English band formed in 2007, and although they’ve been around for over a decade…

California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & The Papas

26 May 2020

No English word can quite express the meaning of what the Portuguese call “saudade.” It is often used to describe the music and lyrics of fado…

What a Dream I Had – Cool Ghouls

13 May 2020

“What a Dream I Had” by the Cool Ghouls is one of those songs that epitomizes the 60s’ and 70s’ inspiration that I’m shooting for in this playlist…

Slither – Ghost King

5 May 2020

When I first heard “Slither” by Ghost King — a Brooklyn band that includes…

Cha Cha Twist – The Detroit Cobras

21 April 2020

Prior to the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, and even into the early 60s, covering songs was common practice…

Shelby GT – Elwood Rivers and the Fantom Bayou Band

14 April 2020

It’s been almost a year since I first happened upon “Shelby GT” by Elwood Rivers and the Fantom Bayou Band and even before I began curating Music to Play in your Vintage Mustang,..

White Mustang – Lana Del Rey

31 March 2020

Similar to many people across the globe, I’m currently practicing social distancing and happen to have a hell of a lotta extra time on my hands…

Pink Lemonade – DADDY LONG LEGS

17 March 2020

As companies and businesses shut down, streets empty, borders close, and wine storages deplete (yes, at least the Portuguese have their priorities straight; plus, you know, bidets) the last couple of weeks has been weird to say the least…

Where Have You Gone – The Pleasure Seekers

3 March 2020

Suzi Quatro is a legend in my eyes, and that’s not just because I was a latch-key kid growing up on a weekly diet of “Happy Days” spiked with Kraft Dinner…

This Time Rock N Roll – Rio N Kangbroo

25 February 2020

The second “This Time Rock N Roll” by Rio N Kangbroo began playing, I felt thrown into the driver’s seat of a late 60s model Mustang…

Whole Lotta Love – Zepparella

11 February 2020

Almost every hard rock fan has a favorite Led Zeppelin song. Mine is When the Levee Breaks. Yours might be Stairway to Heaven

I Ain’t Hiding – The Black Crowes

28 January 2020

I’ve spent this past week frantically scouring Spotify, YouTube, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, every corner of the Internet, my memory, and my personal collection for that perfect song to drive my Music to Play in your Vintage Mustang back to the late 60s…

Interview with Easy Comes Home

22 January 2020

Christian: I think the EP came simply because I had a decent amount of songs on my hard drive that I liked. I try to listen to a lot of different genres and I want my music to reflect my listening habits. I’ll really take from anything that inspires me, so my process usually leaves me with a wide variety of songs and styles. I would feel a bit like I’m betraying my style if I only released one song; that’s just not how I think, and it wouldn’t be an accurate depiction of who I am as a musician…

Love Rollercoaster – Ohio Players

21 January 2020

What do you get when you bury a high-pitched scream in a song using an amusement park ride as a metaphor for the thrill of sex? You get Ohio Players’ “Love Rollercoaster,” along with a shitload of urban legend…

Bury Me – Easy Comes Home

14 January 2020

In September 1979, I arrived for my first day of middle school, which was a big deal—a big transition from primary school at the time. I arrived and all I heard around the halls from the older kids was that disco was dead….

Letter to Self – Inder Paul Sandu

7 January 2020

2019 was a great year. I discovered Music To and began my adventure into curating the ‘Music to play in your vintage Mustang’ playlist…

Drift Away – Dobie Gray

18 December 2019

When I fell asleep last night, I hadn’t expected to add Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away” to my Music to Play in Your Vintage Mustang playlist. While I had already decided to add two songs before finishing off this year, it was The Velvet Underground’s “Oh! Sweet Nuthin” that had assured a spot on the playlist before traveling into the next decade…

Moon – Morosity

17 December 2019

Sometimes, as you power along in your pony with only the open road ahead, you start to pay attention to certain elements of whatever songs are keeping you company…

Dirty Money – Reality Something

10 December 2019

Every once in a while, you come across a band whose music feels like it has been a part of your listening lexicon forever…

It’s Getting Boring by the Sea – Blood Red Shoes

3 December 2019

Choosing “It’s Getting Boring by the Sea,” from 2008 album Box of Secrets by alt rock duo Blood Red Shoes may seem like a cheeky statement following three awesome surf songs…

Deluxe Electric Ninja Mistress – Daikaiju

26 November 2019

Daikaiju’s “Deluxe Electric Ninja Mistress” sounds more like the name of a sex toy (um, a curiously kinky one, I might add; if any Bad Dragon people are reading this, give me a call) than the title of a surf song…

Surf Hell – Little Barrie

19 November 2019

You’re itching to go faster, but we’re sticking close to the coast for another week with Little Barrie’s “Surf Hell” (King of the Waves, 2012)…

St. Nazaire – Pixies

12 November 2019

Pixies’ Beneath the Eyrie is just about as great an album as the first one I bought — Doolittle (1989) — after pinching together enough pennies while working as a waitress and paying my way through university…

Be Alright – The Dandy Warhols

31 October 2019

From their 2019 album Why You So Crazy, the plucky piano in this back-to-the-roots single by the Dandy Warhols is the perfect transition from Link Wray’s “Right Turn.”…

Right Turn – Link Wray

31 October 2019

“Right Turn” isn’t exactly a vintage Mustang-era-defining song. It’s not even rock ‘n’ roller Link Wray’s most defining piece from his band’s 1960 self-titled debut album, Link Wray & The Wraymen. In fact, similar to his rebel-rousing “Rumble,” which earned the Shawnee guitarist the title Father of the Power Chord, and the distinction of being the first-ever instrumental song censored off U.S. radio, this single is from 1958 — four years before Mustang was a sperm (or egg) of a thought…