I actually disliked this song at first because I thought it was Phish and I actively hated anything Phish-related when I first heard this over a decade ago. I’ve softened my stance somewhat since, but I digress. This was my first exposure to the bluegrass cover of a non- bluegrass song and to this day, I pay the extra quarter at my dive bar to play this song on the juke box. Snoop ain’t no Biggy, but he can compose some feel good rhymes.
As a result of our biggest show of the year last week with the amazing Something With Strings, I’ve been on a bluegrass kick of epic proportions. I’ve alienated co-workers, scared my dog, and thoroughly driven my roommate crazy and it feels great. At one point in my life, probably right after my Dead kick in college, I listened to the music hard as Old Crow Medicine Show and other bands of their ilk became more prevalent. This is long before Mumford, the Lumineers, and what I generally think of as the “Bluegrass Lite” era we now are at the tail-end of living. My first favorite bluegrass group was obviously Old and in the Way which featured Jerry “Dawg” Garcia on banjo and specifically, their cover of “Wild Horses” which brings it all back together for the topic of this post.
I loved this song from the moment I heard it back in college. Even if I don’t love Phish, I do love the bass player and this whole album is great. Kottke is also the man and the two times I saw him were awesome. You never hear this song on the radio, although I did the other day on the same station where I heard Lordes for the first time. Adult Alternative is really heating up. Lastly, I instantly liked this song when I heard it in college because “living off the grid” was a term I heard my hippie neighbor and his cronies use frequently to describe the life they worked so hard at out in the woods. The neighbor has been my boss landscaping for many years and its fitting I hear this song for the first and probably only time on the radio as I finish up my tenure in the business.
Runners Up: “Ms. Jackson” -Outkast, “Last Nite” The Strokes, “Chop Suey!” System of a Down
Best Dance Video ever: “Weapon of Choice” -Fatboy Slim
2001 was a crazy year. My brother wrote about it in pretty heavy fashion a few weeks ago and, besides the fact that I have not written a “songs of the year” post in some time, I felt I could add some things since I experienced the year much differently as a sophomore in high school. I distinctly remember hearing about the plane hitting the first building and thinking that I hoped my brother was ok. I knew from my frequent trips to the city that his NYU offices were not in close proximity to the towers, but who knows?
I was in Honors Algebra 2 listening to my teacher drone on about polynomials when someone with a laptop got the first headlines. I called my mom who tried calling my brother and she eventually got the message that he was alive/well and actually saw the second plane hit the other tower. That is extremely heavy and I commend him for writing about the experience. This was a dark period in the history of our country and the shadow looms today and probably forever after.