The Tailgate Society thought it was high time to get someone on board to send your ears on an aural adventure each week. Our girl Sylvia June selects 5 songs that tell a story, pertain to current events, convey a feeling or just make her happy. And, most of the time, she’ll have a great new album for you to check out, too.
So my parents and I have started going on vacation together every year. It isn’t something I ever thought would be a thing, let alone fun, but it has turned out surprisingly well. We all like to do relatively the same things (eat, drink, gamble, eat, watch TV…did I say eat?). I’m an only child, so there are no siblings to be jealous of my “mooching.” And I get to help with transportation so they can relax a little more. It’s kind of an indulgence for me to drive long distances and listen to music, anyway.
This tradition started a few years ago, with a trip to Vegas of all places. This is a destination we will return to several times, I am sure, since the Raiders are moving there and my dad cannot even WAIT. Admittedly, it’s a little weird to you see your dad being handed a card with a naked lady’s picture on it and the card doesn’t get thrown away. You would not believe the funny shit we get up to together. I have the best photo of my mom posing in front of a copy of Michaelangelo’s “David” sculpture, faux cupping his balls. Sorry, but I promised I wouldn’t share it. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?
This year, my parents decided to go to Texas. We’re flying into Dallas to see Dealey Plaza, where Kennedy was assassinated, then driving on to Austin for a day. The rest of the week will be spent in San Antonio visiting my mom’s brother. We’ll get to tour Lackland Air Force Base, where my dad went through basic training and do a bunch of other fun stuff.
In the spirit of this trip, I decided to look up musicians who are from Texas so I can find some appropriate driving music for my trip through the Lone Star State. Obviously there are a shit ton of country artists — Willie Nelson, Gene Autry, Tanya Tucker, the Dixie Chicks, just to name a few. I don’t know why I was surprised to see a bunch of musicians from other genres, too, but the diversity of tunes coming out of Texas is impressive. I had no idea that Janis Joplin, Norah Jones and that hottie Demi Lovato were all from Texas.
Here are 5 songs that will for sure have a spot on this year’s vacation playlist:
- Beyonce, “Daddy Lessons”
This Houston-born goddess is a lot of fun to listen to, whether her music is up in the club or taking it slow. It’s hard to pick just one Queen Bey song because I have so many of them on my personal playlists. I think “Daddy Lessons” from her album Lemonade (which also featured the controversial “Formation”) not only has a great country flavor to it, it also makes me think of my relationship with my father. Needless to say, there are lots more songs of hers that will end up in the rotation.
“Daddy made me fight
It wasn’t always right
But he said girl it’s your Second Amendment”
2. Blue October, “She’s My Ride Home”
Also born out of Houston, Blue October has been one of my favorite bands for awhile. I respect Justin’s very public battle with depression and addiction because I’ve fought those same things, and the band’s lyrics have been helpful in some dark times. Their song “She’s My Ride Home” from Foiled is perfect for a drive. Another band that will be heavily included.
To leave the past and clear the mind
To watch the sunset set its time
I swear you’ll find I’m your ride home”
3. Butthole Surfers, “Dracula from Houston”
Anyone else remember these guys? I was in middle school when the San Antonio-based group hit the airwaves in 1996 with Electriclarryland, and their name cracked me the fuck up. Their music is actually really good. I’m planning to look up some stuff about them to see while I’m in their hometown. I’m including “Dracula from Houston” because it seems apropos for this trip. It was also on the Scrubs soundtrack, and I love Scrubs.
“I was veinous and heinous and crippled and sad
Thought I was invincible, the baddest of the bad
Then I woke up one morning, and I stepped out of bed
Had to get a bike, had to paint it red”
4. Kris Kristofferson, “Best of All Possible Worlds”
If you’ve been to jail and you love country music, you probably love this song. Even if you have experience with neither, “Best of All Possible Worlds” is one of many essential cuts from this Brownsville native. Kristofferson is a prolific songwriter, and I really enjoy his work.
“There’s still a lot of drinks that I ain’t drunk
And lots of pretty thoughts that I ain’t thunk
And lord there’s still so many lonely girls
In this best of all possible worlds.“
5. Janis Joplin, “I Need A Man To Love”
I wish I was half the vocalist and performer this Port Arthur native was. I’m also thankful I’m not a heroin addict. Janis Joplin is amazing, and her music, both things she wrote and covered from other songwriters like Kristofferson (“Me and Bobby McGee”), is so psychedelic and expressive. I wish she could have lived longer to give us more of herself. Janis penned “I Need a Man To Love,” and the rawness of the emotion in this song is speaking to me right now.
“I want to just put my arms around ya, like the circles going ’round the
sun / Let me hold you daddy, at least until the morning comes / Because it can’t be this loneliness, baby, surrounding me”
“New” album of the week – Prince, 1999 (Super Deluxe Edition)
No one compares to Prince, that’s for certain. And this 5-CD+ 1 DVD edition of 1999 proves it. 1999 (Super Deluxe Edition) brings fans all the audio material that Prince officially released in and around the time 1999 was recorded, as well as 23 previously unissued studio tracks and a complete live audio performance of the 1999 tour. There’s even a Texas tie here: The DVD in the box set is a live performance from Houston! A bonus for me, the set contains a lot of music Prince recorded right before and on the day I was born. Totally worth the $54-65 price tag for Prince fans to have the box set on hand.
Prince is known for kooky and/or sexual songs that germinated early in his career. One of the previously unreleased gems I uncovered on this set (and now love) was “Vagina.” I think it’s one indication of how multifaceted and interesting Prince was as a person.
“Vagina was half-boy, half-girl
She had her own way of doing things
But baby, she should have been king
‘Cause she was so strong and so understanding”