Everyone wants it. Everyone is looking for it, but no one can find it. That’s because it didn’t exist… Until now. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to “The Perfect Playlist” (rock n roll edition). I know, right away with the caveats. Here’s why the qualifiers. My buddy, Josh Carroll, is a pop music maniac. He plays some of the best cover gigs I’ve seen, and has some pretty great original tunes as well. He reached out to me and let me know he is writing again, and is getting inspired by “rock n roll”, and requested a playlist. So sorry, no hip-hop, even though I love it. And sorry, no country, cause gross. Why did he reach out to me, you ask? Simple. I have great taste! I started putting together “The Perfect Playlist” (rock n roll edition), and it was so good I’m sharing it with you! Read on for my explanation, or simply scroll to the bottom to hear the songs.
The Perfect Playlist
1. “Pardon Me” by Jonathan Tyler and Northern Lights. Every playlist needs a hot opener. This one scratches the itch, and thematically it’s perfect. It presents the thought that “maybe it’s been too long since rock n roll turned you on.” After listening to this tune, not anymore!
2. “Futures” by Jimmy Eat World. We keep the energy up with this tune, my favorite J.E.W. song (other than “hava nagila”). This is also one of the most fun Rock Band songs of all time.
3. “Chapel Song” by Augustines. We start slowing down a bit with this one. Currently my favorite band (I even made a whole podcast about them), I shared their entire second album with Josh. This song is from their debut, and is one of their best.
4. “No One’s Gonna Love You” by Band of Horses. We slow down, just about as low as this playlist will get. Don’t let it fool you though, this song will hit you in your feels. One of the best break up songs of all time.
5. “Alive” by Ryan Adams. Just when you were lulled into a calm mood, roll the windows down and jam to one of the best pop/rock songs ever. The guitar riff is top notch, and the chorus will have you singing at the top of your lungs.
The “Pop/Punk” Section
6. “Kings & Queens” by Luna Halo. Going from pop rock to punk pop, and leaving the windows down, we have another son with a great sing along chorus. Let the wind roll through your hair and enjoy this one.
7. “Everything is Alright” by Motion City Soundtrack. This song is 10 years old. I know that because in a few hours, MCS will step on stage here in Tampa at an anniversary show for their breakthrough album. This is the best tune from that album, “Commit This To Memory.”
8. “Quiet Little Voices” by We Were Promised Jetpacks. Definitely not a pop punk band, but this song kind of is a pop punk song. WWPJ are the coolest band to come out of Scotland, well, ever.
9. “Twin Size Mattress” by The Front Bottoms. If Tom Delonge was poor and in a garage band. That’s what The Front Bottoms sound like. Listen to this song, especially starting around 2:40, and imagine yourself in your favorite small venue with a drink in your hand, going ballistic.
10. “Sometime Around Midnight” by The Airborne Toxic Event. This is basically the best sad sack song of all time. Let the violins hit you and then the song builds to pretty much the worst moment in every dude’s life. Soak it in.
11. “Blood and Guts” by Middle Brother. Taylor Goldsmith is one of today’s best songwriters. Here, he moonlights in his side project (normally he fronts Dawes). Another song that builds to an emotional catharsis. To me, this song is about going for it, but being too scared of whatever your “it” may be.
12. “Bloodbuzz Ohio” by The National. Speaking of sad songs, this band specializes in them, though, this particular one isn’t so bad. It does take inspiration from a real life encounter with some killer bees. I chose a song from this band because lead singer Matt Berninger reminds me of Josh.
The “Rock Stars I Know” Section
13. “American Boy” by Redliners. Every great rock playlist needs a few local heroes. The first one is personal fav Redliners, headed up by STATE-LINES own Justin Little. This is another song that needs to be heard with a beer in hand and some good friends to sing along with.
14. “This Is Your Brain” by Tailgunner Joe and the Earls of Slander. My favorite local band of all time. Soaked in southern rock, this band spins a tail of fried eggs… Get it?
15. “Get Going” by Muddy Apes. I know these guys. I’ve even shot a few music videos for them (see below) and they are legitimate rock stars. I say this un-ironically… They are literally huge in Japan. Composed of mostly Japanese members (and one Brit) they are a supergroup. This song is an awesome mix of heavy guitar riffs and screams and beautiful harmonies.
16. “Viva Voce” by The Rocketboys. We slow back down after the last two songs kicked our butts. I consider this song to be the unofficial theme of STATE-LINES. Listen to the words and see if you can figure out why.
The “Bluesy Rock” Section
17. “Knocked Up” by Kinds of Leon. This song comes from the sweet spot in the Kings career, before they got too big for their own good. This is a bluesy southern slow burner that is one of their best tunes.
18. “Pilgrim” by Wolfmother. Another bluesy jam by Australia’s best export Wolfmother. This song takes a musical turn at 2:40 that will make you want to nod your head and pump your fist.
19. “I Got Mine” by The Black Keys. No bluesy rock list is complete without a Keys song. And this is their best one.
20. “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire. We needed a good indie rock tune towards the end of this playlist, and this is one of the best of all time. Wake up and get ready to close this thing down.
21. “Knights of Cydonia” by Muse. Muse is a little too experimental/prog rocky for this list but I couldn’t help myself. This is the song that made me fall in love with them.
22. “PDA” by Interpol. I didn’t love this song at first. Then I heard the end of it. What they do starting at 3:10 is unlike any thing else Ive heard. Not even from Joy Division, smart ass.
23. “The River” by Manchester Orchestra. Good music can be a religious experience. That’s what Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra proves with this track. Let the words of this song soak in. And, bonus, the note he hits at 5:22 is insane.
24. “Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer. The playlist is almost over. We slow it down one last time with Weezer’s best song. If you’re anywhere near my age, chances are you grew up to this song.
25. The Backseat” by Gaslight Anthem. We rev back up for the final song of “The Perfect Playlist”. Another one of my favorite band’s gives us the perfect song to “ride out” to. Put this on at the end of your night, and remember “if you never let me go, I’ll never let you down.”
26. “I Still Believe” by Frank Turner. “But, but, this doesn’t sound like rock n roll?” No one is more rock n roll than Frank Turner. This is the perfect ending to “The Perfect Playlist”. Enjoy this bonus track that asks the best question ever… “Who’d of thought that after all, something as simple as rock n roll would save us all?”