Last night was a crazy ride. Dwayne showed up a few hours early to grill his famous Jamaican jerk chicken, so we stood around the grill for a few hours, drinking beer and listening to Spotify on the deck speakers. Starting a day’s drinking – even on just beer – at three o’clock, does not make for a sober night. Everyone was supposed to show up an hour earlier this time, though, to eat and get ready.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Dwayne’s chicken was a hit. The cheddar brats and potato salad and chocolate cake and Filipino soup and fruit salad was good too. Holy shit we ate like kings. And then we gathered round to get started, and fulfilled our assignment from last month, which was Songs that Keep us Melancholy. Great list there, and some really good head-nodders were played.

I started the night off with Tom Waits, “Swordfishtrombones”. I guess the group wasn’t quite ready for his unique brand of music, so sadly, we didn’t make it through the whole album. It was also quite possible some of them were as drunk – or drunker – than I was. That didn’t help, and it’s not meant to be what this thing is about. Anyway, I had to quickly redeem his name by playing the song he wrote for Norah, then playing his own version of it. That’s a little easier to swallow for some people, and is a better gateway into his music. Sad, really. I had hoped people would give it a chance.

Next up was Allen, who played the Blues Brothers record. What a great time that one is, huh? It’s full of blues rock, and it’s actually quite good. At first, I was under the impression that it was supposed to be comical. But it’s a real nice record. I think I actually saw a copy of this at Josey records recently, in the New Arrivals, but didn’t pick it up. If I see it again, I will, next time. Thanks, Allen!

Ryan took us back to another time with “Cool Water” by Sons of the Pioneers. This is old bluegrass Americana at its finest. A nice, refreshing break from the hard edges of the rock we typically listen to. Tumbling Tumbleweeds actually made its way onto The Big Lebowski soundtrack during the opening monologue. This was country before the country wasn’t country anymore. Thank you, Ryan, for something completely different.

Dwayne finished the Secret Spins with Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?”. There might have been some dancing going on to this legendary record full of soul. Just excellent stuff here. And everyone has heard it. The ubiquity of Marvin Gaye is undeniable, and for obvious reasons. Thank you, Dwayne.

To end the night, we again moved to the Spotify Computer and added our individual songs of choice to the queue. There ensued a lot of dancing and air-guitaring. Even Ryan got out of his seat once. A blast was truly had by all.

Next month’s premeditation topic: Top two songs you just absolutely cannot live without. This can be a love song, a hate song or a play-for-a-date song. Times two, to save time and get everyone’s list played.

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