From the Facebooks: John Yuelkenbeck’s desert-island playlist

Editor’s note: I’d been waiting for the right Facebook music list to arrive that I could grab for this blog, and, lo, it came this past Sunday. It’s fitting that it’s by Dave’s bartender John Yuelkenbeck, not just because he presides over the best jukebox in town, but also because he published, edited and did most of the writing for a local music zine in the early ’90s called Sound. Thanks to John for letting me post his classy list/essay as-is. The premise is basically the classic desert-island-discs idea. Without further ado…

I went with 20 Repeat Play songs on my (O)CD Player. Those who know me know what I’m talking about! Figure if I’ve only got 20 songs, I might as well make them ones I can listen to until the rescue boat arrives.

1. “William Faulkner In Hollywood” — Tom Russell.

My friend Selma put this on a mix tape of songs about California for me to listen to while driving Mike Ireland’s band equipment out there in, when? 1988 i guess. I didn’t hear it until on the way back, as I was leaving Las Vegas, and I just kept pushing the repeat button until I made it back to Kansas City. Great band, insightful lyrics, fiddle, female backup singers . . . Forget David Allen Coe, THIS is the perfect country-western song. A few years later, and I would be designing an album cover for the guy!

2. “This Close To You” — Joe Henry.

From Kindness of the World, one of the first discs I persuaded the amusement company to put on the Stagecoach jukebox for me, back in 1993. Drove everyone crazy with it. Wrote an article for my music ‘zine, Sound, about my obsession over it. And figured I’d already gone on about “I Was A Playboy” enough (although I’ll find a way to sneak that one on with me, too).

3. “Brownsville Girl” — Bob Dylan.

In the summer of 1986, I drove to Chicago three separate times to see (1) Tom Waits’ stage play Frank’s Wild Years at Steppenwolf, (2) Van Morrison’s “No Guru, No Method” tour, and (3) the Dylan/Petty “True Confessions” tour. On one of these drives, not sure which, I listened to nothing but this 11-minute track which had just been released. Co-written by Sam Shepard. I had it memorized after about the 6th hour.

4. “Nightswimming” — R.E.M.

On the third day of my having this on repeat play at the office, a coworker of mine began looking for another job. I don’t blame him.

5. “You’re Sister Cried” — Mary Gauthier.

Gauthier’s cover of this Fred Eaglesmith song knocks it out of the park. The fantastic harmony vocals on the chorus (“I’ll never know how you got in to such a mess/Why do the bridesmaids all have to wear the same dress?”) are probably with producer Gurf Morlix, but I’m too lazy to research it.

Categories: Music