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Songs on Toast


Painters always have great music playing. So do drug dealers, cinematographers, unemployed countesses, bartenders in loser bars, cello players and beekeepers. And maybe Werner Herzog and Phillipe Petit.

Everyone else? Not so much.

One of the reasons I started doing a weekly radio show was that it forced me out of my comfort zone. I need to fill 2 hours of airtime a week -- not all that much given how much music exists in the world, but I like to let more than half of each show consist of new music. Or music that's new to me.

The danger for most of us is that we get stuck in a particular time or genre. For most people it's that moment between college and  A JOB!!! Check out someone's record (or CD or MP3 collection) and, that stray Adele or Buena Vista or Amy Winehouse album aside, you can date them, like rings around a tree, by all those Carole King, Phil Collins, Boney M and U2 albums, all those Keith Jarrett,   Depeche Mode and Arctic Monkeys CDs, line them up and they'd stretch from here to the moon and most of the way back. So climb them like a ladder, if you like, or listen, if you must. But here are some alternatives, if you feel like slipping away from the familiar. Much of this music is available on eMusic ( Some is available on Soundike ( - alarmingly cheap and surprisingly legal). And for some of it.... you're on your own.


Leonard Cohen - OLD IDEAS

How can an album about one's own impending mortality be so cheery, buoyant and fun to listen to. Go figure. His best new album in years.



Django Reinhardt - MUSETTE TO MAESTRO

He had no respect for his guitar. He rarely used a case. If a string broke, he played on 5 strings. If another string broke, he played on 4. If the guitar itself broke, he got another one. Like Jimi Hendrix, he was reaching past the instrument into something else, into somewhere else. Like Hendrix, he rarely played with musicians as good or as visionary as he was. It doesn't matter.




Repeat after me..."The saddest thing in the whole wide world, see your baby with another girl."



Markos Vamvakaris - BAZOUKI PIONEER (1932 - 1940)

Howlin' Wolf goes to Greece, gets drunk, gets in trouble, decides to talk about it.




The leader of The Hold Steady. Can't stand The Hold Steady. Can't stop listening to Finn's solo cd, CLEAR HEART, FULL EYES.  Surprisingly, this isn't a religious song. Not the way you'd think. Inspirational line: "It's hard to suck with Jesus in your band..."


Fridays 10pm - midnight (EST)
Sundays noon to 2pm (EST)


Songs on Toast #161 Playlist

Amen (7:35) - Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas    

Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes - Jon Brion/Beck, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind    

Master's Hands (2:48) - Charlotte Gainsbourg, IRM    

La Bamba (3:38) - Milton Nascimento, Miltons            

When I Am Called (4:07) - Shannon McNally, Western Ballad    

Loving You (2:11) - Francoise Hardy, Messages Personnels    

Maroko (Morocco) (3:05) - Markos Vamvakaris, Bouzouki Pioneer 1932-40    

Leskoviqare (6:07) - Famille Lela de Permet, Polyphonies Vocales Et Instrumentales d'Albanie

Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup - Jean Sablon & Django Reinhardt, Musette To Maestro

Darkness (4:29) - Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas    

Give Me One Reason (5:04) - Junior Wells, Come on in This House        

Sportin' Life (3:47) - Dave Van Ronk, Somebody Else, Not Me        

I Need A Hundred Dollars (3:02) - One String Sam, Roots Of Drone        

Ellie Rae (3:53) - John Martyn, Sunday's Child    

Ehad Mi Yodea (3:18) - Music From Putti, When I Wake Up   

(Intro) (0:28) - Blanche, If We Can't Trust the Doctors    

County Line (5:37) - Cass McCombs, Wit's End    

Sweet Honesty (8:02) - John & Beverley Martyn, Stormbringer!    

Sally Go Round The Roses (3:17) - The Jaynettes, 45    

I Am A Pilgrim (3:22) - Aaron Neville, I Know I've Been Changed    

New Friend Jesus (3:12) - Craig Finn, Clear Heart Full Eyes I    

Thou Art Loosed (2:32) - Dry the River, Weights & Measures    

Going Home (3:51) - Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas    

7 Up Swing (2:29) - Abafana Flute Jive, Soul Safari Presents Township Jive & Kwela Jazz

Conch Ain't Got No Bone (2:35) - Blind Blake, Goombay Rock    

Wayowaya (4:08) Menwar, Mauritius - Ile Maurice : Tambour Ravanne Drum            

When You Are Wrong (2:24) The Techniques, Little Did You Know    

Ce Sa Madinina (Biguine) (3:18) - Honoré Coppet, Cé ca Madinina    

Pennywhistle - Django Reinhardt & Les Leiber Armed Forces Radio, 1945

Inhlizyiyo Yam (2:11) - Cowboy Superman & His Cowboy Sisters, Soul Safari Presents Township Jive