the Salt & Pepper Diner Essential Songs o’ the Day for 8/19

I remain deeply ensconced in a ’90s alternapop rabbit hole and I’m loving it. Couldn’t choose just one song to go with today, so we’re getting two bangers. You’re welcome!

First up, I’ll admit this one’s a bit repetitive. And the video doesn’t do much for me. But given this whole conceit is based on a bit about playing the same song 21 times in a row, we’ll forgive its flaws and just listen joyfully without watching the video.

Way back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, I saw They Might Be Giants in a smallish venue on their first full-band tour (they were awesome – I mean, just look at that set list). The opening act was Frank Black, who strolled out by himself with an acoustic guitar and just laid down some great songs. The curse of the opening slot, no one seemed to notice that the front man of the freaking Pixies (!) was slaying it. Damn. This beauty was one of the ones he played. It might not be everyone’s taste but I like the goofy video, too. Enjoy.

Salt & Pepper Diner Essential Song of the Day for 1/26

I thought I would fight off my usual instincts and pick a song that was made in this century. So what if it’s 17 years old.

Some music resonates with you back to a certain point in your life. The album this came off was a staple at the time for me, and got worn out in the car during hellacious commutes. Our then-young kids actually liked it, so I think of driving around with them and also long drives with a close friend who enjoys great music and a lot of talking and a lot of laughter. Good times! Enjoy this one 21x in a row.

Salt & Pepper Diner Essential Song of the Day for 12/16

I had been thinking that it was about time to pick a song made in this century, but last weekend I found myself in a bar/video game arcade in Manhattan playing Frogger as this song was blasting at high volume. For a song recorded 54 years ago, it still slaps. Play it 21x in a row – loudly – and you’ll see.

Salt & Pepper Diner Essential Song of the Day for 9/4

I recently read Carrie Brownstein’s memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. Some of you may know her from Portlandia, more than a few of you are saying “Who?“, but I think of her as one third of seminal 90s/00s band Sleater-Kinney. This is my favorite S-K song, try it 21x in a row for yourself.

Salt & Pepper Diner Essential Songs of the Day for June 16

Remember mashups? Thanks to Glee and the Pitch Perfect franchise, there was a hot minute when listening to one song at a time just wasn’t enough. But one way or another a golden opportunity was lost as no one made the right choice.

These two songs together would give us, if the not the mashup we want, definitely the mashup we deserve. Layer these two guilty pleasures together and 1+1 will equal a jillion. Play them back to back 21x in a row and they’ll be all mashed up in your head, you’ll see.

Salt & Pepper Diner Essential Songs of the Day for 4/3

We all know about one-hit wonders, but what about acts that successfully chart two songs and are never heard from again?

You can have your Tone Loc and your Paula Cole, but for me the best was the Greg Kihn Band. Both hits are undeniably ear candy that are fun to sing along with (especially in your car with the windows down on a nice day), you get a little bit of jangling guitar in one and some white boy funk in the other, and the clincher? One was the source material for a Weird Al song. Game, set and match. If you weren’t into early 80’s rock, just play ‘em 21x in a row and you’ll see.