Category Archives: Guest Writers

Writings by friends, colleagues and anyone else we can convince to work for free.

Guest Article: Nathan Smith Decides to Waste Some Time With Us

First of all, hats off to Mac and Jon for finally figuring out a way to combine the global outreach of the Internet and the unmatched waste-of-time potential of music. I’m surprised and impressed that they got to it first—I now expect to see dozens of imitation music “blogs” (love that word, Mac—nice job) sprout up over the next decade or so. But this is the original, and don’t forget it.
And then to invite me to dust off the old Tandy TRS-80 and put my two-cents worth in (that was the payment arrangement we discussed, right, guys?), well, I’m touched beyond words. Unfortunately, words are about all the TRS-80 can handle (I have a floppy disk with some clip art on it, but I’m worried about overwhelming the 128k of RAM the old girl’s packing—she actually weeps).
By way of global and temporal positioning, Mac and I go back a ways—all the way back to the Edgar Winter’s White Trash/Emerson Lake And Palmer days (Paramount Theatre, 1971—Winter was OK, ELP sucked ass) and before. Jon I’ve only met once (Hold Steady/Drive By Truckers, Showbox Sodo) but that one time was enough to convince me that we were destined to be Best Friends Forever, as the kids say (Jon, I know I sound like a broken record here but did you get that crate of lanyards I made you?)
But I guess I should start here with a playlist—a few overlooked records I happen to love, just to say howdy and to let you know where I’m coming from.
Womack & Womack: “Good Man Monologue” 1989—Bonnie Raitt and Delbert McClinton did a nice version of this on Bonnie’s very fine Luck Of The Draw album but it didn’t come close to what Cecil and Linda Womack did here. The slinkiest groove you’ve ever heard, Cecil’s shredded vocal, Linda as angry-sounding as pop singers ever get. Pure misery and pure pleasure all rolled into one.
Womack & Womack – 06 – Good Man Monologue







Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band: “Owed T’Alex” 1978—One of those build-up records. Doesn’t do much, doesn’t really go anywhere, just gets louder and more intense as the minutes roll on. About half-way through it starts to sound like a motorcycle in permanent backfire mode, and after that it sounds like the Captain is trying to blow the motorcycle’s engine out. The last minute or so is an amazing roar.
Owed T’Alex



The Coup: “Wear Clean Draws” 2001—The great Oakland rapper Boots Riley is a loud and proud leftist (check his recent work with the Street Sweeper Social Club), and this love song to his daughter is the sweetest and gentlest commie propaganda imaginable. Irresistible.
Wear Clean Draws






Ashford & Simpson: “Somebody Told A Lie” 1976—It probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to include this last week, but, hey, Nick Ashford just died, and it’s a great record whatever the circumstances.
Somebody Told A Lie




Misha Mengelberg: “Brozziman” 2005/Benjamin Herman: “Brozziman” 2009—I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz lately, and the great Dutch pianist and composer Misha Mengelberg and his ICP (for Instant Composers Pool) Orchestra have been making me deliriously happy for the last few years. Here we have two approaches to Mengelberg’s popular “Brozziman”—one in which Misha himself Monks it up with a piano trio, and the other where Mengelberg’s disciple the Dutch alto sax weirdo Benjamin Herman takes it surfing. Suitable for dancing either way.





Dang it. I was hoping to get to ten before the computer started making That Noise (such a plaintive, defeated moan: heartbreaking really). So I’ll sign off for now. Remember, kids, as the disc jockeys and the heroin addicts say—always keep your needle popping!


Guest Article: What to Play When You’re Getting Married

We’re lucky to have a guest writer this week, Hiley Spaet, a good friend of both my wife and mine, who only a few weekends ago married another longtime friend of ours, Tyler Olsen. Hiley’s wedding music was brilliant start to finish, and I even got the privilege of running the iPod during the ceremony. So I asked her to put together a write up of her wedding as a guest feature here at allthosewastedhours. Without further ado:

While most girls dream of their wedding dress their entire life, I’ve been dreaming of my wedding music. Since my now-husband proposed to me a year ago, I’ve been building what I hoped would be the most badass playlists for the most important day in our lives.


Putting together the music for seating, dinner and our first dance wasn’t difficult—we just picked our favorite love songs (cheesy and serious). My biggest concern was the dance party. I wanted the dance floor to be full the entire night. That meant absolutely no slow songs. My approach was to flow through different genres in chronological order. That way, older guests were able to do the Twist at the beginning of the night and the younger guests were dropping it like it’s hot until well past midnight.


Here’s a snapshot of some of our favorite songs from each of the playlists:



(1)  5 Years Time – Noah and The Whale

(2)  Here Comes Your Man – The Pixies

(3)  You Really Got a Hold on Me – She & Him

(4)  Mushaboom – Feist

(5)  Gotta Have You – The Weepies


Walking down the aisle:

(1)  Let My Love Open the Door – Pete Townshend


Husband and wife:

(1)  You Make My Dreams Come True – Hall & Oates



(1)  You’ve Got the Love – Florence + The Machine

(2)  Valerie – Amy Winehouse

(3)  Just One Kiss – Raphael Saadiq

(4)  Slow Dance – John Legend

(5)  Girl, I Wanna Lay You Down – ALO, featuring Jack Johnson


First Dance:

(1)  Heavenly Day – Patty Griffin


Father/Daughter Dance:

(1)  Daughter – Loudon Wainwright III


Mother/Son Dance:

(1)  Forever Young – Rod Stewart


Dance Party:

(1)  September – Earth, Wind & Fire

(2)  Shook Me All Night – ACDC

(3)  Fight for Your Right – Beastie Boys

(4)  Getting’ Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith

(5)  Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO