jason o'brien's Playlist for Picture Day

Violent Femmes Add It Up - My sister Tracey is six years older than me, and she would play this album, Van Halen Fair Warning, Billy Idol and The Ramones in the car when she was driving me to karate classes and my friends houses when I was twelve. It was awesome, and a huge departure from my parents' Roger Whittaker and Richard Claterman albums. LISTEN
Larry Graham Hair/Tis Your Type Of Music - Yes I am a bass player. This is Larry Graham. He is also a bass player. Have a listen, and if you like, go out and buy a bass. You'll have a great life. LISTEN
Me'shell Ndegeocello If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night) - This song has everything to do with Toronto for me. I had just stepped off the bus coming from Sault Ste. Marie, to go to an interview for Ryerson's Tech Theatre Progam. BUT FIRST, I went into the Sam the Record Man on Yonge, and bought this album. I'd seen the video, and it blew my mind. It was visceral, poetic, and it showed me a fragility, and a vulnerability of these women I'd never seen before. And man, Me'shell kicks ass! LISTEN
Peter Gabriel In Your Eyes - I heard John Mayer say once that he remembers feeling that the world was a different place to him after hearing Extreme's 'More Than Words.' I was eleven when I first heard this song, and after hearing it, the world was a different place. LISTEN
Rage Against The Machine Bullet In The Head - Deadly. Socialist. Funk. Rock. Band. It still just hurts that they're not a band anymore. Arguably the best 4-piece since Led Zeppelin, for all 4 guys bringing great musicianship. LISTEN
James Brown Gonna Have A Funky Good Time - Can't have a favorites list without something from James Brown. This taken from Leon Gast's brilliant documentary 'When We Were Kings.' LISTEN
Lou Reed Sweet Jane - Stage presence. Words weaved together like a tapestry. Sick, Sick, Sick band. Everyone has to have a concept. LISTEN
Shirley Bassey feat. The Propellerheads History Repeating - Inspired by her recent Oscar appearance. The lady with one of the most iconic voices in film. This was the first time I'd heard her singing a pop song, reminding us all not to freak out, and that if it's good enough, and the people making it have enough resilience to keep making it, that people will hear it. LISTEN
Stevie Wonder Higher Ground - 'Turn me up just a little bit!' You've probably noticed that all but one of these tracks are live. Music is meant to be alive. It exists to connect people who are together, for whatever reason. To communicate about a shared experience, and to create one through the new experience of music. I love records of course, but there's something about the spirit of live music that is rarely translated. LISTEN
The Wood Brothers When I Was Young - From the 'What are you listening to now' file. Chris Wood (of the jam band Medeski, Martin, and Wood) and his brother Oliver have been writing songs and touring for the last five years. Great musicians, and great tunes! Thanks for listening! LISTEN