Lisa Prank knows that great pop music comes in many forms. From country- and folk-tinged classics from Dolly Parton and Lucinda Williams to upbeat glam and garage rock from PWR BTTM and Tacocat, this playlist will help you through the last few hours of your work week (and have you begging for a Cub reunion). Check out Lisa’s upcoming album, Adult Teen, out June 24 via Father/Daughter Records, as well as the special edition cassette out via Miscreant Records.
— the editors of the Talkhouse Music
That Dog — “Long Island”
This track is the anthem for crushing out on someone long-distance and daydreaming about all the cable TV you could watch together if only you lived in the same city. I love that it’s so obviously about someone specific, and I also love the subtle diss of, “You’re pretty dreamy for a boy from Long Island.” Like, are boys from Long Island not usually dreamy? I’m not from the East Coast so I don’t know about these things.
Cub — “Magic 8 Ball”
Sometimes I hope if I listen to this song enough times I will cast a spell for a Cub reunion tour.
They Might Be Giants — “Dead”
I sang along to “Dead” as an existentially angsty eight-year-old at my first concert, and I’m still singing along to it now as an existentially angsty adult. TMBG are everything: goofy and sentimental and morbid and tender. Only they could write a lyric like, “Now it’s over I’m dead and I haven’t done anything that I want/or I’m still alive and there’s nothing I want to do.” This is one of those songs I will never quite fully understand and get more out of each time I listen.
Dolly Parton — “Think About Love”
Dolly is the queen of the world and this is the perfect hopeful love song — it feels so big and magical and is just a total jam. I love her ability to have this gaudy, sparkly, over-the-top image (I’m reading her autobiography right now and one of the nuggets of wisdom is: “if you’re a star, you owe it to your fans to look like one”), but her songs are so genuine and full of the truest sentiment. In this case, it’s so simple: “When you think about love, think about me.” I’m also a total believer in the rumor that she’s completely covered in pastel flower and butterfly tattoos.
PWR BTTM — “West Texas”
This track by these two wonderful people just epically tugs at all the deep chords in my heart. When they sing, “The stars above me are the same ones above you/I’ve been trying to play it cool but I still love you” it completely slays me. I can’t wait for PWR BTTM to rule the world.
TacocaT — “I Love Seattle”
I just got a Space Needle tattoo so I guess you could say that I really relate to the sentiment of this song. I recently went on tour with TacocaT so I think “I Love Seattle” will be stuck in my head for the rest of eternity, and I’m totally cool with that.
Downtown Boys — “Dancing In The Dark”
This Bruce Springsteen cover came on while I was setting up to play a show a few weeks ago and it made me tear up. Downtown Boys are the best live band I’ve ever seen and those beautiful, beautiful saxophones just fill me with joy.
Lucinda Williams — “2 Kool 2 Be 4-gotten”
It was difficult for me to pick just one Lucinda Williams song, but lately this one is the music of my heart. I can see so clearly the Rosedale, Mississippi, Magic City juke joint she describes, right down to the graffiti on the wall. And I can also see so clearly the relationship she mourns. Lucinda is a master at telling the whole story in just a few words. I saw her last summer in Olympia after jumping into a lake and I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much at a show. Lucinda is a national treasure.
Dear Nora — “My Guitar”
There must be quite a few things a Dear Nora song won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. “My Guitar” is beautiful and tender and quietly triumphant and comforts me like someone putting a cool washcloth on my forehead when I’m sick. All the lyrics are perfect, but I feel like if I repeat the end of the song enough times I’ll feel better about anything: “I don’t wanna be a monument/I don’t wanna lose my sentiment/cause I don’t wanna lay down in cement/not today.”