Welcome to another installment of The Baker’s Dozen, a feature in which I will deliver a playlist of some of the things I’ve been listening to lately and tell you why.
In the wake of the tragic events that transpired in Boston last week, I’ve decided to devote this week’s playlist to songs inspired by and in tribute to that resilient city.
Without further ado, check out this week’s edition of The Baker’s Dozen, hot and fresh out the kitchen:
1. Dropkick Murphys – “For Boston”
Because the Dropkick Murphys embody the spirit of Boston better than anyone else. Sing Loud, Sing Proud!
2. Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers – “Roadrunner”
Because of the line “I’m in love with Massachusetts.” This one’s for all the roadrunners who competed in the Boston Marathon last Monday and were confronted with unspeakable horror at the finish line.
3. Pixies – “Here Comes Your Man”
Because they were playing ’90s style alternative rock in Boston in the late ’80s and were extremely influential to groups like Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
4. Aerosmith – “Dream On”
Because they came out of Boston in the 1970s sounding like the Rolling Stones and even though I would never listen to almost any other song by them, this one’s pretty badass. And Steven Tyler actually sings in his real voice.
5. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “I Want My City Back”
Because the anger and nostalgia of this song’s lyrics have taken on a greater meaning in the days following the attack.
6. Street Dogs – “Free”
Because this group features the original singer of the Dropkick Murphys, Mike McColgan, who left DKM to join the Boston Fire Department. And this song perfectly encapsulates the resilient spirit of the people of Boston and the way they somehow always manage to get back on their feet.
7. Aimee Mann – “How Am I Different”
Because she dropped out of the Berklee School of Music to start a punk band, which is probably your best career move if you go to Berklee. Mann is to Boston what Jeff Tweedy is to Chicago.
8. Amy Black – “Valerie”
Because she graduated from Northeastern University and then stayed in Boston to pursue a career as a country musician, even if this soulful pop ditty doesn’t really convey the whole country thing.
9. Steph Barrak – “Drift With It”
Because I first heard her sing this song at an open mic night in a basement at Boston University and it absolutely floored me. I’m proud to count Steph as a friend and happy to see her finding success in her music career.
10. Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch – “Good Vibrations”
Do I really have to explain why?
11. Gang Starr – “Full Clip”
Because this is the best rap group to ever come out of Boston. And it’s not even close. R.I.P. Guru.
12. Neil Diamond – “Sweet Caroline”
Because whether you want to admit it or not, if you’ve ever gone to Fenway Park, the holy grail of baseball, you’ve totally sung along with the rest of the drunken Sox fans when this song comes on after the top of the 8th inning. “So good!!! So good!!! So good!!!”
13. The Standells – “Dirty Water”
Because this is what you drunkenly sang along to after the Sox won. And even though I’ve moved on to New York, I still love that dirty water. Boston, you’ll always be my home.
Until next time, keep it hot and fresh.