The (technically) longest day of the year was more than a month ago, but these late July dog days of summer — with the temps creeping up toward triple digits today in Nashville — can feel endless. Kind of like that funny-named jam band song your college roommate was blasting in the wee hours as you lay desperate for R.E.M. sleep before your 8 a.m. Econ class. 😑
But just because a track tops five minutes doesn’t mean it’s meandering or aimless. Some of the sickest compositions in modern music history, in all genres, take their time. You requested quite a few, and I could only fit seven into the 9 o’clock hour, but you can hear many more linked below.
Stream the full July 29, 2021 #ThematicStatic show (listen!👇🏼) as you condition your dancing legs for lawn nights at Ascend, or opt to surrender to the flow in your own living room. The journey, after all, is the destination.
Fellow phan Larkin requested 12-minute studio Phish, from surprise pandemic-year LP drop Sigma Oasis, but a song they’ve played live since 2014, including their 2018 visit to Nashville. Make this your mantra today: “Everything’s Right” so just hold tight. Listen!👇🏼
Our own Jewly Hight asked for the extended version of Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” and I didn’t get that one in. But to still administer your morning Rx of classic hip-hop, we kicked off the show with “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, at a cool 6 1/2 minutes, instead. Solid sub, Marquis Munson!
Carrie on Instagram recommended The Cure‘s title track off their double-platinum 1989 release, Disintegration. I tucked in this eight-minute New Wave opus before the official start of #ThematicStatic at 9:11 a.m. because, well, we do what we want. Thanks, Carrie!
I can hardly wait to see Nels Cline rip us new ones on August 15 when Wilco plays “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” — a rhythmic/good for running song that tops 10 minutes, with multiple peaks and ample distortion. Both Vince and WPLN pal Tony Gonzalez requested this A Ghost is Born banger, which has quite the illustrative opening verse🕷:
Spiders are singing in the salty breezeWilco
Spiders are filling out tax returns
Spinning out webs of deductions and melodies
On a private beach in Michigan
The enigmatic experimental soul-funk-R&B group known as SAULT released two incredible LPs last year. Untitled (Rise) opens with a 6:19 track called “Strong,” which was tucked between a couple of the rockers this morn. Hear it again!👇🏼
Nathan kindly requested LCD Soundsystem’s “Dance Yrself Clean,” and I hereby solemnly swear to play this some morning, pal. This one from 2010’s This Is Happening features a quiet start that erupts into a blistered-ears electronic groove around the three-minute mark.
Before there was SAULT spicing up the airwaves out of the U.K., there were The Eurythmics. One out-of-state listener requested “Would I Lie to You,” which is just barely over five minutes, but I’m going to include it here because 1) it slaps, and 2) that listener gave me her DNA. Here, Mom, and world! Watch👇🏼 the official video:
From eerie boops and beeps backing vocoded verses, through jubilant group vocals, plus some artful f-bombs I just wouldn’t be able to radio edit and be proud of airing, the closing track from Sufjan Stevens‘ The Age of Adz — “Impossible Soul” — is quite the adventure. Shane mentioned it on Instagram for today’s show. At more than 25 minutes, this is quite the steal for just a buck on Bandcamp:
Ethan voted for Gillian Welch and I couldn’t describe his song choice better than Jim Beviglia did for American Songwriter in 2014:
As album-closing songs go, they don’t get much more epic than “I Dream A Highway,” the 14-and-a-half minute track that ends Gillian Welch’s 2001 album Time (The Revelator.) It’s a track that’s memorable for far more than its length. Each of the song’s eleven verses and six refrains feels necessary, as if you removed one, the rest would tumble, Jenga-like, in a heap of disparate images and rhymes.American Songwriter
Alex elevated The Allman Brothers Band’s rollicking Southern rock classic “Whipping Post,” and I have to believe he had in mind the 22-minute live version from At Fillmore East. I couldn’t justify taking up a third of the hour with this puppy, but I highly encourage any ABB rookies to take this trip. Listen!👇🏼
In that same vein, Canadian wonder Neil Young’s tale of “Cortez the Killer” got a pair of requests from both Tammy and Abel. There are so many good live renditions, but even the studio version from the 1975 Crazy Horse record Zuma is seven-and-a-half minutes long. I’m putting that one on right now as I write this.✌️
A teacher pal in North Carolina tweeted at me with requests for either The Mars Volta (six of 10 songs on their 2003 prog-metal-emo LP De-Loused in the Comatorium are more than six minutes long) or Weezer‘s excellent Blue Album closer “Only In Dreams.” I chose the latter and cried a little bit in-studio, TBH. The AVClub has a nice write-up on the composition of this uncharacteristically long song, and its fandom. Bryan, thank you for the request, and best wishes back to school!
Martha Ann quickly piped up with her request when we posted to Instagram on Monday: “Wasted” from My Morning Jacket‘s most recent full-length release, Waterfall II. Watch the groovy visualizer:
We closed the #ThematicStatic hour with “No More Shoes,” requested by Jeremy, from indie rock legend Stephen Malkmus‘ 2005 solo record Face the Truth. When Stephen wants to jam, we will let him.
Remember to get your future requests in at wnxp.org/feedback! Stay lovely, stay long.