Category: Certain Songs

Certain Songs: Psychedelic Furs – Into You Like A Train

“Certain songs,” Craig Finn sang on The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me, “they get scratched into our souls.” That’s the basis of “Certain Songs:” a look at the songs that have done just that. These aren’t necessarily our favorite songs or the songs that we think are the best, but rather songs that — every single time we hear them — instantly transport us back to a place and time in which that song is forever intertwined. This is one of the reasons we so hate the RIAA’s attempted stranglehold on the dissemination of music: you never know where that next certain song is going to come from.

Talk Talk TalkSometimes the things that totally change your life happen so randomly as to be almost impossible.

Probably usually, actually, which is why you can never think too much about them. In any event, the first great thing to happen to me as an “adult,” was getting involved with KFSR, the Fresno State radio station.

And it happened because Tim made friends with a guy while we were both a Fresno City College.

At the time, Tim and I had only been out of high school for a few months, and we were going to City — or at least I was — because there was really no plan for adulthood besides drinking as much beer and buying as many records and seeing as many concerts as was humanly possible before actual responsibilities started creeping in.

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Certain Songs: Creedence Clearwater Revival – Ramble Tamble

“Certain songs,”Craig Finn sang on The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me, “they get scratched into our souls.” That’s the basis of our latest feature: a look at the songs that have done just that. These aren’t necessarily our favorite songs or the songs that we think are the best, but rather songs that — every single time we hear them — instantly transport us back to a place and time in which that song is forever intertwined. This is one of the reasons we so hate the RIAA’s attempted stranglehold on the dissemination of music: you never know where that next certain song is going to come from.

CosmoIt’s around 5:00am on a balmy August morning in 1981, and I’ve not yet been to sleep. I’m in the passenger seat of Larry’s car — a light blue Dodge Colt with a long white CB antenna mounted on the back bumper — and we’re driving back to Fresno from L.A. after a marathon concert by Bruce Springsteen. Tim is asleep in the back, and as we approach Fresno, the sun starts peeking over the Sierra Nevadas.

And the song that’s blaring from the cassette deck: “Ramble Tamble.” I think about this every time I hear that song.

Here’s the other thing: I’m almost positive that this memory is false.

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Certain Songs: The Clash – Safe European Home

“Certain songs,” Craig Finn sang on The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me, “they get scratched into our souls.” That’s the basis of our latest feature: a look at the songs that have done just that. These aren’t necessarily our favorite songs or the songs that we think are the best, but rather songs that — every single time we hear them — instantly transport us back to a place and time in which that song is forever intertwined. This is one of the reasons we so hate the RIAA’s attempted stranglehold on the dissemination of music: you never know where that next certain song is going to come from.

Give ‘Em Enough RopeYou know how sometimes you hear an album — or even a song — for the first time, and without even realizing it, by the time it’s over, your whole perception of the world has forever been changed? That was what hearing The Clash for the very first time did to me. It was late 1978, I was a junior in at San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, California, and I pretty much liked what other white, suburban males my age liked: Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Yes, etc.

But, something had happened: about a year before, I’d started reading rock magazines — Circus, Rolling Stone and most especially, CREEM. And those rock magazines were all buzzing to various degrees about something called “Punk Rock.” Punk seemed strange and weird, and it was very much unheard on Fresno radio. So even though the Sex Pistols had already crashed and burned on American soil, I actually hadn’t heard a note of their music.

But I had heard The Cars, and their debut album was the very first punk-associated thing I ever bought. But of course, The Cars were really “new wave,” which was a totally different head, man, so I finally took the Punk plunge with Rocket to Russia by the Ramones and Marquee Moon by Television. Those are still two of my favorite records, and they just whetted my appetite for more.

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