“With my mind on my money and my money on my mind” – Snoop Dogg, “Gin And Juice”
I can’t believe the Ides of April are already upon us. I guess it beats the Ides of March, not to get all Julius Caesar and Shakespeare on you… It’s mid-April and here in the American midwest, it’s snowed twice this month. This schizophrenic weather is killing me. This isn’t how April is supposed to go down. Two days ago it was 80 degrees. Today it’s in the 30s. I don’t know whether to put on shorts with my favorite concert t-shirt and head to my favorite patio bar for a margarita or whether to bundle up…. Where did I put my scarf? Usually by mid-April I’ve started work on my tan, which usually ends up with me turning a slightly rusty color all summer…what can I say, I’m fair-skinned. But even I have to admit, the world just looks better with a tan.
We’re almost a full third into the year and the music scene this year has really sucked. Jack White’s Boarding House Reach disappointed me (LP Review: Creativity And The Curious Case of Jack White & ‘Boarding House Reach’) as much as Beck’s Colors did last year and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ The Getaway did the year before that. It’s painful when artists of that caliber miss the mark so widely… they only put out albums every three or four years so I’m stuck waiting. Maybe I’m not spelunking deep enough? Thank God Jimi Hendrix’s vault continues to release such great music… LP Review: Jimi Hendrix, ‘Both Sides of the Sky,’ The Vaults Runneth Over…. And to top it all, Lindsey Buckingham was fired from Fleetwood Mac and I read in the Washington Post, Lindsey may be a bigger asshole than we all realized.
My friend, drummer Blake informed that Coachella is happening this weekend. When I asked the Rock Chick what Coachella is, she said, “It’s Woodstock for rich, white, pretty kids.” It sounds awful. Blake says it’s an arts and music festival but the music is Hip Hop and EDM… with maybe a rock act thrown in just for fun. I’m sorry, there’s not enough Ecstasy in the world to make that music tolerable. Every picture I’ve seen of the fans at Coachella are the same… tall, willowy, emaciated chicks with vacuous, dehydrated eyes and dirty feet. Hydrate, ladies, hydrate…and buy some rock and roll. Greta Van Fleet are the only band worth seeing at Coachella this year… Pearl Jam are out there on the road somewhere… maybe they’ll come back to the States. Thank God I’ve got Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul tickets next month with my friends Doug and Drew. Depeche Mode is returning and everybody should try and see them.
I think the thing that has me in this early Spring, or perhaps more accurately, Second Winter funk these days is that Tax Day in the United States is this weekend. Every year in the United States income taxes are due on April 15th. Well, this year it’s April 17th but same difference. I can remember when I was a kid, working summer jobs doing light construction, tax day was good news. It usually meant a refund. Now every year, I’m writing a check. It wouldn’t bother me except I’m guessing the check I’m writing is probably bigger than Warren Buffett’s or the Koch Brothers’ and those guys could buy and sell me with plenty of cash left over… The rich get richer.
Income taxes in the U.S. actually started in 1861 as a way to pay for the Civil War. It was codified by the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913. By the time Eisenhower was President in the 1950’s the top tax bracket in the U.S. for the richest 10% was 90%, which seems high but lets remember, Eisenhower built the Interstate Highways. We don’t build anything here any more… One of the older guys who were doing some construction here last summer said to me, “I can still remember Colonel Tom Parker (Elvis Presley’s evil manager), saying that it was his job to keep Elvis in the 90% tax bracket…”
So every year as I move money around to cover the tax burden, in an almost comical three-card monty game, it always takes me to the same place that Snoop Dogg was in on “Gin And Juice.” I walk around all day with “My mind on money and my money on my mind.” The only thing I could think of to take my mind off that was, of course, rock and roll. Well, bourbon doesn’t hurt either but I do have to hold down a job. Moderation people… With all that said, I came up with this Tax Day Playlist. I tried to keep it rocking and upbeat. It certainly helps sooth my Tax Day Blues. I hope it helps yours!
- The Beatles, “Taxman” – Well, I think we all knew this would be here. One of George Harrison’s best riffs. Tom Petty did a nice cover of this one too…
- The Who, “Man With Money” – I wish I was the titular character here…
- Ozzy Osbourne, “The Almighty Dollar” – Ozzy gets heavy both musically and lyrically about the evils of capitalism. Ozzy’s deeper than you realize.
- Robert Plant, “All The Money In the World” – From the sublime album, The Mighty Rearranger.
- The Beatles, “Money (That’s What I Want)” – I could certainly use some right now.
- Montrose, “Paper Money” – Sammy Hagar’s first band. These guys rock.
- Scorpions, “Money And Fame” – From another great Scorp’s album, Crazy World.
- Steve Miller Band, “Take the Money And Run” – Great song from the Gangster of Love.
- Bruce Springsteen, “Easy Money” – Great, late period Springsteen.
- Paul Butterfield Blues Band, “Shake Your Money Maker” – The Butterfield Band doing Elmore James. Yes!
- Van Morrison, “Blue Money” – “Say, when this is over, you’ll be in clover, We’ll go out and spend all a your money (blue money).”
- The Black Keys, “Money Maker” – Great Keys tune…
- AC/DC, “Down Payment Blues” – One of Bon Scott’s more menacing tunes. “I’ve got holes in my shoes…”
- Bulletboys, “Money, Money, Money” – A Rock Chick favorite from the 80s.
- Bob Seger, “Ain’t Got No Money” – A fairly accurate description of my current financial situation.
- Dire Straits, “Money For Nothing” – Congrats to Dire Straits on this weekend’s Hall of Fame induction.
- AC/DC, “Money Made” – I considered “Money Talks” but I like this one better.
- Pink Floyd, “Money” – “I notice they’re giving none away, away…away.”
- Rush, “The Big Money” – “Goes around the world…”
- Motley Crue, “Keep Your Eye On The Money” – Sage advice.
- B.B. King (with The Rolling Stones), “Paying The Cost To Be the Boss” – A great old B.B. song, I just love this version with the Stones as Mick really gives his all on vocals.
- David Crosby and Graham Nash (Crosby, Nash), “Take The Money And Run” – Superb song from these guys working as a duo. I may do a post on the best CSNY solo/duo records.
- Don Henley, “If Dirt Were Dollars” – “If dirt were dollars, I wouldn’t worry any more.” I can only wish this were true, that I wouldn’t worry anymore.
- Bob Dylan, “Pay In Blood” – I love this dark, menacing track from Dylan’s last album featuring stuff he wrote, Tempest.
- Cheap Trick, “Taxman, Mr. Thief” – Basically Cheap Trick re-doing the Beatles song with some extra spiteful lyrics added in for good measure.
- Billy Joel, “Easy Money” – I didn’t like An Innocent Man but I like this track which was on the soundtrack of the Rodney Dangerfield movie of the same name.
- Patti Smith, “Free Money” – From her landmark masterpiece, Horses.
- Fitz And The Tantrums, “Moneygrabber” – Another Rock Chick favorite, written about a manager who screwed them.
As usual, I’ve probably missed a track or two about the green master, the cash, the dough, the cheese, the scratch, the m-o-n-e-y. If you have a track that you feel would fit, please add it in the comments section.