Seize the Night – a Playlist for Saucy Saturday with Pesto and Alfredo on WRBB

Pesto and Alfredo have invited “Yung Mike” and “Momma Joci” to be their guests on Saucy Saturday, a feature aired at 2 AM Eastern on Sunday morning. I’ve assembled a playlist and notes below. Joci added some of her favorites (Supertramp and Sting) at the end.


Music Notes:

Song: Seize the Night; Artist: Will Varley; Album: Postcards from Ursa Minor

Lyrics excerpt - Seize the NightI might be second guessed as a father recommending a song with these lyrics, but I like the message of living life to the fullest.  It also has that heartfelt ballad sound that always hooks me.

Song: Hurricane, Artist: Possessed by Paul James, Album: There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely

I love the energetic fiddle and vocals here. “Konrad Wert is a teacher by day, but when he plays his country-folk songs for fans in his home of Austin, Texas and elsewhere, he goes by the moniker Possessed By Paul James.” – NPR

Song: Elevator Operator, Artist: Courtney Barnett, Album: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

I love Courtney Barnett. I love her frolicking guitar and the intelligent, hilarious lyrics. “Elevator Operator” is the encounter of two unhappy people on an elevator, and how they misunderstand each other. “Don’t jump little boy” vs. “I like to imagine I’m playing Sim City.”

Song: Methusaleh; Artist: San Fermin; Album: San Fermin

I love this album, and San Fermin is a must-see concert. Such interesting songs and sound. Methusaleh features the sonorous male lead singer, Allen Tate.

Song: Crueler Kind; Artist: San Fermin; Album: San Fermin

The second San Fermin song on this playlist, Crueler Kind, features Stephen Chen (saxophone) and Charlene Kaye (lead vocals). That sax dominates in concert as almost a percussion piece.

Song: Two of Us on the Run; Artist: Lucius; Album: Wildewoman

Lyrics excerpt - Two of Us on the RunLucius is wonderful in concert and on their albums: such beautiful harmonies and instrumentation. I love the message of this song which seems to tell the story of running to keep up with their success. “There’s no race, there’s only a runner.”

Song: You Never Need Nobody; Artist: The Lone Bellow; Album: The Lone Bellow

Lyrics excerpt - You Never Need Nobody

There is so much emotion in this song, and it really comes through when they belt it out in concert. I fell in love with this band first with their NPR Tiny Desk Concert which must be seen and heard.

Song: Elephant; Artist: Tame Impala; Album: Lonerism 

Another exciting live band. Tame Impala’s Elephant has great powerful fuzzy guitar.

Song: Gangsta; Artist: tUnE-yArDs; Album: WHOKILL

Lyrics excerpt - Gangsta

Merrill Garbus who performs as tUnE-yArDs lives in Oakland (so I hear) – go Oakland! She makes such incredible sound using loops. Check out her NPR Tiny Desk concert.

Song: Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1; Artist: The Mountain Goats; Album: Transcendental Youth 

Do lots of crazy things to push boundaries, but “just stay alive.” A good message.

Song: Vengo; Artist: Ana Tijoux; Album: Vengo

I first heard Tijoux on NPR’s First Listen. She has such a powerful sound and a strong message to her lyrics. For a translation of these lyrics, go here.

Song: Working Poor; Artist: Fantastic Negrito

Another Oaklander, Fantastic Negrito was the winner of the first Tiny Desk concert. I saw him in Boston on my last visit. In this song, he takes on income inequality and gentrification.

Song: The Beigeness; Artist: Kate Tempest; Album: Everybody Down

Tempest is an aptly named poet and rapper with a big social consciousness message. I recommend listening to this album all the way through for its story of  love conquering everyday despair.


Song: Turtles All the Way Down; Artist: Sturgill Simpson; Album: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

Sturgill’s a deep thinker who is stirring up country music traditions. Here, he tackles theology, drugs and the meaning of life. If the title confuses you, check out this Wikipedia page on cosmic stacks of turtles.

Lyrics excerpt - Turtles All the Way Down

Song: Go!; Artist: Public Service Broadcasting; Album: The Race for Space

Using bits of old newscasts and movies, PSB weaves engaging stories.  “Go!” captures the excitement of rocket-powered descent to the moon.

Song: Harrison Ford; Artist: Darlingside; Album: Birds Say

Shout out to Lizzy for singing the praises of this band to me so that I took a second listen. Why is there a sword fight with Harrison Ford in this song? I’m not sure, but it’s fun. Check out the New Yorker profile of this band for chocolate chip/dog anecdotes and an explanation of the band’s name.

Origin stories:

My first cassette was “Night at the Opera” by Queen. “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Death on Two Legs” gave me my taste for transgressive and interesting music.

Joci grew up on Supertramp and Sting. Here are a few of her favorites:

Link to the station schedule: