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“Hip Little City” Playlist

“Hip Little City” is my tribute to Red Bank NJ circa 2005 (before I actually lived there) and the characters I frequently interacted with when I’d go there just to hang, people-watch, and escape the general insipidness of Brick NJ, where I was living when I took care of my grandmother. There’s a good deal of ribbing and tongue-in-cheekiness, but there’s also genuine affection for the town.

Adam Silverstein’s arrangement definitely harkens back to early-to-mid-70s Elton John, so there are some of his tracks from Tumbleweed Connection (my favourite of his albums), Honky Château, and Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player. There’s some Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis to complement the raucous nature of the piano and horns, and Randy Newman for the caustic humor. And of course the playlist features the inevitable Ben Folds and Regina Spektor and Billy Joel that all the MANWHORE playlists feature, in a mix of the well-known to the obscure. The playlist closes with a gem of a forgotten Harry Nilsson tune, “Who Done It,” from his 1977 almost-comeback album Knnillssonn (it would have been a comeback album if ELVIS PRESLEY hadn’t died on the day it was released and thus diverted all the label’s attention).

As always, HERE IS THE LINK TO THE PLAYLIST. It’s on Spotify, so it’s free to listen to. It’s a great way to hear my songs in a larger context, and an even better way to introduce your friends to my music, so if you have friends whom you think would be better off if they only listened to more of The Random Hubiak, this is the perfect way to make converts of them! Remember, I get about a penny for each time one of my songs streams on Spotify, so let’s shoot for about 500,000 spins, because I need five grand to finish the double album I’m working on. Y’all have 500,000 friends you can share this with, right? Or 250,000 friends who’ll listen twice?


Stopped in bright and early to give myself a jump, grabbed a table, flipped my laptop open, gave Kumar a bump, sat down with my coffee and nodded my hello to Chris and Paul, paid my respects to Mafia Joe, who has put a little weight on, but no one says a thing — nice guy until you cross him, then you’re one more neck to wring. The crosswalk’s full of Catholic girls heading all out of sight. The emo kids all hangin’ outside trying to score a smoke and light. And it’s a hip little city, with an ironic downtown. And I know everybody, everybody who’s around. It’s a hip little city.

The ginger boy arrives with his piercings and tattoos, asks me first to watch his bag, then to borrow my shoes. I say yes, I’ve still got most of the morning left to kill, and throw my car keys in as well in a measure of good will. You can joke and call him Dainty Andy but he’s got a righteous God and an advanced degree in combat if you get his panties in a wad. The crosswalk’s full of Catholic girls all headed off to school and emo kids to self-absorbed to notice they’re not cool. And it’s a hip little city, with an ironic downtown. And I know everybody, everybody who’s around. It’s a hip little city.

Chris heads to the gym. Paul’s head is buried in some tome, maybe the Ottoman Empire, World War I, or ancient Rome. Over in the corner you can spy old creepy Greg, whose eyes are trained intently on some pair of statutory legs. The tutor with the mohawk is penning poetry to pass the time he has to kill before he starts his morning class. The crosswalk’s full of Catholic girls fairly bursting into dance. The emo boys, I swear, are wearing women’s pants. The incongruous and sublime, co-mingling with the mundane. Maybe Bruce or Jon Bon will stop in town today again.

And it’s a hip little city, with an ironic downtown. And I know everybody, everybody who’s around. It’s a hip little city. Everybody’s hipsters and they all just hang around. They got nothing else to do but stand around agreeing they’re all cooler than you.

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