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“Car in the Rain” Playlist

“Car in the Rain” is about what Tears for Fears’s Curtis Smith referred to in “Break It Down Again” as “the beauty of decay.” This song is a vignette about two strangers in a car in a parking lot who find comfort in one another’s arms as they watch the rain fall on abandoned factories in a dying town.

Structurally, the verses of the song were shaped by the chord progressions Joni Mitchell was using throughout her Hejira and Don Juan's Reckless Daughter period -- hence, I’ve included “Coyote” from the former and the title track to the latter, as well as the title track to Wild Things Run Fast -- and the chorus was inspired by Patty Larkin’s “Me and That Train,” in which the narrative goes from chugging along to nearly flying in the stratosphere.

I’m pretty sure that the recorded version is the shortest track off the MEMOIRS OF A MANWHORE: THE REELING WALTZ OF A DRUNKEN LOTHARIO album, or at least a close second (“The Trick” may be shorter). For all its inspiration from the esoteric aforementioned artists, the song itself, once we recorded it, followed in the footsteps of the shiny, glittery AM pop of the late 70s and early 80s. I’ve included one of my favourite nearly-forgotten Hall and Oates hits, “Wait for Me.” A couple of Stevie Nicks tracks -- “Bella Donna” and “Gate and Garden” -- both could have been late 70s/early 80s AM hits had they been released as singles, and they are included, as are tracks by Carole King, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, John Lennon, Fleetwood Mac, Electric Light Orchestra, Billy Joel, and Jackson Browne, all at their radio-friendliest.

There are also a handful of ear-candy adult alternative pop tracks included in the mix, because alternative isn’t so much antithetical to melody as it is to derivativeness and triteness; these artists -- New Radicals, Counting Crows, Semisonic, Regina Spektor, Ben Folds, and Marc Cohn -- may not have the sonic edge of, say, Neutral Milk Hotel (not included as they don’t fit the sonic palette of this list, although I do love them!), but they do certainly eschew the mundane lyrics of what we normally associate with what radio pop evolved into once music fell under the domain of accountants and mediocre-minded marketing gurus.

Anyway, you can listen to the playlist for free on Spotify at this link, so please do, and please feel free to share! Every play will help me expand my audience and to hopefully achieve financial independence through my music.


We’re in a car in the rain in an empty parking lot, watching drops of rain on my windshield bead. We’re keeping tally on the intermittent radio and waiting for the moment we can believe in this car in the rain.

Two a.m. rolls by like a freight train, littering the parking lot with drunks from the bars, who reel around and stumble about to disappear into the night like derailed freight cars, but we’ve got this car in the rain.

And the abandoned factories loom in the dark to eclipse these figures but not our hearts in this car in the rain. And vines crawled over the cracked brick facades to reclaim the glory of a lost era’s gods in this car in the rain.

You’ve got these shocks of faux platinum hair and I’ve got these eyes that burn fire hazel green. Your identical car is parked next to mine and you laughed when I called this a pre-ordained scene in this car in the rain.

And the abandoned factories are ours tonight. We embrace behind windows under dirty yellow lights in this car in the rain. And the smokestacks groaned as they grasped at the skies like they were tunneling toward Heaven, and Heaven was the prize in this car in the rain.

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