The Rules: I reset the play counters for all the songs currently on my iTunes. Then at the end of every week, I check to see what the top five most played songs are. Whatever happens to be in this top five are then presented in order here from most played to least. If I have posted a particular song in the past, then I will bypass that song and post the next in line. If one artist dominates the list, then I will write about that artist in lieu of a Top Five list.

It’s been another week of weirdness for pal-o-mine, President “Kung-Fu” Pand-Obama. He had a book thrown at him, which wasn’t so bad because the thrower only wanted to get Obama to give him some free advertisement… but the real whopper was that he discovered he’s related to Sarah Palin (

Yes, he was stunned by the news.

“I’m WHAT?” he texted me.
“Yup, dude… you guys are 10th cousins.” I replied.
“You’re lying.”
“Hey, don’t blame this on me. Get this… you’re also 11th cousins from George W. Bush! Take a look!”

Obama Family Tree

“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.”

Here’s This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes.

Hard Times – Ryan Bingham

I can’t resist songs titled “Hard Times.” My feeling is that I’m always curious to see how hard their times are in comparison to other artists. I think my favorite “Hard Times” is by Ray Charles (it’s a must hear), but this one by Ryan Bingham ranks pretty high on the list as well.

Off his Mescalito album, “Hard Times” has one of the best slide guitar tones I’ve heard in a long time. Sure, that’s probably not so much of a selling point for some of you, but for tone-freaks out there, it’s a thing of beauty.

I’m not sure if I’m a tone-freak anymore. I used to be judge guitar tones like I would a good melon… now I think I’m one of those “Hey, if it’s in tune, the f*** it!” kind of folk. Out-of-tune guitars is far worse than anything else. I’d take a cheap Squire Strat through an amp made out of pig intestine to an out-of-tune guitar any day.

The tone in “Hard Times” has just the right amount of grit and hollowness to satisfy these bones. The song is quite good as well… I played it 11 times this week.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Hard Times

[Amazon] [iTunes]

Soulless – Fake Problems

Florida’s Fake Problems just released their third album, Real Ghosts Caught on Tape last month. They’ve been around since about 2005, and derive their name from the notion that their debut album was recorded solo by singer Chris Farren with no problems or commitments. I totally dig the name… makes me wonder how many problems I create in my life out of nothing… seemingly just for sake of having a problem to solve or brood over.

Here’s a funny moment for the band (taken from Wikipedia):

On an early 2008 tour with Smoke or Fire, the band was driving through Tennessee to their next show, when a giant turkey flew through their window. Two shows were canceled and the band had to stay at a motel in Cleveland TN for the weekend while the windshield was repaired.

A giant turkey flew through their window??? I remember seeing a group of wild turkeys wandering around my backyard during my stay in Nashville, but this is a first for me. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to have a giant turkey fly through my car windshield.

I wonder if “Soulless” was written about that turkey? I played it 10 times this week to find out… didn’t come up with any conclusion.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Soulless


These United States What LastsWater & Wheat – These United States

“Cumulonimbus WordPop fr th’Jangly Railyard Dreamer” is what their MySpace profile reads. These United States definitely has a way with words.

“Water & Wheat” is off their latest record, What Lasts, and ends with the promise of, “I continue to walk.” That line jumped out at me when I first heard the track, and I think that’s what kept me going back (nice rhyme there).

There’s nothing extremely fancy about the song, but it moves with such gusto that I couldn’t help but do a little head thrashing while listening. There was a moment where I slammed my head into my desk because of excessive head thrashing, but don’t worry… the desk is A-OK.

The band has a number of videos up on their Vimeo page… there’s a bunch of “making of What Lasts” videos to check out. If you’ve ever been interested in the behind-the-scenes of a record, these videos give a pretty good idea of that.

I haven’t heard What Lasts yet, but I’m going to put it on my long list of “things to listen to.” I wonder when I’ll ever get to the end of that list?

“Water & Wheat” was played 8 times this week.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Water & Wheat

[Amazon] [iTunes]

I Don’t Wanna – The Call

“I Don’t Wanna” is one of my favorite songs by The Call. I love Michael Been’s voice here… it’s majestic, it’s epic, and it’s commanding in its presence.

Originally off their album, Into the Woods, the song’s meaning has always eluded me. I could be WAY off the mark, but the lyrics have always made me think of God, and how I think He doesn’t want to MAKE you love Him… He just knows that when the time comes, you will. The last lines, “I ain’t gonna pray for you to love me / Because I know you will / I just know it!” give me that impression.

Forced love and appreciation never lasts nor is it genuine.

I could be WAY off the mark, though. If someone else out there has a more conclusive idea behind the song, I’m all ears… but to be honest, I like my interpretation because it’s kept the song in the back of my mind for many, many years.

So I guess what I’m saying is please don’t burst my bubble!

I played “I Don’t Wanna” 6 times this week. Love this song.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: I Don’t Wanna

[Amazon] [iTunes]

Prudence Teacup Two LullabiesThe Devil’s Lullaby – Prudence Teacup

I don’t know much about Prudence Teacup except that she writes some pretty haunting music.

“The Devil’s Lullaby” is a fine example of this.

The track is part of the soundtrack to the film, Two Lullabies (download for free here). Here’s a brief description of the film:

The short film “Two Lullabies,” directed, written, and produced by our friend, Joseph Hung, is finished and available to watch on It is a faustian tale that portrays a cabaret singer’s fall from grace, and stars our very own Prudence Teacup, who wrote and performed the two songs on the soundtrack. Both tracks, The Devil’s Lullaby and The Angel’s Lullaby, originated from a batch of home recordings produced by Alfra Martini (a.k.a Prudence Teacup) in early 2007. These scratchy demos later inspired Joseph Hung to write a script for a short film.

Click here to watch the film.

I played “The Devil’s Lullaby” 4 times this week.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: The Devil’s Lullaby

[Amazon] [iTunes]

One thought on “This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes

  1. Ryan was cool. So was The Call.
    And those turkeys are something else. I was prevented from leaving a building once in a Nashville suburb when a guard turkey ran out in front of my car, chattering away, and then proceeded to attack my car, pecking at my bumper while I was parked there rolling on the floor laughing. He then came over to my driver window, about to ask me for my turkey pass or license or something, and then got distracted checking out his look in my sideview mirror – which he looked into at eye level. I swear I am not kidding.

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