KM asks: let’s say you’re having a rough day, what tunes turn that frown upside down?

park ranger

dear katherine,

im so sorry you’re feeling gloomy.

i am very worried about gloomy feelings because i get nervous that they can snowball into gloomy days, gloomy weeks, and gloomy months.

so i try to nip even the slightest negative feelings in the bud.

perhaps being a Cubs fan has helped me cope.

since they’re terrible.

and probably won’t win it all until 2014.

weirdly i don’t find myself down too often, and “rough days” in journalism are just called “days”.

but when things are extraordinarily difficult i usually go somewhere that has funny pictures or sweet things happening like Reddit and click real fast to see if theres anything inspiring or interesting.

and look, today i spy a little note from a Yosemite Junior Ranger named Evie who sent something nice to the Park Rangers there.


but you’re right, music does make the heart grow fonder though, so when i find the urge to turn on some music and take a little walk here are some songs and videos that would soothe this savage beast:

Shot of Love, Bob Dylan
the title track of one of my favorite Dylan albums has the perfect lyrics for someone who feels sad – for whatever reason – but it also has the healing musicality of a nice gospel interlude after a moving sermon.

Shadrach, Beastie Boys
The book of Daniel in the bible is pretty short, but it tells a great story of “the three bad brothers you know so well” namely Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who had the nerve to refuse to bow to the evil king of the day. they said they would only bow to God. the evil king had this super hot furnace that he would throw people into. when the brothers refused to kneel, the king ordered that the furnace be heated to 7 times hotter than it usually goes. the guard said “totally cool king but now it’s so hot we can’t even open the door to push em in.” Shadrach said “no big deal, we will walk in on our own.” and when they went in, through the flames the king saw not three but four people dancing in the blazing hot flames. the fourth are your troubles, katherine. everyone needs a dance partner. after the disco party they emerged from the furnace and not a hair on their bodies were singed. several thousand years later the beasties busted with this tune on pauls boutique in their honor. dont ever forget “it’s not how you play the game, it’s how you win it.” :)

Wait For the Light to Shine, Hank Williams
Hank Sr. had a certain knack for turning darkness into light. This song may be short, but it gets me.

Tom Petty, Friend of the Devil
If you haven’t noticed, when I’m having a rough day, I like happy songs. I love the Dead, I love Tom Petty, and one of the nice gems from the Live Anthology box set was this cover of the classic Dead tune – and how about that harmonica!

David Lee Roth, Yankee Rose (en Espanól)
Classic tune. Steve Vai on guitar, Diamond Dave delivering on a song that could easily had been on 1984, but whats this it’s in Spanish? OMG. So funny for some reason.

AC/DC, Baby Please Don’t Go
When people debate about who was a better AC/DC singer Bon or Brian I usually say that pre-Back in Black music was better suited for Bon, and once they ascended to giant arenas, Brian’s powerful voice was better. But only Bon could have rocked the school girl outfit, wig, and cigarette like he did on this Big Joe Williams cover. Rare track, rarer video.

The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, Weezer
Weezer always puts a smile on my face. And this song is so ridiculous – as is the video.
But the breakdown around the 4:20 mark is perfect to pump up a deflated spirit… and then come the nice harmonies.

Calling All Destroyers, Tsar
My favorite band got a beautiful treatment done to one of their best tunes on the movie “Super”
It’s perfect to play loudly :)

hope this brightens your mood!