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Oh, do forgive my lengthy absence, friends. I have been cleaning, feeling sickly, and generally doing a lot on a very little bit of energy. That said, Vegas was FABulous. And I look forward to more like trips in the future. I am ever so grateful to my dear sister-in-law-to-be for her excellent planning–we dined, drank, danced, and generally got all crazy. Loved the weekend with my girls.

In apology for my missing a good deal of blogging, I present to you my brother and personal music guru, JD, who, of course, has a great line-up for us, including a super-awesome song especially for his dear ole sis. Thanks, Jables!

xoxo, Shannon

Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, Kix Brooks, Birdy, Bob Marley, Bassnectar, Dry the River, Cat Power, Conor Oberst, The Band, Leonard Cohen

Greetings and welcome to yet another edition of DJ JD’s playlist of the week, brought to you (free!) by Spotify!

#1 In honor of my amazing sister and your favorite gypsy minded individual, I bring you “Shannon,” a track off the latest Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s album Rot Gut, Domestic. This song is heavy in all the right places and features some bratty, rockin’ vocals by singer Richard Edwards. As if that wasn’t enough, they are the token Hoosier band on this week’s list.

#2 Next is a new single by the Kix Brooks half of Brooks & Dunn called “New to This Town.” Alongside twangy vocals and country songwriting mainstays like corner bars and trucks, this track features Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh.

#3 Up next is a song off Birdy’s 2011 self-titled album called “Skinny Love.” This cover of a Bon Iver song is what made her popular, with the single peaking at number 17 on the UK charts. While I adore the original, sang by Justin Vernon, this cover by Jasmine van den Bogaerde (Birdy) is such a beautiful tear jerker. She really makes it her own, which is what all good covers do.

#4 To celebrate the release of the highly acclaimed documentary Marley, about the life and music of Jamaican songsmith Bob Marley, I’ve included “Concrete Jungle.” Originally a track off the 1973 Bob Marley & the Wailers album Catch a Fire, this song is featured on the Marley OST. Marley, who died in 1981, is credited with popularizing both the Rastafari movement and Jamaican music around the world.

#5 Next is a collaboration between dubstep artist Bassnectar and rapper Lupe Fiasco called “Vava Voom,” the title track from Bassnectar’s newest album. The melody is unnerving and twisted, Lupe’s raps fit quite nicely, and the drop late in the song is oh so dirty. Fans of solid electronic song production and the wub-wub bass of dubstep tunes need to check this out.

#6 Now we have a track by English folk rockers Dry the River off their new album Shallow Bed called “The Chambers & the Valves.” I get a solid The Killers vibe from lead singer Peter Liddle, and the album art is a work of beauty for shark fans (i.e., me).

#7 My favorite Cat Power song, “Sea of Love,” is up next in honor of the announcement of the title for her first album since 2008’s Jukebox. Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, announced on Twitter that her new album will simply be called Sun and is due out later this year.

#8 Next up is “Mañana” by Desaparecidos. This indie garage punk band was a side project for Bright Eyes’ singer Conor Oberst. There’s definitely some heavy contrast between Oberst’s voice here and his mournful tone he uses in Bright Eyes. I’ve included this especially raucous track in honor of the announcement that the band will reunite later this year.

#9 The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” is my little tribute to the passing of Levon Helm who died from cancer on April 19th. Helm sings this song beautifully, capturing a complex sympathy for the rebel south in a way that I as a Yankee Hoosier could not relate to before hearing this song. Few lines capture the sense of humanity and history as “In the summer of ’65 / We were hungry / Just barely alive.”

#10 Finally, is Leonard Cohen’s “Crazy to Love You” off his latest album Old Ideas. Cohen co-wrote this song with long-time collaborator “Anjani Thomas, who worked with Cohen on several albums. Thomas’ own upcoming album, due soon, is a follow up to her 2006 album Blue Alert and contains several songs co-written with Cohen.

One final note, you can catch the playlist here. And make sure to check out this video of The Black Keys and John Fogerty singing The Band’s “The Weight.” Thanks for listening!