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Quoting songs

The Sixty Five Roses artists explain their picks


In the spirit of John Plymale's song-by-song commentary in the Songs for Sixty Five Roses liner notes, we decided to hit up the contributors for a few words (albeit not as many words as most would have or did share) on the songs they covered. We got in touch with most of them.

Superchunk's "Mower"

"'Mower' is a perfect example of Mac's ability to get at the underbelly of something mundane and show how complicated that seemingly simple thing can be. I thought I would approach it in a way that might make you think about the lyrics to the song again." --Jason Ross

Goner's "Battleground Park"

"I first heard the song at Humble Pie; most likely I was working. It's one of those songs that makes you stop what you're doing. A few breathtaking lines stole my heart, but the song as a whole brings a whole epoch of young life to the foreground--to the Battleground, I s'pose." --Caitlin Cary

Ryan Adams' "Oh My
Sweet Carolina"

"I've always liked the song and wanted to do a rocked-up version of it since there's no point in trying to do a better version in the style that Ryan did it on the record, so here was our chance. I hope I got all the words right." --Mac McCaughan (Portastatic)

Harrod & Funck's "Lion Song"

"I'm comforted by this song for reasons I don't even understand. Jason [Harrod] is in touch with the real juice. I'm delighted to get to sing it." --Claire Holley

Rick Rock's "Buddha Buddha"

"'Johnny Bring Your Girlfriend Home' by the Bad Checks and 'Buddha Buddha' defined Chapel Hill for me in my pre-band days. Both are pop masterpieces." --Tom Maxwell

"The first time I heard 'Buddha Buddha,' my friend put the seven-inch single on and karaoked all the way through it. It reminded me of junior high, and now it reminds me of college, and I think that makes it a pretty memorable song." --Robert Sledge

Stillhouse's "It's the Shame"

"I love this Dave Wilson tune, and I love playing with this group of musicians. Mostly, though, I felt that the lyric rang true in thinking about how helpless we are in helping children with cystic fibrosis." --Tift Merritt

Superchunk's "Driveway
to Driveway"

"We always dig any excuse to throw something unexpected at our audience, and the song's themes of lost love and perceived betrayal are subjects that pop up with alarming regularity already in Pistols-ville, so it seemed like a good idea from that angle."
--John Howie Jr. (Two Dollar Pistols)

The Moaners' "Everybody Wants
My Baby"

"The tune is dirty but sweet, and I kept hearing the ghost of Charlie Feathers singing it in my head. Add a banjo, drums and Star Trek backing vocals and--poof!--it's a three-headed bastard Memphis-grass baby."
--Rick Miller (Southern Culture on the Skids)

Randy Travis' "Forever and
Ever, Amen"

"Somehow John Plymale remembered that I used to do a Randy Travis impersonation. After he reminded me that Randy was from N.C., I knew it was fate. Thank god I was smart enough to drop the country accent ... y'all." --Mark Kano (Athenaeum)

Des Ark's "For Bob Riecke"

"I have been a huge fan of Aimeé Argote's voice and guitar genius since she was in high school. Her recent work with Des Ark inspired me to take more risks with my own songwriting, so covering 'For Bob Riecke' was one way to show my respect and gratitude."
--John Gillespie (Nikki Meets the Hibachi)

The dB's' "Nothing Is Wrong"

"I was torn between covering John Coltrane or Peter Holsapple. 'A Love Supreme' was calling me hard, but in the end I went with 'Nothing is Wrong.' I'd never sung it on record; Peter sang both parts on the dB's'
version." --Chris Stamey

Fetchin Bones' "Flounder"

"For me, this tune was always bleached in ink, shipwreck and drugs. A bruised, nautical kiss. But that's just me." --Michael Rank

Queen Sarah Saturday's "Seems"

"In my former band Collapsis, we would sometimes launch into 'Seems' mid-set. This new version is a total re-imagining of the song, complete with moog and trumpet."
--Mike Garrigan

Squirrel Nut Zippers' "Bent
out of Shape"

"I first heard this song playing guitar with Jimbo Mathus on his porch years ago, a beautifully crafted number that sounded like an old standard. He told me he'd written a song that he'd like me to cover. Katharine Whalen ended up singing a wonderful version on the Squirrel Nut Zippers' last CD."
--Greg Humphreys

James Taylor's "Shower
the People"

"First, I love John Plymale and my heart is with him in this fine cause. Secondly, there was a desire to get local folks to do songs that originated with N.C. artists, and James Taylor was mentioned. [This] song in particular seemed so inclusive and also, under the circumstances, to have the potential to unify."
--Will McFarlane

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