Danny Vacon fronts Calgary alt-rock band the Dudes, along with his other projects, Dojo Workhorse and HighKicks. Given his rock chops, Vacon was recently tapped to help curate this year’s Sled Island music festival, co-curated by Andrew WK.
We asked The Dudes frontman to put his iPod on shuffle and tell us about the first 10 tracks to play. Vacon’s reaction to his playlist: “It's kind of crazy that there's barely any rock on my shuffle. I do love rock the most, I swear. But this is me, warts and all.”
1. “Nicotine and Gravy”
“My good friend and the bass player of Dojo Workhorse gave me the Midnight Vultures album a few years ago. I like how he says, "I think we're going crazy, things don't even phase me, her left eye is lazy..." But when he says "Nicotine and gravy" it kinda makes me feel weird.”
2. “Do the Right Thing (live in Halifax)”
LISTEN “My iPod is full of my own stuff. This was released on the Hero Hill compilation, Hoodoo You Think You Are. I forget a lot of shows but this one, I never will. It was our first show in Nova Scotia but folks knew the words and went nuts. A girl made her own Dropkick Queen t-shirt. Halifax Pop Explosion is a kick-ass festival.”
“I love baseball. When I was 15, we represented Calgary in the provincial championships in Moosejaw. Our coach, Mr. Kendrick, would back his … red Datsun truck to where we warmed up before games and blast this song over and over. I just listened to it twice. So good.”
4. “Song Never Played”
“Calgary has an amazing scene and history. Aaron is a guy I don't get to see perform hardly ever anymore, but he sings like an angel a pens a beautiful ballad. I watch him play bass once a year on St. Patrick's day with the Micks. Best traditional Irish band ever!”
5. “Alberta's Trying to Kill Me”
“He's a socially conscious MC from Dirt City. That's what we call Edmonton around these parts. No disrespect. Ira Lee has crazy good rhymes and I love how they're local-centric. ‘Working in the oilfields is like admitting you’re lost, the free weeklys in Edmonton are worth every single penny they cost. Y'know it's no different than any place else, Albertans want to kill me and Saskatchewan makes me want to kill myself. Trop de personnes bizarres. L'Alberta ses des coups.’"
6. “Empire State Express”
Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir
“Great tune from another local group. Besides making fine blue grass tunes, Judd makes awesome puppets and Bob is the wisest funny man in town. Check out the Old Trout Puppet Workshop and Bob's telephone prank-based releases, ‘the Spam Avenger’ and the ‘Rutherford Files.’ Amazing.”
7. “Your Control”
“This tune is a duet featuring two of my all-time favourite singers. Eric Bachmann and Neko Case are beautifully suited to each other’s style.
8. “The Conductor”
“I don't really love this song. We were staying at our U.K. label’s office while we were on tour and I stole a bunch of discs and Ts from their stock room. It’s just too dance-y for me, but it reminds me of watching the Red Sox in the World Series across the sea. The games started at like 3 a.m.”
9. “Soul Man (live)”
The Blues Brothers
“Classic comedy duo, classic band. This brings me great joy. Sometimes I try to dance like Aykroyd in the mirror if I'm home alone. I haven't got it yet. Eff the moves like Jagger. If I had the moves like Aykroyd, I'd be a much better version of myself.”
10. “Lay it Down”
“Oh man. This is the best get down music. Period. It's from the album that Questlove produced. After all this time, Al Green can still croon the hell out of a soul track. Love is some powerful stuff.”
What do you think of Vacon’s playlist? Let us know in the comments.
The Dudes CBC Music page
The Dudes on Southern Souls