CMU Playlists

Playlist: Why?

By | Published on Sunday 11 April 2010

Originally the moniker of former cLOUDDEAD member Yoni Wolf, CMU favourites Why? became a fully fledged band before the release of their 2005 album ‘Elephant Eyelash’, which mixed indie rock, folk and hip hop, and scored an internet hit with the track, ‘Rubber Traits’.

With the current line-up also featuring bassist Doug McDiarmid, Yoni’s older brother Josiah on drums and, on occasion, Fog’s Andrew Broder and Mark Erickson, Why? released latest album ‘Eskimo Snow’, culled from the same sessions as previous album ‘Alopecia’, last year via Anticon and Tomlab.

With their music such a collision of styles and influences melded into one complete sound, it’s not always particularly easy to pick out which other artists might have had an effect on them. To try to get more of an idea, we asked Yoni to put together ten of his favourite tracks for a Powers Of Ten playlist. The results are something pretty special.

Click here to listen to Yoni’s playlist in Spotify, and then read on to find out more about his selections.

01 Mount Eerie – Lost Wisdom
This is the opening track of probably my favourite Mt Eerie album of the same name. It’s haunting.

02 The Smiths – Half A Person

My friend Anna, who I’ve been in love with for something like fifteen years, chose this song when I told her I wanted her to sing a cover for a covers record I’m working on. I had never heard it but once she played it for me I knew it was perfect. I feel like Morrissey somehow peered into my sad ass brain to write this one.

03 Johnny Cash – Any Old Wind That Blows

Another one that I can relate to so directly. Why is it that the only one you want won’t be had? Life is fucked up. “She’ll go sailing off on any old wind that blows”. That’s right, Johnny. You know she will.

04 Billie Holiday – All The Way

Pretty much all I was listening to when I was in California this February was Billie. Every time I hear her voice I get chills. This song isn’t necessary her pinnacle but it’s really good. Not sure who wrote this one. My dad would know. Johnny Mercer?

05 Beck – Asshole

This is off my favourite Beck record, ‘One Foot In The Grave’. I love how stripped down it is. It’s got a great melody. I’m doing a cover of this one too.

06 The Band – I Shall Be Released

I actually prefer the demo of this sung by Bob Dylan and Richard Manuel (I think). Maybe it was Dylan and Danko, though. Anyway, The Band’s version, which is arranged brilliantly, is also killer.

07 Cat Power – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

This is her cover of the Rolling Stones classic. This and her version of Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ are a couple of the greatest examples of rethinking huge hits tastefully. She brings out an essence of both songs that was lost by the original artist in their hugeness. Check it out, she doesn’t even sing the chorus!

08 Dolly Parton – Jolene

A perfect pop song! Not much more to be said.

09 Juana Molina – Quien

My sister hipped me to Juana about a year ago. I know Spanish to an extent but I only understand maybe half of what she says, but it doesn’t matter. I just like how it sounds.

10 Otis Redding – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long

This man just had the grittiest, wildest yet completely in control voices in the history of rock and roll. I love the build up to where he sings: “You were tired…” So good!