Leslie and the Badgers are currently in residency at the Echo every Monday night, and L.A. RECORD will be sponsoring their final night on Sept. 28 with Sian Alice Group, Paperplanes and Best Coast. Bassist Ben Reddell delivers this mixtape revealing what a badger might think about on its last beer late some Sunday night.
Crazy Horse “Dance, Dance, Dance”
Just a damn good song. Crazy Horse of course went on to back up Neil Young on a number of his efforts, but this was them when their venom was fresh and potent. The band used to practice at the bottom of Laurel Canyon in a garage not too far from where it hits Hollywood Blvd., where a young Neil Young chanced upon hearing them.
The 13th Floor Elevators “(I’ve Got) Levitation”
I grew up in Kerrville, Texas, where this band for the most part originated. Melody Corner—the only music shop in town—used to keep 13th Floor Elevators drummer John Ike Walton in its employ. He used to tell me to get the fuck out of Kerrville and never look back. I will always be in his debt for that sage advice.
Townes Van Zandt “When She Don’t Need Me”
“My Friends are leaving/she says don’t worry/they’re only leaving/there is no party.” Anytime I have friends over, the same feeling goes through my head: “What do you mean you’re leaving? 7-11 is still open for 12 minutes!” (Much to the disdain of my girlfriend who’s been ready for bed for at least the past two hours.) Oh Townes, you and I are birds of a feather.
Kinky Friedman “People Who Read People Magazine”
The ultimate fuck you to the philistines of this world. John and Kate Plus 8? Really? America, what’s wrong with you!? You see, Kinky Friedman has been saying this for almost forty years. Mike Judge’s Idiocracy is the future regrettably, but at least we have this song to pass the time until that day.
Little Feat “Dixie Chicken”
Lowell George and his amazing band were fucking shit up in L.A. during my favorite part of our fair city’s musical history. Just picturing some party where you might see J.D. Souther, Linda Ronstadt and Lowell George shooting the shit on a balcony looking down on the city is heaven to me.
Levon Helms “Hurricane”
I had just finished watching Spike Lee’s When The Levee Breaks when by chance I heard this song. When the song was over, I was openly crying. I think the thing that struck me the most was how proud and optimistic the song is. Yet at the same time, it has a warning to it: “It’s hard and it’s cold and it’s mean.”
Band Of Annuals “Echo”
Band of Annuals were supposed to be playing with us for the residency, but schedules regrettably conflicted. This song is written by Salt Lake City troubadour Dave Williams, and executed by his near and dear friends quite amazingly. Of all of the Badgers’ contemporaries, Band Of Annuals are by far my favorite.
Don McLean “Winter Wood”
Leslie’s writing style reminds me of Don McLean—very beautiful melodies coupled with smart lyrics and rendered with stark simplicity. I think that’s what drew me to her music initially. I grew up with American Pie—it’s my father’s favorite record. Of course everybody knows the song “American Pie,” but the rest of the record is amazing as well, and this song is my favorite.
Warren Zevon “Desperados Under The Eaves”
This is the greatest down-and-out song about Los Angeles. You can feel the August heat as you stumble down Gower to your drug dealer’s house. Not that I’ve ever done that—I always took El Centro.
LESLIE AND THE BADGERS IN RESIDENCY EVERY MONDAY NIGHT IN SEPTEMBER AT THE ECHO, 1822 SUNSET BLVD., LOS ANGELES. 8:30 PM / FREE / 21+. ATTHEECHO.COM. L.A. RECORD PRESENTS LESLIE AND THE BADGERS WITH PAPERPLANES, BEST COAST AND SIAN ALICE GROUP ON MON., SEPT. 28, AT THE ECHO. LESLIE AND THE BADGERS’ ROOMFUL OF SMOKE IS AVAILABLE NOW FROM LESLIE AND THE BADGERS. VISIT LESLIE AND THE BADGERS AT MYSPACE.COM/LESLIEANDTHEBADGERS.