Dave Jordan is a guitarist and vocalist for “nerdy, but heavy” local act Ghost Circles. On Friday the band is throwing a party at the Launchpad for “Ultimate Nullifier”—an EP released last month. The band plays alongside fellow purveyor of heavy music Sandia Man (which will be releasing a full-length album at the show as well). To get a feel for Ghost Circles’ constitution, we asked Jordan to set his music library to “random.” Below are the first five songs that surfaced.
1) “Glorified G” • Pearl Jam • Vs.
“I can’t help it, I love good Pearl Jam. Sure, they had missteps over the years, but when they’re great, they’re GREAT. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was one of the first songs that really gave people a taste of the type of stuff they’d be putting out in the years to come. The weird angular main riff was so different compared to the sweeping alterna-hits from the first album. I also have to mention the guitar tones on this whole record are fantastic.”
2) “AMY” • Ryan Adams • Heartbreaker
“It took me a long time to warm up to Ryan Adams, and I think it’s because I wasn’t listening to the ‘right’ Ryan Adams for me. This is one of my favorite songs from Heartbreaker, and it has definitely influenced my songwriting style. It’s easy to recognize his lyrical ability, but he really has a knack for crafting interesting songs in orchestration and structure. He wears his Beatles influence right on his sleeve in this track, right down to the strings in the choruses and the Mellotron layers in the background.”
3) “Complete Control” • The Clash • The Clash
“Who hasn’t been in love with The Clash at one point or another? This wasn’t one of their huge hits, but it’s a great song nonetheless. There are hints of The Stooges and oldies throughout and piles of Elvis Costello influence in this song. The Clash often messed around with typical pop song structure and did unexpected things, and still you just can’t help but nod your head and tap your foot when a song like this comes on. To this day, I have no idea what Joe Strummer is saying 90 percent of the time.”
4) “Take It With Me” • Tom Waits • Mule Variations
“My iPod has been loving Tom Waits lately. This is an incredibly bittersweet song, one of his piano ballads, about the things he loves that he’ll miss when he dies. It’s not a stretch to think of him walking up to a piano in the corner of a dark and dusty bar, sitting down and just playing this. There’s probably a cigarette still burning in an ashtray right next to him, with a glass of Scotch keeping it company. He’s an American treasure; there’s no one like him.”
5) “The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts” • Sufjan Stevens • Illinois
“Like the rest of the indie rock world, I got swept up in Sufjan fever a few years back, and this record is still an incredible listen. His orchestrations are so unique and the ‘school band’ feel of so many of his songs is endearing. He records with a very overcomplicated process, and I think that care and attention to detail is what gives his work a lot of flare. Also, this song is named after / somewhat about the creation of Superman.”