JJ Otero is the lead singer and rhythm guitar player for Burque-based rock band Saving Damsels. Hear him play live on Thursday night at the Futures for Children Native Jam Night, which he helped organize. In light of this cool event, we asked Otero to put his music library on shuffle. Below is what turned up.
1) "Close to Me" • The Cure • Galore: The Singles 1987-1997
“What can you say about a band that has composed some of the best catchy, poppy tunes to kill/self-loathe yourself to. The lyrics of this tune are the stuff of anxious teen love. So in love that it's sickening. Literally. So sick you can't help but tap your foot and don a beret and dance around in skinny jeans, slather on mascara, and lose about 100 pounds. I'm a fan, don't get me wrong. It's the genius of the duh, duh, duh beat, the anxiety of the anticipated love connection, and the disaffected delivery that gets me to polish my nails black every day.”
2) "Let's Stay Together" • Al Green • Let’s Stay Together
“They don't come any smoother than Mr. Green. Anytime I hear a classic soul tune like this I want to destroy all digital media and find the LP and a record player, and experience—not listen—experience the vibe. The simplicity is epic and the story written about in religious books, diaries and on bathroom walls. A guy likes a girl, guy does something wrong to said girl, guy begs for her to stay. Some dudes are smoother and can write a song to get the girl back.”
3) "Rhiannon" • Fleetwood Mac • Greatest Hits
“I'm certainly showing my age with this one. I remember putting my dad's Fleetwood Mac eight-track in his eight-track deck in the old green Ford truck he used to drive. I'm flown back to my teenage years of killing my dad's truck battery listening to certain songs over and over. ‘Rhiannon’ wasn't one of them, but it is certainly recognizable as an AM radio standard for the reservation kids of my age. ‘Wouldn't you love to love her’ is a refrain, and yes I would love to take her to a local dive eatery and smelly Downtown bar and impress her with my knowledge of eight-track history.”
4) "Is Love Enough?" • Michael Franti and Spearhead • Yell Fire!
“One of the most inspiring songs I've heard in recent memory. I'm a seemingly firm believer that we are all made of the same stuff. I am you and you are me. Let's allow our built-in goodness to resonate with the goodness of the other. Not necessarily love, but peace. Seems that love is a side effect of being at peace. My heart aches when I see the way we treat each other, draw lines and emphasize the differences. Let's celebrate our Sameness and Oneness. For the thoughtful person, this song speaks volumes of truths. ‘What language do you love in?’ ”
5) "Rez Rocket" • Red Earth • Zia Soul
“Holy moly rez donuts! One of my favorite Native bands, Rett Urf aka Red Earth. The subject of the much loved, broke down, outta gas, duct taped, bailing wired, wrecked ride of Native folklore (well maybe more like the oral tradition of corny jokes) is reworked in this throbbing, rez billy tune. Harkens me to the days of the Launchpad mosh pits, drunk off my hub cap and waking up in the a.m. with a fractured wrist. We all survived the Red Earth days with graying hair and nice rides with proper tire pressure and well kept maintenance records. Excuse me while I get my oil checked and visit my bros Ira, Carlo and Adrian at the retirement home.”