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by Justin Farrar

March 13, 2014

Post-Party Comedown Jams

by Justin Farrar  |  March 13, 2014

When it comes to classic rock, all of us are well versed in the genre's great party tunes. From "Sweet Emotion" and "All Right Now" to "Oye Como Va" and "Rock and Roll All Nite," I'm talking those songs we love blasting when the beer is flowing and the good times are rolling. But what about those tunes we're compelled to hear once the keg has been tapped and your house more closely resembles a smoldering crater littered with plastic cups and passed-out friends? A funky rager from Aerosmith simply doesn't cut it at 4 a.m. when, sitting all by your lonesome on a couch soaked in beer, you're not quite sure whether you're wasted or sober, peaking or exhausted. These are the "dark hours," when every last endorphin has been burned, and all that's left is bewildered rumination.

This peculiar state -- which is exactly what I attempt to capture on my Post-Party Comedown playlist -- requires a different kind of classic rock, one that's moody and ruminative, possibly even teetering on the verge of existential despair. Many of my picks are obvious enough: Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone" (used for this very purpose toward the end of director Richard Linklater's masterpiece Dazed and Confused), Blue Öyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and for the chronic party animal, The Rolling Stones' "Coming Down Again." Not surprisingly, a lot of my comedown jams revolve around the twin themes of time wasted and love lost. These are particularly potent in The Band's "It Makes No Difference" and Pink Floyd's "Wot's... Uh the Deal?" Yet another recurring theme is the whole "I'm a loner traveling down this lonely road" vibe, which is best captured in the Eagles' "Desperado" and Little Feat's sublime "Willin'." In fact, it's on the latter that the late Lowell George pierces the very heart of the post-party comedown experience when he sings, "I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow/ I'm drunk and dirty don't ya know/ And I'm still ... willin'."

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