Music by your colleagues: lovesickness, crucifixion and stoner rock operas

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Earlier this year we asked public media’s musicians to send us songs so we could compile a playlist. We heard from 40 musicians from across the country, covering a wide variety of genres. This week, we rock and roll with some of public media’s finest.

As you settle in for a back-to-back Halloween marathon of Practical Magic and Hocus Pocus (because feminism), consider turning on Bava Choco’s song “The Witch” as an interlude.

“‘The Witch’ is an original song that introduces the antagonist in a stoner rock opera that involves witchcraft, a high-speed motorcycle chase and lions taking over the circus,” wrote frontman Eric French, my colleague at WOSU.

French is our audio engineer extraordinaire, and he says (jokingly or seriously, who is to say?) that he is “still working on my ballad to Pro Tools called, ‘Just This Once (Would You Please Work).’”

The song “Joan of Arc” by No Fun Club takes us from witches to crucifixes.

“I was reading a lot of Junji Ito manga at the time, and there was a story that involved a crucifixion in it,” writes Arthur Jones, recording engineer at WKAR in East Lansing, Mich. “I wanted to write a song about being crucified (metaphorically). I am aware Joan of Arc was burnt alive. I named it that because of the other song I wrote with it, ‘Junji Ito.’”

On the TV side of WOSU, my colleague Chuck Oney submitted his song “Dear Miss Roberts.” While not about Halloween, the tune was inspired by something that some might describe as feeling possessed — “being madly in love with someone who was in a bad relationship,” Oney wrote.

NPR’s Ron Scalzo is equally as lovesick — he says his “Big Dope” is about “being naive about a relationship.” Scalzo produces promos for the mothership.

A few other honorable rock-’n’-rollers are Wisconsin Public Radio’s Brady Carlson, who submitted the song “I’ve Got No Answers” by his band Cold Holiday; The Frontline Dispatch’s podcast producer Max Green, for his song “Checked Out Forever” by the Great Deceivers; and Brian Heffernan from St. Louis Public Radio, for “Tongue” by his band Prime Time Soap.

Check out the full Public Media Rocks playlist.

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