On occasion, I write for Popdose, a really great site about music and popular culture. The writers are so impressive, and I still can’t believe they let me write for them. The site’s leaders have brought together many of its favorite musicians to raise funds to combat multiple myeloma, a rare form of cancer that is incurable, but treatable. Please check it out!
You Can’t Live on Love Alone: Songs for the Fight Against Multiple Myeloma began in March 2014 when former music publicist Pigeon O’Brien, a longtime friend of many of the site’s staff, was diagnosed with the disease. Wanting to help with her medical bills, Popdose founder and editor-in-chief Jeff Giles came up with the idea of releasing a benefit CD built around acoustic performances from the Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour interview podcast he hosted at the site with Matt Wardlaw. The duo reached out to the musicians for permission, and other writers for the site contacted publicists and artists they knew for contributions. All that was asked was that it not be a sad song.
“This was a true labor of love for a wonderful friend in need,” says Wardlaw. “We both knew that we were sitting on a nice archive of live performances from our podcast that we could easily get permission to use. Beyond that, Popdose reached out to some of those longtime favorite artists that had become friends and connections over the years. “
The 19 songs on You Can’t Live on Love Alone come from artists ranging from multi-platinum and Grammy-winning musicians and producers to some of the most innovative up-and-coming artists of today. Its title track comes courtesy of Justin Currie of Del Amitri, who contributed a demo of an unreleased song. Jim Peterik (Survivor, Ides of March) and Steve Poltz (Jewel) are among those whose performances have been heard on the podcast. Jules Shear (Cyndi Lauper, the Bangles) and Don Dixon (R.E.M., the Smithereens) donated previously unreleased songs.
In addition, Blue Sky Riders, featuring Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr, gave permission to use “Dream,” from their Live at the Rutledge EP. Scout, who performed on The Sopranos in 2001 (as “The Miami Relatives”), donated a cover of Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” from their out-of-print “All I Want Is You” maxi-single. Joshua Jesty recorded his take on Starship’s “We Built This City” specifically for the project.
The immediate proceeds from sales of You Can’t Live on Love Alone will go directly to Pigeon to help defray her medical expenses. In the long-term, they will be donated to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
Once compiled, the recordings were sent to engineer Jacob Detering at Red Pill Entertainment, who gave the tracks a degree of sonic consistency and turned it into what Giles described as a “crazy quilt.” Music business veteran George Howard, a friend of Popdose for many years, offered advice.
Wardlaw adds, “We just wanted to create a good collection of music that people would enjoy and, hopefully, send them away with a few new groups and artists to learn more about. That’s a pretty appropriate goal, considering that Pigeon spent part of her career similarly seeking to introduce music fans to bands that she loves.”
You Can’t Live on Love Alone: Songs for the Fight Against Multiple Myeloma Track Listing
1. “Let Me Be Your Witness” — Brandon Schott. Previously unreleased live track recorded in 2009 during Schott’s dates in support of his album Dandelion, which was recorded over the one-year anniversary of Brandon’s own diagnosis, treatment and recovery from cancer.
2. “Swallowing Pride” — Don Dixon. Previously unreleased demo recorded in 1983 for the Me & Dixon project featuring Dixon on bass, Parthenon Huxley on guitar and Rob Ladd on drums.
3. “Little to the Left”— Nat Osborn. Previously unreleased. Recorded live for the Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour on 03/22/13.
4. “No Rest for the Wicked” — Donnie Iris & the Cruisers. Released on the Ellwood City album.
5. “Home”— Jason Myles Goss. Demo of a track from Jason’s 2012 release, Radio Dial.
6. “Honky Tonking Tonight” — Philip Gibbs. Released on the Box Canyon Blues album.
7. “Blame It All on the Wind” — Jay Nash. Previously unreleased. Recorded live for the Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour on 02/12/13.
8. “I Take It on Faith” — Roscoe Born. Previously available only on YouTube. One of many recordings from the Emmy-nominated actor and songwriter.
9. “Do What You Gotta Do” — Don Rosler & Jay Ward. Recorded in 2007 and previously only available on their websites.
10. “Vehicle” — Jim Peterik. Previously unreleased acoustic version of the Peterik-penned No. 2 hit for the Ides of March. Recorded live for the Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour on 12/06/12
11. “Dream” — Blue Sky Riders. Released on the Live at the Rutledge EP
12. “Any Way You Want It” – Scout. Cover of the Journey hit from the out-of-print All I Want Is You CD maxi-single.
13. “Cut and Dry” — Patti Rothberg. Released on the Overnight Sensation album.
14. “Good Will” — Emily Hurd. Released on the Any Given Day album.
15. “You Can’t Live on Love Alone” [Demo] — Justin Currie. Previously unreleased demo recorded during sessions in between What Is Love For and The Great War.
16. “Rock Paper Scissors” — Julian Velard & Bleu. Recorded in 2007 and released on the 15 Years of B-Sides compilation.
17. “Do You Wrong” — Jules Shear. Previously unreleased song from the Longer to Get to Yesterday sessions.
18. “Conversations with the Moon” — Steve Poltz. Previously unreleased. Recorded live for the Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour on 06/05/12.
19. “We Built This City” — Joshua Jesty. Cover of the Starship hit recorded specifically for this compilation.