Anxious Anthems & Opinions on Paul Simon

Anxious Anthems

Nervy guitars and pounding drums can perfectly convey the restless sensation of being on the verge of breaking down. Jim and Greg share their favorite Anxious Anthems. Then, they review the new album from venerable songwriter Paul Simon.

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Anxious Anthems

Forget "keep calm and carry on." This week, Jim and Greg play their favorite "Anxious Anthems." Then they chat with some listeners to hear what songs make them nervous.


  • The Feelies, "The Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness"
  • Ida Maria, "Oh My God"
  • Toots and the Maytals, "Pressure Drop"
  • Queen, "Sheer Heart Attack"


  • Lupe Fiasco, "Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways)"
  • Eurythmics, "Beethoven (I Love to Listen to)"
  • Pixies, "Where Is My Mind"
  • Brook Benton, "Rainy Night in Georgia"

Listener Picks

  • Hannah from Crofton, MD: The Beatles, "I’m So Tired"
  • Jean from Evanston, IL: The Boomtown Rats, "Someone’s Looking At You"
  • Karl from Albany, OR: Motion City Soundtrack, "Delirium"

Stranger to Stranger Paul Simon

Stranger to Stranger (Deluxe Edition)

After his success with Simon & Garfunkel and as a solo artist, it would be easy for Paul Simon to rest on his laurels. But Simon has continued to push himself with new ideas and rhythms. His 13th solo album is Stranger to Stranger, and it finds Simon using some of the weird home-made instruments of legendary experimental composer Harry Partch, and collaborating with Italian electronic dance artist Clap! Clap!. Greg appreciates that Simon is an artist that continues to innovate. He likes both the humor and the references to mortality (without being morbid) that the now 74-year-old throws into the lyrics. Jim is less impressed, feeling that Simon's work radiates an annoying self-satisfaction. Jim admits that Simon works with rhythms well but believes he is giving the illusion of doing something new, rather than actually doing something new. It's a Buy It for Stranger to Stranger from Greg and a Try It for Jim.


When outlaw country legend Merle Haggard died in April of this year, many obituaries focused on his huge 1969 hit "Okie From Muskogee." It was a divisive song from a contentious time in U.S. history. Many took it as a flag-waving anthem that mocked the counterculture. Haggard himself changed his tune many times regarding whether he personally agreed with the lyrics or not. What Greg finds interesting is that the single Haggard wanted to put out following "Okie From Muskogee" was "Irma Jackson," a song in defense of interracial romance. The record company "suits" wouldn't release it, believing it would alienate his new fans. Three years later, Haggard finally got his way and the single was released. Greg believes Haggard was finally able to show that he was much more than the one-dimensional character in "Okie." And that's why he selected "Irma Jackson" to take to the Desert Island Jukebox today.

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