We’re fall breaking it this weekend. No trips or super exciting and unique plans on the agenda. Just flu shots, playdates, sleepovers, and general chilling. Here are some songs that I’ve been listening to this week, and thus they feel fall break-y to me.

“Queens” – La Sera. La Sera put out an album earlier this year that got fine reviews, but which I did not like that much. Then they released an EP of extra tracks a couple weeks back, and I dug it the most. I love the little guitar runs in the back half of this track. And something about it makes me think of Juice Newton. Obviously the title recalls “Queen of Hearts.” But I think, at least on this track, Katy Goodman’s voice sounds a little like Juice’s.
“Ridiculous Thoughts” – The Cranberries. When the weather turns dark and dreary this time of year, I always spin the Cranberries’ No Need To Argue album a couple times. It’s the perfect mid-fall album, and this song fits the mood of the season to a T.
“Devil Inside” – INXS. Kick, INXS’ biggest album, was released 29 years ago this week. Jesus!
“Riding On Your Love” – J Churcher. A little lo-fi, a little chillwave, a little bedroom pop folded together to make this gorgeous, fall-ish song.

“Torture” – The Jacksons. I heard this song on SiriusXM’s 80s on 8 earlier this week and Nina Blackwood offered up a wonderful tidbit about its creation. Jackie Jackson wrote the song, and it was originally intended to be sung by him along with Michael. But, late in the process, Jermaine decided he was going to appear on the Victory album and he replaced Jackie on vocals.

I loved that and thought of how that went down in the studio.

Scene: recording studio, Los Angeles, CA, 1984. The Jacksons are gathered, preparing to lay down some tracks, buoyed by the presence of Jermaine, who just announced he would be joining his brothers on their upcoming album.

Jackie Jackson, out of breath, excited: Guys! I think I got it! I found our hit!
Tito: Sweet!
Randy: Let’s listen to it!
Marlon: Hey guys, I’m just happy to be here.
Michael and Jermaine sit quietly in separate corners. Jackie plays the rough version of “Torture.” His brothers, excepting Jermaine, all nod along with various levels of interest. Jermaine stares into the distance, face impenetrable.
Randy: Oh man, Jackie! That’s got top 10 written all over it! Let’s start recording it now!
Jackie: Thanks! Michael, I thought you and I could sing it together.
Michael, with a sad smile on his face, just nods, then looks Jermaine’s way.
Jermaine: Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to happen, Jackie. Michael and I will take this one. Nice job, though.
Jackie, confused: Why, Jermaine, why? After all I’ve done, all the work I’ve put in, why do you take this song away from me? You haven’t been here for any of our work. At least Michael shows up once a month or so and acts like he wants to be part of this group. Why are you being so unfair?
Jermaine waves his hand dismissively: Jackie, let me ask you a question: how many top 10 songs do you have to your name? What? None? That’s what I thought. Yeah, this one is Michael and me.

And scene…

I always thought this was a pretty good song. The video, in which neither Jermaine and Michael appeared, is thoroughly, mid–80s appropriate, ridiculousness, though.