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Personal playlist: Marc Maron

February 14, 2012 |  7:30 am

Marc Maron

Aggressively honest stand-up comedian Marc Maron generally reserves the guest spots on his "WTF" podcast for his comedy peers. In an episode posted this week, however, Maron sat down with "Cruel to Be Kind" songwriter Nick Lowe. In honor of the occasion, Maron shared some of the music he's been listening to — and reading about — with Pop & Hiss. 

"I went on a little bit of an Art Pepper kick for a while after I read his autobiography," Maron said of the late saxophonist's "Straight Life." "It’s such an insane book. There’s about 25-30 pages of music talk, and 400 pages of jail and dope talk. He's one of the great alto-sax players, and after 400 pages the moral of his life is, 'Don’t be a rat.' "

Maron, whose music picks touch on jazz, blues and punk rock, will appear Wednesday night at Largo with Greg Behrendt and Dave Anthony.

John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." "I’ve been playing some vinyl lately, and not just because I have an old turntable. People have been giving me records, and that means I get back into my records. Someone gave me this double album, this boxed set. It’s a vinyl pressing on 180 gram vinyl, and it runs at 45 rpm, and I guess this is the way it was put out originally. It’s beautiful. It sounds great. I’ve been listening to that a lot. I love this stuff. I don’t know a lot about it. I’m not educated in it, but I have a lot of the bebop stuff on CD, primarily the names everyone knows — Thelonious, Miles and Coltrane.

"I listen to that stuff, but I can’t claim to know a lot about jazz. I do like to have it on sometimes. It’s pretty exciting stuff. There’s very few mediums where people so clearly went over the edge. It’s like, ‘Here’s your structure, and now I will see you later.' "

Iggy & the Stooges' "Funhouse." "I’ve had this record, but someone gave it to me on nice, thick vinyl. This is one of the best albums ever made, and to listen to it on vinyl is pretty sweet. I’m more of a first-album Stooges guy, so rediscovering this and listening to 'Funhouse' on vinyl is sweet.

"I go back to the Stooges, and Tom Petty’s first album. I go back to Dylan’s 'Blonde on Blonde.' I’ve been listening to a lot of the Beatles recently. I’ve been listening to ‘Hey Jude’ over and over again because it seems to have some anti-depressant qualities." 

Jimmy Reed's "Jimmy Reed at Soul City." "Someone sent me this and I had never heard it before. I’m a big fan of this guy, but I’ve never seen this. It’s an interesting recording because it was clearly done in the audience. You can hear the audience and you can hear conversations, sometimes louder than you can hear Jimmy Reed play.

"I got to Jimmy through the early Stones, and he’s pretty great. He wrote some great blues songs. I like listening to Jimmy, and Slim Harpo. Those are some of the cats who had a big influence on the Stones early on. I just read the Keith Richards autobiography, but I’ve been listening to Jimmy a long time. I pretty much had a greatest hits record, and a fan sent me a few other records. I had most of them but I had never heard this live thing. It’s interesting to hear how some of those guys play live. It’s old stuff and a gig wasn’t what a gig is today."


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— Todd Martens

Photo: Marc Maron. Credit: Seth Olenick