Here comes that rainy mix

If April showers bring May flowers, what does this rain dominating the first week of May bring? Yet another mix, that’s what it brings–whether it is songs explicitly about rain, or simply ones that are reminiscent of how a rainy day makes me feel.

“Here’s That Rainy Day” by Astrud Gilberto

Bossa nova is normally a genre of music that effortlessly conveys sun and beaches, but it can just as easily convey that feeling of a rainy day, as demonstrated here.

“Rain” by The Beatles

The Beatles, in the first half of their career, largely kept singles off of albums, at least in the UK. The result is such tracks as “Paperback Writer”, which only appeared there as a single initially. Even more impressive than that track is the equally standalone “Rain”, the ending of which is one of the first times backwards vocals had been incorporated into a rock song.

“Clap Hands” by Tom Waits

Now here’s one of those tracks that doesn’t directly concern rain, but damned if it the kind of track one can only truly appreciate when it is raining. I believe it is a marimba I am hearing that brings to my mind water droplets plummeting off the edges of roofs and overhangs, only to splash upon various objects. Maybe one of those objects is a marimba. Also, there’s something about Marc Ribot’s highly distinctive (and very difficult to describe) style of playing the guitar which also makes me think of rain, though I’d be hard-pressed to say why.

“I Dig You” by Boss Hog

I find it even more difficult to explain why this track makes me think of precipitation, and yet it does.

“Waiting For The Rain” by The Judybats

Ah, now we’re back in literal territory, with the sadly rather forgotten Judybats. Not that they were wildly popular when they were a going concern, but I keep waiting for them to be discovered by a larger audience. A cult following waiting to happen.

“Can’t Stop The Rain” by Los Lobos

Talk about underappreciated bands–this is one of America’s best bands, yet is curiously still not appreciated by the public at large. Oh, unless you’re a drunk, middle-aged boor who won’t stop yelling out for them to play “La Bamba” at their concerts.

“Waiting For The Flood” by Love & Rockets

I guess this is a song for when you could not, in fact, stop the rain. Really, I could have chosen any number of songs that feel like rain by this, one of my favorite bands, as they specialized in an 80’s version of rainy-day pscyhedelica.

“So. Central Rain” by R.E.M.

Similarly, a great number of tracks from R.E.M.’s pre-major-label years feel like rain to me, but I decided to go with the one that actually mentions it in the title (though, curiously, is not in the lyrics).

“Hey Mr. Rain” by The Velvet Underground

I am a massive Velvet Underground fan, but this isn’t one of my personal favorites in their catalog. Still, the viola, combined with the overall drone of the track, is reminiscent of black sheets of rain.

“Summer Rain” by The Primitives

Strange, but doesn’t this sound like specifically rain on a hot summer day?

“Dia 36” by Os Mutantes

Not being a speaker of Portuguese, I don’t know if the lyrics concern rain at all. I only know this song sure as hell sounds like a downpour to me.

“Eastern Rain” by Fairport Convention

The song is about rain, and feels like rain. I’d say that’s just about perfect for this mix.

“Here Comes The Rain Again” by Eurythmics


“Happy When It Rains” by The Jesus & Mary Chain

Let’s face it, the JAMC’s catalog has some more upbeat numbers in it, but there isn’t anything in it that most people would classify as “sunny day” music.

“Here Comes The Rain” by Trader Horne

This could go along perfectly side-by-side with the Fairport Convention track, above. Go figure, the singer here is Judy Dyble, who was the original frontwoman of that band.

“I See The Rain” by The Marmalade

I could not find the source of the information, but I have widely read Jimi Hendrix said this was the best single of 1967. Even if he hadn’t said that, this is still a fantastic song. Get a load of that guitar solo–it isn’t showy, but simply is perfect for the track. That it is reprised on the fade out is icing on the cake.

“Angelina” by Orchestre De Poly-Rythmo

I have no idea why this song makes me think of nothing other than rain, but it did from the first time I heard it. How ironic it would be if the lyrics were about something like dying of thirst in the desert. I don’t want to know.