The right track

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Christina Fuoco-Karasinski  •  College Times

A peek inside the playlists of Phoenix’s most influential people

The Black Moods singer/guitarist Josh Kennedy was bred in the most unlikely of spots for a rock singer—tiny Wheaton, Missouri, in the Ozarks, where his brain was filled with Southern rock and country.

“They didn’t have MTV,” he says. “This one day I was in my room playing and my dad says, ‘Hey Bub—he calls me Bub—come check out this band.’ It was the Gin Blossoms playing ‘Hey Jealousy’ on an awards show.”

That began a long-standing love affair with music and the Gin Blossoms. He soon packed his bags and moved to the Valley with the hopes of working with the Gin Blossoms, with whom The Black Moods recently wrapped up a tour.

Moreover, The Black Moods were formed shortly after Kennedy moved here. With his longtime bandmates, drummer Chico Diaz and bassist Jordan Hoffman, Kennedy has found success with the singles “Bella Donna” and “Bad News.”

“It’s a stalker song,” Kennedy says about “Bad News.” “It’s more of a modern-day, Facebook-style stalking song. You can find anyone by the places they check in and completely stalk them by their online presence.”

To stalk The Black Moods, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TheBlackMoods. Read on to learn more about the music that motivates and inspires Kennedy.

TOP SIX FAVORITE SONGS

This was difficult to narrow down. It’s a forever-changing list. These reflect my current mood, though.

 

“Thank You,”

Led Zeppelin

I actually got into Zeppelin later than most. I was listening to Gin Blossoms and Stone Temple Pilots before I really started listening to Zeppelin heavily. This is one of the most romantic songs ever. I like it because it’s such a simple song. I have been playing that song since I was in high school, and then the Moods were asked to contribute to a Zeppelin tribute record with a bunch of other up and coming artists a year or so ago called “Dazed And Confused.” We couldn’t think of a better one to do. It says so much with so little. “Zeppelin II” is such a great record.

 

“So Far Away”

Carole King

I’m a big fan of “SNL” and the real early shows with the original cast like John Belushi and Gilda Radner from the 1970s. For Christmas, when I was a kid, my parents would get me “The Best of Saturday Night Live” on DVD and Carole was a musical guest. She did this song with James Taylor. It’s always stuck with me. Lately, I’ve been wearing her album “Tapestry” out. We are on the road so much, this always reminds me of home and the people and things you miss. The first line of the song just sets the whole tone of it. She’s amazing.

“4 Days”

Counting Crows

This is from their third record “This Desert Life.” It was produced by David Lowery from the band Cracker. The micing technique he used on this record and recording to analog tape makes this entire record really stick out, especially this song. The harmonies on it are fantastic. I’m from a really small town of 600 people in Missouri, and hadn’t been anywhere really when the record came out. There’s a line in it that says, “Have you seen Ohio rise?” I always wondered what that meant. Now that we’ve been through Ohio more times than I can count, I think I know what Adam Durtiz is talking about.

 

“Mercy Mercy Me”

Marvin Gaye

This song, even though it’s talking about all the s**t that’s wrong with the world, still makes you feel good. The groove is amazing. It’s from the record “What’s Goin’ On.” The entire album has such a good feeling and vibe, but this is definitely a stand-out track.

 

“Fairweather Friends”

Queens of the Stone Age

I love everything about this song. From the album “…….Like Clockwork.” The changes in this song are so epic and weird, it makes you play it again right after you hear it. It’s so intense. The lineup of musicians on it doesn’t hurt, either—Dave Grohl on drums and Elton John on piano. It also has one of the coolest lines ever, “Drink wine and screw is all we’ll do, every day.” Ha. Ha. The way it is delivered is brilliant. Josh Homme is on our producer wish list.

 

“I Me Mine”

The Beatles

Such a good song about being possessive. Could be about love or drug addiction, or both. The way it changes time is great. Written by George Harrison for the album “Let It Be,” it’s one of his best. We had a pool table in the band house that we spent a lot of time around. This song found us from listening to vinyl and playing pool. It’s more of an obscure Beatles song. Definitely an underappreciated track off that album.

 

PREFERRED WAY OF LISTENING AND WHY?

Vinyl is our go-to. However, traveling with our record collection and a record player on tour just doesn’t work. So, when we are back and in the studio, it’s what we listen to. Because we are always on tour, we rarely get the chance to listen to vinyl, which makes us appreciate it that much more.

 

DESERT ISLAND ALBUM

“Animals” by Pink Floyd.

 

WHAT ARTIST WOULD PROVIDE THE SOUNDTRACK FOR THE MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE?

Tom Petty. I kind of feel like he already did.

 

FAVORITE SONG BY AN

ARIZONA-BASED ARTIST?

That’s not easy to narrow down either. So many great songs have been written by Arizona bands. I have two. “Found Out About You” by the Gin Blossoms and “Green and Dumb” by Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.

The Gin Blossoms have meant so much to me. They are the reason I relocated to Tempe in the first place. This is just such a beautiful song and painted such a perfect picture of someone you knew (or thought you knew) fell in love with, then found out who they really are. It’s intense but very poetic It puts you right there and you can feel the situation. Love the Gin Blossoms.

“Green and Dumb” is such a great song. It paints a perfect picture of outside looking in—literally. The lyrics put you there, wanting like he is. It gets me every time. It’s such a beautiful song. Both bands mean so much to us. Not just because of the great tunes but they have both been so important to us and our career. We owe a lot to both of these bands.

 

GO-TO GUILTY PLEASURE TRACK OR CLASSIC KARAOKE TUNE?

“When I’m With You” by Sheriff is such an iconic ’80s hit. My love for it might have a lot to do with the movie “Joe Dirt.” Ha. Ha. It’s Brandy’s theme song. It’s such a perfect introduction for a love interest in a movie. When she comes riding up on that horse and that song hits…. holy s**t.

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