Soundtrack

Beth Ditto DJs a Potluck Party Worthy of Great Gravy

The singer-songwriter creates the perfect playlist of songs by Cat Power, Nina Simone and more to go with grits and perfect potatoes.

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Beth Ditto made a name for herself as the lead singer of indie-rock group Gossip, and her standout voice has been compared to Janis Joplin and Etta James. Her debut solo album “Fake Sugar” was released this month. Here she is with some tunes to play at your next potluck.

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Handsome Boy Modeling School Feat. Cat Power – “I’ve Been Thinking”

Beth Ditto: People usually would associate Cat Power with singer-songwriter indie rock. You don’t usually hear her in electronic music and hip-hop, and it kind of goes to show that she’s so versatile. She’s so timeless. I feel like her records could be made yesterday.

Nina Simone – “Suzanne”

There is no bad cover of this song, and I don’t think Nina Simone has ever done a bad cover. She could cover anything and make it sound so sophisticated and so rich. On the surface it’s deceptively simple, and then when you listen to it, it’s moving and complicated. She’s on a level, I think, that other musicians just, they weren’t.

The Velvet Underground – “After Hours”

It’s very charming, but also because Mo Tucker was such a cool badass, one of her, I think there’s like something that she says that’s roughly like “I hated all that peace and love.” She was talking about the hippie movement. You would never know that she actually thinks that way with how sweet and innocent this song sounds.

This song is really important to me, because it makes me think, you know what, twee has a place. For so long, I railed against it, and when I heard this song, I was like, you know what? Twee in its truest, purest form, is actually incredible. To me, this is the godfather of twee.

Beth Ditto – “Fake Sugar”

It’s a song that is heavily inspired by Paul Simon, and really pretty jangly guitars. I hope you enjoy it, and I also hope that if you brought a dish, take it with you, because I’m going to take it to Goodwill in one week, because that’s on you. That’s on you.

  • Janaki Kuruppu

    I’m so delighted to be introduced to Beth Ditto – she was hilarious! I loved her riff on mashed potatoes, and making gravy!! And, I loved her selections, and her song. Great pick!!