“Filtering music for this room was a challenge. It’s small, moody and cozy and finding the balance between not-too-bright-and-sharp and not-too-dark-and-heavy took some time,” says Calyer’s general manager, Virginia Brown. “I’m from the South and I’ve definitely got some soul running through my veins so we basically we found our niche in a mixture of soul, funk, lo-fi and blues rock, with a little punk and rap just to keep the streets alive.”
You can check out most of the playlist on Spotify if you’re a member, but for the whole thing — including an old White Stripes jam and Ms. Brown’s thoughts on each track — listen below.
1. Sonny and the Sunsets – “Too Young To Burn”
Sunshine in a song and frequently used to put everyone in a happy mood. Turns into a smile and sing along for all. Hands down number one staff pick.
2. Strange Boys – “Be Brave”
Lo-fi, fun and rambunctious. Melodic garage rock seems a contradictory term but these guys pull it off and in a such an endearing way. We like it ’cause it makes us feel like we’re at a summer time keg party, jumping up and down, instead of hard at work.
3. Aretha Franklin – “Spirit in the Dark”
Well, she’s not the Queen of Soul by accident. This one raises the roof. Clap your hands, shake your hips and stomp your feet. Besides seems to me that a little hallelujah never hurt anyone.
4. Carry Ann Hearst – “Are You Ready to Die”
This girl is a friend from my hometown and is a 100% shit kickin’, straight up badass who is, by the way, putting out some damn fine country music. Perfect for getting rowdy with the drinkers at the bar while not offending the eaters at the tables.
5. The Donkeys – “I Like the Way That You Walk”
Sit back, relax and take it easy because we will feed and take care of you. The Donkeys help us say this in song. These southern CA guys were one of those weird worm-hole finds on Itunes where you start following the “people also bought this album” thread. Think modern day, less psychedelic Beach Boys. Makes me think of my first love.
6. T Rex — “Lean Woman Blues”
Food is sexy, so also should be what you’re listening to while you’re in our restaurant. Besides, it’s T Rex for god’s sake!
7. The Growlers – “A Man With No God”
Completely appeals to my dark and gritty Southern side. Some shimmy and shaking, good juju creating.
8. Tom Waits – “Cold Water”
All the musicians on our staff agree that some of the material on Mule Variations is among our some of our favorite from Tom Waits. This song should be the anthem for the mischievous reprobate who you can’t help but to love. Another song where we smirk and sing along with each other.
9. White Stripes — “When I Hear My Name”
Ok, so while we are not too much about the later Stripes albums, how do you pass on the sexy ass rock and roll that makes this album? Says about us: “Yeah, we are nice and fun, but we can play dirty if we have to.”
10. Cypress Hill – “Hand On the Pump”
I like to slip this on when the house is packed. Rough around the edges and our respectful nod to the streets.