I like Haughty Melodic.

A year ago, I told Ike that Mike Doughty‘s Haughty Melodic wasn’t very good, particularly when compared to his work with Soul Coughing.

I was wrong. It’s a good album. I hadn’t fully realized this until I looked at my Audioscrobbler stats and saw that Mike Doughty has become my second-most-listened-to artist, solely on the strength of Haughty Melodic, right after Dave Matthews Band and right before Hell on the Nine Mile. (The top ten is rounded out, in order, by Elvis Costello, U2, Lyle Lovett, Tom Waits, Patty Griffin, Johnny Cash, and — it pains me to write this — The Border Brass.) The first four most-listened to tracks are all from Haughty Melodic. (Dave Matthews Band doesn’t make an appearance until #76. DMB is high on the artists-listened-to list but low on the songs-listened-to list because I listen to my library in Party Shuffle much of the time, and rarely select any DMB songs.)

Live and learn.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

7 replies on “I like Haughty Melodic.”

  1. I asked for Haughty Melodic Christmas before last, and this Christmas, and finally got it. It is also one of my favorites, especially the song, ‘Busting up a Starbucks’.

  2. I’ve made a “Least listened to” playlist that is pretty enjoyable sometimes. iTunes tends to grab big chunks from albums you never listen to, but it is still interesting to see what you’ve got but have forgotten about.

  3. I maintain a pretty stupidly-complex smart playlists system for iTunes, and Least Played is definitely one of my favorites. I set it to include anything that hasn’t been played for a year, is ranked at two stars or above, and is not in the genre of “books” or “spoken.”

    #1 on my list right now is “The Elements,” by Tom Lehrer. I’ve listened to the studio version in the past year, but not this live version. I do believe I should remedy that now. :)

  4. i think at best, Doughty is 25% as good as Soul Coughing was… and that’s only when he’s operating at full speed, which “Haughty” most certainly is not. the best song on there, “Sunkeneyed Girl,” just seems to be fundamentally lacking some breakbeats and fat bass riffs and totally incongruous jazz samples.

    don’t get me wrong, only a few songs on there are embarrassingly terrible (“… Starbucks” for instance) but mostly the album just fails to be good, i find.

  5. Well, James, maybe it’s missing all those things (“breakbeats and fat bass riffs and totally incongruous jazz samples.”) because, I dunno, call me crazy, but the album is by Mike Doughty, not Soul Coughing.

    If the album fails to be good, fine, that’s your opinion and music and art and books and all kinds of other things are subjective (my favorite color is purple, does yours differ? If so, cool, neither of us is right). But you seem to be looking for Soul Coughing and you won’t find it here (on Haughty Melodic).


    Why do I keep getting frustrated by people who pigeon hole artists and refuse to let them evolve? WHY??? If you don’t like it FINE. FINE!!!!!!!! But judge it on its own merits, not via a totally different (let me repeat, totally different) musical entity.

    You said, “i think at best, Doughty is 25% as good as Soul Coughing was.” Valid. Your opinion. You don’t like HM. FINE!!!!!!!!!!! But just say you don’t like the music, or the words, or the arrangements, or it’s not your type of thing, or he sucks as a solo artist, FINE!!!!!!!! But, you can’t take his solo work and invoke Soul Coughing comparisons. It’s not even apples an oranges, it’s apples and (thinking of something even more different, outside of the fruit category)……..hummingbirds! Yea, that’s it. Apples and hummingbirds. Couldn’t be more different.


  6. > people who pigeon hole artists and refuse to let them evolve?

    i don’t demand that he replicate Soul Coughing; i just expect him to do something interesting and worth listening to.

    i’m not angry that he evolved; i’m just disappointed that he evolved into a boring-ass singer-songwriter.

  7. I had the exact same reaction to the album as you, James. “Boring-ass singer-songwriter…it’s all a bunch of blah blah blah.” And I ignored the album. But NRN kept playing a couple of tracks, and damned if I didn’t like them. I accidentally let the album play through a few times, and now I like it.

    It’s no Ruby Vroom, and I’m shocked to discover that it’s my #1 listened-to album, but I do find it pleasant.

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