The Playlist: No More Mr. Nice Guy

Lawmakers worked together so well during the 83rd legislative session that some called it the “Kumbaya Session.” As reported by Jay Root, Gov. Rick Perry put an end to that hand-holding stuff this week by adding controversial and partisan issues to the special session's call. So this week's news-inspired playlist begins with "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper.

The easiest way to enjoy the playlist is to download Spotify, which is a free program. But even without it, you can still follow along and hear the songs in the embedded playlist below. Here are this week's other selections:

While lawmakers asked the governor to add even more items to the special session's agenda, Perry declined, saying, "I think from a practical standpoint those last issues that we put on the call are the last practical things that can be done.” So we continue the playlist with "Out of Time" by The Rolling Stones.

The governor did have time to issue more than two dozen vetoes, though. In honor of high-volume rejection like this, we present Johnny Cash's "Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart."

A proposed statewide ban on smoking in public workplaces fell short this week and inspired the inclusion of "Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray" by Patsy Cline.

Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams and House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts accused The Wall Street Journal of "fuzzy math" after a Journal editorial accused the Texas Legislature of going on “its biggest spending spree in memory.” For these squabbling mathematicians we include the Violent Femmes' "Add It Up."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it would not provide additional money to help the town of West. The governor responded that he hoped President Obama would stay "true to his word" to help the town's residents recover from April's fertilizer plant explosion. For the governor and the president's prickly relationship we add "If I Cried Every Time You Hurt Me" by Wanda Jackson to the playlist.

It wasn't all heartache for the governor this week, though. Surrounded by cheerleaders, he ceremonially signed legislation allowing students to say "Merry Christmas" in public schools. The governor also wiped out the funding of the Travis County-based Public Integrity Unit because Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat who recently served a jail sentence for a DWI conviction, refused to resign. In honor of these acts, we include Jonathan Coulton's "Christmas in July" and Gary Clark, Jr.'s "Travis County."

Texas Democrats might be excused for feeling like no one will ever ask them to the prom. As Ross Ramsey wrote, Republicans are lining up to run for an array of statewide offices. But Democrats have yet to field a single candidate. For the lovelorn Democrats we suggest Ricky Nelson's "Stood Up."

The Senate's approval of a measure that would require judges and juries to sentence 17-year-olds convicted of capital murder to life in prison with the chance of parole after 40 years inspired us to include Terry Allen's "The Great Joe Bob," a song about a high school football star who went bad and "traded in the pigskin for the penitentiary."

Speaking of students, "School Days" by The Runaways makes this week's playlist, thanks to a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Justice that accuses a Dallas truancy law of being unconstitutional.

We close this week's playlist with "Best of the Worst" by Dead Confederate in honor of Texas Monthly's annual list of the Best and Worst Legislators.

Enjoy!

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.