At a TribLive event on Thursday, three Texas senators discussed the "Kumbaya" session. Little did they know that, in doing so, they were also selecting the first track of this week's news-inspired playlist.
The easiest way to enjoy the whole playlist is to download Spotify for free. But even if you can't or don't want to do that, you can still follow along. In addition to Raffi's version of "Kumbaya," here are the rest of this week's selections:
The University of Texas System Board of Regents' abortive attempt to withhold documents from legislators exacerbated tensions between the system and the Capitol, where the UT board's lack of responsiveness to records requests was already causing concern. To provide the regents' perspective, the aptly named General Johnson & The Chairmen of the Board sing "Give Me Just a Little More Time."
State Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, R-Lexington, suspended his chief of staff, who was indicted on 12 felony charges stemming from allegedly improper travel reimbursements and inspired the selection of Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere." Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue" was added in honor of Elon Musk, who stopped by the Capitol to pitch legislators on the idea of tweaking state laws to help his electric car company.
Ross Ramsey wrote about lawmakers' redistricting conundrum. They could endorse federal maps and lessen the state's court fights, but that risks disrupting the harmony of the current session. Ross even recommended a song to go with the story: "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash.
Morgan Smith wrote about the possibility of Texas nixing algebra II from the requirements for a high school diploma, and so we included "Simple Math" by Manchester Orchestra. "Drug Test" by Yo La Tengo made the list because a bill that would require drug testing for people applying for unemployment benefits gained momentum.
After Senate Finance Committee Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, laid out an ambitious plan to spend $6 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund, we added Guster's "Rainy Day." The inclusion of "The Noose" by The Offspring is connected to a controversial tweet from Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman showing a noose beside the names of some Republican U.S. senators.
Finally, as lawmakers discuss legalizing casino gambling in Texas, we close with the Kenny Rogers classic "The Gambler."
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.