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The Playlist: Cruise Control

With a late night tweet, U.S. Sen Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for president then immediately hit the road, so we start our playlist with “Cruise Control” by the Dixie Dregs.

Last Sunday night, a little after 11 p.m. Central, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz announced he’s running for presidenton Twitter.

That made him the first major candidate to throw his hat in the ring, and it marked the first time a major presidential candidate has made it official using social media. With a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia on Monday, then off to New York for a round of fundraising the freshman senator from Texas immediately went into … well, it’s an easy pun, but we’re going with it anyway and starting this week’s playlist of the news with “Cruise Control” by the Dixie Dregs.

The easiest way to enjoy the playlist is to download Spotify, a free program. But even without it, you can still follow along. Here are the other selections for the week:

Sunday also saw the publication of Blood Lessons, a four-part series produced in partnership with The Houston Chronicle looking back at the explosion 10 years ago at the BP refinery in Texas City that killed 15. Through pictures, video interviews with survivors, a look at refinery deaths since and what lessons have been learned from perhaps the most-studied accident in history, the Tribune and the Chronicle pieced together stories to form a whole that is at once investigative and a memorial, so we chose the Neville Brothers performing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

At a rally Monday on the steps of the Capitol, supporters of Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage came together on the same day representatives from a group that lobbies for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were visiting lawmakers. That’s “Democracy” — played here by by Papas Da Língua.

Also on Monday, we launched Listen Up. Starting with crowdfunding our weekly presidential podcast featuring KUT NewsBen Philpot and our own Jay Root, we’ve got big plans for bring all our statewide events — on average, one a week — to you as podcasts you can listen to anytime. To celebrate, a little dance set, starting with Johnny Dyer and Rick Holmstrom playing “Listen Up.”

Tuesday, Root and Tribune multimedia magician Todd Wiseman flew to NYC for an interview with Sen. Cruz — which we also livestreamed. After they wrapped that up, our intrepid duo hit Time Square to ask some people what they thought of the nation’s first-in candidate for president. Here’s Charles Mingus’ “Nostalgia in Times Square.”

On Wednesday, lawmakers in the state House tentatively passed a bill banning texting while driving. A similar ban has been vetoed once before, but may stand a better chance this go ‘round. “Keep Your Eyes on the Road,” sings Great King Roy Shirley, the High Priest of Reggae.

Thursday, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, seemingly floated the possibility he might explore a presidential run himself.  An aide soon reeled that in, saying Washington reporters can’t detect irony. Gohmert himself said “there would be no more bald Presidents” because of TV, reminding us of Little Village’s paean to baldness, “Solar Sex Panel.”

An unusual — if not unprecedented — ban on appearing before the state’s Court of Criminal Appeals was placed on David Dow, a Houston law professor who defends death row inmates pro bono. Hundred of lawyers have written in support of his petition asking the state Supreme Court to overturn the roughly co-equal criminal court’s ruling. Get back on the dance floor, here’s Peter Tosh and Shorty Long, both with tunes named “Here Comes the Judge.”

Jim Malewitz sat down for an interview with a former top U.S. energy official, who said Texas shouldn’t worry about new EPA climate rules. We thought we’d try to keep you dancing for one more number, so we close with Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing.” Enjoy!

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