Listen to Tim Cushman’s Hojoko Music Playlist

Pump up the volume with the izakaya’s very own soundtrack.
hojoko music playlist

Nancy and Tim Cushman in the Verb Hotel’s lobby. / Photograph by Christopher Churchill for ‘Rocking the Resto World.’

Before hunting for real estate or even sweating the menu, Hojoko’s Tim Cushman created an exclusive mixtape of favorite tunes for his Fenway rock ’n’ roll-themed izakaya. The eclectic soundtrack—which meanders from obscure college-radio finds to ’80s hair metal to Tarantino selects—has grown to more than 2,000 songs, all carefully calibrated for maximum Cushman-approved ambiance. Below, a selection of his raucous (and hilarious) jams, now in regular rotation.

Notes from Tim Cushman:

“Cum on Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot: “There are a couple of ’80s hair-metal power ballads on there that people kind of scratch their heads and go, ‘What?’ But it works. I’m trying to mix in some goofy straight-ahead rock ’n’ roll, which I really like.”

“Ouch!” by The Ruttles: “The Rutles is kind of making fun of the Beatles, which I love. It’s Eric Idle from Monty Python at his irreverent best.”

“Baby Please Don’t Go” by Them: “That’s Van Morrison before he was Van Morrison, so to speak.”

“Have I the Right” by The Honeycombs: “That’s actually an old song that I grew up listening to as a little kid on a transistor radio my grandmother gave me for Christmas. I used to put it under my pillow and listen to it at night.”

“Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice: “There are two reasons I like it. Part of it is just the beat and the feel of the song. Another reason: Jim Carrey was on the TV show In Living Color as Vanilla Ice and did ‘White White Baby.’ It takes me back to the hilariousness of that.”

“April 29, 1992 (Miami)” by Sublime: “They’re super-alleged pot heads, and that kind of fits into this whole thing. One of our original ideas was putting these big bongs behind the bar and having dry-ice smoke coming out of them.”

“The Dipsy Doodle” by Buddy Cole: “I wanted a cool, jazzy organ song as an ode to Fenway Park. You’ll hear something that’s really hard-driving, punk rock, and then this organ song comes on and it kind of breaks everything up and keeps everybody alert.”


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Christopher Hughes Chris Hughes, Food Editor at Boston Magazine chughes@bostonmagazine.com