I haven’t tapped the cranial jukebox for a while, so thought I would share a song. The only problem is several candidates occurred to me and I couldn’t pick just one. So let’s stock up, shall we?
Fact: 98% of people over the age of 21 are incapable of resisting the urge to sing along – loudly – when they hear this song. It’s science! Back when we used these shiny things called “CDs” to listen to music, the Hot Fuss album got an awful lot of play in our car.
Matthew Sweet is criminally underrated. Why didn’t this guy become a much bigger deal? Should have been a huge star after the Girlfriend album. This one isn’t off Girlfriend but is equal to all the great songs on that one. I know everyone claims their twenties was the era of the best. music. ever. But man, we were completely spoiled in the ’90s with so much amazing music.
I really enjoyed this one when it was in heavy rotation on what we innocently called indie radio. It wasn’t until years later that I learned the frontman and I went to college together. Great guy, huge talent. His current band is doing some terrific stuff, check them out too.
Following up on a not-so recent post (sorry I’ve not been diligent lately about posting) about a trip to the Jacksonville/Saint Augustine area, here’s a report on another trip, this one with my family over the holidays to Sarasota. The trip included catching up with old friends, a day trip up to St. Pete, interesting museums, beach time, and, of course, lots of coffee.
I remain deeply ensconced in a ’90s alternapop rabbit hole and I’m loving it. Couldn’t choose just one song to go with today, so we’re getting two bangers. You’re welcome!
First up, I’ll admit this one’s a bit repetitive. And the video doesn’t do much for me. But given this whole conceit is based on a bit about playing the same song 21 times in a row, we’ll forgive its flaws and just listen joyfully without watching the video.
Way back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, I saw They Might Be Giants in a smallish venue on their first full-band tour (they were awesome – I mean, just look at that set list). The opening act was Frank Black, who strolled out by himself with an acoustic guitar and just laid down some great songs. The curse of the opening slot, no one seemed to notice that the front man of the freaking Pixies (!) was slaying it. Damn. This beauty was one of the ones he played. It might not be everyone’s taste but I like the goofy video, too. Enjoy.
I thought I would fight off my usual instincts and pick a song that was made in this century. So what if it’s 17 years old.
Some music resonates with you back to a certain point in your life. The album this came off was a staple at the time for me, and got worn out in the car during hellacious commutes. Our then-young kids actually liked it, so I think of driving around with them and also long drives with a close friend who enjoys great music and a lot of talking and a lot of laughter. Good times! Enjoy this one 21x in a row.
I had been thinking that it was about time to pick a song made in this century, but last weekend I found myself in a bar/video game arcade in Manhattan playing Frogger as this song was blasting at high volume. For a song recorded 54 years ago, it still slaps. Play it 21x in a row – loudly – and you’ll see.
I recently read Carrie Brownstein’s memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. Some of you may know her from Portlandia, more than a few of you are saying “Who?“, but I think of her as one third of seminal 90s/00s band Sleater-Kinney. This is my favorite S-K song, try it 21x in a row for yourself.
Remember mashups? Thanks to Glee and the Pitch Perfect franchise, there was a hot minute when listening to one song at a time just wasn’t enough. But one way or another a golden opportunity was lost as no one made the right choice.
These two songs together would give us, if the not the mashup we want, definitely the mashup we deserve. Layer these two guilty pleasures together and 1+1 will equal a jillion. Play them back to back 21x in a row and they’ll be all mashed up in your head, you’ll see.
One of these days I’m going to write a 3,000 word think piece about why this song and its video perfectly distill 1980s pop culture down to its bare essence. In the meantime, listen to it 21x in a row and you’ll agree. Thank you for coming to my TEDTalk.