Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Gossip :: Careless Whisper

I'm never gonna dance again
guilty feet have got no rhythm
though it's easy to pretend
I know you're not a fool

The Gossip, "Careless Whisper"

It's George Michael week here at the blog. Beth Ditto is as formidable a character as Rufus (see yesterday) and she tackles this song with her own brand of ruthless dancability. It's a whole new song! And yet, still an homage to the bad behavior that lurks in all night dance clubs. Yip yip yippee!

Wanna know more Gossip huh?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright :: Careless Whisper

I'm never gonna dance again
guilty feet have got no rhythm
though it's easy to pretend
I know you're not a fool

Should've known better than to cheat a friend
and waste the chance that I've been given
so I'm never gonna dance again
the way I danced with you

Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright, "Careless Whisper"

This is a much covered song and rightfully so... the drama! Especially in the hands of Rufus, who delivers his lines with the same cabaret stylings that have made his Judy Garland show infamous.
Oh George Micheal how ye have written so many great heartbreaking odes to bad choices! Tomorrow, someone else will tackle this tune!

If you're looking for more on Ben Folds or Rufus Wainwright, you can start at any of these places.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Of Montreal :: Voltaic Crusher/undrum To Musted Da

Everything is in the trash, and it's my fault
I've destroyed us, I know, it's unrecoverable

If there's a God he will repair your heart
If there's a God, send her an angel
Make him handsome and clever and not crazy

And you notice something wonderful
Someone to love her volcanically

Of Montreal, "Voltaic Crusher/undrum To Musted Da"

Whoa how I love the lyrics to Of Montreal songs. They are whack. While this song isn't from the latest release, "Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?" it's so wonderfully weird and peppy and dark all at the same time. This is a song, a gloriously poppy song sing from the point of view of a real jerk who knows he is a real jerk and who knows he's treated his gal horribly and has remorse but knows he cannot change. How's this for a line?

You gave me your hand, I gave you a fist, Please don't lose any sleep over me, baby, I hardly exist.


Wanna know more about Of Montreal? Or would you like to see a random and bizarre video?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rick Springfield :: Jessie's Girl

You know I feel so dirty
when they start talking cute
I want to tell her I love her,
but the point is probably moot

Rick Springfield, "Jessie's Girl"

A classic 80s unrequited love song with a hammering back beat. Back when this song came out I thought, "Who wouldn't want Rick Springfield? He's so hot! I'd pick him over Jessie!" I'm old. You got to love how straightforward the lyrics were in pop songs in the 80s. There was no art to it. No subtlety. Just rhymes. It was just enough to work the word "moot" in.

Where is Rick Springfield now?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rilo Kiley :: Breakin Up

Here's to all the pretty words

We will never speak

Here's to all the pretty girls

You're gonna meet

Rilo Kiley, "Break' Up"

This is a wacky Rilo Kiley song. I mean, lyrically it sure it is fitting for this blog. Heck, it's titled "Breakin' Up" but musically it's very Seventies with plenty of Yvonne Elliman-esque oohs and echoes. After multiple listens I'm not sure how I feel about those. Not like the sly and sassy quirky LA rock of Execution. But I do like the twist in the lyrics where she says she "feels good to be free." Kiss. Off. And it's not like I'm wholly against Under the Blacklight. I like much of that record. "Silver Lining" for instance. And that song is appropriate for this blog, too. But how can I ignore a song called "Breakin' Up"?

More about Rilo Kiley; Rilo Kiley in Concert on NPR

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hal :: My Eyes Are Sore

My eyes are sore
Too many tears gone and fall over you my girl
And happiness isn't for sure

Once you get what you're looking for

Hal, "My Eyes Are Sore"

Hal is a band, not a person. Just want to get that out of the way. This was definitely one of my favorite CDs of 2005 (I think it was 2005?) Super Beatles-esque Brit band that has the full blown wall of sound thing down. All the songs are gorgeous pop orchestrations that sound amazing on headphones. This song's lyrics are simple and sad, but the way they are executed is uplifting and makes me want to dance all flitty up the walls like a little fairy girl. This song isn't even one of my faves from the CD which is chock full of gems. I love the song "Coming Right Over" and when I am down, if I put it on loud and then louder still, it will always cheer me up. A highly recommended CD if you like your pop British, sugar pop sweet and lush like a snow white angora rabbit in a purple velvet coat.

More about Hal

And I apologize, I totally stole that picture of Hal from this flicker account.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Maria McKee :: Drinkin' In My Sunday Dress

The telephone is by the bottle, which is always by my bed
From time to time I give it a rattle to make sure it is not dead

I will wait here for your call till I run out of cigarettes
I love to play the part of the damsel in distress
Flicking ashes in my coffee, drinking in my Sunday dress

Maria McKee, "Drinking In My Sunday Dress"

I'm back. Took a little leave to work on the follow up to the Dork book (I know, this one isn't even out yet) and to fiddle with some other projects. So back to sad songs and lost love laments. I fell madly and passionately in love with Lone Justice when that first record came out. Maria McKee, the lead singer of that long defunct band, has the most adorable spitfire voice, it cackles and spits at you but it's also so sweet which is why this song from her solo career is so awesome. My favorite part is at the end where she just starts yelling and freaking out and cussing and you know when she was recording this she was twisting and turning and kicking. There is venom in this here song full of every vice in the world. A great singalong for sad, sassy days. Maria McKee is making the rounds currently touring and she's still a spitfire.

More about: Maria McKee

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Old 97s :: Book of Poems

Well it's bad luck and it's a hard luck story
And I'm sorry I ain't sticking around

I got a real bad feeling that a book of poems ain't enough

Old 97s, "Book of Poems"

No, a book of poems probably isn't enough, Rhett. I also like the line, "It seems like years ago, it was yesterday." How often has that happened? You have a day that feels like a year and when it's over and done for you feel like you've walked through coals from here to New Zealand. I like this one because it's from the perspective of a cool guy who has made a few mistakes and he's realizing he can't talk his way out of this one. From their CD Satellite Rides. Click on the link below because they just completed a new podcast and are apparently functioning as a band still in spite of Rhett's so-so solo career.

More about the Old 97s

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin :: House Fire

We did what we could
To save this house from falling
But it burns because it's wood
And now you’ll never call me darling

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, "House Fire"

There was a lot of hype about this band and in all honesty, I ignored it because I assumed from their name that they were either one of those bands that boys like that I just don't get or that they were electronica which you know I have a yearly quota for and anything over that just sounds the same and bored me to tears but see, I was wrong, as I often am, on both counts. They're very much a touchy-feely band with songs about love and lost love and turns out, according to one interview I read, were mostly owritten for one of the guy's exes. So there you go. I was way wrong. This song is pretty in an indie rock, we're on the OC sort of way. I have an annual quota for those types of songs too, but I haven't filled it just yet.

SSLYBY on Daytrotter :: More about SSLYBY

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Jarvis Cocker :: Don't Let Him Waste Your Time

Well, you can stay all night if you want to
You can hang out with all of his friends
You can go and meet his mother and father
Hmm, you better make sure that's where it ends

Jarvis Cocker, "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time"

Okay so here is the thread-- the British Jarvis Cocker wrote some of the lyrics on Charlotte Gainsbourg's latest CD, 5:55 (see yesterday's post) as well as contributing to Air's most recent CD, Pocket Symphony. And, he was on the Monseiur Gainsbourg Revisited CD that was a reworking of some of Charlotte's dad's songs. This here song was originally written for Nancy Sinatra (of "These Boots Were Made for Walking" fame) in 2004. He released it last year. It starts out earnest enough, but then gets a bit snotty along the way, maintaining a solid swagger throughout and I like it. In case you didn't know, Jarvis Cocker was the lead singer of Pulp. And, perhaps more importantly, he was in the Weird Sisters, the fictional wizard band from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!

Jarvis Cocker's MySpace page :: More about Pulp

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Charlotte Gainsbourg :: Everything I Cannot See

You're my life, you're my hope
You're the chain, you're the rope
You're my god, you're my hell
You're the sky, you're myself
You're the reason I'm living
You're all that I have to discover

Charlotte Gainsbourg, "Everything I Cannot See"

Did you ever see her in Jane Eyre with William Hurt? The Franco Zefferelli directed movie? Ohh-wee, it was good. I had wanted to see it -- I LOVE that book -- but had missed it and kept forgetting at the video store (still no Netflix for me, alas) and then when I was down and out and sick and home and in bed and in need of something, anything to watch, there it was, right from the beginning and everything. Charlotte was a great Jane, plain enough, but with this air, this majesty that made you understand how Mr. Rochester falls in love with her. Anywho, you may already know that her Dad was Serge Gainsbourg (if you know who Serge is, I'm sure you know this is her daughter) but in any case, he was a famous oft-controversial French musician. And her mom is chanteuse and actress Jane Birkin. But wait, I've not told you of this bizarre song. This is typical of her lineage-- it's a boozy, hazy, whispered lament of love and it's backed, as is the whole album this is from, 5:55, by the French band Air.

More about Charlotte Gainsbourg
:: More about Air

Monday, April 16, 2007

Maia Hirasawa :: And I Found This Boy

We talked about life
We talked about time
We talked about me
While he was looking around
He was searching for something new and exciting
While I was standing there right in front of him - hello!

Maia Hirasawa, "And I Found This Boy"

Don't say I'm desperate, I'm not! The best line - but unfortunately I have no idea what she's saying before or after that line so I didn't lead in with it. In fact, I'm guessing about all the lyrics to this song, she just has a few mouthfuls, a couple of complicated turns-of-phrases and with the slight accent (she's from Sweden, and is in Hello Saferide, too), well it's all too adorable. I love the back-up singers on this track too. It reminds me of Esthero's "Everyday Is a Holiday (With You)" although that one is all about rainbows and unicorns and love and how wonderful life is and well it's not, by any stretch of the imagination, a break-up song. Quite the opposite. So this song is, I think, about how she's looking for someone, even for one night (that part of the lyrics, I got) and she finds this boy, but not only does he have a girlfriend but he knows all about her exes. Am I right? I dunno. It's hard to follow, but I love this song, it's so filled with life and vigor and energy and girlish charm, and even though the video is her and a guy in a giant rat suit in a men's bathroom, I still envision a whole Singing in the Rain dance number on some wet foreign street - with canes!- when I hear it. This CD will most definitely end up on my top ten of 2007, and I can say that with confidence even though it's only April. It's all good!

More about Maia Hirasawa :: More About Hello Saferide :: Buy this CD!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Pelle Carlberg :: Clever Girls Like Clever Boys Much More Than Clever Boys Like Clever Girls

You should have listened to what Momma said
And walked away with someone else instead

You should have listened to what Grandma said

And married someone more like Fred

Pelle Carlberg, "Clever Girls Like Clever Boys Much More Than Clever Boys Like Clever Girls"

Yesterday French, today Swedish. Pelle Carlberg makes delightful pop music, I hear he's quite well known and popular in his country and I get it. Everyone sights early Belle and Sebastian when speaking of him. Who cares, it's not like B&S created the concept of lush pop songs, they only perfected them. And frankly, Mr. Carlberg (he looks like a Mister, no?) writes exquisite lyrics and zinger song titles. "I Love You, You Imbecile" and "Go To Hell, Miss Rydell" and "How I Broke My Foot and Met Jesus" to name just a few.

This starts with those shakers and hand claps - ohh wee! I can't say enough about hand claps. Now the sentiment is a bit, well, daggy, I mean, clever boys like clever girls don't they? Of course they do. But not with the frequency as us smart girls, sadly. And certainly not in their early years. Oh those painful early years!

Pelle Carlberg's Website :: Labrador, his label

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Soko: I'll Kill Her

I would have met your friends
We would have had a drink or two
They would have liked me
Because sometimes I'm funny

Soko, "I'll Kill Her"

If no one has ever told you not to take the advice of pop songs, let me be the first. Still, some folks find it fun to exercise their imaginations and plot wildly horrible acts, in song. This songs for you! This band is French, the gal sings in English with a heavy accent which makes the chorus, "I'll kill her" just sound so darn cute! The song is an ex-girlfriend's angry (but peppy and insane) threat to take out the new girl and a longing for what could have been. Okay it's more than a longing, it's a bit psychotic. The blog Another Form of Relief suggested the narrator was never even in a relationship to break-up from and that it's more a stalker-perspective ditty. I agree. Either way, it's perfect for this blog.

Soko's My Space Page

Friday, March 23, 2007

Bon Jovi :: You Give Love A Bad Name

You're a loaded gun
There's nowhere to run
No one can save me
The damage is done

Bon Jovi, "You Give Love A Bad Name"

Tee hee. I can't say anything really, this song must rest on the laurels of it's brilliant lyrical content and Jon's equally brilliant hair don't. Have a great weekend...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Let's Go Sailing :: Icicles

But I know one day the sun will come
And the icicles will have no choice but to melt
And I'll forget how this felt

Let's Go Sailing, "Icicles"

Doesn't sound like such a sad song, does it? I mean the purty strumming and there is a hopefulness to the music. I believe this band has members in common with Silverspun Pickups, and I like that band well enough but they don't sound like this. This is Pop Music, capital P. And one of the Haden triplets is a part of this outfit too-- is it Tanya? Man, I should have gotten my facts on them straight before writing about them. Let's see, they're going to be on KCRW live in studio on Morning Becomes Eclectic this week. Maybe even today?!

More About Let's Go Sailing ::

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Libbie Schrader :: Wish You Were The Woman

Where do we go from here
I don't think I can sleep this off
You've already made yourself clear
You think I would have had enough
But I wish you were the woman
I wish I was the man
When a man loves a woman the way I love you
He'll get her in the end

Libbie Schrader, "Wish You Were The Woman"

Schrader was in a band Think of England, that won all sort of Pantene-sponsored and Jewel (the singer) sponsored contests. Now she's a solo artist and she's still winning crap. She was a finalist in some International Songwriting Contest. You know I don't care about that stuff, I just like this song. It's pretty simple. And more importantly, it's fairly clever and I like clever.

I found this at the super-duper blog The Late Greats.

More about Libbie Schrader :: And even more

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pink Nasty :: "Burn"

Really wanna work this out
But I don't think you're gonna change
I do but you don't
Think it's best we go our separate ways
Tell me why I should stay in this relationship

Pink Nasty, "Burn"

You betcha, it's an Usher cover! Pink Nasty is an odd moniker for a solo artist. She is actually Sara Beck, a folksinger who lives in Austin. I don't know a ton about her (or Usher for that matter) but she sings this one earnestly enough, doesn't she? Hey, it's all about a relationship gone gummy bear sour and that makes it quite fitting for this here blog. FYI, she has another song floating around the internet that is a duet with Will Oldham and it's quite nice. But man, I just can't get over what a bad name Pink Nasty is. Yowsa. And remember, if you got any suggestions for break-up, dumping or otherwise down 'n' out tunes, let me know.

More about Pink Nasty :: Full lyrics to this song
Afghan Whigs :: Band of Gold

I wait in the darkness of my lonely room
Filled with sadness, filled with gloom
Hoping soon that you'll walk
Back through that door
And love me like you tried before

Afghan Whigs, "Band of Gold"

The 1970 Freda Payne soul classic was covered by the Whigs on their Uptown Avondale EP on Subpop circa 1992. That was an EP of covers that also included the classic soul tune, "Come See About Me." I love the fuzzy take on this song and Greg Dulli, singer of the Afghan Whigs, knows pain. He brings it. The guy was reportedly way screwed up, seriously manic and a bastard. It pretty much showed in all his old recordings. This one, despite not being penned by him, let's it all flow too, which in Dulli terms also means he's gonna sing heart-achingly off-key. Dulli's current gig heading up the Twilight Singers, still has the soul swagger, less fuzz, more in tune. I like it, not love it. As a side note, I once had a profound and really life-like dream about Greg Dulli that involved brine shrimp.

Full lyrics to this song :: More about Afghan Whigs

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Whiskeytown :: Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight

Well excuse me if I break my own heart tonight
Some things are born too strong

Have to learn how to fight

The situation keeps me drinking every goddamn day and night

The situation don't seem so right

Whiskeytown, "Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight"

Around February 14th many publications put out lists of break-up songs in an attempt to be a little ironic around the love-y holiday. I don't mind a little irony. Pop Candy, the USA Candy blog helmed by Whitney Mathieson suggested this Whiskeytown song and I was bummed I hadn't already though of it and put it into my little DORK playlist in my iTunes. But now here it is. It's a pretty self-explanatory number, but I love how it has not just the lyrical content, but the feeling of self-destruction that I knew oh so well in my single days when I was hitting the bar five out of seven. I'd also play their song "Empty Baseball Park" if I were feeling this down and out and wanted to keep the bad mood flowing.

More about Whiskeytown :: Full lyrics

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Baboon :: Why'd You Say Die

You said "I'm gone. I made up my mind."
But I still want you back.
I said HEY! Why'd you go away?!

Baboon, "Why'd You Say Die"

This is one of those tunes that my husband had in his collection when we were dating and it caught my ear and stuck around. Make sure you wait around for the chorus where the emotion, the angst, the maniacal misery comes shooting out of singer Andrew Huffstetler with grisly intensity. And man, when he's not screaming, his voice is just drop-dead sexy. Oh and I love the swirling feedback-y guitars toward the end that speed up into the proclamation: "Oh God I swear I hate you..." This is one compact nugget of break-up pain, from 1996's Face Down in Turpentine.

Oh and Wikipedia says the band once appeared on Walker, Texas Ranger!

More about Baboon

Friday, March 02, 2007

Journey : Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'

It won't be long, yes till you're alone
When your lover, oh, he hasn't come home

Cause he's lovin' oohh, he's touchin',

He's squeezin' another

Journey, "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'"

I needed to finish out this week with some stinky cheese. I hope I don't reveal that I am way old if I tell you that I actually ached for a boy with the help of this song when it came out. But I was a wee tot then, barely old enough to ache for a boy. The drama of the 80s is so damn enviable. I mean there was no pretense of intellect or art, it was just about the vengeful whine, the painful, vengeful whine. If you're really getting over someone right here, right now, I really and truly suggest this song because it will cut to the chase, it will squeeze every bit of lingering pain from your bones till you're standing in a puddle of it. Or a puddle of water on your bathroom floor, because seriously, this is a total sing-in-the-shower-tune. C'mon everybody Nanananana nana nana nana nanananana.

Oh and can you name another song with three -in' words?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Elderly :: Haga Nygata

I smile, pretend I'm happy
but I know it's just a lie
and the girls keeps passing by

The Eldery, "Haga Nygata"

Freaking-a I love this song. I love this song better than I love cupcakes. But I'm unsure about much of the lyrics. The band is Swedish, I believe and I can't find much more on them. But they clearly aren't singing in their native language, note the "girls keeps passing by" sentence. Haga Nygata is, I believe, a quarter or district in Goteborg, Sweden. And I think it's supposed to be a very romantic and artsy part of the town. And I'm imagining that this boy is sitting here in this poetic place, all alone, maybe even heartsick, intensely people watching. Now is this a break-up song? Maybe not. It's definitely melancholy and sad and a bit pitiful. And simply beautiful. Isn't it comforting to hear boys, whom I imagine are beautiful and blonde, sing with such doleful anguish?

I found this on Swedes Please, a Swedish music blog. This is not the same band, also called The Eldery, from the US, who play a sort of college-jam-rock that I dislike so. I have found no other song or info on this Swedish Elderly, sadly. That's quite poetic in itself, ain't it?

Here is a fun way to waste a half hour online. It's a website where you can rank your man crushes. Jon Stewart has led for awhile now, but Stephen Colbert and Jim Halpert are on his tail (I'd like to think I had a little something to do with JH climbing the ranks...) I'd like to think this is a place where smart boys can rule because it's smart girls making the calls, or clicks as it were. Me? I put in my two cents for JS, SC and JH as well as Jeff Tweedy (580), John Cusack (41), Colin Firth (48), Jim Henson (163), Seu Jorge (264) and MacGyver (365). Oh and I docked points from Bruce Willis, Keanu, Jude Law, and that NY baseball player who has dated half of Hollywood.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stars: Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

There's one thing I want to say,
so I'll be brave

You were what I wanted

I gave what I gave

I'm not sorry I met you
I'm not sorry it's over

I'm not sorry there's nothing to save

Stars, "Your Ex-Lover is Dead"

More Oh Canada fawning. A pretty but potentially stinging song, with vocals from both Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell (who both have performed as part of Broken Social Scene, fyi) and plenty of the lush orchestration they're known for. This is from their 04 Canada / 05 US release, "Set Yourself on Fire".

What's the song about exactly? Could never say it as well as they do (this, from their website, regarding the song): [It's] a call-and-response story of half-regret, of seeing someone you once f&*%ed at a party, knowing they never hurt you the way they could've, and feeling awkward, hateful and oddly wistful about it.

Amy Millan had a solo release last year. I thought it was okay. A new CD is due from the band in 07.

More about Stars :: Full lyrics to this song :: Buy the CD :: Amy Millan's solo

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Crappy Valentine's Day

You love her, but she loves him
And he loves somebody else
You just can't win
And so it goes, till the day you die
This thing called love
It's gonna make you cry
I've had the blues, the reds and the pinks
One things for sure
Love Stinks!

J. Geils Band, "Love Stinks"

Valentine's Day is for suckers. When you're unattached and downtrodden February 14th pretty much sucks. Celebrate by taking a bunch of the songs from this here blog, downloading them and putting them on to one fine mix CD, entitled "Getting Over the Dork." Pass it out to friends, keep one stashed away for yourself. Remember that this holiday was completely fabricated by people with the last name Hallmark out to make an extra buck ninety-five. And Cupid does rhyme with stupid. And most poetry sucks. And chocolates are bad for you. And champagne gives you a headache. Reclaim the day with an Eve Ensler-inspired party. Or not. But don't fret, this whole thing will be over tomorrow.

Oh and NPR has posted their own list of break-up songs on this day, although no music. Perhaps I will pick a few of their best ones and post those over the next few weeks. And what do you know, Love Stinks is there.

Pop Candy has also picked a few break-up songs for the holiday and I'm jumping on a few of Whitney's picks in coming weeks. How could I have forgotten Whiskeytown? And Scandal?!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Art Brut : Emily Kane

There's so much about you I miss
The clumsy way we used to kiss
I wish I convinced you, you've made a mistake
If memory serves, we're still on a break

Art Brut, "Emily Kane"

Because boys ache over girls, too. Ten years, nine months, three weeks, four days, six hours later he's still pining. Just a classically simple and ragingly fun single about an old lost love. Course, Emily Kane probably isn't anything like her fifteen year old self anymore and Eddie Argos wouldn't recognize, let alone love her, ten years later, but that is sort of the way of the world now ain't it? We pine over ideas of what was rather than reality. Hey, but it's a fun track and you can dance to it!

Art Brut site
:: Art Brut Fan Site

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

James Mercer of The Shins Talks Love, Romance & Heartache

Check out the new interview with Mercer in The Onion's AV Club. He dissects a few of this songs, talks about the greeting card created holiday that is V-day and speaks of a few relationships gone awry (and why.)

AV Club Interviews James Mercer

Oh, and the new Shins record? Nice, very nice.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Peter, Bjorn & John :: Let's Call It Off

When you decided to knock on my door
Did you remember what happened before?
It just didn't sparkle, it just didn't grow
Some things are better to leave unexplored

Peter, Bjorn & John, "Let's Call It Off"

Time for some Swedish boy pop, replete with handclaps. In spite of being about a break-up, this should pick you up out of the doldrums of yesterday's rock-bottom desperation. In fact it's got quite a little kick for being a song about ending it all. These boys often wear suits and ties, dance-cute and make likeable pop that you can shake your hips to. They're touring the States right now and are joined by ex-Concretes singer Victoria Bergsman who awkwardly coos some back-up. They've been around awhile, this may be their 3rd CD? Anywho, it's a kick. Their initials are PBJ, which just makes me hungry for a sandwich. There is also an almost 8 minute-long dance remix of the song floating about on the internet now, if that's your sort of thing. One thing though: I thought that line from the song that goes "Some things are better to leave unexplored" was in fact: "Somethings look better inside of the store" — and I like my version better.

More about Peter, Bjorn & John :: Full lyrics to this song

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ryan Adams :: Come Pick Me Up

Come pick me up - Take me out
F&*k me up
- Steal my records
Screw all my friends - They're all full of s&*t
With a smile on your face - And then do it again

Ryan Adams, "Come Pick Me Up"

The best Ryan Adams song, ever, in my opinion. A break-up song? I could be stretching the boundaries of the definition. But still, to me, it's a song about how someone has done him wrong, so very goddamn wrong. The aching pain in his voice, echoed by the innate pain of the harmonica, it all adds up to a fairly devastating ride. The record was called Heartbreaker after all. I don't know if this song will make you feel better after a break-up, it could make you feel a whole lot worse and perhaps even force you on a bender. It has that sort of bend. God, it hurts and I'm happy.

Ryan Adams :: Full lyrics to this song :: Video of Ryan performing it on Letterman

Monday, January 29, 2007

Caetano Veloso: Cry Me A River

You drove me, nearly drove me, out of my head
While you never shed a tear

Remember, I remember, all that you said

You told me love was too plebian

Told me you were through with me and...

Caetano Veloso, "Cry Me A River"

This song was the only hit for both songwriter Arthur Hamilton and the original singer, the wonderful Julie London. It's a goody, even if it does use the word plebian (or maybe because it uses the word plebian?) Lots of people have sung it since: Mari Wilson, Diana Krall, Diana Washington, Ray Charles, Shirley Bassey and, yes, the bearers of torchy goodness, Aerosmith.

This version, by popular Brazillian composer Caetano Veloso, is rich and thick and gorgeous and full of sophisticated contempt! Listen to how he says the word "loathe." Ohhh-wee. This man has recorded 50+ records, did the soundtracks for Almodovar's Talk to Her and the biopic movie Frida. In 2004 he released an all-English CD, his first, called A Foreign Sound, and this track is from that. The CD also contains some other gorgeous covers of old standards. As for this song: Well he's been dumped and now the dumper wants him back. His response? Go cry me a freaking river. Such a succinct sentiment.

The photo, above, is Caetano many years ago. Now he is a silver fox, no less hot, just wiser.

More about Caetano Veloso :: Buy this CD

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Bird and the Bee: I'm A Broken Heart

All of our moments
have just become ailments
I'm haunted all of every day

The Bird and The Bee, "I'm A Broken Heart"

The title says it all, no? A lush lament for a love lost. The Bird and The Bee are Inara George on vocals Greg Kurstin on everything else. It's got Bacharach-like production with the gorgeous and ever-so-slightly slightly off-kilter vocals just round and full and pillowly. It's got pop-jazz horns and cling clang tambourine. This is from a brand new self-titled CD out on Blue Note. I highly recommend it and have to admit, most of it is applicable to Getting Over the Dork, with lots of tales of lost loves and missed steps.

The Bird and The Bee's MySpace page :: Buy the CD

Monday, January 22, 2007

Fiona Apple: Paper Bag

Hunger hurts, And I want him, so bad, oh it kills
Cause I know I'm a mess that he don't want to clean up
I got to fold because these hands are just too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, starving works, when it costs too much to love

Fiona Apple, "Paper Bag" Live on VH1, 2006

We're doing video today. When she was nineteen and crawling around on the floor unhappily in her undies, I wasn't really a fan. And then I went to one of her shows (free tickets, wanted to see the opening band) and I heard this song and I was hooked. The longing in her voice is unmatched. You just know she's feeling everything she sings and then some. This particular song about wanting someone so badly can feel hot and bubbly in the gut if you are in fact feeling the same way at the time. This song starts so good: I was having a sweet fix of a daydream of a boy... And I love the line about the dove making a downward slope and how she thought it was a bird but crap, it's just a paper bag and poof! all her hope is dashed. File this in the "excrutiatingly painful wallowing of unrequitedness" category. This song is originally from 1999's When the Pawn... CD.

Here is a link to one more video of the same song, this one stripped down, just Fiona singing with Jon Brion on guitar. It's of good quality and just loverly.

Fiona Apple's official site :: Full lyrics to this song :: Her MySpace page

Friday, January 12, 2007

Jenny Owen Youngs: F*!k Was I

Love grows in me like a tumor
Parasite bent on devouring its host

I'm developing my sense of humor
Till I can laugh at my heart between your teeth

Till I can laugh at my face beneath your feet

Jenny Owen Youngs, "F*!k Was I"

You could look up "break-up song" in the encyclopedia and it wouldn't be unheard of to think there could be a picture of Jenny Owen Youngs. Her song, "F*!k was I," is a somber delight of wonderfully self-loathing lyrics, the kind we internalize in times of heartache, but don't say out loud. Everyone has asked themselves this question at some point or another, right? Jenny Owen Youngs also does this song with a little electronic beat in her other band, The Robot Explosion. I highly recommend this tune, even though it casually throws out the F-bomb every three seconds. Eh, it's just a word. This song was on the Showtime series "Weeds" and she has gotten herself a little record deal so you can't even buy her Batten The Hatches CD now, you're gonna have to wait till it comes out big time. She's a clever gal this one.

More about her :: Her MySpace Page

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Joni Mitchell: A Case of You

Oh you are in my blood like holy wine

Oh and you taste so bitter
but you taste so sweet

Oh I could drink a case of you

Joni Mitchell, "A Case of You"

One from the vault. Say what you will about Joni Mitchell (Hippie? Looney? Dated?) the woman could write a song with lyrics that stung in places that you didn't know were bit. I love how the title of this particular track implies she's got a problem, as in a case, of the guy in question, but when you hear the chorus she's intending case to be like a case of beer. Or rather both. And many more meanings. This song really represents a certain brand of heartache and longing you get from an unrequited love or casual relationship gone sour, but far more maturely than I ever could dream of. This particular song comes from the 1971 LP, Blue, arguably one of her best.

Other things you should know about Joni Mitchell: she's an accomplished painter, Led Zeppelin's "Going to California" is supposedly about Joni Mitchell, one of my favorite clothing lines is named for her album Ladies of the Canyon, Prince has expressed his extreme admiration for her (as has Bob Dylan, Mingus and a zillion others), she's an awesome guitarist in her own right, and she had um, relations, with many of the undeniably hot musical icons of the 70s. Hey, and she's a Canadian which has become an inadvertent theme to this blog.

All the lyrics to "Case of You" :: More about Joni Mitchell :: Buy Blue ::
Affairs Uglier Than Your Own

First off, I will give kudos to the painting, which I believe Brian did paint. But um, yuck! What is seemingly smart and very talented Evan Rachel Wood (who is 19!) doing with Manson and so quickly after he is served divorce papers? This is all kinds of wrong.

You know what else is all kinds of wrong? I know here I go on the gossip tip again, but ugh. Several years back Billy Crudup left his then- seven- months- pregnant girlfriend (the very cool Mary Louise Parker or Weeds) for much-younger-than-he, Stage Beauty co-star Claire Danes (who was attached to singer Ben Lee at the time). Now it appears the Crudup thing has cracked because she was caught messing with her Evening co-star Hugh Dancy (Prince Char of Ella Enchanted, at right), who is mega-cute and closer to her age, but according to reports, a big ol' boy-slut. Wow, when I gossip, I go off.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tiga: (Far From) Home

My heart takes a hit,

And then my heart hits back

And each day I find comfort in the fact

I listen to my friends when they say
Man just relax, cause it's all a game

Tiga, "(Far From) Home"

Time for a little empowering dance music. This track from Tiga's May '06 release isn't a break-up song, exactly. But it is a call to believe in yourself, to muster up some self-importance, even when you're not totally feeling it. His reasoning? Because hey, you've always got a place called home. And by the by, I don't think "home" here has to mean that place you reside, although it could be. It's just talking about a center: your friends, your family, anything that makes you feel comfort and real and genuine and a-ok. This is ideal for mornings when you're hurting but you have to go on. You spin this tune, put on a little make-up and all the while you'll feel your spine straightening, your chin lifting. It will just put you in that can-do mood. Oh and this boy is from Canada— how I love the Canucks!

Buy the CD :: Full lyrics to "(Far From) Home"

Friday, January 05, 2007

Dita Kicks Marilyn to the Curb?

You know I have mixed feelings on the gossip. I wish I didn't enjoy hearing about other people's lives, but I kind of do. Honestly I don't wanna hear about the misery part of anyone's life at this point, but I don't think this is misery, I think this is just plain smart. Dita Von Teeze has come across, to me, as fairly intelligent, someone who has crafted a little niche for herself. Even if she did guest on Top Model this year. So, if this report is true, and she has walked out on creepy Brian Walker, well I say, hallelujah! Now go listen to some happy pop music Dita...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Camera Obscura: Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken

Jealousy is more than a word now -- I understand

I know you can stay a girl by holding a boy’s hand

Camera Obscura, "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken"

Back in 1984, British singer Lloyd Cole sang the question, "Are you ready to be heartbroken?" Fast forward many years and Glasgow band Camera Obscura replies with bittersweet joy and lithe layered girl vocals! The rest of this CD "Let's Get Out of This Country" is also sad sugar pop with jangly guitars and overly lush strings and the lyrics are sly and heart-breaking and funny, too. Anyway, despite it not being exactly a break-up song, it is a song about the power of music, which I think is just as applicable here and now as any kiss-off song.

All the lyrics :: Lloyd Cole lyrics :: More about Camera Obscura