Friday, February 26, 2010

You're So Vain is about David Geffen?!!

It is at least about someone named David, not Mick Jagger or Warren Beatty, CNN reports. I really love this song, with the bass intro, the bitter lyrics and the guest vocals. Check out this cover with Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet (they screw up by bringing Sweet in on the first chorus, it is supposed to be a bonus surprise, as when Mick came in towards the end of the original).

Anyway, it got me thinking about songs that I have continued to like over time. Those for which my enthusiasm hasn't waned. There are plenty of songs I love for the first 20 listens and then I can set aside. There are some bands which are eternal and among them I number the Smiths, REM, the Misfits, the Pixies, Pavement, the Ramones, Big Black, and the Dead. The songs of my youth in other words.

Aside from those there are some songs I just adore and will always adore. Here are some of them:

Joanna Newsom - Emily (skip the first link, which is live). Probably the newest of the bunch and definately the one the least like the others. The song is 12 minutes long and features a harp and Joanna's odd lyrics, which in this case refer a odd pastoral scene and a discussion of the differences between meteors, meteoroids, and meteoroids. The song gets better with each listen. Also, my daughter's favorite song.

Adam Ant - Stand and Deliver. I can't imagine anyone writing a song today that starts off with "I'm the dandy highwayman you're too scared to mention." I know Johnny Depp references Keith Richards for his Jack Sparrow character, but I think he grabbed a bit from Mr Ant's metrosexual brigand character (watch the video.)

Greg Kihn - Breakup Song. I was going to say that Wilco's Shouldn't Be Ashamed is my favorite breakup song, and from a lyrical perspective, it is superior, but this one holds a special place in my heart.

Don Henley - Boys of Summer
. Saying this I feel like a loudmouth at a shitty bar, but I believe this is the best song and video ever made.

Smiths - Cemetry Gates. Pretty much everyone who grew up in the 80s with dose of alienation has a bad, drunken Morrissey impression in their closet. This one comes out the most frequently for me.

Interpol - Obstacle 1. A great song to be sure, but made better for a moment at what may have the best show I have ever seen. Packed crowd at the 9:30 dancing like crazy and next to me a gorgeous woman pantomiming the "stab yourself in the neck."

That Dog - Never Say Never. Being a lady-driven post-Weezer alt rock act in the time of Limp Bizkit cockrock couldn't have been easy. This song never got the love it deserved.

Cypress Hill - How I Could Just Kill a Man. As a fan of Morello and of heavy riffage in general, I have love the Rage version, but this one gets big points for because I think that Cypress Hill might actually kill a man.

Sleater Kinney - You're No Rock and Roll Fun. Another one from a band that has not gotten its just due.

Silver Jews - New Orleans. It's impossible to pick a favorite Joos song, but this one is near the top of any list. The weird guitar interplay, poetic lyrics from Berman, ghostly backing vocals from Malkmus and creepy evocation of the South that mark their work is her in abundance.

Dead Kennedys - Holiday in Cambodia. A lot of punk songs don't hold up to multiple listens, probably because they are actually terrible. This hyper political number will last forever. This is the less sneery version that I prefer.


HLK said...

Proud to have been a part of at least one drunken rendition of Cemetry Gates.

And I just watched The Boys of Summer again. Great video - it's unbelievable how ominous LA looks in black and white. Well done.

Tripp said...


I love the look on Henley's face when he turns back in the don't look back moment. It should have been Henley acting rather than his bandmate on Miami Vice.