This list will probably include some of my all-time favorite songs but the truth is this week I was lazy and didn’t feel up to or really had the time to write a proper post so instead I compiled a brief off-the-top-of-my-head list of songs whose lyrics stay in my head long after the song has stopped playing. I also probably should mention who the songwriters are, but maybe at some point I’ll come by and add that info. There are many more songs like this spanning most genres but I gave myself 15 minutes to write down whatever came to my head and here you have it:
The Box Tops – “Whiter Shade of Pale”
I know Procul Harem popularized this song, but I much prefer the Box Tops version (I’ll almost always prefer Alex Chilton’s version of anything). Their version makes it one of the most perfect songs ever written/composed in my book.
“We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away”
The Rainman Suite – “59 Days”
This song belongs to a time that I have fond memories of. Times when the songs were all about either each other or people we knew. It’s the perfect example of how relationships can suffer when constant touring is involved. Josh Robinson is one of my favorite people and favorite songwriters. If you never listened to this local band when they were playing out you should check out some of their other songs like “Cahuenga Blvd” and really listen to the lyrics.
“Tell me one more time how I’ve gone astray, by this time tomorrow I’ll be two states away”
“My poster’s hanging lonely on your wall. You’d take it down, but you’d rather see it fall.”
The Replacements – “We Know the Night”
Paul Westerberg is one of the most perfect un-perfect individuals in my book. I’d definitely consider him one of the genius songwriters of our time. So many lyrics he’s penned get stuck in my head upon hearing his songs.
“With scissors and a comb I cut my lawn
And there’s no one in the world I’m counting on
There’s a war ragin’ outside – I hope my grass stays green”
“Best things always come when your mind’s at rest
In the afternoon, my mind ain’t sleepy, it’s preoccupied
Till the day is late and we let out a sigh
‘Cause we know the night could fall at any time”
Garth Brooks – “Much Too Young (To Feel this Damn Old)”
I don’t get a lot of sleep. I used to say that I was too busy to sleep but the truth is I’m just a night owl who somehow manages to function semi-efficiently during the day. Even being as young as I was when this song hit the airwaves I could still relate.
Also, I grew up on the late Chris LeDoux (when I was little I really gravitated towards the more upbeat Western/Texas Swing styles of LeDoux and George Strait’s music) so I have a soft spot for any song that mentions his name as he was a “Cowboy” who not only sang the songs of that lifestyle but also lived it with his Rodeo Cowboy background.
“Sleep would be best, but I just can’t afford the rest”
“The worn out tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women, and bad booze
Seem to be the only friends I’ve left at all”
Chris LeDoux and Garth Brooks collaborated in the early 90’s on a track called “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy”
However, here’s Chris LeDoux with “Country Star”
Trisha Yearwood – “Sleep While I Drive”
I like this version better than Melissa Etheridge’s original. I find this song to be so sad. For some reason this part of the song is what always lingers in my head.
“I’ll buy you boots down in Texas, a hat from New Orleans
And in the morning you can tell me your dreams”
The Randies – “Wrecking Ball (The Shovel Song)”
Again, a band from another time, when the songs were about us. Also great songwriters especially with their early stuff like “Hyperion” and “Boys in Stereo”
“I tried to build a strong foundation based on moral fabric, but then I met someone whose image fit the shape of my bad habit. And like construction in reverse I’m taking down the timbers one by one they come undone…the thrill of demolition.”
Camera Obscura – “The Sweetest Thing”
This is L.A. Half of the people we know or have dated have been in a magazine or on T.V.
“My love, you’re in a magazine
My love, you’re doing fine, you’re on TV”
“On the bus radio, “Fifty ways to leave your lover alone”
I laughed at the irony
But life is stupid, the irony’s all lost on me”
Talking Heads “Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town”
This line always makes me laugh.
“I’ve been to college, I’ve been to school
I’ve met the people that you read about in books”
Devendra Banhart – “Queen Bee”
I just really like this song and for some reason this is what sticks.
“I saw everything I’ve seen
And I meant everything I mean”
Of Montreal – “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger“
“I spent the winter with my nose buried in a book (more…)
More and more these days, the music of independent unsigned music artists is integrated into our daily lives. Creative music licensing. It’s pretty much everywhere – on TV, obviously on the radio (online and traditional formats), at the gas pump, in department stores, grocery stores, the list goes on and on.
Thanks to insomnia, just in one day while flipping through channels I heard a few of our friend’s bands on TV (which will remain the most popular vehicle for song placements for quite some time to come) as I attempted to clear out my DVR’s recordings.
This was a few months ago, and I’d initially planned to publish this post at that time (if you can believe it, that was back in January) after having had a similar encounter with an all too familiar soundtrack comprised of more friend’s bands which included: Spider Problem’s “Cha, Cha” on some “Gossip Girl” teaser, Bang Sugar Bang’s “Where’s the Fun in That?” on a re-run of “The Hills” (I think it was a re-run I hadn’t seen that show in eons?), and of course with Samsung having gone the way of Sprint with featuring a local LA band late last year, (The Happy Hollows) on their Google Phone Commercial (Sprint featured iO Echo on their Palm Pre commercial). Just because the programming isn’t quality (but then again, I’m also not necessarily the target market of the shows mentioned), that doesn’t mean the music getting played isn’t and people won’t take notice of it.
I’m sure there was a lot more that I didn’t catch. In fact a couple of years ago I couldn’t watch many of the shows on TV without hearing a band I knew on shows. This will only become more and more true for years to come. Some of those that I recall included, but aren’t limited to: The New Fidelity, Silver Needle, Bang Sugar Bang, The Mulhollands, The Waking Hours, and The Automatic Music Explosion all on the WB and MTV, Get Set Go on Grey’s Anatomy (they even made the soundtrack)– those are just some I can think of off the top of my head, the list goes on and on. I won’t even get started on films.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but songs have a tendency to stick in my head. Name of song and artist not always so much. At least not at first listen, unless I happen to know them personally or it’s all over the place (an example from earlier in the year, Phoenix’s “Listomania”). At times all I can remember is a few of the lyrics, and those lyrics won’t get out of my head. I want to hear them again.
So what do I do?
Hope that episode plays again and they announce the artist name and song title? (more…)