I’ve posted “Penny on the Train Track” by Ben before, as it’s my favorite track by him. Recently I went back and listened to his entire self-titled album again and fell in love with “Until I Die.”
YOU GUYS. This album is fantastic. I highly suggest you obtain it somehow, whether you buy it or download it. I don’t care. JUST GET IT (though preferably buy it if you have the money). The faster tracks on this album are so much fun to jam to, while the slower tracks are just beautifully romantic. Do it.
Key tracks: Run, Penny on the Train Track, Sundress, Until I Die, This Is War
I always forget what an incredibly important song “I Was Married “is until I just sit and LISTEN to the lyrics.
Sara wrote this song after she obtained a civil union with her now-ex-partner in Canada a few years ago. She couldn’t understand why people were/are so against same-sex marriage. There she was, happy and now officially committed, and it was not some earth-shatteringly terrible thing that ruins straight peoples’ marriages. It had no effect on anyone else.
As I’ve been told, the line about bullies breaking backs was inspired by a classmate who had her back broken when she was thrown off a bridge by homophobic bullies back when Sara was still in high school, which just makes it that much more touching.
This song is so incredibly poignant, beautiful, and heart-wrenching at the same time. It’s so so so amazingly underrated. A song with a message that has a place in my heart forever, from one of my favorite albums of all-time from any artist.
The first and only time I saw them play this live, I cried like a little baby.
The Gossip - “Are You That Somebody?” (Aaliyah cover)
Aaliyah died tragically in August of 2001. I remember when I heard the news. It was at the peak of her career, and it was very sad news. However, before she died, she put out some sweet-ass songs. I can only imagine how much great music she would have made had she not died in that plane crash.
I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this cover, but here is The Gossip’s version of “Are You That Somebody?”.
Kate Bush - “Hounds Of Love” (from “Hounds Of Love”)
Kate Bush is/was a fucking musical genius. Her music was so delightfully strange. She was basically Tori Amos before Tori Amos was Tori Amos. I can’t listen to Kate without thinking of Tori, or the other way around. Tori has said Kate is one of her favorite musicians, and you can definitely tell.
Check out Kate Bush’s album, “Hounds Of Love.” It’s brilliant.
Tegan and Sara - “Come On” (this version from “This Business Of Art”)
It amazes me sometimes to go back and listen to ooooold Tegan and Sara songs. I know they’ve mentioned numerous times that they are embarrassed by their earliest songs, but then there are gems like “Come On” that stick out to me. It’s a Sara song, and listen to that sweet-ass electric guitar (especially during the bridge). It’s incredible how far they’ve come, but they shouldn’t be embarrassed by ALL of their old songs. In fact, a lot of the older Sara songs are some of my all-time favorites.
The first version appeared on “Under Feet Like Ours,” the album they made when they were around 18. It’s a bit rougher and some parts are slightly different, but the newer version doesn’t sound too altered. This version comes from their second album, “This Business Of Art,” which they made at about 19. This kind of material is pretty damn impressive for such a young musician. In honor of their embarrassment, here’s a picture that is nothing but embarrassing: Tegan (right) and Sara (left…and blonde!) circa 2000-2001.
The Pretty Reckless - “Make Me Wanna Die” (from “Light Me Up”)
So you know the little sister on “Gossip Girl”? She is the lead singer of a band called The Pretty Reckless. And you know what? The album is actually pretty damn good. Taylor Momsen has a surprisingly good singing voice.
Robyn - “Cry When You Get Older” (from “Body Talk Pt. 1”)
I’ve posted Robyn tracks before, but I had forgotten how much I liked this one. All 3 of Robyn’s “Body Talk” albums have been damn impressive. I’ve liked her since around 2007 when I heard her song “Be Mine!” but had no idea she was this good.
The albums stood out in a sea of mediocre 2010 releases. CH CH CH CH CHECK THEM OUT.
I Blame Coco - “Selfmachine” (from “The Constant”)
Sting’s daughter, Coco Sumner (real name Eliot), put out an album called “The Constant,” which is surprisingly good. It was tough for me to pick a song from the album. I went back and forth between “Selfmachine” and “Caesar,” but ended up choosing this one since “Caesar” was already released as a single and perhaps better known by this point.
I highly recommend downloading/buying/whatever this album if you like artists such as Marina & the Diamonds, La Roux, etc. Coco even covered Neil Young (quite well) and put it on her album. NEIL YOUNG. I like her already.
Key tracks: Selfmachine, Caesar, Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Neil Young cover), Quicker, In Spirit Golden
I’m a total sucker for unreleased songs, demos, b-sides, and rarities. “Love Type Thing” is a neat little song (Sara song) used in Tegan and Sara’s hilarious DVD “It’s Not Fun. Don’t Do It!” that was released in 2006. To my knowledge, it has never been released as a b-side or on an album, but it has been floating around cyber space for years. I believe it was also used in the episode of “The L Word” where Tegan and Sara made a cameo, but I can’t be certain.*
By the way, speaking of “It’s Not Fun. Don’t Do It!,” you should totally buy that DVD.
*Plus I’m embarrassed to admit that I ever watched that tacky show.
"Jagged Little Pill" is absolutely one of my top 5 favorite albums of the 1990s. I was pretty young when Alanis first appeared on the scene. It wasn’t until high school that I got into her music.
I recently very randomly downloaded the acoustic version of the entire “Jagged Little Pill” album and you know what? I love it even more than the original record. IT IS SO GOOD. It’s hard to believe how young Alanis was when she put that record out in 1996.
And for the record, the answer is NO. NO!! She WOULDN’T go down on you in a theater! YOU DICK!!!
I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I might catch shit for this, but I don’t care. I love Hanson! I never was into them back in the 90s when they were famous. I didn’t start listening to them until around 2005 or so when I was at university. Their albums from 2000 and on are fantastic. They are a pretty good rock band (yes, rock band) these days. I’ve seen them in concert twice and believe it or not, they put on one of the most flawless, most energetic shows I’ve ever seen.
It was hard for me to pick a song because there are so many I love from their newer material. I chose “Watch Over Me” from their 2007 album, “The Walk,” because it has Isaac on lead vocals instead of Taylor, and I kind of like that the other brothers get the chance to take lead sometimes. Enjoy!
Death Cab for Cutie - “The New Year” (Studio X Sessions)
HAPPY 2011! I walked 2 miles home in 12-degree weather last night with my friend Scott. Being responsible drunks is tough! It will now be referred to as The Death March of 2011. Despite almost being killed by hypothermia, last night was my best New Year’s Eve yet. I hope you all had fun and stayed safe!