Skip to main content

12 More By Old 97's

 Sometimes and artist needs 12 more songs to summarize their career. Case in point...

Old 97's kept chugging along through the 2010s, and show no signs of slowing down. Thank goodness for that.

Why not check out the original 12 by Old 97's so you have the whole story?

1. "Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)" (from The Grand Theatre, Volume One, 2010)
This album found the band returning to a purer, rawer country rock sound, and this barn-burner is one of the finest examples of that.

2. "Champaign, Illinois" (from The Grand Theatre, Volume One, 2010)
How could I not include a song that references a place about 45 minutes from where I live (and where I've spent quite a bit of time)? That said, its pretty clear Rhett Miller chose the name for its syllabic and phonetic qualities, and not much else. Fun fact: The song is actually a rewrite of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row," thus Dylan shares 50% songwriting credit.

3. "How Lovely All It Was" (from The Grand Theatre, Volume Two, 2011)
Just like every Old 97's album, you've gotta have at least one Murray-sung song. This one is warm and sweet, with Beach Boys harmonies.

4. "Perfume" (from The Grand Theater, Volume Two, 2011)
Given that "Murder (or a Heart Attack)" was about a cat, is it too far-fetched to assume this one is about a dog? Listen carefully and convince me otherwise!

5. "Longer Than You've Been Alive" (from Most Messed Up, 2014)
Shuffling tune in which Rhett and the boys take an honest look back at 20+ years of living the pop life: "Most of our shows were a triumph of rock / Although some nights I might have been checking the clock."

6. "Wheels Off" (from Most Messed Up, 2014)
The band channels some of that Violent Femmes acoustic attitude for a typically Millerian tale of a guy, a girl, and too much alcohol.

7. "I Don't Wanna Die In This Town" (from Graveyard Whistling, 2017)
Chugging rhythm and atmospheric guitar set the mood for this story of an outlaw on the lam. It doubles as that tried-and-true rock 'n' roll staple, the on-the-road song.

8. "Bad Luck Charm" (from Graveyard Whistling, 2017)
If modern mainstream country leaves you cold, look no further than this twangy tune, which combines all the best elements of the genre: harmony, pedal steel, and down-on-your-luck lyrics.

9. "Jesus Loves You" (from Graveyard Whistling, 2017)
A tune in which our narrator casts himself and the lord Jesus Christ as rivals for a lady's love. The lyrics are so clever that this song deserves to be in a Broadway show: "You can talk to him all night / But I'm right here / He makes wine from water / But I just brought you a beer."

10. "Diamonds on Neptune" (from Twelfth, 2020)
Recalls their early-2000s power pop days in all the best ways.

11. "Our Year" (from Twelfth, 2020)
It takes some guts to do a song that immediately brings to mind the Zombies' classic "This Will Be Our Year," but damn if they don't make it work.

12. "Bottle Rocket Baby" (from Twelfth, 2020)
It's the kind of shit-kicking country & western song the Old 97's do in their sleep, but boy do they do it well.


Popular posts from this blog

12 by Weezer

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... I decided to take an unconventional route for this 12 by, and pretend Weezer have already released a "greatest hits." Here's what I think that would look like:  1) "Buddy Holly", 2) "Undone - the Sweater Song", 3) "My Name Is Jonas", 4) "The Good Life", 5) "El Scorcho", 6) "Hash Pipe", 7) "Island in the Sun", 8) "Dope Nose", 9) "Keep Fishin'", 10) "Beverly Hills", 11) "We Are All On Drugs", 12) "Pork and Beans".  Here's a different take: 1. " Say It Ain't So"  (from Weezer , 1994)  A little bit heavy, a little bit catchy, quiet-loud dynamics. So basically, it's Pixies lite. The song is interesting lyrically because it's basically nonsense until the "Dear daddy..." bridge, which lets out a t

12 by Jenny Lewis

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... Completely separate from Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis has put together an impressive oeuvre that is very difficult to winnow down to just 12 songs (if you include her work with Rilo Kiley, fuhgeddaboudit). But I've made what I feel is a valiant attempt. Because I admire Jenny's lyrics so much, I'm going to limit my commentary to a favorite couplet from the song. (If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here .) 1. "Rise Up With Fists!!!" (from Rabbit Fur Coat , 2005) "But you can wake up younger, under the knife / And you can wake up sounder, if you get analyzed." 2. "Melt Your Heart" (from  Rabbit Fur Coat , 2005) "It's like a valentine from your mother / It's bound to melt your heart." 3. "Born Secular" (from Rabbit Fur Coat , 2005) "God works in mysterious ways / And God give

12 by Vicious Vicious

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... If you need a reference point for the work of Vicious Vicious mastermind Erik Appelwick, the most appropriate would be Beck. Like Mr. Hansen, Minnesota-based Appelwick has the ability to navigate between making you laugh and making you cry and making you want to dance, and embraces genres from country to R& B to folk to pop.  I've included songs from the two albums Appelwick did under the name Tropical Depression, because honestly there's not a lot of difference between that and Vicious Vicious.  I very literally  wrote the book  on Appelwick, so please feel confident you are hearing from an authority here.  If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen to an alternate version of list here  (sadly, not all of VV's music is on the service). 1. "Shake That Ass on the Dance Floor" (from Blood + Clover , 2003) A loungy, laconic come-on