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12 More by John Mayer

Sometimes an artist just needs 12  more  songs to summarize their career. Case in point... Having settled into the "elder statesmen" phase of his career, John Mayer has allowed his muse to lead the way. The result thus far as been country rock John Mayer, Laurel Canyon John Mayer, r & b John Mayer, and adult contemporary John Mayer.   This list covers his career from 2012 to 2021. Check out  12 by John Mayer for the first half of the story! If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along  here .  1. "Born and Raised" (from Born and Raised , 2012) When Mayer commits, he commits. For his Laurel Canyon album, he actually got David Crosby and Graham Nash to sing backup on the easy-going title tune. 2. "Queen of California" (from Born and Raised , 2012) A lost AM hit circa 1973. 3. "Paper Doll" (from Paradise Valley , 2013) I love dis tracks, especially when the dis-ee responds with their own dis track (great examples: Paul McCartney'

12 by John Mayer

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... With all of his failed celebrity romances and foot-in-his-mouth interviews, John Mayer the person isn't always easy to love. But John Mayer the musician is a different story . His virtuosity never supersedes his pop songcraft, and his lyrics are searching, wise, vulnerable, and relatable. In my mind, he's the closest thing we'll get to a Gen X James Taylor. This list covers the first 8 years of his career. K eep an eye out for 12 More by John Mayer, coming soon! If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here .  1. "No Such Thing" (from Room for Squares , 2001) I'm on record with the opinion that Weezer are the ultimate Gen X musicians, but John Mayer is a very close second. This song captures that feeling of disillusionment and freedom that comes with going out into the "real world" and discovering it's not a

12 More by The Honeydogs

  Sometimes an artist just needs 12  more  songs to summarize their career. Case in point... A fixture on the Minneapolis indie music scene since the mid-1990s, The Honeydogs swing from alt-country to bar rock to Stax-style rock 'n' roll to Beatley power pop. Since the artistic high of 2004's 10,000 Years , the band has put four additional records of smart, solidly-constructed tunes.  Since songwriter Adam Levy has a gift for one-liners, I'll limit my commentary to a favorite line from the song. Check out 12 by The Honeydogs for a summary of their first 8 years. And i f you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here . 1) "Too Close to the Sun" (from Amygdala , 2006) "I have no regrets, only epithets" 2) "Mrs. Ketchup and the Arsonist" (from Amygdala , 2006) "Jettisoned up to the stars / Close to god, but no cigar" 3) "Amygdala" (from  Amygdala , 2006) "Too good for words, too good for me, too good to be

12 by The Honeydogs

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... The Honeydogs arose from Minneapolis as part of the alt-country "craze" that swept through the nation in the mid-1990s. In the early 2000s they - like Wilco and the Jayhawks before them - made a successful transformation into an ambitious Beatle-esque chamber-pop band, culminating in the dystopian concept album 10,000 Years . This list covers their first 8 years and 6 albums. Since songwriter Adam Levy has a gift for one-liners, I'll limit my commentary to a favorite line from the song. If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here . And keep an eye out for "12 More by the Honeydogs" coming soon! 1) "Those Things Are Hers" (from The Honeydogs , 1995) "There's the ring, that once held us together / She wants it back, so I'm sending it next week" 2) Your Blue Door (from Everything, I Bet You , 199

12 by The New Pornographers

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... For twenty-two years and eight albums The New Pornographers have been providing us with uncategorizable-but-irresistible pop songs laden with stacked harmonies, counter-melodies, and cryptic lyrics. If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here . 1. "The Slow Descent into Alcoholism" (from Mass Romantic , 2000) Opinion: The best New Pornographers songs feature A.C. Newman and Neko Case singing in tandem. 2. "All For Swinging You Around" (from The Electric Version , 2003) Opinion: The best New Pornographers songs feature Neko Case on lead vocals. 3. "A Testament to Youth In Verse" (from  The Electric Version , 2003) In truth, I generally just sit through the Dan Bejar songs waiting for the other ones, but I do genuinely love this song (and "Myriad Harbor" from Challengers ). 4. "The Bleeding Heart Show&q

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

12 by Kid Dakota

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... Kid Dakota is Darren Jackson, a South Dakota native who made a name for himself in Minneapolis/St. Paul in the early 2000s and continues to put out carefully-constructed albums of deeply-felt songs. Not to brag or anything, but I literally wrote the book on Kid Dakota, so you should feel pretty good about the validity of my choices here. That said, my tastes are forever skewed toward the pop side of things, so this particular list might underrepresent the more experimental elements of Darren's music. If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here . 1. "Crossin' Fingers" (from So Pretty , 2002) The music is claustrophobic and dramatic, matching the mindset of the song's cuckolded narrator. 2. "Pairin' Off" (from So Pretty , 2002) This brief acoustic tune is open and sweet as Kid Dakota will ever get. 3. "Iva

12 by Sloan (2006 - 2018)

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... Sloan released a compilation of singles called A Sides Win in 2005, so our purpose here is summarize what they've been up to since then (drawn from six albums, two EPs, and smattering of one-offs they've released in the last 17 years). Since each member of Sloan writes and sings, I've made every effort to create a balance of their songs.  If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here . 1. "Can You Figure It Out?" (from Never Hear the End of It , 2006) Okay, I'll admit my bias right away. Jay Ferguson is my favorite Sloan member. Songs like this - aching, ultra-melodic, bouncy - are why. 2. "Set In Motion" (from  Never Hear the End of It , 2006)  Chris Murphy's sequel to 1996's "Autobiography" finds his life story being turned into a movie. He's reluctantly been cast in the lead, but has los

12 by Ra Ra Riot

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... Influenced equally by '70s AM gold soft rock, Electric Light Orchestra, late '70s/ early '80s new wave, and mid-'80s dance pop, Ra Ra Riot has released five albums, each one as-good-as or better-than the last.  Because of the way they wear their influences, Ra Ra Riot's music creates a disorienting-but-extremely-pleasant nostalgia. So making  this list was very difficult, especially in having to omit songs such as "Beta Love," "Water," "Suckers," and "This Time of Year." If you have Amazon Music Prime, you can listen along here . 1. "Too Too Fast" (from  The Rhumb Line , 2008) Combines '80s dance synths with a little bit of the Strokes and a a little bit of the Talking Heads, then stirs until combined. 2. "Dying is Fine" (from The Rhumb Line , 2008) Lyrically the chorus borrows fr

12 by Rhett Miller

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... I wrote about his band, so it's only fair that I write about Rhett Miller's solo output. There are differences between the two, of course, but if you like one, you're pretty much guaranteed to like the other. Let me just add that I love how Rhett thematically titles his albums - his live album is called The Interpreter - and hate that he messed up the pattern by self-titling his 2009 record. If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here . 1. "This Is What I Do" (from The Instigator , 2002) A statement of purpose told through a very-Jon-Brion pop arrangement. 2. "Come Around"  (from  The Instigator , 2002) I know from personal experience that this song hits hard when you're in the middle of a doomed romantic entanglement. 3. "Help Me, Suzanne" ( from  The Believer , 2006) A ray of sunshine in the form

12 by Motion City Soundtrack

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... Formed in Minneapolis in the early '00s, Motion City Soundtrack are defined by a caffeinated, keyboard-driven pop punk sound and the funny-but-confessional lyrics of lead singer Justin Courtney Pierre, a combination that made them one of the defining bands of emo's second (or is it third?) wave.  Because the lyrics are so important to the band's appeal, I'll share a favorite line from each tune. (And if you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here .) 1. "The Future Freaks Me Out" (from I Am the Movie , 2003) "We waste away the days with nicotine and television samples / Of an era we hate to admit we embrace" 2. "Attractive Today" (from Commit This to Memory , 2005) "And as I gently sip this drink, / I think about my lack of future, / And of all the places I could learn to fall in love" 3. "

12 by Carly Rae Jepsen

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... Carly Rae Jepsen started out as just another mainstream pop starlet, but with her second album somehow made the shift to hipster-approved pop starlet, all without changing much of anything about her musical approach. So here are 12 tunes to get you dancing, or at least nodding your head in approval. (If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here .) 1. "Call Me Maybe" (from Kiss , 2012) I like the Jimmy Fallon and the Roots toy instrument version best, but either way it's an earworm for the ages. When this song came out my oldest son was a toddler, and he absolutely hated it when I sang it to him. He would clap his tiny hand over my mouth before I could get through a couple of bars. 2. "Tonight I'm Getting Over You (from Kiss , 2012) Feel free to correct me on this, but I'm pretty sure that every single one of Carly's

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 Josh Rouse

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... Very easily confused with Joshua Radin or Josh Ritter, singer-songwriter Josh Rouse has released 13 full-length albums along with several EPs and rarities collections since his 1998 debut. That means reducing his output to only 12 songs is sort of a ridiculous exercise.  And yet, when you're introducing someone who has spent pretty much his entire career under the radar, you've gotta start somewhere. (If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here .) 1. "Dressed Up Like Nebraska" (from Dressed Up Like Nebraska , 1998) This is the sort of dreamy, thoughtful pop music we took for granted in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Perfect for soundtracking that week's episode of Felicity or Dawson's Creek . 2. "Directions" (from Home , 2000) Cameron Crowe used this in his 2001 movie Vanilla Sky . I didn't enjoy the movi