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Showing posts from January, 2022

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