Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Beat City

A one-hit wonder from 80's new wave band The Flowerpot Men. One of many gems from the Ferris Bueller's Day Off soundtrack. I'm a sucker for a good arpeggiated guitar line.

Artist: The Flowerpot Men
Year: c.1985
Rating: Luke Hot

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Take a Chance on Me

As I alluded to the other day when blogging about "Bette Davis Eyes," I've had some Alvin and the Chipmunks covers in my head recently. (The 'Munks covered Bette Davis Eyes too, though it was the original in my head on Monday.) When I woke up with "Take a Chance on Me," it was actually the hopped up Alvin and the Chipmunks version, which then slipped into the original ABBA.

I think the 'Munks fare better on "Take a Chance on Me" than on "Bette Davis Eyes." Turns out Alvin does earnest better than femme fatale. Artist: Alvin & the Chipmunks Year: 1982 Rating: Luke Hot
Artist: ABBA
Year: 1978
Rating: Luke Hot

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Spanish Inquisition

I gotta say, my timing couldn't be more perfect. To wake up chanelling my historic Jewish persecution on Christmas morning represents a real mother lode of psychological trauma.

Merry Xmas, all you sinners!

Artist: Mel Brooks et al
Year: 1981
Rating: Like a red hot poker up my ass

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bette Davis Eyes

Woke from a nap yesterday afternoon with this song in my head. Napping is very unusual for me, so this song came through in a very drowsy, disoriented state.

I have a vivid memory of being nine years old, watching the Solid Gold countdown for 1981 and my visceral disappointment that "Bette Davis Eyes" beat Olivia Newton-John's Physical for the number one song of the year. In retrospect, and with my adult mind, it's clear that "Bette Davis Eyes" is a way better song, but I remember thinking at the time something like, That Kim Carnes is just standing up there behind the mike stand, boring, and Olivia is rocking out all over the stage. This is so unfair!

The other association I have with this song is that it appeared on the cover album Chipmunk Rock that I owned and played obsessively at this time in my life. I'm blogging out of order here, but another song featured on Chipmunk Rock popped into my head a few days ago, and it will hit the blog soon as well. In the case of "Bette Davis Eyes," it was the original, not the Chipmunks' version, that entered my nap-addled brain.

Artist: Kim Carnes
Year: 1981
Rating: Warm

Note: For a song so obviously about sex, "Physical" is so euphemistic "Let's get animal?" that while I knew it was about, you know, doing it, the song really eluded my scandal radar when I was nine. "Bette Davis Eyes" is lyrically all the more sophisticated, and it's a wonder Alvin pulled off singing a line like, She'll take a tumble on you/Roll you like you were dice/Until you come up blue/She's got Bette Davis Eyes.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

July Jones

This fan video of a kid removing layers of clothing is more mesmerizing than I'd reckoned for. (Don't worry, it's all about the outfits. Sorry to spoil the suspense, but do you think I'd re-post k*dd*e p*rn?)

Artist: New Pornographers
Year: 2003
Rating: Luke Hot

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Tom Petty at his best, and probably one of the greatest rock songs of all time. I don't know if I was feeling kicked around some upon waking this morning, but it couldn't have been all that bad.

Petty (in his heyday) created straight-up rock, pulled from a mold cast by Dylan, the Byrds, the Stones. Most bands thereafter used the same mold, but pulled out chintzy plastic. There's a way in which I feel like I "shouldn't" like Tom Petty and the "heartland" rock he pumps out. But I dig him. R.J.'s review of Petty's 1979 album Damn The Torpedoes captures this quandary of tastes nicely.

Artist: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Year: 1979
Rating: Hot!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cheap Champagne

Sloan continues to dominate all bands in my head. This one from their last full-length recalls sweet '70s contemporary pop while staying true to writer/singer Jay Ferguson's clever indie rhyme schemes.

We said you've changed
She said, you've not
And that's when I realized
I should have connected all the dots

Artist: Sloan
Year: 2008
Rating: Luke Hot

Monday, December 14, 2009

Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)

I blame Michael for this one. I almost didn't want to blog it, 'cause this will ensure that it stays in my head longer. But I will admit that the song in reality is far less irritating than my memory of it. It's certainly a representation of the Starbuckization of ambient music, but I can see why some people find it lovely.

Artist: Enya
Year: 1988
Rating: Cold

Note: The song also features a subtly clever reference to the music industry production process. The lyric "We can steer...with Rob Dickens at the wheel" is a reference to the WEA record label head at the time Enya was in the studio. Read about it here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Come On, Eileen

This has to be one of the most common earworm songs ever. Or at least of the last thirty years.

Artist: Dexys Midnight Runners
Year: 1982
Rating: Warm

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Strong Enough

I think I heard this in a café recently. That's usually how Sheryl Crow seeps in.

Artist: Sheryl Crow
Year: 1994
Rating: Warm

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dream Away

This song and its nonsensical refrain (Oh-Ry-In-Eye-Ay?) has been creeping 'round in my head for nearly thirty years. I knew it was from Time Bandits, Terry Gilliam's indelibly entertaining epic about a band of dwarves traveling through time to steal the world's most wonderful historic treasures. I watched that movie on cable when I was a kid probably dozens of times. But I had no fracking* idea it was a George Harrison song! Holy smokes, how weird!

Artist: George Harrison
Year: 1981
Rating: Warm
Note: *Yes, I did just use the term "fracking."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Supernatural Superserious

The first single from Accelerate, R.E.M.'s most recent album, and their best to come along in several years. The main chord progression, and the thematic cultural mythos of teen angst, is reminding me of The Who's Baba O'Riley, so the songs are merrily intertwining in my consciousness today.

Artist: R.E.M.
Year: 2008
Rating: Luke Hot

Sunday, December 6, 2009

What Do I Get?

This song is all about the enunciation. WhaT-do-I-geT? Think of how weak it would be if it were "Whaddu-I-get?" The Buzzcocks are having a welcome renaissance in my head lately.

Artist: Buzzcocks
Year: 1977
Rating: Hot!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Killer Queen

In my head while I was walking the dog through the Castro today. Perfect!

Guaranteed to blow your mind...

Artist: Queen
Year: 1974
Rating: Luke Hot

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Take It to the Limit

Not my fave Eagles song, but you can't always get what you want in your head.

Artist: Eagles
Year: 1975
Rating: Lukewarm