This month’s playlist prompts a series of questions, some of which have actual answers, others of which are somewhat more imponderable.
Jules Shear has written a lot of seriously great songs, but is any of them seriously greater than “If We Never Meet Again”?
How did the relatively short-lived and under-appreciated UK band Samsa manage also to write at least one seriously great song (“Throw My Weight”)? Extra bonus question: why wasn’t this song a big deal when it came out?
Why do I not seem to connect to jazz instrumentals except sometimes when I do?
Did you know that Sonny Bono wrote “Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”?
And did you know Ronnie Wood was in a band called The Birds three years before joining the Jeff Beck Group and that this band’s manager tried to sue the Byrds to keep them from using the name when they came to England in 1965?
Why do I like the Scottish band CHVRCHES so much? Normally punctuational creativity is not my thing. Nor is overly-shiny 2010s pop. But these guys I love; this song gets better each time I hear it.
Speaking of punctuational creativity, why is the word “There’s” in parentheses in the Bacharach/David song Dionne Warwick covers here? It seems willfully perverse.
Lastly: why did everyone hate on the last Rilo Kiley album back when it came out? Always sounded good to me, and it seems to be growing finer with age.
“The Summer is Over” – Dusty Springfield (b-side, 1964)
“It’s Different For Girls” – Joe Jackson (I’m the Man, 1979)
“The Mother We Share” – CHVRCHES (The Bones of What You Believe, 2013)
“Bury My Lovely” – October Project (October Project, 1993)
“A Pillow of Winds” – Pink Floyd (Meddle, 1971)
“Throw My Weight” – Samsa (First, the Lights, 2005)
“(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” – Dionne Warwick (The Windows of the World, 1967)
“Subway Station #5” – Patricia Barber (A Distortion of Love, 1992)
“If We Never Meet Again” – Reckless Sleepers (Big Boss Sounds, 1988)
“Mr. X” – Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls (Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls, 1980)
“Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” – Terry Reid (Bang, Bang You’re Terry Reid, 1968)
“Girls Chase Boys” – Ingrid Michaelson (Lights Out, 2014)
“You’ll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties” – Jona Lewie (single, 1980)
“Half Acre” – Hem (Rabbit Songs, 2001)
“Don’t It Feel Good to Be Free” – Edwin Starr (Hell Up in Harlem, 1974)
“Everybody Loves Me But You” – Juliana Hatfield (Hey Babe, 1992)
“Dream Lover” – Destroyer (Poison Season, 2015)
“Sharkey’s Day” – Laurie Anderson (Mister Heartbreak, 1983)
“No Good Without You Baby” – The Birds (single, 1965)
“Silver Lining” – Rileo Kiley (Under the Blacklight, 2007)