Songs Jen Likes – Vol 1

All righty, folks!  Here’s your first taste of Jen’s unique taste in music.  You can view the whole Youtube playlist via the aforelinked text, or you can click on each individual video and/or artist below.

I’ve decided to leave the weird girls and their pianos for a later playlist and start at the beginning of my musical life.  And in the beginning… there was folk and British rock.

Cotton JennyGordon Lightfoot

My mum’s dad loves Gordon Lightfoot, and I spent a summer living at their house in Central Oregon.  My “mission” that summer was to copy all of his Gordon Lightfoot LPs onto cassette tape, and he and I spent evenings in the garage listening to those records and just being together.  My grandfather is 85 now.  Someday, when he’s gone, this song will make me weep, but for now, it just makes me happy.

I’ll Follow the SunThe Beatles

My mum has always loved the Beatles.  I remember watching The Beatles Anthology on TV with my family.  Loving this song taught me how to make a song repeat on their record player.

CopperlineJames Taylor

I went on a school trip to Europe when I was sixteen, and I brought along my cassette tape Walkman, but I didn’t have very many tapes of my own that I cared to listen to. I grabbed this album from my Mom’s tape stash and now, whenever I remember the long, winding bus ride from Paris to Engelberg, Switzerland, this song is the soundtrack.  I’m surprised that I didn’t wear out the tape from rewinding this song over and over.  “…And the angels sigh” still gives me chills every time.

In the MeantimeThe Ditty Bops

You can’t really call these delightful ladies “folk”; I suppose that “vaudeville” is more appropriate, and that’s pretty old-fashioned, right?  I came across these gals when they opened for Tori Amos one summer, and they are endlessly charming.  And they did a tour of the US by bike.  What’s not to love?

Long Ride HomePatty Griffin

Dan and I met while we were working at the same hotel in 2000.  The girls I worked with kept egging me on to go out with him, but I was too shy to ask.  I unexpectedly received tickets to a Dixie Chicks concert from one of my customers, but I couldn’t think of anyone who’d want to go with me.  The girls insisted that I ask him to go.  He politely declined because he doesn’t care for “girly” country.  So, I went alone, and Patty Griffin was their opening act.  I fell in love with her right then and there – and ended up falling for Dan soon after.  ;)

January WeddingThe Avett Brothers

A coworker brought this album to work for the work-y gang to check out, and I instantly loved this song.  Then, unbeknownst to me, Dan brought the same CD along on a beach vacation we took several years ago, where he spent a lot of time driving while I sang along to it.  I’d probably love this song anyway because it has two of my favorite things: boy-harmony and banjos, but the lyrics are endearingly real to me.

My First LoverGillian Welch

Everything about this song is divine. A bright melody, but in a weird minor key.  Incongruously dark lyrics.  Awkward harmonies that, somehow, resolve perfectly.  A kick-ass chick playing a banjo.  I just love it.

Black DogRobert Plant & Alison Krauss

Good god, Robert Plant used to get my little teenage heart going… I discovered this song when I was, probably, 13, and I played the hell out of it on the record player.  This recording is of Plant when he was performing with Alison Krauss, so it’s an irresistible mishmash of folksy harmony and dark, bluesy longing.

BeastieJethro Tull

My dad loves Jethro Tull – in a completely non-ironic way, I must add.  He used to play it a lot when I was a kid, and this song was one of the most fun to listen to.  My brother and I were given license to yell the “Beastie!” part, which was awesome.  This particular video has a hilarious Spinal Tap quality to it, what with the puppet on Ian Anderson’s shoulders.

Whippin’ PiccadillyGomez

Excellent boy-harmony and plenty of blippity-bloop bits to round out the poppy undertones.  Gomez is what the Beatles would be if they were still recording, I think.  Members share songwriting and lead vocal responsibilities, so not every song sounds the same, but they all sound like Gomez – if that makes any sense.  And one of them looks a lot like Paul McCartney.

You Only Want Me ‘Cause You Want My SisterEvelyn Evelyn

A perfect segue into my next edition – sure to include plenty of weird girls with pianos – this song is a country-fried outing by Amanda Palmer, formerly of the Dresden Dolls (aside: she’s now married to Neil Gaiman, who is a dear friend of Tori Amos, a noted graphic novel writer and author of at least one episode of Doctor Who).  You really can’t ask for a better country song, but the twist is that Evelyn Evelyn “is” a set of conjoined twins with a creepy back-story.

Songs Jane Likes – Vol 1

Jen and I really like the idea of a music podcast, but don’t want to get in any kind of trouble. You know, consequences and repercussions. So, on occasion we’re going to write a blog post about some of our favorite songs and artists and include a You Tube playlist that ya’ll can listen to while reading!

Here’s the first installment: Songs Jane Likes – Vol. 1

1. R.E.M. – Electrolite
I got in to R.E.M. in 1992 at the age of 14. I really like “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” and still have my cassette copy of Document. They led me to my Best Friend from college, and inadvertently introduced me to my husband. When they broke up last year, I was shattered. Electrolite has been my favorite song of theirs for a long time, and I may have gotten them to play it for me in 2004.

2. The Young Fresh Fellows – Still There’s Hope
Or, as you may know it, the Theme from Jane and Jen Knit Funny. I first saw The Young Fresh Fellows in 1999 when they opened for R.E.M. at Bumbershoot in Seattle. Despite the fact that they are no longer young, the Fellows will rock your face off. Kurt Bloch is one of the best guitar players ever. Period.

3. The Minus 5 – You Don’t Mean It
Same lead singer as the YFF who also happened to be a touring member of R.E.M. And who is that on Bass? Peter Fucking Buck of R.E.M. (do we notice a pattern here?). I’ve seen this band a jillion times and they never fail to impress.

4. The Sgt Major III – Ice Cold Ten
Featuring Kurt Bloch and Jim Sangster of the Fellows. Their 2010 record The Idea Factory is a really good running at the gym record.

5. The Model Rockets – A Notice to Everyone
Featuring John Ramberg, also of the Minus 5. I only got to see The Model Rockets twice before they broke up, but am thankful I did. Then I got to see them reunite in the summer of 2008.

6. The Doll Test – Sing Without Sound
Essentially The Model Rockets without John Ramberg and with someone from The Riffbrokers. Excellent power pop.

7. Archie Powell & The Exports – Crazy Pills
A band that my husband put in my iPod without telling me. I think Great Ideas in Action may well be my album of the year.

8. The Tripwires – Ned Beatty’s In Love
John Ramberg (Model Rockets, Minus 5), Jim Sangster (YFF, Sgt. Major), Johnny Sangster, and Mark Pickerell (the Screaming Trees). Ramberg’s post Model Rockets band. A dance party is always guaranteed at their shows.

9. Noah and the Whale – 5 Years Time
Another band my husband put in my iPod without telling me. We saw them last year and they were excellent. I described them as “The British Killers.” Catchy and sad all at the same time.

10. Fountains of Wayne – Red Dragon Tattoo
One of those bands I think I shouldn’t like but I really do and don’t care what others think. Their songs are so happy on the surface and sad underneath. So many hooks! And I really love how the lead singer looks like he’d rather be doing anything else than singing in front of people.

So that’s 10. I could go on forever! We haven’t even hit bands from Portland. Or supergroups! I love a supergroup! Or garage rock! Or mid-90s alternative rock (hello! Buffalo Tom!) I’ll have to do another list in a few weeks.