Tag Archives: Liz Phair

Your (Almost) Daily Playlist (3-17-20)

Inspired by the March 17 birthdays of Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner, The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian, Nat King Cole, Gene Ween, The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins, Altered Images’ Clare Grogan, and Hozier; and the March 16 birthdays of Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, Blu Cantrell, and Murs.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist (3-14-20)

Inspired by the March 14 birthdays of Quincy Jones, Este Haim, Taylor Hanson, Michael Martin Murphey, Colby O’Donis and Billy Crystal.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist (2-9-20)

Today is the birthday of Carole King, one of the greatest songwriters of the pop era. Chances are you know songs she had a hand in writing: “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “So Far Away,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “One Fine Day,” “The Loco-motion,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “Up on the Roof,” “It’s Too Late,” and “I’m Into Something Good” among them.

King isn’t the only rock era songwriter celebrating a birthday today. It is also the birthday of her contemporary Barry Mann, who is not the same person as Barry Manilow. As a performer, Mann had one hit – 1961’s “Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp).” As a writer, he’s charted nearly 100 times in the US. His credits include “Here You Come Again,” “Bristol Stomp,” “Only in America,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” “Make Your Own Kind of Music,” “On Broadway,” and “Sometimes When We Touch,” many written with his wife, Cynthia Weil.

King and Mann feature in today’s playlist, as do others who share their birthday: The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Holly Johnson, Barbara Lewis, and Major Harris. I also threw in some folks who had birthdays yesterday: Daft Punk’s Guy Manuel, England Dan, and James Dean.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist (1-26-20)

Inspired by the January 25 birthdays of Alicia Keys, Etta James, Edmund Sylvers and Antonio Carlos Jobim and the January 26 birthdays of Lucinda Williams, Anita Baker, Wham!’s Andrew Ridgeley, Eddie Van Halen, Ya Kid K, Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B, Huey “Piano” Smith and Jean Knight.

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Twenty Songs You Should Hear (1-16-20)

A playlist inspired by the January 16 birthdays of Sade, Aaliyah, Jill Sobule, Maxine Jones of En Vogue, Jim Stafford, Ethel Merman, Ray Phillips of Nashville Teens and Barbara Lynn.

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Top 105 Songs Of 2019

My favorite song of 2019 came out in 2016. Like most people, I slept on Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” upon its initial release three years ago. I also slept on her “Truth Hurts,” my #4 song of 2019, when it was released in 2017. Lizzo’s first track to make Glenn’s Ten was “Boys,” which hit #1 in July 2018, just two months before my favorite 2019 artist after Lizzo, Billie Eilish, made her Glenn’s Ten debut with “You Should See Me in a Crown.” Eilish’s “Bad Guy” is my #3 song of this year, breaking up Lizzo’s hold on the top four. L-to-the-izzo’s “Juice,” my #2 song of 2019, debuted on Glenn’s Ten on January 12, kicking off 49 consecutive weeks with at least one Lizzo track in my top ten, 22 of those weeks at #1. I’m sure both of those are records, something I would confirm if I weren’t too lazy to look it up.

At #5 for the year sits the only artist in my year end top ten who made their Glenn’s Ten debut in 2019, Megan Thee Stallion. (Megan’s her real first name; Thee is not her actual middle name and Stallion is not on her birth certificate. I’m a Megan Thee Stallion truther.) On that hit, “Hot Girl Summer,” Megan T. Stallion is assisted by Nicki Minaj, who is also at #55 with a solo number, and Ty Dolla $ign (Ty is short for Tyrone, his real first name; Dolla is not his actual middle name and $ign is not on his birth certificate. I’m a Ty Dolla $ign truther.), who is also at #100 assisting Kehlani. If you need assistance, call Ty D. $ign.

The remainder of the top ten boasts career bests for 21 Savage, Ariana Grande, Teyana Taylor, and Vince Staples, plus the first Glenn’s Ten entry for Vampire Weekend since 2013. Other Glenn’s Ten veterans making appearances this year include Bruce Springsteen, Liz Phair, Beck, Missy Elliott, Morrissey, Beyoncé, Rufus Wainwright, Smokey Robinson (yes, Smokey Robinson!), and Belle & Sebastian. Recent favorites such as Courtney Barnett, Cardi B, Grimes, Christine and the Queens, Robyn, Miranda Lambert, 21 Savage, BROCKHAMPTON, First Aid Kit, Chance the Rapper, Angel Olsen, The National and Kacey Musgraves are represented as well.

Enough blather. Here is my top 105 songs (5 by Lizzo, 100 by others, though one of those others with an assist from Lizzo) of 2019:

  1. Good as Hell – Lizzo
  2. Juice – Lizzo
  3. bad guy – Billie Eilish
  4. Truth Hurts – Lizzo
  5. Hot Girl Summer – Megan Thee Stallion featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign
  6. WTP – Teyana Taylor
  7. FUN. – Vince Staples
  8. thank u, next – Ariana Grande
  9. Harmony Hall – Vampire Weekend
  10. A Lot – 21 Savage
  11. bury a friend – Billie Eilish
  12. Land of the Free – the Killers
  13. Before I Let Go – Beyoncé
  14. Keep the Change – Mattiel
  15. Blame It on Your Love – Charli XCX featuring Lizzo
  16. Drogba (Joanna) – Afro B
  17. Hot Shower – Chance the Rapper featuring MadeinTYO & DaBaby
  18. Rainbow – Kacey Musgraves
  19. Wedding Bell Blues – Morrissey
  20. Trip – Ella Mai
  21. Tempo – Lizzo featuring Missy Elliott
  22. Almeda – Solange
  23. Melody of Love – Hot Chip
  24. Anybody – Burna Boy
  25. Young Republicans – Lower Dens
  26. Motivation – Normani
  27. Throw It Back – Missy Elliott
  28. People – The 1975
  29. Rylan – The National
  30. Doin’ Time – Lana Del Rey
  31. BOY BYE – BROCKHAMPTON
  32. Hello Sunshine – Bruce Springsteen
  33. Summer Girl – HAIM
  34. Good Side – Liz Phair
  35. Saw Lightning – Beck
  36. Fukk Sleep – A$AP Rocky featuring FKA twigs
  37. It’s Not Living (If It’s Not with You) – The 1975
  38. Binz – Solange
  39. Something Keeps Calling – Raphael Saadiq featuring Rob Bacon
  40. This Life – Vampire Weekend
  41. wish you were gay – Billie Eilish
  42. My Type – Saweetie
  43. Sing Along – Sturgill Simpson
  44. Now I’m In It – HAIM
  45. Oh What a World – Kacey Musgraves
  46. Lark – Angel Olsen
  47. Sister Buddha – Belle & Sebastian
  48. Uneventful Days – Beck
  49. I’ve Been Waiting – Lil Peep & ILoveMakonnen featuring Fall Out Boy
  50. Love Yourself  – Sufjan Stevens
  51. Nothing Breaks Like a Heart – Mark Ronson featuring Miley Cyrus
  52. Drip Too Hard – Lil Baby featuring Gunna
  53. Ibtihaj – Rapsody featuring D’Angelo & GZA
  54. Cuz I Love You – Lizzo
  55. Megatron – Nicki Minaj
  56. It All Comes out in the Wash – Miranda Lambert
  57. Sunflower – Vampire Weekend featuring Steve Lacy
  58. Blaxploitation – Noname
  59. Hurry on Home – Sleater-Kinney
  60. Western Stars – Bruce Springsteen
  61. Seventeen – Sharon Van Etten
  62. Crazy Classic Life – Janelle Monae
  63. Unshaken – D’Angelo
  64. 7 Rings – Ariana Grande
  65. Way Too Pretty for Prison – Miranda Lambert with Maren Morris
  66. Hey Brother (Do Unto Others) – The Family Daptone
  67. Earth – Lil Dicky
  68. Make It Better – Anderson .Paak featuring Smokey Robinson
  69. Lo/Hi – the Black Keys
  70. Tarantula – Beck
  71. all the good girls go to hell – Billie Eilish
  72. Trouble in Paradise – Rufus Wainwright
  73. The greatest – Lana Del Rey
  74. Ordinary Pleasure – Toro y Moi
  75. Twerk – City Girls featuring Cardi B
  76. Ever Again – Robyn
  77. BLACKJACK – Aminé
  78. Red Bull and Hennessy – Jenny Lewis
  79. I BEEN BORN AGAIN – BROCKHAMPTON
  80. Money – Cardi B
  81. Brown Skin Girl – Beyoncé, SAINt JHN, WizKid and Blue Ivy
  82. Fucking Crazy – Robert Ellis
  83. Eye in the Wall – Perfume Genius
  84. sad day – FKA twigs
  85. Between the Lines – Robyn
  86. Nothing Is Safe – clipping.
  87. Redesigning Women – the Highwomen
  88. Tell Me (Doko Mien) – Ibibio Sound Machine
  89. Sofia – Clairo
  90. With My Whole Heart – Sufjan Stevens
  91. Go – the Black Keys
  92. Turn the Light – Karen O and Danger Mouse
  93. Fortune – Wye Oak
  94. holy terrain – FKA twigs featuring Future
  95. Young Enough – Charly Bliss
  96. Everybody Here Hates You – Courtney Barnett
  97. Gone – Charli XCX featuring Christine and the Queens
  98. Everyday – Weyes Blood
  99. Capacity – Charly Bliss
  100. Nights Like This – Kehlani featuring Ty Dolla $ign
  101. No Bullets Spent – Spoon
  102. Gonna Love Me – Teyana Taylor feat. Ghostface Killa, Method Man & Raekwon
  103. My Name Is Dark – Grimes
  104. Sociopath – Pusha T featuring Kash Doll
  105. Strange Beauty – First Aid Kit

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100 Greatest Artists

Last week my close friend Laura forward to me a link to Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Artists” and asked for my impression.

My 100 Greatest Artists list includes many of the same acts as Rolling Stone’s list; however, there is a large handful of acts on my roll that are not on that publication’s slate.

I won’t disparage their choices (but seriously, Aerosmith at #59?). Instead, I will share with you music from twenty artists that made my roster but are not among Rolling Stone’s top 100.

Feel free to share your choice acts in the Comments section.


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The 35th Best Album Of All-Time, Subject To Change

Ringo + Liz Phair 002
I’m still making my list of the top 100 albums of all-time (see here and here). In its most recent iteration, Liz Phair’s Exile In Guyville is nestled at #35, between Pet Shop Boys’ Very and Prince and the Revolution’s 1999.

The Phair album, a song-by-song response to the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, was a critical favorite upon its release in 1993. Both Spin and the Village Voice listed the album at #1 on their year-end lists, while Rolling Stone gave it 5, Pitchfork gave it a 9.6 and Entertainment Weekly gave it an A.

You needn’t know the Stones’ album to enjoy Guyville. Today’s playlist, in honor of Liz Phair’s 47th birthday, consists of a few songs from her landmark album plus a few other favorites from her follow-up releases.

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Your Day Of Happiness Soundtrack

Ringo + Turtles 003
Today is the United Nations International Day of Happiness. Our soundtrack kicks off with The Turtles’ “Happy Together.”

Ironically, this is not a happy song.

Written by Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon, the song is about a one-way love affair. The singer imagines being with the girl to whom he’s singing. He’s in love with her and thinks if they were to be together the skies would be blue. He imagines how the world would be – so very fine – if they were a couple.

She doesn’t feel the same way. When this sinks in to our narrator, he makes small talk. “So how is the weather?” he asks, alternating that line with his repeated sentiment that they would be so happy together.

The song opens on a minor chord, which has a more melancholy sound than a major chord. The chorus – “I can’t see me loving nobody but you for all my life” – opens with a major chord, and the instrumentation is appropriately louder and joyous, the celebratory sound matching his feelings of ecstasy as he imagines his fantasy life with this woman.

For younger folks reading this, there used to exist public phones where one could insert a dime to make a three-minute long local call, hence the lyric “If I should call you up, invest a dime.” If the song were written today, this verse may go “If I should call you up, use up minutes from my cell phone plan / And you say you belong to me, I am your man / Imagine how the world could be, I’m hungry for flan.” Not as strong. Now I’m hungry for flan.

The Turtles recorded “Happy Together” in January 1967. Two months later it knocked The Beatles’ “Penny Lane” out of the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed on top for three weeks.

Enjoy your Day of Happiness. May all your loves be requited loves.

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