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.
Tag Archives: Liz Phair
Inspired by the March 14 birthdays of Quincy Jones, Este Haim, Taylor Hanson, Michael Martin Murphey, Colby O’Donis and Billy Crystal.
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.
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.
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:
- Good as Hell – Lizzo
- Juice – Lizzo
- bad guy – Billie Eilish
- Truth Hurts – Lizzo
- Hot Girl Summer – Megan Thee Stallion featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign
- WTP – Teyana Taylor
- FUN. – Vince Staples
- thank u, next – Ariana Grande
- Harmony Hall – Vampire Weekend
- A Lot – 21 Savage
- bury a friend – Billie Eilish
- Land of the Free – the Killers
- Before I Let Go – Beyoncé
- Keep the Change – Mattiel
- Blame It on Your Love – Charli XCX featuring Lizzo
- Drogba (Joanna) – Afro B
- Hot Shower – Chance the Rapper featuring MadeinTYO & DaBaby
- Rainbow – Kacey Musgraves
- Wedding Bell Blues – Morrissey
- Trip – Ella Mai
- Tempo – Lizzo featuring Missy Elliott
- Almeda – Solange
- Melody of Love – Hot Chip
- Anybody – Burna Boy
- Young Republicans – Lower Dens
- Motivation – Normani
- Throw It Back – Missy Elliott
- People – The 1975
- Rylan – The National
- Doin’ Time – Lana Del Rey
- BOY BYE – BROCKHAMPTON
- Hello Sunshine – Bruce Springsteen
- Summer Girl – HAIM
- Good Side – Liz Phair
- Saw Lightning – Beck
- Fukk Sleep – A$AP Rocky featuring FKA twigs
- It’s Not Living (If It’s Not with You) – The 1975
- Binz – Solange
- Something Keeps Calling – Raphael Saadiq featuring Rob Bacon
- This Life – Vampire Weekend
- wish you were gay – Billie Eilish
- My Type – Saweetie
- Sing Along – Sturgill Simpson
- Now I’m In It – HAIM
- Oh What a World – Kacey Musgraves
- Lark – Angel Olsen
- Sister Buddha – Belle & Sebastian
- Uneventful Days – Beck
- I’ve Been Waiting – Lil Peep & ILoveMakonnen featuring Fall Out Boy
- Love Yourself – Sufjan Stevens
- Nothing Breaks Like a Heart – Mark Ronson featuring Miley Cyrus
- Drip Too Hard – Lil Baby featuring Gunna
- Ibtihaj – Rapsody featuring D’Angelo & GZA
- Cuz I Love You – Lizzo
- Megatron – Nicki Minaj
- It All Comes out in the Wash – Miranda Lambert
- Sunflower – Vampire Weekend featuring Steve Lacy
- Blaxploitation – Noname
- Hurry on Home – Sleater-Kinney
- Western Stars – Bruce Springsteen
- Seventeen – Sharon Van Etten
- Crazy Classic Life – Janelle Monae
- Unshaken – D’Angelo
- 7 Rings – Ariana Grande
- Way Too Pretty for Prison – Miranda Lambert with Maren Morris
- Hey Brother (Do Unto Others) – The Family Daptone
- Earth – Lil Dicky
- Make It Better – Anderson .Paak featuring Smokey Robinson
- Lo/Hi – the Black Keys
- Tarantula – Beck
- all the good girls go to hell – Billie Eilish
- Trouble in Paradise – Rufus Wainwright
- The greatest – Lana Del Rey
- Ordinary Pleasure – Toro y Moi
- Twerk – City Girls featuring Cardi B
- Ever Again – Robyn
- BLACKJACK – Aminé
- Red Bull and Hennessy – Jenny Lewis
- I BEEN BORN AGAIN – BROCKHAMPTON
- Money – Cardi B
- Brown Skin Girl – Beyoncé, SAINt JHN, WizKid and Blue Ivy
- Fucking Crazy – Robert Ellis
- Eye in the Wall – Perfume Genius
- sad day – FKA twigs
- Between the Lines – Robyn
- Nothing Is Safe – clipping.
- Redesigning Women – the Highwomen
- Tell Me (Doko Mien) – Ibibio Sound Machine
- Sofia – Clairo
- With My Whole Heart – Sufjan Stevens
- Go – the Black Keys
- Turn the Light – Karen O and Danger Mouse
- Fortune – Wye Oak
- holy terrain – FKA twigs featuring Future
- Young Enough – Charly Bliss
- Everybody Here Hates You – Courtney Barnett
- Gone – Charli XCX featuring Christine and the Queens
- Everyday – Weyes Blood
- Capacity – Charly Bliss
- Nights Like This – Kehlani featuring Ty Dolla $ign
- No Bullets Spent – Spoon
- Gonna Love Me – Teyana Taylor feat. Ghostface Killa, Method Man & Raekwon
- My Name Is Dark – Grimes
- Sociopath – Pusha T featuring Kash Doll
- Strange Beauty – First Aid Kit
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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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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.
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.