This summer, I have been spending less time listening to the big summer jams (the Mileys, Get Luckies, and Blurred Lines of the world), and more times exploring random artists who I have previously ragged on, or at least never got the full picture on. The three artists listed have all had their moment in the spotlight as sort of one-hit or some-hit wonders or as some sort of other pop culture entity. So I thought why not advice you away from their sugary and dangerous options and towards their better, healthier songs. So here’s another installment of Hear This Not That.
We’ve all been there: that moment at wedding receptions when “Love Shack” comes on and serves as a total buzz kill for all previous dance momentum that had been accrued. But on the same album as “Love Shack” and amidst much of their catalog, there are some gems worked in there like “Deadbeat Club” that are pretty hard to shake.
Growing up, based on VH1’s One-Hit Wonder list and their own silly attire, I always thought Devo was a bit of a novelty band. After all, their lead singer, Mark Mothersbaugh, was doing the music for Nickelodeon’s Rugrats when I was a kid. Then I learned Devo was actually a pretty bright band with a clear mission statement behind their whole look: that in the TV era, people were de-evolving into stupidity (get it: Devo) and the band would serve as the soundtrack for this de-evolution. One minute into “Uncontrollable Urge”, the first track on their debut Q: Are We Not Men?, not only can you hear real intelligence in their music, but the band flat-out rocks as well as any of their punk peers. They aren’t that nerdy after all.
“Soap Star Joe”
90’s Female Songwriters
Call me ignorant, but I always associated Liz Phair with the 90’s female liberation singer/songwriters movement, including the likes of Sheryl “Surf Up The Sun” Crow and Sarah “Abandoned Puppy Dogs” McLachlan. Sure she was a part of the same Lillith Fair scene, but Chicago-born Liz Phair is cut from a different cloth: really having more in common with Kurt Cobain than Paula Cole. Her debut Exile in Guyville is pretty much the exact same grungy independent rock that EMA was praised for last year, but with way stronger songs and a more defined voice.