It’s Friday night, I’m marginally sober, and I have a quiet house to myself (the roommate has left to play some game called “flip cup”. To quote Amy Poehler as Dakota Fanning, “I’m unfamiliar.”). These are rare moments. Rare moments that must be cherished the only way I know how — By doing the same thing I would normally do on a Friday night: watching Gilmore Girls and surfing YouTube clips.
Wait, what? Elvis Costello with Jenny Lewis *and* Zooey Deschanel? Indie essposion.
A pre-Janet Sleater-Kinney, which means a pre-breakup Carrie and Corin. Carrie puts her head on Corin’s shoulder. In the middle of a song. A punk song. Oddly adorable especially because Corin doesn’t even react. If someone tried to do that to me while I was playing I’d probably bonk them in the eye with my shoulder. Cuz I’m warm and cuddly like that.
The New Pornographers are one of my favorite bands and they have a new album coming out in a few months. I had never seen this 2003 Letterman performance of my favorite song. I’ve always thought one of the biggest coups in indie rock was A.C. Newman (the lead singer and band leader) convincing Neko Case to join the band.
PS — A.C., you are way cuter now that you’re tubby and bearded.
Another one of my favorite Canadian bands, Broken Social Scene, also has a record coming out soon. BSS are a collective/Supergroup made up of up to 17 people at a time. Seeing them live at Lollapallooza was seriously a life-changing moment. And this is the song “Anthems (For A Seventeen Year Old Girl)” that left me mesmerized, pulled me in, and made me a BSS fan forever. I’ve been chasing the high from that concert ever since. This performance, with Emily Haines (Metric), Amy Milian (Stars), and Feist is fantastic.
I bought The Stills first album “Logic Will Break Your Heart” solely based on the title. I knew nothing about the band except that they were from Canada. But the album title hit me like a ton of bricks. As it turned out, that album would be on constant rotation on my iPod and in my car for most of 2004 and 2005. They’ve had some lineup changes since then and they kind of suck now. But that first album, along with this song “Still In Love Song” are still very close to my heart.
Jennifer Knapp. I will probably do a separate post on Jen Knapp, who has returned after a 5+ year hiatus wherein she disappeared to Australia to work in a pawn shop to get away from making music. She’s returned, will put out a new album in a few months, and it looks like she got a tattoo. For a good two years of college, the only music I listened to was Jen Knapp, Jars of Clay, Caedmon’s Call, and Deliriou5, all Christian artists with amazing musicality.
But Jen in particular was, like, my voice. She was able to channel everything that I had ever felt, wanted to feel, thought, or wanted to say about my faith. I bought a Taylor because of her. I started songwriting and singing in earnest because of her. In the same way that Kathleen Hanna totally influenced me as I was going through my adolescence and learning what it meant to be a woman in the world, Jen Knapp served the same role during my formative years as a Christian. She was a huge inspiration and still is. I’m so happy she’s back making music and I hope that she’s doing so without the Christian banner.
Speaking of Jars of Clay. I blame them for my default strum pattern, which is basically the strum pattern from “Flood”. But I do thank them for introducing me to alternate tunings and creative capo work. And to this day I can recite the prayer at 3:40-5:00. I spent a lot of time listening to this song in dark when I was in college.
I’ve only recently come to discover Kleenex/Liliput, a Swiss post-punk XX band from the late 70’s and early 80’s. My favorite label, Kill Rock Stars, just re-released their albums and I’m loving it. An all-female post-punk band that sings in both German and English, toured with The Slits, The Raincoats, and Gang of Four, and was sued by Kimberly-Clark for using the name Kleenex? What’s not to love?
And that was my YouTube adventure for the night.
I. Love. YouTube.