by When In Rome
from the album When In Rome
1988 Buy the album on Amazon
Aaah, one of my favorite songs ever, and a must-sing entry in the Chris/Chrance karaoke playlist. This is a song I listen to when I need a pick me up, and a song I sing when I need an ego boost and want to get the crowd in a good mood. Most people don’t know it by name, but as soon as that intro piano tinkle comes on, everyone of at least a certain age has their synapses fire with happy recognition.
Violent Femmes by Violent Femmes
1983 Buy the album on Amazon
I was planning on a different Album of the Month, but then my friend new Kelsey and I were talking about our top 5 bands. I had mostly not heard of hers (because I’m old) and she had mostly not heard of mine (also because I’m old). Violent Femmes were on my list, and though my main thought was trying to hold back from screaming out on the subway “how do you not know who the Violent Femmes are?!”, my other thought was “if their first album is not a perfect album, then brother, I don’t know what the hell is.” So Kelsey, this is for you.
“Somebody to Shove”
by Soul Asylum
from the album Grave Dancers Union
1992 Buy the album on Amazon
Soul Asylum is one of those bands that I never normally think about; they don’t really orbit in my 90s universe of music. But occasionally a song of theirs will come up on the local 90s station or Pandora/Spotify/iTunes and I gotta give it up to them. They’ve got some great tunes, and this is definitely one of them. Continue reading November Five-Star Shuffle: “Somebody to Shove”→
by They Might Be Giants
from the album Flood
1990 Buy the album on Amazon
This is probably my favourite TMBG song. There’s something about it that’s so simple and so beautiful and so catchy. I actually made Lance try this with me once or twice at karaoke, acapella, looking at the lyrics on my phone, when there was a lull in songs in the queue, because I just want so badly for it to actually be in the book. It never ever will be, but this is one of those songs that we would totally add if we ever opened a karaoke bar, and that if we actually lived in the same city (or country) we would practice together until we could nail it. It’s such a fun song to sing (I can never decide which part I would prefer to do), even if it’s just doing it loudly in the car. If I’m in a place where I’m alone and can sing this, I will almost always do it a few times in a row when it comes on shuffle.
Lance recently posted a full length cover version of this for #CoverFriday. Courtney Barnett’s version was respectable and a cool effort, but honestly didn’t do much for me. I finally finished listening to most of the rest of it this past weekend, and was watching it on YouTube, and then noticed the Beck’s Record Club full album cover version in the related videos. I liked it enough that I was considering just featuring it, but then decided it may be overkill to still do the real Kick later, so here we are. I also just learned on the Slicing Up Eyeballs Facebook page that the album was released yesterday in 1987, so the timing is fortuitous.
“Feed the Tree”
from the album Star
1993 Buy the album on Amazon
I didn’t know much about Tanya Donnelly when this song came out. Throwing Muses had been in one Venn circles of the type of music I was mainly into, but I had never been that exposed or into them. I knew her more from being part of the Breeders’ first couple of albums. When this song came out, though, I got hooked, and got really into Belly and a lot of her later solo work (some day I’ll do a proper full album post of Star, which is a great album).
I even tried this once at karaoke because, well, yes I love it, but also because admittedly I really liked our friend Matt’s karaoke version of Lisa Loeb’s Stay, and was wondering if this song could match it. The song might, but my version was fairly horrible. I’m certainly not opposed to singing female songs, but wasn’t a match for this one.
by Johnny Cash with June Carter Cash
from the album The Essential Johnny Cash
1967 Buy the album on Amazon
I can’t remember how or why Lance and I first did this as a duet. I feel like maybe our group was having a Johnny Cash-off/medley, but I’m not sure. Also, this had to have been sometime just after the movie Walk the Line came out, because I admittedly didn’t know a thing about Johnny Cash or really know his music until the movie Walk the Line. Up to that point, the only reference point I had for him was that one of the characters in Swingers had a father who was a big fan. Continue reading Karaoke Tuesday: “Jackson”→
“Add It Up”
by Violent Femmes
from the album Violent Femmes
1983 Buy the album on Amazon
I wasn’t sure what to post today, and then, no lie, all three versions that I have of this song came up in a row on shuffle on the way home, so I’d better post it or the universe is going to have me get hit by a bus tomorrow or something. How have I not posted any Femmes yet? I love #KaraokeTuesday and #CoverFriday, but Lance is right that we need some other day for everything else (and yes, next month I will try to post another monthly theme, though even that may not be open-ended enough).