Certain Songs #631: Howard Devoto – “Rainy Season”

Howard Devoto+Rainy+Season+524322 Album: Jerky Versions of THE DREAM
Year: 1983

After co-founding and leaving both The Buzzcocks and Magazine, Howard Devoto’s next move was to put out his only solo album, 1983’s Jerky Versions of THE DREAM.

And while, truth be told, most of the album didn’t do all that much for me, I really loved the single, “Rainy Season.”


Certain Songs #630: The Housemartins – “The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death”

housemartins people who Album: The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death
Year: 1987

I always got the impression that the people who loved The Housemartins, really really loved The Housemartins, but for all of the buzz & critical acclaim that surrounded their two records, they never really did much for me.

The exception, of course, being the title track from their second album, The Queen is D, sorry, I mean The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death.


Certain Songs #629: Hop Along – “Sister Cities”

Hop along painted shut Album: Painted Shut
Year: 2015

“There all is aching.”

That was one of the experiences that “life reviewer” Forrest McNeil was asked to review in the first season of Comedy Central’s brilliant TV show, Review.

I won’t go into exactly what happened (though I will link to a clip), except say that not only did it involve a perfectly-cast Emo Phillips, Forrest could have saved himself a lot of time if he’d just put on Hop Along’s Painted Shut and discovered there all is aching in the vocals.


Certain Songs #628: Hoodoo Gurus – “Gene Hackman”

Hoodoo Gurus Electric Chair Album: Electric Chair
Year: 1998

This is my favorite song in what is perhaps the all-time smallest category: “Late-90s Songs About Gene Hackman as Sung By 1980’s College Rock Icons.”

How small? There are only two songs in this category: The Hoodoo Gurus’ “Gene Hackman” and Robyn Hitchcock’s “Don’t Talk To Me About Gene Hackman,” which may or may not be an answer song. Probably not, as Hitchcock’s is a live acoustic take that was a hidden track on Jewels For Sophia.


Certain Songs #627: Hoodoo Gurus – “Down On Me”

hoodoo gurus in blue cave Album: In Blue Cave
Year: 1996

The year is 1996. I’ve moved to Oakland, and I’m doing what I did at least twice a month on Saturday mornings: digging through the recent additions in Amoeba Music’s used CD section.

It was one of my rituals: driving into Berkeley first thing on Saturday morning, standing in trade-in line with CDs that had run the gamut of usefulness in order to get some store credit to offset the a bit too much I was going to spend on music that day.