Articles by Jim Connelly

Jim Connelly has been eye-deep in media of all kinds ever since he can remember, and probably prior to that. Over the past quarter-century he has worked in the radio, film, music, and internet industries, and has been writing about popular culture and technology the entire time. Prior to co-founding Medialoper, Jim's work appeared both online and off in publications such as Wired, The Village Voice, Neumu and Websight Magazine . . . Jim at Facebook . . . Jim on Twitter . . .

Certain Songs #1337: Nikki Lane – “Highway Queen”

Album: Highway Queen
Year: 2017

I know I’ve said this before, but not only is there plenty of great country music being made these days, the vast majority of it is being made by women, even if none of it is getting played on country radio, where a glance of the playlists usually show domination by dudes with two or three syllable names with maybe Carrie Underwood or Maren Morris as token females.

So, yeah, fuck all of that, and instead find yourself Nikki Lane, whose second album for New West records, Highway Queen, was even rootsier than 2014’s Dan Auerbach-produced All or Nothin’.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1336: Nico – “These Days”

Album: Chelsea Girl
Year: 1967

While she sang lead on what is probably my favorite Velvet Underground song, “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” I’ve never been fully onboard with Nico’s solo career, though admittedly, I haven’t heard much of it outside of her debut album, Chelsea Girl.

But look at the credits of Chelsea Girl: nearly all of the songs are written by Lou Reed, John Cale & Jackson Browne with Tim Hardin and Bob Fucking Dylan as ringers. And nearly all of backing tracks were performed by the Velvets, absent Maureen Tucker.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1335: Nick Lowe – “Skin Deep”

Album: Labour of Lust
Year: 1979

My favorite song on Labour of Lust, and along with “So It Goes,” my favorite Nick Lowe song period, “Skin Deep” is a yet another incredibly cynical look at love and sex.

It’s also a perfect microcosm of what made Rockpile such a great band: songs that had great basslines, powerful drum parts, weird harmonies, and floated on mattresses of acoustic guitars with electric guitars serving as decoration or stingers.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1334: Nick Lowe – “American Squirm”

Album: Labour of Lust
Year: 1979

Nick Lowe had a pretty fucking great 1979, even beyond the success of “Cruel to Be Kind.”

Not only did he record and release two albums with Rockpile — his own Labour of Lust and and Dave Edmunds’ Repeat When Necessary — he also found time to produce his fourth Elvis Costello album in three years, Get Happy!!, all of which was part of his D.I.Y. aesthetic, a philosophy that has stuck with me to this day.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1333: Nick Lowe – “Cruel to Be Kind”

Album: Labour of Lust
Year: 1979

Why “Cruel to Be Kind”??

Without dismissing it as a song — it’s a great pop song on every level — out of all of the great power-pop songs floating around in 1979, how is it that “Cruel to Be Kind” became a massive hit, peaking a #12 not just here in the U.S., but also in the U.K., Australia, Canada and New Zealand?

(more…)