Category: Certain Songs

Certain Songs #1051: Lydia Loveless – “Somewhere Else”

Album: Somewhere Else
Year: 2014

One of the worst things for any creative person is to get a really great idea in the middle of the night. Because, naturally, the dilemma is whether or not to fully wake yourself up and make sure you scribble it down or sketch or record it in order not to forget it in the morning.

Such was the dilemma Lydia Loveless had when “Somewhere Else” came to her in a hotel room in Austin during SXSW. In her case, she got out of bed and made a demo, and just like that her second album had not just the title track, but the best song, to boot.

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Certain Songs #1050: Lydia Loveless – “Boy Crazy”

Album: Boy Crazy EP
Year: 2013

With records that straddle the line between alt-country and alt-rock — featuring her big soaring voice and big soaring guitars — Lydia Loveless has developed a pretty rabid fanbase over the past few years. One of the things that makes her so special is the emotional directness of her music, as typified by 2013’s “Boy Crazy.”

“Boy Crazy,” the title track to a 2013 EP which was just reissued a few weeks ago, starts off with Bill Lamb’s rumbling bass over Todd May’s squealing feedbacky guitar, joined at the hip by a jangly guitar, and has your attention before she even opens her mouth. But even more so afterwards . . .

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Certain Songs #1049: Luna – “Black Postcards”

Album: Romantica
Year: 2002

Iceman
Iceman
Candyman
Sandman

I’ve always been utterly enthralled with that almost nursery rhyme chant that starts the utterly lovely “Black Postcards,” the highlight of Luna’s early 2000s output.

By that time, bassist Britta Phillips, Wareham’s eventual musical and life partner, had joined the band, replacing Justin Harewood, and you can hear her circling around the pinwheeling main riff and drum machine that opens “Black Postcards.”

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Certain Songs #1048: Luna – “U.S. Out of My Pants!”

Album: The Days of Our Nights
Year: 1999

As it turned out, Penthouse was the peak of Luna’s music. Two decades on, it remains their one indisputably great record, a fact that even Dean Wareham would admit.

But that isn’t to say they still weren’t capable of pulling off great songs — every single one of their albums had at least one killer track, even if I’m not going to write anything about “Tracy I Love You” or “Fuzzy Wuzzy” or “Speedbumps” or “1995” or even the brilliant cover of Mercury Rev’s “Car Wash Hair” they put out just a couple of months ago.

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Certain Songs #1047: Luna – “23 Minutes in Brussels”

Album: Penthouse
Year: 1995

Dean Wareham has always been upfront about his love for both The Velvet Underground and Television, and indeed, the influences of each band run deep in Luna’s songs, so it’s no surprise one of their very greatest songs combines an easy rolling Lou Reed-type rhythm guitar with a typically exploratory Tom Verlaine-type guitar solo.

But this time, that guitar solo is played by Tom Verlaine himself.

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