Certain Songs #885: The La’s – “There She Goes”

Album: The La’s
Year: 1990

In these dark dark days, any kind of reassurance that the world isn’t as terrible as it sometimes seems to be is in order, and so I have one for you, gentle readers: on YouTube, the La’s perfect-pop version of “There She Goes” has more views than Sixpence None The Richer’s snoozefest of a remake.

As of this writing (about a week before you’re seeing it), The La’s version has 2,448,995 views and SNTR’s version have 1,416,827. It’s even more pronounced on Spotify: 26,961,361 to 14,535,429. This is important, because here in the colonies, the original La’s version stalled out on the Billboard charts at 49 while the SNTR version made it all the way to 14 on the Billboard charts.


Certain Songs #884: Lana Del Rey – “Sad Girl”

Album: Ultraviolence
Year: 2014

The hype surrounding Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die was fierce enough to be overwhelming even by 2012 standards, so when she showed up on Saturday Night Live and slowly twirled through a performance that was nearly suffused in fear, it seemed like all of the hype was misfounded.

Still lotsa people who make great records don’t necessarily perform them all that well, so I gave Born to Die a shot, despite the mixed reviews, but while she clearly had her own thing going, it wasn’t my thing, so I figured that was it.


Certain Songs #883: Soundgarden – “Superunknown”

Album: Superunknown
Year: 1994

I have a special fondness for some of the records that came out in the spring and summer of 1994, as I was making my move from Fresno. It was a huge, scary step to completely abandon my scene, my family and my comfort zone for who knows what? So the records that I really liked from that period — Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, Live Through This, Vauxhall & I and Superunknown — are ones that always take me back to that time.

So I’m going to pour one out today for the newly-deceased Chris Cornell, whose preternatural voice barreled out of the speakers of my VW Fox more than once while driving back and forth from Fresno to Oakland, as I was already sleeping on Andrea & Suzi’s couch in Oakland during the weekdays while coming back to Fresno each weekend to get more stuff from my apartment in the Tower while wondering just the hell I was doing anyways?


Certain Songs #882: Kurt Vile – “Pretty Pimping”

Album: b’lieve i’m goin down…
Year: 2015

Because he’s been remarkably consistent since he left The War on Drugs to go out on his own nearly a decade ago, it was hard for me to pick a Kurt Vile song to write about.

So figure a lot of what I write about “Pretty Pimpin” could also be said about “Ghost Town,” “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day” or “KV Crimes,” any of which I could have easily written about, and all of which share the things I like about Vile’s music.


Certain Songs #881: Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – “The Streets of New York”

Album: Wanted: Dead or Alive
Year: 1990

I’m like, 98.3% sure that I first came across this one on MTV, maybe on Yo! MTV Raps, which I wasn’t a regular watcher of, but would definitely check out occasionally, or watch for awhile if I landed on it during my incessant channel surfing.

In any event, I remember being instantly struck by the laid-back keyboard driven groove of Kool G Rap’s & DJ Polo’s “The Streets of New York.”