29 February 2008

Mix Tape Friday: I Wanna Rawk!

We’ve been swooning and sobbing over love for the last two weeks. Always interesting — but I’m getting antsy. It’s time to rawk — and we’re bustin’ out the jams with alternative bands covering rock classics. (You know I love covers.)

Announcing the First Mix Tape Friday Contest!

And it’s an easy one: E-mail me the list of original artists for each of these forty songs. All winning entries go into the pot. If I draw your name, you win a chance to co-produce the March 14 mix tape. The e-mail address is on the navbar. Can you stand the excitement?

Loosen up those neck muscles, kids, because you’re getting ready to bang the head.

Dave Grohl :: Stairway to Heaven

Scissor Sisters :: Comfortably Numb

Of Montreal :: Suffragette City

Bryan Ferry :: Sympathy for the Devil

Stone Temple Pilots :: Revolution

Fishbone :: Shattered

The Flaming Lips :: Bohemian Rhapsody

The Cardigans :: Iron Man

Bauhaus :: Ziggy Stardust

The Ramones :: Time Has Come Today

Pearl Jam :: Baba O’Riley

The Replacements :: Jumping Jack Flash

Kristin Hersh :: When the Levee Breaks

The Decemberists :: Think About Me

Aztec Camera :: Jump

Seu Jorge :: Life on Mars?

R.E.M. :: Tusk

Lily Allen :: Mr. Blue Sky

Elvis Costello :: All You Need Is Love

Liz Phair :: Emotional Rescue

Everclear :: The Boys Are Back in Town

Buzzcocks :: Ballroom Blitz

Rage Against the Machine :: Street Fighting Man

Devo :: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

U2 :: Radar Love

Sleater-Kinney :: White Rabbit

Ted Leo :: Dancing in the Dark

Soup Dragons :: I’m Free

The Cure :: Young Americans

Wilco :: Paranoid

World Party :: All the Young Dudes

Sheryl Crow :: Squeeze Box

The Stranglers :: All Day and All of the Night

The Hold Steady :: Against the Wind

Belle & Sebastian :: (Don’t Fear) The Reaper

Jay Farrar :: Like a Hurricane

Joe Jackson :: Oh Well

R.E.M. :: D.O.A.

The Pogues :: Honky Tonk Women

Oasis :: My Generation

Too jittery from contest excitement? Download the zip file and conserve that right-click energy.

These covers are interesting. Some are very true to the original, such as Jay Farrar’s “Like a Hurricane” and Joe Jackson’s “Oh Well.” Others, like Aztec’s Camera’s wonderful “Jump” (way before Nouvelle Vague and Richard Cheese) and Scissor Sisters’ “Comfortably Numb,” become an entirely different song.

I crack up every time I listen to R.E.M.’s "D.O.A." cover (performed at NYC’s Peppermint Lounge, Halloween 1983). As Michael says in the introduction, it’s probably the worst song ever written. It was my fav-o-rite song in eighth grade. Zandra Wonoski (didn’t every girl have a friend named Zandra in junior high?) and I thought we were so frickin’ cool listening to it — and I had the original and the live albums. Listening to the drumbeat slow as his heart slows and dies was just awesome … when you were thirteen in 1972.

I adore musicians who sing a lot of cover tunes — and Dave Grohl may win the prize as the most prolific and most brilliant. I have him covering everone from Creed and The Spice Girls to "Baker Street" and Prince — and I don’t spend much time searching for his songs. He’s so adorable. Show of hands of everyone who’s crushing on Grohl?

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27 February 2008

A Compliment?

Today I’m wearing a simple classic outfit: black turtleneck, brown/black print silk wraparound skirt, black boots with three-inch heels. (I’m well-baubled, too, but the jewels don’t play a part in this story.) I’m walking to grab lunch from the cafeteria when I see a woman I like at the other end of the hall. She starts laughing and waving madly. As she draws close, she says:

    “I don’t have on my glasses, but I could tell from that silhouette and that swing who you were.”


    “Yep — those hips and that waist could be only yours.”

I got a salad.

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26 February 2008

R.E.M. :: Supernatural Superserious

The first single/video from Accelerate. Get up offa that thing and dance, kids!

When is the new album coming out? Have you superseriously not noticed the coundtown on the navbar?

Not long before I'm dancing on lawns in your East Coast town ...

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25 February 2008

When You’re too Busy to Blog

Why not post your all-time favorite Letterman Top 10 List?

Top 10 Body Parts or Van Pattens

10. Heart

9. Kidney

8. Vincent

7. Trachea

6. Joyce

5. James

4. Bladder

3. Timothy

2. Spleen

1. Dick

The brilliant thing about this Top 10 is you knew … you knew … what #1 was going to be ... and you giggled all the way down the list. I love Dave.

Which is your favorite Top 10? Click here or here for a list of some of the best.

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22 February 2008

Mix Tape Friday: Misery Masala

So last week’s mix tape was all about sex and candy, flowers and fluttering hearts. But not everyone got to celebrate and swoon last Thursday — and thus today’s mix tape is for you. I’ve simmered up a masala of misery — chunky bites of unrequited love and heartbreak, with a dash of bitterness and a sweet hint of hope. I didn’t get too spicy with the hopelessness and despair because I believe there’s always another great dish waiting to be served.

I’m getting excited about the new season of Top Chef!

It ain’t all love and happiness every day, kids. And there’s nothing better than a sad, sad song to help us fully enjoy that funk. Sometimes you just need to feel sorry for your lonely ol’ self.

Al Green :: Tired of Being Alone

The Young Rascals :: (I've Been) Lonely too Long

The Cardigans :: Lovefool

Otis Redding :: Mr. Pitiful

Liz Phair :: Extraordinary

Matthew Sweet :: Girlfriend

Wings :: Arrow Through Me

Billy Bragg :: Wish You Were Her

The Carpenters :: Superstar

Elvis Costello :: I Want You

Buzzcocks :: Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t Have?)

Joy Division :: Love Will Tear Us Apart

Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes :: The Love I Lost (Part 1)

Derek & The Dominoes :: Layla

Ivan Neville :: Why Can’t I Fall in Love?

Alanis Morissette :: Uninvited

Jeff Buckley :: Last Goodbye

The Replacements :: Unsatisfied

Res :: Let Love

eels :: Jeannie’s Diary

Lyle Lovett :: If I Were the Man You Wanted

Gladys Knight & The Pips :: If I Were Your Woman

Cake :: Sad Songs and Waltzes

Damien Rice :: When Doves Cry

Michael Stipe :: Last Day of Our Acquaintance

The Rolling Stones :: Almost Hear You Sigh

Amy Winehouse :: Wake up Alone

Cat Stevens :: Trouble

Squeeze :: Points of View

Bonnie Raitt :: I Can’t Make You Love Me

Warren Zevon :: Reconsider Me

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles :: The Tracks of My Tears

Joe Jackson :: Is She Really Going out with Him?

Rufus Wainwright :: April Fools

Smog :: Cold Blooded Old Times

Nico :: These Days

Nick Drake :: Which Will

Nanci Griffith :: Morning Song for Sally

Bob Dylan :: If You See Her, Say Hello

Tom Waits :: Trampled Rose

Rickie Lee Jones :: Company

Jimmy Buffet :: Coast of Marseilles

George Jones :: He Stopped Loving Her Today

Here’s the zip file for those of you too unrequited or bitter to right-click fortysomething times.

“Morning Song for Sally” is one of my very favorite songs in the world. It’s perfect, a lovely tale about a love that can’t be. Jerry Jeff Walker wrote it, and Nanci’s cover is sublime. I listen to it over … and over … and over again … for an hour or more. (I love the drama of heartache. And I'm a bit OCD.) It's a very visual song, almost like a short story.

Funny story about that Alanis Morrissette tune. I was enjoying a lovely, late-night online flirtfest with this wonderful guy. He was sending me his favorite YouTubes (most on the sexier side of the lyrics sheet) between e-flirts. I sent an e-mail about how cute I thought he was (he was, and I believe he still is). A few minutes later, he sends the “Uninvited” video — a song with lyrics like Like anyone would be / I am flattered by your fascination with me / Like any hot blooded woman / I have simply wanted an object to crave / But you're not allowed / You're uninvited / An unfortunate slight. Say wha… ? Never had I been slapped down so completely, misjudged someone’s interest. With a few tears stinging my eyes (remember, I live my life like a Douglas Sirk character), I sent an e-mail backing out of a date later that week … which confused him … which led to one of those dreaded he said/she saids … which led to a deeper conversation we needed to have ... about his never paying attention to the words. Boys, if you’re going to send a girl a video with a song you think is romantic, take the time to check a lyrics site, or you’ll be home watching Numb3rs again.

Between this and December’s heartbreak tape, you’re set for a weekend of moping and moaning. But then get your a** up Monday get your flirt on.

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19 February 2008

Still Unsure Who Will Get Your Vote?

This may help you decide:

Thanks, Filegod!

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14 February 2008

Mix Tape Thursday: Love + Happiness

It’s Valentine’s Day — the one day of the year you’re allowed to indulge in your crushes and flirt with abandon. (Okay, some of us live that way every day — but this is the day for you shy kids.)

Today’s mix tape has two sides (you’re welcome, Anandamide). Side A is the Love side — those songs that make you swoon over romantic lyrics, make you want to fall madly in love, leave you aching for long, deep kisses. Side B is the Happiness side — because what makes us happier than the sexy side of love? These are the songs that make me wanna … well, you know ... the songs that send those delicious shivers between my shoulder blades.

Disclaimer: You may scratch your head over some selections — but there are personal reasons behind them, so quit scratching and start enjoying.

Some sleazebag bloggers have been stealing my MP3 URLs and publishing them on other sites without permission — which is eating up the download bandwidth for you — so this week I’m linking just A-side and B-side zip files. Don’t you hate slimy weenies who ruin it for the rest of us?

Spending a week listening to songs about love has left me in a romantic tizzy. I’ve been swooning and swaying all week, my hand dramatically pressed against my forehead as if I’m in a Douglas Sirk flick — in Technicolor, of course. Listening to Side B has left me in a whole different type of tizzy.

Side A: LOVE

Al Green :: Love and Happiness

Aretha Franklin :: I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)

Sinéad O'Connor :: Nothing Compares 2 U

Bruce Springsteen :: She’s the One

Grant Lee Buffalo :: Truly, Truly

Joss Stone :: Fell in Love with a Boy

Edwyn Collins :: A Girl Like You

Matthew Sweet :: Looking at the Sun

R.E.M. :: Be Mine

Pearl Jam :: Love Reign O'er Me

Oasis :: Wonderwall

Elvis Costello :: She

Petra Haden + Bill Frisell :: I've Got a Crush on You

Shane MacGowan + Sinéad O'Connor :: Haunted

John Lennon :: Oh My Love

Bruce Cockburn :: Last Night of the World

Nick Drake :: Northern Sky

Iron & Wine :: Love and Some Verses

Glen Hansard + Marketa Irglová :: Falling Slowly

k.d. lang :: So in Love

Big Star :: Thirteen

Landon Pigg :: Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop

Shelby Lynne :: Dreamsome

Van Morrison :: Someone Like You

Etta James :: A Sunday Kind of Love

Neil Young :: Harvest Moon

The Beatles :: I Will

The Rolling Stones :: Wild Horses

The National :: Wasp Nest

Sam Phillips :: When I Fall

David Bowie :: Without You

Anita Baker :: Caught up in the Rapture

John Hiatt :: Learning How to Love You

Warren Zevon :: Keep Me in Your Heart

Otis Redding :: Try a Little Tenderness


Al Green :: Here I Am (Come and Take Me)

Marvin Gaye :: Let’s Get It On

Bob Dylan :: Lay, Lady, Lay

Chris Isaak :: Wicked Game

Lucinda Williams :: Hot Blood

Rufus feat. Chaka Khan :: Tell Me Something Good

Dave Matthews Band :: Crash into Me

R.E.M. :: Perfect Circle

The Patti Smith Group :: Because the Night

Marcy Playground :: Sex and Candy

Psychedelic Furs :: Love My Way

Ryan Adams :: Wonderwall

The Beatles :: Love You To

U2 :: With or Without You

Joe Cocker :: You Can Leave Your Hat On

Lisa Stansfield :: Never, Never Gonna Give You Up

King Floyd :: Groove Me

Nina Simone :: Feeling Good

Stevie Wonder :: Boogie on Reggae Woman

The Brothers Johnson :: Strawberry Letter #23

Luka Bloom :: I Need Love

Joan Armatrading :: Turn out the Light

Major Harris :: Love Won’t Let Me Wait

Teddy Pendergrass :: Turn off the Lights

Luther Ingram :: (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right

Peggy Lee :: Fever

Iggy Pop & The Stooges :: I Wanna Be Your Dog

Jeff Buckley :: So Real

R.E.M. :: Turn You Inside-out

Bruce Springsteen :: Tunnel of Love

Bill Withers :: Use Me

Joan Osborne :: Right Hand Man

Barry White :: I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby

Serge Gainsbourg feat. Jane Birkin :: Je T'aime Moi Non Plus

Touch and Go :: Would You …?

I could pontificate for paragraphs about these seventy songs — but it’s Valentine’s Day. Do you really want to read? No, you don’t. You want to download these tasty little tunes and get on with your seductions. Go. Have fun. Wear sexy panties. Make me proud.

And come back tomorrow to let me know if the mix tape helped you score.

Thanks to HollyC and RCofCHS, Filegod and The Bastard, Renae and Simeon, The Northwest Doppelganger and the Sister, Scrivener and The Occasionally Beloved Engineer for their lovely suggestions.

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10 February 2008

Oh, Happy Day

One of the best things about living in Atlanta is you have a wealth of musical talent living all around you. Add in the great music clubs that dot the intown area, and you get to live quite the fabu-life.

Tonight was a high mark for the fabu-diaries: Francine Reed at Eddie’s Attic, a two hundred-seat club around the corner from me (selected by Paste as one of the ten best music clubs in the nation).

It was also Oh, Happy Weekend in my little corner of the world. But here at The Cup we try to maintain our Southern ladyness by not blogging about giggling hearts and tingling parts.

Francine Reed lives in Atlanta, so we’re graced with her performances on a regular basis. Tonight was a special show, part of Decatur’s African-American Month celebration. Francine was on. The room was filled. Bluesy, bawdy love bounced off the walls.

Brilliance shining brightly.

Yeah, it’s a cliché, but when I listen to Francine Reed, I literally get shivers up my spine. That shiver starts at the base of my spine, slowly ... oh, so slowly ... working the tingles up to the bottom of my skull. Few female voices affect me that way — but Francine's does. Every. Damn. Time.

Many of you may not be familiar with Francine — and that’s a cryin’ shame. That killer voice of hers has been backing Lyle Lovett since the late 1980s:

Lyle Lovett feat. Francine Reed :: Here I Am

Lyle Lovett feat. Francine Reed :: What Do You Do/The Glory of Love

She also sings on “Crying Shame” on Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, and tours with him regularly.

Here are two of her better-known solo songs:

Francine Reed :: Wild Women (Don't Get the Blues)

Francine Reed :: One Monkey (Don't Stop No Show)

These recordings don't do her justice, though — as with all great performers, she's much better live. When you’re in the room with Francine, you cheer and laugh and cry and praise Jesus. But her show is about more than The Voice. She knows how to sell it. She’s saucy and sassy, flirty and fabulous. She teased one table of women whose husbands were parking the car: I’ll go out to the parking lot. I love husbands. When I’m done with ‘em, I can send ‘em home.

I didn’t jot down the full two sets, but here are the highlights:

Wild Women (Don't Get the Blues)
One Monkey (Don’t Stop No Show)
My Funny Valentine
God Bless the Child
What a Wonderful World
At Last

She added a brilliant line to “Fever”: When you go home I hope you get the fever in your bed.

She closed the show with “Oh, Happy Day.” During the second half of the song, we were up and singing the refrain, clapping like we were in church, as she strutted out of the room, singing a capella. The room went wild. She came back in singing — again unaccompanied — “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” But not on the stage — no, ma’am, Francine walked the room … her arms held high … singing at the top of those beautiful lungs … spending a moment or two with each of us. A-f*cking-mazing. And yes, I cried.

Francine will be at Blind Willie’s on February 22. It's a Friday night. We’re getting a crowd together. Who wants to join the girls for a night on the town?

I wanna be just like Francine when I grow up. As she described herself tonight, I’m three or four handfuls — bring a friend.

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08 February 2008

Mix Tape Friday: Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles!

Tomorrow night marks the 44th anniversary of The Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show (click the link to hear that introduction) — probably one of the five most important pop-culture moments of my life. I was one of the 73 million who watched that show. I’ve blogged before about what The Beatles mean to me, so I’ll spare you that repeated tale.

But I never quit talking about The Beatles, not really. Favorite Boy and I were talking over the weekend about how The Beatles affected our lives, our love of music. As he said (much more eloquently than I did):

    I still remember seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan when I was five and thinking, “Wow, this is different.” Those early songs taught me what rock and roll was supposed to sound like. They were the songs heard on small transistor radios under the sheets after I was supposed to be asleep. These were the songs that made me wish I had a girl that I could love eight days a week.

I started to mix a tape of Beatles tunes, but two things stopped that idea: (1) I couldn’t narrow down to 44 of their songs I like best (I’m obsessive, you know); (2) most of you who love The Beatles probably own the same extensive collection. So I went with my tried-and-true: a covers tape. The fun thing about a Beatles mix tape is everyone covers them — rock and R&B artists, punk boys and indie girls, easy-listeners and new wavers, country greats and psychedelic grands. I limited the tape to 44 songs — one for each year since that pivotal Sullivan moment — ending with my favorite Beatles B-side.

Twist and shout, kids.

Elton John feat. John Lennon :: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Stevie Wonder :: We Can Work It Out

Mike Mills & The Backbeat Band :: Roadrunner

Ted Leo :: I’m Looking Through You

Oasis :: I Am the Walrus

Aerosmith :: Come Together

Ike & Tina Turner :: Get Back

Earth Wind & Fire :: Got to Get You into My Life

Joe Cocker :: She Came in Through the Bathroom Window

U2 :: Helter Skelter

Stereophonics :: Don’t Let Me Down

Al Green :: I Want to Hold Your Hand

Greg Dulli & The Backbeat Band :: Twist and Shout

The Donnas :: Drive My Car

Little Richard :: I Saw Her Standing There

The Jam :: And Your Bird Can Sing

Sonic Youth :: Within You Without You

Eddie Vedder :: You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away

David Bowie :: Penny Lane

Elvis Presley :: Hey Jude

Frank Sinatra:: Something

Robyn Hitchcock :: She Said She Said

Elvis Costello + Paul McCartney :: One After 909

Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 :: Day Tripper

The Fiery Furnaces :: Norwegian Wood

The Feelies :: Everybody's Got Something to Hide (Except Me and My Monkey)

Foo Fighters :: Blackbird

13th Floor Elevators :: The Word

Ray Charles :: Eleanor Rigby

Nellie McKay :: If I Needed Someone

Gregg Allman :: Rain

Johnny Cash :: In My Life

Billy Bragg :: She’s Leaving Home

Elliott Smith :: I Me Mine

Joe Jackson :: For No One

Paul Westerberg :: Nowhere Man

Nina Simone :: Here Comes the Sun

The Breeders :: Happiness Is a Warm Gun

Hüsker Dü :: Ticket to Ride

Echo & The Bunnymen :: All You Need Is Love

XTC :: Strawberry Fields Forever

The Ventures :: I Feel Fine

Yo La Tengo :: Paperback Writer

The Beatles :: You Know My Name (Look up the Number)

Interesting set of covers, huh? A few of the tracks on here are cheesy — but not the ones you’d expect. Yeah, Elvis Presley’s is very Vegas, but it makes me laugh. Nina Simone’s “Here Comes the Sun” is splendid, and I love Sergio Mendes’ “Day Tripper.” Johnny Cash brings a different, more heartbreaking feel to “In My Life.” I’ve always been a bit disappointed with Little Richard’s “I Saw Her Standing There” since you can hear his influence on Paul in the original, but it’s still pretty good. Mr. Charles nails “Eleanor Rigby”; I think I prefer his version.

Of course, there are many terrible Beatles covers out there — and this is one of my favorite groaners:

Bill Cosby :: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club

The Backbeat Band may be the greatest supergroup few have heard: R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Nirvana’s Dave Grohl, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers’ Greg Dulli, Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, and Gumball’s Don Fleming. They grouped for the (quite fun) Backbeat soundtrack. I included my two favorite songs from the album: Mike Mills’ “Roadrunner” (his vocals and bass playing kick a**!) and the Greg Dulli-led “Twist and Shout” (a fun, true-to-tune cover).

Speaking of Greg Dulli, does anyone want to see him and Mark Lanegan with me in March? I cannot miss Mr. Dulli, I have decided. Check the navbar for details.

Be sure to listen to “You Know My Name (Look up the Number).” It was the B-side to the “Let It Be” single. Whenever I listen to it, I wonder if that’s the last good time Paul and John had together. Wonderfully weird song.

I want to know some of your favorite Beatles covers; there are so many fun ones to choose from. Discuss in the comment box.

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04 February 2008

It’s Super Tuesday Eve. Where’s My Stocking Hung?

The mother of all primary election days is tomorrow — and I plan to hit the voting booth at 7 a.m. I have an idea who will get my vote, but I’m still reading and investigating before I make that final decision.

If you’re not sure who best represents your views, Al Gore’s Internet can help you weed through the hype and narrow it down to the issues most important to you. Try this online quiz or this one.

Yahoo has a cool political dashboard to help you monitor how the primary candidates are faring.

Let your voice be heard.

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01 February 2008

Mix Tape Friday: 52 Girls

I’m in a girlie mood this week. I get much of my creative inspiration from The B-52’s — hairdo and hemlines, catch phrases and cosmic things — so let’s base today’s mix tape on one of my favorite tunes by the B’s: 52 Girls.

Interesting mix of girls today — dynamic and danceable, sad and swooning — even a song about a prime minister. Celebrate the ladies today with pretty pink pop.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions :: Alison

Richard Buckner :: Ariel Ramirez

The Who :: Athena

The Four Tops :: Bernadette

Kiss :: Beth

The Twilight Singers :: Bonnie Brae

Warren Zevon :: Carmelita

Simon & Garfunkel :: Cecilia

Billy Bragg :: Cindy of a Thousand Lives

Big Star :: O, Dana

Beck :: Debra

Robyn Hitchcock feat. Peter Buck + Scott McCaughey :: Elizabeth Jade

Beulah :: Emma Blowgun's Last Stand

Lyle Lovett :: Fiona

John Hiatt :: Georgia Rae

The Brunettes :: Too Big for Bridget

Johnny Thunders :: Gloria

Neil Diamond :: Holly Holy

Ian Hunter :: Irene Wilde

Split Enz :: Iris

Van Halen :: Jamie’s Crying

Jon Astley :: Jane’s Getting Serious

Donovan :: Jennifer Juniper

Belle & Sebastian :: Photo Jenny

Guided by Voices :: The Best of Jill Hives

Clem Snide :: Joan Jett of Arc

Michael Nesmith & The First National Band :: Joanne

Steely Dan :: Josie

John Fred & His Playboy Band :: Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)

The Beatles :: Julia

The Decemberists :: Leslie Anne Levine

Blood, Sweat, & Tears :: Lucretia McEvil

Rod Stewart :: Maggie Mae

The English Beat :: Stand Down Margaret

Lloyd Cole :: Margo’s Waltz

Nick Lowe :: Maureen

The Association :: Along Comes Mary

The Allman Brothers Band :: Melissa

Grant Lee Phillips :: Mona Lisa

Pete Yorn :: For Nancy (Cos’ It Already Is)

Prince :: Darling Nikki

Rickie Lee Jones :: Walk Away Renee

Billy Joel :: Rosalinda’s Eyes

Bruce Springsteen :: Rosalita (Come out Tonight)

Edison Lighthouse :: Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)

Cake :: Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town

Death Cab for Cutie :: What Sarah Said

The Ramones :: Sheena Is a Punk Rocker

The Four Seasons :: Sherry

Elton John :: Susie (Dramas)

Camper Van Beethoven :: Tania

The Rolling Stones :: Sweet Virginia

Some of my very favorite songs are on this list. If I’d ever had a daughter, I would have named her after John Lennon’s beautiful and haunting “Julia.” The Four Tops’ tune is another Top 100; I embarrassed myself every damn day this week shouting “Bernadette!” whenever I played it. (Speaking of self-embarrassment, I went way over the top singing Michael Nesmith’s “ah-HA-ah” in “Joanne”; it’s great for those days when you feel a bit cowboy.) And what about that one-two aural punch of “Irene Wilde” and “Iris”! There’s brilliance in alphabetical order, kids.

One of my least favorite songs — Kiss’ “Beth” — is also included here, because … well, because that’s the only song I can find with my name, dammit. Guys always sang that to me in high school and college. Blech. The only person who can get by singing it to me is Sherman Alexie. Well, I’d also giggle if Bruce Campbell or Keith Olbermmmmm serenaded me with it.

Strangely, some of my favorite ones did NOT make the list. I included Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia” because it has such great energy — but I prefer “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her.”

R.E.M. doesn’t sing a lot of songs to girls — except “Hey, Hey Nadine,” which I included on a mix tape a month or so ago — but Mr. Buck is representin’ the beloveds with Robyn Hitchcock.

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