The Rolling Stones - Shattered (Live)
In a lot of ways, 1978’s Some Girls is the Stones’ most New York-centric album. This song always makes me feel fondly about the city I love.
Paul Westerberg - Skyway (2004)
Most people say that Tim is their favorite Replacements album, but mine will always be 1987’s Pleased to Meet Me. I love the whole album to bits, but Skyway always moves me in that melancholy way I seem to be endlessly drawn to.
In this clip, former Replacements front man, Paul Westerberg, revisits the song, almost 20 years later.
The Smiths - Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (Live, 1986)
The Smiths have had such an enormous impact on my life. Nobody can put words to feelings of angst like Morrissey. But Johnny Marr is one of the most overlooked guitar heroes ever, and provided the perfect counterpoint to the lyrics every time.
I really enjoy this live version. If The Smiths ever decide to do a reunion tour, I will go into debt for a ticket.
The Velvet Underground - New Age
Recorded in 1970 with Doug Yule on vocals, one month after Lou Reed left the Velvets, this song has been cloaked with lots of speculation about who the song is depicting.
I love this song for its ability to take the listener straight into the heart of melancholy. And it’s a tough one to mess up, especially in the shower.
The Kinks - Dead End Street
The song that clutters my mind whenever I think about money problems, it’s one of the more pleasant side effects of my poverty.
The video is great too, with Ray Davies doing double duty as a grieving widow.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - Victim of Circumstance
A great song by one of my personal style icons. This homemade montage is pretty cool, too.
Peep Show - Opening Credits (Music by Harvey Danger)
This series changed the way I looked at comedy.
The tool of allowing the viewer to see things from the point of view of the character has never been used to such an advantage.
And when you can see things from the perspectives of both main characters, especially when they’re best friends, flatmates, and totally awful people*, the result is brilliant.
It’s the longest-running sitcom in Channel Four’s history, and will be back later this year for an 8th series.
We Americans can see the first seven now, on Hulu.
*If people could see what any of us were really thinking, we’d also come off as totally awful people.
This pair of Levis Overalls currently sells for $350 at Anthropologie.
First of all, who is wearing overalls these days? Is it 1993?
Secondly, if you wanted a pair of overalls, in what world would $350 seems reasonable?
Angry female consumers unite!
The Mary Tyler Moore Show - Opening Theme (Season One)
The show opening that became a personal mantra for the generations of single career women that followed.
I recently got rid of cable and installed a Roku. It’s been a liberating experience, mainly because of the wealth of shows I’ve been discovering, or rediscovering.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show is one of them. I’m ashamed to say that without really noticing, I breezed through the first three seasons (of its seven season run), in just over a week. That’s almost 80 episodes.
The show holds up. But how could it not? The list of writers and producers - David Davis, Ed. Weinberger and James L. Brooks went on to work mastermind Taxi, The Cosby Show, and The Simpsons (among many other things).
And Mary herself was a television pioneer. Her company, MTM Productions, produced the series. In the coming years, MTM produced spinoffs including Rhoda and Lou Grant, and distant relation The Bob Newhart Show.
Shane MacGowan and the Popes - What’s Another Year
As it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it might be nice to spotlight an Irish song.
In 1980, Johnny Logan won the Eurovision song contest for Ireland with a song called What’s Another Year.
Eighteen years later, fellow Irishman Shane McGowan of the Pogues covered the song for the British Sing a Song For Eurotrash television series (and companion album).
The result is much grittier than the original. And a real heart-tugger, for anyone who knows what it’s like to carry the torch of unrequited love.