Story Songs: Day Six

Jonathan Coulton may seem to provide little more than light listening; his songs are funny! He’s like Weird Al Yankovic! He’s not. Actually, many of his best songs are equal parts funny and sad and sweet and strange, and a large majority of this troubadour’s ditties are actually full-bore story songs. Tales from start to finish. And so, I give you, “Space Doggity.” You can read about the song by clicking that link, but if you don’t — just know that it’s about the first dog in space. Laika —... Read The Rest →

Story Songs: Day Five

Stagger Lee Shelton was a cab driver, a pimp — one of the famous “Macks” — and, as it turns out, a murderer. Fellow pimp Billy Lyons reached for his pretty hat and snatched it off of Stagger Lee’s head. So, Stagger Lee shot Billy in the gut, and Billy died. Since that murder in 1895, the Stagger Lee legend (sometimes called Stackolee, Stackalee, Stackerlee, etc.) has been retold in a number of songs by a number of prominent artists: Fabulous Thunderbirds, Elton John, Huey Lewis and the News, James... Read The Rest →

Beatles: Rock Band Makes Baby Jesus Poop A Little

Don’t consider this a formal review or anything, but let me warn you away from Beatles: Rock Band, were you thinking of running out and evacuating your wallet of its hard-earned greenbacks. It’s very pretty. They’ve put a lot of work into making it authentic. It sounds great. … Goddamn, I kind of feel like I got ripped off, though. Okay, I’m a sucker for Rock Band and its ilk. I owned the first, and I now own its sequel, and I invested an unmerciful crap-ton of hours into those... Read The Rest →

Story Songs: Day Four

Today’s song for your perusal (your ear-use-al? shaddup): Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler.” No great commentary on the song — it speaks for itself, and it’s one of those songs (like “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson) that conjures car trips with my father when I was young. I will comment, though — what the hell happened to Kenny Rogers? Plastic surgery? Really, Kenny? You needed that? Did I miss something? Did I miss the memo that demands that aging country music stars maul their faces with plastic surgery? Dude.... Read The Rest →

Story Songs: Day Three

Obviously, part of what I’m looking for in a story song is something that has a beginning, middle, and an end. Some pieces feel like story songs but are really… I dunno, character studies, or vignettes. (And they’re cool, but not for this.) Here’s today’s story song: Be Your Own Pet, “Becky.” Love the tune. Love the song. I hear this song, and I think of “Best Friends.” Usual shiznit applies. I don’t own these lyrics, they’re copyright Somebody Else. You can listen to the song at the bottom of... Read The Rest →

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