Skipproof

Songs that defy the “Next” button.

                       

May 9 '13
  • Wounded Woman
  • Sandra Wright
  • Wounded Woman

It’s not a classic, it’s sung by a woman who doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page and it’s barely three minutes long. Still, it’s a textbook example of how to write a classic soul song, from the organ to the backup singers to the drums building up before the chorus. Almost makes me wish I were a wounded woman.

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May 3 '13
  • Fall On Me
  • R.E.M.
  • Lifes Rich Pageant

Welcome, friends, to the Holy Orthodox Church of Alternative Rock.

Please stand and join us in singing our opening hymn, number 403 in your songbook. 

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Mar 1 '13
  • Blister in the Sun
  • Violent Femmes
  • Violent Femmes

A/V Club: Best album-opening one-two punches

There must be a statute somewhere on the books under which these folks can be criminally charged with leaving this album off the list. J’Accuse…!

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Feb 26 '13

A/V Club: Best album-opening one-two punches

As usual with the A/V Club, I found nothing among their choices for “best album-opening one-two punches” that I agreed with or had heard of. If they had consulted me, I probably would have given them the opening two tracks of Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 debut.

The lead track is a cover of one from The Brains, which is considerably worse. Cyndi’s is far more forceful, and she admirably didn’t change the pronouns to make the song less gay.

This is followed by the girl anthem to end all girl anthems. It was wise not to start the album with “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” because, if she had, would anyone have listened to the rest of the songs?

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Dec 9 '12
  • Ruin
  • Cat Power
  • Sun

I was assigned to cover Hoboken last month in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which left the Mile Square City largely underwater and largely without power. It was like a war zone: residents wandering around looking for answers, National Guard units driving up and down the streets, streets flooded and apartments ruined. The stunning new album by Cat Power, whose music never much appealed to me, was my soundtrack to these few days, especially “Ruin.” A track slightly tinged with electronica, its lyrics speak of traveling the globe, bitching and moaning about trivial matters as others “ain’t got shit to eat,” and it seemed fitting as I surveyed the damage Sandy wrought on Hoboken.

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Nov 1 '12
  • What I Like About You
  • The Romantics
  • The Romantics
Challenge Post: Give The Drummer Some

So, lead singers are attention-seeking egomaniacs, lead guitarists are controlling divas, bass players are introverted oddballs, and drummers are the band equivalent of court jesters. Except, of course, when they aren’t. It does seem as though drummers have a lot going against them when it comes to standing out, even when they’re the ones doing the singing. There they are, banging away behind a wall of drums where nobody can see them, singing their little hearts out. Sometimes, you don’t even register it’s the drummer singing. It’s hard to not just follow the girl or guy out front with the guitar.

While a handful of drummers actually do most or all of the singing in a band, some just a get moment here or there. But sometimes, that moment is maybe the best thing a band has ever done — or at least the most memorable.

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Oct 23 '12
  • Black Steel
  • Tricky
  • Maxinquaye

Challenge Post: This Machine Kills Fascists

One of the most bad-ass songs of the ’90s, if not ever. British trip-hop maestro Tricky took Public Enemy’s”Black Steel in the House of Chaos,” slowed it down, added a new beat and some positivelysquealingguitars, and then, in a burst of genius, gave the song to his girlfriend to sing, without changing the narrator’s references to being a “brother,” adding a little gender fucking to this anti-war, anti-racism anthem.

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Oct 23 '12
  • Gimme Some Truth
  • John Lennon
  • Imagine
Challenge Post: This Machine Kills Fascists

Ah, election season. Time for me to narrowly avoid an aneurysm, and wonder if that’s such a good thing.

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Oct 18 '12
  • Don’t Go Away [Live in ‘98]
  • Noel Gallagher
Apparently, I have a “thing” about some people’s (mostly men’s) voices. I thought that I simply had discerning taste, but it has been pointed out to me that it’s actually pathological. Either way, I avoid a number of bands almost exclusively because I cannot stand to listen to the singer’s voice. Many of them are very popular and, lemme tell ya, it’s exhausting fighting that tide.

Oasis is one of those bands. I can only take so much of Liam Gallagher’s voice (by which I mean, I hate it), even though they’ve got a number of songs that I appeciate as great songs, like this one. So, even better than waiting around for someone else to cover it is to have the other brother (the one who actually wrote the song) sing it. Now, I can listen to the whole thing!!

Also, this is one of those songs that I think really lends itself to being stripped down, as it is here. I’m not actually 100% sure where “here” is or when it is (although I have made a guess), but that does not stop me from loving it.

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Oct 16 '12
  • Dancing Barefoot
  • Patti Smith Group
  • Wave

"Wave" is not a Patti Smith classic. After its first three songs, it really peters out until the last track, which is the worst pretentious set piece of all of Patti’s pretentious set pieces (Seriously,that track is about Patti running into Pope John Paul I on a beach and having a chat with him. So…). Yet somehow she and her band pulled it together for "Dancing Barefoot," a sunny rumination on what it feels like to fall, as the cliche goes, head over heels. And, because Patti is Patti, she throws in some (likely pointless) mysticism near the end, but by that time, you’re so into the groove, you just don’t care.

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