I’ve just been going through an old playlist and listening to stuff I haven’t listened to in a long time. Back when I was the kind of guy who had a new favorite band every week.
As opposed to now, when I listen to the same stuff over and over again, and struggle to understand why anything new is any good.
There was this Australian group called the Lucksmiths that I found out about on Napster (this was about Y2K) and I don’t think they ever caught on in the US. The three guys got together thanks to a shared love of the Smiths, and their music was maybe a folkier Belle and Sebastian or less earnest Magnetic Fields. So, yeah — there’s your frame of reference.
The Lucksmiths had some great songs, the most nearly-famous being “T-Shirt Weather.”
But sometimes the merit of the songs risked being overshadowed by the titles. Sometimes the title was so good you almost didn’t want to hear the song, for fear that it might not live up. Here are my 10 favorites:
“The Year of Driving Languorously”
Compare with The Year of Living Dangerously.
Song title refers to a turn-of-the-century German horse said to be able to do arithmetic.
“She has the mind of Sharon Stone and the heart of Danielle Steel.”
“I am bowling to Victor Trumper and the sun is shining and my shirt is white. And this is the best day of my life.”
Wikipedia says Trumper was “the most stylish and versatile batsman of the Golden Age of cricket.”
“Off With His Cardigan!”
Merciless screed against a bad dresser.
“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better”
“Edward, Sandwich Hand”
A young man who makes sandwiches dreams of leaving his crummy town.
“Adolescent Song of Mindless Devotion”
First line: “I love you from the heart of my bottom…”
“The Tichborne Claimant”
Describes the moment when Arthur Orton, a fat Australian butcher, attempts to convince wealthy Lady Tichborne he’s her long-lost son. This was a big story in 1875.
“Beach Boys Medley”
Song contains no Beach Boys tunes. Nor is it a medley.
Also receiving votes: “Putt Putt,” “Run Spot Run,” “Fridge Magnet Song,” “From Here to Maternity,” “The Drunkest Man in the World,” “The Opposite of Coffee,” “Beer Nut,” “How to Tie a Tie,” “Fear of Rollercoasters,” “Friendless Summer,” “There Is a Boy That Never Goes Out,” “Successlessness,” “I’ve Got It and It’s Not Worth Having,” “Lament of the Chiming Wedgebill”