Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: St Vincent is Listening

Two tangentially-related tunes for St Vincent’s new album release and an unexpectedly familiar companion song

After seeing the video for “Actor Out of Work” by St Vincent, and especially after the performance on Austin City Limits, I was blown away. It felt like the first genuinely new music I’d heard in years. Her albums since then have been hit-or-miss with me, and I sincerely hope that never changes.

Sometimes I love it (Actor), sometimes I hate it (Daddy’s Home), but she is fully invested in making each album a presentation instead of just a collection of songs. Annie Clark is one of the only artists playing arena-sized venues who always seems like she’s doing exactly what she wants to do. The hit songs almost feel like an accidental bonus.

All Born Screaming is my favorite of her albums since St Vincent, feeling like she’s been collecting favorite influences across her whole career and presenting them as an album instead of a new glam rock persona. So far “Flea” and “Big Time Nothing” are my favorite tracks, but the first release is called “Broken Man” and has one hell of a great video.

The other night I spent the better part of an hour just driving around the valley so I could listen to the album uninterrupted. So much of it feels familiar, as elements drift in and out of her songs, never feeling quite like a pastiche or a direct homage, but like a bunch of original compositions by someone with an encyclopedic familiarity with pop, rock, and funk music. Is that Deep Purple? Led Zeppelin? Something the Beastie Boys sampled?

I knew almost immediately what the beginning of “Broken Man” reminded me of, though: “Misinformed” by Soul Coughing, from El Oso, easily one of my top 5 albums of all time. Was it a direct reference? I highly doubt it, but then I also wouldn’t be surprised if she were drawing from late 90s alternative as much as 70s rock.

All of Soul Coughing’s records, but El Oso in particular, were full of sounds I’d never heard before, but had that same feeling of odd familiarity, like having a nightmare about listening to jazz from an alien planet. A lot of what I loved about Actor came from Annie Clark saying she was inspired by the music from Sleeping Beauty. So maybe they have more in common than I’d originally thought!

Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: On the 45

Going back even farther into my past with a couple of tunes I listened to at 45 rpm

Previously on Spectre Collie… I was reminiscing about the first songs I ever bought with my own money, but I started to wonder whether I could recall any of the songs I pestered my parents into getting for me. Back in that shadowy time between the Carpenters albums and novelty compilations from K-TEL of my youth, when I started listening to songs that people my age actually liked.

One of the first singles I remember having was “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” by The Gap Band. I was obsessed with that song, and knowing me, I’m sure I went around making the whistling sound when I hummed it.

Hearing it now, and watching that video, I’m kind of surprised that it’s still such a banger. I remember it being kind of corny, even as a kid. There’s no way in hell I was cool enough as a kid to be thinking, “Just you wait until people start sampling the Gap Band, and you’ll be able to appreciate it how prescient I was.” I don’t think I was even pompous enough to use the word “prescient” back then.

The way I know I wasn’t cool back then is that the song I was even more obsessed with was “My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)” by Chilliwack.1Yes, I did have to look up the name of the band today.

I misremembered the song as being by a Gap Band-like one-hit-wonder group, and man, was I way off. I couldn’t hear on vinyl just how white and how Canadian they were. In retrospect, it is kind of a sampler or mash-up of a lot of other songs from roughly around the same time that became my favorites, “Black Water” by the Doobie Brothers, and “Leave It” by Yes in particular.

It also reminds me of the early 80s, because I keep thinking of being in middle school band and our band director yelling at us because we kept rushing and getting off beat. (It’s not just me, right? The chorus sounds like it’s in 4.5/4 time or something).

Also I hope it doesn’t come across as making fun (especially since I’m the last person to be making fun of how anyone looks, especially in the early 1980s), but the thing that struck me was how much the lead singer of Chilliwack looks like he was drawn by Jack Kirby.

  • 1
    Yes, I did have to look up the name of the band today.

Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Bitchin’ Mix Tape ’83

Two tangentially-related tunes from my troubled teens

It’s time to flip that “Metal” switch on your Walkman, because these two tunes are prompted by the question “what was the first album you ever bought with your own money?”

Mine was in 1983, and it was “Goody Two Shoes” by Adam Ant. Or I guess technically it was Friend or Foe, but I had no interest in the rest of the album and just wanted that one song. I walked into the local Turtles and asked for the cassingle, only to be told by the store clerk that they didn’t have it, and I’d have to buy the whole album. So not only was it the first album I bought with my own money, but the first step in a decades-long career of being sneered at by record store clerks.

I don’t mean any offense to Mr Ant, but even as an extremely impressionable young gay lad, I wasn’t that taken with his whole persona, and I just thought he wore too much make-up. (Of course, I did like his Honda ad with Grace Jones, though). It would probably make for a better memoir if I could trace everything back to that one pivotal record purchase, but I was just listening to whatever was popular. And my phase of listening to Duran Duran, Culture Club, Human League, etc. was short-lived, because of…

Pyromania by Def Leppard. I bought this album, as did every other 12-year-old boy in America, and I felt that I had somehow leveled up. It was time to put away childish things and graduate to the section of the music store categorized as “Hard Rock.” It was my gateway album, luring me into the dangerous world of bands like Van Halen, with its dark themes like being in high school and horny for your teacher; and Led Zeppelin, with its dark and occult-tinged songs about Hobbits.

I was especially proud of my refined tastes, because while everyone else was listening to “Rock of Ages,” I, an aesthete, understood that “Photograph” was by far the best song from the album. I can still remember my mom asking me what I was listening to, and I very seriously warned her that she might not like it because it had “very hard guitars.” (She listened to a bit and nodded and said “that’s nice.”)

The thing is: while so much of 1983 is undeniably silly, “Photograph” is still a fantastic song, even in the 21st century.

Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Shazam!

Two tunes tangentially related by the fact that I can never remember what they’re called

On the one hand, it’s unsettling to think that teenagers now think of the 1990s in the same way that I thought of the 1970s when I was a teenager. But then I look back at all the weird hair and clothes of the 1990s, and I realize that yeah, it tracks.

But it hits different when you can remember the things that all The Youths think of as ancient history. I can hear a song from the late 90s and immediately be hit with a wave of memories: being an adult (more or less) in Athens or Atlanta, driving on the freeway in sweltering heat, listening to 99X as they played the song of the moment in constant rotation to guarantee that it would be burned in my memory thirty years later.

For some of these songs, I can — and do — pull up the entire melody, the lyrics, and even details from the videos from the darkest recesses of my brain, out of nowhere, at a moment’s notice. I can usually remember every minor detail about them… except for the title of the song, or who sang it.

One of those is “Out of My Head” by Fastball. It would often pop back in my mind unprompted, and in the dark days before Shazam, it would drive me crazy that I had a stray tune that I simultaneously vividly remembered and couldn’t place. Even after the advent of marketing-driven music-listening technology, I’d have to wait until I happened to hear it — most often in the waiting area of a restaurant playing “the oldies” — before I could try and catch it.

It’s a solid, short, and sweet song, much better than “The Way” in my opinion. One of those songs that sounds like the 1990s but also timeless — you can vaguely imagine it was probably played on Dawson’s Creek or some other WB show, but it’s not quite as anchored in the past as something like “I Don’t Want to Wait.” I like the song enough that I’ll even forgive the band for those sideburns.

The prime example, though, is “Sleeping Satellite” by Tasmin Archer. I really love this song, and it never fails to remind me of the early 1990s and my awareness at the time that we were genuinely entering a new decade, as opposed to just stretching the 80s out for several more years. It was a much better harbinger of the coming of decade of music than, say, “Sadeness” by Enigma. (Turns out people weren’t actually as into Gregorian chants as the music industry had hoped?)

But I’ll be damned if I could remember the name of it. Looking through my Shazam history is hilarious, in that “Sleeping Satellite” keeps popping up over and over again. Evidently I spent years realizing, “Oh I love this song! What’s it called again?” and then immediately forgetting.

Wait, what were we talking about, again? Oh, hey, I love this song! What’s it called?

Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Blackbird

Two songs about despair and about hope, and a digression about how ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of

In addition to the obvious connections, these two songs have something else in common: I didn’t know much, if anything, about them until recently. Which leads to a digression about one of the things I hate most about social media and “online culture,” which is that it treats ignorance as something to be ashamed of.

The key example: I was one of the people who’d never heard of the Partition of India, or at least heard of it in a way that I could retain, until it was mentioned in Ms Marvel. Most of my history education was overwhelmingly euro-centric, meaning that we would often hear about the devastating effects of colonialism, but rarely hear about what came afterwards, when the colonists lost interest. So I had an impression of post-Raj India as being a political restructuring, with some interesting geographical trivia afterwards, like how there are enclaves-within-enclaves still in Pakistan. I had no idea of the magnitude of the deaths, or how much of it was a religious conflict, until I heard about it on a light-hearted television series about a teen super hero.

And on social media, that was inexcusable, apparently. I saw dozens and dozens of people dragging out their smdhs to scold us for our shocking ignorance. It wasn’t even framed as “our American and western European education systems are failing us!” but as a personal failing on our part.

Which is asinine, and in my mind a clear example of how Twitter (and now Bluesky) are rotten, and were rotten long before Elon Musk even picked up a sink.1In fact, the rottenness at its core might’ve been a major draw for an unrepentant douchebag looking to buy a few million public admirers. They mimic healthy, functioning communities, but in fact just magnify all the problems with real communities. In particular, the eagerness for people to practice performative outrage and self-righteous condemnation. Any place that would frame ignorance, or finding out we were wrong about something, as if it were contemptible is missing the entire point of what an actual global discussion should be about.

So with that all said, here’s two songs about a topic I know a little bit more about — the culture around the American Civil Rights movement — but still not nearly enough.

For instance: I’d never heard of Nina Simone’s “Blackbird” until this morning.2Based on the YouTube comments, I guess quite a few people first discovered it from the series Lovecraft Country, which I hope gives some people on Bluesky something to complain about. I found it while looking for covers of the Paul McCartney song, although it was recorded several years earlier.

It’s a powerful gut-punch of a song, unlike anything else I’d heard from Nina Simone. Everything I’ve heard from Nina Simone until now has been either a cover of some jazz classic or a Broadway standard, and then Strange Fruit. Something I could respect and appreciate, but from a distance. But “Blackbird,” especially with the gap between what I’d expected and what I heard, made me shudder like the first time I read the last line of Harlem by Langston Hughes.

For me, it’s a reminder of how much of history is abstracted away into politics instead of lingering on the personal. Even the most fair-minded history usually focuses on activism and revolt — when the dream explodes, in other words — when even horrific events are at least an action, a step towards making things better. We need the cultural side, not just the political and historical side, to give a better idea of the long periods building up to revolution. Simone’s “Blackbird” isn’t weak or defeatist, but so buried under centuries of injustice and a society that refuses to change that there’s little left but despair.

And even though Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird” has been one of my favorite songs ever since the first time I’d heard it, I was always ignorant of the context around it. In fact, it wasn’t until seeing the Beatles LOVE show recently that I thought there was any more to it than Paul McCartney writing another beautiful, completely abstract song. That show presented the song (too briefly, and paired with “Yesterday”) as a duet between a black woman and man, as stills from the civil rights movement were projected on screens around the theater. At the time, I thought it was lovely but maybe a little too on-the-nose, and maybe a little bit of revisionist history in its attempts to present the Beatles as if they were at the forefront of every political and cultural movement from WWII through the early 1970s.

Reading up about it afterwards was the first I’d learned that McCartney described the song in honor young black women in the American Civil Rights movement, the Little Rock Nine in particular. (I’ve read some complaints that this is McCartney engaging in some revisionist history of his own, but I don’t know what could possibly be gained by taking his interpretation as anything other than good faith). Today, we can be shocked at seeing photos of white adults publicly screaming at teenagers just trying to go to school, but it’s still easy to abstract it away, as ancient history (it wasn’t that long ago at all!) that was a tick towards social change (still very much in progress, as the bullshit opposition to Black Lives Matter, Critical race theory, and diversity initiatives, are all reminding us). I feel like these two songs called “Blackbird” need each other: one to make it clear how much bigotry is a crushing weight on all of us, and the other to give us hope.

The even better pairing is with Beyoncé’s cover of “Blackbird” from her new album Cowboy Carter. Even after a few paragraphs of White Middle-Aged Guy Tries To Explain Nina Simone and The Little Rock Nine, I’m not going to stumble my way through an explanation of the significance of Beyoncé choosing this song3Besides, there are dozens of online “explainers” already out there, a few of them actually insightful. But on top of being just a perfectly beautiful cover, there’s so much implicit in a mega-star sharing the song with other black women and overlaying it with the gospel and R&B influences that helped make her famous. It feels like McCartney’s version was incomplete, an abstract hope for overcoming adversity, until it was picked up and re-interpreted by someone who’s overcome it.

  • 1
    In fact, the rottenness at its core might’ve been a major draw for an unrepentant douchebag looking to buy a few million public admirers.
  • 2
    Based on the YouTube comments, I guess quite a few people first discovered it from the series Lovecraft Country, which I hope gives some people on Bluesky something to complain about.
  • 3
    Besides, there are dozens of online “explainers” already out there, a few of them actually insightful

Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Soulmate TK

Two songs about lovers to be named at some point in the future

I’m not back on my Dirty Projectors bullshit; I’m still on it.

This week the prompt is “What is the Time” from the album Lamp Lit Prose. (The live performance from that YouTube link is actually better than the studio version, in my opinion).

That whole album is full of songs about finding new love and coming back from a post-break-up depression. The previous album, Dirty Projectors, is pretty dark, laid bare like a livejournal post and a collection of art-rock diss tracks. The cover is the band’s logo with a shoe print stomping it out. The first track has David Longstreth’s voice artificially pitched down, along with a repeated loop mocking the chorus of “Impregnable Question,” one of their stand-out love songs. It’s not what I’d call subtle.

So I’m fortunate I didn’t fall into fandom until after things had already started going better. “What is the Time” stands out to me because it’s got the lyrics “They say it’s ashes to ashes, passion to passing, and we all will die alone,” but also “The planets align and show me the one I am, I am the one who will love you.” Which I think is pretty spectacular for a love song.

Even if the target of the love song is still to be determined. “What is the time when I can call you by your name?” is a similar sentiment to “I miss you but I haven’t met you yet,” from “I Miss You” by Björk.

One thing I’m realizing by pairing these songs with each other is that I identified a lot more strongly with the sentiment the first time I heard Post, versus the first time I heard Lamp Lit Prose. I still feel my heart flutter at the thought of grand, romantic gestures and declarations of love — I’ve seen too many movies not to. But there’s undoubtedly something solipsistic about it, which I think I didn’t appreciate until I got older.

Declaring “I’ve got so much love to give to the right person” is romantic, sure, but it doesn’t mention the millions of things that make them the right person. That’s where all the real magic happens. There’s a difference between casting for the part of your dream lover, and really falling in love with someone in ways you never could’ve imagined. Otherwise, you’re only ever seeing the other person as a manifestation of yourself, and that’s how you wind up with Solaris.

Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Dance For You

Two songs to help speed this blog’s transformation into a Dirty Projectors fan site

I mentioned that when I saw Dirty Projectors perform Song of the Earth with the LA Philharmonic, my main takeaway was that I wish I understood music better to fully appreciate it. It was very much a modern orchestral performance, meaning that it likely had a lot of significance to the artists that was lost on someone like me.

But at the same time, parts of it were catchy. Several times over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a hook running through my head that I haven’t been able to place, until realizing that it was from that performance.

It also reminded me that I still haven’t listened to a lot of Dirty Projectors’ older material, since I just keep listening to my favorite songs over and over. So I made a concerted effort to hop around the older albums, which I’ve bounced off of in the past as “too weird” or “too dense,” and I’m realizing I’ve been sitting on a neglected gold mine of interesting — and accessible, and lovely — music.

“Dance For You” from their album Swing Lo Magellan is just wonderful. It’s my theory that each human is given a maximum of five perfect melodies they can come up with in their lifetime, and I suspect that Longstreth here used one of mine that was going unfulfilled.

And this isn’t even one of the purported “highlights” of the album, which also includes “Swing Lo Magellan,” “Impregnable Question,” “Irresponsible Tune,” and my favorite, “Gun Has No Trigger.” Instead, it seems to sit quietly in the middle of the album like a simple and catchy long song with guitar and hand claps — which aren’t even syncopated, or a completely different time signature than the rest of the song, which is odd for Dirty Projectors — adding a fuzzy guitar solo, and then culminating with a layer of strings that makes my heart swell.

Beyond the lyrics, it feels like an homage to “I Know There’s An Answer” by The Beach Boys. (I didn’t hear Pet Sounds until it’d been remastered and re-issued for what must’ve been the dozenth time, so I knew the song as “Hang On To Your Ego,” and then only from Frank Black’s cover).

I’d heard people list Brian Wilson as an influence on Dirty Projectors, but I never really got the connection until these two songs. Pet Sounds has always seemed like an album that I first heard too late — I can appreciate how it must’ve felt like a revelation coming out of nowhere at the time, with the music going off in directions you’d never expect from a pop record. But by the time I got around to it, I’d been listening to Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for years.

The two songs seem to me like the work of musicians who were more than capable of a lifetime putting out catchy, impossible-to-forget pop songs, but had almost zero interest in doing that. If you weren’t making something unlike anything people have heard before, what was the point?

Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Undercover

Two tangentially-related covers that I like better than the originals

Look, I get why people like “These Days” by Nico. It’s a lovely song, and her delivery brings an unmistakable quality of earnest regret and sadness to it. But it’s just not for me.

That’s why I’m glad that St Vincent did a cover of it. It is, undoubtedly, St Vincent doing Nico doing Jackson Browne, but I think the polish is what makes me like it — all of the beauty of the song, if not quite the same emotional weight.

The one time I saw St Vincent in concert, she performed “These Days,” but it didn’t land like she’d probably hoped since the crowd in San Francisco wouldn’t shut up and pay attention.

That crowd probably would’ve had a better time at a Me First and the Gimme Gimmes show, since they’re at the other end of the spectrum. A huge part of their whole schtick is taking heartfelt, emotional songs and making them raucous and fun. My favorite is “Danny’s Song.”

I really appreciate that video, filmed at The Mint, because it reminds me how much I don’t miss San Francisco.

Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Houses by the Sea

Two tangentially-related songs about how much better life is when you’ve got beachfront property

This week’s two-fer is in honor of the Dirty Projectors concert I went to over the weekend.

One lovely and calming song from 5 EPs is “On the Breeze”, a perfect melody that the band kind of treats as a sketch, giving it just enough time to vibe with before fading into memory. The problem with a band this talented is that I listen to their other songs on repeat, leaving wonderful bits like this neglected.

Something I definitely haven’t neglected is The Shepherd’s Dog by Iron & Wine. It’s one of my all-time favorite albums, and listening to it feels a little like slipping in and out of a dream that’s haunting but still relaxing somehow. That might be because I most often listen to it while I’m on a plane, nodding off while a bearded man whisper-sings into my ear. And also listening to The Shepherd’s Dog.

It’s hard to pick my favorite song from the album, because it’s near perfect. But one of my favorites is “House By The Sea,” which is fortunate, because it’s thematically consistent.

Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Vampire Weeknd

Two tangentially-related tunes to prove that I do sometimes listen to music made within the last decade

When I was younger, I imagined that at some point in my 40s or 50s, a switch would flip, and I’d suddenly find myself too old to listen to any new music. I’d turn into a cartoonish version of the elderly, complaining about all the profanity and the screeching and the caterwauling and how the youths didn’t appreciate the good, mellow, old-fashioned music I listened to, like the Pixies.

Turns out my prediction was half right. As I’ve settled into middle age, I do almost always retreat to the safety of my turn-of-the-millennium college radio music. But the reason isn’t that contemporary stuff is too intense for me, but that it’s so boring. There’s so rarely any hook to it; it feels like instead of getting more daring or experimental, it’s mostly just over-produced and predictable.

At our house in Oakland, there were frequently some teenagers who’d park their car nearby and blast their music while they were doing whatever teenagers do — probably involving drugs and premarital sex! — and I was often right on the verge of being the stereotypical geriatric white man storming out of the house, demanding that they turn it down. But I’d be yelling, “Turn that racket down! It’s too vacuous!” I’m in the enviable position of having virtually every new song available to me on demand whenever I want, and I’m most often saying, “Nah, I’m good.”

But I do often make an effort! Sometimes it pays off, and sometimes it doesn’t.

I think Olivia Rodrigo is the real deal, for instance. It’s very much pop music, accessible enough for superstardom and Apple tie-ins. But on top of the hook required for a pop hit, there’s such a great combination of influences and styles that it all feels really interesting.

My favorite by far is “Vampire.” The album version starts out as a breathy piano ballad, which could quickly turn into the kind of maudlin showcase for a pop star trying to show off their range as a Real Musician. But then it starts to throw in all kinds of stuff that give it depth, not just gloss. The end result feels like an extremely media-savvy artist who knows how to navigate an industry in the 2020s and get 93 million views on YouTube, but never at the expense of making it feel anything less than sincere. (And as it turns out, the stripped down piano ballad version is pretty good, too).

The Weeknd is more towards the other end of the scale for me. Most of his stuff is inoffensive, but there’s rarely any hook that I can get into. Apart from “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Blinding Lights,” I can’t really tell his songs apart from each other, and those I recognize only because they were played constantly.

But the other thing I didn’t predict back in my teens and twenties was what would be required to be a superstar in the 21st century. It can’t be just about the music; it has to be a full-on media blitz. And while there’s not a lot for me in The Weeknd’s music, I respect the hell out of what he does with the overall presentation.

Until Universal Hollywood Horror Nights made a house themed to his music, I had no idea that “Blinding Lights” was part of a whole horror-themed concept album, with a series of interconnected videos about fame, image, self-image, and the evils of Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Part of that is the video for “Too Late,” which has a pair of plastic surgery-obsessed women finding The Weeknd’s decapitated head in the middle of the road and then taking it home to have sex with it. (And not to tell them their business, but completely unnecessarily murdering a stripper to attach to Mr Weeknd’s head. Even though the things they were doing didn’t even require him to have a body. So wasteful).

The music doesn’t really grab me, but that video was one of the few things in modern pop music that was genuinely able to shock middle-aged me. Are they even allowed to show that kind of thing?!

Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Rock and Roll Hall of Presidents

Two tangentially-related tunes for Presidents Day

Look: there are a lot of Tuesdays in a year. They can’t all be winners.

This Monday was Presidents Day in the United States, a great reminder to Americans of how it’s an office of importance that should theoretically still be respectable. And how the whole idea of “anyone could grow up to be President of the United States” is supposed to be wholesome and aspirational, not an ominous warning of a terrible design flaw.

First this week is “Ana Ng” from the They Might Be Giants album Lincoln. It’s always unsettling watching old TMBG videos, because 1988 John Flansburgh looks eerily like 1988 me. (Or maybe vice versa).

I can’t choose a favorite song off of Lincoln, but it’s probably a toss-up between “Ana Ng” and “Mr. Me.” An edited version of the latter was used as the closing theme music for an animated cartoon block on a local station in Atlanta, so I kind of just assumed it came from somewhere in Cartoonland. It was a surprise to hear it years later, popping up out of nowhere on a CD I’d bought after getting really into Flood. But it tracks, seeing as how they’ve always been at least a little bit cartoon-adjacent, making weird music for nerds and the children of nerds.

Here’s a fun fact: did you know that Martha Wash’s last name is actually Wash? I always assumed she’d shortened it from “Washington,” but no. So that’s why you’re saved from having “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” as the second song this week.

Instead, it’s “Concrete and Clay,” my favorite song from the soundtrack to Rushmore. Consider it an upgrade; that’s like Washington and three whole other presidents. It’s nice to remember how impressive Rushmore was when it first came out; it seemed to come out of nowhere, full of self-confidence and a surprising amount of sincerity. Now I’m getting nostalgic for the late 1990s.

Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: King Cake

Two tangentially-related tunes to let the good times roll

(King Cake photo by Caitlin Bensel for Southern Living)

Today is Fat Tuesday! As a protestant who’s to this day never once visited New Orleans, I can’t claim to be an expert, but I have got to respect any holiday that so prominently features religious desserts.

In honor of that, here’s a song by Elvis Presley, who’s The King to most, but never meant shit to me except as a karaoke song. I have to say I can do a pretty good rendition of “(You’re the) Devil In Disguise”. (That’s a painfully on-the-nose animated video that’s “official” or whatever, but of course the best animated video to that song is in Lilo and Stitch).

Tangentially related: I was a big fan of the band Cake back in the late 1990s, which is when it was most appropriate to be a big fan of the band Cake. I let my fandom lapse since then, but back when they hit it big with “The Distance,” I felt squarely in their target audience of hipsters and aspiring hipsters. I’ve never had a bucket hat, and I’ve only sporadically had a goatee, but I still thought each record was like finding a special surprise.