ANNE MARIE'S PLAYLIST
ANNE MARIE TO STEPHEN:
AM: What is your favorite song?
SB: For some reason, I feel like you back-loaded the playlist this month, which made for a very nice finale of discoveries. Lot of good tracks. I'm giving the nod to Last Kiss by OverDoz. -- just barely -- over James Humphrys. That Pharrell beat is killer and the entire thing feels like a big game of double dutch that these guys can't wait to jump in and run with.
AM: Have you heard any of these tracks before?
SB: Parquet Courts are the only artist I've heard before. Otherwise, you got me!
AM: I've been thinking about the Burn List and all the artists we listened to when we were growing up. If you could go back in time and be the first to "burn" an artist from your childhood music listening years (not before!) that you loved, who would it be? What song would you pick? Note: It has to be someone who started putting out music when you were listening to music.
SB: Oh man, this is such a loaded question. The two main directions I could take this question are: A) What big artist did you see coming before everyone else and shared them enough times to get everyone else hooked for years? Or, B) What hidden gem (and probably never again famous) artist did you obsess over? I'm going with option B, because it's more embarrassing. (Sorry, Matchbox 20. Your Real World track kept me going for some time but you're much too well known.)
Here they are, the songs that I stayed up all night to - long after everyone had gone to sleep - listening to the radio, hoping stations would play one, hitting the record button on the boombox and adding them to my badass mixtape:
#6: Here Comes the Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze in '94. Still one of my favorite party jams to date. Can't hear this without vibing.
#5: Crush by Jennifer Paige in '98. Man, this list just got really embarrassing. But yes, sadly, this was a hot commodity back in the day.
#4: Return of the Mac by Mark Morrison in '96. This song is still #1 on my 90s dance jams mixtapes and an easy party starter. Find me someone who doesn't like this song and I'll find you a liar.
#3: All For You by Sister Hazel in '94. The live version of this song I must have listened to a thousand times. Such a great song that was the gateway to them being my first concert ever.
#2: The Way by Fastball in '98. This was one of my biggest "underdog" artists simply because I would wake up early on Sunday morning (again, before anyone else would be up...I'm starting to see a pattern here) and listen to Casey Kasem. And for damn near half a year, I listened to this song make it all the way to #2, where it got stuck behind the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls / Iris and Natalie Imbruglia's Torn. And finally, after months of waiting, it made #1 for one week, then fell off the face of the earth. Worth it.
#1: I Love You Always Forever by Donna Lewis in '96. That's right. You guessed it. This song embodied my early days and I'm sure confused my parents when I asked for the cassette single (which they got me for Christmas). So catchy. So fun. The end all leader of the mixtape. This is the song that I would use to burn the artist and lock in as my Midnight to Monaco of the 90s. It was great while it lasted and now that it's over, the memory will keep us going another 30 years.
STEPHEN TO ANNE MARIE:
SB: What is your favorite song?
AM: Gene Evaro Jr. / Like It's 1965 gets the slim win over Hopium / Sunglasses. Although, now that I'm relistening, I think Hopium gets the slim win over Gene Evaro Jr.
SB: Have you heard any of these tracks before?
AM: Canopée by Polo & Pan I almost used a few months ago. I'm actually fascinated when that happens -- I decide a song just doesn't fit a given month, then you use it later on, it works. Sometimes I think that has to do with my state of mind and/or the overall vibe of the list in total. Probably both. Anyway, I like it.
SB: There are several different parts of a song (the hook, the bridge, the first verse, the get down, etc). Each contributes to it in their own unique way. Personally, my favorite is the let down, which is the transition between the first chorus and the 2nd verse. I love how it returns to the original sound, but often times includes one additional instrument or sound. What is your favorite part of a song and why?
AM: I think my answer here will come as no surprise to you. I like the beginning of the second verse, and second verse in general. The first verse gives me a piece of a story and I'm into it. I'm engaged. Then a musician moves away from that, gives me an adjacent piece (a chorus) and I'm wondering: How's the story going to end? When do I get back to the main storyline? Does the couple get back together? Does the guy get over his breakup? Is the new girl really the one? Will that road trip end in thrills or devastation? In my mind, I'm with this song character for the song's duration but I'm also building a story about the character's moment before or after. That's just how my mind works. It's a rabbit hole.
I'm a narrative person, you know? I have stripes. I know I have stripes. What did you really expect here?