Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ani DiFranco - "32 Flavors" (forgotten song)

Another song for Danette's birthday!  I first heard "32 Flavors" in early 1998 when Alana Davis released it as her first single off her first LP.  It was a good song and received a good bit of radio airplay, but I soon learned it was originally released by Ani DiFranco, off her 1995 LP.  And although Alana turned in a nice, shorter, radio-friendly version, it does not approach the depth and richness of the original. 

Early 1998 was right before Danette and I got together, and I had a number of significant life decisions to make.  And although Danette never said anything like this to me at the time, I imagined that she did and that's nearly the same thing:
Squint your eyes and look closer
I'm not between you and your ambition
I am a poster girl with no poster
I am thirty-two flavors and then some
And I'm beyond your peripheral vision
So you might want to turn your head
Cause someday you're going to get hungry
And eat most of the words you just said
And after 16+ years, I can say 32 is a significant underestimate.  

Ani DiFranco - "32 Flavors" (studio), "32 Flavors" (live)
Alana Davis - "32 Flavors"

Previous birthday songs:

2013: The Green Pajamas - "Kim the Waitress"
2012: The Cure - "High"
2011: Blink 182 - "Josie"
2010:  Dead Milkmen - "Punk Rock Girl"

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Let's Active - "Every Word Means No" (forgotten song)

This installment of "forgotten songs" comes from our friend Hillary, who while at dinner with Danette last week mentioned being a fan of Winston-Salem's Let's Active back in the day.  Danette had never heard of them and I only knew that there was a band by that name (probably via Terry). 

I did some poking around and their first real song was "Every Word Means No", from their 1983 EP "Afoot".  The song sounds vaguely familiar, but I'm not sure if I actually remember it or if, sounding like a cross between R.E.M. and The Connells,  it is just representative of the early- to mid-80s college sound.  The connection with R.E.M. is not accidental -- guitarist and vocalist Mitch Easter produced the first two R.E.M. LPs (as well as other bands) for I.R.S. Records.

This is the kind of band that fleshes out a musical scene, even if they are overshadowed by the scene's more central bands.  So is it new, overlooked, or simply forgotten?  In the car collecting world, we'd call this "new old stock".  Enjoy like its 1983.

Let's Active -- "Every Word Means No"

Edit: After poking around some more, I'm pretty sure I remember their 1989 song "Every Dog Has His Day", even though I could not have told you it was by Let's Active.  Regardless, "Every Word Means No" is a better song.