The Couch Potato

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The old Couch Potato has hit a little lull in the old “idea” department, so you’re getting some random thoughts/stories about whatever pops into this head of mine.

•Let’s start this out with some classic songs I’ve heard over the past few days, both on my new Sirius XM subscription, and in some other places. The first one is Next’s “Too Close,” which I swear I have not heard in at least 15 years. The song came out in 1997, and when you hear it again for the first time in a long time, it really takes you back pretty quickly. I can’t really put any of the lyrics for you in here, but let’s just say they are a little bit suggestive, and quite hilarious at the same time. I was 16 years old when this song hit the radio, and it was one of the biggest hits of my high school career, but Next disappeared and so, too, did their one and only hit. Listen to it again though, it’s worth it.

•The next old-timey hit on the list is Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” which also hit the airwaves in 1997. Another one-hit wonder, Imbruglia’s classic tale of love and heartache was one of the biggest hits of that year, and the entire decade. Some random thoughts about the song and artist. Remember how everyone was so enamored with the fact that Imbruglia was the one-time girlfriend of “Friends” alum David Schwimmer. That was strange and now seemingly unimportant in the grand scheme of all things. But here’s the thing about “Torn” — it went from being a great song, to way way overplayed, to basically disappearing from the radio, to now a perfectly classic song. Time is funny that way, and nothing’s right, I’m torn.

•I always thought that the ‘80s hit “Steal Away” was from supergroup Hall and Oates, but I learned last night that it’s actually from Robbie Dupree, and I find that very interesting. “Why don’t we steal away, why don’t we steal away into the night?” That little piano rift following the chorus sounds exactly like something Hall and Oates would have done, but congrats Robbie, that’s a great song even though I’ve never heard of you until last night.

•An absolutely great new song that I recently discovered is The Revivalist’s “Wish I Knew You,” which is kind of an alternative, indie rock type of song. With great usage of the saxophone, which is a completely underutilized instrument in today’s music, the song captures a feeling that probably all of us have experienced at some point in our lives. You can listen yourself to see what I mean. But back to that saxophone, the last band that really used one to acclaim was Dave Matthews, which means that it can be done excellently, as Matthews proved for so long.

•A friend recommended a few songs to me, and I feel that I should pass them along because I’ve found them to be pretty darn good in their own right. The first is Lord Huron’s “The Night We Met,” which is a hauntingly honest portrayal of days gone by, and coincidentally features the word “haunting” that I heard him say as I typed that last sentence. The other song is Desi Valentine’s “Fate Don’t Know You,” which is one of the smoothest songs I’ve heard in a long time. Valentine’s unique voice is enough, but the song is an easy listen itself.

•Finally, The Killers have been around for a long time, but I was recently nudged towards giving them a closer look, and I’m glad I did. They are really good, really interesting and in some cases, really funny. “Mr. Brightside” is probably my favorite Killers’ song, and one line in particular, which I really can’t print here, cracks me up every time I listen to it. Anyway, check it out and see for yourself, and as a hint, it’s the line that almost tries to rhyme with “sick.”

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