Rock Me, All A Dream, Shut Up And Let Me Go, Privilege (Set Me Free): Liz Phair, Norah Jones, Ting Tings, Patti Smith


The daughter of Ravi Shankar (most famous for influencing the Beatles), Norah Jones dominated the 2002 Grammys and the airwaves with her massively overplayed hit, Come Away With Me.   Billboard Magazine named her the top jazz artist of the decade.   Her late night coffee house music style isn’t a favorite genre of mine but “All A Dream” from her new CD is a winner.   I can see this song being used in a seductive scene in a Hollywood movie or HBO’s True Blood. There’s a great blend between the sly groove and her exotic vocals.


Liz Phair has gone through a physical and musical transformation through her career.   She began her career as a totally indie artist with a controversial and critically acclaimed CD, Exile In Guyville.   There were some sexually explicit lyrics mixed in with her equally raw and honest emotional views on relationships.   Rolling Stone lists the CD on its Top 500 List.   Since then, Liz has progressively become “friendly” to modern radio.   Smash hits like “Why Can’t I?” and “Extraordinary” have topped the charts.  Although she still taking major risks including songs like H.W.C.  (Hot White _ _ _).   Liz has added composing songs for TV shows to her repertoire and won an award for her 90210 theme song.  


Yes, this song has been played to death, countless Apple I-Pod commercials and even during a party scene in Anna Ferris’ House Bunny movie, but it’s such a fun pop hit.   The Ting Tings  are a British duo (the lead singer looks like a young Debbie Harry of Blondie).   They’ve done quite well on the charts overseas, even hitting #1 on the U.K. album charts with We Started Nothing.   For us in the U.S., this big hit is their claim to fame so far but if Ke$ha can top our charts, anyone can.


The “Godmother of Punk”, Patti Smith was a vital influence on the emerging NYC punk scene in the mid 70’s.    The Ramones, Lou Reed, and Patti Smith were headlining CBGB’s and setting rock music on its edge.  Patti Smith was a poet/singer who has taken huge risks throughout her career.   Her songs like “Privilege” and “We Three” combine an emotional & physical desire with a spiritual theme.  In addition, some of her greatest songs are covers including “When Doves Cry” (Prince), “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (Tears For Fears), and her biggest hit, “Because The Night” (Bruce Springsteen) which she helped finish when Bruce passed it on.   Patti is an artist best heard and not seen, so this video is from a 1967 movie which inspired the song.