Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jill Sobule 

When I toured New Zealand at the end of 1999, our guide, Rich, played some music to the tour group in the bus. One of the songs that caught all of our attentions had lyrics along the lines of "we'll shoot from the bushes ... make love in the bushes". Although Rich told us the names of the artists I never found them but the song stayed in my head enough for me to make enquiries every so often to be able to find it.

Then, some years later, instead of looking for the artists on the Internet, I looked for the lyrics and found Jill Sobule's Resistance Song. On the strength of that I bought her semi-compilation album I Never Learned to Swim and fell in love with her songs and her voice.

I love the utter depair in her voice for Houdini's Box, the fun of I Kissed a Girl and the craziness of Margaret and Heroes.

Just recently I bought the rest of her albums. My favourite song at the moment is Rainy Day Parade on the album Pink Pearl, a song that appears to be about depression and the odd effect that anti-depressants have. The song sounds really upbeat and cheerful but when you listen to the lyrics you realise that she has really messed up her life and is pinning all her hopes on her antidepressants:
My friends, they've all run away
But they'll come back again
And we'll have a celebration
Getting back on my medication
We'll have a rainy day parade

This is a theme she has used in another song, the title track of Happy Town:

I used to sit under a gloomy cloud of gray
And now the sun is out and my
whole world is beige

A close second favourite of mine is Jetpack on the Jill Sobule album, a song about dreaming for a better life:
And if I had a jetpack, I'd burst into your door
take you by the hand to the Jersey shore
and underneath the moonlight, you'd want me even more
cause, I'd have a jetpack

Her early album, Things Here are Different, has tracks on it that are reminiscent of an early Madonna and I have to confess that these are not among my favourites although flashes of the Jill that is to come dominate the album.

Ah, what do I know? I'm not a music reviewer. I know I like Jill's work though. Try it, you might like it too.

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I wonder what Jill is up to lately? Wow! Thanks for asking. Jill is currently working on a new record


Or you can download an entire 2007 concert for free; An hour and a half of Jill at her best -- just her, a guitar and her wit.


Or you can go to her blog "Jill Sobule and The Provocateurs"


Read her thoughts and post your comments. Don't tell her to go to hell. She gets that a lot and it is getting annoying.
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