Celebrate Valentine's Day with this playlist of love songs that other songwriters wish they wrote

Just in time for Valentine's Day, NPR's All Songs Considered spoke with a bunch of celebrated songwriters such as Phoebe Bridgers and M. Ward and asked them about the love songs that they wish they'd written — the masterful melodies and heartfelt turns of phrase that other poets envy and only dream to one day emulate.

It's also just a really great playlist of songs. And now it has me thinking of which song I would choose myself.

Since both "First Day of My Life" and "Love Song" were already chosen for this list, I think I'd have to go with "The Way I Feel Inside" by the Zombies or "She Is Beautiful" by Andrew WK.

What would you pick?

The Love Song I Wish I'd Written [Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton / NPR] Read the rest

Little-known, criminally underappreciated 70s singer-songwriter, Judee Sill, finally gets an obit in the New York Times

"Overlooked" is a series of belated obituaries in New York Times for people of note who were overlooked at the time of their passing. Their most recent "overlooked no more" subject is Judee Sill.

Judee Sill was a 70s singer-songwriter, the first artist signed to David Geffen's Asylum Records. During her short-lived career in the early-to-mid 70s, Sill received little attention or airplay. While other singer-songwriters of the time sang about personal relationships and political protest, Sill's ethereal music explored themes of rapture, redemption, spiritual love, occult themes, and the deeper meanings of it all.

Sill's life was as troubled as her work was complex and under the radar. She was a juvenile delinquent, a junkie, and a prostitute for a time. Judee Sill died in 1979 of a drug overdose which was likely a suicide.

While she was not widely recognized during her lifetime, her music has had a significant impact on many modern artists and that influence only continues to grow. Liz Phair, Shawn Colvin, Greta Gerwig, XTC's Andy Partridge, and Warren Zevon have all cited her as an inspiration.

Read the rest of the obit here.

[H/t Jenny Hart]

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New quirky power pop video from Matt Jaffe

My friend, SF Bay Area post-pop singer-songwriter Matt Jaffe, has released the first smoking single and video from his forthcoming album The Spirit Catches You.

To my ear, Matt's unique sound lies at the intersection of power pop, outlaw country, and post-punk. He really digs Elvis Costello, John Doe, Townes Van Zandt, and Talking Heads and you can hear it in his playing and singing. (Indeed, Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads discovered Matt at an open mic night and produced his first record.)

Dig it. And support the album release via Matt's Indiegogo campaign.

(Video directed by Sarah Steinhart)

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Weekend Tunes: Sean Rowe - Old Black Dodge

Sean Rowe travels under the radar of many a music aficionado. This is a damn shame.

Playing songs from an early age, Rowe cut his musical teeth playing bass in a local band before he was even 12 years old. A year before hitting his teenage years, he was gifted an acoustic guitar by his father – perhaps as a ploy to get a stack of amps out of his house. New axe in hand, Rowe started playing solo gigs, punctuated by appearances with a percussionist. He wrote his first song at the age of 18 and well, here we are.

If you're digging it, Old Black Dodge appears on Rowe's 2009 album Magic.

When he's not out hammering on his guitar, Rowe spends his time teaching wilderness survival and wild foraging skills. If you want to learn more about his music, book a private house concert or learn how to survive off of the land, hitting up his website is the best bet you have for fulfilling those needs. Read the rest