Hey party people. Allow me to introduce myself: I’m Leslie Simon. In addition to being an editor at MTV.com, I’m also the author of two books — Everybody Hurts: The Essential Guide To Emo Culture and Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide To Your Favorite Music Scenes — and I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my third. It’s called Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, And Other Misfits Are Taking Over The World and it comes out this fall! Before I came to MTV, I spent a bunch of years at Alternative Press magazine, covering everyone from Paramore to Brand New to My Chemical Romance. In other words, I’m your garden variety music geek.
When I was asked if I’d be interested in writing a column for Buzzworthy, I immediately jumped at the chance. (Actually, I think I did the Dougie and then ended with the Bernie. Even I can admit it wasn’t cute.) Regardless, each week I’ll be offering up a themed music playlist. For you podcast lovers, think of it as “This American Life” but without all the talking… and no Ira Glass. OK, you get the point.
Some weeks, I might be inspired by what highly glamorous thing I did over the weekend (i.e. Songs You Should Practice Yoga To That Don’t Involve Weird Chanting). Other weeks, my inspiration could stem from a trip to the grocery store (i.e. Songs I Wish Had Muzak Remixes). Just like a stop on Charlie Sheen’s Violent Torpedo Of Truth Tour, you never know what you’re gonna get!
This week, I’m kicking off my inaugural column with a theme I’m particularly smitten by: dudes in suits. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing in life that can’t be fixed by listening to a cute guy in a blazer play an electric guitar and sing with a British accent. (American accents are OK, too. I’m an equal opportunity dudes-in-suits supporter.) Get ready for music from The Wombats, OK Go, Patrick Stump and Death Cab For Cutie.
1. The Wombats’ “Anti D”: I’m sorry but how can you not fall in love with a tune that opens with lyrics like, “Please allow me to be your antidepressant/I, too, am prescribed as freely as any decongestant.” Brilliant! I’ve been a fan of The Wombats ever since I heard their first single, “Let’s Dance To Joy Division,” and my obsession for this British trio has only gotten more intense with time. Poppy yet perverse, indie yet accessible, The Wombats provide the perfect soundtrack to everything from a debaucherous evening to a lonely morning and everything in between.
2. OK Go’s “This Will Be Our Year”: This classic jam appears at the end of The Romantics, which I wasted two hours watching last weekend. The movie is just mediocre, but the song is fantastic. Originally recorded by The Zombies in 1968, “This Will Be Our Year” is a supersweet power-pop ballad that barely shows its age, especially when carted out over the ending credits of a St. Elmo’s Fire-esque romantic comedy. OK Go re-recorded the song a couple years ago, and their version appeared in the flick John Tucker Must Die, which I actually enjoyed a bunch. (Yes, I just admitted that.)
3. Patrick Stump’s “Spotlight (Oh Nostalgia)”: I was lucky enough to catch Patrick perform this past weekend at Joe’s Pub here in New York, and he totally blew me away, especially when he played “Spotlight”… twice. Honestly, he could’ve played it 10 more times, and it still wouldn’t have been enough. This song is musical Prozac: Play it when you see storm clouds on the horizon, the skies will part instantly and you’ll feel like you can conquer the world. If that doesn’t work, watch this video.
4. Death Cab For Cutie’s “You Are A Tourist”: Frontman Ben Gibbard wears a mean suit and writes an even meaner rock song. From the tune’s galloping guitars to lyrics like, “If you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born/Then, it’s time to go/And you find your destination with so many different places to call home,” “Tourist” encourages you to stop being a spectator in your own life. Get out there and live it! Oh, and it also didn’t hurt that the Death Cab cuties cleaned up real good for the song’s live one-take video, which was a visual spectacle of neon lights and kaleidoscopic choreography. Seeing is believing.