Five songs in my iTunes library with titles that contain the word “street”:
1. “Alphabet St.,” Prince. I never realized that Prince released the entire “Lovesexy” album on CD as one giant, 45-minute track. I guess that’s one way to nudge people into listening to the whole disc in order — but who wouldn’t memorize the start time of their favorite tracks and just fast-forward to that, to skip the annoyance? (I don’t think Prince worries much about annoying his fans — I was one of the people who couldn’t figure out how to enter his new website until I read this article.) Luckily, “The Hits/The B-Sides” features just the single.
2. “Fascination Street,” The Cure. I didn’t appreciate The Cure when they first hit American airwaves — I mean, I knew who they were and recognized their songs, but except for “Lullaby” I wasn’t really a fan. But a few years ago I was going to lunch and “Close to Me” came on, and the greatness of the song and the band came flooding back. (I was squashed in the back seat of a Saab convertible with two other guys, and I still bobbed along to the music.) I went home that day and downloaded a bunch of their tunes, including this one.
3. “Grafton Street,” Dido. I first got to hear Dido’s voice on a few tracks by Faithless, which her brother had produced. (Dido’s real name: Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong. Meanest. Parents. Ever.) So when “No Angel” came out — with singles like “Here With Me” and “Thank You” (which then-local DJ Mary McCann used as her signoff track every day for a while) — I was already a fan … and then that fandom sort of waned. This is, in fact, the only track I downloaded off “Safe Trip Home” … and I sort of think I actually just got it for free from Starbucks. It’s actually quite sad, inspired by the death of her father. (That’s Grafton Street in Dublin, up top.)
4. “Mercy Street,” Peter Gabriel. This, in turn, was inspired by Anne Sexton’s poem “45 Mercy Street.” I just read that Peter Gabriel is releasing a new album next month in which he reinterprets other bands’ albums. You can download a podcast in which he discusses “Heroes,” “Mirrorball,” “The Boy in the Bubble” and “Flume” (by Bon Iver!) here.
5. “One Way Street,” Soup Dragons. The band started out part of the “Madchester scene” alongside Primal Scream and Happy Mondays (perhaps best exemplified by “I’m Free”) but started dialing back the hippy-dippy by the time “Divine Thing” was released. I still think they sounded a little “Rolling Stones Lite” — which I readily accepted and enjoyed.
|WHAT SAM WORE: 1-6-10|
|The sweater: Zip-front cotton vest by Cypress Links, on sale at Dillard’s.|
|The shirt: Dress shirt from Ben Sherman, New York City.|
|The pants: Cotton-wool trousers by Kenneth Cole, from Last Chance.|
|The shoes: “Turnstyle” leather dress loafers from Banana Republic.