As foretold in the “Invitations!” blog post, here are the stories behind the songs on the Awesome Wedding Mix.
“Red Right Ankle” The Decemberists
The Decemberists, a local band out of Portland known for their, lets just say interesting, lyrics was the first band Amanda and Chas saw together, and could be considered their first real date. “Red Right Ankle” is also their favorite love song because it acknowledges one’s full story, from weird uncles to questionable exes to unromantic body parts that are nevertheless essential to life.
“Wake Up Sinners” Crow Quill Night Owls
Amanda first saw lead singer Kit “Stymee” Stovepipe in the now defunct Inkwell Rhythmmakers with sister, Nikki, at a long-ago Seattle Folklife Festival. Now based out of Washington and with a new line-up, this old-timey ragtime and Americana band gets everyone dancing and thinking about drinking local ale and sweating together out in the star-washed woods at the Bellingham Stringband Jamboree.
Or sailing down a questionable river with a few friends. Danse Macabre!
“I Cut Like a Buffalo” The Dead Weather
One of Jack White’s newer projects. Grungy garage blues is as close a description as you can get. And from Amanda’s personal experience with cow horses, buffalos cut pretty well.
“Big Trouble” Man Man
Zombie love. For what more could one ask? Especially since Amanda was a big supporter and reader for Chas’s creative writing Master’s thesis, a collection of postapocalyptic zombie poems. Yes, zombies DO make good poetry!
“Jezebel” Iron & Wine
Iron & Wine rewrite the story of one of the most reviled women in the Bible into a redemptive narrative of misunderstanding and love (we sense a trend here). One of Amanda and Chas’ favorite love songs, because what is a relationship without building upon past scars?
“Little Man” Sonny & Cher
This video. Enough said.
“Start Wearing Purple” Gogol Bordello
Gypsy punk from our favorite Ukrainian immigrants! If you ever see them live (highly recommended) make sure its in a small venue, preferably a shabby old vaudeville theater with a full bar at the back of the general admission area.
The lead singer Eugene Hütz said in an interview, “It’s one of the very few songs I wrote for a girl. I just moved in with my girlfriend in New York. We had a neighbor: an old woman who was always dressed in purple head to toe. She was clearly bonkers. So whenever my girlfriend and I had an argument and she would start screaming at me, I would say: you might as well start wearing purple now.” One of the best ideas for resolving(?) an argument that we’ve ever heard!
“Mahna, Mahna” Cake
One of the best covers of the very first musical performance to air on the Muppet Show. Have to give a shout out to our little pink man!
“Hot Knife” Fiona Apple
He IS a hot knife, and I AM a pat of butter! And this song is bringing singing in rounds back!
“I Appear Missing” Queens of the Stone Age
Josh Homme was inspired to right this song, and others on the 2013 album …Like Clockwork, after dying and being brought back to life on the operating table during routine surgery. We’re thankful he seems to be just as resilient as Amanda’s head after the Tree Branch Incident. Ask Chas about that, as Amanda doesn’t remember.
A more recent entry to Chas and Amanda’s favorites, and one of the more literary songs on this mix. Open to many interpretations, both melancholic and hopeful, it’s taken its place in our hearts as an anthem for monsters everywhere. And Amanda is just tickled that it mentions white female (were?)wolves, the subject of her Master’s thesis.
“This Too Shall Pass” OK Go
Whatever you might say about their musical complexity, this band certainly knows how to make a video, and what is art but not a collection of great ideas?
“Funkytown” Lipps, Inc.
If you need to move, there’s always Funkytown. Take a left off the Boulevard of Broken Dreams and a right on Electric Avenue. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you feel the Saturday Night Fever coming on.
“More Bad Times” The Presidents of the United States of America
After Amanda was ready to leave the hospital after the Tree Branch Incident, Chas thought this song on the drive home was a great way to ease her back into regular life.
“Music Music Music” Teresa Brewer
Chas discovered this song by putting his vast MP3 collection on shuffle. It hails from his father, Bill Hoppe’s, giant 15-disc compilation A History of Pop Music. Sometimes it pays to let the Fates decide.
“Victim of Love” Charles Bradley
Charles Bradley, a disciple of the great James Brown in his rhinestoned purple jumpsuit with collar sharp enough to cut glass, is proof that singing with sincerity trumps clichéd lyrics. Let your heart skip, skip, skip, skip—skip a beat!