10 Songs About Jennifer

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Jennifer, a popular female name originating from the Cornish name Guinevere. The name translates into “white enchantress,” or “the fair one,” which for me personally rings accurate because I am about as pasty as it gets.

“Jennifer” hit its peak in the 1970’s as the top female baby name in the U.S. for 14 years straight. With that being said, it’s no surprise why there have been so many songs inspired about girls named Jennifer.

Without further or do, here is an assortment of songs I’ve collected over the years with Jennifer in mind.

And no, this list does not include “867-5309 (Jenny)” you savages.

10. “Jennifer Juniper” by Donovan

Although I have no evidence to back this up, I am a firm believer that “Jennifer Juniper” is the first song dedicated to a girl named Jennifer. Released in 1968 the song peaked at number 5 in the UK Singles Chart.

Hailing from Scotland, the singer, songwriter and guitarist Donovan had a distinct style that combined jazz, pop, psychedelic, and world music. “Jennifer Juniper” is a delicate folk ditty that you can still hear on the classic radio station daily. And I think it’s safe to say that all Jennifer’s have had someone sing them this song at one point.

Fun fact: This song was inspired by George Harrison’s then-sister-in-law, Jennifer Boyd who later married Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac.

9. “Jenny” by Electric Guest

I love me some Electric Guest. Their debut album Mondo, produced by Danger Mouse, was released in 2012 and was easily one of the best records of the year.

The Los Angeles based quartet’s soulful mix of funk and synth pop is perfectly captured in “Jenny”. Give it a listen and see for yourself.

8. “Jenny, You’re Barely Alive” by Rilo Kiley

For those of you not familiar with the early 200o’s indie rock band Rilo Kiley, Jenny is the name of the lead singer/ultimate dream babe Jenny Lewis.

The song is a self help letter written in the second person perspective. The lo-fi vocals and distorted guitars are an arrangement that frays away from Rilo Kileys usual pop sound. A technique purposely used to match the lyrical desperation of this track.

“Jenny You’re Barely Alive” is about a girl who is lost and can’t seem to get it right. Something we’ve all felt at one point.

7. “Amy + Jen” by The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band is a six piece indie rock band formed in 1996. I listened to them quite a bit when their album Nice and Nicely Done came out in 2006. Their music is an upbeat mix of pop, folk with neurotic hook packed choruses.

“Amy + Jen” is a delirious and tightly arranged highlight off their 2013 record Cool Cocoon. Reminiscent of something you’d hear in a modern disco, the dreamy guitar solos, accompanied pouncing keyboard, this is a song that will make all Jens (and Amys) proud.

6. “Jenny and the Summer Day” by The Avett Brothers

What’s up with folk bands infatuation with girls named Jenny?

“Jenny on a Summer Day” is a cute love song about a summer love during adolescence. It makes you want to sit under a shady tree in the middle of July and drink lemonade while listening to the banjo plucking and piano keys ringing.

The Avett brothers are an American folk rock band from North Carolina, and they are made up of, well, two brothers. Their style combines bluegrass, country, punk, folk, ragtime, and country.

5. “Jennifer” by Faust

Faust is a German experimental rock band formed in 1971. Despite the songs nearly 5 minute time stamp, lyrically the song only repeats the same lines: “Jennifer, your red hair’s burning. Yellow jokes come out of your mind,” which to be honest, I have no idea what that means.

But the timeless lo-fi style and arrangement trump the incoherent lyrics.

4. “Jenny Don’t be Hasty” by Paulo Nutini

Scottish singer/songwriter Paolo Nutini is a heavy hitter in the UK. Always at the top of the music charts, even reaching certified platinum. In June 2014 the BBC titled him as “Scotland’s biggest musician.” Although he’s reached a modicum of success in the U.S. it does not come close to his triumphs in the UK.

“Jenny Don’t be Hasty” is the second single from Nutini’s debut album These Streets. His soulful husky vocals and lyrical wisdom make it hard to imagine they belonged to a then 19-year-old.

3. “Jen is Bringin the Drugs” by Margot & the Nuclear So & So’s

Margot & the Nuclear So & So’s was one of my favorite bands in high school. They’re named after Gwyneth Paltrow’s character Margot from the cult classic Wes Anderson film “The Royal Tenenbaums”

Hailing from Indianapolis, their music style is described as “cinematic chamber pop,” over the years their sound has evolved from an orchestral sound to guitar rock.

Lyrically, they’ve always touched on topics such as drug abuse, alcoholism, and being impoverished. So it’s no surprise that “Jen is Bringing the Drugs” fits the same narrative.

Listen for yourself, I think everyone know’s a girl like the Jen described in this song.

2. “Jennifer” by Little Comets

Little Comets are an English indie rock trio. Despite being a band for almost a decade, I only ever got into their 2013 album Life is Elsewhere. It consisted of cute indie rock ditties that make you want to tap your feet.

“Jennifer” is the first single off Life is Elswhere. In the chorus, the singer asks “Jennifer, why do you have to be so taciturn?” And my answer is because Jennifer’s are awkward AF.

Jangly guitars, upbeat rhythms and singer Robert Cole’s high falsetto is a combination does not make this the kind of music you’d listen to when you’re looking to stare at the ceiling and reflect on life. But sometimes, we just need to dance.

1.  “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” by The Killers

As a Las Vegas native, nothing reminds me of home more than The Killers debut album Hot Fuss. The opening track “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” is the ultimate introduction to The Killers. It was the perfect start for the band to let us listeners know what we were in for.

The groovy bass line, the hypnotic synths, and the memorable chorus will still make people sing in stadiums across the world, despite this song being over a decade old. Although I hate it when people call me Jenny, when people sing this song to me, it’s the only exception.

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Baby, You’re a Star

Today died the greatest musician who has ever touched a guitar. The world will be a little less today. A tremendous soul has been lifted from our earth. With that soul goes the greatest person to lay fingers on a guitar, a man whom Dave Grohl once said was a better drummer than him and one of the most liberated individuals who have ever lived.

If there’s one phrase that sums up Prince is that he did not give a single fuck. He did what he wanted and he did it audaciously. He wrote songs about receiving oral sex, did not include a bass line on “When Doves Cry,” wanted to star in a film without never having acted before and he got into ugly, vicious fights with his music label. The man frequently made public appearances in the 90’s with the word “slave” scrawled on his cheek, a reference to his long fight with his major label, Warner Bros. Prince made this into an album cover and it has become the object of my fascination for a couple of years now.

What made Prince a lot more than simply a cheap shock artist was how much his audacity paid off. Very few people took as bold steps as Prince did. The results were often magical, fascinating and beautiful. Purple Rain is the greatest album the 80’s ever produced. One of my favorite four album runs of all time is Dirty MindControversy1999, and Purple Rain. 1987’s Sign o’ the Times is one of the best double albums ever recorded, if not the best. The 1980’s belonged to Prince in an era that was crowded by the highest selling album and musician of all time. He was able to make a song called “Batdance” go platinum.

Today Prince did what was unimaginable. He proved to be mortal. Friedrich Nietzsche famously said that “God is dead.” Today God died.

The Choice is Easy. Vote for Yeezy.

1I love election season. As someone who does not follow sports, the United States Presidential election is the equivalent of the Super Bowl for me. Ok, well World Cup because that is also every 4 years.

This election cycle has been equally entertaining and scary. Thanks to Donald Trump.

The general election is swiftly approaching and Trump is leading in the polls. Unless a scandal comes to light hindering his campaign, it seems very likely Trump could win the Republication nomination. Something that nobody would have predicted.

Trump first announced his candidacy in June 2015. The public did not take this stunt seriously. He has zero credibility or experience and is notorious for being outspoken in unfiltered controversial opinions. Sound familiar?

Kanye Fucking West.

During the MTV Video Music Awards in 2015, West took over the stage and passionately announced he will be running for President of the United States in 2020. His statement was also met with cynicism and amusement. But why all the skepticism?

Kanye West is a charismatic and influential idealist who gets shit done.

He’s passionate. magnetic. enthusiastic. Uses his affluence to support causes he believes in. He is a philanthropist, artist, entrepreneur, and could be our next President… If you let me run your campaign.

As your political advisor I would not ask you to change. Kanye you’re the best. You do you. But I will refine your reputation, and soon enough the American public will see you in a new light. We have 4 years to put this together and let’s be honest: If Donald Trump can make it this far, then so can Kanye West – and he’d be way better.

Rebranding Kanye – The Family Man

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Kanye Wests public image is turbulent. America has seen him as a bully since the Taylor Swift incident in 2008. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Arrogant, vulgar and douchebag are adjectives that show up if you Google him today.

By 2020 he will be seen as a diplomatic family man whose altruistic nature will transcend all.

The formula is there: West is the modern from rags to riches Cinderella Story. Raised by a single mother in the south side of Chicago, not much different than President Obama. He is a married man with two young children. All he needs is the white picket fence.

Focus: Show the world the domestic side of Kanye West. In the current state of things, West is surprisingly quiet when it comes to his personal and private life. In general, West does not reveal personal details about himself and his family. Presidential Kanye has to let his guard down a bit and reveal himself as a father, family man, and son.

Lay out Political Philosophies

Like it or not Kanye West IS a political figure, and has been his entire career. In his first record College Dropout, he spoke out about education and student loan debt. In Late Registration, he addressed the crack epidemic of the 1980s, 2013s Yeezus is entirely political. He is outspoken and makes no compromises: the qualities we need in a leader that will warrant change.

After doing extensive research, I have found many of Kanye Wests ideals on political topics:

Gun Control: He was never in a gang, never owned a gun, and has never committed any major crimes. West credits where he is now to the fact that he always stayed off of the streets. The further away children are from guns and violence, the safer and more successful they will be, he believes.

Education: Kanye’s mother was a teacher, and fueled his lifelong sense of academic importance. On The College Dropout, Kanye detailed his complex feelings about leaving school at 20 to pursue his musical career. He founded the Dr. Donda West Foundation, which is named after his late mother, to combat illiteracy and low graduation rates, and to provide access to music education programs. Kanye believes that everyone should have access to affordable education.

“The system broken, the school’s closed, the prison’s open.” Power (2010)

Racism: You know, with race it’s like, okay we know it’s racist people, we know that a lot of white men over the age of 60 are racist, we embrace that. But the world is moving. Ten years from now, 20 years from now, every person of color or female or any minority that comes into power will eventually shift it. You got the ozone layer, you got all this stuff, you see 100 years from now the entire world might be black. Just to even survive on the earth, period.” – Kanye West

LGBT Rights: In 2005, West came forward and asked the hip-hop community to stop the use of anti-gay slurs in songs. He was a pioneer, taking a stand against homophobia in an industry frequently criticized for perpetuating it.

Everybody in Hip Hop discriminates against gay people. Matter of fact, the exact opposite word of ’Hip Hop,’ I think, is ’gay.’ You play a record and if it’s wack, ‘That’s gay, dog!. And I wanna just come on TV and just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, ‘Yo, stop it. That’s discrimination.

Income Inequality: In 2011 Kanye visited the Occupy Wall Street protests, he was a big supporter, spiritually for the movement. He was there to stand with the people. He wasn’t there to make a statement, didn’t want to do any media at all. He was there in solidarity. He understands this idea about getting the money out of the government and letting the people govern. He wants to give power back to the people.

Class Division: What good is anything that everyone can’t have? They think we’re done with racism. What about elitism? What about separatism? What about classism? You know what should cost $5,000? A car should be $5,000. And you know who should work on the car? The people who work on the $500,000 cars. All the best talent in the world needs to work for the people. I’m successful in learning about the beauty that is afforded rich people, but in learning that, being brought up middle-class, it’s something that is beating out of my chest.

Class is the new way to discriminate against people, to hold people down, to hold people in their place based on where their kids go to school, how much money they make, what they drive, where they live and what type of clothes they have and how much they have in their account for retirement.” 

Arts Programs: Kanye West received an honorary doctorate degree from the School of the Arts Institute in Chicago. Kanye started the Loop Dreams project, that was dedicated to putting music-production equipment in schools. Kanye has talked about creating a summer program with a curriculum that centers on preparing students for real life.

I would like to move away from traditional methods and appeal to a new generation of students that are intrigued by the arts and alternative approaches to being taught. America’s schools are currently being crushed under the weight of a test score driven system.

Foreign Policy: As we learned in 2005’s Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” Kanye is very concerned about West African children forced to mine “blood diamonds.” Traveling is something Kanye has done a lot of. He’s toured and been in the presence of many different ethnicities and cultures. 

Immigration: In 2010, Kanye joined a group of musicians to boycott performing in Arizona after the state passed one of the harshest anti-immigrant laws in the country. If West become president, he’d be an ally of undocumented immigrants, who play a vital role in the US economy. In 2011, Kanye West denounced  HB 56, a strict immigration law propositioned in Alabama. The law allowed police to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally who cannot present proper documentation if stopped by authorities, Reuters reports. It also requires publics schools to question students’ legal residence and prevents illegal immigrants from obtaining a business or driver’s license. Kanye spoke on the issue:

I want to try to create a bridge between people who have the power to reach millions and the people who are fighting here on the ground in Birmingham. We need help here on the ground. We need for celebrities to stop being silent. We need people to speak out on every level, because silence is a form of compliance and agreement.

Public Health: In West’s song “Roses” (2005) he discusses the inefficiencies of public health care, and his frustrations with the system. He was discussing the inequality of treatment and lack of professionalism. His Grandmother was dying in the hospital receiving inadequate care, while Magic Johnson, for example, gets cured for aids. He recognizes the injustice that people with lower incomes receive. 

Prison Reform: Kanye criticizes the private prison system. In “New Slaves” (2013)  He raps: “Meanwhile the DEA / Teamed up with the CCA [Correction Corporation of America] / They tryn’a lock n****s up / They tryn’a make new slaves / See that’s that private owned prison / Get your piece today.”

Marijuana Legalization: Kanye West is pro-legalization. West has frequently called for an end to the War on Drugs and, would take steps to legalize marijuana if he made it to the White House. In the process, he’d end decades of discriminatory policies, help the economy, reduce incarceration rates and deal a blow to Mexican drug cartels.

Reproductive Rights: Our prospective first lady, Kim Kardashian, is a supporter of Planned Parenthood, and also supports a woman’s freedom to control her reproductive system.

Social Media

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West has a strong Twitter game. His fanatical rants display the amount of passion he has. They showcase his profound capability of caring about something and he uses his platform as a vehicle for change and progress. West does not stay silent when he witnesses injustices happening around him, and that’s the kind of President we need.

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Twitter: West will run his own Twitter. Public relations people and political advisors will not control his content. By the year 2020, West’s profanity may be refined a bit due to the growing age of his children. The plan isn’t to silence or censor him, and with the campaign his feed will be filled with political banter and ideologies.

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Instagram:

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Instagram page curated for West’s campaign: Yeezy in D.C.

 Last, but not least:

Vice president. Personally, the ideal person to add to his ticket would be Bernie Sanders, unfortunately Sanders will be running for his re-election that term and may not oblige. So, Beyonce will do.

 

The Case for Pablo Honey

About 9 years ago In Rainbows dropped. The local Vegas Weekly magazine published a short blurb about the album. For obvious reasons, the blurb focused entirely on the “unusual” release method of In Rainbows. The infamous “Pay what you want” distribution Radiohead pursued for the album dominated the  conversation around the album. I read about In Rainbows in around October in the Vegas Weekly and forgot about the album for three months.

Come January, I was at the dilapidated and rot-smelling Boulevard Mall. My mom doesn’t really go out, but one of her favorite hobbies is gathering with her sister and brother here in town and scouring the mall’s nooks and corners for bargains. That day I had decided to separate for a bit and went into a tiny music store. For those of you who remember the old Boulevard Mall there was some music shop right before the Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. I had not shopped for albums in about 3 or 4 years and I had just worked the previous summer at one of those green-screen tourism traps that sell tourists pictures of themselves running scared from some superimposed shark in the top corner of their pic. After a bit of perusing, I walked out with two albums that day: Radiohead’s In Rainbows and Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool.

It was that year of 2008 that my love affair with Radiohead would begin. My obsession with the band lasted about 2 years. During this time I listened to nothing but Radiohead, and I swear this is true. I do not think I took a break from Radiohead until right around the time when The King of Limbs dropped. In this time I had completed a CD collection full of the entire albums, EPs and singles. I bought a record player because I had just doled out on the The King of Limbs “Newspaper Edition.” I joined a music forum that has become critical in developing my music taste and introducing me to new music. I was not fucking around when I said that Radiohead absolutely dominated my life from about 2008-2010.

It was during this dominance that the next two albums that I bought after In Rainbows were OK Computer and Pablo Honey. Radiohead fanboyism is divided in two camps: those who think OK Computer is the best Radiohead album and those who think Kid A is the best album. Pablo Honey is the Boulevard Mall. It is forgotten, smells like moist, damp rot and everyone completely disregards it for the brighter and “better” Radiohead albums. Pablo Honey is so much more than almost every Radiohead fan would have you believe. It is actually the best Radiohead album.

Part of the charm of Pablo Honey is the state of the band in 1993. Those last two links in particular highlight the ridiculous amounts of cringe the band were in its early days. That’s the best thing about Pablo Honey, however. Partly because it highlights the embarrassing start of what has become one of the most prolific bands of all time, but what makes it even greater is how self-serious almost the entire fanbase is. This is a fanbase that went to ridiculous and painstakingly embarrassing lengths to find a The King of Limbs Pt. 2. It is refreshing to know that at one point Radiohead was a band that had a screaming frontman with long bleached blonde hair, and that that bleach-blonde haired man would go on to form what has become one of the world’s largest cults.

Pablo Honey is much more than ridiculous blonde hair and screaming matches on MTV. It has a few interesting b-sides. Some are dreamy shoegaze and some are just fun hateful music video watches. The album itself is an album of early 90’s alternative rock. You get a lot of the tropes. Grunge songs filled with an angsty Thom Yorke yelling out his verses. It’s forward thinking in its own, unintentional sort of way, a forefather to the angsty, emo pop that dominated the early to mid 00’s. Thom Yorke was the archetype frontman to your Panic! At the Disco, My Chemical Romance frontmen. It’s your sad high school classmate who was shunned from the prom. They are beautiful, tender creatures, creatures who lift up their suffering on an unreachable pedestal, the creatures who you mock because for their naiveté. It’s the creature the world needs.

Pablo Honey is a unique moment in the trajectory of the band. It’s a simple album about a man’s emotions and feelings. One about a man who struggles with how he views himself and how the world views him (“Creep”). It expresses raw emotions the only way a young white male from England. It predates a lot of the intellectual highbrow that would follow Radiohead with OK Computer and Kid A, albums who’s themes are so heavy-handed they’re only matched by the dreariness of its music. If the band perfected this expression of emotion with The Bends, then it follows that they would not have done it without Pablo HoneyPablo Honey was crucial in the development of a band that peaked with The Bends, therefore making it the most important album in the history of Radiohead. You can hear the musical exploration Radiohead would pursue in songs like “Lurgee” and “Blow Out.” On what other album can you listen to a Thom Yorke sing about masturbation?

As the band is getting ready to release their 9th album, they announced a new, short world tour. I rushed to get tickets for the LA shows and was one of the few, lucky fans to score a ticket. The band is getting old now and they’ve been together for over 20 years. I know they like to announce that there are no plans to split up any time soon, but all the signs point otherwise. Three of the members have solo careers or score films in Hollywood. Thom enjoys DJing in LA and hanging out with Flying Lotus. It has been 5 years since the release of The King of Limbs with the slowest release process and just a general lack of enthusiasm to release anything. With no singles or release date in sight for the ninth album, I wouldn’t be surprised if the band called it quits after this one. And soon after they play their final show or if they announce a final hiatus we are going to get all the think pieces and hot takes about that time someone somewhere put on Kid A for the first time or how they walked down the streets of New York on some hot summer day the day after they paid $9.99 for In Rainbows. And Pablo Honey will remain receiving its unfair bit of shade thrown its way, but in my opinion it will always remain the most important album in the long history of Radiohead.