NTTOD Playlist #2: I’m In Love With That Song (A Collection of Pop Music About Pop Music)

Written by NY Press on . Posted in Arts & Film, Music.


By Simon Lazarus Vasta

One of the things I love most about pop music is its versatility. It’s a medium with room for everything: the political and the personal, the avant-garde and the lowbrow, orchestral finesse and two-chord anthems, stupidity and intelligence, beauty and brutality. Additionally, these elements can be arranged any which way, swapped out and mutated into something unpredictable and groundbreaking. And there are hundreds of millions of these things. There are pop songs about everything from the slave trade to lactating men, from stoned professions of lust to the sincere love felt for a desk, from street level survival to dying alone in space. If something exists in space and time, you can bet your ass there’s a song about it.

Being the popaholic waste of space that I am, I’ll listen to pretty much anything, but I do have a soft spot for songs about my favorite subject: pop music. What’s rad about songs about songs is that they have just as much range as pop at large. There’s self-reflexive navel-gazing, revolutionary manifestoes, nostalgia-drenched love letters, and condemnations of the mainstream. Pop songs about pop songs embrace the medium’s limitless potential and celebrate it. You can listen to a few of my favorites here or by pressing play on the embedded playlist below.

  1. Losing My Edge – LCD Soundsystem
  2. Heard About Your Band – Brakes
  3. Top of the Pops – The Rezillos
  4. This is Pop – XTC
  5. Hitsville UK – The Clash
  6. R.A.P. Music – Killer Mike
  7. Heavy Metal Drummer – Wilco
  8. Slap Dash for No Cash – Art Brut
  9. The Medium Was Tedium – The Desperate Bicycles
  10. The Song is the Single – BARR
  11. Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend’s Too Stupid to Know About – Tullycraft
  12. Let’s Kiss and Listen to Bis – Mikrofisch
  13. Part Time Punks – Television Personalities
  14. Rebellious Jukebox – The Fall
  15. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll – Ian Dury and the Blockheads
  16. Radio Song – Danny Brown
  17. Triumph of the Swill – Dead Kennedys
  18. Meet the Beatle – Tall Dwarfs
  19. The One on the Right is on the Left – Johnny Cash
  20. Bad Cover Version – Pulp
  21. We’re the Replacements – They Might Be Giants
  22. Alex Chilton – The Replacements
  23. Thirteen – Big Star

If anybody else has some favorite songs about songs, we would love to see them in the comments.

Simon Lazarus Vasta dives into a huge vault of records at the end like Scrooge McDuck at the end of every day and swears he won’t get out ‘til the third My Bloody Valentine album finally comes out. Well, that’s what he says, anyway; he’s always at the breakfast table the next morning. If you’d like, you can follow him on Twitter @Hunter_S_Narc.

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