Video of the Week: Barenaked Ladies Play “Jam or Not a Jam?”

Songs You May Have Missed #432

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Barenaked Ladies: “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” (1997)

Barenaked Ladies have plenty of their own compositions deserving of recognition here. But their cover of fellow-Canadian Bruce Cockburn’s “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” is one that shouldn’t be missed. In fact, they make this tune their own to such a degree that you could say it defines the band as much as any of their original songs.

Props, of course, go to Cockburn for writing a powerful lyric about love and its accompanying terrors and ecstasies. But it took BNL to put across the full measure of that power.

In 2005 “Lovers…” was named the 11th greatest Canadian song of all time on the CBC Radio One series 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version.

I don’t know if it was written with this in mind, but it seems this would make a fitting anthem for LBGT rights…

This, by the way, is the original 1997 B-side version–superior, in my opinion, to the slightly more polished take which appeared on their 2001 Greatest Hits compilation.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2012/08/02/songs-you-may-have-missed-158/

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/03/27/songs-you-may-have-missed-374/

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Songs You May Have Missed #374

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Barenaked Ladies: “Upside Down” (2003)

Another anthem of cynicism from one the foremost practitioners of the subgenre, Steven Page. I’ll say it again: no one since ABBA makes romantic dysfunction sound so damn catchy.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2012/08/02/songs-you-may-have-missed-158/

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/06/23/songs-you-may-have-missed-432/

Songs You May Have Missed #158

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Barenaked Ladies: “Maybe Katie” (2003)

“Maybe Katie”, from the last really good Barenaked Ladies album (2003’s Everything to Everyone) is one of the most infectious pieces of pop of its decade. The lyric is a little nudge toward romance, directed at someone who’s a little too hard to please. The arrangement is a deft combination of power pop chords, synthesizers and harmonies, underpinned by BNL’s ubiquitous strummed acoustic. Oh, and listen for a subtle bit of accordion around 1:56. These guys crafted their recordings with a lot of sonic detail. It’s just a pop song, but one that gives the ear a lot to do.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/03/27/songs-you-may-have-missed-374/

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/06/23/songs-you-may-have-missed-432/

Barenaked Ladies in Better Times

This is what the finale of a Barenaked Ladies concert looked like a decade ago. You never really knew what curveball was coming next, but it was all good, clean fun. They left you laughing because they could laugh at themselves, and at the absurdity of five dorky guys from Canada being rock stars.

There are bands doing the wacky anything-goes live thing today, but these guys have been doing it since the height of grunge rock, when it was extremely unfashionable.

Barring a return of Steven Page to the fold, times like these are over for Barenaked Ladies. Fun while it lasted.

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