Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Favorite Song: "The Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco" by the Lucksmiths

"Is it April yet?

A valid question (to which the answer is "yes") -- but I'm not asking you that. Rather, I felt like quoting the opening line of "The Chapter in Your Life Entitled San Francisco" by the Lucksmiths -- my new favorite song about my favorite city.

Why have I lived in San Francisco for nearly 4 years and never heard this song (it came out in 2005)? Why doesn't everyone I know consider this their theme song? Why did it not become a massive smash hit? Ah! It's so good! Intelligent lyrics! Sunny melody! Cute Aussie boys with cute Aussie accents!

I love how the Australian perspective informs the lyrics, too -- it's a song about loving someone who's in a different hemisphere, with different seasons and "unfamiliar stars." A friend of mine who's been to Australia says that that's the most disorienting thing -- to step outside and literally not recognize the constellations.

If I had a cabaret act I would perform this song in a medley with the Magnetic Fields' similarly-themed "Come Back From San Francisco," naturellement.

I actually learned of the Lucksmiths yesterday when reading Alec Nevala-Lee's blog post about the Magnetic Fields, to which a very enthusiastic commenter named Darren Goossens had responded with a lengthy comment implying that if you love the Magnetic Fields, you'll also like "the great Australian wordy-pop band, the Lucksmiths." (It seems that Mr. Goossens merely moonlights as a pop-music enthusiast and in his day-to-day life, he is a nuclear scientist. Curiouser and curiouser!) The quoted lyrics greatly appealed to me, so I investigated the Lucksmiths further. They put out several acclaimed albums in the '90s and '00s but disbanded in 2009.

"The Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco" comes from the Lucksmiths' 2005 album Warmer Corners, which I listened to today and warmly recommend to all lovers of well-crafted guitar pop. Other standout tracks: "A Hiccup in Your Happiness," "The Music Next Door," "Sunlight in a Jar," and "Fiction." After hearing this last song, which is about a girl with the word "fiction" tattooed on her arm in typewriter font, I now have my answer to that recent AV Club Q&A about mandatory pop-culture tattoos...

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