1. Amy Rigby - Keep It To Yourself
"Amy Rigby finds the humour in tragic situations and the tragedy in humorous situations; something very few songwriters are able to do. Think Randy Newman and Loudon Wainwright, at their best."
So said Steve Earle, one of Amy Rigby's biggest fans... well, until a month or so ago, when I stole that title from him.
I've spent my life hunting down songwriters who tell stories, who expose the human condition knowingly using wit and wordplay and an arched eyebrow. That search brought me to Elvis Costello, Warren Zevon, John Grant, Thea Gilmore, Jarvis Cocker, Frank Turner, Shirley Lee, E, Lloyd Cole, Kathleen Edwards, Justin Currie, Courtney Barnett... the list goes on and on. But somehow, it never brought me to Amy Rigby.
To be honest, I almost discovered her a few years back when I was first on eMusic. I'd added her to my Wants List at some point, but then I quit the site and never gave her a chance.
All of which leads me to talk about Keep It To Yourself: I'd like to say it's one of the best tracks on her 18 Again Anthology, but to be honest, they're all outstanding. Amy is one of the wittiest, most brutally honest songwriters I've ever encountered. This one is a revenge song, making veiled suggestions to her new boyfriend that if something bad should happen to her ex... well, it wouldn't be the end of the world... as long as she didn't find out about it.
But here's his address
Here's his picture
Here's the make and model of his car
He works until 4.30, then he hangs out at the topless bar
With a girl on each arm
If he should come to harm
Just keep it to yourself.