Song In My Head #87: “No Sir” by The Both

Before Dr. Daniel J. Levitin was renowned for his books on neuroscience, 
the former record producer taught one of my all-time favorite 
Stanford classes. Creative Processes in Popular Music Recording boasted 
analyses of various song productions, lively section meetings, and 
(best of all) guest lectures by musicians. I was really excited to hear 
Aimee Mann speak, and she did not disappoint. She was incredibly open 
and honest about her songwriting process and experiences with the 
ups and downs of the industry. (I also admired the extremely cool-looking 
pair of silver sneakers she was wearing, which I've never seen before 
or since.) I stuck around after class, watching as she chatted graciously 
with the students. (One of my classmates, clearly and adorably smitten, 
confided to Mann that he always worried about her welfare whenever he 
watched 'Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry" video.) Sadly, all I managed to do 
was squeak out "Thank you for coming!" before I fled.  Good grief!

Anyway, The Both is Mann's current collaboration with Ted Leo, and "No
Sir" is my favorite track from their 2013 debut. Very few songs feature wise
romantic advice and a blistering guitar solo, but this one does. Along
with TUNS' "I Can't Wait Forever" and Three Hour Tour's "Valentine's Day,"
it's a perfect choice for the slow-dance portion of your power-pop prom.
(If, like me, you didn't go to your prom, "No Sir" also suits any 
angst-ridden montage sequence in the '80s teen movie that is your life.)

 

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