Day 135: The last song that appears when you sort alphabetically in your iPod/iTunes.
“99 Ways” – Jane Wiedlin
Jane Wiedlin is sort of the “also ran” of The Go-Go’s. <Insert facepalm for wanton apostrophe misuse by the band here.> She never got as much attention as Belinda Carlisle when they were in The Go-Go’s (even though Jane was a primary songwriter) and her solo career was not as successful as Belinda Carlisle’s.
But she’s not as addicted to cocaine as Belinda Carlisle, so there’s that.
I have always liked Jane Wiedlin’s music. I know a lot of people can’t take her voice, and honestly, after watching the season of “The Surreal Life” that she was in, I’m not sure I could deal with her speaking voice on a daily basis, either. But I don’t mind her singing voice in measured doses.
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Her only real “hit” was “Rush Hour” in 1988. But since the (initial) breakup of The Go-Go’s in 1984, she’s managed to release four solo albums, a “Very Best Of” album (because with only one hit, a “Greatest Hits” album is pushing it), and a “band” album under the name “froSTed.” (Which was a band, not just a solo project, but it was short-lived.)
The quality varies, but in general it ranges between light punk and harmless, bubble-gum pop.
Which brings us to today’s song.
“99 Ways, ” from 1990’s Tangled, is about as bubble-gum as you can get. (Except for maybe “Big Rock Candy Mountain” from the same album.) It’s basically a song about all the things Jane is trying to do “to make you my man.” They range from taking up golf to walking your cat.
It’s all very cute. Maybe too cute. It drips with saccharine sweetness. Simple syrup oozes from the CD player when it’s on. Repeated listenings increase your risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 62%.
At one time, I thought it would be nice to have someone who wanted to be with you so badly they’d do all those things. Now it just seems like the whole thing would be over the top. But, since her calculus is great, I could possibly overlook it.
“99 Ways” also happens to be the last song in my iTunes list when sorted alphabetically.
Which is weird, because I’m used to Windows putting numbers first when sorting by name. What makes this worse is that the Chicago Manual of Style says that it should be sorted as if it was spelled out; so as “Ninety-nine Ways”
All very confusing. But, the upside is, if it wasn’t this way, the last song would be “Zorba The Greek” by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass. (Say what you want, I like Herb Alpert.) And since I have absolutely nothing to write about that song, we’ll just stick with “99 Ways,” weird alphabetizing rules and all.
Not to mention that, using “Zorba The Greek” would make “99 Ways” an also-ran, and Jane’s already had too much of that.