Amy Rigby Underrated singer songwriter

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I think Amy is the most underrated singer songwriter in music today. Proof here is that she does not have her own thread till now. All of her cd's are wonderful. Songs like Are We Ever Going To Have Sex Again, Balls, Summer of My Wasted Youth etc. are wonderful portraits of today's baby boomers growing up.

Jim Reckling (Jim Reckling), Friday, 23 December 2005 15:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Are We Ever Going To Have Sex Again, Balls?

Merry Christmas (fandango), Friday, 23 December 2005 15:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I like Amy Rigby, but not as much as others do. I've tried, and I've always felt like she was somebody I'd like more than I do, but when I listen to the CDs the magic doesn't always happen. For instance, heard only rave things about Little Fugitive, but there are songs on there just not doing it for me. Maybe it's too self-consciously adult or something. "Are We Ever Going to Have Sex Again?" is good though, and I like "The Trouble With Jeannie" and "Dancing with Joey Ramone." In any case, I'm not entirely sure she's underrated - yeah, she's not on the cover of Rolling Stone, but she seems rated pretty high.

TRG (TRG), Friday, 23 December 2005 16:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

What I wrote about her on the 2005 country thread:

>"The Trouble With Jeanie" on the new Amy Rigby album that Bob Xgau loves so much is a great divorce-and-remarriage song. Beyond that, I don't really hear what Bob loves so much...The *songwriting*, I guess, but the music is so staid that the songwriting sure doesn't make itself heard, to my ears. I'm not even completely positive it's very good. But her voice is sweet enough; I have no problem with it, really. Just have trouble understanding how anybody could get excited about it. I liked a song she did a couple years ago about having a crush on a backpack-wearing bookstore employee much younger than her. She's always seemed *okay* to me. But that's about it. New album has one song that goes into a sort of raga thing, and another about dancing with Joey Ramone (I'm yawning already) goes into a sort of one-two-three-fowah Ramones imitation at the end. No lamer than when Motorhead did it, I suppose. And I wish Amy well; she probably deserves it. Seems like a fine human being. Beyond that, I dunno. To be honest, her songs all pretty much sound the same as each other.


(Actually, her voice is fairly staid too, probably, which is probably part of the problem. I wouldn't call it bland or lifeless, though; I just wish she *did* more with it. Another demo singer, basically. But I really do with "The Trouble With Jeanie" could be purchased as, say, a 7-inch 45. A guy's new wife talking about meeting his ex-wife and mother of his kids, who she really likes. What a great topic.)

xhuxk, Friday, 23 December 2005 16:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think I like her more than you, less than Xgau, though I think you come pretty close to describing my feelings. She seems cool, nice, like she'd be great friend, etc., but overall there's something unexceptional going on in the music. There are some songs I have to skip because they're not only unexceptional, they annoy.

TRG (TRG), Friday, 23 December 2005 16:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

But yeah, I think 'Trouble w/ Jeannie' is the standout.

TRG (TRG), Friday, 23 December 2005 16:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm with TRG.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 23 December 2005 16:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think "Amy Rigby: Underrated Singer Songwriter" would make an excellent title for a radio drama.

Jeff Reguilon (Talent Explosion), Friday, 23 December 2005 16:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It would also look good on a business card.

Jeff Reguilon (Talent Explosion), Friday, 23 December 2005 16:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I liked a song she did a couple years ago about having a crush on a backpack-wearing bookstore employee much younger than her.

actually she's the one wearing the backpack in that song, and it's a great song.

that dancing with joey ramone song is awful.

i find her very hit-and-miss, more miss than hit, but when i saw her live at the lakeside lounge a couple years ago she was really great in a way her albums never really are.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Friday, 23 December 2005 16:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

That backpack song is great, yeah. I like the whole Mod Housewife album. I have one other one (The Sugar Tree or whatever it's called), which is fine but not as good as the first one. She reminds me of Aimee Mann, really -- she does one thing pretty well, but how much of it you need will really depend on how much you like that one thing.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Friday, 23 December 2005 17:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Were her pre-solo bands any good?

I feel like I could fit every song I like comfortably on one CD - is the best of a good collection? I'm not familiar with all of it.

Yeah, I think Aimee Mann is a pretty good comparison, though I think I'd take Rigby over her.

TRG (TRG), Friday, 23 December 2005 17:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Were her pre-solo bands any good?

the shams were an awesome live band, and made one really good album that i remember for matador. stunning harmonies, funny-but-moving songs.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Friday, 23 December 2005 17:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah Chuck she is no way near as good as Big and Rich.

Jim Reckling (Jim Reckling), Friday, 23 December 2005 20:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Not even close. But if you think otherwise, by all means feel free to explain why.

xhuxk, Friday, 23 December 2005 21:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

She writes songs from the heart that are witty and well written.

Jim Reckling (Jim Reckling), Friday, 23 December 2005 22:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I haven't heard much Amy Rigby, but I adore "Don't Break The Heart" (which, oddly, I first heard of when it was covered by Mono Puff before hearing Amy's original), can anyone suggest me an Amy POX, or what album I should investigate, if I want to hear more?

edward o (edwardo), Friday, 23 December 2005 22:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hi Edward, start with either her best of cd or Diary of a Mod Housewife if you can find it, it is criminally out of print.

Jim Reckling (Jim Reckling), Friday, 23 December 2005 22:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Between Amy Rigby and Amy Allison I'd take the latter in a second.

Paul Eater (eater), Saturday, 24 December 2005 16:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, me too.

TRG (TRG), Saturday, 24 December 2005 17:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I looooove the Shams. First MP3 I ever posted on my blog was the original single version of "Only a Dream."

Just yesterday I heard Richard Hell's "Time" on our local pirate radio station (just started up, a little overearnest but promising), and it made me remember how much I like the Shams' version of it.

Douglas (Douglas), Saturday, 24 December 2005 17:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Were her pre-solo bands any good?
Oddly enough, she was in a very early version of Mofungo.

dlp9001, Saturday, 24 December 2005 17:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Aimee M >> Amy R

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Saturday, 24 December 2005 17:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I'm new on the site. Because of the marriage song thread, I decided to look up comments about Amy Rigby, who Christgau correctly refers to as the great songwriter of a nonexistent genre: Alt AC. If you're on this site you're probably Alt but you may not be 40 or married or have had a mutual love for "Diary of A Mod Housewife" save your marriage ten years ago. In these cases, you may simply not be interested in Alt AC, and all power to you. For me, Rigby's the best singer-songwriter active now, and with a dwindling stock of currently active bands I'm excited about, she's up there with the best active artists.

Kenny, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 19:07 (eleven years ago) Permalink

...but you may not be 40 or married or have had a mutual love for "Diary of A Mod Housewife" save your marriage ten years ago.

So true. I fit this category so it's only natural that her music will tend to resonate with me more than a single 20-something. "Don't Ever Change," from Til the Wheels Fall Off will probably sound like sentimental cornball crap to someone younger who doesn't have kids. But it makes the rest of us choke up.
Even someone in a happy marriage could relate to "Beer and Kisses."
Plus, I love listening to 40+ singers go on about fucking up and their need to get laid.

Jazzbo, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 20:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

xxxpost--Aimee Mann is a terrible comparison. Rigby's got a "worse" voice but way more personality as a singer, and Mann's got far less humor and continuously rewrites the same melody.

Martin Van Burne, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 20:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I am a single 20-something and I think Amy Rigby is awesome.

da croupier, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 20:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Well, I'm spoken for but not married.

da croupier, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 20:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Welcome, Kenny. You should check the rolling country thread. Not that there's much Rigby love there, either -- a certain anti-middlebrowism pervades. But at least you'll find folks there who care enough to discuss singers like her. It might even replenish your dwindling stock of bands you're excited about.

Thus Sang Freud, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 20:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I didn't like the Joey Ramone song very much but the last album was pretty wonderful.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 21:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Not sure about the relationship of Rigby to country, which I listen to a little, like any rock and roller. I mean, it's not just that I knew Will & the dB's before I knew Amy, but when I saw Amy Rigby in Knoxville, Tennessee -- obviously a country kind of town -- in 1996, she was playing with Bob Mould. That's who her fan base (including me) overlaps with.

But if there are specific current country acts you'd recommend to an Amy Rigby fan, I'd love to hear 'em. Got wind of Miranda Lambert because of Chrsitgau's praise, and like it well enough. But country for me means Merle Travis, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, early Dolly Parton, whatever songs Jon Langford has covered recently, and not too much else. And Amy Rigby means alt-indie rock grown up.

Kenny, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 21:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Even someone in a happy marriage could relate to "Beer and Kisses."

Anyone in a long-term marriage, no matter how happy, has experienced a period of time like "Beer and Kisses."

My 18th anniversary is next weekend. Grammy's taking the kid and we're going to the mountains :)

Kenny, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 21:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

and what Miranda Lambert mean?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 21:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

* and what DOES Miranda Lambert mean?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 21:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It seems, Kenny, like your definition of country doesn't allow much room for pure rock 'n' roll; it's more like folk.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 21:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_Lambert

I didn't give a definition of country, nor intend to. I indicated mostly that I don't know much about it, and that's not the route I took to find Amy Rigby.

Kenny, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 21:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I just think she's a great songwriter with a really charming voice! She inspires a lot of sympathy. I even thought the Joey Ramone song was cute, I know lots of women that would be happy to dream about dancing with him, not sure why people don't like it.

da croupier, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 22:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Why people don't like "Dancing With Joey Ramone":

1. Because they think Sleater-Kinney already did it.
2. Because they are troubled by the forthright, talky way Rigby acknowledges desire for things that hurt her.

Of course, #2 cancels #1: Sleater-Kinney don't desire things that hurt them, they desire the power of the thing itself; Rigby is gendered in a much more traditional way. She's also 10 years older. That's exactly why "Dancing With Joey Ramone" is such a powerful song.

Both songs are dreams about power. But Sleater-Kinney's is easier to take, joyous, because it's easy to acknowledge that you share that particular dream. And much harder to acknowledge that you (or someone you love) shares Amy's dream.

Kenny, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 22:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I even thought the Joey Ramone song was cute, I know lots of women that would be happy to dream about dancing with him, not sure why people don't like it

I can't think of a good reason either! All I can muster is minor grumbling about how Joey's too obvious a subject? too cute? I dunno. I would have preferred Ricky Wilson or Chris Frantz.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 23:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I recognize, however, that dancing with Frantz might entail bearing with lots of infectious grins and him shouting "BOHANNON!" in your ear.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 23:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I dig her blog from France: http://www.littlefugitive.blogspot.com/

Roy Kasten, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 23:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I lost interest in her sometime after 'Mod Housewife.' She seemed to be spinning her wheels. I have not heard her most recent cd, and did not realize she's living in France now, so maybe she's gotten a second wind.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 04:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

lol, i once called amy's number in williamsburg like 11-12 years ago, she was listed (not like anyone besides avid Village Voice readers knew who she was anyway). she answered too.

bobby bedelia, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 05:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Actually, as long as this has been revived, anyone ever heard her ancient band The Stare-Kits? Allegedly Siouxsie sounding.

dlp9001, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 09:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Anyone heard her latest, with (new hubby) Wreckless Eric?
I love how he still goes by that name at the rip old age of 54.

Jazzbo, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 18:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

er, "ripe"

Jazzbo, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 18:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

The album is OK... It has a ragged/frayedness to it that's kinda endearing. I read her blog more though (it's at http://amyrigby.blogspot.com/ now)

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Wednesday, 7 January 2009 19:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

Amy Rigby is underrated.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 13 October 2016 14:05 (two years ago) Permalink

I used to think that, but have gotten less enjoyment from her music in recent years then I did in the past. Maybe it's me.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 13 October 2016 15:53 (two years ago) Permalink

Hey Josh, She's playing a house show in the suburbs later this month. I'm hoping to make it. Look it up!

john. a resident of chicago., Friday, 14 October 2016 23:27 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Byron Coley was tweeting favorably about her new album The Old Guys. I haven't heard it yet.

Christgau gave her a kinda favorable review but portions of it (rightly so) aggravated Amy and she responded on her blog.

https://diaryofamyrigby.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/dont-follow-him-hes-lost-too/

https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/kzx77n/robert-christgau-on-the-refuge-of-yo-la-tengo-and-the-audacity-of-amy-rigby

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 10 April 2018 18:52 (six months ago) Permalink

Couple that Christgau review with his U.S. Girls blurb and you have his shittiest week ever.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 April 2018 19:15 (six months ago) Permalink

i was digging into the archives to check out his old Breeders reviews, and the one for Last Splash (and the one for the Amps!) i found a little off-putting...

omar little, Tuesday, 10 April 2018 19:23 (six months ago) Permalink

He's got some issues.

I need to listen to the new Amy Rigby album some more.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 11 April 2018 17:55 (six months ago) Permalink


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