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Song Stories

“It All Means Nothing”

Screaming Females | 2011

For "All Means Nothing" Screaming Females shredder frontwoman Marissa Paternoster plumbed her punk nihilism: "The song is about the fear of no future in a world that seems to be rapidly collapsing," she told Rolling Stone.  "I suppose the song is also a lot about gathering enough inner strength to push through that fear and move forward in a threatening environment." Though it was their fifth album, it was their first recorded in a proper studio—Steve Albini's Electrical Audio; the band chose to work with the fabled engineer because of his work with PJ Harvey.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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