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Song Stories

“Running on Empty”

Jackson Browne | 1977

Sometimes the best lyrical metaphors arise from literal events, such as in the case of this title track to Jackson Browne’s breakout album. The singer-songwriter was inspired by the reading on his car's fuel gauge while motoring to the studio each day to make his previous album, The Pretender. “I was always driving around with no gas in the car,” he said. “I just never bothered to fill up the tank because – how far was it anyway? Just a few blocks.”

Find out about flying panties inspired a young Jackson Browne to become a musician.
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Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

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