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Song Stories

“The Gaudy Side of Town”

Gayngs | 2010

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon makes a crooning cameo on this slinky, Eighties-inspired soft-rock number by the two dozen or so musicians who embody this somewhat tongue-in-cheek supergroup-of-sorts. According to lyricist Zach Coulter, "Gaudy Side of Town" is about "trying to keep a straight face during particularly emotional times." That musi inude times like the one when Prince showed up and almost took the stage at the band's prom-themed album release show.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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