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Garin Pirnia

Reporter

  • West End Girls

    Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant's worldwide Number One single evolved from Lowe watching a Jimmy Cagney gangster film and, as Lowe recalled, "Just as I was dropping off to sleep, into my head popped the song's opening line, 'Sometimes you're better off dead/There's gun in your hand and it's pointed at your head.' I thought, […]

    • Music
  • At Home He's a Tourist

    The socially conscious post-punk group generated what the members referred to as "the perfect existential squall." "No assemblage, pro-tools confection, just the strings being hit and screaming in pain as they're bashed and cajoled into a beautiful anti-solo that is all about the now and not about the maybe," the band's singer Jon King said […]

    • Music
  • Enola Gay

    "Enola Gay" is a synthpop song with an unlikely provenance: It was named after the bomber (which, in turn, was named after the pilot's mother) that dropped the devastating "Little Boy" atomic bomb on Hiroshima during WWII. "Many people simply don't know what it's actually about," Andy McCluskey of the British duo said. "Some even […]

    • Music
  • The Killing Moon

    Ian McCulloch spoke with much aplomb about what he feels is the rightful place in musical history for this standout track from the Ocean Rain album. "'The Killing Moon' is more than a song, it's about everything," the Echo & the Bunnymen frontman told Rolling Stone. "It's up there with 'Suzanne,' by Leonard Cohen, 'Blowin' […]

    • Music
  • Divine Hammer

    Kim Deal explored and questioned her religious upbringing through "Hammer." "It's not fair that folk singers preach a happy message and the goodness of living off the land and 'If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning,'" Deal told Rolling Stone. "That doesn't exist. That's what I'm saying in 'Divine Hammer.' It's mainly […]

    • Music
  • Possession

    When an obsessed fan sent Sarah McLachlan a plethora of love letters, instead of recoiling in fear, she penned a song. "Writing the song 'Possession' [about the fan] was very therapeutic," the Canadian singer told Rolling Stone. The stalker sued her for the unauthorized use of his private letters, but the lawsuit was dropped after […]

    • Music
  • My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist

    Colin Meloy's songs encapsulate detailed narratives about other people's lives, but for this one, the Decemberists frontman truly let his imagination run wild. After viewing the Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire, in which an angel becomes smitten with a female trapeze artist, he got inspired. "I thought, 'Wow, wouldn't it have been amazing to […]

    • Music
  • On the Road Again

    The Red Headed Stranger wrote his signature song for a movie he also starred in. "I was on a plane with Sydney Pollack and Jerry Schatzberg and we were talking about doing the movie Honeysuckle Rose," Nelson recalled. "They said, 'Can you come up with a song for the movie?' and I said, 'Oh, you […]

    • Music
  • Flagpole Sitta

    "If I died today and there was an obituary about me, it would run in the local paper and it would say that I was the author of that song," Harvey Danger frontman Sean Nelson said about the inescapable ubiquity of "Flagpole Sitta," especially in movies and TV shows. "I'm okay with it, but I […]

    • Music
  • I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)

    Co-writer and producer Teddy Riley helped give this Waco, Texas five-piece its only Number One single. "He put his all into it," Treston Irby, one-fifth of the group, said about Riley. To Irby, the song became bittersweet for him after the group's lead singer. Tony Thompson (who was only 15 years old when Hi-Five recorded […]

    • Music