Voted for and said this about Amy Rigby’s “Tom Petty Karaoke” as one of last year’s best singles in the Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll. I still play it once a week, for self-bolstering and instant escape purposes. Three bucks says she’ll roll through it at the El Cortez Safari Room Friday, April 5.
Can’t think of anything more restorative than getting out of your head whenever the need truly strikes, and inspired by J Mascis hitting a Cape Cod stage for a karaoke blast through “Don’t Do Me Like That,” one of America’s most insightful songwriters extrapolates about how we can all use a guardian angel who comes equipped with radiant refrains and indelible choruses. Rigby has been inspired by icons before; her ode to Joey Ramone is one of her finest moments, revealing just how nurturing and transcendent music can be when you’re not liking whatever reality the mirror is presenting. As far as Petty goes, Rigby can take an extra bow. The posi feels she generates while name-checking “American Girl” and “Learning To Fly” gleams with the same strength of strings that drives the dreams in “Free Fallin’.
And don’t forget Rigby’s latest cri de couer over the doomsday doofus in the ultra white house. “The President Can’t Read” is an acute indictment – of him, and maybe of us too for putting him there – that scans as fiercely as an “off with his head” rallying cry as it does a “we’re fucked” lament.