There’s a stereotype in popular music of youth and charisma, but not everyone fits the mould. Here are five very talented individuals whose personal style choices are more suited to the public library than to the pop charts.
I’ve never heard anything else that Loeb’s released, but ‘Stay (I Missed You)’ from 1994’s Reality Bites soundtrack was a sweetly delivered hit that holds up well. Listening to it with fresh ears, the most striking thing is how Loeb’s girlish vocals and vulnerable/accusatory lyrics sound like a dry run for Taylor Swift’s chart topping hits.
The bearded, bespectacled lead guitarist of The Grateful Dead was a key figure in the 1960s counter-culture, even while looking like a college professor or librarian.
New Zealand singer-songwriter Nadia Reid is a supremely talented singer-songwriter with a distinct artistic voice. Her second album, Preservation, was ranked by Mojo as the second-best album of 2017.
Perhaps the greatest waste of potential in pop music, Holly cranked out a series of effortless sounding hits in the late 1950s, before perishing in a plane crash on 3 February 1959 (“the day the music died”).
Sill’s sadly brief musical career was enigmatic, making music filled with religious imagery, and inspired by Bach, that was at odds with her personal turmoil.
Did I leave anyone off who would fit into the staff at this musically gifted library? Let me know below.
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Nice post. Personally, I’m a fan of Will Toledo from Car Seat Headrest. Looks just like a literary boy. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/car-seat-headrest-on-going-from-dorm-room-prodigy-to-indie-rock-sensation-20151124
I haven’t caught up with Car Seat Headrest yet, but he looks like he could join the crew.
Ha! Lisa Loeb for sure! I’d add Paul McCartney, too.
Also, Wayne Coyne looks like the wackiest and coolest librarian ever.
I can see that with Wayne Coyne. What era of McCartney are you thinking of?
The sweater wearing McCartney. Is it Wings era? I can’t say for sure… I don’t much like him, but I’ve seen enough images of the guy. In fact, I guess any era?
Sure, the sweater works for me. Welcome to the library Mr McCartney.
What a great idea for a post! I’d add The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy to this list and he’s got the literary lyrics to his credit as well.
Goodness, I should have thought of him. He’s written kids books too.
I know! They’re fantastic!
My daughter might like them as a bedtime story soon. We’ve almost finished The Hobbit.
Definitely. The Wildwood books have a definite C.S. Lewis/Lewis Carroll vibe.
All 4 dudes from Weezer …
I did toy with the idea of Rivers Cuomo – my thought process was that Buddy Holly did that look first, and people like Elvis Costello and Rivers Cuomo were along in his wake. Some of the other guys look worthy of consideration though.
You should check out Lisa Loeb’s album Firecracker. It’s got some great songs on it
If you ever have one for a guy who looks like a dork, then Ed Sheeran.
I don’t think he’d make a favourite five of anything on this site – I find him pretty shallow and emotionally manipulative. I don’t want to do the categorising people based on looks thing often, although it does throw up an interesting mix of otherwise unconnected artists.
Yes, it does. It’s a fun idea. I was going to mention Elvis Costello but you beat me to it.
I might do it again if I can think of interesting enough categories. Just don’t want to go anywhere too derogatory or sexist.
Top 5 Dorky looking musicians would probably include Simon and Garfunkel (perennially awkward) and Radiohead (need more sun).
Yup, they should be on there too I guess – crossed my mind, but they kind of went purposefully dorky instead of inadvertently dorky.
Did you ever heard an Aussie 90’s band called The Paradise Motel? She was a real life librarian before becoming the singer, you know? I wrote something about them at the start of this year, where is that now? Here for you: https://a1000mistakes.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/classic-albums-still-life-by-the-paradise-motel/
Cheers, great post 🙂
William wins the Internet this week!
I haven’t heard of them – they mustn’t have got super big in New Zealand. Thanks for the link.
Jerry Garcia? Not in my local library.
Judee Sill? As long as you didn’t know what she was up to at home.
My vote goes to Jarvis Cocker, who not only looks like a 1970s student-turned-librarian, but is in my view vastly overrated. The sub-Squeeze hit Common People makes me cringe.
But Al Stewart, now there’s a lyricist and if you’ve ever heard him talk, his voice was just made to tell you to keep quiet – in fact he did just that when people were talking during a small gig in Portsmouth in 1972.
I totally see Jarvis Cocker as a librarian, especially now. And Al Stewart doesn’t really have a librarian look, but he definitely has a penchant for historical epics – I need to hear more than the Year of the Cat album.
I think I’ve only heard a couple of Lisa Loeb songs – but I’ve liked all I’ve heard.
Does everybody know Al Stewart’s “Roads to Moscow?” It deals with the German invasion of Russia in WWII. Pretty heavy stuff for a pop song. Only one I can think of that name checks General Guderian.
Nope, but I know The Waterboys’ Red Army Blues, which has a pretty similar setting, and the protagonist gets sent to a gulag afterwards.
I’m sure I’ll get more one day – I just never saw his albums.
Actually, the ‘unfortunate ‘ I was referring to was the poor SOB in the gulag.
I really like Year of the Cat, so sounds like I need to hear Past, Present and Future.
Yeah I recall it being pretty good. It was out before he went mainstream.
Yes, he carved out a niche for himself in that respect. I’ve heard Nostradamus too often to be awestruck and stuff like Warren Gamaliel Harding is nice but hardly great. I prefer his love stories such as Not The One on Modern Times. Aphoristical, you should check out that album.
Throwing my hat in the ring with Laura Veirs
Blur’s Graham Coxon has my vote.
My librarian is a cross between Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart.
The librarian is fast, bulbous, and got a Christmas letter from a hooker in Minneapolis?