Mary Lou Lord: I Figured You Out
Mary Lou Lord's rise to semi-fame in the Boston-based grunge scene of the mid-nineties never flagged as high as Juliana Hatfield or the Lemonheads, other-coast Kill Rock Stars labelmates Sleater-Kinney and The Decemberists, or other of her performing peers from that era, but she's always been my favorite anti-folker, whose coverage of Richard Thompson and Shawn Colvin finds periodic placement on my coverblog. This song is not technically a cover, but it is an Elliott Smith composition, one which he decided not to record himself; its bitter cynicism reflects the lyrical sensibility they shared, and her shattered innocence is perfect for the part, even as the strum and production call directly to his studio work.
Hers may nonetheless be a well-recognized name in the indie world, in no small part for collaborations with doomed musicians Kurt Cobain and Smith himself, for her inclusion on several mid-nineties covers albums paying tribute to John Lennon, Van Halen, and Saturday Morning Cartoons, and for the use of her Daniel Johnston cover in a Target ad campaign. But to me, this particular trinomial will always be the girl in the Park St. Station, her delicate busker's voice and gentle punk rocker's attitude echoing through the brick caverns as the trains rush through.