Jackie Lee — The Town I Live In
Current obsession number one: British girl pop singers of the 1960s. I blame Saint Etienne, of course. Anyway, this is one of my favourites; a stinging indictment against the New Town construction of the 1960s; of houses, and churches, of the final destruction of pre-war Britain and the Empire, and the feeling of being trapped in such a town. As for the song, it sounds exactly like you'd expect a 1960s song to sound - a British version of the Spector wall of sound, with the spectre (ho-ho) of church bells echoing through the chorus. Plus one of the greatest uses of "etc" in history!
there's several hundred brand new houses
and lots of brand new primary schools
etc, etc, etc,etc
You don't get better social commentary than that, trust me.
The Dresden Dolls — Coin-Operated Boy (video)
Because I'm a sucker for a combination of 1920s cabaret, Victorian automata, white make-up, and stripey suspenders. Oh, and though I keep going on about it to anybody who'll listen, the bridge part is a lovely metapop sparkle. Go! Watch!