Kooky Monster

If you know of him at all, you know singer/songwriter Steve Poltz by his association with Jewel, with whom he wrote the No. 1 hit “You Were Meant for Me.” It’s hard to imagine a more unlikely pair to pen a No. 1 song. Jewel’s a slacker megastar who’s can’t, or won’t, cast off her otherness. Poltz is a down-twisted dude who’s shaped his balmy otherness into a sweet little vanity niche.

The preceding is not intended as criticism. These two just don’t fit the freakin’ mold.

Speaking of mold-busters, Poltz has much in common with another pretty decent outlaw folkie: John Prine. Both writers handle poignancy and satire with equal aplomb, and both can cut you to the quick in the middle of a song that’s making you grin. Consider this from “Meant for Me”:

I hear the clock, it's 6 a.m.
You feel so far from where I've been
I got my eggs, I got my pancakes, too
I got my maple syrup, everything but you

Now, when’s the last time you heard anything like that in a No. 1 song?

Sun., March 23, 8 p.m., 2008


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