Five Songs to Know Before WERS’ 70th Birthday Party

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By Kenneth Cox

On November 2, WERS is celebrating its 70th Birthday with a special concert featuring Nick Lowe and Adia Victoria at Emerson College's own Paramount Theater! While you're counting down the days until the show, get to know the two artists taking the stage and some of their greatest hits.

Tickets to our 70th Birthday Party are going fast, so buy yours now!

Cruel to Be Kind - Nick Lowe

“Cruel To Be Kind” showcases Lowe’s singer/songwriter abilities at his best. Originally made for Lowe’s former band Brinley Schwarz, the song lingered for years until it made its way onto Lowe’s 1979 album Labor of Lust. Starting with a peppy, energetic guitar riff, Lowe sings about the frustration and heartache that results from unrequited romance. “You’ve gotta be cruel to be kind/in the right measure/cruel to be kind, it’s a very good sign,” sings Lowe on the chorus, showcasing his knack for clever wordplay and infectious melodies. Over the years, “Cruel to Be Kind” has become one of Lowe’s most covered songs, with artists like Wilco, Freddy Johnston, and Boston’s own Letters to Cleo putting their unique spins on the track over the years.

Different Kind of Love - Adia Victoria

If you watch the music video for Adia Victoria’s “Different Kind of Love,” one might easily think it was from years ago. Victoria performs on a vintage French TV show, seemingly transported from the ’60s to 2019. But even without the video, the unmistakable retro-coolness of the track is evident from just a few seconds in. With booming drums and fuzzy guitars, the song delivers a hard-rocking blues tale about a love that threatens to overwhelm Victoria. “Between the world and me, tell me what it’ll be/Tell me who do you love?” sings Victoria on the chorus, communicating the high stakes and enormity of her feelings. It’s a song that’ll be sure to bring the house down when she performs it live.

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding - Nick Lowe

The history of Nick Lowe’s legendary song has lasted decades since he wrote the song in 1974. Originally recorded with Lowe’s band Brinley Schwarz, the song was made popular by Elvis Costello when his cover became a hit in 1978. Since then, it has been covered by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Bill Murray in the 2003 film Lost in Translation. But across all these different versions remains the heart of Lowe’s song — a call for harmony and love amongst others in the face of cruelty and hatred. In a time where hatred and separation are threatening the lives of many, Lowe’s message still proves to be just as important today as it did decades ago.

Dead Eyes - Adia Victoria

Adia Victoria is unafraid to get spooky with her lyrics. As a Gothic Blues artist, it's not uncommon for images of ghosts, demons, and the macabre to show up in her songs. “Dead Eyes” is one of the best examples of Victoria’s unique lyrical style. From the beginning of the song, Victoria's lyrics have a foreboding atmosphere that brings a new dimension to the rollicking instrumentals of the track. “He said I’m dead in the eyes/Dead in the eyes,” sings Victoria on the chorus, calling you to both sing along and get into the eerie atmosphere of her world.

I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass - Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe’s music covers a variety of styles that most artists could only dream of. From his debut album Jesus of Cool, “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass” is one of Lowe’s songs that seems to transcend simple classification. It’s got the guitar riffs of funk music, the piano licks of '70s rock, and quirky lyrics that only Lowe could think of. “I love the sound of breaking glass/Especially when I'm lonely” sings Lowe at the beginning of the song, and his lyrics only get more charmingly bizarre from there. You’ll be sure to hear more than just the sound of breaking glass though when Lowe takes the stage at WERS’ 70th birthday party. 

Don't miss out on your chance to see these songs performed live! Buy your 70th Birthday tickets now.

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