Sharon Jones' "I Learned the Hard Way" Getting Really Hard to Listen To

Indie rock's favorite soul singer.
I, like just about every follower of music, wish nothing but success for Sharon Jones. If anyone has earned acres of critical cunnilingus, it's her. You know the story: Coulda been Aretha, dismissed by label honchos and overlooked for years, exhumed by the slim-jeaned set, and enjoying a helluva run, which makes a live stop at Seattle's Showbox SoDo this Monday, June 21.

But if I hear KEXP spin "I Learned the Hard Way" one more fucking time, the passersby on Western Avenue had better watch out for a flying boom box

This isn't a bad song, not by a longshot. Counting Crows' "Mr. Jones" sounded pretty great the first time I heard it too, as did Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." But those songs got so overplayed on commercial radio that changing the station upon first note became all but an involuntary reaction.

"I Learned the Hard Way" now elicits the same twist of the wrist; that the song's melody is rather redundant only exacerbates matters. What makes its too-heavy rotation unique is that it's an indie station of impeccable, eclectic taste playing it into the ground. Thankfully, it's not as ubiquitous at the 90.3 frequency as it was two weeks ago, when it seemed as though it was stuck on repeat. It's as though the station is singlehandedly seeking to atone for the entire music industry's sin of overlooking Jones during her first half-century. She forgives you, her Dap Kings forgive you, and we will too, provided we never hear this particular single ever again.

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