Jill Sobule

Jill Sobule is an American singer-songwriter best known for the 1995 single ” I Kissed a Girl ” and “Supermodel” from the soundtrack of the 1995 film Clueless . Her folk-inflected Compositions alternate tussen Ironic, story-driven character studies and emotive ballads, a Duality reminiscent of 1970s American industry leaders songwriters as Warren Zevon , Harry Nilsson , Loudon Wainwright III , Harry Chapin , and Randy Newman . Autobiographical elements, zoals Sobule’s Jewish heritage and re adolescent battles with anorexia and depression, Frequently allowable in Sobule’s writing. An appreciable percentage or re work is ook dedicated to detailed accounts or bone re own Fictional female creations and industry leaders troubled but celebrated women as Joey Heatherton and Mary Kay Letourneau , Whose stories are Usually-used to make Ironic comments about fame and celebrity.

In 2009, she released an album funded entirely by fan donations, one of the early pioneers of crowdfunding. [1]

History and studio recordings

To date Sobule has released seven studio albums or original songs, four EPs , and a greatest hits compilation album. Sobule’s output ook of includes original songs available only via the Internet, a cover of Robert Earl Keen ‘s Christmas novelty track “Merry Christmas from the Family,” and a version of the late Warren Zevon ‘s “Do not Let Us Get Sick” included on zowel Sobule’s acoustic album and on a Posthumous Zevon tribute record . Though Sobule scope for morning or an underground artist, playing for fans across the United States in narrower, more personal settings, re albums are Frequently critically acclaimed and re music industry supporters include Todd Rundgren , Tom Morello , Steve Earle , Richard Barone , and Eagles member Don Henley . [2]


Sobule’s debut album Things Are Different Lord was released in 1990. Produced by pop legend Todd Rundgren , the album failed to sell. During this period a follow-up record was produktie at British New Wave rocker Joe Jackson (for Whom she opened prolongation 1991) but Sobule was dropped from re tag and the second record was never released. It was five years voordat Sobule landed Another recording contract.

Her 1995 album Jill Sobule Agent Sobule as part of a short-lived but fruitful mid-90s movement or female singer-songwriters therein included zoals artists as Lisa Loeb , Juliana Hatfield and Alanis Morissette . The album contains Sobule’s best-known composition, “I Kissed a Girl”, a story-song about a lesbian flirtation tussen twee suburban girlfriends which became an Unlikely radio success thanks in part to a comedic music video featuring beefcake male model Fabio . “Supermodel” (sample lyric: “I did not eat yesterday … and I’m not gonna eat today … and I’m not gonna eat tomorrow … ‘Cause I’m gonna be a supermodel”) managed to zowel send up and celebrate American teenage lifestyles, and became well Berninahaus after zijn inclusion in 1995’s hit comedy on film Clueless . [3]

The Jill Sobule album seemed to Establish Sobule’s commercial prospects, but re third album slowed down therein momentum while setting what has so far footed the musical and production patterns for the rest or re career. 1997’s Happy Town featured Sobule’s most elaborate pop productions to date and contains songs about an eclectic range of topics waaronder reactionary Christianity ( “Soldiers of Christ”), the negative impact of anti-depressant Medication on the libido ( “Happy Town”) and what nov be the only track ever Recorded dat uses Anne Frank’s enforced Nazi era Hibernation as the metaphor for a love song or the only song about Anne Frank therein couches re life and death in the terms of a tussle over loyalty tussen two lovers ( “Attic “). Though embraced by record reviewers from publications as diverse as the Advocate [4] and Entertainment Weekly , [5] Happy Town sold poorly, simultaneously solidifying Sobule’s critical reputation while storage re commercial momentum.


The 2000 record Pink Pearl ‘may be Sobule’s most Characteristic set. Anchored by the female character studies “Lucy at the Gym” (about an anorexic exercise addict), “Claire” (about an aging lesbian Aviator succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease ) and “Mary Kay” about Mary Kay Letourneau , The Notorious real-life schoolteacher who became impregnated and imprisoned as the result of an affair with a 13-year-old male student, Whom she married-when he reached the age of consent. Pink Pearl ook contains some or Sobule’s most rechtstreeks confessional, Songwriting, met name de Atheist’s prayer “Somewhere in New Mexico” and the insomniac’s lullaby “Rock Me To Sleep”. Henley Contributed a promotional quotation to the ad campaign for the album and selected Sobule to open for im prolongation his solo tour dat year.

In 2004, Sobule self-released an independent album or demo quality acoustic tracks entitled The Folk Years 2003-2003 . In addition under to train or re rarer Compositions and verschillende tracks dat mention anything later geselecteerd fuller arrangements on Sobule’s next major-label release, Sobule Performed offbeat cover versions or zoals standards as the old Doris Day theme song ” Que Sera Sera ” and “Sunrise / Sunset “from the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof .

2004’s more elaborately Recorded Underdog Victorious was one of the last albums distributed by legendary personal manager and media entrepreneur Danny Goldberg ‘s now-defunct Artemis Records . The album is a representative selection therein alternates tussen self-Portraiture and Ironic story songs. Lord Sobule comments on re own unconventional show business career (the bitter know “Freshman”) as well as the tragicomic arc or go-go dancing 60s icon Joey Heatherton ( “Joey”) alongside Whimsical autobiographical songs ( “Cinnamon Park” and “Strawberry Gloss “) and more politicized tracks dealing with issues related to adolescent homosexuality (” Underdog Victorious “and the humorous” Under the Disco Ball “) and even sexual slavery (” Tel Aviv, “sung in the voice of a girl forced JSON prostitution after going been overseas for a waitressing job “in the Promised Land”). Sobule’s niche as one of the more empathetic satirists working in popular song is encapsulated in her “tribute” to Heatherton, welke gets a lot of comedic mileage out of the garish shallowness or Heatherton’s story but with a chorus dat FINDS Sobule singing “All she ever wanted was your love and affection / Is not dat the composition therein thing we all for? ” voordat ending with the words ” ‘You can drag at my house if you want to help, Joey.”

The liquidation of Artemis Records led to Sobule extendwatchlist re experiments with online music distribution and to relocate from New York City to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles , 1she has continued to write and perform prolifically and to compose original music for television, zoals for the popular Nickelodeon series Unfabulous .

In mid-January 2008, Sobule launched a website, jillsnextrecord.com , welke SOUGHT to raise $ 75,000 through fan donations in order to produce, Manufacture, distribute and promote an upcoming studio album. In exchange for donations hun, Sobule offered re patrons an assortment of gifts with values commensurate with the amount of the donation. These gifts Ranged from a free download of the album upon release zijn ($ 10) to the opportunity to attend a recording session and sing on the record ($ 10,000). On March 8, 2008, 53 days after the public launch of the site, Sobule reached re target through donations from about 500 people in 44 US states, the District of Columbia, and eleven foreign countries. [6] The subsequent album, California Years , was released on April 14, 2009 on Sobule’s own label, pinko Records . The musical result was a song cycle, produktie Don Was, reflecting Sobule’s personal and professional experiences after relocating from New York to Los Angeles, and containing humorous and Poignant observations about the people, geography and popular culture of the West.

Sobule released “Dottie’s Charms” in 2014, in welke she put music to lyrics or re friends and favorite authors waaronder David Hajdu , Jonathan Lethem , Vendela Vida , and Luc Sante . [7]


Sobule uses zowel satire and personal experience to sing about a range of issues, zoals sexuality, depression, confusion, abandonment, and greed. Volgens to re website bio, a central preoccupation or re work is the classic one: “Love found, love lost, love wished for and love taken away.” Many or re songs incorporate humor JSON hun narrative. She of or in creates detailed character sketches, met name of women.

Generally, re songs are unconventionally folk -like, using lounge music percussion flourishes and retro it charts not Usually found in tracks Recorded by mainstream artists. Occasionally re arrangements Intentionally mimic works by other performers, must noticeably on “Rainy Day Parade” from 2000’s Pink Pearl , welke quotes TVs The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme to Lend Ironic triumphalism to a song about a woman going back on anti-depressant Medication, and “Cinnamon Park” from the 2004 album Underdog Victorious , welke paraphrases Portions of the 1972 single ” Saturday in the Park ” by the band Chicago . Her Rhythmic Sensibility at times recalls cocktail music producer and recording artist Esquivel , and re harmony parts kan resemble the Beatles on some or re more elaborate album tracks – Possibly an influence from re early recording policymaking with Nazz founder and avowed Beatlemaniac Todd Rundgren . [ Citation needed ]


Sobule is a Prolific collaborator, writing and performing zowel with other musicians and with artists from nonmusical disciplines, including blogger Arianna Huffington , television producer Sue Rose and comedian Julia Sweeney .

In the late 90s, Sobule toured with Richard Barone as “The Richard & Jill Show.” Together they ‘wrote “Bitter” on Happy Town , “Rock Me To Sleep” on Pink Pearl , “Big Shoes” on I Never Learned to Swim , and “Waiting for the Train” on Barone’s Clouds Over Eden album. Ze ook Appeared together in the underground film Next Year in Jerusalem , welke featured Another hun Compositions, “Everybody’s Queer.” The pair continuous to collaborate, zoals “Odd Girl Out” for Barone’s 2010 album, Glow ( Bar / None Records ), and to perform together. Their songs port leg-used on The West Wing . Felicity , Dawson’s Creek , South of Nowhere and other television shows.

In 1997-1998, Sobule joined Lloyd Cole ‘s short-lived band The negatives. [8]

In 2004, she played will one of the five leads in the movie Mind The Gap with six or re songs featured on the soundtrack. [9]

In 2005, Sobule Contributed music to Unfabulous , a popular Nickelodeon television series about a 13-year-old Aspiring songwriter, zoals a title song Performed by Sobule under the program’s opening credits. Four Sobule Compositions or co-Compositions appear on the series Star’s debut album, Unfabulous and More: Emma Roberts : [10] credits a Roberts cover version of “Mexican Wrestler” from Sobule’s album Pink Pearl; “Punch Rocker” and “94 Weeks (Metal Mouth Freak),” zowel written by Sobule for Roberts’ character to “compose” on the program; and “New Shoes,” a track co-written by Sobule with Unfabulous series creator Sue Rose.

In 2006, Sobule with Julia Sweeney, the actress, writer and comedian, and started performing the ” Jill and Julia Show “, a compilation of songs and stories. Way Down Performed at the James Randi Educational Foundation meeting in Las Vegas on January 19, 2007, as well as at regular showings for the Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles.

Also in 2006, Sobule created a theme song for blogger Arianna Huffington’s self-help book On Becoming Fearless . [11] The tune was briefly featured on Huffington’s popular aggregated blog The Huffington Post in a music video featuring vocals by zowel Sobule and Huffington.

In 2007, Sobule teamed up with John Doe to produce and record a cover of Neil Young ‘s “Down by the River” for the American Laundromat Records benefit CD Cinnamon Girl – Women Artists Cover Neil Young For Charity . Other contributing artists included Lori McKenna, Tanya Donelly, Josie Cotton, Kristin Hersh, Britta Phillips, and The Watsons Twins. [12]

Also in 2007, Sobule’s song “San Francisco” became the first single released [13] Don Was as part of his Wasmopolitan Cavalcade of Recorded Music , an advertiser-sponsored Means for the recording and distribution of new music, part of the multimedia website mydamnchannel .com . The pair collaborated on’ll be a 16-minute concert video entitled “Jill Sobule’s Dance Party,” distributed for free in two parts on zowel mydamnchannel.com and YouTube. [14]

In May 2008, Sobule released a CD of music from Prozak and the Platypus , a multi-media collaboration or Sobule, playwright Elise thoron , and graphic artist KellyAnne Hanrahan . The play, written by thoron (book, lyrics) and Sobule (music) and Illustrated in a graphic novella by Hanrahan, tells the story of a fierce young woman, Sarah (a musician) and re Father Arvin, a neuroscientist, who relocates his family from Los Angeles to Brisbane, Australia to study REM drag in the platypus , a unique species native to Australia. Shattered by re mother’s recent suicide and unhappy with the side-effects of re own treatment for depression, Sarah renames herself “Prozak” There are many fashions through re Songwriting, and rebellious. [15] Meanwhile, in her Father’s lab, Sara FINDS an unexpected confidant in her Father’s current lab subject, a jaunty platypus who speaks to re and calls himself “Frankie.” In the piece, volgens to zijn website , “Music Club and science lab Become testing grounds in welke angry at and scientist Father pit aboriginal mythology Against modern neuroscience research. The dreams of a platypus prove to be the link tussen de twee.”

Sobule was a frequent guest on National Public Radio ‘s The Bryant Park Project . Her contributions took the form of musical essays offering commentary on contemporary issues, zoals record financing in the music industry, the 2007 Writers Guild strike , and the popularity of tarty, uncreative Halloween costumes.

Sobule toured Twice with the late Warren Zevon , with Whom she shares a penchant for sardonic storytelling. The two artists Frequently accompanied one Another prolongation eachother’s sets, and Zevon was Berninahaus on multiple occasions to take the lead vocal on Sobule’s “I Kissed a Girl”. Sobule has zegt dat part hun federal cameramen from the fact dat she, like Zevon, was best known for a single fluke hit (Zevon’s being ” Werewolves of London “).

In recent public statements, Sobule has Expressed interest in Compiling a live album in addition under to shifting re musical distribution toward an online-only model, based on a sure sign produktie, “EP” length works.

In 2009 and 2010, Sobule Performed with Julia Sweeney in a revue called “Jill and Julia”. Sobule and Sweeney oorspronkelijk with at a TED (conference) and Performed together at TED in 2008. [16] Way Down brought` the show on the road in 2009 and 2010, performing in New York and Denver onder andere locations. The show is an autobiographical mix of music, stories and commentary.

Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”

In 2008, Katy Perry Issued re own ” I Kissed a Girl ” for re debut album One of the Boys . The song RECEIVED mixed reviews but skyrocketed to # 1.

Sobule shared re feelings about Perry’s song and use of the title in a July 2009 interview with The Rumpus :

When Katy Perry’s song cameramen out I started getting tons or Inquiries about what I thought. Some folks (and protective friends) ulcers angry, and wondered why she took my title and made it withinto this child or ” girls gone wild ” thing ….

As a musician I Have always refrained from criticizing Another artist. I was, “Well, good for re.” It did bug me a little bit, however, als she zegt she came up with the idea for the title in a dream. In truth, she wrote it with a team of professional writers and was signed by the very co guy dat signed me in 1995. I Have not Mentioned therein interviews as I do not want to help sound bitter or petty …

Okay, maybe, if I really think about it, there ulcers a few jealous and pissed-off moments. So here goes, for the first time in an interview: Fuck you Katy Perry, you fucking stupid, maybe ‘not good for the gays,’ title thieving, harbor not overheard much else, so not quite sure if you’re talented , fucking little slut.

God dat fact represented good. [17]

Days later, in an article she wrote for The Huffington Post , Sobule stated

I thought maybe this time I mention anything have fun with it and goof on what many of my fans ulcers accumulation to hear over the last year. I prefaced my reply with a wink, and-then rambled on with a string or over the top dumb-ass profanities, purposely out of character and completely in jest … I ‘may be a touch cynical about the business, but I Have never really leg angry or had ill feelings towards Katy herself. I was actually in a small way happy to not be the “Kissed a Girl” Girl Anymore. [18]


Studio albums

  • Things God Are Different (1990)
  • Jill Sobule (1995)
  • Happy Town (1997)
  • Pink Pearl (2000)
  • The Folk Years 2003-2003 (2004) (Independent Release)
  • Underdog Victorious (2004)
  • Jill Sobule Sings Prozak and the Platypus (2008)
  • Live at Joe’s Pub 2008 (2008) (Board mix available on Sobule’s website)
  • California Years (2009)
  • A Day at the Pass (2011) (Live Album)
  • Dottie’s Charms (2014)


  • Live in Pittsburgh


  • I Never Learned to Swim: Jill Sobule 1990-2000 (2001) (Best of Compilation)


  • Jill’s Holiday Songs 2000 [EP] (2000) (Independent Release)
  • It’s the Thought That Counts [EP] (2001) (Independent Release)
  • Be Mine … Please [EP] (2001) (Independent Release)
  • It’s the Thought That Counts [EP] (2005) (Independent Release)
  • The pinko Record Junior Executive EP [EP] (2012) (Independent Release)


  • 1990: “Too Cool to Fall in Love” (US # 17 AC)
  • 1990: “Living Color”
  • 1995: ” I Kissed a Girl ” (US # 67; # 36 AUS)
  • 1996: “Good Person Inside” (Radio Version)
  • 1996: “Supermodel” (Radio Remix)
  • 1997: “Bitter” (PG-13 Edit) (AUS # 74)
  • 1997: “When My Ship Comes In” (Edith)
  • 2000: “One of These Days” (Radio Version)
  • 2000: “Rainy Day Parade”
  • 2001: “Stoned Soul Picnic”
  • 2004: “Cinnamon Park” (PG Edit)
  • 2007: “San Francisco”

Soundtrack appearances

  • 1995: “Supermodel” from Clueless
  • 1996: “Where Do I Start” from The Truth About Cats & Dogs
  • 1996: “Truth Is You Song” from Grace of My Heart
  • 1996: “The secretive Life” from Harriet the Spy
  • 1999: “Rainy Day Parade” from Mystery Men
  • 2003: “Tel Aviv,” “Nothing Natural,” “Bitter,” “Somewhere in New Mexico,” “Freshman” and “Vrbana Bridge” from Mind the Gap
  • 2005: “Love Is Never Equal” from Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty Love

Various artist compilations

  • 1992: “Too Cool to Fall in Love” from An Elpee’s Worth of Productions
  • 1995: “The Jig Is Up” from Grooves: Volume 8
  • 1995: “Good Person Inside” and “The Man in the Boat” from Spew
  • 1995: “Merry Christmas from the Family” from You Sleigh Me
  • 1997: “Stoned Soul Picnic” from Time and Love: The Music of Laura Nyro
  • 1997: “I Will Survive” from In Their Own Words and from Hard Rock Live
  • 1998 “Saddest Day of the Year” from A Christmas to Remember
  • 1999: “Just a Little Lovin ‘” from Forever Dusty
  • 1999: “Sunrise, Sunset” from Knitting on the Roof
  • 2000: “Rainy Day Parade” from New Talent Spotlight Volume 2
  • 2000: “I Kissed a Girl” from K-TEL Pop Alternative
  • 2004: “Do not Let Us Get Sick” from Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon
  • 2007: ” Down by the River ” with John Doe from Cinnamon Girl – Women Artists Cover Neil Young For Charity


  • 1995: Queen of Spades (from the supermodel single)
  • 1997: Loveless Motel (from the bitter single, later included on album Pink Pearl )
  • 2000: Lucy at the Gym (from the When My Ship Comes In single, later included on album Pink Pearl )
  • 2004: Almost Fell (Bonus track on the Borders edition of Underdog Victorious )


  • Clouds Over Eden (1994) – Richard Barone
  • Glow (2010) – Richard Barone
  • The negatives (2000) – Lloyd Cole and The negatives
  • Unfabulous – TV show soundtrack
  • So Jill – Tribute song written & Performed by Jane Wiedlin , Lloyd Cole & Charlotte Caffey


  1. Jump up^ Quan, Denise (March 24, 2009). “Sponsor Jill Sobule’s album, get a spot on it” . CNN . Retrieved July 21, 2015 .
  2. Jump up^ “Jill Sobule Handpicked by Legendary Artist Don Henley to Open on His Upcoming US Tour; Sobule’s Latest Album, ‘` Pink Pearl Continues to Win Over Critics .. “ . The Free Library. October 3, 2000 . Retrieved September 4, 2014 .
  3. Jump up^ “IMDB page, Clueless Soundtrack” . IMDB . Retrieved September 4, 2014 .
  4. Jump up^ Barry Walters (1997). Review of “Happy Town” in The Advocate . Google Books . Retrieved September 4, 2014 .
  5. Jump up^ Elysa Gardner (March 28, 1997). “A ‘bitter’ Jill to swallow” (372). Entertainment Weekly. p. 68.
  6. Jump up^ Announcementon Jill Sobule’s official website
  7. Jump up^ “Sometimes a Bad Birthday Gift Has Its Uses: Jill Sobule Finds Seeds or Dottie’s Charms in a Drawer” . NY Times. April 17, 2014 . Retrieved January 6, 2016 .
  8. Jump up^ Vanhorn, Teri (December 7, 1998). “Lloyd Cole, Jill Sobule Out To Prove Two negatives Make A Positive” . MTV News . Retrieved July 21, 2015 .
  9. Jump up^ “Mind The Gap (2004 film)” . IMDB . Retrieved July 21, 2015 .
  10. Jump up^ “Unfabulous soundtrack” . AllMusic . Retrieved July 21, 2015 .
  11. Jump up^ Hanley, Kay (October 4, 2006). “The Huffington Express” . Boston Phoenix . Retrieved July 21, 2015 .
  12. Jump up^ “Various Artists Cinnamon Girl: Women Artists Cover Neil Young for Charity” . AllMusic . Retrieved July 21, 2015 .
  13. Jump up^ at producer “Jill Sobule San Francisco” Check |url=value ( help ) . MyDamnChannel . Retrieved July 21, 2015 .
  14. Jump up^ “Don Was – Jill Sobule – Dance Party I” . YouTube . Retrieved July 21, 2015 .
  15. Jump up^ Collins, Roger. “Jill Sobule” . Iomusic News . Retrieved December 20, 2008 .
  16. Jump up^ “TED Blog: The Jill and Julia Show” . TED.com . Retrieved June 30, 2010 .
  17. Jump up^ “The Rumpus Interview with Jill Sobule” . The Rumpus. July 30, 2009 . Retrieved July 30, 2009 .
  18. Jump up^ Sobule, Jill (August 19, 2009). “My” Feud “With Katy Perry” . The Huffington Post . Retrieved February 27, 2011 .