Jill Sobule isn't just another singer-songwriter with catchy tunes and smart lyrics, she's one of the more insightful satirists of our age. Each of her fanciful songs captures an issue or irony, an emotion or epiphany that helps us understand what it's like to live now.
Jill Sobule first found her place in music history with the controversial 1995 hit "I Kissed a Girl." The song's silly sweetness masked its significance: It broke new ground as the first Top 40 hit to deal with overtly gay themes.
This approach -- packaging hard-hitting social commentary in a wrapper of whimsy -- has defined Sobule's career. Her endearing story-songs veer from fanciful storytelling to forceful satire and back again, covering a wide range of political and social issues from climate change to prostitution; anorexia to anti-semitism. Her winning combination of memorable characters, clever lyrics and catchy tunes has inspired comparisons that range from Burt Bacharach to Gertrude Stein. It also makes her performances and recordings a delight.
Sobule's candy-coated commentary can be found on her Huffington Post blog, as well as in her steady stream of stand-out albums, including Jill Sobule (1995), Happy Town (1997), Pink Pearl (2000) and Underdog Victorious (2004). Lately, Sobule has performed regularly with comedian Julia Sweeney (the two met at TED2006). They put on the "Jill and Julia Show," an utterly endearing evening of stories and songs. She's also recording an album with the string quartet Ethel (another TED2006 match).