The Best of The Waitresses
Best-known for two radio classics, “I Know What Boys Like” and “Christmas Wrapping,” the Waitresses offered much more than two great songs in their short existence. Conceived by Ohio New Wave pioneer Chris Butler and fronted by the exquisite character singer Patty Donahue, they married wordy evocations of a single woman’s big-city travails and occasional triumphs to impassioned, well-informed musical pastiches. “No Guilt,” a recitation to an ex-boyfriend of personal-growth touchstones, begins as slapstick skank and adds a power-chorded chorus as Donahue refuses to back down. Patches of noise from a guitar-wielding Butler and saxophonist Mars Williams perfectly fit both the pop structures of “Boys” and “Make the Weather” and open the listener’s head for the slightly atonal likes of “The Smartest Person I Know” and “They’re All Out of Liquor, Let’s Find Another Party.” A quarter century later, there’s still never been another group like them.