Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday CJ Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

It’s too bad I don’t have Mudhoney’s “Touch Me, I’m Sick,” because I have been touched by sickness. Hopefully it’s not my lycanthropy flaring up again. The hairballs are the worst.

1) “You,” Radiohead. From their first album, the one with “Creep.” They thankfully managed to avoid the career buzzsaw of the MTV Buzz Bin. This song gets by more on execution than originality, but it’s still a good bit of grungy Brit Pop—Blur with more distortion.

2) “Tired Eyes,” Neil Young. While my steel guitar gently weeps. Addiction, loss, hopelessness...these are the nucleotides which make up the DNA of great Neil Young songs.

3) “Resist,” Rush. We finally meet, old friend. Given the amount of Rush I have on my iPod, it’s surprising it took this long. I have been a hopeless Rush fan since 1981. That’s 26 years to hear a lot of jokes about being a hopeless Rush fan, like this: A couple years ago, I made the trek to Virginia to see them on the 30th anniversary tour with my best friend from junior high. While there, my brother left this voice mail for me on my cell: Hey, Brando, hope you guys are having a good time at the Rush concert. Are you going to the D&D convention afterward, or the Star Trek one?

4) “Army Dreamers,” Kate Bush. The combination of her sprightly voice and lyrics about young soldiers dying makes this song even more sad. It’s also a shame it’s become all too appropriate again.

5) “Outtasite (Outta Mind),” Wilco. An espresso shot of jangled Jeff Tweedy rock. But, once again, the parentheses rear their non-rocking head. If you’re trying to seem so rockin' that you deliberately misspell words in your song title, don't make part of that title an unessential clause. Either you just want to be Outtasite, or you want to be Outtasite and Outta Mind. Don't try to order your Outta Mind on the side, and set it on a parenthetical doily for good measure.

6) “That Teenage Feeling,” Neko Case. She’s such a great singer that when I say she's got a great set of lungs, I’m talking about her actual lungs. And God knows I’m holding onto that teenage feeling (see dork, Rush).

7) “Lovers of Today,” Pretenders. This is from their first album, one of the best debuts ever recorded. They never really approached this level again, at least not for a whole album. Is it terrible to live under the shadow of a great first work? Or is it terrific to make something so great that it casts a large shadow, even if you never get out from under it? I lean toward the latter.

8) “Black Eye,” Uncle Tupelo. More Tweedy, back when he could still ask Jay Farrar to pass the salt without writing a song called, “The Salt Has Been Passed,” about how they can no longer share the same shaker without getting their lawyers involved.

9) “Found Out About You,” Gin Blossoms. They were played to death, but I still love this song and “Hey Jealousy.” I’m a sucker for songs that hit that sweet combination of bright music and sad lyrics.

10) “Midnight Rambler,” The Rolling Stones. There’s a wonderfully dingy sheen to the sound here, as if they recorded it in the dirtiest toilet in Scotland, with the harmonica player sitting in the stall. It has the flow of a cocaine bender, where they speed up, slow way down, and speed up again after another line. Probably not that far from the recording process. How is it that all of them save Brian Jones are still alive?

11) “She’s Coming (Over Tonight),” The Mr. T Experience. The Rock Parentheses Corollary: they are okay if the parenthetical phrase completes a joke or pun. The Mr. T Experience are worth listening to for the lyrics alone—one of their songs is called, “Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend.” In fact, they’re the perfect Official House Band of Circle Jerk at the Square Dance. They mine the same themes over and over. They’re pretty sloppy. And they seem destined for obscurity. But they try their damnedest to make you smile.

Happy Friday!

11 comments:

MSF said...

#3: best voicemail ever.

I came in 2nd at Riverside Wednesday!

teh l4m3 said...

Gin Blossoms? Christ, yank me back to 1993 why don't you...

Brando said...

M-, that's awesome! I was going to call you to see if you wanted to go but I had freelance work to do that night. We need to go when TLB's back.

It could have been worse, teh. It could have been Billy Ray Cyrus.

Brendan said...

"Midnight Rambler:" nice! This is one of the few Stones songs that I still crank when it comes on the radio. "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'?" is about the only other one that I can think of, off the top of my head.

You'd think with the plethora of classic rock stations, you'd actually get to hear these songs more often, instead of "Sympathy for the Devil," "Brown Sugar," and "Jumpin' Jack Flash." And don't get me started about the choices from "Some Girls." Why don't we ever get to hear "When the Whip Comes Down"?

Maybe I should buy a turntable and resurrect the old records.

Churlita said...

I'm not the biggest Kate Bush fan, but the rest of your Random 11 would make great bar music.

The Gin Blossoms were the perfect early nineties pop music.

Neel Mehta said...

I'd have preferred Billy Ray Cyrus over the Gin Blossoms. I'm all for irony, but not when your entire act is based on it.

billy pilgrim said...

I have the same thing about Rush, although for a long time I ignored them because I was busy being a punk. But just keep on flying that Canuck Rock flag, brother.

But it was the first concert I ever took my wife to when she was my girlfriend, which gives me a comeback nobody ever argues.

New Rush Album next month, bay-bee!

I agree about the Pretenders. Milwaukee Locals The BoDeans (not to mention the Violent Femmes) always struggled with the same thing. Doesn't lessen the achievement of that stunning first album, when all the elements aligned.

I always thought Outtasite (outtamind) stole a riff from the Sesame Street song. Bad Tweedy!

teh l4m3 said...

Fine. But if you ever ever put Sebadoh up, I'm outta here.

word verif: gwbuagw. omgwtfbbq???

Brando said...

Brendan, I'm not a big Stones guy, but "Sympathy for the Devil" is on my cannot-be-overplayed list. Love that song. But I agree, it's nice to hear other stuff (I only have a couple RS albums, and the 40 Licks collection).

I'm with Churlita on the GBs and laughing at Neel's irony comment (I think I know what you mean).

Billy, I am done apologizing for Rush. I like them, to the haters, I offer a Sean-Conneryish "Suck it, Trebek!" Rush are on the auto-purchase plan.

teh, I have no Sebadoh, so your Underoos will remain unbunched. ;-)

The word verification is starting to look like Three Bulls abbreviations.

The Uncanny Canadian said...

Your Tweedy v Farrar joke was so perfect. Did you ever see the Wilco documentary, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart ? It has some great moments between them captured and is pretty good overall, if not overly Tweedyphilic.

My word verification was gtedvay, which when phonetically pronounced sounds almost exactly like a Yiddish expression. Coincidence?

MichaelBains said...

They’re pretty sloppy. And they seem destined for obscurity. But they try their damnedest to make you smile.

Sound like fun guys to jam with.

Rush Will Always Rule! (And, no, I've never actually played D&D...

Gesundheit! UC.

qfaxxac!