It's one more random than 10!
Random thought before the random 11...Last week, I overheard someone talking about Paula Abdul and mentioning MC Skat Cat, the rapping cat from the "Opposites Attract" video (which is now used to torture terror suspects into confessing). Then I find out Karl Rove is rapping as MC Rove.
Tell me those two things don't belong together like peanut butter and jelly on a turd sandwich. I wish I had the video skills to make it happen....on to the list.
1) “Girls,” Beastie Boys. When this was released, who could have predicted their career path with these Casio beats and Adam Sandler-esque rhymes? In 1986, even Nostradamus would have said, “Critical darlings? Tibet activists? They have a 20-foot inflatable penis on stage. I need to take my crystal ball into the shop.”
2) “The Ballad of a Ladyman,” Sleater-Kinney. I’m very much a “women are complete equals” guy. In fact, my life is based around the dream of The Lovely Becky becoming rich enough for me to become a pampered, bon-bon eating desperate husband. But for a long time, I had this subconscious prejudice that girls couldn’t rock the same way guys could. Then Sleater-Kinney kicked out the jams right into my dangling patriarchies.
3) “Fallout,” The Police. There was a weird noise in the background when I played this today. I wound up recording it and having it analyzed. Turns out it was backward tracking that said, Buy our tickets! Buy them now! They will help you have sex for 18 hours like Sting! Hail Satan! Even without the subliminable messaging, it’s hard to resist mortgaging my house for a pair of tickets when something as good as this shows up. This first single has all the trademarks of great early Police songs: punk energy, Copeland's propulsive drumming, and a yelping vocal from Sting, plus a nice little solo from their brief original guitarist, That Guy’s Not Andy Summers.
4) “Battery,” Metallica. Just the other day, I was talking about a buddy of mine from college, Moe. He was the first black heavy metal fan I’d ever met, and I was explaining how he and I became friends after I did my impression of Metallica as a lounge act. “That doesn’t seem so far-fetched now,” TLB chimed in. As James Hetfield later sang, you know that it's sad but true.
5) “Teen Age Riot,” Sonic Youth. I didn’t get into Sonic Youth when I was a sonic youth. I should have, because they are one of those groups that I know are good but are hard for me to “discover” as an adult.
6) “Better Than Most,” A.C. Newman. Better than most solo albums, but not as good as The New Pornographers. His music needs a little Viagra when Neko Case is not around.
7) “Man in a Shed,” Nick Drake. A sad, chillingly prophetic song about Ted Kaczynski.
8) “The Crying of Lot G,” Yo La Tengo. Two of their songs from this album are allusions to other works. This one is a reference to Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49. Another song, “Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House,” references a Simpsons episode. Bet you can guess which allusion I like better.
9) “I Need Your Love,” The Rapture. Pitchfork selected this dance punk mishmash as their album of the year a couple years ago. I suspect it’s because The Rapture sound like the blueprint for a band made up of Pitchfork reviewers:
Put on your ski mask before you rob your favorite 80s and 90s new wave and dance influences; Take a decent dance beat and fuck it up with a bunch of noise so that it’s not as danceable and maybe, just maybe the cute girl wearing the old-school PJ Harvey shirt won’t notice how badly you dance; Then front the band with a guy who sounds like you warbling in the shower about how that stupid girl made fun of your dancing anyway.
10) “Revolution Rock,” The Clash. See, this is how you take your influences and make them your own. Cobagz.
11) “Sad About Girls,” Elvis Costello and the Attractions. P.S. This is also how you properly sing about being sad about girls. Double cobagz.
Have a great weekend, and stay golden, pony boys and girls!