We had some pretty ominous looking clouds early last night. I was getting ready to go out to get groceries, and our cat, Jonesy, came racing inside off the porch when I opened the front door. I turned to TLB and said, “O noes, u haz a funnel cloud!” Seriously, it’s like I haz LOLcatropy and can't stop myself. Maybe I was bitten by a wereLOLcat looking for a cheezburger.
Onto the list...
1) “Killing an Arab,” The Cure. Hey, the Bush theme song! And like everything else, he would completely miss the actual point.
2) “You Are Invited,” The Dismemberment Plan. Do you like human-beatbox-sounding drum machines, superfluous annoying sound effects, and atonal 20-something moping about some party bullshit? Then this is the song for you! Me, not so much. They release the rock emergency brake briefly, but only long enough to remind me how much I dislike the rest of the song. Awesome band name, however.
3) “Strange Condition,” Pete Yorn. If I had been a single 20/30-something when this album came out, this would have been my sex-music closer. You know, we’ve had a nice dinner, we’ve had some good wine, I’m being funny, etc. Now I just need to not blow the lead. In that situation, I’m not telling Rush to warm up in the bullpen. But I’ve been married since I was 12, so I don’t have to worry about these things.
4) “Shadows in the Rain,” The Police. I will sacrifice a little hipster doofus cred to say I like Sting’s jazzy, uptempo version of this song from Dream of the Blue Turtles rather than this plodding reggae version, complete with so much bland noodling from Andy Summers, I think he’s playing an electric bag of Ramen.
5) “You Are a Light,” Pavement. Lazy even for Pavement. I think they recorded this while sitting in Lay-Z-Boys, until the producer flipped the wooden lever and forced them to stand up and rock at the end.
6) “Someone to Love,” Fountains of Wayne. Such a disappointing new album from a group I really like. This song is indie pop color-by-numbers:
- Disco-Beat Silver
- Pop-Culture Reference Blue (Coldplay and King of Queens popping up in the same song!)
- Distorted Guitar Red
- Flock-Of-Synthesizers Magenta, and
- Listener Malaise Maize.
7) “Freedom,” Amos Lee. Amos Lee is like a blusier Pete Yorn, and the dilemma of liking artists like this is discussing said artists with rock guys, who may find them too delicate. For instance, my friend Bob and I went to see Amos Lee perform recently. Bob mentioned this to one of his serious rock friends. “Amos Lee?” Bob’s friend asked, “What are you, some kind of pussy?” I have to admit, I had to admire the Paul Rudd-ianness of his observation.
8) “Moon Over Shark City,” Devin Davis. The beauty of Teh Internets is how much easier it is to find cool artists you’ve never heard of. Devin Davis is from the Matthew Sweet school of big-ass power pop that tickles my taste buds like a Take 5 Bar. This song in particular has a fuzzy guitar riff that reminds me of Bowie’s “Suffragette City.”
9) “The Flame,” Cheap Trick. O noes! Brando confession time. This was the wedding song for The Lovely Becky and me. I know, I know, and I guarantee you that the thoughts running through your head right now have run through ours a hundred times. But here’s the thing: this song was very huge when we started dating, and we were very young when we started dating. Plus, when you have to do the long-distance relationship thing in college the way we did, you should get some slack if maudlin ballads by former rock greats make you a little fucking sentimental. “Bizarre Love Triangle,” which was much more our song, was too fast for first-dance wedding action. And my sense of irony was still at Alanis levels, which kept me from suggesting something like “Sister Christian” or Loverboy’s “Hot Girls in Love.” But despite all of this hemming and hawing, this song still reminds me of marrying TLB, and that alone makes it worth keeping it in the rotation.
10) “Operation: Mindcrime,” Queensrÿche. TLB’s classic reaction whenever I mention this group is, “Queensrÿche? Really?” Like I should be embarrassed in a Costanza-with-a-Glamour-magazine way. And perhaps I should. The umlaut is unforgivable. “Silent Lucidity” has the unique combination of being composition-class pretentious and testicle-shrinking wussy along the lines of Extreme’s “More than Words.” But the Operation: Mindcrime album is one of the best metal albums ever recorded. The 1984-flavored story is actually pretty good and the music kicks ass on nearly every track. If I have to swallow a little pride and a couple umlauts, so be it.
11) “15 Minutes,” The Strokes. And we’re back on the solid footing of indie rock acceptability.
Bonus video. Loverboy. Performing “Hot Girls in Love.” In a mall. In Calgary.
Have a great weekend!