It’s one more random than 10!
It’s Friday the 13th, the universal day of bad luck. Usually I ward off any potential misfortune on this day by doing something else that’s supposed to bring bad luck, like multiplying two negative numbers to get a positive. So after I took a shower this morning, I toweled off with a black cat.
1) “ Ambulance” TV on the Radio. An a-cappella song with a nice dum-dum-dum bass vocal and good harmonies. I’m not a huge fan of these guys, but I do like how they get creative with their vocals.
2) “Hemispheres,” Rush. Oh sweet Jesus. Eighteen minutes, six parts, and an album cover that’s even too fruity for Toucan Sam. The song describes a battle between Apollo (the god of reason) and Dionysus (the god of love and emotion) for control humanity. They fight until a guy who went through a black hole in a song on the previous album asks why they just can’t get along. There’s also a gong.
Trying to maintain any semblance of cool while saying you like this is like charging a German machine gun nest while armed with Nerf arrows. But I do like the music, especially Alex Lifeson’s guitar playing. So just fire away while my Underoos are caught on the barbed wire.
3) “Off the Record,” My Morning Jacket. A great song that manages to be catchy and unpredictable. It starts with a bouncy reggae rhythm which leads into a poppy chorus. Then the second half makes a left turn at Albuquerque into a hazy, druggy jam. The only thing it needs is some Greek mythology.
4) “As Wicked,” Rancid. This is the punky opposite of "Hemispheres," and yet I love it equally. I feel a battle brewing....
5) “Changes,” Yes. Today, on this mystical Friday the 13th, two gods fight for control of one man's playlist: Punkus, the god of attitude and keeper the Three Mystical Guitar Chords; and Proggus, bringer of extended solos and harbinger of abrupt time signature changes. They fight a titanic struggle, with Punkus launching wave after wave of two minute burts of catchy fury, while Proggus returns fire with double-neck guitars behind towers of synthesizers. Back and forth they go, until our hero, the god Chillus, arrives. He waves his Rod of Chillin’ and cries out, “Silence!”
To be continued....
6) “Welcome Home,” Coheed and Cambria. And Chillus did wave his wand, and said “Behold, I give you Coheed and Cambria, bringers of punky energy and deliverers of proggy noodling. See how they combine these two elements and deliver the majesty of rock with the mystery of roll without making you choose between the two styles. Verily, you do not need to be an either/or cobag, cobag.”
And Chillus was right. And yea did Fuse play the videos of Coheed and Cambria, and lo how the emo kids and metal kids bought their records. And the gods looked down and said it was pretty good.
7) “September,” Ryan Adams. And we’re back with a quiet, beautiful, and sad song from Ryan Adams about a man remembering how his love died after being turned to stone by Medusa.
8) “Surf Wax America,” Weezer. A dark little ditty about a surfer dude who makes fun of people who have to go to work, then gets crushed beneath a wave and drowns. Maybe my favorite song from their debut album.
9) “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (Live),” Bob Dylan. This is from the Concert at Philharmonic Hall album. It’s funny, on every track, the audience lets Dylan play a few bars, then claps. I’ve never seen that happen at shows, yet it happens so regularly here, I figure it must have been the style of the time. Do people still do this, or is it a quaint old custom like pipe smoking or saving yourself for marriage?
10) “Low Low Low,” James. I have to credit The Lovely Becky for getting me to look past their hit “Laid” and digging to this album. Good, catchy Britpop.
11) “Overkill,” Colin Hay. An acoustic version of my favorite Men at Work song. I downloaded after seeing him sing it on an episode of Scrubs, a show which balances sentimentality with rapid-fire bursts of sarcastic dialog. That seems like an appropriate coda to this week’s list.
I'm currently in the studio working on next week's list, an 11-part concept post about the eternal struggle between Cuddlus, the God of Romance, and and Bonerisus, Bringer of Erections. I'm just trying to figure out where to put the gong.
Hope to finish something and post this weekend, but until then, drink up! It’s happy hour someplace.