Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday CJ Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

Tis my last weekend in The IC as an IC'er. So sad. But hey, what better time to play music than when you need a pick-me-up? On to today's playlist...

1) “It’s Only Rock and Roll,” The Rolling Stones. I am definitely more of a Beatles guy than a Stones guy, but it’s hard not to groove to this song. I like it when the list starts out with a classic, the way a good live show should.

2) “Seven,” Sunny Day Real Estate. The original emo kids who combined Robert Smith moping with punky ass kicking. This is a really good song, in part because it’s chock full o’ drum fills. I can never get enough drum fills. Other things I love, I can maybe get full of. Schnitzengruben? Fifteen is my limit. Sex? It doesn’t happen very often, but there are those times when I have to say Baby, please, I am not from Havana. But more drum fills? I’m like Oliver Twist: please, sir, I want some more.

3) “Ever Fallen in Love?” Buzzcocks. They took the buzzing energy of The Ramones and added a great British pop sensibility. “Orgasm Addict” is still my favorite (surprise) but this is a close second.

4) “Don’t Stand So Close to Me ’86,” The Police. They went Al Qaeda and blew themselves up with this terrible remake. All full of awful, from the cheesy drums to the plodding pace to the vocal deliveries. Should have been called "Don't Come so Close to Making Me Hate You '86."

5) “Stella Was a Race Car Driver and She’s Always Down,” Interpol. First things first, a great song from one of the best new bands around. It has a skittish verse followed by a strong, heavy chorus. Good stuff.

Second: earlier this week, Pinko and I got into a disagreement about Interpol and what makes them awesome. It doesn’t matter who’s right* and who’s wrong**. Instead, it illustrated one of the top five things the Internet was designed for:

  1. Porn
  2. Coordinating military counterstrikes after a nuclear war has severed central communications
  3. Funny cat photos
  4. Debating popular culture with religious-revival fervor
  5. Spam

6) “The World Stops Turning,” Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. He delivers awesome bursts of catchy, politically charged rock. One of my favorite artists to work out to, like listening to an energy bar when I need a boost. Which is quite frequently since I'm often weighed down by too many schnitzengruben.

7) “Keep the Car Running,” Arcade Fire. I’ve said it before: great group, terrific album (Neon Bible). But I had the misfortune of seeing a rerun of their Saturday Night Live performance. They played great, they sounded very good, but their lead singer committed two of the biggest rock sins in my book. During their first song, he played an acoustic guitar that had a political message on it, which is so Michael Stipe wearing 20 different slogan T-shirts to the MTV Video Awards. You want to get political, please do, but say it, don't spray paint it.

Then, at the end of the song, he smashed his perfectly good guitar into smithereens. Kids, listen up: smashing your instruments is over. It’s like swinging, a once-rebellious action that now just leads to a lot of head-scratching and irritation. Don't be a fool, protect your musical tools.

8) “To Live Is to Die,” Metallica. I’ve never soured so much on a band the way I soured on them. By the time they released Load (of Poop), they had transformed into the asses they had once tried to stick metal up. But this song is before that happened, a tribute to their deceased bass player (crushed by a bus!), a heavy, shifting nine-minute instrumental that floats my boat (shocking for me, I know). Around the 5:00 mark there’s a transition that leads to a weepy solo, before the band punch each other in the shoulders to keep from crying and start rocking again.

9) “Shatter,” Liz Phair. Speaking of career suicide, she went from awesome to Avril within 10 years. I don’t blame any artist for wanting to reach a wide audience—if you didn’t want people to notice you, you wouldn’t be on stage—but I never understood Phair’s utterly unsubtle attempts to be a radio friendly unit shifter. However, she will always have the astounding Exile in Guyville, which this is from, one of those great singer-songwriter albums where she fully displays her naked soul (and part of a nipple if you look closely at the cover).

10) “Dreams,” Fleetwood Mac. One of my favorite songs, a perfect blend of music and vocals. Rumors is one of those albums that shows you can be unbelievably popular and deliver the artistic goods.

11) “People of the Sun,” Rage Against the Machine. Another of my go-to workout bands, but sometimes they get me a little carried away. I can’t tell you how many muscles have been pulled because of “Guerilla Radio.” Usually it goes like this when a good Rage song comes on...

Me: Aw, hell yeah, bring that shit, boi! Let’s put some more plates on this mofo.

My back: Yo, yo, yo, you can’t lift that much, yo!

Me: Why you always hatin’, back? Quit oppressin’ my weight liftin’ dreams like the machine Rage is ragin’ against. Yo.

My back: Aight, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I’m goin’ have to pop one in your latissimus dorsi, dawg.

Me: Agh! I’m gonna need like traction and shit. Damn, back, you’re always right!

My back: Word.

Bonus video: I get infected with this song periodically, and one of my brothers e-mailed it to me this week. So once again I’m going around singing it. If you haven't seen this video, it will change your opinion of Justin Timberlake forever. I won't mention the title if you haven't, so you can enjoy the full joke, but it's not work safe.

Have a good weekend.

** Pinko


Trevor said...

RE #5: I know it's a slip, but someone needs to get on the mash-up of Sailing the Seas of Cheese and Turn on the Bright Lights post-haste.

Excellent commentary, as always. Iowa City's about to get a lot less funny. Safe travels, Brando.

stella said...

me likes number 5.

SDR - OLD SKOOL! somehow though, im having a hard time imagining a Robert Smith/Sunny Day Real Estate duo...


Jennifer said...

Pinko's often wrong these days, like about ice cream...

Enjoy your last weekend as an ICer, Brando!!

Churlita said...

Say it ain't so, Brando. Can't you guys just stay in IC and work unsatisfying shit jobs that make you crazy like everyone else here?

You are so dead-on with #4, #8 and #9.

Brendan said...

Re: "Rumours:" I may be the only person on the planet who hates Hillary's campaign song less than Bill's. "Dreams" may be less heinous than "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow," but that's like saying ten ice picks to the eardrum isn't as bad as twenty. Besides, everyone knows the real "Dreams."

I'll always like Rage. Glad you put them up right after Fleetwood Mac -- it cleared my inner ear.

The Uncanny Canadian said...

I actually really liked the Arcade Fire performance of "Keep the Car Running". I have to say that the new CD hasn't quite floored me the way Funeral did, but that particular performance kind of gave me the shivers. Arcade Fire really are so much better a live band than in the studio.

BOSSY said...

Don't Stand So Close To Me... Don't *even* make Bossy tell you the story about how (when the song came out) she was in *total love* with her 8th grade Math teacher whose totally romantic name was "Mr Sukalski".

Bossy so hoped one day there would be a Wet Bus Stop and a Warm & Dry Car.

Adorable said...

Why do you constantly degrade me and this blog with mention of a choad? For shame!

Brando said...

Trevor, that's a great idea. Take care of yourself and your family, my good man.

Stella, I always think of emo as Cure-like lyrics with more aggressive music. In fairness to SDR, they don't fit that mold as much as the later whiny emo kids did.

Churlita, I wish I didn't have to go. I knew the day would come, but that doesn't make it any easier. We will holla when we're in town.

Brendan, I love those first couple Fleetwood Mac albums with Buckingham and Nicks. They have been played to death, but I still dig em. Not good gym music, though.

UC, I was probably too harsh on Arcade Fire. It's just that I like their music because it's so complex, they sort of bugged me with the slogan-on-the-guitar/smash the guitar act. They seem too good for that.

Bossy, I honestly have no idea how to respond to that :-)

J and AG, Pinko is often wrong, but what can I say, he makes me laugh.

Kathleen said...

exile in guyville is the second CD I ever bought.