It’s one more random than 10!
I have no secret that I have an unholy love for a certain professional football team from Chicago. Last year’s Super Bowl run also left me with an offseason hangover that has been ringing since February. Getting so close to winning the Super Bowl, only to come up short, bothered me more than all the 6-10 seasons I’ve watched over the last decade.
But the NFL season has begun anew, and I find myself ready to pop two Alka-Selser and cheer for my Bears again, even if a little part of me dies every time Rex Grossman throws into double coverage. Normally, I would be firing up my Sunday Ticket, thanking The Lovely Becky for being an understanding football widow for the next 18 Sundays (plus playoffs), and yelling at the TV.
Tomorrow, however, I head out to sunny San Diego to scream for my team in person. My dad managed to score tickets to the Chargers-Bears game, and I’m going with him and my brother Tickle (yes, his real-life nickname). The weekend after that, Tickle, my other brother Snake Anthony (not his Christian name), and I will join my uncle and cousin in Vegas, where I will gorge myself on sports betting until I can either fit no more money in my pockets or my thumbs get broken. Needless to say, I'm just a tad excited.
On to the iTunes....
1) “Save a Prayer,” Duran Duran. Really funny this came up—this played last night at the restaurant/bar TLB and I went to. "So which Duran Duran member was your favorite?" TLB asked with dead-panned Tiger Beat enthusiasm. I agreed with her that John Taylor was my favorite, because he was the one who could really play and he was really cute. Wait, the last one was only TLB. Seriously. Okay, so he was attractive, that doesn’t mean anything.
2) “Deliverance,” Opeth. And now for something completely different…You know what can really wake you up on a Friday morning? Double-bass blast beats and Cookie Monster death metal vocals. My brother Snake gave this to me. He likes dis Swedish metal, jah, because it captures the icy agony of life and is very fun for him to plays on his guitar and drums. Actually, Opeth write very good music, a lot of delicate, moody, minor-chord stuff. They even sing very beautifully during the slow passages. It's when the Jolt Cola passages hit and the Cookie Monster vocals kick in that I can’t take them seriously. D is for Death, that's my destiny; D is for Death, that’s my destiny; D is for Death, that’s my destiny, Death- Death-Death starts with D.
3) “Whatsername,” Green Day. The last song on American Idiot: The George W. Bush Story. I am glad that this album was a huge hit, not just because it’s an hour of catchy, energetic pop punk, but because a blatantly political album came along to break up the Tony Keith American flag toga party. There were some good indie acts writing overtly political songs after 9/11—Sleater-Kinney and Ted Leo, for instance—but there was no “Ohio” or “Fortunate Son” being played on the radio as our Executive Branch used the Constitution like Depends and got defensive when we asked where that smell was coming from. So it was nice to see the guys sticking their middle fingers in the apple pie win a Grammy.
4) “You Do Something to Me,” Paul Weller. It is funny how a man who once snarled you think I know nothing of the modern world? can sound like Burt Bacharach in his old-rock age.
5) “Shambala,” Beastie Boys. Speaking of coming a long way from waving your 20-foot inflatable penis around.... A cool little instrumental that combines wah-wah Shaft guitar with those chanting Benedictine monks. Our little Brass Monkey is all growns up.
6) “Shake That,” Eminem. So, in an effort to add some wheat germ to my Wonder Bread music collection, I loaded up on some rap music over the summer. I will be the first to admit that I am not the target demographic for Detroit’s angriest white boy. And yeah, "Stan" is a pretty awesome song. But really, if you’re going to write a blatant song about sex like "Shake That," decades after a lot of people more talented than you have drawn water from the same well, you better bring madder linez than I get more ass than a toilet seat. The rotting corpse of Bon Scott could drool out a better zinger. Plus, I will never be able to take Eminem seriously after seeing 8 Mile. It was so obvious he wanted to ride a purple motorcycle and get Apollonia to jump in a freezing lake.
7) “Anytime,” Neil Finn. He and/or Crowded House would have been huge if they hadn’t been Hobbits. New Zealand has produced a lot of terrific music that no one outside of New Zealand has heard, that I would have missed if my friend Paula and her trusty compatriot T-Wise Middy hadn’t left the Shire for Iowa and brought their awesome collection of Kiwi music with them.
8) “Stand in Silence,” …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. Grendel just saw these guys in Amsterdam (lucky bastard). It’s not enough for him to have amazing beer, legal weed, and centuries of culture around him, he also has to have good bands coming through all the time. Trail of the Dead have, however, left a trail of diminishing returns since making the incredible Source Tags and Codes in 2002. They more or less have written the same kind of song since then: start out with a peppy beginning, slow it down, add a lot of extra crap you don’t need like horns and sound effects, and then return to the main movement. Still, I would trade in a lot of beaver pelts to get them to play the UP.
9) “Generator,” Bad Religion. Then again, it is possible to keep writing the same song over and over and still be good.
10) “Bottle Rocket,” The Go! Team. I’m a little more hip to this hoppin. One of those songs you can instantly groove to, with a good rapped female vocal that reminds me of Neneh Cherry. I will be listening to more from them.
11) “Point A to Point Blank,” New Bomb Turks. I love going out on a high note, and this is a getaway car of a song, floored from the second the drums start. Like Trail of the Dead, the Turks have one great album (Scared Straight) that got me to buy more of their less-great albums. But when stuff like this launches me into the best football weekend of my life, it's money well spent.
Have a great weekend. If you happen to watch the game and see a guy in a Bears shirt running on the field to tackle a Charger player returning Rex Grossman’s fifth interception of the day, that might be me. Especially if that man has no pants on.