It’s one more random than 10!
I learned this week that married couples who fight tend to live longer—assuming that they don’t get run over or shot or set on fire during said fight. This means The Lovely Becky and I are screwed. We really don’t fight. It’s mostly because we’re so close to being the same person that it seems pointless. I may as well get into an argument with my reflection. Here’s one example: TLB went upstairs last night to crawl in bed and watch TV. I seized the opportunity to play some Rock Band, and pretty soon was thwack-thwack-thwacking away on the plastic drums. After about a half hour, I heard TLB come downstairs. “Sorry,” I said, “is that totally loud and obnoxious?”
“It’s loud, but it doesn’t bother me,” she said. “I wasn’t coming down here to yell at you, so go ahead and play.”
She heard me playing toy drums to Iron Maiden and wasn't bothered by it. That’s true love right there. It also means we’ll be dead by 50, run over while holding hands by a guy in an SUV fleeing his wife as she pursues him while firing at him with a gun. They will of course live to be 90.
1) “The Ship Song,” Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Classic sad song. It could be used as a montage of men about to charge into battle, yelling in super-slow-mo as sabers rattle and cannons explode, or for that part in a John Cusack romantic comedy where he realizes he’s been a twat and should settle down with the girl he left. That’s flexibility.
2) “Black Sabbath,” Black Sabbath. One of those first songs on a first album that foreshadows everything you need to know about a band’s career, from forging an entirely new genre of music to being too goofy to sustain for long without looking cartoonish (see also: Danzig, dilemma of being shirtless and wearing Goth eyeliner when 50 and).
3) “Rat Fink,” The Misfits. Okay, that was spooky. It’s like I said Danzig’s name and he appeared. Hmm, let me try this: Selma Hayek Selma Hayek Selma Hayek? Anyone? Poop. I’ll try a more traditional one: Beelzebub Beelzebub Beelzebub. Aw, fuck, now my office is full of flies and a demonic shadowy presence. Excuse me while I open a window and fetch my Rite of Exorcism.
4) “Love on the Rocks With No Ice,” The Darkness. Great, now my iPod is possessed with shit. The Darkness tried to combine AC/DC riffs with Freddy Mercury theatricality. They occasionally succeeded. This, however, is like Freddy Mercury’s mustache playing guitar in a schoolboy outfit that’s three sizes too small. Horrifyingly amusing.
5) “Don’t Know,” The Dodgers. That’s better. I love when Latin incantations and holy water work. The Dodgers are one of my best finds from the great 2007 Summer of Raiding Record Collections. Classic 70s power pop, all shimmery like the Southern California sky when the wind picks up enough to blow the smog toward Barstow. Not easy to find as I think this is long out of print, but worth seeking if you like groups like Big Star.
6) “Daft Punk Is Playing in My House,” LCD Soundsystem. Booty-shaking. Worth it for the bass line alone.
7) “My Rights Versus Yours,” The New Pornographers. The modern masters of guitar-based pop music. They always find the right blend of catchy and quirky, so you’re humming along because you want to, not because some insidious We-Built-This-City musical code has been downloaded into your brain.
8) “Little Doll,” The Stooges. Really captures the transition from the 60s to 70s punk. The guitar solo is all acid-trip Jefferson Airplane squealing, but the beat and attitude are all Ramones. So far the exorcism is holding up.
9) “Columbia,” Oasis. I was watching The Seven Stages of Rock on VH1 Classic (a great series to catch if it’s still running), and the last stage was on British indie bands from the 90s. They interviewed guitarist Noel Gallagher of Oasis, he of the Bert unibrow. And while he spent some of the time talking about the band and their music, he spent a lot of it talking about how much money they made and being filmed driving a Bentley. It was like a blueprint of how to be a Giant Rock Cock, and not in the funny cucumber-in-aluminum-foil way.
I have nothing against rock stars or other artists getting rich. I’d rather see someone who produces art for a living make money than someone like Donald Trump. But when you’re a rock and roller, you’re supposed to crash that Bentley into a pool or into the Playboy Mansion or choke to death on your own vomit in it. You’re supposed to at least pretend that you have contempt for your own wealth. If you instead act like the point of making music is to make money so you can buy more Bentleys, then you’re just Donald Trump with a guitar around your neck. Or in other words, Gene Simmons. But despite all that, this song does rock, and I forgive much because of rock.
10) “All Systems Red,” Calexico. Maybe you’ve seen those Christian rock commercials, where all the white people and the one Photoshopped black person stand enraptured while listening to groups that sound like Lava-soaped Nickelback bleat about higher powers and giving unto him and other squishy spiritual clichés that make this genre so Ned Flanders. Well, this Calexico songs triggers that rapturous feeling without having to sing about The Rapture. It starts out quiet and slowly builds to a towering crescendo of guitars and vocals that I actually feel on my skin. It’s the kind of music I hope I hear in heaven or at least catch a few notes of while on a smoke break in hell.
11) “Superhero,” Jane’s Addiction. Works much better as the theme music to Entourage than as a song, because as theme music it means it will lead to something entertaining, instead of remaining a four-minute reminder of why Jane’s Addiction should have stayed broken up.
Have a great weekend.