Call me Fav-re.
I’m bringing the Random 11 back for a number of reasons. First, I need it. My creative well has hit a dry spell since Libby was born. Don't get me wrong, I love being a dad. Libby is amazing and I have happily channeled my energy into spending time with her. I miss teh funny, however. It's still there, lurking in things like the inappropriate comments I make when TLB and I watch Paranormal State (I tend to charactize the ghosts and demons as being somewhat lecherous toward the female members of the team). But my battery could use a jump, and the Random 11 is perfect for that.
The other thing is I loaded up with a lot of new music over the summer, and I hate keeping my opinions to myself.
1) “Hang on to Yourself,” David Bowie. Ironic title considering I can think of few artists who have changed their images more than Bowie. But what better way to get back to rockin’ than with a fat, glammy guitar riff.
2) “Fly by Night,” Rush. I am pretty sure Kim Carnes stole Alex Lifeson’s hair from this video.
3) “Sea Legs,” The Shins. I have to say, the last Shins album didn’t do a lot for me, and this song kind of sums up why. The pieces are there, but it lacks the charm and melody that made their first couple of albums so life-changing. However, it does use “pyre” and “labyrinth” in the same song. So that’s kina cool.
4) “Tij,” Battles. I am but a simple caveman. Your math rock-inspired sound collages frighten and confuse me, with chaotic time changes and sound collages that sound like methed-out carnies jumping on random instruments. But I do know this: making instrumental avant-garde music that has no rhyme or reason to it is a great way to get rock critics to jizz all over themselves in an attempt to show how much smarter they are than everyone else.
5) “Heavy Metal Drummer,” Wilco. That’s more like it.
6) “Summertime,” The Sundays. I will say this for the UP: the summers here are the best I’ve had since I lived in San Diego. I am so sad that they are almost done. My snowblower is already snickering when I go in the garage.
7) “Partie Traumatic,” Black Kids. They are to The Killers what Krusty the Clown was to Steve Allen.
8) “Scoff,” Nirvana. Grunge seems so quaint now. Just yesterday, I wound up talking to a younger colleague of TLB’s about grunge, and she was explaining how everyone used to wear flannel to this one bar they used to go to. It feels like that happened in the 1890s. Most of those bands deserved to die a quiet, unplugged death, but Nirvana still rocks my socks off.
9) “Vietnow,” Rage Against the Machine. Speaking of subgenres that went extinct. Rage in particular almost seems lost in time: the faux-Students for a Democratic Society lyrics rapped over guitar effects that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a Steve Stevens-era Billy Idol album. They are so cute when they are angry. Yet still amazing to work out or play Guitar Hero to. Bonus: live video from the Tibetan Freedom Music concert. I believe that’s been eclipsed by a giant moon made of gold medals....
10) “Radio Nowhere,” Bruce Springsteen. This is to R.E.M.’s Accelerate what Steve Allen is to Krusty the Clown.
11) “Love Hurts,” Gram Parsons. But it’s even worse when love burns. And itches.
That's the kind of high-brow entertainment I have really missed doing each week. Have a great weekend.