Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Random 11

Why do I get sucked into those VH1 Greatest Whatever shows? TLB and I wound up watching the Greatest Songs of the 80s before the last debate—which, aside from some fun conversation, was really a waste of time. They drag out the same sub-Kathy Griffin celebrities—it’s bad when your celebrity coup is Barenaked Ladies. Said celebs repeat the same inane stuff: “I totally moonwalked in my bedroom to ‘Billie Jean’!” or “Night Ranger is totally underrated.” Nothing interesting like, “I couldn’t play Culture Club without totally touching myself” or “I totally tried to hang myself while watching the video for ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ but the rope totally broke, and then I looked up and saw George Michael’s ‘Choose Life’ shirt and I totally wanted to live.”

Yet there I sit, a rat in front of the food dispenser, sucking it all in while thinking things like, “T’Pau was totally ranked too high” and “‘99 Luftballoons’ is totally better when you can’t understand the lyrics.” I’m either too easy or VH1 has made a pact with Satan to cast a spell over me that makes it impossible for me to change the channel. I’m totally guessing it’s the latter.

On to the tunes....

1) “A Gallon of Gas,” The Kinks. Here’s how fucked up gas prices are: I got an e-mail, sent to everyone in my company’s office, that there were stations near the office selling gas at $2.89 a gallon. The double-indemnity is that Marquette has the highest gas prices in the state of Michigan. So my inbox is getting e-mails that have nothing to do with me and taunting me at the same time.

2) “Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation,” AC/DC. Funny that the first two songs are gritty 70s throwbacks, considering that it feels like 1978. Energy problems, Russians invading territory of sovereign nations, inflation, malaise...really, we just need a hostage crisis to complete the ensemble.

3) “Fashion,” David Bowie. The most annoying season of Project Runway finished this week. I’ve been watching the show for a few years now, and certainly the combination of fashion and reality show would attract a cadre of cobag personalities. This year, though, was ridiculous. I hated everyone on the show at various points of the season. They were either bland or bitchy most of the time. On top of that, they really weren’t the greatest designers, unlike the talented groups of the last two years. The one thing I was looking forward to was the reunion show, since most of the entertainment for me came from watching the contestants savage each other in their little confessional interview spots. I couldn’t wait for all these whiny emus to be in one room, watching clips of them verbally stab each other in the back. So what did Bravo do? Not give us a reunion show. And yes, I’m more upset about this than the current economic situation. That’s what’s wrong with this country, people like me.

4) “At and T,” Pavement. I love any song that starts off with the line, Maybe someone’s gonna save me/my heart is made of gravy. Oh, they knew how to write ironic hipster distanced nonsense back in the 90s.

5) “Chasing Cars,” Snow Patrol. Kathleen recently posted about how she envisioned pregnancy as a montage, like you see in the movies. That makes me think: don’t some songs just feel ripe for montages? This one seems that way, like you could practically write a scene of Ross and Rachel breaking up around it. And here to prove my point, a video montage setting this song to Grey's Anatomy.

6) “Satin in a Coffin,” Modest Mouse. I have been listening to these guys and Built to Spill a lot lately. There’s a quality to their music that complements the weather right now: that feeling of fall getting ready to give way to winter. Maybe because both bands mine the ground of bittersweet, sad, and angry, which matches how I feel about the onset of winter.

7) “Don’t Speak,” No Doubt. The thing I notice about getting older is I’m constantly playing the Has it really been X years since Y? game. For instance, it’s been 13 years since No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom came out. Have we really had Superstar Stefani for more than a decade? These kinds of revelations make my mortality feel like it’s on fast forward.

8) “Puke + Cry,” Dinosaur Jr. I’ve done plenty of the former, not so much of the latter. In fact, last month when I went to the Bears game in Charlotte, I was a little wobbly from boozing the night before. I was in the hotel room with my brothers when I felt the inevitable Stalinist digestive purge coming. As I hurled in the bathroom, my brothers cheered for me outside the door. I heard “Yeah, Brando!” and clapping. It’s hard to throw up and laugh at the same time. This video also reminds me how much I miss the old HBO music show Reverb.

9) “The Sporting Life,” The Decemberists. Probably my favorite lyricists working right now. They manage to be catchy and clever without being simplistic or pretentious. This song just drips with pathos, too: the narrator chronicles how his ineptitude at sports causes him to earn the scorn of his father while losing his girlfriend to the captain of the other team. That’s a story treatment for a Michael Cera movie right there.


11) “One by One All Day,” The Shins. There is little that a little Shins can’t fix.

Have a totally bitchin’ weekend.


rotten mcdonald said...

I Facked over at Sadly No today.

I love that Dino Jr. Album. It's a shame about Lou.

Ill take your advice on the Shins. Comin right up!!

Brando said...

Start with Oh, Inverted World, RM. The other two Shins albums are very good but that first one is a pop gem.

I love Mascis, even on the Dino Jr. songs I don't like. They have "Feel the Pain" in Rock Band 2, which is another reason I need to pick that game up.

rotten mcdonald said...

I saw Mascis on a solo show. Saw Sebadoh on the recent tour too.

rotten mcdonald said...

Also, it could be worse; you could hear an eminem song whenever you talk to your brother.

Jennifer said...

I vote with the pact with the Devil... or Lay's Potato Chips.

You can't watch just one!!!

I've learned not to even start, but still, there are days...

T'Pau :), hadn't thought about them in awhile.

Kathleen said...

Chris and I watched 60-20 of VH1's Top 100 Greatest Hip Hop a few weeks ago, and I admit to being quite disappointed that we missed the top 20.

Kathleen said...

BTW, Project Rungay did their own reunion show that was pretty good. It helped alleviate the pain (which I also felt) a bit.

Churlita said...

I was bemoaning the loss of Head Banger's Ball just last week. I'm pathetic, I know.

I totally love The Shins and Dino Jr. They played at the Picador last December and could totally still rock hard.

My girls watch those 100 Greatest VH1 shows and make lists of all the songs they want me to let them buy from iTunes. Freaks.

Brando said...

I was really bummed I missed that Dinosaur Jr show. I almost came back to town to go to it but it was during the middle of the week if I recall. The joys of living in Mooseville.

blue girl said...

Brando, I totally get sucked in to those VH1 shows too. The one that's most memorable to me? (Totally bizarre) was the heavy metal/big hair bands one. I've never been into heavy metal and I found appreciation for it sort of. More for the characters/musicians involved than the actual music, though. They were so into it and so seriously discussing it that it cracked me up. But hey, to each his own.