It’s one more random than 10!
I’m just jumping right in today and saving the sermon for the end…
1) “I Want You to Want Me (Live),” Cheap Trick. Hell yeahs. The live versions of this and “Surrender” are about as good as the 70s get in my book. In fact, there are a lot of songs that would benefit from having hordes of ecstatic Japanese girls yelling along.
2) “Magpie,” The Mountain Goats. From feeding kitties to straightening crucifixes in two minutes. Now that's what I call music!
3) “Songbird,” Fleetwood Mac. I am definitely more of a Stevie Nicks man than a Christine McVie man. In fact, I don’t know of any Christine McVie men except John McVie. I guess I like my songs to brood about thunder and Welsh witches instead of tweeting about songbirds.
4) “Still Be Around,” Uncle Tupelo. On my Cannot Be Overplayed List. I would love, love, love to see Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweety come back together. I would think if The Police could tour the world for a year without Stewart Copeland throwing Sting through a bass drum, these two could keep it together long enough for me to see them live.
5) “Crooked Teeth,” Death Cab for Cutie. Here’s the dumb thing about tagging: I have all the Death Cab albums before Plans labeled, “Indie Rock.” But the last two? Just “Rock.” Even though their music sounds exactly the same, only a little louder and slightly more overdubby. Yet I can’t bring myself to label it all “Indie Rock” because that feels like cheating. Why am I so goddamned anal about stupid things like this?
6) “Brilliant Mistake,” Elvis Costello (and maybe The Attractions). Really, if you’re a musician, do you want to get stuck in an “and the” band? For one thing, no one ever uses the “and the” when talking about your music. At best, if you’re a really great player, like an Attraction or a Heartbreaker, people are going to tell you, “I love your work on those Elvis Costello/Tom Petty records.” At worst, you’re going to spend your whole life wondering how you couldn’t beat out Huey Lewis for top billing. Lose-lose. Although I like the sound of Brando and the Circle Jerks, especially if my “and the” consisted of the actual Circle Jerks. (Some Milwaukee love in the video for our favorite zombie.)
7) “Eurochild,” Massive Attack. Every Massive Attack song sounds like it should be in a movie soundtrack. In fact, I’d like movie soundtracks a lot more if they were done by Massive Attack. I mean, seriously, do we need another 75 minutes of Danny Elfman’s faux-harpsichord farting during a Tim Burton movie or John Williams’s hooked-on-classics symphonic surges as a Spielbergian protagonist rediscovers the little boy inside who helps him find happiness as an adult?
8) “Tunic (Song for Karen),” Sonic Youth. While I didn’t dislike Sonic Youth, I didn’t really appreciate them until I tried playing their songs in Rock Band. I know that, to some people, that sounds like the end of music as we know it, that there is some apocalyptic prophecy being fulfilled: And yea, it will come to pass that the children will learn to worship their music gods on plastic guitars and drums. Honestly, though, these music games have really deepened my respect for music. I’ve played “Kool Thing” and “Teen Age Riot” in Rock Band, and I never realized just how complex and cool their music is, and now I get kind of jazzed when it pops up in iTunes.
9) “Range Life,” Pavement. They’re getting the band back together, at least for a few shows at New York’s Central Park. I hope that leads to a real tour, because they are also one of the bands I never got to see that I wish I had. I always get a chuckle from this song when Steven Malkmus sings Stone Temple Pilots, they’re elegant bachelors, they’re foxy to me, are they foxy to you?
10) “Just Like Heaven,” The Cure. Show me show me show me how you do that trick/the one where you sound carefree, she said/but you’re really sad and lovesick, she said/and threw her headphones on her head.
11) “Stacy’s Mom,” Fountains of Wayne. For all the efforts by the Religious Right to keep us in an age of creepy purity balls and guilt-ridden dry humping, it’s pretty remarkable just how far our nation has come sexually (insert Butt-Head laugh here). Here’s a song as peppy, poppy, and catchy as they come, a guitar-driven ditty that would sound at home on 70s AM radio...except it's celebrating MILFs. Courtney Cox is starring in a new show called Cougar Town and no one is really batting an eyelash. HBO’s got a show called Hung, and the network knows it doesn’t have to explain, “hey, that means the main character has a huge schlong.” One of the dozens of Law and CSI shows had an episode about a furry party gone bad (insert joke about when does as furry party go good?).
It’s all thanks to the Internet. For all the ways that the Internet has changed our lives, I think one of the most welcome changes has been the loosening of the sexual pole up the collective butt of this great nation. Even though the Internet has allowed the right to be even more shrill and ridiculous than ever, all that wailing and gnashing can’t stop the big horny wave sweeping the country.
See, in ancient times (before 1998), most people felt weird about doing anything too kinky, because they’d think, my partner’s going to think I’m a freak and not only leave me, but maybe turn me into the authorities. But thanks to the Internet, you can get your freak on without feeling guilty, because if you go on the Internet for more than two minutes, you’ll probably find someone who is freakier than you are. Gee, I thought it was kind of weird that I want my husband to ravish me while dressed up like Super Mario, but look at this sick fuck here who wants her husband to dress up like Donkey Kong. I guess that makes me pretty normal by comparison. Even our elected officials are getting into the act, with each diaper-wearing, restroom-tapping, South-American-booty-calling one trying to top the other.
Sure, there are some down sides. These days, if you’re not kinky enough, you might think what’s wrong with me that I just want missionary and a cuddle? And I know we’re probably not far away from Red Shoe Diaries incorporating watersports-based story lines, just to stay hip, and maybe we’ll even see Goatse: The Musical (“An eye-popping spectacle you’ll never forget, no matter how hard you try!”—Janet Maslin).
Overall, though, I say good for us, America. For far too long, we’ve channeled that pent-up sexual energy into things that are really bad for us: whipping out our guns, eating out our Big Macs, and having an unprotected orgy with our stockholder’s assets. Maybe if we wind up falling back into bed disheveled, breathless, and tired, we won’t have as much energy to go out and cause problems. Especially if we still have to take off the furry costume.
Have a good weekend.