It’s one more random than 10!
I downloaded—correction, purchased—Winger’s “Seventeen” this week. Had I suffered some sort of blunt force trauma to the head? Returned from traveling in a time-warping hot tub? Lost a bet? No. However, amid my purchasing of Dio tracks from eMusic this week, I fell into a bit of metal nostalgia, and lo and behold, there was Winger’s debut, glaring at me with its glowing eyes. And while I may find the idea of Winger grotesque and incomprehensible, deep down in places I don’t like to talk about at parties, I want “Seventeen,” on my iTunes, I need “Seventeen” on my iTunes. I dig the music and the swaggering cockism of the lyrics entertains me, even if this song could probably double as an anthem for the Catholic church if you changed the gender of the pronoun in the chorus. Besides, “My Sharona” includes the infamous line, “I always get it up for the touch of the younger kind,” and that’s considered an 80s classic, so I said fuck it and clicked the download button.
I told The Lovely Becky about said purchase. “You shouldn’t have told me that,” she said.
Oh shit, I thought. Had I actually done something so stupid I had lost the respect of my wife? I had always expected this day to come, I just never thought it would be triggered by a Winger purchase. “Why not?” I asked.
“Because I’ll make fun of you for it.”
Whew, what a relief, I had only provided a case of insult ammo. “I don’t care,” I said. “You’ve made fun of Rush for 20 years, and I love Rush. In fact, I’d get on my roof and yell, ‘I love Rush’ to anyone passing by.”
“You were embarrassed when I made fun of you for owning a Lita Ford CD.”
That hurt. I paused, then quietly said, “That’s because that is embarrassing, and I was secretly ashamed.”
Some pleasures are simply too guilty to admit and drag you down into the depths of embarrassment like a millstone around your neck. Congratulations to Winger for just barely beating out "Kiss Me Deadly" in my Hall of Shame.
1) “Tribulations,” LCD Soundsystem. One of the most fantastic covers of a non-existent 80s song that I’ve ever heard. Seriously, I am almost positive I danced to this once with my hands over my head and my pants tight-rolled. Love how the little guitar solo in the middle adds just enough rock to the house party.
2) “Girls Got Rhythm,” AC/DC. My most cranakable rock band. No matter how loud my speakers are when a Bon Scott-era AC/DC song comes on, I instinctively turn them up even more.
3) “Shirin,” Jens Lenkman. Not a bad song by any stretch—actually quite good—but after the AC/DC lead-in I feel like I just slammed on the brakes of my IROC-Z at 120 mph. Also, this song reminds me that one of the things I'm going to miss most about Marquette: my hair stylist. Not making that up.
4) “Nothing Achieving,” The Police. Sting’s later antics aside, they were an incredible band, and incredible for completely different reasons with each album. This is them at their rough, early best, when they were still punk but could actually play their instruments.
5) “Carl Perkin’s Cadillac,” Drive-By Truckers. Probably neck-and-neck with New Pornographers on my list of bands I’d like to see live…which may happen because I’ll soon be living in a place that gets acts other than the Country Bear Jamboree. And especially for TLB: the video is from The Blue Note in Columbia, MO.
6) “I Am a Scientist,” Guided by Voices. The best two-and-a-half minutes of rock from the 90s.
7) “Add It Up,” Violent Femmes. Funny, this song actually came up in e-mail conversation today –Tickle’s friend Fög called it the greatest rock song ever. Quoth Fög: “It has all the essentials. There is cussing, sex talk, great solos both electric and bass, and you can’t turn it up loud enough.” While it’s not my greatest I can’t argue with any of that. Don’t shoot shoot shoot that thing at me….
8) “Seasons in the Abyss,” Slayer. Slayer is not my cup of dark black tea, but I do love this song. There’s a slow build of epic menace at the beginning before the band kick out the jams and rock my face off. Also in my top 5 of all-time favorite drum fills.
9) “Away From the Numbers,” The Jam. Much like The Police, they were awesome for completely different reasons as their career evolved. They were good enough to slow things down and still sound pretty punk, with Rick Buckler hitting his tom-toms like they owe him money.
10) “March of the Pigs,” Nine Inch Nails. The Morrissey of anger. I SCREAMED AND I SCREAMED AND I SCREAMED, OH DID I TELL YOU HOW I SCREAMED?
11) “Metal Health (Bang Your Head),” Quiet Riot. A song so metal, it got Kevin Bacon arrested in Footloose. Now make no mistake, Quiet Riot were Winger terrible, a total joke of a band who couldn’t write their way out of a leather codpiece (when your two biggest hits are covers of Slade songs, that should tell you your career will be short-lived). But somehow these studded savants managed to write one of the all-time great metal anthems. This still hits right between the eyes: the driving rhythm, the guitar riffs, and most of all the insane vocals from the late Kevin DuBrow. It is on my Must Be Cranked list, and dare I say I turned it up louder than “Girls Got Rhythm” today. I want to literally feel it rattling my ribs a little. So a tip of the cap to Quiet Riot: the large turd pile they produced did provide fertilizer for one magnificent black rose.
Have a head-banging weekend, literally or figuratively.