Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

Ken Mehlman is gay. Has there been a less surprising political revelation in recent years? What would be less shocking than this? Bush drinking again? Sarah Palin making up a new word, Muslimy, in her Twitter feed? Democrats saying that they have several cracked verterbrae in their political spine?

I don’t agree with being a Republican, but I understand why people outside of the traditional Republican demographic become Republicans. If you have enough money, enough fear of change, and enough fear of God, it can be the party for you even if you’re a few (dozen) shades past the usual color palette, or you make up for lacking a penis by whipping out 14-inches of crazy like an ideological Dirk Diggler and itimidating the other dudes in the Republican men's room.

But gay and Republican? Why? Not to say that gay men and women should automatically be Democrats, but why would they choose a party that treats them with indifference at best and Biblical hellfire at worst? Especially as the Teabaggers increasingly make their presence felt on the GOP’s chin. True, if you have a fetish for closet cases, than it certainly is a Grand Ol’ Party for you.

Oh, but we support the party on 90 pecent of the other issues. Okay, fine, but that last bit is a pretty big, throbbing 10 percent. I’ll put it this way: if the Democratic party came out against hetero sex and said that breeders were icky and should keep their yuck-a-duck man-on-woman action to themselves and be grateful that they have any rights at all, guess what? I’d be looking for a new party faster than you could make a hand signal under a bathroom stall.

The size of government, tax policies, foreign policy, health care...I care a lot about those things, but at the same time, I’m willing to engage in dialogue about them. If the administration turned around tomorrow and said, “We’re broke and we’re going to have to cut a lot of programs,” while I’d strongly disagree with that approach, I would at least discuss it. But if my party of choice told me that I wasn’t free to love who I want, to express the human emotion that drives us more than any other, the experience that nearly everyone puts at the top of the list? I’d tell them to fuck off. And I sure as hell wouldn’t help them implement those policies.

Rant over, time for music...

1) “Please Don’t Be Gentle With Me,” Minutemen. My iPod has a great sense of timing.

2) “The Plan,” Built to Spill. A 7-layer dip of indie rock guitar goodness. The clip reminds me how much I miss the old HBO music show Reverb.

3) “One Two Three Four,” Feist. One of those songs I don’t necessarily go out of my way to play, but am always glad to hear. She’s got a great voice, and I really like how the arrangements grow throughout the song.

4) “The Four Horsemen,” Metallica. METAL! While I was on vacation with TLB’s family, I played Guitar Hero Metallica for the first time. Even though my plastic-guitar chops were a bit rusty because my busy summer has left little time for fake-guitar playing, I managed to get through most of the songs on the hard difficulty, while the other participating family members played on easy or medium. After even surprising myself by getting through the difficult solos at the end of “One,” my brother-in-law turned to me and said, “You’re really good at this game.”

“Not really,” I said. “I butchered a few parts. There are a lot of guys better than me.”

“You’re really good for someone who has a job,” he clarified. I took pride in that, although part of me figured I shouldn’t have.

5) “Slide,” Goo Goo Dolls. Normally, I don’t really fight admitting that I like something completely unhip. I mean, I’m a Rush fan, for Peart’s sake. I like what I like, and sometimes that music is considered cool and other times its looked at like an acne-ridden 15-year-old wearing a wizard cape. So be it. Yet I hate to admit that I like this, because I know deep in my bones that the Goo Goo Dolls are what you get when the Crash Test Dummies go through the windshield of a Matchbox 20 car, leaving you Third Eye Blind as well. In fact, if their first hit “Name” comes on the radio...I turn it up. I’m so ashamed.

6) “In Your Eyes,” Peter Gabriel. I saw a very funny Tweet today: “My daughter has gone from listening at Peter Gabriel at age 2 to Justin Bieber at age 9.” No that is tragic. Also, if I’m not mistaken, 2011 will mark the 25th anniversary of this album. Holy Big Time, where has the time gone?

7) “Liberty and Freedom,” Rancid. They ska it down a little from their usual bursts of punk, which makes them sound slightly Pogue-ish (minus the pennywhistle).

8) “I Don’t Know,” Ozzy Osborne. “Crazy Train” gets all the press and sports arena play, but this is my favorite song off Ozzy’s first album and probably my favorite Ozzy song after “Flying High Again.” What I love about Randy Rhodes is that he’s one of the few rock guitarists who could be so technically precise and yet totally wild, like a cross between Van Halen and Keith Moon. It’s a shame he didn’t record more.

9) “Bulls on Parade,” Rage Against the Machine. They’re my hard-rock Smithereens: Not a huge fan, but every album has 2-3 songs that I never get tired of hearing. And while I know that this song has absolutely nothing to do with the NBA, and in fact is taking shots at the kind of greed that drives professional sports, it always got me pumped for the Jordan-era Bulls.

10) “Like the Weather,” 10,000 Maniacs. Years ago, when TLB and I lived in New York, we often stayed in to rent movies because we were broke. Back then, I was much more adamant about not watching “chic” movies. One evening as I left for the video store, I asked TLB what she wanted to see. She requested Little Women. I made some kind of protest, and my wife launched into a life-changing tirade. She laid into me about how she watched countless numbers of testosterone-laden, lobotomized action flicks for me with nary a complaint, yet the one time she requests something with a female orientation, I protest. I stood there, speechless, because I knew she was right.

I headed out ready to be a changed man. However, the owner of the store was this stereotypical Brooklyn guy: Big, mustache with perpetual stubble on his face, often dressed in a track suit. We were regulars, so he would certainly know that if I approached the counter with Little Women, I was likely getting it for TLB. Yet I couldn’t quite bring myself to bring only that to check out. So what was my double-rental feature? The Program with James Caan, the college football movie that inspired some brain-dead football players to lay on a road full of traffic because they saw it in the movie. Needless to say, I got a much-deserved eye roll from TLB. We watched Little Women and The Program, and I wound up liking Little Women much more. It was a good lesson in not being a stereotypical dick-ist.

I tell this story because I wish to profess I’m a changed man, and that I don’t dislike 10,000 Maniacs because they are girl-rock or Lillith Fair material, but because I genuinely find them boring as shit.

11) “The Waiting,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I have been on a Petty kick lately, and this is my favorite Petty song. It’s such a simple, straightforward pop song on the surface, but there’s a lot of little subtleties floating around, like a good glass of red wine. The lead-in to the brief-but-perfect guitar solo gets me every time.

We have a showing tomorrow, another chance to shake the last of the snow off our UP boots. Hopefully it will be Douchebag-free.


Kathleen said...

too bad Chuckles wasn't working at the video store.

Brando said...


Substance McGravitas said...

the Goo Goo Dolls

They were once an adequate Replacements substitute. No shit!

blue girl said...

I loved the way you explained your true feelings about 10,000 Maniacs, Brando! lol Even though I really dug them. Still do. I would love to sing in a band that did nothing else but "In My Tribe." I love that whole album. I might have to put it on and crank it up!

"Ken Mehlman is gay. Has there been a less surprising political revelation in recent years?"

So true. Waiting for Charlie Crist's shocking admission soon.

Also. Good luck with your showing. Guess what? We've got one early next week. Guess where the people are from? The UP! Small world! Maybe it's meant to be!

Or maybe they'll just diss our kitchen counters like everyone else has....

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

the Goo Goo Dolls

I saw them live at Radio City Music Hall once.

Ken Mehlman is gay. Has there been a less surprising political revelation in recent years?

I'm sure Lindsey Graham will come out of the closet once he is no longer a Senator from S.C.

Churlita said...

Don't tell anyone, but I feel that way about Ace of Base. sometimes I just want to hear bland, happy pop music.

Brando said...

Ha, Churlita, now that is a musical confession!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

OK, here goes the last of my Insufferable Music Snob credentials.

Although I initially got into the Goo Goo Dolls when they were the Emergency Back-up Replacements (circa Superstar Car Wash), I still like them and have seen them several times. They do a good show, and are WAY more tattooed than their pop hits might lead one to believe.

Furthermore, I have seen 10,000 maniacs on the In Our Tribe tour, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

perhaps I can make up for that by sharing an excellent alternate version of that Feist song:

The Waiting: also one of my favorite TP songs. It reminds me, however, that the album it was on was one of the first vinyls to go to a list price of $8.99. I responded by refusing to buy it. So a little while ago I purchased the download for 11 bucks. I guess I showed THEM.

So Should I mail my IMS credentials back or just rip them up?

Brando said...

ZRM, I don't think that's enough reason to rip up your credentials. It's not like you admitted to liking Ace of Base.