It’s one more random than 10!
I went to the Packers-Bears game last week. Despite the loss, the day itself was great. We started at a bar, took a “party bus” to the game (a schoolbus with a keg in the back), ate chocolate whip cream straight out of a can, drank from both our officially purchased drinks at the stadium and the unofficial whiskey and schnapps we brought in, bitched and froze during the terrible first half, screamed and warmed up during the exciting second half, and after the loss made our way back to the bar on a bus that, while still containing a keg, had lost the “party” part.
That’s a sucky part about being a sports fan—no matter how well your team does, it’s the final thing that happens in the season that sticks with you. The Bears had a good year, much better than I or any other fans I know expected. I should celebrate that and look back fondly on what was generally a fun season. Instead, I feel like I did after the Super Bowl a few years ago, very disappointed to have my favorite team get so close and yet pull up lame.
I also know that being this passionate about beefy millionaires colliding into each other with tremendous force is a silly passion to have. But I can’t help myself. I’ve been a Bears fan since around the time I was seven and wearing my Walter Payton footie pajamas. I have a huge amount of history with this team, and no matter how much they disappoint or how ridiculous pro sports are or how much Jay Cutler sulks, I can’t quit them. After all, I don’t know what my brother Tickle and I would talk about.
1) “Message in a Bottle (Live),” The Police. “So Lonely” is my personal Police favorite, but I think “Message in a Bottle” is their greatest song. They took their reggae and rock influences and fused them into something that sounds very unique. I also like the reverse approach to slow-fast/quiet-loud, where the verses rock out and the chorus slows down to a reggae pace.
2) “Killer Parties,” The Hold Steady. As you get older, your quotient of killer parties definitely declines. That’s probably for the best, as us geezers have to save our dwindling brain cells instead of washing them down into our livers in a drunken frenzy. Still, there’s something about going to a truly killer party, where you just don’t have any cares in the world and let yourself completely give in to having a good time. I don’t do that nearly enough, and maybe that’s why I like Vegas so much. Or taking a party bus to a Bears game.
3) “Chiquitita,” ABBA. I was about to make a snarky ABBA comment, then remembered I watched all of Hall and Oates Behind The Music: Remastered the other night. In other words, I don’t have a mustache to stand on.
4) “Hello Goodbye,” The Beatles. It is amazing to me that, 40 years after they broke up, The Beatles are still one of the most creative groups in rock history. They’re not my favorite, but I can’t think of any other band that managed to be so innovative and yet still so damn catchy.
5) “Let It Go,” Def Leppard. Of course, after that fine bit of Beatles haute cuisine, I am even more delighted to wolf down this hair-band cheeseburger. It’s stupid (not clever), it’s sexist (not sexy), and yet whenever any of their songs from High ‘N’Dry or Pyromania come on, I immediately reach for the volume knob (heh-heh, I said knob).
6) “Mrs. Rita,” Gin Blossoms. One of the four or five songs off of New Miserable Experience that I never get tired of hearing. It’s got just the right balance between Beatles chime and 90s crunch. I also like that it doesn’t really sound dated.
7) “Allentown,” Billy Joel. Speaking of sounding dated. However, I am glad this came up, because 30 Rock had an amazing Billy Joel gag last night. A lot of times when I watch comedy shows I love, I fantasize about being a writer for them. I don’t do that with 30 Rock because I don’t believe I’m funny enough to write for that show. There are almost always at least two moments where I have to pause the show because I am laughing so hard.
8) “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” Pat Benatar. My love affair with fake instrument playing is a long one. I used to air guitar this song using a toy spear as my guitar—a fake Indian or Zulu spear that I got from Disney World or some other theme park back when you could sell violent, quasi-racist toys to children. For some reason, I felt less stupid pretending that toy spear was a guitar instead of just playing an invisible one. This is why children are not allowed to vote. Also, there is just a ridiculously long amount of cheering before this video starts.
9) “High and Dry,” Radiohead. Quite a different take on the title than Def Leppard’s. I think it would be awesome for Radiohead to put out an entire album of cock rock covers, all done Radiohead style. Imagine them doing serious covers of Whitesnake’s “Slide It In” or Warrant’s “Cherry Pie.” The entire staff at Pitchfork would spontaneously combust. That alone would make it worth it.
10) “Mrs. Robinson,” The Lemonheads. One of my Facebook friends put “I miss The Lemonheads” as his Facebook status this week, so apparently iTunes is now trolling Facebook, too. Soon we will have no secrets because the machines will know all! Unrelated: Evan Dando is so dreamy.
11) “Misty Mountain Hop,” Led Zeppelin. Awesome and well known, so no need to expound on that. However, I would like to mention that I think America has reached a dangerous James Franco saturation level, or Peak Franco. He acts, he directs, he writes, he paints, he rescues puppies, he grows perfect irony mustaches, he’s working on a Ph.D. an astroneuralbiosurgerology, a doctoral program he created from scratch for which he serves as its only grad student, his advisor, and the program chair…we fucking get it. You are better than us. You’re smarter, you’re handsomer, you’re nearly a match for Spiderman whereas we would still be hanging from a flagpole in a Spidey net. Now please go away so I can return to my normal levels of inadequacy.
Here’s hoping you have a good, Franco-less weekend.