It’s one more random than 10!
We added another cat to our household yesterday. The Lovely Becky and Libby brought home Truman (so named after Mizzou’s mascot), a two-year old ball of mellow orange fluff. He joins our six-year-old ball of orange fluff, Jonesy, who seemed a bit lonely after losing his pals Bubba and Bugsy this past year.
As you can see, Truman and Jonesy could be brothers. In fact, I came upstairs yesterday and saw one of them sitting in Libby’s chair like a little prince. It took me a moment to tell it was Jonesy. “Your majesty, you look like the piss boy!” I told him. The problem with making pop culture jokes with cats is that they don’t deliver the rebuttal line.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m glad we have two cats in the house again. Yes, TLB, you have that in writing.
1) Lucky Ghost, “Made in America.” Social networking has been blamed for the unraveling of social ties as we ditch face-to-face interaction for tweets, comments, status updates, and likes. But this song is another testament to how social networking can connect you with people you otherwise would never know. It’s from a guy I’ve known as Slumberland, a fellow poster from a videogame message board we’ve both posted on for years. We’ve interacted in post form and also playing games online, but never met or talked outside of gaming. Without that social networking, I never would have known about Slumber’s album, Sex Griddle (how can I not love that title?), an album that has been in heavy rotation for the last few days. It’s a great bit of rocking new wave that pulls from the 80s without stealing from it. I hear The Killers and The Postal Service with even a few proggy keyboards thrown in for good measure (don’t worry, this is wank-free music). I highly recommend downloading it.
2) “Headache,” Liz Phair. Sadly, headaches are what Phair’s new music trigger. It’s a shame she went from Exile in Guyville to Avril in Blahville in just a couple of albums.
3) “The Trooper,” Iron Maiden. METAL! And nothing is quite so metal as a song based on “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” Bayonets, swords, cannon, bugles…Okay, so bugles are not really metal unless you hook them up to distortion pedals and a stack of Marshalls. This is my favorite Maiden song, mostly because the bass line really sounds like charging cavalry and Bruce Dickinson sings like he’s waving a flag to rally the troops. Related: I wish someone would make a simulation where you could experience what it's like to perform in front of 50,000 Brazilian rock fans. A helmet you could wear that allows you to yell, "SCREAM FOR ME, RIO!" and hear the fans yell back before they start a soccer chant in your honor.
4) “Title Track,” Death Cab for Cutie. And now for something completely different. Actually, after the sturm and drang of “The Trooper,” this sounds like a post battle letter written by Private Emo, who is portrayed by Elijah Wood in the Ken Burns documentary. My dearest Emma, I was filled with jubilation after surviving the great battle, until I received your letter that you have left me for that mandolin player. I dare say that I shan’t recover and will be in my room for the remainder of the war.
5) “Tall Trees,” Crowded House. We actually have two tall trees that we need to cut down this spring, a pair of pines that get needles all over everything. They are the plant equivalent of sand. No matter how much we vacuum, I have at least one case per week where I’m walking around the house and then, STAB! One of those fuckers ambushes me from the threads of the carpet like a piney Viet Cong.
6) “Poltergeist,” Les Savy Fav (song not on YouTube, so I'm using another from the same album). The clown is the part of the movie Poltergeist that always scares the shit out of everyone, myself included. Killer clown dolls are one of the scariest things among scary things that don’t really exist. The part of that movie that scares me even more, however, is the scene where JoBeth Williams is in the kitchen. She goes to the cabinet and then turns around a second later and all the kitchen chairs are stacked on each other. Gets me every time because it looks so real and seamless in the movie.
7) “Drown,” Son Volt. Just a stomping good time and a textbook case of the proper use of cowbell.
8) “Immigrant Song,” Led Zeppelin. True story: this has been banned from all classic rock stations in Arizona.* Also, this illustrates why I cannot ever be president. If was running for president and my birth records were questioned by a bunch of tinfoil wearing knuckledraggers who had eaten too much dirt and stared at the sun too long, after issuing the usual denials, I would order my campaign manager to make this my new campaign song, just to fuck with those idiots.
9) “I Will Follow (Live),” U2. I don’t have a bucket list, mostly because creating such a list would have me obsessing how much time I have left to accomplish everything on that list. I have a difficult enough time with tasks popping up in my Outlook, let alone something like “See the Sphinx” that I have to snooze for 20 years. However, one definite bucket list item is seeing a concert in Red Rocks. Also, if I had a time-traveling DeLorean, I would consider setting it to go back so I could see U2 play Red Rocks in 1983. My parents’ future happiness and my existence could wait until after we finished singing “40.”
10) “Rock of Ages,” Def Leppard. Def Zeppelin in the Random 11 two weeks in a row, which is like getting forks in one’s ears two weeks in a row for my lovely wife. We don’t really see eye-to-eye on the hard rock, mostly because she grew up in a place where every day was like a Beavis and Butt-Head marathon, only without any punchlines, jokes, or hope of a change in programming. But me? I want rock and roll, especially thumping, Mutt-Lang-produced British hard rock that opens with pig German and also has another textbook case of awesome cowbell.
11) “This Charming Man,” The Smiths. I agree with a lot of others that this is their best song. It reminds me of watching old movies where actors and actresses would conceal the subtext of the animal lust and longing beneath wit and banter. Watch North By Northwest and see how Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint would love nothing better than to forget the whole conspiracy and tear each other’s clothes off. Yet they show so much restraint and put all that passion into a kiss. Given the title, tagline, and level of discourse this blog usually revels in, it may come (heh-heh) as a shock that I like subtlety, but I really am impressed by the old-fashioned movie flirting. Morrissey pulls that off brilliantly here, in a gay context no less.
Hidden bonus track: “Find Your Way Back,” Jefferson Starship. I don’t know why I like this fucking song so much, because I realize it’s a thick slab of classic corporate rock idiocy. Yet every time it plays, I have to crank it, especially the throbbing part that leads to the guitar solo. It’s times like these that I question my qualifications to write about music. Sad sidenote: Pretty soon no one will know what a hidden bonus track is.
Have a great weekend. I abstained from writing about the Super Bowl because the thought of another Packer title gives me anal leprosy. Should the Cheese Monkeys pull it off, however, I hope the zombie parties til his limbs fall off and slowly crawl back toward his torso.
*Not actually true although not surprising if it were true.