Yesterday was a special day for The Lovely Becky. She turned 40, and what’s particularly amazing about it is how aging does not phase her at all. I have never met anyone who welcomes getting older more than my lovely wife. She greets every birthday with open arms, whereas I tend to run from them like a half-naked teenager fleeing Jason in Friday the 13th, only to get impaled just as I reach the boathouse and think I’m safe. In addition to providing the usual heartfelt birthday wishes, I also remarked, “Wow, this means I’ll never again have sex with someone under 40.” Which is also a good way to ensure you will never have sex again.
In her honor, and out of respect for the three people who may be reading this, I also promise today’s list will be Rush free, despite my being still higher than Geddy Lee’s voice from the show the other night.
1) “Rock Rock (Till You Drop),” Def Leppard. I think they would win the award for Best Band Font. In fact, there should be a Def Leppard font, because it would make my command to Turn It Up look so much cooler.
2) “Brass Monkey,” Beastie Boys. This is when I miss having a subwoofer on my PC. I feel like I’m cruising around San Diego with my friends looking for someone to buy us beer.
3) “Black,” Pearl Jam. From so Jazzy Jeff to so Debbie Downer. This is my favorite Pearl Jam song, due in no small part that I can do a reasonable job singing it, especially the final verse (I know some day you’ll have a beautiful life etc.). That’s a pretty small group of songs.
4) “Cocaine Blues,” Johnny Cash. One of the first songs Libby loved, courtesy of my mother-in-law who always played her best of Johnny Cash CD. This song would start and she would begin dancing in a circle around the room while Johnny Cash told his tale of chemical abuse, murder, and incarceration. Now there’s a kid’s show I would watch.
5) “Surfing With the Alien,” Joe Satriani. One of my favorite guitar instrumentals. Impressive while also being expressive, with a couple of dazzling solos that dance with the song instead of hitting it over the head, throwing it in the trunk of a car, and speeding off into Wank Canyon.
6) “Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken,” Camera Obscura. Perfect pop music. Catchy, lush, friendly, and just a wee hint o’ Scottish accent in the chorus to add a sprig of exoticness. This should be required playing for all Fridays.
7) “Peek-A-Boo,” Siouxsie & the Banshees. Oh, how TLB used to dance to this. In fact, TLB was quite the dancer. We used to go dancing at this rancid hole-in-the-wall of a club, the kind of place where you could walk into the bathroom and offer someone $10,000 to do ten pushups and they would turn it down. It was redeemed by its high-alcohol/low-dollar drink quotient and the fact that it played great music, including my first encounter with New-Wave themed nights. Anyway, TLB would just throw herself into whatever was playing, and her head would be this twirling mass of copper hair (her bottle preference at the time). I always marveled at how she could do that. For me, dancing, like many other aspects of my life, is marred by my self-consciousness. Apparently I will do almost anything for a laugh except dance like a white guy who can’t dance.
8) “E-Pro,” Beck. I expected this Friday to be D-Day +2, two days after I triumphantly finished my work project and basked in the glow of a successful new Web site, a day where I would be doing the Random 11 while drunk and possibly pantsless (sorry, but sometimes a fella just needs to feel free). Unfortunately, after several hours of trying the other night, we had to call it quits. There’s nothing quite like working until 1:30 in the morning only to realize it was all for naught and you get to do it again. Yay! It’s also awesome when a technical person is explaining the reason for said problem and you can’t understand a thing they said. I may as well have had a Finnish person telling me I had cheese popcorn dust all over my face. Come to think of it, that would have been better, because at least it meant I had been eating cheese popcorn.
9) “Wrong,” Archers of Loaf. Nineties revival has arrived. I’ve purchased a couple of recent albums where the barely-able-to-shave musicians sound like they are trying to sound like this song. Which is good, because this song is fucking awesome. However, it’s also alarming, because it means that the Retro boat is sailing past the 80s, and the next port of call is Oldies. I’m not ready to be old enough to have the music of my youth be considered something with “old” in the classification.
10) “Charm Attack,” Leona Naess. Sounds a bit like what I imagine Sinead O’Connor would have sounded like if she had grown up in L.A. instead of Ireland. There’s a very factory-produced flavor to this, without much originality, but it’s put together well and gets me tapping my foot and turning it up whenever it plays. That also could serve as a metaphor for why I like eating at The Cheesecake Factory as much as I do.
11) “Bulletproof,” LaRoux. Not only did I never like Yaz, I used to do a an imitation of Alison Moyet to express my displeasure with Yaz. Yet I not only crank this Yaz-clone every time I hear it, I often play it two or three times in a row. I think the singer’s hair cast some sort of spell on me. It’s especially awesome to turn it to the point where it’s a shade under too loud and sit at the sweet spot between the speakers, letting the synths jump around from left to right. A very nice way to cap the list.
Have a great weekend.