Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

Hello there, nice to see you again. Sorry for being away so long. I was away on business, traveling to Nigeria to claim a lottery prize. I was informed by the Minister of Prizes that I had been hand-picked among millions of people on the Internet to claim a lottery prize that was left unclaimed. He even e-mailed me the part of the Nigerian constitution that showed it was legit. So I hopped a plane to Lagos and was met by the minister and four of his strapping interns. They took me to the alley where they had the lottery money stashed for safe keeping and yadda yadda yadda my therapist says the nightmares should stop in a couple of years. The lesson, of course, is don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

1) “Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend,” The Mr. T Experience. I read a couple of things this week poking fun at the time-travel fantasy of going back and killing Hitler, which is perpetually in the top two of time-travel fantasies (only occasionally topped by meeting Jesus, as if he wouldn’t know you were coming). The funny thing about the Hitler-time-travel fantasy is that it relies on the logic that Nazi Germany would have completely collapsed without Hitler. You have a gun, you get Hitler’s mustache in your crosshairs, and pow, no more World War II. As if the rest of the Nazis would have no clue on how to proceed. “Der Fuher ist dead? Was die Fuck are we going to do? Did anybody take notes in the last meeting? I remember something about Poland but I feel asleep from all the Schnitzengrubers I ate for lunch.” Or if you went back and killed him as an infant, that it would have also stopped anti-Semitism in Germany. People like Goebbels would be lost, thinking, “Boy, we have all of these problems after World War I. If only there was an ethnic or religious group we could use as a scapegoat, but I can’t think of one.” It just goes to show that time-travel is often not a viable solution to our problems.

2) “Sister Havana,” Urge Overkill. Probably in my top 10 of favorite songs from the 90s because it makes me think of Ric Ocasek covering Cheap Trick. I also used to hear it a lot on Chicago’s Q101, the Windy City’s alternative station, which sadly just bit the dust about a decade after the term “alternative rock” did. Q101 was a classic commercial alternative station, essentially a radio version of MTV’s Buzz Bin. But for every Better for Ezra of Harvey Danger, they would play Nirvana or Rancid. It was a good listening stop on days when I felt like a rat in a cage despite all of my unresolved anger issues.

3) “The Bends,” Radiohead. Best song ever written about a bad Taco Bell experience.

4) “Your Time Is Gonna Come,” Led Zeppelin. I love the church organ opening and Bonham’s steady beat changing into big fat fills during the chorus. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, as great as the fourth album is, the first Zeppelin album is my favorite.

5) “The Needle Has Landed,” Neko Case. I get goosebumpy from the harmonies because they are so damn perfect. I really need to see her live at some point.

6) “Cousins,” Vampire Weekend. We just celebrated our tenth anniversary of our annual family vacation with TLB’s family. We travel to North Carolina every August to frolic in the waters of the Atlantic, eat a trawler-load of fried seafood, and generally unplug and unwind from the world. I’ve always enjoyed the trip, even when we were childless, because it was a great way to spend a week drinking beer, reading a couple of books, and potentially paralyzing myself via feats of aquatic-based prowess. But it has become far more enjoyable since the arrival of Libby. My sisters-in-law both have a boy and a girl each, all between the ages of four and nine, and this year in particular the gang of five cousins had a blast. They dug in the sand, they played in tidal pools, and even did a bit of shoreline surfing on boogie boards and innertubes. Libby has started to understand the concept of siblings and has asked if should could be a sister. It’s sad to tell her that she probably won’t be—it would take 20 grand and a team of scientists to even have a chance—but it’s easier to tell her she's likely to be an only child when she is near cousins that she already treats like siblings. I really hope they stay that close as they get older.

7) “The Patient Ferris Wheel,” The Gaslight Anthem. I am from the school of thought that originality is not a big requirement for rock music. It’s nice when you run into it, but I think you need heart more than anything else. I’ll take four guys from Jersey channeling their inner Springsteen on two guitars, bass, and drums over sound collages and polyrhythms and other fancy-pants shenanigans.

8) “Here Comes the Rain,” Chris Knight. I played this album that was recorded in a trailer in Kentucky as I drove through Kentucky, TLB and Libs asleep in the car, leaving just me, the road, and a man on his guitar. That’s my version of meditation.

9) “Tonight We Fly,” 20/20. I miss record stores and I am sad to see physical music dissolving into a series of 1s and 0s stored on PCs. At the same time, I have discovered so much more music because of it being untethered from retail locations and shared on the Internet. I never would have found this power pop gem browsing the stacks at Tower Records.

10) “Lights & Music,” Cut Copy. Now is the time on CJSD when we dance!

11) “Helter Skelter,” The Beatles. The Fab Four at their most punk. Also probably McCartney’s most Lennon song. It’s hard to believe it’s by the same man who would go on to record “Silly Love Songs.”

Hidden bonus track

“Paradise City,” Guns N’ Roses. Tomorrow I venture out to a quiet town in the middle of Anywhere, Illinois to join eight other men and one guy via Skype as we indulge in our fantasies of being pro football GMs. It’s a league most of us have been in for years, and this marks the first time we have had zero turnover among the 10 owners By all rights I should be embarrassed if not completely ashamed by how much I look forward to this every year. But like my beloved fake drumming game, fantasy football indulges a desire that is as strong as it is completely out of reach. So tomorrow I will spend the day discussing the groin status of running backs while drinking excessively with a bunch of other sports nerds, all in the hope of finding the lucky combination of gridiron production that will give us bragging rights for the year and a bit of cash in our pockets.

Have a great weekend.

28 comments:

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I just downloaded Neko Case and Nick Cave doing a cover of "She's Not There".

Also, have you ever heard of Marah? They are working the same vein as Gaslight Anthem. You can download one of their songs at Powerpop: http://powerpop.blogspot.com/2011/08/weekend-listomania-special-song-remains.html

Substance McGravitas said...

Better for Ezra

You're on the road to recovery when you've forgotten their name.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, as great as the fourth album is, the first Zeppelin album is my favorite.

Agreed. But I have to rate for II, too.
~

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

being contrarian, I am a big fan of III, Physical Graffiti, and In Through The Out Door.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Also, being a total rock and roll junkie, I loved the cover versions of teh Zep songs Plant did on his last tour, and hope that tour sees release as a live album.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Also too also, I am listening to the version of Kashmir from Un-Led-Ed, and the addition of the orchestral portions are quite tasty, to borrow a term from our stoner friends.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Yes, Brando, I will Zardoz your comments all by my fucking self if necessary.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Speaking of which, the new Fountains of Wayne album is quite nice, in an awesome way.

Also, the new Army Navy is likewise.

For those who care.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Can I say 'fucking' here? Or am I limited to 'facking'?

'Focking' is a regional term, popularized by Milwaukee raconteur Art Kumbalek.

'Fracking' is RIGHT OUT.

Brando said...

I think I like LZ I the best because it's the only album where I don't skip any songs. The others are definitely great, but there's always a Crunge or Four Sticks that breaks up the flow. I think the first 75% of Physical Graffiti is amazing but I kind of check out after Ten Years Gone (not a Wanton Song fan).

The new FoW album being good would fit my like pattern with them. Loved the debut, found Utopia Parkway uneven, loved Welcome Interstate Managers, and was very meh on Traffic and Weather.

I am actually listening to Army Navy as I type this. I really like it as well, especially the lead-off track. I'll have to check out Marah.

Brando said...

LOL at Substance. I should have also called them Better Then Meh-zra.

Brando said...

Can I say 'fucking' here?

You are fucking kidding, right? The only things I've ever banned on this blog are spam and one random dude whose profile pick was a full frontal nude shot of himself. I appreciated his comment but believe he was looking for a different kind of square dancing than what I provide.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Carouselambra came up next. Not only some of the best keyboard work from JPJ, but the Bonzo drumming is some of his best, IMHZO.

Also, a personal anecdote about that song, and some of Physical Graffiti, but after having a drink and going to pee, I think I might actually get a blogpost out of it.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Have you ever heard the BBC Sessions version of "stairway"?

Holy fack. The energy is unbelievable, even at twice removed. And after the song is finished, the small crowd sat silent for a few seconds, either unsure if it was over, or stunned, or both.

We often forget how different that was at the time.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

... I just made it go louder.

Jennifer said...

You're on the road to recovery when you've forgotten their name.

LOL!

Also, is ZRM starting a new Zardoz or what?

Jennifer said...

Just saw this:

LOL at Substance. I should have also called them Better Then Meh-zra.

LOL @ Brando, LOLing at Substance.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

LOL

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Also, a personal anecdote about that song, and some of Physical Graffiti, but after having a drink and going to pee, I think I might actually get a blogpost out of it.

Whaddaya know? I did.

fish said...

I think you mean Better than Meh-zra. Dazzling zombie grammar nazis with zardoz won't work on me.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Fish, I no longer care.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Grammar Zombie Nazi Renounces War Crimes.

Filmclip at 11.
~

Brando said...

Fish, I no longer care.

That's because you have no heart.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Read my new post and see if you can still say that, Brando.

msf said...

My brother loves Marah. He made me buy the album with the awesome title that is something like Why Don't We Get Drunk and Hook Up Later Tonight. I found them to be Meh-rah. See? I can play too!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

my ipOd is brain-damaged, apparently. It has somehow linked the new Army Navy album to a Victim's Family album artwork.

Brando said...

I am delighted that I got a meh comment from MSF.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I really need to see her live at some point.

Neko Case is perhaps the most attractive woman on the planet.