It’s one more random than 10!
Months of the football lockout, of worrying about how I would feel the void left by no Bears games and no fantasy leagues, were swept away last night after one of the best season-openers I’ve ever seen. That happiness makes me feel dumb, and I should feel dumb, because rooting for sports teams is stupid. All summer, I read about the lockout, hoping that a group of billionaires, millionaires, and thousandaires could resolve their differences so I could watch enormous men assault each other and then listen to Terry Bradshaw try to use his words on the post-game show. Added to the gnawing feeling that this was a colossal waste of time was a twinge of guilt that the sport I love to watch may be destroying athletes’ brains faster than a gallon of turpentine being passed around the parking lot before a Judas Priest concert. The only thing missing was a Sarah McLachlin song playing in the background while a bunch of concussed football players look blankly into the camera.
But then the lockout ended, I drafted my fantasy teams, and Green Bay once again found a reason to exist. Huzzah to distractions! I was even able to forget the pants-soiling idea that the Mayan prophecy of the world ending in 2012 could be coming true thanks to the Perry campaign. Hey, at least I’ll get to see one more Super Bowl before that happens.
1) “Celluloid Heroes,” The Kinks. Will we ever walk down Hollywood Boulevard and stand on top of Snooki’s star? We might not recognize it at first because the name will be partially obscured by vomit, but there it will be. Think it won’t happen? Well, they gave one to John Stamos, so anything is possible.
2) “Barely Breathing,” Duncan Sheik. I can’t tell if this is a guilty pleasure for me. It wouldn’t be if I was female, it would just be romantic. But for a dude to like this…well, it might even be too wimpy for a scene on Friends where Ross is pining for Rachel but can’t have her because he came out to Chandler, but only because he swore off women because he didn’t want to get divorced again, but just as he decides to take a chance and tell Rachel the truth (around the time the bridge of the song kicks in), he sees Rachel kissing Joey, except they are just practicing for Joey to kiss Phoebe, and then Monica shows up and tells Ross that Rachel would have him if he’d pick music that didn’t make his balls shrink. That’s a shame, because I like this song, but I’d also feel more comfortable requesting the Goo Goo Dolls before asking for this.
3) “You’re Only Human (Second Wind),” Billy Joel. I don’t even know why I have this. I fucking hate Billy Joel. I had my period where I found his singalong stories interesting and I may have even belted out “The Piano Man” a few drunken times in my life. But now, it’s a level of hate probably only surpassed by The Goonies and Brett Favre. And yet I will not delete this, because I don’t delete anything from my music collection. I even have Volume III of Joel’s greatest hits, which makes me want to fill my ears with gasoline and use a lit match for a Q-tip. I’m like a music hoarder. Becky would have to intervene with me, and just as we’re about to delete it, I’ll start crying and saying, “But I might want to hear ‘Uptown Girl’ someday! He and Christie were so happy!” And then they’ll sedate me and agree that we won’t permanently delete the files, just keep them in the Recycle Bin.
4) “Russian Autumn Heart,” The Church. That’s better. This is one of my Songs I Love Despite Having No Idea What It’s About. I mean, I think I’ve owned this album for 20 (!) years and I have played this song hundreds of times. If you asked me what it was about, I’d take a minute and then say, “A girl, I think. And maybe the foliage around St. Petersburg.” But who needs lyrics you can understand when you’ve got a great ringing riff on your Rickenbacker?
5) “Up on Cripple Creek,” The Band. In my Admire but Don’t Listen To folder. Great band, that’s why they are The Band. But like Dylan or jazz, I never get into them.
6) “Dominion Road,” The Mutton Birds. Fantastic guitar pop from New Zealand, with a great chorus that stutter steps from the verses and jumps into a nice guitar line.
7) “Subdivisions,” Rush. I got a package from my mother for my birthday, opened it up, read the card, and then unwrapped the gift: a Blu-ray copy of Rush’s Snakes and Arrows Live concert. The only Rush video I do not own. From a woman who referred to Rush as “that Chinese music” when I was growing up and blaring “By-Tor and the Snow Dog” out of a boom box. It’s the greatest gift she’s ever given me (or second greatest if you want to get picky and count life) because it was not only perfect, it probably burned her fingers to even touch it. That’s love and also how I’ll probably feel when I give Libby the Bieber Box Set.
8) “I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock and Roll,” Nick Lowe. What Mssr. Lowe is implying here is that he knew the bride when she used to have sex, which seems so quaint now. Who doesn’t know a bride who used to rock and roll? Even one of those little purity pledge pains in the ass probably has a few dry humping skeletons in the laundry hamper. Don’t get me wrong, I generally applaud the openness of our society, but we probably have gotten too open. Today, this song would be “I Knew the Bride When She Used to Flash the Blackhawks Bench” or “I Knew the Groom When He Used to Tweetpic His Junk.”
9) “Livin’ in the Jungle,” Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. The end of summer means the end of summer songs, which is a shame, because there are few things I love listening to more than a great summer song. Case in point, this booty-shakin bit of James Brown’s chicken that just begs to be played on a hot day while drinking a case of cold ones and watching attractive 20-somethings dive into your backyard pool (okay, so maybe that doesn’t happen to me, but it’s what I see when I close my eyes). You just won’t feel that while listening to this when wearing a sweater.
10) “Once,” Pearl Jam. Three studio albums from Nirvana, 20 years of studio albums from Pearl Jam. There is no justice in the universe. (Plus Scott Weiland hasn’t had the good manners to die of a heroin overdose, but that's a rant for another song). Still, I do like the original PJ album, but I’ve never seen the point after Ten and maybe Vs. If you’ve heard one grungy set of mumbling from Eddie Vedder, you’ve heard them all. Also, video shows PJ playing this at a Seattle band competition.
11) “A Little Respect,” Erasure. I feel like I should butch this up by playing some more Duncan Sheik, but fuck it, I’ll throw my hands in the air and wave them like I just don’t care about people questioning my sexual preferences. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you should never avoid listening to something because you care what people will think about you listening to it (how else would I have remained a Rush fan?). Another thing I’ve learned is that it’s fun to dance like a gay guy. That’s why gay men always look so happy while they are dancing. It’s the guys dancing like they are straight who look awkward and miserable.
Have a good weekend!