Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

I have not been writing nearly enough and it’s bringing me down, so I’m going to skip the usual liner notes and jump straight to the album for inspiration.

1) “Straight in at 101,” Los Campesinos! I’m not sure how I feel about thinking in social media terms. I spend a good deal of time doing mental likes when I read or listen to conversations, and I become disappointed when I hear something tremendously entertaining that I can’t share here or on The Facebook (yes, I have boundaries, although they porous). Recently I had a hilarious exchange that ended with someone saying, “I couldn’t come in a condom if I fucked for 12 hours.” My first thought was that I wanted to go out and share the whole thing, but for confidentiality reasons I can only offer the punchline and not the setup. Other times I encounter something that I can share and immediately stop paying attention to the rest of the conversation because I’m trying to remember the wording for a status update. I fear this has already made me stupider than I was B.Z. (Before Zuckerberg).

2) “Pyramid Song,” Amnesiac. I like Radiohead, but I rarely find myself fired up to listen to Radiohead. Maybe some of the songs on The Bends and occasionally “Let Down.” Usually I’m more subdued, thinking, “oh, Radiohead, nice,” which makes me wonder if I actually like them or am just being a pretentious music tool.

3) “Let Them Eat Rock,” Upper Crust. I have mixed feelings about the Wall Street occupation protests. Not mixed because of the occupation—I feel like those protestors should have broken into the posh boardrooms and left behind some toxic assets of their own. But the whole thing feels too disjointed to be effective. Maybe it’s because my perception has been filtered through the media, which decided the whole thing was disjointed five minutes after it started and will hold onto that view like a dog chomping down on its favorite chew toy. But part of me wonders if there is an inherent disjointedness in liberal protest and grass-roots movements, a tendency to say, “discover your desks, children” instead of trying to focus on certain messages that would resonate more, because that would make it less grass-roots and more movement. Consequently, instead of these protests raising serious questions about wealth, money, and influence, we're listening to people discuss the presidential merits of the CEO of the worst pizza chain in the country who just unveiled one of the most regressive federal tax plans in history. All of this is making Canada sound more appealing to me, plus moving there would significantly increase my chances of meeting Rush, dazzling them with my wit, and being invited to join the band as an honorary fourth member (a fantasy that’s only slightly less realistic than “President Dennis Kucinich.”)

4) “Destroy 2000 Years of Culture,” Atari Teenage Riot. Of course, then I hear something like this and want to cut off the head of the Wall Street bull and put it in the bed of the Goldman Sachs CEO. Maybe we need more screaming Germans telling us what to do.

5) “All Right (Oh Yeah),” Local H. Pack Up the Cats gets on my list of Seriously Underrated Albums of the 1990s, but making lists like that also gets on my list of Tired Memes I Should Stop Doing. Except I can’t help myself. I make lists all the time, sometimes just for myself, and then argue mentally with what’s on the list of the order. Like, should Pack Up the Cats be on the Seriously Underrated list or on the Seriously Overlooked list because it was a pretty well-received album? The lesson here: You should feel sorry for The Lovely Becky for having to live with this.

6) “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree,” KT Tunstall. I try not to get too hung up on whether music falls into the dude or dudette category. After all, I unabashedly have proclaimed serious love for “Since U Been Gone” and at least one Paramore song—how much masculine shame could I possibly have left in the testosterone tank? But KT Tunstall does inspire a bit of guy guilt. I’m sitting home alone right now listening to this and I still feel a little bit wimpy for not just listening to this, but liking it. The worst part is that recognizing how stupid that is has absolutely no impact on how I feel.

7) “Changes,” David Bowie. So the Arab Spring has turned into the Arab Ass-Whooping. TLB asked me yesterday if I had seen the Quadaffi/Gaddafi/Raffi/Saltwatertaffy death pictures. Surprisingly I hadn’t, save for a brief glimpse of some blurry video on Anderson Cooper (which I shouldn’t bother watching because all I can think about is how dreamy he is instead of whatever catastrophe he’s discussing). This is another sign of Internet overload. Ten years ago I would have been online looking for grisly Dangling Chadaffi death video. Now it takes something more than just a bloodied body to catch my viewing attention, especially when there are so many cute pets doing AMAZING tricks to grab my clicks.

This is also a lesson to any kids out there thinking they want to be a dictator. Remember, someday you’ll be in a spider hole or an irrigation ditch or a Romanian funhouse/presidential mansion, being dragged to your (hopefully) quick death by the very people who once praised you for convincing them to confess their love for you after 37 hours of “enhanced” interrogation. In the interim, you only get to have endless wealth and complete power for three, maybe four decades, tops. So resist the urge to stage a coup and instead stay in school, get your law degree, and take oodles of PAC money so you can rise to power the legitmate way, lest you someday be cornered in a Tripoli port-a-john that gets turned upside down, drowning you in the most unwashed of masses. Although I would definitely watch that dictator death on Tosh.0.

8) “Is There a Ghost,” Band of Horses. On my list of Recent Album Openers That…, never mind, I’ll just click Like.

9) “#1 Hit Song,” Minutemen. Subversive 80s triple albums…those were the days. Mister, we could use a man like D. Boone again.

10) “Mrs. Robinson,” The Lemonheads. I know it’s such an alternative-by-the-numbers cover—take beloved classic song and play it faster, loudier, and sloppier—but I am always happy to hear this. Makes me want to dance at a Kum And Go with Winona Ryder and Janeane Garofalo while we complain about what a cobag Ethan Hawke is.

11) “Wasted Years,” Iron Maiden. If I had to pick one singer who I think it would be the most fun to sing like, the Bruce Dickinson would be one of the finalists. There’s something so entertaining to me about his Katherine-Hepburn-in-a-leather-codpiece delivery. Sure, I would love to shatter stage lights by channelling my inner Geddy or belt out sexual fruit metaphors like Robert Plant, but the Dickinson vibrato is hard to top for pure fun, especially because I’d be able to yell things like, “Scream for me, Sao Pa-u-l-l-l-l-l-l-o-o-o-o-o-!!!!” between songs. Again, feel sorry for TLB.

Bonus non-metal track for metal haters (because I care about leaving everyone with a feel-good song for the weekend):
“Battery Kinzie,” Fleet Foxes. If you take your speakers, point them at your car, and play this song through them, snow will melt off your windshield, guaranteed!

Have a great weekend.

12 comments:

Jennifer said...

Who are you? And why are you on my blogroll? Do I know you??

El Snacktator said...

El's got a couple of more decades to go before he's pulled from the pie hole of mankind. Or at least he hopes. The last decade or two of a dictator's rule are usually filled with more delusion than grandeur.

Another Kiwi said...

They don't teach "knowing when it's time to cut and run" at dictator school. It was pretty obvious that Saddam was past the best-before date and Gaddafi, too.
Brando will find, when he is the oldest and longest serving member of Rush XXII, that there is a time for every purpose under heaven.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

This is also a lesson to any kids out there thinking they want to be a dictator.

I have a more cynical response. "Remember, dictators, you can do anything you want to your populations, even use poison gas. We'll be happy to help you as long as you do not piss off our oil companies."
~

fish said...

Maybe we need more screaming Germans telling us what to do.

Never ends well.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I like Radiohead, but I rarely find myself fired up to listen to Radiohead

I have started to think that I don't actually like Radiohead, but am obliged to have them in my playlist. Perhaps I will take them off my iPod and see if I notice. Perhaps I have already.

But the whole thing feels too disjointed to be effective.

I read a sign that said something along the lines of "it's not that we're unfocused, it's that there are so many things fucked up." Lack of focus, indeed, lack of logic and/or spelling didn't stop the stupid media from fellating the teabaggers non-stop. I see BillO and David Brooks sneering feverishly, and can't help but feel that they have been rattled; I suspect more because the targeting in this case is finally in the right wheelhouse.

I make lists all the time, sometimes just for myself, and then argue mentally with what’s on the list of the order.


PUT DOWN THE HIGH FIDELITY.

I’m sitting home alone right now listening to this and I still feel a little bit wimpy for not just listening to this, but liking it.


Wimpy? I spent most of yesterday using up an EMusic booster pack on a bunch of Sarah Records samplers and bands; bands who put the 'wee' in 'twee'.

Mister, we could use a man like D. Boone again.

ABSOLUTELY. So I will forgive you for not spelling D. Boon's name right.

10) “Mrs. Robinson,” The Lemonheads.

They are coming to Milwaukee, and playing "It's A Shame About Ray" in it's entirety. I can't decide whether it will be worthwhile or what's his name has used up his fifteen minutes.

Bonus non-metal track for metal haters

O, just ignore them. They know what they are getting into when they visit here.

Brando said...

Who are you? And why are you on my blogroll? Do I know you??

Indeed, I have felt like a stranger on my own blog.

Substance McGravitas said...

The last decade or two of a dictator's rule are usually filled with more delusion than grandeur.

Perhaps also mold.

Kathleen said...

hey Brando -off-topic but I went into my local bookstore and The Countess paperback was in a nice display in their "new paperback fiction releases" so I told the owner that I was happy to see it there b/c the author was the wife of a friend of mine, and he told me that it was selling really well and customers were really enjoying it, so to tell TLB that Oakland loves her! :)

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

how much masculine shame could I possibly have left in the testosterone tank?

I'm man enough to be girly.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Hi Brando!

*waves*
~

Brando said...

I know, Thunder, been a bit scattered lately. I'll be back tomorrow with a Random 11 and want to get back to regular half-assed blogging.