It’s one more random than 10!
The road to blogging is paved with good intentions.
I have sat down every day this week, ready to drop some golden nuggets of comedy, only to find myself unable to think of anything to say. I have been saying funny things in the bricks and mortar world, and I drop the occasional bon-mot in my Facebook status update. But when I have been trying to be funny in any form of organized form—say, in a top 10 list—I have been banging my head against an invisible wall.
There have been times in the life of this blog (six years now, holy crap!) when blogging has been unconscious for me, as if I was taking dictation from my own writing staff. There was this great collaboration between anger at the political circumstances of the country and the satirical targets that were delivered on a silver platter.
Since Hope and Change (now known as Change We’re Hoping For), things have gotten different. I’ll be the first to admit I was pulled in by the charisma of the President of the United States (not to be confused with the former Preznit). I didn’t expect a revolution, I didn’t really expect more than some redecorating, maybe a different political feng shui. What I did not expect was the extent of change to be moving around a couple of rugs and calling it a day. Or thinking about knocking out those restraining walls separating the have room from the have-not room and determining it’s the thought that counts.
I figured the current crop of GOP Presidential Clowns would light a satirical spark, but it did the opposite: it made me sad. Post-Bush, this is the best the Republicans could do? The ROM-NEY 2012 Cybernetic Candidate, a Texan who seems to think less than the previous brush-beater, the most bat-shit crazy candidate to ever gain national attention, the less-charismatic brother of Clarence Thomas, and the crazier twin of Ross Perot. To quote a certain Heather, fuck me gently with a chainsaw.
I have always been a political animal, but I’ve found myself running away from the news, throwing myself into fiction or the inanities of videogames or fantasy football. I’ve probably read more about the various pulls and strains of running back Peyton Hillis than I have about the Republican field (and goddamn my stupid ass for not believing in the Madden Curse when I traded for that 240-pound hamstring pull).
But I find myself coming around again. After struggling a bit with putting a novel in the drawer (for now) and trying to get a new one off the ground, I had my Eureka moment a couple weeks ago. I feel myself channeling the ol’ satirical spittle into a character that maybe, just maybe, could become a great literary pie-in-the-face to the brain-dead conservative movement that is both hilarious and terrifying, because what happens if one of those people actually wins? If Herman Cain was president and have Angela Markel an indecent proposal she can’t refuse, what would happen if she did? Would we be nuking Nuremburg because of blue balls? And God help the Middle East if he gets anywhere near Queen Noor.
So this is a long-winded way of saying I not only want to start blogging again, I need to start blogging again (and commenting, too). It’s the only thing that’s going to keep me sane.
1) “Imaginary Friends,” Nada Surf. I did have the pleasure last week of seeing the incomparable Von, the tremendous Jennifer and her trusty sidekick Grizzled, and for the first time, the man who puts the animated in re-animated, ZRM. The circumstances were both bittersweet and familiar—bittersweet in that we toasted both the passing of Von’s dad and the arrival of her birthday, familiar in that we met in a bar in my old neighborhood, a place The Lovely Becky used to frequent regularly. It was a blast. It’s so interesting to meet residents from the bloggerhood in the flesh. We get to dispense with chit chat because we have been chatting for years. We already know about things like love for Canadian progressive rock, double-entendre swordfights, and waste receptacles that have been used and abused. By the end of the first round the filtbot had pulled up a stool and joined us, and the only thing were missing was a comments box. It was awesome.
2) “Von,” Sigur Ros. Okay, how randomly awesome and creepy is that. THE PLAYLIST IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!
3) “Sex (I’m A…),” Berlin. And there’s the filthbot. Also one of the most hilarious male vocal turns this side of Right Said Fred. It’s literally like a jealous husband trying to put his arm around his hot wife while the press yell at him to get the fuck off the red carpet. Look, Mr. I’m-A-Man, I didn’t buy this album to hear you whisper “suck” during the outro, okay? Why don’t you go jump in front of The Metro?
4) “I Confess,” The English Beat. I have never been a big fan of this one. It’s a bit like the bastard child of Spandau Ballet and Morrissey. I like a more grind and less whine from my Beat songs.
5) “Super-Charger Heaven,” White Zombie. So completely in my wheelhouse. Distorted guitars turned to 11? Check. Thick, propulsive beat? Check. Completely random and hilarious references the occult? Checkity-check-check. From the “DEVIL MAN” in the chorus to the sound bite, “It is not heresy, and I will not recant!” I am sucked in completely whenever this is summoned in iTunes.
6) “Digital Love,” Daft Punk. Wow, that’s quite a three-song switch. The only bad thing about hearing Daft Punk is that I instantly wish I was someplace where I could be dancing to Daft Punk. I love how they save the heavier bass for the first couple minutes of the song. And how many Francophone neu-disco anthems have a killer guitar solo at the end? It’s like someone constructed a dance song based on results from a focus group consisting of only me.
7) “She Bangs the Drums,” The Stone Roses. They are touring! I know it’s sad and that nostalgia is the first sign you’re both old and no longer cool (not that I ever was the latter, but a boy can dream), but the idea of hearing this live makes me really fucking happy, and I may speak in tongues during “I Am the Resurrection.” Judging by the current pictures, though, I wonder if they are doing this to raise money for Botox injections. Regardless, I’m happy to throw in what will certainly be a very un-rock-and-roll amount of money for tickets.
8) “Fight Till You Die,” Pennywise. Bad Religion minus the thesaurus, which will either make this sound like pedestrian punk or music to Piscean ears. This album was prime Discman commuter material for me when I was fighting crowds on the subways of New York. Back the fuck off, I’m wearing a sweater vest and shirt with a banded collar!
9) “It Could Be Sweet,” Portishead. This past Halloween has taught me that I would sell out my country, my parents, and possibly my wife for a couple of Hundred Grand bars. The Lovely Becky bought them for the kids, but instead I have been devouring them with the ravenous bloodlust of an alien from War of the Worlds. It’s one of the most perfect confectionary creations ever: chocolatey, caramely, chewy, and crunchy, a precisely balanced representation of the four candy groups.
10) “How Deep Is Your Love,” The Rapture. I got Pitchforked when I bought The Rapture’s debut based on an elusive 10.0 from everyone favorite hated arbiters of indie rock taste. This, however, is a great song, precisely because it is a song, not a bunch of beats, bleats, and serrated guitars that covered their first record. The keyboards even pack a little Funky Bunch punch for good measure.
11) “A Forgotten Chapter in the History of Ideas,” The Fucking Champs. If you have a metal bone in your body, you will be compelled to bang your head for the first two minutes of this instrumental riff-o-rama. Imagine if Metallica had decided to stop sucking and singing sometime in 1989 and you get an idea of what this sounds like. I always have this album in my car because whenever I need to channel my inner Road Warrior and battle through traffic, this makes me feel like I’m wearing football shoulder pads and carrying an Easton aluminum bat that’s topped with a skull. METAL!
Bonus track because I’m a pleaser, not a teaser:
“Kiss on My List,” Hall & Oates. I was talking to TLB the other day and made mention of something being irrelevant and she said, “You mean like John Oates.” This elicited a stern reprimand from me, because Oates is much more than a pretty mustache. He is the digestive enzyme that makes songs like this so yummy in my musical tummy. He is not Andrew Ridgeley with a hairy lip (ironically, Ridgeley has more hair on his lip than his head these days). And who doesn’t want to have someone’s kiss on their lips as we head into the weekend?
Have a good one, and if you can’t love the Oates you want, love the Oates you’re with.