It’s one more random than 10!
Never has that line been more appropriate than on Nigel Tufnel Day. In honor of the best friend of the patron saint of footwear, I’m only going to play the first 11 random songs that I feel truly go to 11.
The logical choice to honor Nigel Tufnel on 11/11/11 would be to link to the Spinal Tap segment about the amps that go to 11. But my favorite part of the movie is this scene, which made me laugh louder than anything else in the movie the first time I saw it because it caught me completely by surprise. It is arguably the greatest dick joke in cinematic history.
1) “Coma,” Guns N’ Roses. It’s a bit funny that the two songs that top my list of favorite GnR ditties are “Mr. Brownstone” and “Coma.” That’s kind of like saying my two favorite TV shows are Man Vs. Food and America’s Next Top Diabetic (“Sweet! – Entertainment Weekly). Speaking of which, I think a big reason I watch Man Vs. Food is to see if someone has a heart attack on television. “I just ate 16 pounds of double-fried bacon cheddar custard éclairs, and they were so delicious, I could….OW!!! Oh, I knew I should have skipped the Mt Fudgerest sundae! Gack!” It’s like the NASCAR of eating, you watch for the crash, not the race.
2) “Big Poppa,” Notorious B.I.G. At least he wasn’t on a diet when he was gunned down by Tupac’s people. How much would that suck? You lose 100 pounds because you want to be healthy when you get older, only you die the minute you leave Weight Watchers because you’re caught in an East Coast-West Coast rap war. Ain’t that a B?
3) “White Line,” Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Neil Young and Crazy Horse always go to 11.
4) “I Get Wet,” Andrew W.K. I would have played the shit out of this when I was 16. It would have been blaring out of my stereo when I was getting ready for a party, Dep’ing my hair and rolling my cargo pants, before adding my acid-washed jean jacket (collar up, of course). Unfortunately this came out when I was 31. Which makes me feel really old because that means Andrew W.K. has been around for 10 years in recorded form. Love this video because the intro is very reminiscent of Mach.
5) “You Can’t Say Kingston Doesn’t Love You,” Title Fight. Of course, when said party turned out to be a bust and the girl I wanted to talk to was instead talking to that other guy, and the cops broke everything up before I could have my second-swig of warm Beast that my buddy snuck out of his older brother’s room, I’d have come back and put this bit of breakneck melancholy on my headphones and contemplated what went wrong while fantasizing about how it could have gone right. Strong possibility this song shows up on the Favoritist of 2011 list.
6) “Holy Flames of the Firespitter,” High on Fire. FIRE! This makes me want to drive a tank through an army of orcs. Hey Sauron, think a nazgul can stop an armor-piercing round? Not if it's forged from mithril by an elvish maiden, motherfucker!
7) “Bad Luck,” Social Distortion. Mike Ness’s arm tattoos go to 11. I think he actually has tattoos on his tattoos. I am not inked at all because tattoos don’t suit me. I would never be able to just get something small like TLB in Viking runes with the L extending up to form a spear that impales a heart (to signify that I’ll love her until I get impaled on a Viking spear). No, I’d do something ridiculous like have the entire scene from Pulp Fiction where Jules and Vincent shoot the guy that took the case storyboarded on my back.
8) “Dumb,” Nirvana. It sucks when guys like Cobain die too young, but I also have a hard time imagining what they would have done if they lived. Like I heard Hendrix on the radio the other day, and the same thought ran through my mind, but then I couldn’t imagine what he would have done. Synths in the 80s? Snoop rapping on a remake of “The Wind Cries Mary” in the 90s? Playing a guest solo on Kelly Clarkson’s album in the aughts? Same with Cobain.
9) “How Soon Is Now,” The Smiths. About as 11 as Morrissey gets. I was very sad when this popped up in a car commercial. I don’t really mind that bands need to sell their songs for advertising—they gotta make a buck. But it has to match the product. Phoenix or Band of Horses pushing a few autos? That’s fine. Morrissey doing the same? That’s almost as bad as Modern English shilling for a horrific bathroom experience.
10) “Mountain Song,” Jane’s Addiction. Insanely fun to play on fake plastic drums and an absolutely blistering live version of this, complete with Perry Ferrell looking like Peter Gabriel would have looked if he had been on heroin and grown up in LA. Come to think of it, if Cobain had lived, maybe he would have turned into Perry Farrell.
11) “Unchained,” Van Halen. If you strip Spinal Tap of their “Stonehenge” tendencies, they pretty much could be a parody of Van Halen (or VH the embodiment of ST). Tell me that you couldn’t apply this review—“the musical growth rate of this band cannot even be charted…they are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry”—to a lot of Van Halen albums? But still, I have always liked this song. It has a lot more heft and a lot less Roth-glazed ham than a lot of other songs. There's also classic Michael Anthony face around the :40 mark. I'd have looked that happy if I got to make millions of dollars slapping the top string of a bass guitar.
That’s it for today. Remember to have a good time all the time.