It’s one more random than 10!
I’m so ready to rock I’m just going to plug in and spin the knobs (heh-heh, I said knobs).
1) “Somebody to Love,” Queen. There are only three things I have not liked about parenting: 1) Not sleeping enough, which is thankfully subsiding in toddlerhood, 2) Cleaning up poop, which is at least being relocated toward the toilet, and 3) Watching shitty movies. Libby does in fact like a lot of decent films, and studios like Pixar have made flicks that parents can enjoy as much as the kids. But every once in a while I get subjected to some piece of regurgitated penguin food like Happy Feet, which I bought for Libby unseen because she wanted “the penguin movie.” It’s like Glee for flightless waterfowl, and the only redeeming moment in it is a fairly stirring rendition of this song. But now the sequel is out and Libby—having just been to her first movie in the theater—wants to see it. What they need to make are 3D glasses for adults that actually block the kids’ movie and play something like Mad Men episodes. "Sure we can stay for the credits, sweetie, Christina Hendrix isn't finished changing yet."
2) “Mass Romantic,” The New Pornographers. The first song off their amazing first album, but unfortunately it kind of has the effect of reminding me how much I used to like The New Pornographers. It’s like a romantic relationship that has gone to the friend zone: Three albums that were nearly perfect, followed by two that have left me feeling like we were just going through the motions together. Then we had an argument because the band asked me if I was seeing its BFF, Neko Case on the side, and I said no, I mean, we met for one solo album, and that was purely platonic. But then they found out that I secretly bought all of her albums, causing the confrontation where I said TNP just didn’t do it for me any more after Challengers. We didn’t talk for again for a while until I bought their last album, and had a perfectly pleasant experience that nevertheless only served to remind me how hot and heavy we once were, especially when I was on my slow descent into alcoholism. Now we just occasionally run into each other at Starbucks.
3) “Whiskey Bottle,” Uncle Tupelo. About as close to a power ballad as I think Alt Country gets.
4) “Cause=Time,” Broken Social Scene. There’s a mellow Dinosaur Jr. vibe on this song, though I definitely feel the absence of a J Mascis freakout solo. This may also be the first album I ever bought solely because of a high Pitchfork review. Please don’t hold that against me, the Internet and I were still young and kind of unpredictable.
5) “Caroline,” Concrete Blonde. Very much the older sister of “Joey.” I also loved that Johnette Napolitano played the bass and sang, just like a certain Canadian I admire. Although she sang about alcoholic guys, sad women, and hungry vampires, instead of music-hating priests, journeys through black holes that led to encounters with Greek gods, and union-busting trees.
6) “Light-Rail Coyote,” Sleater-Kinney. Inspired, if I’m not mistaken, by a coyote actually riding the Portland rail. That’s the difference between the West and the East. A coyote isn’t getting on the New York Subway or the Chicago El. But you never know when something wild and furry is going to get on public transportation in the West. Although in L.A., it would likely be a dude on his way to respond to an ad on Craigslist.
7) “Little Sister,” Queens of the Stone Age. Libby has started asking about having a brother or sister. That’s extremely unlikely unless The Lovely Becky has been selected as the Immaculate Receptacle for the Second Coming. We’ve had to have conversations about how some families just have a mommy, daddy, and one little girl. It of course pains me to not be able to fulfill her request, which is probably why I will eventually buy her a pony.
8) “It’s Thunder and Lightning,” We Were Promised Jetpacks. If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap! Good thing this is Scottish. TLB’s sister and some of her Canadian relatives just took a trip to the land of single-malts and exposed male legs. I was so jealous. The trip TLB and I took there in 1997 was one of the best times of my life, touring a bunch of castles, envisioning myself on the parapet slaying foes like Sir Lancelot at a wedding, and then washing the day down with Scotchy-Scotch-Scotch. The only thing I didn’t like was driving, not because it’s the opposite but because Scots drive like they are Japanese pilots trying to sink American aircraft carriers. We did a bit touring off the beaten path which involved driving down one-track roads, which wouldn’t have been so bad if there weren’t crops that obscured the road ahead. I was literally driving on faith, hoping that some giant truck wasn’t whipping toward me at speeds that sound so much more dangerous in kilometers.
9) “Teardrop,” Massive Attack. Pretty much impossible for me to not bob my head while this plays, which makes it hard to write.
10) “That’s What You Get,” Paramore. Why do I like this song so much? Between this and Rush, I cocked up Three Bulls Radio something fierce, but this is so much more embarrassing than Apollo and Dionysius fighting for the soul of man. I feel like I should be shopping for leggings at Justice while complaining about why Taylor won’t return my texts, probably because he’s with that skank Montana. And yet, what happens to the volume knob? It gets turned up. Additional embarrassing revelation: I spelled Dionysius correctly on the first try. How exactly did I get ever get laid?
11) “My Morning Song,” The Black Crowes. A little more age and gender appropriate. Turned up even louder so I can feel the slide guitar, weed, and B.O. that went into making this song. Seriously, how would you like to be stuck with Chris Robinson in a recording booth. “Hey, Brando, could you bring up the vocals?” “Sure, but only if use this bar of Dial before I wrap it in a sock and beat you unconscious.” Still, worth enduring some fried nasal passages to hear the orgasmic reprisal of the chorus at the end.
Bonus track: “Love Removal Machine,” The Cult. I can’t let this go. Working with Rick Rubin would be the reverse of working with Chris Robinson. He’d say to Ian Astbury, “Could you try the vocal again, only throatier?” and Ian Astbury would say, “I think there’s a ferret living in your beard.” By far my favorite AC/DC ripoff track of all time and a plastic, fantastic way to head into the weekend. Have a great one.