Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday CJ Random 11

It's one more random than 10!

Well, the Iowa Caucus has cocked up the 2008 Election conventional wisdom. This will certainly give the pundits plenty to talk about. I imagine Wolf Blitzer's whiskers will be in full Viagra mode during The Situation Room today.

I have to say I was surprised by the results. On the Republican side, Huckabee seems to be turning into the GOP Jimmy Carter, the outsider who shakes things up. He has a long way to go and I think he'll fade eventually, but stranger things have happened (see "Primates, election of 2000 and"). I wish The Colbert Report was back on TV because you know Colbert would be taking credit for Huckabee's "Colbert bump."

Obama winning the Democratic caucus isn't as surprising to me. He's had a lot of supporters doing grass roots work in Iowa, and he has arguably the most charisma of any candidate from either side. But Clinton finishing behind Edwards, even if it was by just a small amount, did surprise me. It's going to be an interesting few days before the New Hampshire primary.

I'm Brando and I approved this message. I also approve of the following songs:

1) "Relative Ways," …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The sun is making a cameo appearance today after being overcast since, I don't know, November, and this song is a perfect fit. Chiming guitars and a sunny beat with some throaty vocals to add a little conflict. Everything's always more interesting with conflict.

2) "Radar Gun," Bottle Rockets. You Can Write a Rock Song About Anything I. This is a catchy little ditty about a cop with his new radar gun. Seriously, that's all there is to it. The b-side would probably be "Stop Yer Jaywalkin' (All Over My Heart)."

3) "Ohio (Live)," Neil Young. From the amazing Live at Massey Hall album. Ol' Neil Young delivers an absolutely chilling, stripped-down version of this on an acoustic guitar. One of the best political songs ever written, so good I have no snark.

4) "Amerika V. 6.0," Steve Earle. You want to catch my attention, start off a song with a huge drum beat like this song does. This is pretty standard Steve Earle, with a dirty guitar lick escorting lyrics about being broke, being mad, and being screwed over. I even dig the retro America with a K, even if that is so 1992.

5) "Accidental Babies," Damien Rice. I do a cover version of this called "Totally on Purpose Babies."

6) "Allure," Jay-Z. Welcome to Yo, CJSD Raps! I'm your host, Beaty B. Seriously, here's what gets me about Jay-Z: he makes me feel out of touch. I waste my time pride myself on staying on top of what the kids are listening to, but recently in an e-mail exchange with my brother and some other guys in their late 20s, we got on the subject of biggest artists of the last 20 years. They all agreed Jay-Z was one of them. And the only reason I even know any Jay-Z songs is because I have a copy of Danger Mouse's The Grey Album, which I like better than this because it sets Jay-Z's lyrics to samples from The Beatles' White Album. So I am feeling pretty white and Dockers-ish right now.

7) "Satan Gave Me a Taco," Beck. You Can Write a Rock Song About Anything II. Beck singing a Soggy Bottom Boys-style song about getting a crappy taco before dissolving into what seems to be a food-poisoning inspired rock fantasy of going on tour. It's actually inspiring me to get back to my concept album, In the Blog of the Comment King. The album tells the story of a pale, proscrastinating, and sarcastic boy who sets out on a mystical adventure to leave the greatest blog comment EVAR!

8) "Little Fat Baby," Sparklehorse. Just a really nice, mellow song. Since I have nothing else to say about it, I'll mention that the birth weight of my youngest brother, Snake Anthony, came up in an e-mail today. He was 11½ pounds when he was born, and he had the melon of a six-year old. He was so big and mature-looking that when my mother brought him home, he was smoking and in dire need of a shave.

9) "It's a Curse," Wolf Parade. Now that I'm hopelessly addicted to playing toy drums in my living room, I'm hearing/seeing beats when I hear songs that would be a perfect fit for Rock Band. Wolf Parade are great Rock Band candidates. This song has a big meaty beat that I could probably manage to thwack out, with a few fills to keep things interesting without me kicking over the kit in frustration.

10) "Since U Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson. I get in arguments all the time about this song. TLB makes fun of me because I actually purchased this on iTunes. When I met Adorable Girlfriend, the Uncanny Canadian, Chuckles, and Officer Gleason in Chicago over the summer, we actually got into a spirited discussion of whether this song sucked, with OG and I forming a "this song rocks" bloc. So here's my theory: This song is Hillary Clinton. Because it's Kelly Clarkson and American Idol, people will hate it no matter what. But take the same song and give it to Dave Grohl or Ted Leo and people go, "Wow, that's a pretty good song."

11) "So It Goes," Nick Lowe. What Annoys Me About America, Part MCMXXVI. When this album came out in the UK in the late 70s, it was called Jesus of Cool. But You-Know-Who forbid we crucify our Lord again by putting his name on a rock and/or roll record. So in the US the name was changed to Pure Pop for Now People. The plus side is that the name change didn't dilute this absolute pure pop gem of a song, and it also gave us a pretty awesome album cover. The truth is, though, that I think our nation is still so uptight that 30 years later, this album would still get a name change. If anything comes of the 2008 election, I hope it results in the pole at least being tugged a little bit out of our national ass. Can't we all just relax and rock out together?

Have a good weekend.


Snag said...

I highly recommend Nick Lowe's "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day" from last year's "At My Age" album. It sounds like I'd expect Nick Lowe to sound at 58, and I mean that as a compliment.

bjkeefe said...

I was wishing you and TLB were still in the IC last night. Happiest I've been in a while, and I wanted to hear some inside stories. Oh, well. Onto the songs.

I like Beck, but it's hard to believe anybody would want to hear that taco song more than once. Not only does it support your assertion that a song can be written about anything (not a diss in all cases), it backs up my claim that once an artist gets big enough, there's no lower bound to the crap he can sell (see also: Stones, Rolling, "Beast of Burden," et al).

I didn't know that about the original Nick Lowe title. Thanks for bit of trivia. I do have to say that "Pure Pop for Now People" still strikes me as one of the more catchy album titles.

Thanks for providing the links. Hard to believe these songs get to hang around on YouTube with the RIAA jackboots tromping around, but I'm glad they do. So I don't waste money on Beck songs, for one thing.

Brando said...

Thanks, Brendan. I decided to start adding links to YouTube because so many videos are available on there. I try to stick with the version I'm listening to, but in some cases I post a more interesting one (like Trail of Dead performing on Letterman instead of their kind of lame video). I couldn't find an album version of the Jay-Z song or I would have posted that.

I like Pure Pop for Now People better than Jesus of Cool, too. It's just silly that it had to be changed.

Snag, I need to get that. Lowe's one of those guys who can still make the same music no matter how old he is.

Kathleen said...

I think I am in the pro-SUBG camp. It's so catchy!

I am still just totally torn between the 3 Dem candidates. But I am soooo loving the GOP meltdown!

Anonymous said...

There was a vote in Iowa?

How long has AG been on vacation?

Churlita said...

The caucuses were crazy this year. Every precinct was packed and there was a little drama in every one.

I wasn't shocked by Obama's win, but I was surprised at how few Clinton supporters there were at my (what used to be your precinct). I was happy that all of our neighbors were in attendance. It was kind of like a gigantic political block party.

I love Nick Lowe. That is all.

The Uncanny Canadian said...

Love Relative Ways. Listening to that AYWKUBTTOD song makes me nostalgic for Source Tags and Codes, because their other CDs totally suck. Also the lead singer can't really sing, but I like hearing him suffer so much trying to reach for the high notes. This is a great performance and a massively out-of-tune performance that makes me love it more. And then Letterman kills afterwards. "Don't Neglect Your Studies". So awesome.

I think you nailed the Clarkson song, Brando, with one small exception. This song really does kind of sound like a Foo Fighters song, which means it gets loud and apparently exciting, without being truly interesting. It's fine and all, but it is not a great song.

fish said...

Brendan there are going to be fisticuffs if you are dissing Some Girls.