Friday(!)(?) Shuffle

11Jul08

Bored.

Uncreative.

Goddamn.

It’s friday and I feel as though I should write something. Anything. Maybe I should hold forth on the passing of yet another of my heroes… George Carlin. Nah, too depressing. He did live a long life, though, and stayed sharp as shattered glass to the very end. Fuck. We need more George Carlins in this world.

Ok, still depressing — although if push came to shove, I could turn anything into a slice of shit pie, sunshine and rainbows be damned. But there’s always music. The sole thing that keeps me sane… ish.

I’m usually an album sort of dude, but every once in a while morbid curiosity gets the better of me and I test my fate at the hands of the shuffle feature. Is all the music on my iPod actually good? Or is my taste just as bland as that of the average Nickelback fan? God, I hope not. I’m not a suicidal sort, for the most part, but if I was trapped within four walls with no doors and a giant speaker that only played commercial-radio-approved “modern rock”, I’d probably do everything within my power to off myself. Honestly. I’d rather listen to static. Or the sound of a raccoon fighting an infant.

So here goes… commentary rendered in real time, warts and all.

1. Mike Watt – Against The 70’s

I think this is the best song Eddie Vedder has ever lent his vocals to. I am not a Pearl Jam fan. In fact, one time an acquaintance of mine who definitely was not a drug dealer once informed me that he had just gone to see Pearl Jam the previous weekend. I said “Oh yeah, who opened for them?” not giving a solitary shit about Pearl Jam, but thinking that maybe, just maybe I could salvage the conversation with some lively discussion of the openers. “It was some band called The Buzzcocks. They sucked.” And me with a Buzzcocks shirt on. Bastard!

2. Desmond Dekker – It Pays

I love Desmond Dekker. I could listen to him in any situation, in any mood at any time of day. Listening to Desmond Dekker makes pretty much everything else that falls under the umbrella of ska seem pointless.

3. Mclusky – No New Wave, No Fun

Not my favorite Mclusky song, but a pretty good one nonetheless. Falco’s deranged yammering during the verses that apes the guitar line is the highlight, but the raging “tried to find a better way, there is no other better way” chorus is the icing on the piss-soaked cake.

4. The Ramones – You’re Gonna Kill That Girl

This is the It’s Alive version, and a lively one indeed. Sorry. That was lame. Ok song, good rendition. Dee Dee’s “1234!”‘s before each chorus are a hoot. The Ramones were pretty tight live and I regret never having seen them while they were still alive. Shit, that’s a lot of mortality for one song.

5. King Khan and the Shrines – 69 Faces of Love

Like a naughtier Tommy James and the Shondelles tune. I like these guys. It doesn’t hurt that they’re from Montreal (for the most part) and don’t sound like indie also-rans. They nail the late-sixties garage vibe, but pair it with ace songwriting — the key factor in pushing them beyond mere novelty. One of The Black Lips’ favorite bands and I can see why.

6. Maow – J’ai Faim

A track from my favorite comp of all time — the inaugral Mint Records sampler. These girls were savaged by critics back in the day, crucified for seemingly jumping on the Cub bandwagon while adding nothing to the mix but silly animal costumes. In retrospect they weren’t that bad, really. My sole grudge against Maow is the sheer insanity of having Neko Case in your band, but thinking ‘nah, I’ll handle the vocals.’

7. Desmond Dekker – Mother Pepper

Dekker again… I’ll use this time to finish the above Maow entry…

8. Cloak/Dagger – She Cracked

Modern Lovers cover by one of the few contemporary hardcore bands that have renewed my interest in the genre. Pretty faithful rendition. Entirely listenable. B-side to their “Kamikazes” 7″ that leaves me wanting to hear their originals instead.

9. Black Francis – Garbage Heap

From the SVN FNGRS album. Good track, very Pixies-ish for obvious reasons. Not my favorite from the album, but damn, what a chorus. Classic Frank Black. Nifty little guitar solo. Good stuff.

10. The Clash – Rebel Waltz

Interesting that this would be the first Clash song to appear… not one of my favorites, but certainly not as bad as a lot of Clash fans would have you believe. Sure, it’s kind of silly with its glorification of some kind of generically mystical group of rebels and not exactly a prime example of Joe Strummer’s lyrical prowess, but I’ve always loved that opening guitar line. Lovely.

11. Wu-Tang Clan – Method Man

“Torture motherf*ckers” indeed. This was the skit that I always fastforwarded through if anyone else was listening to 36 Chambers with me. Of course, it segues into Method Man’s statement of purpose, prefaced by the original shout-out to the entire Wu-Tang crew. Actually one of the weaker tracks on 36 Chambers, which is to say it’s still a banger, but I don’t think it was even popular with Method Man himself. “Freak a flow and flow fancy free” indeed, but he stills manages to “fade motherfuckers like bleach.” Ends with Meth taking a serious toke and coughing his guts up.

12. The Beatles – For No One

Not much to say about this that hasn’t already been said. One of the great Beatles songs. One of their coldest, most devastating lyrics, perfectly capturing the essence of a failed relationship without adornment or artifice.

13. The Clash – Koka Kola

Now this is more like it. One of the more rocking tunes from London Calling and one of the funniest Clash tunes in the cannon. “With your snake skin boots and your alligator suit, you don’t need a launderette, you can take it to the vet.” Probably would have fit better on Give Em Enough Rope, what with all the guitar firepower found therein, but what do I know?

14. Neil Young – Walk On

I must say, this is a good shuffle. From On The Beach, which is probably tied with Rust Never Sleeps as my favorite Neil album. Love the way the guitars sound.

15. Propaghandi – …And We Thought Nation States Were A Bad Idea

Taken from my favorite Propaghandi album. Sure, they’re easy to criticize, but there’s a band that’s sticking to its guns, despite Chris Hannah’s change in vocal style over the years. I still like them, but I really don’t listen to them all that much anymore.

16. Thin Lizzy – Waiting For An Alibi

Lizzy. Lizzy! Melodic as hell. Great chorus. This is the sort of song that should clog the arteries of classic rock radio, but shamefully does not. Phil Lynott. Love his lyrics and his phrasing thereof, not to mention his work on the four-string. One of his poppier moments, but still edgy and rocking enough to get over… sort of combines the two extremes of Lizzy. And to great effect.

17. Bum – Bent On Being Bent

From the criminally underrated early-90’s Victoria pop-punkers, featuring Nick from the Smugglers on guitar and a horn section. Horns! Yeah. These guys were good. Great hooks and melodies. Like a less-cloying version of so many Lookout! bands that garnered so much more attention. Bastards!

18. The Replacements – Lovelines

Sure, some would call this filler, but Lovelines is easily one of my favorite Mats tunes. “Feeling pressured? Call Lovelines.” As easy as that. Worth it for “Slightly overweight girls need sex also.” Ten times funnier than “Group Sex” by the Circle Jerks as far as sex-personal-goofing punk tunes go.

And on that note, I need to go to bed.

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One Response to “Friday(!)(?) Shuffle”

  1. It’s amazing


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