Monday, August 07, 2006

Musical Monday

We had a huge meme running in this space last week, and this is the promised second installment. A third will follow... The Ocean City travelogue will continue whenever I can get the Internet to stay up for more than fifteen minutes.

4 Records You Really Dug from 2005
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, U2 – critics bitched about it, but tough.
The Fall Parade, the Anderson Council – lots of retro fun.
Everything Must Go, Steely Dan – I’m cheating; this came out in ’04. Two reasons: first, I don’t buy new stuff nearly enough to be able to get four albums; second, I haven’t gone out to buy Fagen’s “Morph the Cat,” which came out over the winter.
Ghost in the Shell OST, Yoko Kanno – I get everything she composes. I am not worthy.

Favorite Records From This Year So Far:
See above.

One of Your Favorite Lyrics:
The first that comes to mind:

We’re clearly soldiers in petticoats
Dauntless crusaders for Women For Votes
And though we adore men individually
We agree that as a group they’re rather stupid…

The Sherman Brothers at their best. And since we’re in the general neighborhood, I always liked the Robot Hell song from Futurama:

Beelzebot – Cigars are evil, you won’t miss ‘em
We’ll find ways to simulate that smell
Gee, what a sorry fella
Rolled up and smoked like a panatela
Here on Level One of Robot Hell!

Bender – Please tell me why!
Beelzebot – Just read this 55-page warrant.
Bender – There must be robots worse than I!
Beelzebot – We checked around; there really aren’t.
Bender – Please let me explain; my crimes were merely boyish pranks.
Beelzebot – You stole from orphans, nuns, and banks!
Bender – Aw, don’t blame me, blame my upbringing!
Beelzebot – Please stop sinning while I’m singing…

Beelzebot – Selling bootlegged tapes is wrong,
Musicians need their income to survive -
Beastie Boys – Hey, Bender, gonna make some noise
With your hard drive scratched by the Beastie Boys
That’s whatcha, whatcha, gonna get on Level Five!

Beelzebot – Fencing diamonds, fixing cockfights
Publishing indecent magazines –
You’ll pay for every crime
Knee-deep in electric slime
You’ll suffer ‘til the end of time
Enduring tortures (most of which rhyme)
Trapped forever here in Robot Hell!

5 Cover Songs Arguably Better Than the Original (with original in parenthesis):
“Walk Away Renee,” the Four Tops (Left Banke)
“Detroit Swing City,” Alien Fashion Show (KISS) – a swing cover of KISS seems… well, off. Don’t be fooled. It rocks.
“The Weight,” Aretha Franklin (The Band) – she omitted the “Now, wait a minute Chester” verse, but still outstanding
“Viva Las Vegas,” ZZ Top (Elvis)
“Sea of Love,” the Honeydrippers (the 50’s song is kind of pathetic)

Bonus – “Proud Mary,” Ike and Tina Turner. When this hit the radio, John Fogarty finally knew why he’d written the song.

Honorable mention – the entire Saturday Morning’s Greatest Hits album, with superior covers of many of our childhood favorites: “Underdog” by Butthole Surfers, “Jonny Quest” by the Reverend Horton Heat, the Ramones doing “Spider-Man,” and superior versions of Gigantor (Helmet), Hong Kong Phooey (Sublime), and Eep-Op-Ork Ah Ah (the Violent Femmes).

NEW ITEM! 5 Originals Nobody Should Have Dared to Cover:

“Drift Away,” Dobie Gillis
Anything by Smokey Robinson. Curse you, Kim Carnes. And the cover of “Cruisin’” makes me want to punch Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow in the face.
“Lady Marmalade,” Labelle
“When a Man Loves a Woman,” Percy Sledge. I already wanted to punch Michael Bolton in the face. This makes me want to punch him with hammers.
“Every Breath You Take,” the Police. Let’s expand this to include most of the great songs that rappers sampled and then ruined by mumbling over.

Ironic Song to Brutally Murder Someone to in a movie:
”He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” the Hollies. I think it’s the harmonica into the wall-of-sound chorus at the end that does it. I had this framed as the final scene to a tragic movie – some slow-motion, a camera on a crane pulling back and up on the tableau, and then the chorus comes in, and fade to credits. I was twelve.

Reading that just now actually gave me the creeps. Damn, what the hell was wrong with me?

NEW ITEM! Songs that Make You Angry:
In other words, not necessarily angry songs, but songs that (for whatever reason) fill you with loathing – they remind you of bad times or somehow work your nerves with jackhammers.

“Obsession,” Animotion.
“Ice Ice Baby,” Vanilla Ice. How dare he steal from Queen. He should be trampled by moose.
“I Don’t Like Mondays,” the Boomtown Rats. Shut up, you obnoxious drama queen.
“I’ve Never Been to Me,” by mercifully forgotten.
“Take My Breath Away,” Berlin. Maybe it’s the chord progression, since I also don’t much care for Foreigner’s “I Don’t Want to Live Without You.”

Best “Sod Off, I’m a Teenager in Pain” Song:
I’m gonna screw this up. I didn’t dish out a lot as a teenager. But I understand the flip side well enough – for example, “Laughing,” by the Guess Who.

“Everybody Loves You Now” by Billy Joel, live from “Songs in the Attic” – no, more of an openly scornful thing. Crap.

OK – “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” by Warren Zevon:

“I lay my head on the railroad tracks, and wait for the double-E
The railroad don’t run no more – poor poor pitiful me.”

That’s my final answer.

The next installment will be more cheerful; this internet thing is just ticking me off right now. I've rebooted the router, tinkered with settings, what have you. It always works for about twenty minutes, and then kaput.

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