Monday, January 09, 2012

Videos of the Day 2 FOR 1 (Refused 'New Noise' and At The Drive In 'Invalid Letter Dept.')

In honor of two of the better post hardcore bands of my youth (you know back when I could actually discover bands via TV) reuniting, I give you the following:


I lived in these albums between the ages of 17 and 22, and I recently revisited both. Strangely, the Refused album still holds up as one of the greatest workout albums ever (along with Around the Fur by Deftones and the first System of a Down album). The loud quiet loud tenseness still kicks your ass almost 15 years later.

The At The Drive In album came along at just the right time, and gave us probably the strangest radio hit ever in 'One Armed Scissor'. And boy, to someone who was dabbling in more indie sounds but still intrenched in the Korn-Sevendust style bullshit that everyone was listening to, was this record a godsend! I remember nearly shatting myself when I got a tape of the 'Invalid Letter Dept." video on a mix of MTV2 videos from a buddy in high school (the other choice cut on the tape was the 'Gravel Pit' video by Wu-Tang). In the days before videos were available online, it was a real coup to score that.

Hopefully both Refused and At The Drive In will swing by MPLS instead of just playing festivals. God knows I will be rocking out like it is 2001 if they do.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Xmas Song of the Day - 'Wonderful Christmastime' by Sir Paul

Let's kick off the week of Christmas with some "cheer". By cheer I mean "the Christmas song I hate the fucking most". I have always loved the Beatles and have come to love Paul McCartney's songcraft as an adult. Wingspan maybe has been bumped more than any other greatest hits I own. Yet all that love cannot make up for this lovely little ditty that was dropped on us:

Thank god the only place I have heard this song this year was a liquor store. Being surrounded by all that sexy ass beer made me forget about what was aurally raping me for a minute.

I used to have a coworker at Starbucks who would sing this song in July just to piss me off. So even when I am getting a latte I now harken back to that random whaa-whaa noise in the song. Thanks Paul, first you ruined coffee with this:

and then you got all up in my cup with your horseshit carol.

My only saving grace for years was that, according to Wikipedia back in the day, 'Wonderful Christmastime' caused tens of Japanese to kill themselves. Now suicide is a sad thing (and IS NOT a solution, no matter what Ozzy said) but the thought of people killing themselves because of this song gave me a sort of righteous feeling. "I was right! It is that bad," I told myself. But then it disappeared off the wiki page around 2007, and I was stuck with the cold reality that 'Wonderful Christmastime' was just a pax on my eardrums for two months a year. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Song of the Day - 'Bad Boy' by Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine

I found this 45 for 50 cents (with the picture sleeve!) today. I don't know if there is a single 80s song that encapsulates the awesomeness of the pop music of that decade better...

Strangely this is not the version of the video I remember as a kid. I remember the Machine and Gloria (GLOR-IA!) partying on some beach in Miami, wearing very 80s bathing suits. You know, the ladies in bikinis that looked like a bow tie and the dudes in little Speedo joints. I sort of like the weird vibe of this one more though.

I think it's pretty damn tubular, or rad, or gnarly that Gloria is partying with the cast of Cats. You really can't get much more 80s than that can you?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Song of the Day - 'Don't Cry No Tears' by Neil Young

It's winter time, a time for seasonal depression, hot toddies (not the Usher and Jay-Z version) and more seasonal depression. So ladies and gents, I give you the best breakup song by old Uncle Neil to wallow in your winter blues:

Somehow it took me until October to buy the album "Zuma". Wow, was I missing out. I'm pretty sure this joint trumps about half of the other Neil Young albums I own (espcially "American Stars N Bars"). And 'Don't Cry No Tears' is the best opener on a Neil Young record. For the historical record, 'Cinnamon Girl' of "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" is second.

Bonus points to this song for sounding like it was recorded in about 1994 by some really good Seattle band. It's true, Uncle Neil was the "Godfather of Grunge", even though that title is pretty icky. DOUBLE bonus points for the song 'Cortez the Killer' on this album birthing Built To Spill. Because I wouldn't be a complete human being if "There's Nothing Wrong With Love" didn't come into my life in college.

So thanks again, Neil Young. Your supernatural abilities to create well rounded emotional dainty weirdoes like me are greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Song of the Day - 'Nightcrusing' by the Bar-Kays

Work has beat me like Ike on Tina lately, so tonight I was coolin' in my mansion bumping Motown Christmas and hating Diana Ross (due to what Nas said she did at Florence Ballard's funeral). For some reason Christmas music makes me sad and happy at the same time, so after that record I threw on this 50 cent cutout bin jam:

Oh damn, is this one some early 80s monster funk. God how I love the whining synths of this era. I never tire of the blend of synthetic and natural that makes early 80s soul so unique. It was baby making music made by a robot/loverman hybrid, and it totally gets me going.

Just for shits, I will throw another track from this album into the mix:

Now THIS is the truth! "I'm your Freaky Behavior/Your funky New Waver". All of us in the know know that New Wavers were fon-kay, especially the black ones that previously recorded 'Soul Finger'. Gotta give it up to these cuts, they don't make ANYTHING that sounds like this anymore (like I said, a robot/loverman mated with a Pac Man machine). And that truly is a damn shame.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Song of the Day - 'Tulsa Time' by Don Williams

Oh boy does this song rock hard for a country song. I had heard the Eric Clapton cover before but the Don Williams version is the Gangsta Shit with a capital "G" and "S". Plus, Don Williams looks pretty badass (even though I think his nickname was "The Gentle Giant").

Songs like this and 'Guitar Town' by Steve Earle make me want to be a shit kicking country troubadour, living out of a beat up bag and banging Lot Lizards. There is a certain sense of freedom in being alone on the road, nothing but you and the next exit and the song on the radio. Unfortunately, I will probably still just work tirelessly at a desk, not knowing what it is like to live on Tulsa Time (or any exotic time for that matter).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Song of the Day - "Make It With You" by Bread

This one goes out to the Saint Louis Cardinals, champions of the National League. Why, you ask? Because the Cardinals are much like this song. Technically proficient, very popular in the Midwest, and sort of boring. And also, I watch the Cards absent minded. Much like I listen to this song.

Maybe I am becoming MOR (much like Bread, who were the kings of Middle of the Road)? Tonight I ate sausages and beans with apple pie and watched sitcoms on CBS. Granted, one I was watching because it is awesome (How I Met Your Mother) and the other I was watching because I was transfixed by the tremenjousness of Kat Dennings ample, ample bosom (Two Broke Girls, I think). The first one makes me feel sad and warm at the same time in a very good way, and the other one featured a "wad in the face joke" and two reasons to tune in every week.

To stave off this MOR, middle age, wearing PJs at 8PM vibe, I think I need to listen to some Wire or Mission of Burma or something. But I'll probably just continue to Wikipedia food and defunct newspapers with SportsCenter on in the background for the next three hours and drift off to bed.