I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Girl

8 Feb

I’d like to say I have a good reason for my neglect. Or, failing that, any reason at all. I don’t. It’s not that I forgot – on the contrary, this poor, hungry blog has been the genesis of no small amount of guilt and shame. I’ve been lazy; that’s for sure. I also tend to psychologically hibernate during the winter months. The fact that any time spent outside in Northern Michigan in winter is spent slowly dying of hypothermia tends to suck the brighter emotions out of the borderline depressive. Unless you ski or snowboard, the novelty of the snow wears off in three days and your passions are replaced by mere survival and the fervent desire one could sleep for five months and both not die and remain employed.

That said, I intend to keep writing about the perfect fucking songs. The power of my guilt compels me. Plus, I want to be doing something besides watching British TV shows on Netflix while developing bedsores on my ass. Plus, there are a lot of perfect fucking songs out there.

Thanks for your continued support.

Fuck Newt Gingrich.

“12:51″ by The Strokes

13 Oct

Bow down, Philistines.  This is a guest post by the legendary Cruise McMillan.  I hope we can count on more, b/c, seriously, this is fucking great shit, man.

So let’s say you’re young, rich, and awesome – so awesome, in fact, that the backlash began before your first album came out, and this was 2001. Backlash like that didn’t happen yet.

So let’s say your first record is mostly about being young, cool, drunk, and from New York. And, though it doesn’t change the face of rock music, the people who don’t get caught up in the backlash dig the gritty sound, the pop sensibility, the detachment in the vocals, the ear for a melody. (And those who don’t like it are assholes.)

So, you’re young, rich, and awesome, and you’ve got an impressive debut to your name, how do follow? Do you stick to your roots – drunkenness, New York-ness, guitar-drums-bass-speaksinging-ness? Or do you… ‘evolve’?

The Strokes split the difference on their second album – adding a few more rhythmic twists and switching up tempos a bit more – but propelled everything with vocals apparently sung through a megaphone.

And nowhere was this half-evolution better served than on “12:51”.

It’s about getting hammered or not getting hammered, depending on the weekend, but it’s driven by a guitar treated sound like The Cars. Not unlike their metaphysical peers The White Stripes, who followed their big break by tuning a guitar to sound like a bass on “Seven Nation Army,” The Strokes threw a new wrinkle in the mix but essentially stayed true to their roots. But while “Seven Nation Army” was poised to become a marching band staple, “12:51” simply sneaks its way into your subconscious and stays there for weeks on end. Or, a timespan approaching 9 years.

So, because it never never never leaves my brain, 12:51 is a perfect effing song.

“Born with a Tail” by the Supersuckers

6 Oct

OK, this isn’t going to be easy.  Some of these perfect effing songs are the perfect effing songs by this band, at this particular time, with a number of other contenders.  The Supersuckers had me with their cover of “Dead Homiez.”  Further, they killed me with “Creepy Jackalope Eye,” and those lyrics: “is it so hard to imagine?  Is it so hard to believe?  Is it too outrageous, is it too far-fetched, well how ’bout Adam and Eve?”  Nice.  That, and they embody a completely midwest form of punk fucking rock.  Punk that completely embraces the whiskey-drinkin’, jail stint in-betweenin’, hellbound kinda country championed by Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, etc.  When I saw the Supersuckers live for the first time, (in Portland, OR, at the now sadly-defunct La Luna) not only did they knock my socks on their ass, but, and I say this rarely, the crowd freaking ruled.  Skinheads in cowboy boots.  Punks w/ cowboy hats.  Heshers in whatever.  I actually low-tenned a guy after the second encore.  He picked me up from the pit.  I low-tenned him.  That’s the closest to fucking Woodstock I’ve ever been.

Anyway, again, it’s hard to choose.  But “Born with a Tail” wins, b/c of its hardass blatant joy in breaking every single rule, and its blatant disregard for any comeuppance.  While perverting everyone else.  Were there a Mount Rushmore of kicking fucking ass, Eddie Spaghetti would be on it.  Instead of Teddy Roosevelt, I’m thinking.

And if that’s not enough, and you want to see a real fucking rock and fucking roll band play the perfect fucking song, here.  You can thank me later.

“Cargo Culte” by Serge Gainsbourg

30 Sep

The story is that (the underaged) Melodie Nelson dies in a plane crash, and this is her lover’s desperate call to her ghost.  It’s all slinky, gut-deep basslines, angelic choirs, and ripped-up guitars.  Whispered desperate lyrics.  It’s simultaneously sexy and holy.  It’s perverse.  It drips down your spine.  It’s heaven and hell.   You FEEL the jungle, the lust, the loss, the transcendence.

People have tried, but nobody’s done it better.  This happened in 1971, but it hasn’t really happened yet.

(Sorry I can’t provide the real video, from the movie.  They didn’t allow embedding.  Still, you should go see it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwyY9vlFJA0)

“Hands Off Me” by Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

23 Sep

This is one of those songs that said all the right things at the right time.  I bought the album on vinyl from Full Moon Records in Traverse City (before it become New Moon Records; either way, RIP).  I played it on my roommate’s turntable.  I had girl problems, I had job problems, I had every kinda problem, I had 100 problems (b/c a bitch was one (apologies, but I can’t fuck w/ Jay-Z)).  “Hands Off Me” fit that hole in my heart and guts; “Hands Off Me” made me feel OK, for a while.

“Kids” by MGMT

14 Sep

I’ll admit I’m maybe not the most musically literate, at least when it comes to what things are called, musically.  Regardless, in this case, I think it’s a phrase.  I can’t even describe it (the best I can do is “doot-d00t-doot-doot-doot-doot-doot-doot-dooooooooooo-doooooooot,” which isn’t helping anyone).  But you know what I’m talking about.  It’s the earworm that puts other earworms to shame.  It’s like it came out of a fucking egg, this thing.  Add that to the MDMA-cognizant “EEEEEEEE” emphasis and the lyrics that maybe mean a lot but also maybe mean nothing, and you have a song that’ll be on permanent loop once the Alzheimer’s hits.  And probably long before that.

“Party at Ground Zero” – Fishbone

13 Sep

Guest Post by Bill Zoyes

The first time that I ever heard Fishbone I knew that it was special. So much energy! How could all of this noise be coming out of my speakers? I was in high school and was lucky to have older, cooler friends that clued me in to what was hip. Within a couple of years I had a ska band started and was playing as fast and loudly as I could. My hearing is still messed up, but it was worth it.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.