Music is so subjective.
I like punk. I like rock (I dislike country, the kind of country that Rascal Flats pumps out and calls country – Johnny Cash, fucking A, that’s Country and Western), I like alternative.
In the spirit of TheRobRogers, I have begun the Ideal Alternative list. It is a thread; I’ll post a few songs at a time - this first post has five songs - that have touched me throughout my formative years.
(At the end of this thread is the Video Friday nugget – wait for it, you’ll like it).
Hell, I’m even going to give the final compellation away to five lucky readers (you tremble – and you should).
As TheRobRogers so eloquently said:
“I make a list of perfect pop songs, the idea being that for the listener there are a handful of songs that don't have a wasted lyric, a missed note, nothing. They are perfect. I'll post two or three at a time, updating this thread frequently. Because I know every last one of you is eager, eager, eager to know what songs out there I consider perfect.”
I just do it alternatively. I poured over my CD collection, and here’s what I came up with.
(I dunno about wasted lyrics and the like, but I do so like these
“Blister in the Sun,” Violent Femmes. It is the seminal song of
the 1980s (and it’s not about masturbation – Gordon Gano has
small hands, and was teased in high school; it’s a song he wrote
for a girl he had a crush on). You cannot listen to this song and not get a smile on your face. And crank the volume. You’ll thank me for it.
“Supernova,” Liz Phair, “Whip-Smart.” OK, sure, “Exile in
Guyville” is a better overall CD, but I just like the energy of “Supernova.” Phair suffers from super-hyper stage fright. I saw
her once in Chicago where the Galaxy 500 opened for her. Impressive show. And what can you say about these lyrics: “Your eyelashes sparkle like gilded grass; and your lips are sweet and slippery like a cherub's bare wet ass.” Wow.
The Feelies, “It's Only Life.” This Hoboken, N.J. band influenced
R.E.M. Ba-Jeezus, that’s saying something. This is the lead track of their major label debut (on A&M) and they just don’t disappoint: "What does it mean? What can you do about it? What can you say? You don't even know about it Nobody talks Nobody listens Well look around Yeah look out your window They're having a ball Having a party Well come inside You can do what you like Well it's a nightmare It's all negative Nothing matters And what if it did? You could lock your doors Close all your windows and Hide away... It's only life..."
Hoodoo Gurus, “What’s My Scene,” “Blow Your Cool.” This spot was a toss-up between the Australians and the Canadian power-pop band The Pursuit of Happiness. Hoodoo Gurus win out on lyrics alone: "Now the stage is set, Where's my Juliet, baby? Is it maybe, My Midsummer Night's Dream?"
The Replacements, “Can’t Hardly Wait” (the “Pleased to Meet Me” version). There are at least two versions of this song (there are four versions on my iPod), but I use the “Please to Meet Me” version as this is the best ‘Mats album for the unwashed to get into the band. Since “Pleased to Meet Me” already had the suicide anthem “The Ledge” on it, the record company asked that the lyrics be changed. If you can get a copy of “Can’t Hardly Wait” from the “Tim” demo sessions, consider yourself lucky. It’s the better version, I think.
The ‘Mats actually played on Saturday Night Live (Harry Dean Stanton was the host), and their drunken performance in 1986 was something of a big deal (they where banned from the show). As one critic said: “The band roared through a take-no-prisoners version of ‘Bastards Of Young’ in the first segment, and then, after everybody in the band had changed into each others' clothes, returned for a passionate rendition of ‘Kiss Me On The Bus,’ the highlight of which came when Bob Stinson strummed his guitar exactly when he was supposed to. Why was that such a big deal? Because during both songs, the band members were mouthing
profanities into the camera, stumbling into each other, falling down, dropping their instruments, and generally behaving like the apathetic drunks they were. The fact that they still hit all the notes was miraculous, and, to quote a later Replacements song,
I watched that show, and loved it.
While the band was banned, lead man Paul Westerberg was invited on SNL in 1993. Everyone (including myself) figured he’d sing stuff off his solo CD (in the first segment he sang, “Knocking on Mine.”), but followed it up with this very cool version of “Can’t Hardly Wait.” You'll have to go here to watch, as the embedded function of this video has been disabled (whatever that means).
And for Video Friday, here's the HooDoo Gurus and "What's My Scene" (it'll make you nostalgic for the time when MTV actually played music videos):
RailRiders Hiking Shirt Raffle: Favorite Foods After a Hike
49 minutes ago