Monday, July 14, 2008

The Morning After

I've just returned from a very satisfying vacation back east with the family. As I got ready for work this morning I was actually excited to get on the bus and start preparing for this post. The iPod was all charged and ready to go...

1. 'Unchain My Heart' by Ray Charles from 'His Greatest Hits, Vol. 1'

I am happy to get the chance to be one of the untold voices raised in praise of Ray Charles. There is something effortless about this song, which when taken in conjunction with the incarceration inherent in the title, elevates the song from a simple frustrated plea of unrequited love to a cosmic declaration of independence. Hyperbole is impossible when it comes to Ray Charles.

2. 'Color Me Impressed' by The Replacements from 'Hootenanny'

The opening chords descend like the gears of a semi downshifting at 100 MPH on a slicked up highway, the driver oblivious to the wreckage because he's got his face down in his lap catching his reflection off the mirror he's sniffing from, perfume from last night's debacle circling his head like a halo of disgrace, cigarette dwindling in the ashtray, Cheap Trick blaring on the 8-track, empties crunched under boot and on the leather, Funyuns upchucked a mile back.

3. 'It's Like That' by Jay-Z from 'Hard Knock Life, Vol. 2'

Either you get it or you don't. This mofo sampled Annie for chrissake. ANNIE.

4. '!!!!!!' by The Roots from 'Phrenology'

I didn't know the song had changed from 'It's Like That' because this is an odd snippet from this awesome album. I've yet to lose myself entirely in The Roots back catalog but the day is nigh.

5. 'Sliver' by Nirvana from 'Incesticide'

Lately I don't care about Nirvana at all. Maybe my zest for life has increased to the point where such endless bluster in the face of bottomless nihilism just tires me out. Shut up and do it already asshole. I haven't forgiven him yet and I need to look into that.

6. 'Newest Industry' by Husker Du from 'Zen Arcade'

A double album? A concept album? A hardcore band? The only thing that would have made this album MORE shocking when it came out in 1984 is if Mould/Hart were gay. Oh, wait, they were, we just didn't KNOW it yet. When Mould got blatantly political he was very entertaining...

'The Sun Belt's overcrowded so let's annex Mexico
The peso's only worth a dime but they've got all that land
There's no need for a civil war we know they'll understand...
You will sign up for the Newest Industry'

Great song, great album.

7. 'Kiss' by Prince from 'Parade'

Ah, Minnesota! How varied are your musical stylings! How crazy your geniuses! Seriously, this little douchebag makes a tambourine out of the sound of a blown kiss. Prince thinks he wants to dance! I'd hate to see what he'd do when he KNEW he wanted to dance. A perfect pop concoction.

8. 'Hearts for Handlebars' by The Divorce from 'Marlboro: The 2nd Sessions'

I don't remember getting this compilation but this song is on it. That's about all I'll say.

9. 'Wave of Mutilation' by The Pixies from 'Doolittle'

Weirdest classic rock band of all time.

10. 'Four Leaf Clover' by Old 97's from 'Heavy Turbulence - Music from Elektra'

Listen to X much? Another compilation, another jangly piece of crap pretending to be impassioned and underground.

11. 'Hate' by Iggy Pop from 'American Caesar'

I'm not sure what to think about Iggy Pop. This album came to me randomly. I've never gotten into The Stooges...I appreciate it but it doesn't get me where I hurt. Neither does this. I often feel like I ought to be the adult and say, 'Okay, Iggy, you can have a cookie but it's time to quiet down and go to bed.'

12. 'Paul Revere' by The Beastie Boys from 'Licensed to Ill'

It's hard to fathom how up in arms people were about The Beastie Boys. They really pissed people off. I mean across the board. The black rap culture was furious that a trio of white boys (jews at that!) were the biggest thing in the land. The white rock culture regressed to just after the Reconstruction and wondered why any white boys (jews at that!) would be caught dead performing that slave music. The feminist culture was shocked that these teenagers were obsessed with their tits. The moral majority...anyhoo, you get the point. No wonder they sold a bazillion records.

13. 'Another One Bites the Dust' by Queen from 'Greatest Hits'

The opening salvo of this song is a sweet kick in the groin. It's a sparring match between gonads and musical instruments where the loser is expected to lather the winner up with baby oil and make all their twisted little fantasies come true. Hint: No one ever loses.

14. 'Ain't That Lovin' You Babe' by Link Wray from 'Rumble! The Best of Link Wray'

If you think The White Stripes are raw you need to get a load of this guy. Link Wray's 'Rumble' caused RIOTS when it was released in the 50's. He was banned...what was he saying that was so shocking that his song was protested and censored?

It's an instrumental.

15. 'About a Girl' by Nirvana from 'Bleach'

Here we go again. Seriously, I am in full-on anger mode at this little jackass who made me care so much and then pulled the plug on himself. Great song, though.

16. 'How Do Ya'll Know' by Harry Connick, Jr. from 'Star Turtle'

If you think you know Harry Connick, Jr. then you need to listen to 'Star Turtle'. This album is WEIRD with a capital freak. Harry adopts strange personalities, electronic sounds zoom in and out, guitars blaze, beats pop, and legends arise. This is Harry's 'White Album'.

17. 'Beautiful Machine Parts 1-2' by Apples in Stereo from 'New Magnetic Wonder'

I turned off the iPod right after this song started so I don't have an opinion on it. If it comes up in a future shuffle, I'll expound.

Oh, and today is my birthday.


siobhan said...

i love your new blog format, bren. i love hearing your opinions on music! hope you had a good class last night and good rest of your bday.

Brendan O'Malley said...

thanks! it is a blast writing this way. i think i like it because i don't have to choose the subject!