Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No More 920 Bus

Today I've been dreading for a while now. The city has seen fit to discontinue the 920 Express Bus which only makes these stops between Koreatown and Santa Monica: Vermont, Western, Fairfax, Beverly, Westwood, 4th Street. I get on an empty bus at Vermont, by Western it's full, it empties and slightly refills at Westwood, and 4th Street is the end of the line. The official reasoning is that the line isn't necessary and not enough people use it. But since it is fucking packed every day I don't get it.

So now I get the joy of the 720 Local instead. It has already made a number of stops before I get on at Vermont so it isn't empty and I am not assured a seat. It stops every few blocks. I can't tell you how disheartening this prospect is. The only upside is that I will be spending MUCH more time on the bus now so my "Listen To My Whole iPod Once Through On Random Project" will end quicker than I originally thought.

The first few songs on today's list, though, I actually listened to YESTERDAY at my daily lunch workout at the YMCA.

20. Murder Game - P$C from 'Hustle & Flow'

This is a great soundtrack. Great movie. If the music wasn't GREAT and I mean GREAT the movie would be TERRIBLE. Because you have to believe in the power of D-Jay as a rap artist or else it is an exercise in delusion. This is one of those Dirty South criminal anthems that have you tapping your toes and furtively looking over your shoulder to make sure there isn't a cold blooded killer standing there with a gun and a smile on his face.

21. Blueberry Hill - Louie Armstrong from 'All-Time Greatest Hits'

Being a kid who loved blueberries with an unadulterated passion, I always thought this song was about blueberries. That the hill was covered with blueberries and THAT was Louie's thrill.

22. Going Down - Ani DiFranco from 'Dilate'

I am truly conflicted about Ani DiFranco. From moment to moment I alternately love her and am 100% annoyed. Her guitar playing is instantly recognizable and unique, her singing occasionally rivals the worst bullshit you see in self-indulgent acting classes. Her lyrics are intricate and heartbreaking, her delivery of same reminds me of a stand-up comedian trying to do Hamlet. Oh, Ani, you confuse me so.

23. Alright Hear This - The Beastie Boys from 'Ill Communication'

I saw The Beastie Boys do the Lollapalooza tour in 1994. I still think they are the reason why Smashing Pumpkins have slid to the dustbin of our collective memory. Some genius had the idea that The Beastie Boys weren't the headliners. Smashing Pumpkins had to follow this frenetic frenzied instrument switching hyperactive pranksters and it was as if an angry waiter dumped a turd into my bowl of sugar cereal. People started streaming out of the fairgrounds in droves, preferring to hit the port-a-potty so they could get out of there to listening to one-note Johnny and the My-Life-Is-So-Hards.

24. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Demo) - Nirvana from 'With The Lights Out (Disc 2)'

My workout ended just as this song began and I have to admit that I thought I'd just skip it the next morning when I got back on the bus. But I found myself listening to it this morning with a new found sense of awe. This band in its raw unfiltered state was truly something to behold.

25. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing - Stevie Wonder from 'Innervisions'

I discovered this album in college and went crazy for it. Still going crazy for it.

26. Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks from 'The Ultimate Collection (Disc 1)'

Terry Reid. Broke my heart singing this song at Big Mondays.

27. Drain You - Nirvana from 'From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah'

And here they go again. A tsunami of melody trapped inside one of those giant machines that crush cars in junkyards.

28. I'm Not There - Buffalo Tom from 'Let Me Come Over'

Sorry guys, following 'Drain You' this sounds like a piece of cotton candy blowing away in a light breeze. It's actually a great song but in this case you're like Smashing Pumpkins following The Beastie Boys. Nothing could follow 'Drain You'.

29. Uptight (Everything's Alright) - Stevie Wonder from 'For Once In My Life/Uptight'

Joy on wheels.

30. Stranger In Moscow - Michael Jackson from 'HIStory (Disc 2)'

Even his capitalization of HIS in HIStory is weird. HIS tory? What's a tory, Michael? What the FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? The thing that fascinates me about this guy is how personal and weird his music is...

It is either a massive diversionary tactic of musical propaganda designed to make me stop believing he liked little boys or it's...nope, it's a massive diversionary tactic of musical propaganda designed to make me stop believing he liked little boys.

31. Good Day - Paul Westerberg from 'Open Season Soundtrack'

Another weird non-success/success story for Mr. Westerberg. This song first appeared on his album 'Eventually' which was ignored on a giant scale by fans and newcomers alike. It's inclusion on this soundtrack is perfect thematically, his other songs on the album are hilarious ('Right To Arm Bears'???) but 'Lion King' it ain't. The kids probably wondered why a guy with a cold was singing alongside Ashton Kutcher.

32. I Typed For Miles - Jets To Brazil from 'Orange Rhyming Dictionary'

Sand and heat is bad for heartbreak. They don't believe in the mirage that has lingered in front of them for so long out there on the plain of desert. Where they came from is better than where they'll wind up but it is all diminishing returns so why not just keep moving forward?

33. The Fool On The Hill - The Beatles from 'Magical Mystery Tour'


34. Sometimes It's You - Jack Logan from 'Bulk (Disc 1)'

This is fine but I am bored.

35. War - Big Boi from 'Speakerboxx'

Sleek and scary.

36. Lovin' You Lots And Lots - The Norm Wooster Singers from 'That Thing You Do!'

Tom Hanks!!!

37. Love - Destiny's Child from 'Destiny Fulfilled'

When we were doing the West Coast Premiere of 'Diverting Devotion', Melody and I were acting together in extremely painful scenes. To counter this emotional drudgery, we listened to Destiny's Child in the car on the way to the theater.

38. Spin The Black Circle - Pearl Jam from 'Vitalogy'

Listen to Husker Du much? Every time I hear this riff it sounds like song number thirteen on 'Zen Arcade' and I get excited. Then Eddie starts looking in the mirror and trying to cry and it gets old real fast.

39. Emancipation - Prince from 'Emancipation (Disc 3)'

Mr. Numerology released all three discs and made sure each had 12 songs and lasted exactly 1 hour each. What that means I have no idea but this song is funky.

40. Backstreets - Bruce Springsteen from 'Born To Run'

I've written about my feelings about the E Street Band before. I don't believe a note of what they play except on 'Born In The U.S.A.' because he wasn't asking them to be some BAND, they were just players executing the music to the best of their ability. Bruce seems to want to be in The Rolling Stones but really he's more like Bob Seeger to Silver Bullet. Stop pretending you're in The Clash when you are a solo artist.

41. Wayfaring Stranger - Eva Cassidy from 'Songbird'

I love this song. She overdoes it a bit.

42. In The Fade - Queens Of The Stone Age from 'Rated R'

With Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees lending his eerie bleak croon to the QOTSA whirlpool, a whole new vortex of sound opens up. The stoner reputation they have means they are not taken seriously enough which I suppose is fine with them but history will be much more appreciative. This is complex deep dark stuff.

Later today I'll get back on the 720 local and continue my quest.

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