Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rain Again???

This might be the wettest stretch of weather I've experienced since moving to Los Angeles in 2003. I managed to leave my umbrella at Coffee Bean as I rushed out to jump on a bus but then an angry passenger threatened the driver before we even started moving and he called the cops and kicked everyone off except the offender who was continuing to call him any number of names.

I went back inside and retrieved my umbrella and hopped on the next bus which was free of conflict. Plus the bus driver didn't make me pay again as he could see people streaming off the other bus as it morphed into a crime scene.

172. Posse In Effect - The Beastie Boys from 'Licensed To Ill'

There isn't much music made that has the sole purpose of being fun. The Beastie Boys are masters at this, making song after song that have no hint of anger, bitterness, pain, weakness, or anything resembling a negative emotion. Don't mistake this for shallowness. Willfully excluding darkness is uplifting. Plus it's got a good beat and is fun to dance to.

173. Exit Only - Fugazi from 'Steady Diet Of Nothing'

The opposite of the above, Fugazi mine very different ore. They insist on a rigorous analysis of this sorry old world we live in and then they mirror it back at us in torrents of precise abandon. Exciting, yes. Intense, yes. Fun? Not really.

174. Shadow Of A Doubt (Complex Kid) - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers from 'Damn The Torpedoes'

Tom Petty has been famous for so long that he gets taken for granted. To my mind he leaves Bruce Springsteen in the dust as the true chronicler of working class America in the latter half of the 20th century. Bruce THINKS he's doing this but what he's doing is something closer to mythology. Petty doesn't inject the wind on our faces with meaning, he just describes the dust in our eyes.

175. P.L.P. - The Mahoneys from 'Live From The 20th Century'

Perhaps the greatest band ever fronted by Brendan O'Malley in the 1990's in Rhode Island. Also the abbreviation avoids perhaps the most pretentious rock song title ever inflicted on man, 'Passed Lamenting's Past'. Yikes. Somehow it still rocks in spite of the horseshit.

176. Sweet Wine - Cream from 'The Very Best Of Cream'

Hey Cream, quit curdlin'!

177. Still Tippin' (It's A Man's World Remix) - Mike Jones from 'Hustle & Flow'

Mike JONES! I love this guy because all he has to do is repeat his name over and over again. "It's Mike JONES!" He manages to turn the most bland moniker ever worn by a rapper into some sort of rally point. I made my parents watch this movie and they loved it. If you haven't seen 'Hustle & Flow' DO IT.

178. Everybody Knows A Little Bit Of Something - King's X from 'Gretchen Goes To Nebraska'

Who can't use a little gay Christian heavy metal R&B? I personally can never get enough of it!

179. Why Can't A Man Stand Alone? - Elvis Costello from 'All This Useless Beauty'

The conceit of this album (and what Elvis album would be complete without a conceit) is that it gathers a bunch of songs that Elvis originally wrote for other people to record. Lately I'm finding myself drawn back into his catalog like a drunk shaking outside of a bar. It might not be good for me but I'm gonna do it anyway.

180. Stars Of Warburton - Midnight Oil from 'Blue Sky Mining'

Great song, great album, great band. I always find myself vaguely rejecting them the minute a song comes on and by the time it is thirty seconds in I have left judgment behind and I'm with them all the way. A strange unique success.

181. Middle Man - Living Colour from 'Vivid'

What I just wrote about Midnight Oil you can reverse for these guys. Optimism surges the minute that they run into my ears. There are great elements at play in every one of their songs. And then? It fizzles.

182. Dreamer In My Dreams - Wilco from 'Being There (Disc 2)'

This is how I like my Wilco. Loud, fast, and a little out of control. The more Brian Wilson/Pet Sounds Jeff Tweedy gets, the less I care. And I just realized that the title of this album is 'Being There'.

183. All You Need Is Love - The Beatles from '1'

Saying this is my least favorite Beatles song is like saying a certain batch of oxygen is my least favorite air. But there you have it. I have always internally rebelled against this song and its simplistic message. I find myself imagining long late night arguments between myself and John Lennon in which I ridicule this song by saying things like, "Really, John? Really? So the starving kid doesn't need food he only needs LOVE? REALLY?" To which John always shrugs his shoulders and says something like, "Did you start a band called The Beatles and change human history? I didn't think so." Which, while true, still pisses me off.

184. Wooooh, Din Din Da Doop Doop - Pimp Fu from 'First Press'

Timothy experimenting with strange boops and beeps and beats. Creepy and cool.

185. See My Friend - The Kinks from 'The Ultimate Collection (Disc 1)'

The more I listen the more I like. These guys are way underrated. Which, considering how highly rated they are, is almost preposterous.

186. I'll Wear It Proudly - The Costello Show from 'King Of America'

Okay, Elvis, I'll take you back. I will buy some new stuff of yours to love. I am sorry I've neglected you over the past decade in which you've recorded albums with opera singers, string quartets, marching bands, prison guards, goat herds, race cars, and newscasters. I'm back in, quit buggin' me.

187. Remember Me - Freedy Johnston from 'Can You Fly'

Freedy hadn't learned to sing yet. He overdoes everything, like a little kid pronouncing a difficult word for the first time. For some reason I don't have the album of his that I really love, probably because every time I hear 'Bad Reputation' I have to seek psychiatric help.

188. Professor Booty - The Beastie Boys from 'Check Your Head'

Like I said, fun.

189. Mr. Rabbit - Paul Westerberg from 'Stereo'

There is so much magic in this song you can almost see the hat it came out of.

190. Let's Do It - Joan Jett & Paul Westerberg from 'Tank Girl'

There is a history of collaboration between these two that is awesome. She recorded 'Androgynous' and he sang on a song of hers called 'Backlash'. They should be the Mick Jagger/Tina Turner of their generation but the music business failed them.

191. In The Evening - Dan Zanes from 'Family Dance'

Oh shut up. Cut your hair. Record an album for grown ups.

192. I Lost It - Lucinda Williams from 'Car Wheels On A Gravel Road'

Perfect album. SO perfect in fact that I have never bought anything else by her, even the album with the song about Paul Westerberg on it.

193. Getting In Tune - The Who from 'Who's Next'

Hearing this song so soon upon the heels of The Kinks makes me wish The Kinks would reunite to play the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Because The Who come in a distant second in this particular race.

194. Keep Fishin' - Weezer from 'Maladroit'


195. A Face In The Crowd - Tom Petty from 'Full Moon Fever'


196. Trad: Amazing Grace - Mark O'Connor from 'Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology'

Gorgeous. It makes me think of standing on the altar singing 'Amazing Grace' at the funeral of my uncle Jimmy. Who was a piece o' work as we like to say. But what O'Malley isn't?

197. Filipino Box Spring Hog - Tom Waits from 'Mule Variations'

Shocking, but the weirdness doesn't bother me on this one. I can smell the fat dripping into the fire as the pig is roasted on the spit.

198. Monday Morning - Pulp from 'Different Class'

To make a sports analogy, this album is like a perennial backup stepping in after an injury and winning the batting title. They will go back to being a back up but they had one perfect moment in the sun. Sort of makes you wonder why they can't do it every time, though.

199. Long Tall Sally - The Beatles from 'Past Masters - Volume One'

You can imagine these four guys ripping your heart out of your chest in a small club. If you took away all of the albums and were left with those four guys on a stage you still have the greatest band of all time.

200. Come Together - Michael Jackson from HIStory (Disc 2)'

Oh, Michael. This is sad. By covering this song you reveal all of your weaknesses. Your talent sounds small compared to the achievement inherent in the notes and words. Your delusion cannot hold against the onslaught of true genius and it is smashed to bits by the very song you dare to interpret.

201. Tacoland - The Dead Milkmen from Bucky Fellini


202. Sorted For E's & Wizz - Pulp from 'Different Class'

Terrifying and sad. The narrator recounts being at an outdoor music festival and being abandoned by his friends while tripping on various illicit drugs. A void of panic envelops him and he cannot grasp any meaning in anything. Is that all there is?

203. Investigative Reports - Genius/GZA from 'Liquid Swords'

Monstrously bizarre.

204. The Yet - Brendan O'Malley from 'White Walls'

Take a nap. Jesus. Whiner.

205. Stars Gone Out - Low from 'The Curtain Hits The Cast'

There is only one song on this album that I need to hear. In fact, only one song by these slow Mormons will ever be necessary to me and it is 'The Plan' which Melody and I once listened to for eight short hours straight.

206. Stardust - Rob Wasserman/Aaron Neville from 'Duets'

I know I'm supposed to love Aaron Neville but I kind of want him to cut all the bullshit and just sing. He's like a basketball player doing a fancy dunk when all he needs to do is lay it in. And while he twirls around and preens for us, time expires.

See ya tomorrow.


Jeff V said...

I've bought all of Lucinda William's albums since the perfect "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road," and have to say that you made the right choice. I keep coming back in the misguided hope that she'll someday match that slice of perfection, and I keep going away disappointed.

Brendan O'Malley said...

strange, right jeff? it's like something crazy happened...the other stuff isn't BAD it's just, that album is SO GOOD.