Wow! It sure has been a long time since I wasted your time with a random playlist from the bowells of my finicky iPod, so today seems like the perfect time to do so. The typical rules apply: I hit shuffle and then explain myself. I don’t get to skip tracks and I don’t get to edit out “embarrasing” selections. I, being a man of honor, embrace the fact that I have some not-so-savory tracks in my library. Let the games begin!
1. Dethklok – Kill You
What is there to not love about Dethklok? They’re metal, they’re from Mordhaus and they’re cartoons. I love this song because it starts out with an epic drum solo and then launches right into one damn catchy guitar riff. How can you not adore a song that has “Na Na Na Na” all through it while, at the same time exclaiming “Like to smash all your brains with a vase.” That, people, is talent.
2. Smashing Pumpkins – Tristessa
Ahh, Gish era Pumpkins. B0lly wasn’t completely apeshit crazy and, to my knowledge, no members were dead or in jail (Note to self: don’t forget to tell D’arcy to “hold her horses” next time you see her). Anyhoo, Tristessa is just about as core to Gish as it gets. The lyrics are typical early-90’s fare. I still love this stuff.
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Higher Ground
The Chili Peppers cover Stevie Wonder. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. In fact, musicians and scientists, alike, should use this track to calibrate instruments of all varieties. Following the Pumpkins with this makes me a very happy man.
4. The Crash That Took Me – Two Yellow Suns
I love Crash. It’s really not hard to believe that I would considering the makeup of the band and/or their music. This shit is just solid and “Two Yellow Suns” is damn perfection. I’m often afraid to ask Dylan where these lyrics come from, but I have got to remember to make an exception for this one. I have a sneaking suspicion there is some base in tiki drinks, but I could be wrong.
5. KMFDM – Vogue
It is almost single-handedly KMFDM’s fault that my hearing sucks. I’m not bitter, it’s just a statement of truth. Too many times in college and after, I’d end up way too close to the stacks at a KMFDM show in some state of inebriation screaming lyrics at the top of my lungs. Those were some of the best shows I’ve ever seen and “Vogue” is one of those fan faves that has evolved quite well through the years.
6. Nine Inch Nails – The Day The World Went Away
Ahh, the iPod is in a “clumping” mood this morning. During my “formative” late-adolescent years, Nine Inch Nails and KMFDM were two of my absolutely favorite. I like this track because it is short, sweet and has one of the best “droney bits” I’ve ever heard.
7. They Might Be Giants – Mr. Klaw
Ahh, the Johns emulate the Velvets. I like this one. Silly and short.
8. Centro-Matic – Supercar
Mr. Will Johnston is a genius and a national treasure. Centro-Matic is one of those bands that I get annoyed when their shows don’t sell out. “Supercar” is pretty typical Centro-Matic fare. I do have to say, however, that any and all Centro-Matic, Will solo efforts and/or South San Gabriel live performances are better with beer and BBQ. If you happen to be outside rural Goldthwaite, TX (there’s not really an “urban” Goldthwaite, TX, so I’m not sure why I feel I need to qualify “rural”), all the better.
9. NOFX – Franco Un-American
NOFX is one of those bands that I can’t help but to love. Sure, I’ve missed their last seven live shows here in Dallas, but damn I love these guys. Half-political, half-goofy and all drunk, it’s a total party. This particular version of “Franco Un-American” came off of their recent live release They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live, so, as per normal, Fat Mike took some liberties with the lyrics. Following the song is an excellent rant on some kid for yelling out “Jerry Garcia.” It just has to be enjoyed on your own. Little tiny Nutzies.
10. Blur – My Ark
A gem off of Blur’s 10 Year Anniversary Box Set. Originally one of the b-sides to “Chemical World,” I’d kinda ignored “My Ark” until it came out in this box set. It’s got a really great swirly guitar part that really identifies it as a Modern Life is Rubbish-era track. Brings back some interesting memories of bad beer and good conversation in tiny Waco, TX apartments.
11. Ennio Morricone – The Desert
I’ve said it a couple of times in other posts, but I have a Western problem. I’ve seen hundreds of terrible Westerns and a remarkably small subset of good ones. This amazing track of Ennio Morricone’s is from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, one of my favorites. What I like about this track, and most of Morricone’s work, is that it really draws the emotion in exceedingly well. I’ve never watched a Sergio Leone movie on mute, but I’m guessing they aren’t nearly as good without Morricone’s score.
12. Mark Kozelek – Rock ‘N’ Roll Singer
Crazy Koz does an AC-DC cover and nails it (per usual). I’ve written about my adoration of Mr. Kozelek before, but I honestly can’t say enough. I wish Mark constantly came through Texas, because I would (and have) gladly travel all over this state to see him. This cover nails it.
13. The Cherry Cokes – Making a Living With You
Ahh, my beloved Cherry Cokes. Japan seems to make a good living off of creating marketable novelties in all genres of everything. While the Cherry Cokes definitely fall into this brash and general categorization, I just don’t feel comfortable lumping these guys in with Pokemon and Chef Morimoto. As per usual, I can’t especially tell if this song is being sung in English or Japanese (why do I always feel so damn racist when I type that out), but the “traditional” Irish-y punk sound is still striking and excellently executed. It is harder than hell to find releases from the Cherry Cokes, so I’d suggest you grab anything you run across.
14. Social Distortion – Don’t Take Me For Granted
Mike Ness is another one of those individuals who I have looked up to for a very long time. Over the course of the past twenty years, I’ve been very fortunate to have seen Social D perform many many times. I’ve been at good shows and I’ve been at a couple really terrible shows, but I always come back for more. “Don’t Take Me For Granted” is a relatively new track in their catalog, but really has the rips and riffs that hearken back to the early releases. Social D has a new record coming up that I have heard nothing from. I’m ready for it!
15. The Dead Milkmen – Tugena
Filler track!!!!! This five and a half minutes of lo-fi “practice” material and sampled gibberish is the perfect wrap-up to today’s playlist. All manner of bands have dropped a track on the end of their records, but this is one that I can actually listen to. It’s useless, mindless and makes absolutely zero sense. Much like me.