Monday, November 22, 2010

The Best Fucking Songs Ever Part I: A list of things you should listen to. But don't.

  It has been many many moons since we found ourselves here in the hallowed halls of Rag Rants. I've been busy ya know? So I've been thinking a lot about music these days and I gotta say, everything sucks. I don't like the new "indie rock". I tried to. But I just don't like it. Way too pretentious for its own good. So that means I pretty much hate a lot of what you probably like. You have shitty taste. So I thought, I am usually pretty vocal about the stuff I hate. What about the stuff I like? Well, I have decided to list a bunch of songs that I think are the greatest songs ever. Note: I said what "I" think. That means only my opinion is going to count here. I don't care if you agree (although you should if you were cool). So. Here it is. In no particular order.

Joy Division- Love Will Tear Us Apart- So what if I start with some melancholia? Many songs on here I can sing along to. This one I can, but do not. It is way too morose for that sort of thing. Basically the last song Ian Curtis wrote before he killed himself, it's about failing relationships and basically falling apart. You know as you listen to the song that there is no happy ending. There is no getting the girl back. The song basically says life's a bitch and so was she, but with much better vocabulary usage and symbolism. When this song comes on, I have to pause whatever I'm doing until its over. I don't know why. Admittedly, nothing like what the song describes has ever really happened to me. Not to that level of intensity anyway. Still, it'll hit ya like Charlie Sheen hits porn stars.

Black Flag- Police Story- Our first of many Black Flag entries. This song is a pissed off train wreck. This song, like the one above, was written a little bit before I was born but I can only imagine what people hearing it for the first time ever must have thought. It's as relevant now as it ever was, but if I could build a time machine I'd send myself to 1980 just to hear this song live. I'm sure I would go home bleeding and sweaty, but shit I would be happy. Now granted, no cops have ever really done anything terrible to me, but I get it. I totally understand what they're saying. True story: one day I decided to listen to the entire "Damaged" album which has Henry Rollins' version of the song while driving to the supermarket. This was about three years ago maybe more. As "Police Story" came on, I suddenly became aware that a cop was pulling me over. Right as Rollins was yelling how much he hates them. Totally fucked. Also, if you are a fan of the Flag it's generally a terrible idea to listen to them while driving.

Weezer- Across the Sea- One of my favorite songs off of the nerdiest album ever written. It's also possibly the most messed up. Taken literally, it's about our hero Rivers Cuomo imagining getting together with a schoolgirl from Japan and how she touches herself at night. Yes I know. This sounds sick. But if you choose to be a rational human being and take the song for what it really is, which is an ode to not getting the one you want because there is a barrier you can't break, like a "sea", then it takes on a whole new meaning. This is the meaning I get out of the song. I think this is what the intended meaning was, although the song kind of descends into a peeping tom madness. I will admit that I go a little nuts when this comes on the IPizzle. You may see me wailing "Why areeeeeeee yoooooouuuuuuuuuuuuu soooooooooo far awaaaaaaaaaay from meeeeeeeeeeeee?" very loudly while driving on occasion. You may see me get a weird smile on my face when I sing the really creepy part, or the beginning "You are 18 year old girl who live in small city in Japan". Like I'm not really singing the lyrics but something else entirely. Like I'm remembering something that happened one time while this song was playing, or someone. Ya never know and I'm not fucking telling. Wait till we get to other songs on "Pinkerton".

The Smiths- Girlfriend in a Coma- Mozzer and the boys are gonna be on here a lot. Deal with it. This may almost be my favorite Smiths song. It's so simple yet so great. Basically it's this really sarcastic song about a girlfriend in a coma. I'm serious. The whole song Morrissey is almost hoping his girlfriend doesn't ever wake up. I read somewhere that the song is actually sort of an homage to those tragic 1960's death songs like "Leader of the Pack" or "Dead Man's Curve". Shit like that. The twist in the song being that The Moz is remembering all of their worst arguments and how he could've strangled her himself. It's because of this that I choose to interpret the song as a not too thinly veiled "I don't like the girl I'm with" song. You can almost hear him asking the doctor in the line "Do you really think she'll pull through?" Like almost like he's saying, really? are you sure? how about I give you five bucks so she doesn't wake up for a while? No? He's telling us all how serious it is, like he's guilty that maybe he should care more. It's a really morbid song if you think about it, but in a sort of humorous way. I know that doesn't make sense but fuck you I write what I want.

Dead Kennedys- When Ya Get Drafted- This song has a sort of special significance for me. It was the first real punk rock song I ever heard. It completely changed my life (or ruined it depending how you look at it). There was no turning back after this. I could never love regular radio rock again. Everything else just seemed so...I dunno "Safe" after that. There was something about that song that made me almost look around my room to make sure my mom wasn't around. Like I was going to get in trouble just for listening to this. From the anti-war lyrics to the sick, scary solo at the end, this is not a song to fuck with. Jello Biafra was never one to mince words with his lyrics, this is no exception. Instead of insinuating that maybe, perhaps corporations are the reason we fight wars with deft poetry or metaphors, he flat out says "What big business wants/big business gets/it wants a war". Boom. Just like that. Nothing is open for interpretation. The cards are laid out on the table. Play at your own risk. What it did to me was make me a lifer. Everything I listened to since (even my death metal period...don't ask) had a punk rock base. I instantly knew that I was dipping my big toe into a scary body of water. There's no getting out. Nothing I have heard since that day has been so life altering. You should let it happen to you too.

Saves The Day- At Your Funeral- I want to get this out of the way now. I hate the term "emo". I think it's a stupid nonsense word made up by stupid nonsense media people. That being said, I know that many consider this song to be "very emo". Whatever the fuck that means. This song is a constant in the rotation, just like the rest of the album it comes from. In a way, it's very much like the aforementioned "Girlfriend in a Coma". It's pretty much about a dude celebrating the day when the harlot that ruined his life croaks. I mean "at your funeral/ I will sing the requiem" or how about "lay me on the dinner table/I will be the pig/the apple in my mouth the food to celebrate your end".  It's a rollercoaster ride of emotions and feelings I guess. Either way, this was the song I used to tell people I hated when I was younger. I really didn't want to love this song as much as I did, and still do. Sometimes I still hate myself for loving it but I do and there is no denying that. I was too cool. Yet I wasn't cool at all. Cool people don't even know about this song much less have that kind of emotional response to it. Much less pretend to hate it just to maintain some sort of fake credibility that doesn't exist in the first place. I have been known to go apeshit when seeing this song played live, or when it plays on the shuffle. I know every word, drum fill, and vocal tic. I know every high and low. Sometimes I even hum the parts that got messed up on the old tape I used to have of this album. Messed up because I played the tape in my car about 7 billion times a week.  More on that later.

This concludes part one of the series. Keep reading.