Archive for January, 2011

What do You Want?

What do you want? – The Mr. T Experience

Continuing our season of pop punk classics, here’s the Mr. T Experience. Brilliant and boundlessly wordsmithy Dr. Frank was as a lyricist, it is in my opinion that, although it is all so consistently marvelous, there was never a better line written than “Meet me at the laundromat, that’s where i do my laundry.”

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Below The Drop

Below the drop – Effigies

Is You Weren’t There still streaming online somewhere? That was a good document, and i would not have had such impetus to check out the Effigies and other Chicago bands (Rights Of The Accused, Da, Savage Beliefs, Negative Element) if i had not seen it. The Effigies were one of the bands that seemed to please Steve Albini, so take that as you will. More things should be made that focus on regionality and the little amazing parochial things that happen the world over. I think it is my favourite thing.

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Genuine Whiskey Man

Genuine whiskey man – Teen Idols

There has sure been a lot of pop punk here recently. Anyway, this song could not possibly be further from my life and the square choices i’ve made on how i live it. I’ve always felt funny listening to it. Another ill measure to make me feel i don’t belong. But is it even close to the lives of the Teen Idols? I know they were punk and tough and all (they liner-notes thanked their lawyers for a reason), but at the same time they were so cartoony, so caricatured, so much play acting an image, it’s hard to tell how serious they were. I hope i don’t get beat up for this, but if i do at least i’ll know then how much the image fit the living.

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Hang Up

Hang up – The Parasites

And here’s the Parasites late into the 90’s, when everything seemed to funnel into a very particular pattern for pop punk. The difference between yesterday’s song and this one should help demonstrate what i was trying to say. It even comes complete with a “whoa-oh,” but that “whoa-oh” is one of the most perfectly placed in the genre. This is probably my favourite Parasites song.

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If You Knew

If you knew – The Parasites

It’s surprising to find the range of sounds found under the pop punk umbrella before it all became so homogenised and Giorgini-ised – before there became a proper way of doing things. There was a 30-40 year history of achievable, imitable pop music to draw from and play band with, and some bands show such scholarliness and plain affect of that history. They had to create this music, no matter how disconnected their lives, means and ability were from the dreams parcelled out by those dream makers. Or indeed how similar.

This first fantastic, fantastic Parasites 7″, dated 1987, demonstrates this perfectly. It is the sound of a band wanting to be a band and doing so however they could. Plain and simple. Of course they would come to fit that samey pop punk mould as the 90’s rolled on (and would still write great songs all the while) but the sound of Lost In The 80’s – the bare sound of people in a room playing – just says so much to me about the nature and beauty of music and why it is done.

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These things happen – Action Painting!

One of the first records on Sarah i ever heard, long before i became aware of that label’s clout, its “sound” or the importance it would come to have in my life. Maybe even the absolute first. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction, despite it not really being an introduction at all. I sleep on everything. One of my favourite records Sarah released. I don’t own a copy, though.

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Hey, Soul Sister

Hey, soul sister- Train

You mean to tell me that this song is actually called Hey, Soul Sister? Jesus christ…

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Oscar’s Eye

Oscar’s eye – Gray Matter

My top however many number records released on Dischord list is too long and too unrestrained for it to actually mean anything (except that some of the greatest music in the world was released on that record label). I’m just lumping great record after great record on there, without thought to hierarchy or qualification, without kicking something off to make room for another.

One album that will forever have a place on this list, never in danger on the day i finally try to cull and make something less clumsy of it, is Food For Thought by Gray Matter. For this song alone it would make the list. The middle section, where it speeds up and Geoff Turner’s voice loses its drawl and becomes a screamed intense and direct dispatch of an unshakable ill ease with this mess of a world, makes it something truly special.

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The Polaroid Song

The Polaroid song – Allo, Darlin’

They could call this the Instax song, or even the Impossible Project song, but rest assured whatever else it could be, it would still bear a brand namedrop, referential and relatable.

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Bugs – Adrenalin O.D.

This is a song i would use to sell the (slight) superiority of HumungousFungousAmongUs over all other Adrenalin O.D. releases. The first time i heard it… At the age i was, and with the experience of this kind of music i had… Yeah. My head. My life wasted in music that is not this. It is a feeling and explosive response that persists every time i hear it.

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