I was tagged for this by the incomparable Don over at Dons’tuff several months ago. This will undoubtedly be quite a bit longer than Don intended, but my OCD problem makes me feel compelled to explain everything. I know this is supposed to be a book blog, but music can be wonderfully poetic, so I think this is permissable. Anyway, who doesn’t love music? Here goes:
A – Alice in Chains
My favorite song is Rooster, which is about Vietnam:
“…Aint found a way to kill me yet,
Eyes burn with stinging sweat,
Seems every path leads me to nowhere.
Wife and kids, household pet
Army green was no safe bet,
The bullets scream to me from somewhere…”
The band broke up after the their lead singer died of a heroin overdose in 2002. As far as I know, they’ve reformed with a new lead. I haven’t heard any of their new songs yet.
B – Bush
Gavin Rossdale is an amazing singer.
Bush broke up in 2001 or 2002, but I continue to listen to them when the mood strikes. Also, Rossdale is an Alan Ginsberg fan, and my favorite Bush song, “Machinehead” is loosely based on “Howl,” Ginsberg’s seminal poem of the ’60’s era of drugs and decadence. Here’s my favorite part:
“Deaf dumb and thirty
Starting to deserve this,
Leaning on my conscious wall.
Blood is like wine,
Unconscious all the time.
If I had it all again
I’d change it all.”
Gavin is now married to Gwen Stefani, and their baby boy is named “Zuma Nesta Rock.” Poor kid! I think he should sue his idiotic parents for undue pain and suffering when he gets older! I may not like Gavin’s recent lifestyle choices, but I still appreciate his music.
Click here to view a video of “Machinehead:”
C – The Clash
I remember how amazed I was the first time I heard the opening chords to “Train in Vain.” I’d never heard anything quite like that before. It was a secret track on “London Calling,” their best album by far. I still listen to them, especially when I’m kind of bummed. Their music lightens my mood, even though they sing about destruction and alienation and heartbreak. It’s their distinctive sound that does it for me.
“…The kids in the halls and the pipes in the walls
Make me noises for company.
Long distance callers make long distance calls
And the silence makes me lonely.
And it’s not here
I’m all lost…” (From “Lost in the Supermarket” 1979)
D – Daft Punk
I’m a closet electronica fan, and Daft Punk represents the best of the best. I listen to “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” often, and it’s my current cellphone ringtone. In case you don’t know who they are, here’s a video of the song. (There are tons of variations of this song on youtube).
E – The Eels
This is a smart geeky indy band which began as the brainchild of Mark Everett many years ago. I love the way their breezy instrumentals totally contradict the serious nature of their lyrics. The Eels are a true original in every respect. Here are some lyrics from “Susan’s World:”
“Down by the Donut Prince a fifteen year old boy lies on the sidewalk
With a bullet in his forehead.
In a final act of indignity the paramedics take off all his clothes
For the whole world to see while they put him in the bag.
Meanwhile an old couple argues inside the Queen Bee
The sick fluorescent light shimmering on their skin…”
Mark Everett has just published an autobiography.
I’d like to read it, but I don’t think I have the time.
F – Flogging Molly
This eclectic Irish punk/folk/rock band has been around since 1997. They’re totally different than any other group out there, and they’ve continued to improve with each passing year. Their latest album, Float (2008) is my favorite. I hope they stick around for a long time.
“Puncture the skin and see his blood run cold on desert sand,
Come hear the meant for mothers with childless hands,
As the days do come, but the years do go,
So take care of your freedom–you’ll never know,
Take good care of your freedom–you’ll never know. (The Lightning Storm, 2008)