Thirty Days of Music: #21

“day 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happy.”

Compared to anger, happiness is a relatively simple emotion: it doesn’t need analysis or observation, it simply is.  What else can you say when you are happy, other than affirm it and live it?  This is a song I listen to when I am happy.

(POSSIBLE SPOILERS: If you intend to watch The Wire, which you should, I’d recommend you not watch the below.  This is the closing montage for season 2.)

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Thirty Days of Music: #20

“day 20 – a song that you listen to when you’re angry.”

It’s taken a long time to get my anger under control.  For a long time, I let it dominate me, and let it influence how I acted out on things, and regrettably, people.  I’ve embarrassed myself and done things I wish I could take back when I’m angry.  But facing up to that realization has enabled me to start getting it under control, and hopefully those closest to me would agree.  Personal things don’t get me angry hardly at all anymore.  I know myself well enough, and how best to handle stresses and challenges, to make sure I don’t fly off the handle at the little things.

When I do get angry now, it’s usually over the big things.

The big things are usually so big, that there’s no one person to get angry at, or to blame.  So on the one hand, it makes for a lot of impotent, fist-shaking rage at problems so huge that I can’t hope to solve them myself.  You know, things like blowing up entire mountains to get at a seven-inch seam of coal, or hunting whales to grind them into dog food as part of an international politics pissing match, or maybe any one of myriad instances of the strong and powerful taking advantage of the weak, near and far, on small scales and huge.  These are the things that make me furious, and get my blood boiling.  Injustice.

So, when faced with a culture that so often tacitly accepts, or even sometimes encourages such behaviors, it trips the nihilist nerves in my body.  I start to gravitate towards the music that rejects and negates e  very assumption about modern society.  So ever since I was a teenager, that would be Atari Teenage Riot.  Nothing says ‘senseless negation’ and ‘bumper sticker politics’ like this, but when I’m full of rage, it speaks to me.  Still does.

Thirty Days of Music: #18

“day 18 – a song that you wish you heard on the radio.”

For my money, I think Infectious Organisms is some of the best hip-hop I have ever heard.  Period.  I’m so pissed that I missed out on them when I was in college in the early-2000s in Richmond, because they were frequently touring and playing in the area.  I just wasn’t ready for them at the time.  But when you’re ready for Infectious, Infectious is ready for you, so please indulge if you haven’t heard them before.  Truly awesome music.

Thirty Days of Music: #16 (out of order, oops)

“day 16 – a song that you used to love but now hate.”

Well that’s easy.  On the bus to and from 7th grade, during the age of the Walkman, this was the time for illicit rocking out during the school day.  At the time, I really didn’t have any cassettes of my own, didn’t have my own radio, nothing.  So when I got my first listen to Metallica’s black album, I was automatically transformed.  At that time, musically, I was a piece of putty.  Whatever you put into my ears, I was probably going to like.  And Metallica got to me first.

But I absolutely cannot listen to the black album anymore, for several reasons.  First and foremost, is the merciless over-playing I committed on myself.  For a solid year, I listened to nothing, absolutely nothing, but this album on cassette.  Nothing else.  I don’t care if I never hear it again at this point.

Second, after hearing their other albums (Ride the Lightning, And Justice for All, Master of Puppets) why would I waste my time on this album anymore?  They had way better stuff than this.  Let it be consigned to the ash-heap of memory where it belongs.

Thirty Days of Music: #17

What happened to #16?  WordPress deleted it and my draft, and I’m not rewriting it, so we’re gonna move on.  Fuck you very much, WP.  But I digress.

“day 17 – a song that you hear often on the radio.”

I recently took a road trip to Nashville, and had a great time there.  In deference to my lady’s wishes, and in the spirit of embracing the musical genre that is so tied to Nashville, I rocked the country radio stations all the way to Tennessee and back.  Country really hasn’t been my thing, usually.  There’s lots of good stuff out there, no doubt, but a lot of it gets swallowed up by the poppy, the jingo, the brainless, and the irritating.  Only occasionally did we find stations that embraced the long history of country western, and I relished it when we did.  In the meantime, I got a full dose of modern pop country for five days.

The thing about country is, I love the aesthetics that it brings out for me.  I picture wide open spaces, dusty neon-lit bars, lakes and rivers and mountains.  I hear lots of songs about friends, family, drinkin’ and having fun, enjoying life.  That’s what I’m all about.  So I should like the music more, and as I keep listening to it, I just might.

But not all of it.  One song that stuck out to me was the below one.  I find it annoying, and only more so through repetition.  I still hear it a lot back home.  I find myself changing up the lyrics to make it more laughable, especially considering the refrain: “I (x) (x) with the farmer’s daughter.”  The possibilities are endless, believe me.

Thirty Days of Music: #15

Yeah, I’ve been slacking lately, I know.  It was my birthday, but now it’s not, so I should be back to posting on the semi-regular.  I’m not going to flood you, mythical reader, with a ton of content to catch up to the thirty days.  Don’t want anything lost in the shuffle.  So let’s just take it as we come, and go from here, with that distance behind us.  OK.  Now then.

“day 15 – a song that describes you.”

African Dope is a pretty, uh, dope record label out of Cape Town, South Africa.  Lots of pretty compelling hip-hop and electronica coming out of them, and some pretty cutting-edge design and promotional ideas.  I think they really get it on how to survive and thrive in this new post-modern, mass-culture, niche-market world.

I heard this song sometime back in 2006 or 2007, living in Missouri, a long way from Cape Town.  It spoke to me on a few levels.  For a long time, I’ve been wrestling with ways to turn my myriad ideas, concepts, and designs into something tangible that I can share with people.  It’s not out of some ego-driven desire for fame and fortune (but that’s a post for another day).  I don’t give a shit about that.  I just want to make things.  I want to take my thoughts and make them into something else, be it a drawing, painting, story or movie.  And that is what I think separates the creators from the consumers- they can turn something ephemeral into something that reaches other people.  They have the ideas, sure, but we all have ideas; they also have the self-discipline to rearrange their life to pursue their goals.  To me, this song is about getting your shit together and making it happen.  And when it pops up on random play, I get all sorts of pumped up.

Maybe I need to take it off random play and make it my alarm clock, or something.  Anyhow, enjoy.

Thirty Days of Music: #14

“day 14 – a song that no one would expect you to love.”

I’m not sure what people expect from me anymore; my tastes and preferences have changed so much over the years, even I find it a little bit schizophrenic.  But if I had to make a guess, it’d be how much I like this song, a Kylie Minogue song by way of Kid606 remix.

Thirty Days of Music: #13

“day 13 – a song that is a guilty pleasure.”

I don’t care how awful this song is.  I don’t care that it’s performed by two of the biggest slack-jawed yokels to ever have a nationwide podium, or that it’s perhaps the purest symbol of the cultural and educational decay that you can find in music today.  I don’t care about any of these things, because this song and video makes me laugh every single time.  Despite everything, it’s earnestness is refreshing.  It’s not like you can say Insane Clown Posse has ever engaged in self-censorship, but this is so far out from their usual murderous, degenerate body of work, that I have to salute them for rolling the dice on this.

That said… ‘fucking magnets.’  Hahhaahaha what a bunch of tools

Thirty Days of Music: #12

“day 12 – a song from a band you hate.”

I didn’t used to hate AFI- I loved their old stuff, namely the ‘Very Proud Of Ya’ album that (once again) Adam introduced to me.  But from that southern California mid-90s punk sound, they degenerated into that mid-00s emo-punk shitstorm that claimed so, so many.  They went commercial.  But was this more a function of me being the age I was?  Were they already commercial from the get-go, and updated their sound for maximum profit, and I attached some erroneous label of artistic integrity that never should have been there?  Possible.  But the hell with ’em anyway.  At least I got two good albums out of them.