Music is a medication. Many of you no doubt know this. I don’t want to sound like some new age douche bag, but when I find myself in a bad mood, unless it can serve a purpose* I try to counter it instead of wallowing in it. I’ve mentioned here before the fact that it is apparently a clinical fact that by smiling you release chemicals in your brain that will lighten your mood. But sometimes that’s just not enough, right? So music is with me at all other times and I use it sometimes to elevate those endorphin levels in order to avoid going all Michael Douglas in Falling Down**:
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists: All Ted Leo is awesome and most of it is uplifting, but this particular song, man, the first time I heard it I was driving really fast in Ohio in a friend’s car and she turned this up to what seemed like it must have been as loud as the stereo could go and we just flew through the night and on to adventure and every time I’ve heard it since it lifts my spirits and makes me smile.
The Sex Pistols: They changed the world with twelve songs. Twelve. Freakin’. Songs. This one always makes me smile because yeah, sometimes I do get the feeling I’ve been cheated, but never from the Pistols (well, not from this album, if you bought anything after, you were cheated. Malcolm counted on it).
Mr. Bungle covering Billy Squire’s The Stroke. It was quite some time before I discovered what the actual song was here – if you know it you’ll see why. Patton and crew totally deconstruct this stupid jogging-pants-and-tank-top icon of all that was ever wrong with music in the 80’s and turn it into something that, frankly, kinda scares the hell outta me. I don’t want to post a link to the original, but if you look it up and A & B these, your jaw might just drop.
The Jesus Lizard. What can be said? Nothing a bottle of bourbon and a roll of duct tape can’t simplify. This is one of my many favorites because we all know some MB’s:
Finally, let’s talk about Liz Phair. Many people not of age in the 90’s when Ms. Phair debuted would never today believe that she was once a bastion of good indie rock. I didn’t love everything she did, but I still LOVE the Stones-esque simplicity of this tune. Oh yeah, she was also freakin’ gorgeous!!!
Okay, see? New Age or No Wave, eh? I’m off to meditate the only way I know how – with a 6 Pack of good beer and some of these wonderful tunes.
* Because as our friend Mr. John Lydon reminds us, “Anger is an Energy”.
** Funny story: I saw Falling Down back in the 90’s when it first came out. I remembered it being a good movie (heh). About a year and a half ago I was talking to some friends and found out they’d not seen it. A week or so later we rented it and had them over. Then, as the credits began to roll at the beginning of the film, the second I saw Joel Schumacher’s name attached to the word ‘Director’ I suddenly had a massively horrible feeling. I knew immediately that my memory had been wrong and that although there were key scenes I remembered as being good and memorable, over all it was going to replay before me as a total piece of shit. And it did, beginning with the ridiculous set-up for Robert Duvall’s character Detective Prendergast – you know, the old McBain paradigm (as I like to call it) ‘Yeah, worked hard and had a lotta close calls on the force but tonight I’m gonna retire, make steaks with the wife and live happily ever after. Just as soon as I take this one last case…’.
Someone tell me how it is possible that Mr. Schumacher was able to make a film as awesome as Flatliners and then suck forever after???