THE FOUR BEST PIXIES SONGS EVER

Foreward: What you are about to read is fact. I have listened to the Pixies every day for the last 13 years in order to bring you this highly valuable information. There can be no other “best Pixies songs”  This is it. It’s official. I’m getting it tattooed on my face. I’m carving it into the pyramids. I’m sealing it into a time capsule with a photo of my dog, some Hostess Sno-Balls, and a newspaper from last Tuesday. 

1. Letter to Memphis

Why it’s the best: It’s extremely romantic. The guitars wail like a crying baby in a way so much more lovely than an actual crying baby. Undeniably catchy chorus while maintaining signature Pixies discordance.

Best lyric: “Used to be that my head was haunted / And all these sirens they make me mad / And all this violence it brings me down / I feel strong, I feel lucky / Trying to get to you”

2. Tame

Why it’s the best: The Pixies pioneered the whole quiet/super loud/quiet format that Nirvana and a bunch of your other favorite stupid bands ripped off, and this band is some of their best implementation of it. The weird heavy breathing part, enough said. Plus, the chorus is as tough as nails—more like a werewolf in a bad mood armed with two nail guns. Watch fans absolutely losing their minds to it above.

Best lyric: “Fall on your face in those bad shoes / Lying there like you’re TAAAAAAAME”

3. Velouria

Why it’s the best: Probably the best lyrics of any Pixies song, for starters, and excellent usage of Kim Deal’s vocals.  Also, the soaring bridge and übertriumphant final chorus.

Best lyric: “Hold my head / we’ll trampoline / finally through the roof / on to somewhere near and far in time”

4. Monkey Gone to Heaven

Why it’s the best: Highly conceptual anthem about some sort of Satanic primate abduction; what’s not to like? I read somewhere that “This monkey’s gone to heaven” was just supposed to be a placeholder lyric until Frank thought of something better, but could you really imagine any other words in their place? I guess he couldn’t either. Also, the perfectly executed reverb/echo on the part “If GOD is seven, then GOD is seven.”

Best lyric: “Rock me, Joe!”

BE A TOTALLY INSANE PERSON: WEAR HEAD-TO-TOE HOLOGRAM

Although most of us are content dressing in a somewhat subdued tone (I revert to an all-black ensemble at least once a week), it’s nice to know that if you ever wanted to go full-blown Amanda Bynes DGAF‘d out, there are manufacturers all over the world creating sartorial options for you. I have a fantasy of someday wearing an entire outfit made of holographic items, and I’ve found that this would be entirely possible.

Futuristic Hologram Hat from 80sTees.com, $30

Eleven Paris Holographic Leather Biker Jacket from ASOS, $695.77

Holographic Silver Rainbow Shiny Metallic 90s Stretchy Tank Top from Etsy, $55

Kill City Melting Holographic Foil Junkie Jeans from dollskill.com, $142.40

Qupid Salya-565 Hologram Round Toe Flat from Urbanog, $17.80

Marc by Marc Jacobs Techno Wallet from Shopbop, $158

Fact: if you wear every single one of these items at the same time, you will yourself become a hologram and gain the ability to walk through walls, slip in and out of vision, teleport to outer space, and perform onstage with hologram Michael Jackson and hologram John Lennon at next year’s Coachella festival.

EVERY SONG IN MY ITUNES LIBRARY ABOUT PIZZA

pizza

Pizza is unlike any other food in a few respects.

1) It is very rarely bad, if not always very good. I’ve had bad chow mein, I’ve had bad sandwiches, I’ve even had bad breakfast cereal, but I can’t recall ever biting into a slice of pizza and having a thought of disgust. Maybe minor disappointment, but never repulsion.

2) No one doesn’t like it. Pardon the double negative; it might also be fair to say that everyone likes it, but I’m trying to consider things like veganism, lactose intolerance, and freaks who don’t like “red sauce”. I would still say that those people don’t NOT like pizza, they just might have personal reasons to not eat it and therefore may not actively like it.

3) There is a >50% chance that any given pizza place will deliver to you. Think about that. If you are in any metropolitan or suburban area RIGHT NOW, I guarantee that there is a place nearby that will bring a pizza to you at little to no additional cost to the price of the actual food. Amazing.

There’s more, but what I’m saying is that pizza is the food of the people and it deserves at least as many cultural tributes as it has been granted in recent history. I made a pizza zine a few years ago and did a performance art piece about pizza in college, but that’s a story for another time. I decided to search my iTunes library for “pizza” and see what came up.

The Aquabats – Pizza Day

The Aquabats are a vaguely seminal pop-punk/ska band (presupposing that ska bands can ever really be considered seminal)  primarily enjoyed by 8th graders who skateboard (and people in their late 20’s whose musical tastes stopped evolving in 8th grade). They have elaborate costumes and stage names and Travis Barker drummed for them before he joined Blink 182. This song’s lyrical narrative explores the perseverence of high school students in overcoming the strife of forced cafeteria dining to eventually be rewarded with pizza on Friday. This is also the only Aquabats song that I really know besides their cover of “Video Killed the Radio Star”.

Charlotte Diamond – I Am a Pizza

Charlotte Diamond is this Canadian lady who used to perform children’s songs about fish and flowers and stuff at my elementary school. Her songs are truly insufferable if you are over the age of 9. This song was stuck in my head for literally 12 years until I finally purged it by finding it on the Internet, downloading it, and forcing myself to listen to it until my brain was satisfied and released it from my semiconscious.

Ducktails – Pizza Time

Tolerable but boring lo-fi indie experimental instrumental. Blogosphere-driven.

Gemini – Pizza

There is no YouTube link for this because I have no idea where it came from or why it’s on my computer. Possibly used for the aforementioned performance art piece in college. It’s from The Best of Gemini: Music for Children and Families according to the embedded song information and it’s just a guy singing “It’s a pizza, it’s a pizza / Mamma mia, pizza pie” accompanied by really generic accordion music and flamenco guitar.

Old Skull – Pizza Man

I did a post about Old Skull a couple of months ago and this is really some of their finest material. The chord progression is… well…. slightly repetitive but the lyrics are really gripping:

“GIVE ME A PIZZA / BRING IT TO ME/ I WANT EVERYTHING ON IT”

“I WANT EXTRA CHEESE/ I WANT MUSHROOMS AND ANCHOVIES AHHHHHHHHHH”

“PIZZA MAN, I WANT MY PIZZA / I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!!!”

“DOMINO’S PIZZA TASTES LIKE SHIT!!!”

“IF YOU ARE LATE, YOU WILL GIVE IT TO ME FOR FREE!”

They preach the gospel. Totally recommended listening.

Personal and the Pizzas – I Don’t Wanna Be No Personal Pizza

For those of you unfamiliar with Personal and Pizzas, they are essentially a pseudo-Ramones tribute band who draw the majority of their thematic elements from pizza (obviously) and teenage conflict. The Ramones’ lyrics are actually very easily modified to be about a steaming hot pepperoni pizza pie instead of a surly punk chick and their original songs make for some pretty enjoyable garage punk too. Download their whole album, Raw Piehere.

Think I need to head to Arinell and grab a slice now.

originally posted on Deaf Forever, 5.24.11

SOME NOTES ON PLEASE KILL ME (AND A LONG DIGRESSION)

Sorry I’ve been so absent and depriving the Internet kingdom of content-gruel for you to pour down your insatiable gullets, but everything seems to have been chugging along just fine without me. I had to kidnap our roommate Lisa and caravan off to my desert bungalow to escape the realities of existence, photograph some dilapidated architecture, and increase our chances of developing melanoma.

saltonsea

They (as in “the man”) are in the process of tearing down a bunch of stuff near the Salton Sea right now. I don’t really have the time or space to explain the Salton Sea in this post, but basically Gummo is real and instead of taking place in Xenia, Ohio, imagine it set on the shore of a giant contaminated body of water that is constantly washing up eyeless petrified fish and sludge-encrusted bird feathers. Now imagine that these tiny, tiny towns that sit on the edge of this sea have developed a huge meth problem and no one ever tears down any of the many buildings that have been set on fire, blown up, or abandoned.

It’s bizarre and scary and beautiful. There was this abandoned motel that I used to stop by whenever I was exploring the area that was covered in spray-painted satanic scrawls:

repent

and Beck lyrics. No, really – (from “Qué Onda Guero”):

odale joto

Anyways, we went back last week and somehow in about a year they’ve turned it from a hypodermic needle-laden pigeon-infested death cave into some stupid museum. They even tore out the pool (once a famous “secret” skate spot) and this Irish girl band called Wonderland were shooting a music video there with the guy who directed “Baby One More Time”. They apparently haven’t yet been corrupted by fame, so they did not understand that no one should ever follow in Britney Spears’ footsteps unless they want to have a nervous breakdown or get fat. Regardless, they were very sweet and even have a Wikipedia.

But I digress. Music. Rock ‘n’ roll. Listening practices on the open road were split between bopping to the Ramones and screaming along to the “90’s on 9” station on XM radio, which featured near-forgotten hits from The Offspring, Savage Garden, and Dishwalla. The amazing thing about this station is that every single time they go to the next track, you get that “OH MY GOD, THIS FUCKIN’ SONG” feeling. They’re on top of tapping deep into the recesses of your mental reservoir of pop culture.

We also found ourselves reading a lot after drinking margaritas, witnessing the decline of Western civilization and baking in the sun for hours. I finally got back my copy of Please Kill Me after it was abducted from my apartment by Jackson Scarlett the day after I got it from my brother for Christmas.

please kill me

I can’t believe that I’ve spent almost 25 years of my life walking around having not read this book. It is a richly depraved swamp of stories about musicians that I have been blindly idolizing since I was in a training bra, and it’s totally fascinating. They were all sex-crazed druggie assholes, just like they wanted us to believe! Oh man.

Some things I have learned from it so far:

-Nico slept with EVERYONE. And thought that she was in love with them no matter how sudden/ludicrous their romance was. Lou Reed, Jim Morrison, Iggy Pop, etc. etc. etc. Everyone talks about how beautiful and genius she was, but they also disclaim that she was nuttier than a bag of P.B. Crisps.

-So did Patti Smith, but she seemed to revel in it more and went out of her way to sleep with famous artists for the sake of sleeping with famous artists. She is still the ultimate badass, however.

-Everyone thought Jim Morrison was annoying, a hack, and overrated. Also, he got bloated and disgusting towards the end.

-Detroit was once the coolest city in America.

-Groupies in the 70’s were all 13 or 14 and no one cared, not even their parents. Statutory rape was akin to jaywalking. Especially if your band was on Elektra.

-Almost all men associated with early punk/glam rock were two-thirds gay. Especially David Bowie and Lou Reed. Surprisingly, the New York Dolls were the exception even though they looked the gayest.

-Billy Marcia from the New York Dolls had the worst death ever, as in the most needless and shameful. On the Dolls’ first tour of England, he OD’d on a bunch of pills that hip rich kids at a party gave to him, and when he passed out they all just put him in a tub of ice water and bailed in fear of getting in trouble. He drowned. If they had just called an ambulance and he had gotten his stomach pumped, he would have been fine.

-Iggy Pop almost died more times than you have blinked today.

I will share more notes as I trudge onward. Tally ho! It’s only getting better.

originally posted on Deaf Forever, 4.19.11

LATE MONDAY NIGHT REFLECTIONS ON SCREAMO

Today, I spent some time reflecting about the period of three or four years when I was super immersed in emo/screamo subculture, why that culture existed, and how that has influenced the weirdo that I am today. See, I feel like when you’re a teenager and the time comes for you to decide what music you want to listen to, your constant hormone flux and changing affinities can take you in any number of directions. For me, it started with pop punk, wandered into skate punk and “alt-rock”, veered into Midwest emo (Vagrant, Polyvinyl) and indie rock, and then crash landed when I was about 17 into hardcore/”screamo”/metal/other renditions of white kids screaming about their first-world problems.

ladders

Screamo – or skramz – was a very tight-knit but friendly community since there weren’t that many of us. Everyone awkwardly connected by going to community center shows, reading extremely nerdy message boards, and standing in parking lots eating Jack In the Box (mostly their jalapeño poppers and French fries since vegetarianism was universal). The “scene” as we knew it dissipated around 2006, but I decided to look through my Facebook chat list at ~11:30 pm and see who was around to talk about that shit with me. All participants seemed slightly embarrassed to have ever been involved but at the same time had a lot of opinions/nostalgia about it.

ZED:
Zed and I met at an AFI press thing when I was like 16. We talked on AIM a few times about City of Caterpillarand A Trillion Barnacle Lapse but then he moved away to go to college or something. He was in some bands and now he lives in New York but we still run into each other every two years or so. 

me: my question is, what were you listening to immediately preceding your immersion into screamo subculture?

Zed : slipknot

…[I explain to Zed that I’m trying to figure out how and why screamo happened blah blah blah]…
Zed : i met a lot of great people through bay area punk/hardcore, but the whole screamo thing was like some offline meme that was perpetuated by internet personalities that lacked any charisma in persona room full of people not talking to each other waiting to get onto livejournal or some messageboard to talk shit
i mean what were the ethics of screamo
it was like watered down versions of what existed in hardcore already
but it’s supposed to be really sincere and emotional

ALEX BIGMAN:
I had the distinct feeling that Zed might not want to discuss our collective screamo past further, so I decided to ask Alex Bigman more about the ethics of the genre, since he coined the word “skramz” (confirmed by multiple sources), is still heavily devoted to his extensive collection of first press Orchid records, and is in a relatively popular pop punk band called Fight Fair. Also, Alex is from Orinda, a suburb of Walnut Creek that had an unprecedented screamo uprising in like 2002

me : bigman, i need to ask you some questions
Alex : whats up
me : about skramz
Alex :lol ok
i know a lot
me : i need your input about the origin of the term “skramz” and also of its evolution from “emo”
Alex : lol
well
i invented the word skramz
early 90s emo
turned into mid to late 90s skramz
which turned into late 90s-early 2000s emo violence
me : right, but HOW? WHY?
Alex : true skramz is emo violence though
me : how did the word skramz come into popular usage?
where is the violence?
Alex : iduno i first started using it as a joke on the CMHWAK [Cross My Heart With a Knife] messageboard
and it just caught on since then
now its huge
me : you were in seeing means more, right?
why is orinda such a skramz hotspot?
Alex : the entire high school went screamo and preppy girls would wear homemade saetia shirts
it was retarded
me : were you pissed?
why would you scream if you weren’t pissed?
Alex : screaming in hardcore isnt necessarily about being pissed
its just rawest emotion through voice
me : did being in seeing means more help you get laid?
Alex : no never
i was a loser
me : do you think that skramz had ethics?
Alex : skramz isnt dead…
me : okay. do you think skramz HAS ethics?
Alex : yah its the only real diy punk community
its never really changed and is still pretty underground
never got picked up by hot topic/myspace/warped tour/mtv
me : what about like attack attack and crabcore and shit?
Alex : thats just hot topic myspace music
those kids have no idea about hardcore & punk
me : but don’t you think it was born of skramz?
Alex : no that has nothing to do with skramz
it was born of more like early 2000s orange county fashioncore
like 18 visions and shit
me : any closing remarks?
Alex : make sure to check out the new beau navire record coming out this may on react with protest
look out for the new loma prieta this summer
and stay tuned for my new screamo band

Alex offered me a unique perspective on skramz history and an interesting counterpoint to Zed’s view, but I decided to bother a couple of other people since they happened to be online and I don’t sleep.

ANDREW:
Andrew Mercer and I met at 500 Club about three years ago. Laura and I were wearing Misfits/Soundgarden shirts (respectively) and sitting in the corner buying Pantera songs on the jukebox and getting wasted by ourselves when we were approached by Mercer and our also-now-friend Jackson. They told us that they were rolling on ecstasy, which was a lie, and then we all did karaoke together and never told each other our names until we saw each other at 500 Club like four more times. At some point we were all in my car and Mercer heard that I was listening to the I Have Dreams EP and then we revealed our secret screamo pasts to each other, bonded, and somehow became actual friends. The four of us spent the rest of the summer crashing house parties together and then Mercer left to go to design school in Arizona. 

me : when was the last time you listened to skramz and what was it?

Andrew : i bought a in loving memory / black market fetus split tape on ebay a few months back

its the only tape in my car
that’s probably the last skram i listened to
me : what was the moment when you knew that [that screamo] was going to end?
Andrew : i saw my chemical romance open for Suicide File and american nightmare when they were American Nothing for that short weird period of time. I think that’s who it was. that was weird
when i knew things were heading in a bad direction
i can’t remember that time of my life.
 me : i blacked out
with FEAR FOR THE FUTURE OF SKRAMZ
Andrew : rolling brown outs
i woke up and all my records were on ebay
what is the current state of skram?
im listening to black cat #13 right now
how does that make you feel
me : bigman just said “skramz isn’t dead”
i am listening to pg. 99, but i beg to differ

IAN
Finally, I decided to consult Ian Crowe, my former roommate of a year and a half and life homie. Ian has weird ties to Drive-Thru records (A New Found Glory, Finch, Midtown) and was also in some emo-ish bands called Brethren and A Movie Script Ending and another one that I can’t remember. 
me : screamo. discuss.
Ian : ok like, remember how everyone was into ska
then emo
THEN screamo
why that order? were we all victims of some marketing campaign?
screamo was definitely some kind of gateway into heavier music
before that i thought all metal was butt rock
or like, metallica
me : yeah totally
Ian : i knew nothing of good metal
i should send you lyrics from my screamo band
me : PLEASE OMG YES
Ian : hahaha holy shit this is making me giggle like a school girl
i didn’t remember at first
and they’re all coming back
our lyrics are the quintessential corny screamo lyrics
melodrama and aggression
________________________________________________________________
Then he sent me the lyrics.

under these florescent lights

words that we recite

wear thin

screams of insecurity

drown out the sound

i think i’ll go forget you now

i’m letting you

forgetting you

or so i say

it’s getting darker

the autumn

leaves have never looked so

radiant

radiaaanntttt

your picture’s worth a thousand words

but it’s saying all the wrong ones

Ian’s comments:

‘autumn’, ‘drown’, ‘wear thin’— common emo imagery and metaphors.

screamo songs liked to have outros that went on for forever (Hopesfall’s “The End of An Era”), at least in the old days.  also stage presence was super important and for some reason taken very seriously (exaggerated movements/ choreographed guitar dances?)

_______________________________________________________________

Well, no concrete conclusions after this four man, one woman investigation but I hopefully shined a little bit of light into the dark crevices of our former (or current) selves and our record collections.

In the words of Hot Cross (members of Saetia), “Once there was so much left to what was real / but these days I’ll never bet my hand on the first thing you feel.”


WEDNESDAY NIGHT UPDATE:

Neal Sharma (As Black Hearts Break, Carneta, Land of Treason, Ghostlimb, pictured above c. 2005 in Ladders) discovers that I have used his likeness in this blog post.

neal sharma 2:58 PM (9 hours ago)

I suppose that instead of complaining about my picture being used on your blog I should have devoted my energy to inventing a time machine, going back in time, and realizing I would man up and grow out of that bullshit.

hilary pollack 3:00 PM (9 hours ago)

hahahahahaha!
i mean, come on. in spite of the fact that a lot of that music totally blew, we also made some good friends while standing around at burlingame rec and whatnot. there are plenty of embarrassing photos of me wearing white belts and too much eyeliner floating around…

neal sharma 3:03 PM (9 hours ago)

I suppose I should be happy that I have moved on to greener exploits.  Or have I?  Will I look back in some years with the same disdain that I currently reserve for those days of youth?

hilary pollack 3:08 PM (9 hours ago)

did you read my post? it seems like most everyone who was into it looks back with the same sort of shameful fondness…
getting into “screamo” or whatever the fuck you want to call it is something that happens to people almost at random – there are a lot of kids who listen(ed) to metal and punk but still never found their way to a Circle Takes the Square show – but it forever seals you into this bizarre community that will never again exist. it’s like being part of a family that sometimes drives you nuts but at the same time will always kind of be there for you. it’s easy to hate on it because of aesthetics (which haven’t really stood the test of time) and the degree to which i feel dissociated from it now, but i feel like not everyone gets to experience something like that, especially during a time in your life when you’re developing your own identity and you want to feel understood by others. feel me?|

neal sharma 3:14 PM (9 hours ago)

very well put.  you could copy and paste that into your post.
So I did.

originally posted on Deaf Forever, 4.5.11

REVIEW: MONSTER BALLADS XMAS

My office is very into holiday music. We’ve been steadily rotating through the “Indie Holiday” “Joey Ramone Holiday” “Bruce Springsteen Holiday” and “Hanukkah” Pandora stations for the past two weeks (I do not recommend the Hanukkah station) (I’m half-Jewish, it just irrefutably sucks, believe me). In the interest of remaining spirited while coping with the fact that I was BORN TO ROCK, I have downloaded the MONSTER BALLADS XMAS and will henceforth review it track by track as I listen through my headphones.

1) Skid Row – Jingle Bells

This is an unimaginably bad way to start this album, or any album for that matter. Sebastian Bach sounds like Mike Ness from Social Distortion (not in a good way) and the production is bottom-of-the-barrel. In spite of the fact that this issue of Rolling Stone:

is a fixture in our bathroom reading pile, I truly despise this.

2. Winger – Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

This track is actually not that bad, being approximately what I would expect from a compilation called “Monster Ballads Xmas”. It is a ballad, it qualifies as “monster” due to an ongoing chorus of wailing guitars, and it repeats the word “Christmas” many times over. Also, Google.com—maybe you’ve heard of it—taught me that this is a John Lennon cover! I like John Lennon. Bravo, Winger. Also love their look, especially the denim shirt knotted just sub-navel:

3. Jani Lane – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

RIP, Jani Lane. Recently laid to rest after years of being tormented by the fact that he wrote and would forever be known by “Cherry Pie”, Lane deserves a little pour-out of the cheapest vodka that you can find. That said, this song is fucking terrible and he sounds like a poor man’s Joey Ramone at a karaoke bar.

4. Twisted Sister with Lita Ford – I’ll Be Home for Christmas

This ditty really delivers. Lita Ford lends her pipes with enthusiasm and there’s a solid 1-minute guitar solo that really evokes snow peacefully falling on conifers while you gather round the fire with loved ones. I tried to put on the Twisted Sister holiday Pandora station after playing this but my coworkers made me turn it off after less than 30 seconds.

5. Queensryche – White Christmas

Opens with a sick little riff that sounds nothing like White Christmas as you know it. The vocals are disgusting, like your drunk uncle looking for attention towards the end of your cousin’s wedding as everyone solemnly tries to convince him to cab it home.

6. LA Guns – Run Rudolph Run

Lemmy from Motorhead does a way better version of this song, so I don’t feel I’m able to judge it fairly. It’s okay, but it’s not Lemmy. No one else could ever be Lemmy.

7. Firehouse – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Some nice guitar effects in the intro, adding a sort of “stadium rock” vibe. Some tickly little guitar pickage between verses. I commend their efforts to rock. Fucking boring, though.

8. Danger Danger – Naughty Naughty Christmas

I am familiar with neither this band nor this song. Opening lyrics “I’ve been a naughty boy / I didn’t get a toy.” This is literally unlistenable, I had to change it before it even got to the chorus to avoid throwing the poinsettia on my desk against the wall.

9. Tom Keifer – Blue Christmas

In case you were wondering, Tom Keifer is the dude from Cinderella. He’s very pretty.

I wish that my makeup could look as nice as his, but his fake vibrato is pretty awful. Kind of like Steven Tyler but with the musical aesthetic of like 1992. I’m not convinced that he’s having a blue Christmas.

10. Nelson – Jingle Bell Rock

Jingle hell rock.

11. Faster Pussycat – Silent Night

HAHAHAHA! For some reason FP decided to interpret Silent Night through a Marilyn Manson-esque industrial wasteland filter. This sounds like Nine Inch Nails playing in a children’s choir! I love it! A+++

12. Dokken – Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Starts off with a sweet little piano melody, but don’t be fooled! Dokken is here to show you that the holidays are as hard as the frozen lake that you skate on until you accidentally wander onto some thin ice and die a miserable flailing death while your internal organs shut down from hypothermia. Oopsy!

13. Enuff Znuff – Happy Holiday

I appreciate the audacity that they adopted when naming their musical project. Truly self-flagellating. Love this track—definitely needs a video of some babes in Santa bikinis cruising in a Lamborghini and then making out underneath some mistletoe in front of a roaring fireplace. HOW HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF THIS BAND? I LOVE THIS.

enuff z'nuff: true 80s hysteria

14. Stryper – Winter Wonderland

I think this was recorded live, which rules because that means that hundreds or possibly thousands of people somewhere chose to see Stryper on Christmas. It sounds about a thousand times better than many of the previous tracks on this godforsaken compilation, so kudos for that. Surprisingly rollicking and warm fuzzies-inducing.

15. Billy Idol – Christmas Love

Acoustic. Eww. And I love Billy Idol, but Billy Idol should not be acoustic. And he sounds all warbly, like a bad version of how Johnny Cash sounded when he got really old and was all about to die and stuff. But you know what? In the spirit of Christmas, I forgive Billy Idol, because this:

Peace on Earth, man. Whatever.

Download here to fill your home with Christmas cheer—until your roommates scream at you to turn it off.

originally posted on Deaf Forever, 12.20.11

NOW YOU’RE GONE AND I’M ALONE: THE RETURN OF THE DESCENDENTS

I finally have a chance to see the Descendents. Firstly, I will say that no matter how much I could ever want to see them play live, I could NEVER watch them open for  Rise Against, as they will be doing in LA on April 7th. Yeah, LA’s close, Bad Religion is also playing, whatever, NO. FUCK that. It would be like if the Misfits reunited and opened for My Chemical Romance. When terrible things like this happen, I immediately visualize some chortling obese exec smoking a cigar in his throne and reading over a report, pausing at the end and scoffing, “Sure, these old losers can open as long as they don’t interfere with our Hot Topic/Pepsi promotion” before sticking his face in a mountain of cocaine and splashing his scalding coffee in the fact of his assistant. The Descendents playing a role of subservience to Rise Against is straight up insulting. However, they will be headlining a show in Las Vegas at the end of May, and I am seriously tempted to attend.

Descendents41

The Descendents have somehow eluded backlash and ridicule in spite of the fact that the majority of their fan base discovered them while between the ages of 11 and 15. To this day, my Descendents shirt gets the most props and thumbs-ups of any item of clothing in my closet. It’s hard to believe that in 1982, when they were making their most seminal album, a) the top single was Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” and b) I wasn’t born yet. Almost all of their songs are about either being pissed off at your parents or being pissed off because a cute girl in your biology class is dating a mongoloid jerk, and from the band’s incarnation -> 1998 -> the present day, NOTHING has changed about how much those things suck to a disgruntled adolescent. I mentioned 1998 because that was the year I was 12, I got a skateboard (never learned to ollie), I developed a crush on a guy who went to a different school and liked NOFX, and I was starting to really hate stuff. When I heard the Descendents and Screeching Weasel, I was like, this shit is gold. Here’s the thing though: you would expect that as I matured (at least to the slightest degree), started getting along with my parents, and got at least a basic grasp on the opposite sex, I would outgrow the angsty cafeteria anthems from Milo Goes To College or at the very least would start regarding them with the “guilty pleasure” shame that I now harbor for Refused and Lagwagon. But I didn’t. When I hear the opening riff of “Hope”, I still feel like Milo and I are on the same page.

originally posted on Deaf Forever, 3.2.11