"In the space of a few verses, in a song so spare it could almost be missed as a throw-away, Dylan […] identifies the primary issue of our time as one of values. […] In earlier songs [he] talked tirelessly of modern figures misunderstanding the significance of issues such as war, freedom and poverty. Here Dylan stands back from these specific issues and reduces the confrontation to its essential element: human values against the established order." (>>)
- Matthew Ryan – Dulce Et Decorum Est
- Too Bad Eugene – All at Once
- Bruce Springsteen – The River
- Over the Rhine – Hometown Boy
- the Dropkick Murphys – Boys on the Docks
- Joseph Arthur – A Smile that Explodes
- Matthrew Ryan – A Complete Family
- MxPx – Sweet, Sweet Thing
"Sometimes, itâ€™s the people we choose to have in our lives that often bring the greatest reward or life support. …that moment of nuclear clarity when someone comes to you and they have your back and theyâ€™re willing to lay all the truth they can offer to you to save you from the past that might haunt, or daunt you, or turn you into a failing light. Friendship laced with real love and truth can turn all of us into superheroes." (>>)
"I haven't memorized all of the cute things to say,
but I'm working on it." (>>) [MP3]
"I'm sure this has something to do with the fact that we buried my father this Spring. But there are days now when we pan back on a chapter that's ending, and the overwhelming feeling is, We had so little time. The years vanished. Take care what you hang a life on." (>>)
"And love is not a victory march, it's a cold and it's a broken 'hallelujah.' " (>>) [MP3]
"It's hard enough trying to drink another winter all alone." (>>) [MP3]
"Joe Strummer, the legendary gravel-voiced punk-poet from The Clash, loved to listen to music on the radio. Even as he toured the world with 'the only band that matters,' he still had a dream to one day spin records for the BBC World Service, where he heard the latest UK hits over the shortwave band as a teenager in Africa.
"He finally got his wish in 1999, when BBC World Service premiered Joe Strummer's London Calling. Between then and 2002, Strummer hosted a series of programs with a simple format – one man and his eclectic record collection. His globe spanning playlists included many of the rock, reggae and folk artists that inspired the Clash, plus many surprises." (>>)
Download all eight one-hour episodes in MP3 format [435MB, ZIP]
"That's what was good about punk. If you were ugly, you were in…
"Joe would have more ideas in a rhyming couplet than others would have in their whole fucking album." (>>)
"You know, things werenâ€™t always where they are right now in American culture; we werenâ€™t measured by our ability to consume. We were measured by things like, â€˜did we do good work?â€™ or â€˜were we a good father, brother, or son?â€™ And now, through the marketing of things, we haveâ€¦and Iâ€™ve fallen victim to it, I hope I donâ€™t sound like Iâ€™m coming from a high placeâ€”but I hope that the song kind of expresses it… you can get caught up in measuring yourself by things that donâ€™t really matter. And this song is kind of just about trying to get connected on who I am as a man and a citizen versus who I am as a consumer. And it sounds like a really big issue, but these things play out in really small ways in our lives, from dissatisfaction and disenchantment with ourselves and with our partners, and it can be pretty noir, you know? But the songâ€™s trying to say that we might need to start turning our back onto some of this and try to find value in our words and our real experiences, not just in the virtual world and purchasing things and keeping up with the latest things. Maybe thereâ€™s something richer to be found through real contact." (>>)
"the ring that you twist,
the song that you hum" (>>) [MP3]
"They say time will kill the pain
I say pain is gonna kill my time
Lord won't you save me
Or leave me alone
Cause when it's good, it's so, so good
But when it's gone, it's gone (>>) [MP3]
"And all I see, it could never make me happy
and all my sandcastles spend their time collapsing" (>>) [MP3]
"For awhile I sat there staring at her photograph
for awhile I cried and tried not to make a scene
There was a time when we were young I used to make her laugh
but life is long
My love has gone away from me (>>) [MP3]
"Well I think if I have to live outside the garden of paradise
it might as well be spent looking in your eyes" (>>)
"This girl […] comes into his life and just kicks him into gear, wakes him up. He kinda falls in love with her, but he's not sure, 'cause he's in love with his girlfriend, but this girl kinda wakes him up in a way. And because he's kind of a bloke he mistakes that affection or that attention for some kind of sexual advance, which it just isn't. She is into him and she is interested in him, but it's mates; it's, 'Get your life together.' 'Come on, go get your girlfriend. Sing this song to her, you'll get her back.' " (>>)
So I'll see you when you're 40, lost and all alone
being comforted by strangers you'll never have to know.
Not sad because you lost me but sad because you thought
it was cool to be sad." (>>) [MP3]
"but suddenly I wanted to win" (>>)
"I don't know what we'll call it, but it's a big and hopeful and majestic Philadelphia Irish Rock 'n' Roll record. All embattled winners and fighters, hopeless romantics and monsters." (>>)
So say you're feeling kind of sad and anxious, missing some girl or whatever, but you're not totally depressed. You could go either way. It's two in the fucking morning and you have to wake up in four hours, but you can't sleep. Obviously you're going to put on a record–or open up a playlist, you damn whippersnappers… but what do you choose?
You could listen to a sad song, something old and smooth and emotionally self-destructive, something by Otis Redding or Patsy Cline. That would be true to your feelings and comforting in a familiar but unhealthy way, like that bad relationship you kept going back to until your soul resembled Leonardo DiCaprio in the subway bathroom scene from Basketball Diaries.
Or, you could put on something new and fast and irrelevant, something with clever production and loud guitars. Something to numb your heart and distract your mind, like when Americans see pictures of genocide on the news and flip over to Desperate Housewives or ESPN. Motion City Soundtrack or maybe some Hot Hot Heat.
Because these choices are important. "Which came first, the music or the misery," you know? Wallowing in beautifully harmonized self-pity starts to get a little pathetic by the time you reach your mid-twenties. But is it healthy to manipulate your feelings in order to be, well… healthy?
Maybe there's a reason all those shallow preppy kids are so happy driving around in the BMW convertibles their parents buy them, listening to Britney Spears or N*Sync or whatever the hell the music industry is shitting out these days. But do you really want to live like that? I mean, those people acquire our contempt for good reason.
So, what do you do? Hunch down in the closet with Otis and a bottle of red, waiting for the voices to tire themselves out, or play Solitaire on your laptop with Britney until she bores the hell out of you and you can go back to sleep?
Or maybe you just make up a mix of both, sort it randomly and write something slightly neurotic for your blog.
"Some people are at their best when they're miserable." (>>)
"And it is true what you said
that I live like a hermit in my own head
But when the sun shines again
I'll pull the curtains and blinds to let the light in" (>>) [MP3]
"You don't ever slow down
to find what you lost
or lose what you found
No one's saying what you need to hear" (>>) [MP3]
"Could someone please tell me the story
Of sinners ransomed from the fall
I still have never seen you, and somedays
I don't love you at all" (>>) [MP3]
"What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?" (>>)
"We've gone too far, we've done too much. We have to quit it."
"Just one more kiss, just one more touch. Please, ten more minutes." (>>) [MP3]
"Your heart won't heal right if you keep tearing out the sutures" (>>)
"When you play my song
play it slowly
play it like Iâ€™m sad and lonely" (>>) [MP3]
"but you came so close and i assumed
you were looking for the piece of yourself that's lost…" (>>) [MP3]
"It's just that everyone's interest is stronger than mine" (>>) [MP3]
"I can't hold you, but I'm still kissing you
I don't want to, but I'm still missing you" (>>) [MP3]
"I don't wanna be a old man anymore…" (>>) [MP3]
"I want so much to open your eyes,
'cause I need you to look into mine" (>>) [MP3]
"I was strong but awkward, born with an armor of imagination." (>>) [MP3]
"Excuse me, did I do something wrong? I get invited, then ignored all night long."
"I've been trying, I'm not lying. No one's perfect, I've got baggage."
"Life's too short, babe, time is flying. I'm looking for baggage that goes with mine."
"I should tell you…" (>>) [MP3]
"Our youth is fleeting
Old age is just around the bend
And I can't wait to go grey
I'll sit in wonder
Of every love that could've been
If I'd only thought of something
Charming to say" (>>) [MP3]
"I caught myself thinking
I caught myself thinking once again
I have to try to keep my mind out of this
Try not to pretend" (>>) [MP3]
"I wanna buy you an old upright.
I wanna accidentally stay all night.
I wanna read the Bible, and I wanna make out." (>>)
"She took a mouthful of rain
With a gutter full of pills
She wrote, 'I handled the pain
But it's the hope that kills'
So take care of yourself
And don't worry about me
'Cause everybody always
Everybody always leaves" (>>) [MP3]
"I'm fucking starved for love
I deeply need to feel connection with the infinite
I want the nourishment
I need to drink it just like water, and it will sustain me" (>>) [MP3]
"The whole song is a study of reality through the lens of opposites: inside vs. outside, fact vs. fiction, heart vs. brain. When looking at something, which view shows the soul or the truth of the matter, and which is just a shadow or filter of the truth." (>>)
" 'Rapture' may raise some Christian eyebrows with its equation of physical lust to spiritual fulfillment, but it's a perfect picture of just how low these characters have sunk to bring meaning to their lives." (>>)
"I've searched and I've searched to find a better life
A brand new car and a brand new suit
I even got me a little wife
But wherever I have gone
I was sure to find myself there
You can run all your life
but not go anywhere" (>>)
i'm so tired
and i wish i was the moon tonight"
I just decided that the naming scheme for the UPS's I'm installing at my church is going to be the first names of the original members of the Ramones. You can't imagine how happy this makes me.
"…it was the image of johnny cash sitting out by his pool as his family is leaving him that i strangely felt so very personally connected to. that painful confrontation with yourself, when all the act has fallen away and what you're left with is something completely unsalvageable and permanently ruined." (>>)
"Now every woman and every man
They want to take a righteous stand
Find the love that God wills
And the faith that He commands.
I've got my finger on the trigger
And tonight faith just ain't enough
When I look inside my heart
There's just devils and dust.
But I've got God on my side…" (>>)
"maybe redemption has stories to tell" (>>)
"You hear that? She's not very good at slushy stuff? That, to me, is a problem, as it would be to any male who heard Dusty Springfield singing 'The Look of Love' at an impressionable age. That was what I thought it was all going to be like when I was married (I called it married then–I call it 'settled' or 'sorted' now). I thought there was going to be this sexy woman with a sexy voice and lots of sexy eye makeup whose devotion to me shone from every pore. And there is such a thing as the look of love–Dusty didn't lead us up the garden path entirely–it's just that the look of love isn't what I expected it to be. It's not huge eyes almost bursting with longing situated somewhere in the middle of a double bed with the covers turned down invitingly; it's just as likely to be the look of benevolent indulgence that a mother gives a toddler, or a look of amused exasperation, even a look of pained concern. But the Dusty Springfield look of love? Forget it. As mythical as the exotic underwear.
"Women get it wrong when they complain about the media images of women. Men understand that not everyone has Bardot's breasts, or Jamie Lee Curtis's neck, or Cindy Crawford's bottom, and we don't mind at all. Obviously we'd take Kim Basinger over Phyllis Diller, just as women would take Keanu Reeves over Sergeant Bilko, but it's not the body that's important, it's the level of abasement. We worked out very quickly that Bond girls were out of our league, but the realization that women don't ever look at us the way Ursula Andress looked at Sean Connery, or even in the way that Doris Day looked at Rock Hudson, was much slower to arrive, for most of us. In my case, I'm not at all sure that it ever did.
"I'm begining to get used to the idea that Laura might be the person I spend my life with, I think (or at least, I'm begining to get used to the idea that I'm so miserable without her that it's not worth thinking about alternatives). But it's much harder to get used to the idea that my little-boy notions of romance, of negliges and candlelit dinners at home and long, smoldering glances, had no basis in reality at all. That's what women ought to get all steamed up about; that's why we can't function properly in a relationship. It's not the cellulite or the crow's feet. It's the… the… the disrespect."
"I was hoping we could work it out some way
But she had had enough.
So I took the diamond ring to the shop downtown,
I left the ring on the glass; he left the money laid down.
And I was left in the lost and found."
Since Ralph claims that he "knew at least 7 [of the songs from the playlist quiz] off the top of [his] head, and could have gotten a few more if [he] had time to think about it"–and since that post drew more comments than all the quotes of the past two months put together–I've decided to do one more round. (And if that sentence exhausted you, it's Buechner's fault.) I'd also like to add a little twist: the songs will be ranked, with the more obscure ones worth more points.
1) "Good times come and good times go / I only wish the good times would last a little longer."
2) "Salvation is a fire in the midnight of the soul / It lights up like a can of gasoline"
3) "I donï¿½t believe you, youï¿½re not the truth / No one could look as good as you / Mercy!"
4) "I'd do anything just to fall asleep with you / Will you remember me? 'Cause I know I won't forget you"
5) "I wanna publish zines and rage against the machines / I wanna pierce my tongue / It doesn't hurt, it feels fine"
6) "It didnt seem to bother him, he didnt seem to mind / His cathartic life just buried somewhere in the timeline"
7) " 'It's time to fight back', that's what Huey said / two shots in the dark now Huey's dead."
8) "I don't need somebody new on the television, 'Send your money and we'll send you a new life' "
9) "You know he's been around the world / Last night he flew to Baghdad in his magical armchair"
10) "We love like God but you don't belong here"
11) "Another evening falls, she finds me here at the window / She doesnï¿½t need to ask, itï¿½s always the same thing / Sheï¿½s waited four long years, I know there canï¿½t be many more"
12) " 'You're day will come, hold on.' / I'm not that strong, at all"
13) "Who'd have thought it would end like this, without even a good-bye kiss? / No one could say we didn't try / The years flew past, we tried to make it last / But the love got left behind"
14) "So I keep telling myself something's going to change / Maybe I'll get lucky then I can smile again / 'Cause that's what I want to do / I want to smile for you"
15) "We went to the Philly Pizza Company and ordered some hot tea / The waitress said, 'Well no, we only have it iced' / So we jumped up on the table and shouted, 'Anarchy!' "
16) "We could get a little place down by Gilmour Park / You could do a little time and save my broken heart"
17) "When I come home feelin' tired and beat / I go up where the air is fresh and sweet / I get away from the hustling crowd / And all that rat-race noise down in the street"
18) "He climbed his ladder / There was nothing there and now it's a long way down"
19) "If you take me out, please don't forget to take me home / If you take me to a party, please don't forget the microphone / If we take my car, then please don't try to touch the radio / 'cause the midnight sun is burning, bringing peace into my soul!"
20) "I'm so tall, can't get over me / I'm so low, can't get under me"
(Click here for the answers)
Social Distortion's new record, Sex, Love and Rock and Roll is finished and will be release the 28th. You can listen to Reach for the Sky and Nickles and Dimes on their website, along with other songs and videos (all Quicktime). They start touring on the 24th, but the closest they're coming to Dayton is Cleveland. Speaking of the tour, John has decided to leave the band before it starts so he can be with his family. Matt Freeman (Rancid) will be taking his place (at least for this tour).
"I don't need another friend tryin' to tell me something.
I don't need somebody's expert advice,
when just another two cents still adds up to nothing.
And I don't need somebody new on the television,
'Send your money and we'll send you a new life.'
And I don't need your tried-and-true paperback edition,
the one that fixed you overnight." (>>)
Today's used record store find: Worthless Pursuit of Things on the Earth by Chris Taylor. You can download the whole album from his website (here) and I highly suggest you at least get the title track.
This is a good commentary on how Johnny Cash was ripped off at the VMAs, and also how boring and fake the whole Britney Spears/Madonna/Christina Aquilera kiss was. Besides, the author uses the phrase "MTV Lesbian Stunt Coordinator."
"The packaging is nice,
we're building it to sell,
call all your people in Hollywood and Nashville.
It's one in a million,
in fact we broke the die,
it's all of the hype that your money can buy." (>>)
New music I'm diging lately:
- Slick Shoes – "Alone" [ Quicktime Video | Streaming MP3 ]
- Squad Five-O – "I Don't Want to Change the World, I Just Want to Change Your Mind" [ Quicktime Video | MP3 ]
- Avril Lavigne – "Sk8er Boi,"* "Complicated" and "I'm With You" [ Streaming Windows Media Videos ]
(I don't wanna hear it. Ralph likes them, too.)
*The anal-retentive English teacher who lives in my forebrain wants to commit suicide right now.