“No one is going to be head-banging in the car to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody'”

On Friday, i heard Mike Myers had a role in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody.  Right away, I thought that was funny because of his history with the song at the beginning of Waynes World.

This morning, I finally had the time to figure out what part he played in the movie…and it’s the record exec from the first teaser trailer who thinks that the song goes on too long, “six bloody minutes”.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/561936/mike-myers-bohemian-rhapsody-cameo-waynes-world-reference

“Good Call”

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It Was 20 Years Ago Today…November 1998

Pedro the Lion:  It’s Hard to Find a Friend

It’s Hard to Find a Friend was released November 3, 1998.  The track “When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run” was instantly a hit for them on local alternative radio.  It was also a bright spot on the waning “Seattle Scene”.

Pedro the Lion quickly became known for their hushed vocals, stark instrumentation, complex story-telling lyrics, and prominence of first person narrative.

This is one of my favorite albums, but I’m really only going to talk about a few tracks.  The aforementioned “When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run” features lyrics about women who shave their legs.  There’s something so fantastic about a song with the line “winter legs give you heart attacks/so shave them off with laser so they never grow back” being any sort of a hit on any radio format that just makes me smile.  Obviously, the song isn’t advocating that all women shave their legs, rather quite the opposite.  It is pointing out the hypocrisy and absurdity of such a standard in American society.

Pedro the Lion got their name from a Biblical reference, yet I have never felt that their allegories were overtly religious.  Case in point is the fantastic “Of Minor Monarchs and Their Prostitute Wives”, apparently a retelling of Hosea.  The narrator seems both comforting and threatening, offering his love, but suggesting the end of the line comes with the hangman’s noose.  Still, fairly emblematic of the band’s story-songs.

Pedro the Lion have just announced their first album in 14 years, with the upcoming Phoenix, due out in January.  I, for one, applaud David Bazan returning to the moniker.

Just one minor dumb story, but the original drummer for Pedro the Lion now lives on a farm in Poulsbo with his family.  I used to live in Poulsbo and drove past the property every day, knowing who lived there and many times being tempted to go and knock on the door, yet also knowing it would not have been appropriate.

“Magician’s Assistant”

I’ve posted a few videos from this UK rap duo before, but this one is getting posted because it came up randomly on my ipod.

I’m on a two year mission to listen to every single track in my itunes (currently sitting over 39k) and this one came up for November’s playlist (which i started late last week).

The song is about reminding people that suicide is a selfish proposition because of the lives that are affected by those who are left behind.

The worst day I’ve ever had was when my (now) ex swallowed a bunch of aspirin, which always worked to tear up her stomach, in an attempt to commit suicide because she wanted to give birth to more babies, and I didn’t want that to happen (we have a special needs son).  She, her mom and I stayed up together all night, making sure she didn’t fall asleep.  The next day, I left to go to work.

I have no concept of when this was, but in April 2009, she noted that she had found somebody who did want to have babies with her.  They eventually married and were sent to prison for beating her step-children (his kids from a previous relationship).  I think they had 4 kids in the 7 years or so between 2009 and prison.

Anyway, while this song brings up those memories, it makes me glad that those days are behind me.  It’s better to be hearing a song about those left behind after a suicide than thinking that I might be one of those left behind.

It Was 20 Years Ago Today…October 1998

Refused:  The Shape of Punk to Come

Refused were a Swedish punk band featuring far-left lyrics.  They first made waves in the United States with 1996s Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent.  With The Shape of Punk to Come, the band set out to meld the sounds of hardcore, funk, jazz and electronic music into a “futuristic” sounding album.  The cover borrowed the layout from Teen-Age Dance Session, a 1954 album by Dan Terry.

https://danterrybigbigband.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/1954-teen-age-dance-session.jpg?w=560

Refused - The Shape Of Punk To Come

The track which received airplay and has been featured in numerous televisions and movies is “New Noise”.  The song distills the thesis of The Shape of Punk to Come down to a singable refrain “We dance to all the wrong songs/we enjoy all the wrong moves” while also stating “Can I Scream?”.  Hardcore bands have noted this as a rallying cry to establish themselves s bands that aren’t afraid to sound different, to flaunt their own opinions, and to show their fans that they can too.

There were two other tracks which have really stood out to me as lasting statements from this album.  “Summerholidays vs. Punk Routine”, ostensibly a song about punk bands being expected to look the part, follow the right steps, and fit what is expected to them.  The reason this song has resonated with me is because I never looked the part of a punk rocker.  In the early 2000s, I had long hair.  For 15 years now, i’ve worn a button-down shirt to a desk job, but that doesn’t mean that the spirit doesn’t speak to me.  Refused had an aesthetic that didn’t fit the mold they were expected to be in, and “Summerhollidays” shouts that from the mountain tops with the chorus “I’d rather be forgotten/than remembered for giving in”.

Finally,. the track “Protest Song ’68”, which is notable in my mind for the chorus “All it is is words/words said a million times before/all it is is a song/a song sung a million times before”.  Basically, words cannot hurt you, even if you do not like what they have to say.  Even offensive words can only have an effect if they are allowed.  Actions may back up those words to make a threat, but words themselves cannot do that on their own.

Refused disbanded in 1998, after a shambolic tour that lead to poorly attended shows, shows being raided by police, etc.  They reformed in 2012 and in 2013 released Freedom.  Their legacy will always be that they have gone on to influence the sounds, ethos, and aesthetic of countless hardcore bands.  This album may not have turned out to be the actual shape of punk that has yet come about, but for quite some time, it will continue to be on lists of influential albums and statements for a scene that has remained energetic as ever.

I love it when my worlds collide

This is hardly new news, but it’s new to me.

Last night, we were watching the last episode of season 3 of Battlestar Galactica (2005 version).

Four of the characters on the show were hearing a song and it was driving them crazy.  In the first part of the two-parter, I joked that the screenwriter must’ve been listening to Bob Dylan at the time, as one of the characters says “there’s got to be some kind of way out of here”.

Near the end of the second episode, the characters start singing the song, and then it comes over everything…”All Along the Watchtower”

Bob Dylan made canon in a science fiction program, music to my mind.

#AynRandSandwich

They Might Be Giants have posted a new video and are trying to get #AynRandSandwich to trend.  I have no other social media presence, so here goes…

John & John…ask and ye shall receive…

“It’s O.K.”

I’ve of recent taken to singing this to my boys when they start crying over some small reason.  I discovered Dead Moon several years ago, via Pearl Jam tagging the song onto the end of Daughter in several concerts.  Honestly, it’s so pretty when Eddie sings it, I thought it was a cover of some forgotten doo-wop song.

“it’s ok/we’ve all seen better days”

“It’s ok/we love you anyway”

“it’s ok/you don’t have to run and hide away”

As of last year, Dead Moon still tours, though they never really had a breakthrough in the music industry.  Kudos to Pearl Jam for picking this beautiful song out of the ether and giving it a wider audience.