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Monthly Archives: May 2009

cover #24 – Suede, “The Wild Ones”

Cover #24, and yep, we’re still doing this, whether you like it or not, until we get 30, dammit, because I say so, is Suede’s “The Wild Ones”, from Dog Man Star, released in 1994 and written by Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler.

So, Suede never really got much attention in this country, and that’s really a pity.   You’ve maybe heard “The Beautiful Ones” or, more likely, “Filmstar”, if you sat through the credits after Eddie Izzard’s Dress To Kill comedy show.  But, man, they had some great songs.  This one in particular should have been the “In Your Eyes” of its generation.  It should have been in some movie, where boy loses girl and gets girl back again by playing her some heartwrenching ballad.

This, my friends, is a heartwrenching ballad.  I think it’s about Brett breaking up with Justine from Elastica, but I’m not sure.

Justine, by the way, went on to date Damon Albarn from Blur for several years (see cover #8, “End of a Century'” and, well, basically all of the albums Blur and 13.)   It should be noted that I freaking love Elastica.  Of all the bands that came out of that era – England from 1993-1998 aka “Britpop” – they were my favorite, moreso even than Oasis.   Unfortunately, Justine’s bandmates were all massive smack fiends and it’s really hard to be the best band in the world when everyone’s lying on the floor staring at the babies crawling on the ceiling instead of, you know, rehearsing.   So, Justine’s influence – apart from their self-titled 1993 record which gave the world “Connection” and 15 other rad little tunes – is mainly as the chief muse of the Britpop era.  She dated Brett from Suede, dumped him for Damon from Blur,  dumped him because he was being – let’s face it – kind of a dick, and then went on to host a home improvement show of some type.  The whole thing is written up beautifully in the book The Last Party, which I’ve re-read many, many times because I’m a massive Britpop fanboy and it’s sad.

There’s a story about what Suede means to me, but it’s sort of personal.   I mean, it’s dumb high school stuff, mostly, but I’m putting a break here in case you don’t care/feel uncomfortable with the idea of me talking about kissing girls and such.

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gee… thanks, old people

According to ABC.com, only 19.7% of today’s college graduates have a job to go to when they graduate.   And, according to Yahoo! news, people between the ages of 20-40 are being laid off more than anyone else.

Which is awesome.  Because this means that there’s a whole segment of people – my generation – who’ll either never make it, or will make it but won’t have the proper skills to do anything valuable.  Which means that, now that all the fresh young talent has been purged from the system, we’ll be facing a corporate era of even greater managerial incompetence which should lead to another meltdown in – oh – ten years or so.

So, well done, old people.  You saved yourself an age-discrimination suit by firing all the kids instead of the folks who’ve been there for a while and have built up savings.   Sure, those people probably have families to support – heck, you might even be doing this with love in your heart, thinking people my age will bounce back faster.  Except they won’t, not for a while, and they’ll continue to build up more debt and they’ll learn less responsibility and skills, and by the time things settle down financially, there’ll be another group of hungry young turks coming on up through the system in the form of today’s teenagers, who won’t have anyone to show them the ropes of business because we won’t know what we’re doing and you’ll all be dead.    So, my friends never get ahead, your company doesn’t know its ass from its elbow, and the world goes down the toilet again.  Awesome.

Anyway, we’ll be leaving now.  The next time you need someone to remind you how to check your e-mail, give us a call.  At a reasonable consulting fee, of course.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

GeekUSA is brought to you by…: the Boy Scouts of America

It’s no secret – I was a scout once.  This commercial, which ran every damn five minutes on Channel 56 during cartoons, probably had some influence.  But check out the funky folk-soul-rock here, behind the kids doing their stuff.

Nowadays, the BSA, who spends most of their time picking on gays and atheists instead of teaching kids life skills and building fires, would never release a commercial this awesome.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

omgwtfNH?

I have to catch a bus in like ten minutes, but seriously, I had to post this.

This is an anti-gay marriage ad produced by the wonderful people at the National Organization for Marriage and shown in New Hampshire.  Please: enjoy.

Yes, if marriage is opened to include same-sex couples, your kids might say all sorts of adorable tolerant things.  PLEASE, SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

(Oh, and at the end?  Where the little boy says “I’m confused?”  Don’t think these people don’t know what the subtext is.  If gays can get married YOUR KIDS WILL BE GAY.  Wow.  I mean, wow, you evil hateful medieval jackasses.   Way to go.)

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2009 in politics

 

Star Trek is the best movie ever made.

It’s so nice when something you’ve been waiting for with baited breath, shaking with anticipation, getting sucked in by hype and promises of the next big thing in cinema, actually turns out to be good. No, not good: superb. Superb is a word I have never used before in my entire life, and I’m using it now to describe Star Trek. This was popcorn entertainment of the highest caliber. It was the most enjoyable film I’ve seen in years.

Spoilers and nerdiness ahead.

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Posted by on May 7, 2009 in movies, nerd riot, tv

 

SNL = funny

I’ve never seen any of the High School Musical films, but this was pretty damn funny. Watch if you love musicals, or especially if you hate them.

Noticed this comment on the NBC board from a young lady calling herself “SillySarahxxo13”:

He is so hot and funny. I am glad he can make fun of that. Because the first time I saw it I figured GAY, but after seeing hairspray and 17 again I realize hes not at all. DAMN hes attractive.

Glad Hairspray cleared that up for ya, Silly.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Cover #23 – TV on the Radio, “Wolf Like Me”

Cover #23 is “Wolf Like Me”, by TV on the Radio, from the 2006 album Return To Cookie Mountain, written by Tunde Adebimpe.

I first saw TV on the Radio when they opened for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a few summers ago.  I wasn’t that into them, I gotta admit.  Not sure what it was, but it wasn’t workin’ for me.

Then, about three months later, I was enjoying a bagel and there was this amazing, weird, mind-altering music on the stereo in the bagel store, and I asked the girl behind the counter who it was, and she said “TV on the Radio, duh.”  Sometimes you gotta be in the right frame of mind to receive something like that.   Sometimes, it has to be raining outside and you’re eating a bagel in Brighton, and suddenly, TV on the Radio makes a lot of sense.  I mean, these guys are so wonderfully cool and odd, and no one – no one – sounds like them.

“Wolf Like Me” , well, it’s a driving, weird song about being a werewolf.  It’s instantly catchy and soulful and edgy.  I’ve wanted to cover it since I started doing this thing, but I didn’t know how to do it.  Oh sure, I could’ve covered it as is, but they already did it perfect the first time, and besides, if you’re covering an off-the-wall band like TV on the Radio, you gotta do something off-the-wall with it.

So: I made “Wolf Like Me” into a ballad.  I couldn’t get the drums to work anyway.  The tonal inspiration was “A Warm Place” or “Eraser (Polite)” mix by Nine Inch Nails.

I really like this one.

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Next up…: well, if Justine from Elastica dumped me, I’d feel the same way, mate.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2009 in April Covers, music

 

Cover #22 – Smashing Pumpkins, “Geek USA”

Cover #22 is “Geek USA” by The Smashing Pumpkins from the 1993 album Siamese Dream.  It was written by Billy Corgan.

Now, Siamese Dream is my favorite album of all time, and “Mayonnaise” is in my top five favorite tunes.  I might do that one sometime, but I figured I should at least attempt “Geek USA.”  It’s (obviously) where I got the name for this blog, even though the song has very little to do with the blog itself.   I mean, the blog is a melange of pop-crit, music, and politics, and the song is about… being awkward and connecting siamese twins at the wrist.  Or something.

It’s a difficult song to play, and this is a very paired down version.  The original has something like 50 guitar tracks layered one on top of the other.  This is me and an acoustic guitar, doing my best with a tricky, tricky tune.  It’s tricky for those of us who generally like their songs to have 4 chords and a la-la-la chorus, at least.

Still… the impact on me as a young Andy of this song, and this album, cannot be understated.  Here was an awkward, sensitive nerd and his awkward sensitive friends, playing in a band, and ROCKING THE HELL OUT.  It was mind blowing, it was transcendent, and it was brilliant.

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Posted by on May 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Cover #21: The Cure, “Doing The Unstuck”

Cover #21 is The Cure’s “Doing The Unstuck”, from the 1992 album Wish.  It was written by Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Boris Williams, Perry Bamonte and Porl Thompson.

The first obviously, earnestly happy song The Cure ever recorded, and the first Cure song I ever loved.  It was actually the song that got me into the band in the first place.  It was the summer of 1996, and I was in a band called Soma.  The frontman was a young man named Jon Martin who frequently teased up his hair like Robert Smith, and the sound of our band was – if kind words could be applied here – at least as schizophrenic and diverse as The Cure’s.  Also, we sucked.  Really bad.

However, I made some really good friends, and occasionally we made passable music.  We’d drive around after rehearsal with Jon’s all Cure mix tape in the stereo, and this song seemed to always be on.  Then, later, Janine from camp had it on a mix tape, too, and we used to sing it together.  It really seemed to capture a specific mood, a specific moment in our lives when all was angst, but anything was possible.

Look.. um… this might be my favorite song.  Ever.  I hope I did it justice.  I’m not doing it justice here, writing about it, but this song may have changed my life drastically in one of those James Burke’s Connections-style chains of events.  If I’d never heard it, my life would be really different.  I wouldn’t have gotten to know this person who introduced me to that person who introduced me to this thing which led me to go here and do this or try that.  And I’m pretty sure “Doing The Unstuck” is to blame.

“Doing The Unstuck” means “getting off your ass and living,” and for a band like the Cure, who specialize in gloomy navel-gazing, it’s quite a statement.  It’s like if the Insane Clown Posse wrote a heartfelt ballad about how violence was wrong.

Robert Smith just turned 50 years old.  He’s still got the hair and the makeup, because growing old with dignity is lame.  The Cure may well be my favorite band ever, and this was my entry point.  I listen to it every year as the weather gets warmer and I start to unthaw from the winter blues.

Also, I quoted the last line from this song in my yearbook  quote, because I was that guy.

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Next up…: what’s this blog called again?  well, there you go.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2009 in April Covers, music