30 Days, Part 2
1. The Continuing Adventures
Still with me? Cool. This is part two of a three-part “Why On God’s Green Earth are You Blogging a Facebook Meme?” post. Part three will probably be early next week. (I’m shooting for Monday.) You can read part one here. I still haven’t figured out how to embed 8tracks mixes into WordPress, so you’ll have to right-click the link for it and open it in either a new tab or window. I know that it’s possible to do, I’m just lazy. I’ll get to it eventually, I know. Just, uh, not now.
Anyway. Let’s get into it, eh?
2. The List, Part 2
11. “All Nightmare Long” – Metallica – A Song by Your Favorite Band
I’d be silly to not include Metallica, as they still probably default to the band I listen to when I’m not sure what I want to listen to. When I originally posted this to Facebook, one of my friends questioned why I included this over, say, “Master of Puppets” or “One”, and this was my reply:
It has all the elements of all the best Metallica songs. It has catchy bits, some nice speedy bits, a decent vocal performance (which there aren’t too many of, post-Bob Rock), some pretty neat soloing, double-kick that doesn’t sound like shoes in a dryer, and lyrics that aren’t terrible.
Pretty much every “classic” Metallica song is awesome, sure, but this is probably the song that amalgamates their entire career. Don’t get me wrong, all those songs are awesome, but this is a pretty good example of who they are now, not who they were when they were 24. (As a side note, I realized the other day that I’m now the same age they were when they were touring on the Black Album. Fuck you, Metallica. Fuck you.)
That really sums it up, I think.
12. “Beth” – KISS – A Song from a Band You Hate
I realize that 90% of the music I listen to is directly derived from KISS, and without them, I probably would be listening to Dierks Bentley now. (More on that in a minute.) However, I absolutely cannot stand KISS in any way. They’re money-grubbing assholes, they’re egocentric douchebags, and they make terrible, terrible music. Their lyrics are drizzly shit, and they’re probably the most shallow human beings in the United States, and that’s against some stiff competition. In fact, about the only pass I can give them is that they managed to influence a lot of good musicians. So I picked what has to be the worst song by them. (This is another song I simply skipped over while listening back to the mix.)
13. “Greedy Fly” – Bush – A Song that is a Guilty Pleasure
I’ve often said that the phrase “guilty pleasure” is something I really dislike. I’m not actually going to jump down people’s throats for their musical taste, even if they like what I think is garbage. It’s music, y’know? Different people like different stuff, and that’s no big deal. It also helps to rationalize six years of being made fun of for liking metal while living in a backwoods Upper Midwest school district. (Oh shit, I do want to be Chuck Klosterman. God damn it.)
In any case, I really liked Bush’s first two albums. A lot of people panned Razorblade Suitcase (from which this song is taken) for wanting to be too Nirvana-like, but that’s mostly a symptom of having the Steve Albini Sound. Every record he makes sounds that way. Anyway, it’s fashionable to hate Bush, so this is probably the most guilty-pleasure-esque thing I could think of.
14. “A Good Run of Bad Luck” – Clint Black – A Song No One Would Expect You to Love
The first CD I ever bought was Joe Diffie’s Third Rock from the Sun. I was huge into country until about 1996 or so (right around the time Shania Twain was converting country into pop-with-fiddles). I think the reason I like Clint Black so much is the fact that he’s actually a pretty badass guitar player as well as a good songwriter and singer. And I’ll probably never be able to play it, because my brain just doesn’t play country. (I think this song didn’t upload correctly to 8tracks and may be shortened in the mix, but you’re probably not missing much. Maybe the solo, which is pretty good.)
15. “Echoplex” – Nine Inch Nails – A Song that Describes You
Well, the song is about Trent Reznor building his studio, and then locking himself away in it while the music community talks about how irrelevent he has become. I can’t really say much beyond that. I sort of identify with the whole “My voice just echos off these walls” part.
16. “It’s Been Awhile” – Staind – A Song You Used to Love but Now Hate
I loved Staind. I really did. And when Break the Cycle came out, I started to change my mind on them. “Outside” was a pretty good song, a nice little one-off, despite the Fred Durst-isms on the live version from the Family Values album. Break, though, still had some heavy songs that I really liked, but they were obviously moving away from their old sound. Critics kept railing on them for their angry-middle-class-kid whining, only to find out that when Staind grew up, they wrote really terrible music. On the albums after Break the Cycle, I can count the number of Staind songs I would consider tolerable on one hand.
Not too long ago their founding drummer quit, and got replaced by Will Hunt from fucking Evanesance, so I guess we’ll see how they’re chugging along now. I read that their new album is full of songs “at least as heavy as the heaviest stuff on the last album.” If that’s true, my hopes for Staind returning to form are still unresolved. (That’s a sneaky way of saying that the last album didn’t really have anything heavy on it, either.) In any case, I think Staind is still a musically talented band, they just produce absolute shit. That’s pretty much my opinion on Dave Matthews Band, too.
17. “Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynyrd – A Song You Often Hear on the Radio
I have seen Lynyrd Skynyrd live three times in the span of four years. Fargo loves its Skynyrd. My dad was, and probably still is, a freakish Skynyrd devotee. I’ve heard more Skynyrd than most people would consider a lifetime’s worth.
And then I moved to Indiana.
Fort Wayne has two classic rock stations and loves its hick almost-but-not-quite southern roots. Despite the band rarely coming through here (from what I can tell), I’ve heard so much more of the band since I moved here that it’s… it’s depressing. I can’t even listen to the band anymore, and this is after having liked them so much I paid money to see them three times.
I will, however, still give them credit for the end of “Free Bird”. That shit is ridiculous.
18. “Bleed” – Meshuggah – A Song You Wish You Heard on the Radio
This could really be any Meshuggah song, but I picked this one solely because of the timing. I have this vision in my head of driving down the street and people simply running of the road because they can’t wrap their heads around the polyrhythm. And then there’s me, cruising along, headbanging very slowly to the loping guitar riff.
Basically what I’m saying is that I’m smarter than both rock radio and its listeners. (Nickelback? Seriously?)
19. “Lateralus” – Tool – A Song from Your Favorite Album
My favorite song, artist, and album are all not the same, and I find that amusing. Sure there’s some overlap in the singer of my favorite song and favorite album (that would be Tool/A Perfect Circle vocalist Maynard James Keenan), but I think it’s sort of funny. I don’t know why.
“Lateralus” and “The Noose” are, incidentally, pretty much neck-and-neck for Favorite Song status. The end of Lateralus (right around the 7:10 mark) just starts expanding. It’s also my favorite part in the live shows, because drummer Danny Carey actually uses the gong behind him and doesn’t miss a beat. It’s fucking amazing. (The part in question is here. One of the bonuses of writing posts like this is that I can spend 45 minutes watching videos of people playing drums and not feel like I’m not entirely ignoring the work I’m doing. It’s research.)
20. “New Faith” – Slayer – A Song You Listen to When You’re Angry
I honestly can’t really say much besides “Slayer”. A lot of people (mostly drunken Slayer fans) say that God Hates Us All is a terrible Slayer album. But they’re wrong. You see, GHUA is probably the single best Tom Araya performance they put down. This song, especially, is just off-the-rails insane. And I’ll never forget playing this album before a local “Christian metal” band played a set that I was running sound for. The look on the guitarist’s face when the line “I KEEP MY BIBLE IN A POOL OF BLOOD SO THAT NONE OF ITS LIES CAN AFFECT ME” came up was pretty hilarious.
I’m an antagonistic dick like that.
So anyway, that’s all for today. Not terribly impressive, but fuck it. You didn’t pay for it, didja?