Archive for Music Friday

Music Friday: Kickstart My Heart

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 30, 2014 by goatmeal

I went to my first ever concert twenty-four years ago: Motley Crue. In a little over a month from now, they are going to start their last ever concert tour. There is also a movie and a tribute album being made by country musicians. Sounds like they are hoping for a big payout.
I remember a few things from that first concert. I remember a rumor that the only reason they were coming to play our small town had something to do with a funeral the guitarist was attending because he was originally from there: they were at the height of their career, and normally you had to drive to Indianapolis to see a band as popular as they were at the time. I remember that if they said anything between songs it had the word fuck in it. I remember that after this ridiculous drum solo where the drum set was moving through the rafters, the drummer mooned the audience and everyone cheered. I remember the lead singer kicked one of the roadies off the stage (literally, with his foot) like he was a stray dog or something. I remember my mom was very happy to see me come home afterwards, because on the news that evening they showed someone from the concert being taken to an ambulance and she thought it might have been me because he was wearing a black T-shirt. I remember thinking to my teenage self that I had tricked my parents into letting me go to that concert. But as an adult I heard their side of the story: they let me do something stupid because they thought I’d be smart enough to change my mind before the show. In retrospect, they were kind of a silly band, but I suppose that’s pretty much par for the course when it comes to individuation.
Somehow that silly band has lasted over thirty years: after all the car crashes, overdoses, jail time, and lawsuits against each other, here they still are. They’ve always been masters of marketing their image: whether it be doing something stupid because they knew they’d get arrested for it, setting themselves on fire, or putting warning labels on their records before warning labels were even a thing. Now it’s a tribute album by country musicians: yeah, I think it’s probably time for that last ever concert tour.


Music Friday: One

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 23, 2014 by goatmeal

Our generation has had a few songs about war, mostly against it,1 but not that many about warriors. In fact, it took me a while to think of one. Landmines might not be as much of a thing in recent years, but this could just as easily be about an IED. I can’t think of anything more powerful than this song to listen to as a reminder of what exactly it is that our soldiers are risking every time someone sends them to war.

1- Unless you listen to country music, I guess.

Music Friday: undone

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 16, 2014 by goatmeal

Last week while I was writing about mothers, Weezer’s first album turned twenty years old. That’s something that turned out to be far more important than anyone thought likely at the time it first came out. I remember being a Weezer fan: they were kind of a breath of fresh air after Kurt Cobain died. They were fun and silly and kind of nerdy. Back in the 80s and 90s, nerds and guitars didn’t really go that well together, so that was a nice change. But nobody really expected them to be anything special. It seemed like Weezer was to Soundgarden fans in 1994 what They Might Be Giants was to The Cure fans in 1988. You’d buy their music, wear their t-shirts, and go to their concerts, but you didn’t care about the twenty year anniversary of their first album when it came around: they weren’t really the soundtrack to anyone’s life.
Unbeknownst to me until sometime within the past seven years, Weezer was more than that. I discovered there were people ten years younger than me who thought about Weezer in 2008 the way I had thought about Aerosmith in 1988. Aerosmith had paved the way for bands like Poison and Motley Crue the same way that Weezer had paved the way for the emos or the hipsters, or whatever it is you call those guys who sing out of key about not having a girlfriend. I suppose there was emo before Weezer came along: bands like Sunny Day Real Estate who knew how to play their instruments and saved the falsetto whining to emphasize the music instead of the other way around. But it was Weezer that somehow gave every nerdy boy who has every had his heart broken permission to think that was important enough to share with the rest of the world.
I can’t say that I fully understand the cult of Weezer, but I’d probably be one of the biggest Weezer fans around if they’d come out ten years earlier. Though they are certainly a band we listened to and have fond memories of, I think the reality is they were part of the beginning of the end for our generation’s music. They were our voice spoken in a way that those younger than us could understand, take, and do something else with that is beyond us. If Kurt Cobain was the last rock star, maybe Rivers Cuomo was the first non-rock star. On some level I can appreciate that, and take pride in my generation facilitating that change. But on some level I know that I don’t get it any more than the adults got what we were doing in middle school. At least we’re not calling Tipper Gore on them.

Music Friday: Mother, Mother, Mother, Dear Mama

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2014 by goatmeal

I’m not sure if the following three songs are the most important songs from our generation regarding the subject of motherhood, but they are the three that came to mind. Considering that the kindest of these songwriters refers to his mother as a crack fiend, they probably seem less appropriate than they did when we first heard them in our teens and twenties. These are only the songs specifically about mothers, the selection of songs we had regarding parenthood in general is vast and derogatory, with everything from Fresh Prince’s “Parents Just Don’t Understand” to Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” Our views on parenthood in general have changed dramatically in the past twenty years.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all you mothers. May your children’s music be more grateful regarding all that you’ve done for them than our own was, and may you forever be remembered by what you were for instead of by what you were against.

Music Friday- Star Wars

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 2, 2014 by goatmeal

I’ve been wanting to write about Star Wars for at least half the time I’ve had this blog. It was a movie franchise before movie franchises existed. It was the defining movie series for anyone who spent any part of the 1980s in elementary school, which is basically our generation.

As the franchise evolved, we stuck to our guns. We were the ones who hated Jar Jar Binks. We were the ones who knew that Han Solo shot first. We were the ones that spent the 80s breaking in VCRs on Star Wars and Indiana Jones: we knew it better than George Lucas ever did.

I feel like I should say a lot more, but just listen to the damn music: you know what I’m talking about.

Music Friday- Nathan and Stephen

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 25, 2014 by goatmeal

OK, I’m breaking all the rules here. Not only is this a band you’ve probably never heard of1, they aren’t even from our generation. There are a few Gen Xers in the band, but as far as I can guess they are somewhere between 2/3rds and 7/9ths Millenials. And as Millenials, they are doing something that our generation never really figured out how to do very well: be happy.

So why am I breaking all the rules? Well, I suppose partly because it’s Easter, which in its own way is about breaking rules in the name of happiness. I randomly grabbed this CD the other day for a long drive and it reminded me of that time in my life when their music was very important to me. It was a time when so much death and so many broken promises somehow gave way to undeserved happiness. A lot of that had to do with the woman who is now my wife. And a lot of it had to do with Easter.

I know we’re normally about doom and gloom, but every once and a while it should be all right to wear lots of white and go frolicking in the park. What better time than Easter.
1- Unless, of course, you lived in Denver around 2006-2008 and went to shows at the Hi Dive.

Music Friday- One of Us

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 18, 2014 by goatmeal