My thoughts on what I’ve listened to in the car this week:
Monday May 18th: No late-night listening at all! Victoria Day holiday meant I didn’t have to work, so I was asleep in the wee hours.
Tuesday May 19th: Blink 182 – Dude Ranch. This album hits a sweet spot for me, both musically and nostalgically. While I didn’t actually get a copy of this album until my early twenties, most of the best songs on it were also my favourite songs on the live album, which I did get for Christmas when I was probably fourteen. This album is immature, no doubt, but it manages to come along after they got a handle on their instruments and before they realized that singing songs about fucking dogs in the ass was what delighted many of their fans. It’s still the work of nerdy punkers, most evident in the song A New Hope, which is half love song to Princess Leia and half anthem for lonely, nerdy teenagers. If you like 90s pop/skater punk, this is probably the Blink 182 album you want to hang your hat on, despite the commercial success of Enema of the State.
Wednesday May 20th: The Clash – London Calling. This is just an utterly fantastic album; I didn’t even choose it tonight, I got in the car and Mum had switched the Blink 182 out for this one, and I was pleased. Wikipedia notes that Rolling Stone listed this #8 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time (put out in 2003, so who knows where it might rank today). If your experience of the Clash is all I Fought The Law, Rock The Casbah, and Should I Stay Or Should I Go, this album will likely surprise you. I remember it catching me off guard, especially because the first couple songs on the album sound more like the punk stuff you might expect. The album then goes sideways into a fantastic track called Jimmy Jazz, probably my personal favourite, and from there it’s a romp through reggae, ska, R&B, and all manner of styles. If you’ve never listened to this album, you really should: It’s one of the ones on my list of “perfect” albums.
Thursday May 21st: Blimp Rock – Sophomore Slump. Hey, how did this get in here? I can’t tell you about this now. Wait for the episode, I’ll have lots to say then.
Friday May 22nd: Violent Femmes – Why Do Birds Sing? Another album I love, this one particularly good for keeping oneself awake while wandering about in the middle of the night. There is nothing that sounds like the Violent Femmes. Wikipedia calls it “Alternative Rock,” but somebody I read once described them as Folk-Punk, which I think is a better look at how unique the music styling is. Brian Ritchie is credited on the album for playing a number of instruments, including, “…bouzouki, banjo, ukulele, Jew’s harp, didgeridoo, glockenspiel…”, and the percussionist Victor DeLorenzo has an ever larger list, which culminates in, “Fire extinguisher.” So there’s that. I’ll probably keep this in another night, so I’ll talk more about it tomorrow.
Saturday May 23rd Violent Femmes – Why Do Birds Sing? So, I kept listening to this one on Saturday too, because there’s a ton of great stuff on it. You’ve got a cover of Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” which is in all ways superior to the original. You’ve got More Money Tonight, a great song if you feel like you got the short end of the stick in highschool. You’ve got Flamingo Baby, which is not particularly deep, but musically fascinating. You’ve got my personal favourite, Hey Nonny Nonny, which uses for its lyrics a 17th Century poem by Anthony Munday. There’s nothing that sounds quite like any of this sounds, so if you’ve never listened to this album before, this is definitely the one to listen to.