13 Songs #1
A couple of days ago, I wrote a piece called “13 Short Reviews For A Rather Unlucky Day.” While I was quite pleased with the way it came out, I was kind of inebriated, to say the least. I realized after I posted the article that I genuinely enjoyed writing the piece, as I’m one who is prone to “skipping” songs just for the sake of seeing what’s playing next. That review gave me a reason to sit down and honestly listen to the song and sort out how I truly felt about whatever song was playing within myself, as I’d set a very strict rule on myself that I could not skip the song just because it wasn’t really doing it for me at that moment (hence the inclusion of Motionless In White and Sunia or whatever that band’s name was, goddamn them.) That being said, I decided I want to continue this experiment in a more clear headspace and honestly review 13 random songs as chosen by my iTunes collection set to shuffle. We’ve got over 80,000 songs to play with, so this should be pretty close to all-encompassing, as far as musical genres are concerned.
Without further ado, I present to you the first proper inclusion to a series I’m calling “13 Songs!”
1.) The Queers – “Fuck The World” from the album Live In West Hollywood
*I couldn’t find a video for this specific track, so here’s a live video of these two songs. The audio’s not as good, though.
This song is far too easy. I almost skipped it just for its ease. Anyone who knows me will tell you I love The Queers with an undying passion. I’ve seen this band live more than any other band, seconded only by The Atom Age. Instead of looking at the song itself (“Fuck The World” is one of my favorite Queers songs, hands down), I’d much rather focus on this very specific recording, and the reason I love this specific recording so much.
As I said, I’ve seen The Queers more times than I have any other band, and there’s a reason for that; they’re fun. It’s rare for me to want to listen to a live album, but this band is one of the very rare exceptions. They always sound fantastic live, and the audio recordings of their live shows still accurately display the energy they bring to any venue they play at. I’ve heard this song live every single time, and it never gets old. The lyrics “Fuck the world/I’m hanging out with you tonight” bring back so many good memories; standing front row, my arm over the shoulders of my dear friend, Jerry Lynn, and her arm over mine, our fists in the air, singing these very lyrics to one another. Those are moments that just can’t be properly recreated with just any person. It’s that one song and that one person that creates such a perfect memory in your mind. That’s where my mind goes when I hear this song. As an added bonus, this song closes with “This Place Sucks,” a show staple. Basically, go listen to The Queers, and go see them if you haven’t yet. Just be prepared to get pushed around and maybe covered in other people’s beer in the process.
2.) Misery Signals – “Five Years” from the album Of Malice and the Magnum Heart
Misery Signals is one of those bands I used to be really big in to. I had the privilege of seeing them before they quit several years ago when they shared the stage with Remembering Never and Eighteen Visions. This is a song that, if I’m not mistaken, was always kind of a fan favorite. I remember them introducing this song, and the crowd just went apeshit over it. It’s basically everything you can expect from a metalcore band that came out in the early-mid 00’s; breakdowns and guttural screams about heartbreak and deceit. The thing is, though, I kind of fell out of love with this specific style of hardcore years ago. There are a few bands I still like a lot (I’m still waiting for a full-on Poison The Well reunion) but, for the most part, it’s just not my style. I still listen for the sake of nostalgia, and I’d still pay the entry fee if they were to regroup and play locally again, but it’s nothing I’d get overly giddy over.
3.) Boys Night Out – “Hey Thanks” from the EP Fifty Million People Can’t Be Wrong
Boys Night Out were always kind of an odd-man-out sort of band, as far as I could tell. They were housed by Ferret Music (Every Time I Die, The Bronx, A Life Once Lost), and they didn’t really properly fit the “mold” in comparison the bands they called their label-mates. They had their share of screams, but they weren’t as common as you’d expect had you picked the band’s music up just for the label name alone. They were far more melodic and, in some cases, somber than the others. On top of that, they had the tendency to write rather dark and overly creative concept albums (Trainwreck) where the content of the disk would meld and flow in to the next track, making each song less an individual song and more smaller piece to a bigger picture.
“Hey Thanks” is not one of their better songs. It’s passable, but not great. EP’s were not one of their strong points, as their full albums are where you would typically see this band shine in their creativity. Perhaps I’m listening from a standpoint who knows their potential and perhaps you’ll hear a much better song in this than I do.
Songs I’d recommend instead: “I Got Punched In the Nose for Sticking My Face In Other People’s Business” and “Composing”
4.) Pitchshifter – “What’s In It For Me?” from the album www.pitchshifter.com
It’s ironic this song finds its place on this list. Just moments ago, I was having a discussion with my friend, Austin, about his musical influences, and Pitchshifter found their names dropped in to that last.
Where most have Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and Ministry to thank for their love of the industrial-metal genre, my appreciation has to be given to bands like Pitchshifter, Crossbreed, Spineshank, and Godhead. “What’s In It For Me?” is not a good example of what one should expect from a typical Pitchshifter song. It has its share of loud moments, but those moments are mostly reserved for the chorus, with the exceptions of a few short spurts in the verses. www.pitchshifter.com is my personal favorite album from them, and I love ever song on this CD. Snag it up.
5.) JAY Z – “NYMP” from the album Vol. 3: Life and Times of S. Carter
*I couldn’t find a video for this song, so here’s the Trololol song, but In dubstep.
I’m not going to lie to you and say I’m the biggest fan of JAY Z on the face of the planet. I’m not even certain I’m comfortable enough to call myself a “fan.” Aside from a couple of his songs (“99 Problems, of course), his music is mostly background music to me. “NYMP” is no exception. I’ve heard many call him a genius. I just really see him as another hip hop artist. It’s an okay song, but it’s not one I’m going to immediately throw on the minute you hand me an AUX cord.
6.) Witchthroat Serpent – “Gospel of the Witches” from the album Witchthroat Serpent
Someone please call 911, because this song is so heavy, I believe I’ve broken every bone in my body.
Witchthroat Serpent is one of those bands that made me wish I liked smoking weed. I have an unabashed love for stoner metal/doom metal, and this song is only further evidence as to why. It’s slow, brooding, loud, and fucking crushing. If you like music with scary imagery based on the occult, pot, Dungeons and Dragons, or some combination of the above three things, pick up this damn album immediately. You can thank me later.
7.) The Toxic Avenger – “Speed (feat. Ylva Falk)” from the album Romance & Cigarettes
Look. I understand my name is Jeremy Riot, and that means I like to listen to a lot of really loud, fucked up shit, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good beat every-so-often. The Toxic Avenger is one of those DJ groups I turn to often for a nice little pick-me-up.
Don’t let the name fool you. “Speed” is not a speedy song. It’s laid back and slow to build, but in a very good way. Rather you’re in the mood for a soak in a hot bath or a dance session, this song has you covered.
8.) Johnny Cash – “The Last Time” from the album Rockabilly Blues
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Johnny Cash? The man wasn’t just a phenomenal musician with an influence rivaled by none, but he was a poet, a story teller, and the man could write a hell of a song. Hell, he even made U2 listenable in a song, and that’s some next-level shit for me because fuck U2. “The Last Time” is obviously not one of his more well known songs, but I have yet to hear a song Johnny Cash has written or sung that I didn’t like.
9.) Wanda Jackson – “One Teardrop At a Time” from the album Sings Country Songs
I promise I’m not going to allow this article to spin out in to some sort of country-centric review.
“The Queen of Rockabilly” (seriously? This follows a song from “Rockabilly Blues?” And it’s got the word “Time” in the title too? Weren’t Wanda Jackson and Johnny Cash rivals?) never wrote or sang a bad song either. Hell, I’ll even listen to her sing hymnals, and I hate those things.
Wait… JOHNNY CASH ALSO SANG GOOD HYMNALS.
Okay. this is creepy at this point. I’m uncomfortable.
10.) The Polecats – “Rockabilly Guy” from the album The Best Of Polecats
F U C K
11.) Frank Ocean – “Ivy” from the album Blond
Full disclosure: I reshuffled after The Polecats. The next song was actually The Peacocks, but I’m really not trying to make it look like I rock a pomp or know shit about 50’s vehicles, and there’s only so many times I can say “this is a good rockabilly song” before you get bored and I call a priest to exorcise my computer due to it throwing me all these thinly-connected songs and causing me to try and connect the dots and find the hidden messages the rockabilly ghosts are trying to tell me through my iTunes. I’m not doing it.
“Ivy” is a good song. “Blond” is a good album. This album was worth the wait.
12.) The Vandals – “Don’t Make Me Get My Fat Lazy Ass Off This Couch” from the album Hollywood Potato Chip
Back to basics. I can appreciate this.
Hollywood Potato Chip isn’t the best album the Vandals released, and this song isn’t the best song on this album, but neither are these the worst things they released either (Shingo Japanese Remix holds both those titles). I like my punk rock with a nice sense of humor while also making, what I feel to be, valid statements on society. The Vandals do it right (usually). Just don’t listen to Shingo Japanese Remix.
13.) The Misfits – “Mommy Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight? (Live)” from the album Walk Among us
I like the Misfits a lot. I even like Michael Graves era Misfits. I’m not mentioning the Jerry Only Fiasco version of the Misfits because that doesn’t exist, and anyone who attempts to tell me it does is fucking lying to me, and you’re going to Hell for being a lying liar.
What I don’t like is being asked to pay close to $300 goddamn dollars to see a Misfits reunion fronted by a Glenn Danzig who sounds like he’s about to suffocate on each song. I only see this as abusive and manipulative, especially when it’s hard enough to get these goddamn kids to pay $10 to go to a show played by a band who genuinely wants to share your time and introduce you to their awesome, original music that’s not being sold to you at $300 dollars. They asked for gas money, not for you to pay off their new collection of cars or their goddamn mansions, you crybaby pieces of shit. Stop asking for free admission. Pay the band you like SO THEY HAVE A REASON AND WAY TO CONTINUE MAKING MUSIC AND COMING TO PLAY IN FRONT OF YOU.
If you paid to see that show, you officially revoke every argument you ever had for why you shouldn’t have to pay a $10 admission at any show ever again, you hypocrite. Fuck you.
This is back when The Misfits were good and not financially taking advantage of their audience. Go listen to this instead. At least Danzig could still sing.
So, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Link me to your suggestions/yell at me/converse with me in the comments below! Thanks for reading!