Friday, August 19, 2005

S, IX

Strike Anywhere- Change Is A Sound

Rockin’ punk guitar, chugga chugga breakdown, WHOAH-OH-OH-OH!
Vaguely political lyrics using the word ‘they’ a lot, WHOAH-OH-OH-OH!

AN-THEM!
You know it’s an
AN-THEM!
Gotta love an
AN-THEM!
Motherfuckin’
AN-THEM!

Pointin’ fingers at the all ages matinee, WHOAH-OH-OH-OH!
It looks like no one’s showered even though we’re on Jade Tree, WHOAH-OH-OH-OH!

FRAN-CHISE!
Sing along to
FRAN-CHISE!
Quasi-crusty
FRAN-CHISE!
Hardcore poppy
FRAN-CHISE!

(guitar breakdown/mosh part)

DAY JOB!
Used to work a
DAY JOB!
Then I quit my
DAY JOB!
I don’t wanna
DAY JOB!

FRAN-CHISE!
AN-THEM!
FRAN-CHISE!
AN-THEM!
FRANCHISE ANTHEM oooooooohYEAH!

Strong Bad- Strong Bad Sings

I decided that I was going to cave in and buy a Homestar Runner t-shirt once the Coach Z design was introduced. And if I’m doing an order, I reasoned, I might as well throw in the Strongbad Emails DVD set. And if I’m doing that, might as well do the combo and get the Strong Bad Sings CD for an extra 3 bux.

Worth every penny.

The two brothers responsible for the Homestar Runner web page and all the cartoons/songs/etc. on it are dead on 99% of the time- their humor is, well, fucking funny as hell. It’s not the kind of funniness that’s always elbowing you in the ribs to remind you how funny it is, nor is it the kind of humor that references pop culture or anything like that. It’s self-contained, builds on itself, and has backstory. None of that shit matters when you put on the CD, though. I mean, yeah, it helps if you’ve watched all of Strong Bad’s emails and all the cartoons, but even if you didn’t, the songs on the CD are hilarious. There’s a lot of genre comedy, send-ups of metal and hip hop and R & B that playfully nail the essence of the respective forms without being overly mean. Lyrics twist and break meter at unexpected moments, veer into unexpected territory. A CD that cracks me up every time- cracks up everyone on the back porch, too.

Strokes- Is This It

The argument, once again, that this record would have gone over way better if the band had been on an indie, that jealousy factors into the almost instant backlash. Which, of course, leads to the argument that the original argument has been used a million times before. It has, I know- man, there’s been so many critical volleys and ripostes that the music gets lost. I mean, when was the last time a Strokes review even mentioned any of the songs? The critical discourse about the band has been reduced down to two camps throwing rocks at each other.

I was fucking sick of hearing about the Strokes before I ever heard them. I was sick of hearing about which Stroke was at the show, I was sick of hearing about the controversial album artwork, I was sick of hearing about the New York City Cops song being pulled from their record in the aftermath of 9/11.

When I actually heard the band rather than hearing about them- “Last Night”- I was taken by them, instantly and against my will. I wanted to fucking hate ‘em so bad, such was the incessant chatter, the low-grade drone in every club and bar in the city. Couldn’t do it, though. Sure, the shit’s simple, but it’s right, you know? The whole lo-fi thing pisses people off because of the singer’s dad being a zillionaire, but you’ve gotta admit that they’re onto something with their precious unkempt twee, the simplicity that may or may not be completely contrived. “Last Night” and “Hard To Explain” are both pop gems, a hell of an infectious 1-2 punch buried near the back of the album after a half-dozen okay-to-very good tunes.

3 Comments:

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