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Posts Tagged ‘Ramones’

Sin Esperanza - Frida Kahlo, 1945

Sin Esperanza (Without Hope) – Frida Kahlo, 1945

Doctor Gordon was unlocking the closet. He dragged out a table on wheels with a machine on it and rolled it behind the head of the bed. The nurse started swabbing my temples with a smelly grease.

As she leaned over to reach the side of my head nearest the wall, her fat breast muffled my face like a cloud or a pillow. A vague, medicinal stench emanated from her flesh.

“Don’t worry,” the nurse grinned down at me. “Their first time everybody’s scared to death.”

I tried to smile, but my skin had gone stiff, like parchment.

Doctor Gordon was fitting two metal plates on either side of my head. He buckled them into place with a strap that dented my forehead, and gave me a wire to bite.

I shut my eyes.

There was a brief silence, like an indrawn breath.

Then something bent down and took hold of me and shook me like the end of the world. Whee-ee-ee-ee-ee, it shrilled, through an air crackling with blue light, and with each flash a great jolt drubbed me till I thought my bones would break and the sap would fly out of me like a split plant.

I wondered what terrible thing it was that I had done.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

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Haven’t been around here much lately since I’ve been reading submissions for FLAPPERHOUSE and more submissions for Gigantic SequinsAnd when I haven’t been reading I’ve been spending too much time on MashupDJ.com. I’ve basically got an EP already. I call it Heaven Can’t Be Wrong. If I’m being completely honest I think it’s better than Girl Talk but not nearly as good as The Avalanches.

“20th Century Flava In Ya Ear, Boy” – Craig Mack Versus T. Rex (1:29)

“Don’t Freak The Reaper” – Chic Versus Blue Oyster Cult (0:50)

“Can’t Take My Pets Off Of You” – The Supremes & The Temptations Versus Porno For Pyros (1:10)

“Right Place Be Sedated” – The Ramones Versus Dr. John (0:47)

“Heaven Can’t Be Wrong” – Aceyalone & Rjd2 Versus The Spin Doctors (1:26)

“Let My Love Walk” – Pete Townshend Versus Pantera (1:08)

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The road-tripping couple in the AT&T commercial did a pretty good job choosing their playlist, except for the Interpol song.  I get that the lyrics mention the west coast, but still.  There must be 5,000,000 songs about California, and that Interpol song is like the 4,999,876th one I’d think of.  Could they not get the rights to “California Sun” or “L.A. Woman” or “California Love” or “I Love L.A.” or “Going Back To Cali” or “California Dreamin” or “California Girls” or “California Uber Alles” or “Going To California” or “California” (Joni Mitchell) or “California” (Wax) or “California” (Phantom Planet) or “Kalifornia” (Fatboy Slim)…

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(Part 1 of a Series)

Let’s say an apocalypse happens.  How it happens isn’t terribly important.  However it happens, though, I’m one of the few survivors.  Now I have like half a day to get back to my apartment and gather some of my things before I have to leave my place for good and set out into the wasteland for who knows how long.  Let’s assume I’ll be out there a very long time. 

The 30-gig iPod I’ve had for years has recently been broken beyond repair, because, oh I don’t know, it got destroyed in some apocalyptic explosion which I was lucky enough not to be in, or something like that.  However, I happen to have in my possession a brand new 8-gig iPod with nothing on it yet, ready to replace the old one.  Unlikely, perhaps, but there’s a reasonable explanation, like maybe I got the 8-gig iPod as a gift just a couple minutes before the apocalypse and haven’t had time to do anything with it yet.  Sure, that works. 

Now once I gather some essentials- food, canteen, weapons- I have some time to fill my newer, smaller iPod with music that I absolutely positively have to bring along on my sure-to-be perilous journey.  So which songs and albums do I choose to occupy those 8 precious gigs?  Or, for simplicity’s sake, let’s convert those 8 gigs into roughly 8,100 minutes (at 128 kbps). 

In other words, this has been a prolonged way of setting up a modern twist on the old “desert island albums” hypothetical.

Ramones – Ramones/ Rocket To Russia/ Road To Ruin, plus various singles

The post-apocalypse won’t give a crap about things like “influence” and “genre pioneering,” so the mere fact that The Ramones created the sound we call pop-punk has nothing to do with why I plan to upload their stuff first.  I mean they are basically the nexus of great rock n’ roll, the point which most great rock n’ roll either helped shape or was shaped by.  But more important than being the nexus is being the essence; that is, even if they never achieved all that influence, they still captured that perfect rock n’ roll sound, the sound of freedom and dancing like a spaz and sock-hops for high school outsiders, a sound I can hardly imagine the world without, and they had the tunes to back it all up.  People who say all Ramones songs sound the same are only half right.  The style of the songs is pretty much the same, but the hooks and the melodies and the lyrics are usually unique.  Which is why I can’t just stop with one Ramones album.  I need all the stuff they did during their peak, except maybe Leave Home which is pretty good but not essential.  I’d also include a selection of tracks from their post-peak period: “Do You Remember Rock N’ Roll Radio?” from the Phil Spector Production (Produced By Phil Spector) End Of The Century;  “The KKK Took My Baby Away” from Pleasant Dreams; “Little Bit O’ Soul” from Subterranean Jungle; “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down” from Animal Boy; “I Believe In Miracles” from Brain Drain (for an added dose of optimism); and “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” from Adios Amigos!

Total: 46 songs, approximately 110 minutes; 7990 minutes left

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