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Posts Tagged ‘the ramones’

I was going to write yet another thing about Halloween and then offer up a download of the song Halloween by the Misfits, but they are just one of those bands that I never bothered ripping the discs of when I got the new hard drive. I don’t know what happened. I used to love them, then one day I put on Walk Among Us and realized that two minute, four-chord retelling of B-grade horror movies just didn’t do it for me anymore.

This got me to thinking about bands I loved that just faded from my playlist for one reason or another. Sometimes you just grow tired of certain music. Sometimes you outgrow it. And sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that make you delete every folder containing a certain band from your hard drive. Which is a shame. As much as I used to love Faith No More – I was obsessed with them for years – I have such a hard time listening to them now because they remind me of things I don’t want to be reminded of. Where their entire catalog used to be a source of musical pleasure for me, they now remind me of lies and anger and empty promises and every time I try to enjoy Angel Dust again, I’m left with a taste of bitterness that hangs on the entire day.

Yet there are bands I loved that went through tough times with me that I stuck with. Maybe the years have taken the edge off the memories. I can bring out the entire Husker Du catalog without thinking about that messy breakup. I can listen to Black Flag’s Damaged without experiencing the ensuing black hole of depression that used to follow it. I didn’t lose all my good music just because I associate bands and songs with emotions. Maybe I shove them on the back burner for a while, but they come back.

Then there are those bands you just had enough of. I went through my regressive emo stage and I can really live without Taking Back Sunday now. And then there are the bands you once adored and you try to listen to their music now and your reaction is “what the hell was I thinking?” Did I once really think The Doors were anything more than dime store poetry sung by a man with a grand self-perception rivaled only by Jesus? Did I really have the cover to Yes’s Fragile painted on the back of my Levi jacket?

Another band that falls into that category, like the Misfits, is the Ramones.

Yes, I said it. The Ramones. It feels almost blasphemous to write that. A New Yorker who grew up in the 70’s and was around for beginning of that band’s rise to fame is done with them? I hear a collective gasp from the die hard Ramones fans I know. I know the way they think. They’ll hear me say something like this and come after me with pitchforks and torches, crying about my lost punk roots and how my cred is completely shot. So be it. I really don’t like you “punk lived and died in the 70’s” people, anyhow. Just for good measure, I’m going to tell you that I no longer listen to the Clash, either. It’s not that I threw alway all my punk records and gave up on the genre. I just stuck with the ones that stood my test of time. I’d rather listen to the Circle Jerks or 7 Seconds or Minor Threat all day than listen to the same song, different words from the Ramones.

There are tons of bands and whole genres that came and went in my life. Lots of bands that don’t matter, bands I forgot about, albums I wish I never spent money on. Your life changes, you grow up, move on, your tastes change. I still listen to a hell of a lot of the music I loved in my misspent youth. I love me some good, old fashioned metal and I’ll never tire of Pink Floyd.

It doesn’t bother me so much that my Misfits and Ramones CDs are going to collect dust now. What bothers me is when my music is taken from me through circumstances. Sure, they are self-made circumstances. There’s a reason I won’t listen to Stabbing Westward’s Darkest Days anymore and it has nothing to do with anything but me and my tendency to be overwrought in my wallowing. I’m not going to blame anyone but myself that I can’t listen to Faith No More or Nick Cave with the enjoyment I used to. Hopefully, like with Husker Du, I’ll get that musical pleasure back some day. As for the Doors and most of the Led Zeppelin catalog and Lynyrd Skynyrd, those phases are long gone and I don’t want them back.

I was supposed to be writing a Halloween thing here. Just another example of how my mind works at 5am. I’ll do the Halloween thing later.

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300 bands, 300 songs (38-40)

I fell asleep last night watching a Time Life infomercial for a CD box set called Flower Power and I ended up dreaming about Peter Fonda and Grace Slick making out on Haight Ashbury while Eight Miles High by the Byrds played in the background. It was disturbing.

That has nothing to do with anything, but it made me start off with some classic rock today. (I’m having a hard time going back to see who made these suggestions. So thanks to those who did).

38. The Beatles – She Said, She Said
I was never a big Beatles fan. As recently as a two years ago, I had a fight with someone who said I must be a communist because I called the Beatles overrated. But, I’ve come to appreciate them in my old age. I still don’t care for the earlier stuff, and I still think McCartney was the weakest link, lyrically, but there are a lot of later songs I find myself listening to more often now. There’s a lot of rumors out there as to what this song really means, and some people want to crush my dreams by telling me it’s about drugs. But when I first listened to this on my parent’s stereo in the early 70’s, I thought it was about being in a relationship where the other person makes you feel meaningless. Where you are with someone, but alone, and nothing matters anymore. You may as well be dead because everything sucks now and it’s not going to get any better. That’s what my 12 year old mind took from it and that’s what stayed with me all these years. OH MY GOD. Look at the Wiki for this song. PETER FONDA! This means something.

39.Ramones – Beat On The Brat
1977: The first time I heard this song, I was hooked. There was something about it, something raw and exciting and…different. So different. The vocals, the chords, the energy, the sparseness of the music, the simplicity of it all. It made me want to jump around my bedroom. It made me want to play guitar. It made me want to buy a black leather jacket and cut my hair and stick a safety pin in my ear. This was my first glimpse of punk rock and it started a new phase for me, not just with music, but my whole outlook on the world and life.

40. Muse – Knights of Cydonia
For some reason, KRock has decided they will play this song at least once an hour every single day. I have to turn the station when I’m in the car because I don’t want to end up hating this tune. It’s so 70’s prog rock. Something Styx would have performed before they went all Domo Arigato on us. Reminds me of being at an arena concert back in the day, smelling like lukewarm beer and pot, holding my cigarette lighter in the air and thinking that life did not get much better than that. Plus, it’s got one of the greatest (if not cheesiest) videos ever made.

That’s all I have time for this morning. It’s Monday and the brain isn’t in gear yet. I’ll be back tonight with a whole bunch more.

See here for explanation of this and previous songs.
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