So, looks like I’m finally writing about They Might Be Giants this week. It’ll be fun for a few reasons: first of all, a bunch of people have asked me to do it, so I’m happy to oblige. Second, it means I get to listen to a bunch of old They Might Be Giants records, and it’s impossible to deny that listening to old They Might Be Giants records is a good time. Third, They Might Be Giants fans ought to be able to take a joke, so hopefully they’ll enjoy this and won’t send me too many e-mails calling me a faggot bastard.
I’ve had a bit of a drought of music to listen to lately. It happens every few months: I’ll be absolutely convinced that there’s nothing new under the sun and I’ve heard everything and I’m all out of new stuff to hear. I know that’s nonsense, though. In a week I’ll stumble across ten bands I’ve never heard of and have ten new favorite songs and be convinced that rock and roll is endlessly fertile and that there are infinite spectacular songs out there waiting to be heard. I don’t want to be a “music blogger” and tell everyone what I’m listening to lately and make snappy comments about the state of music, but people still ask all the goddamn time what I really listen to. A lot of times, people ask that because I hurt their feelings about their favorite band and they assume I’m as serious about my favorite bands as they are about theirs, so they say “ah, if I figure out what he likes and then say it sucks, CHECKMATE!” Of course, those people are morons. Other times, people think I know a whole lot about music and think I’m in on some big secret as to what REAL music is and I’ll share my impeccable taste and change their lives. Those people are also morons, but I appreciate them. Most of the time, people are just curious, because I seem to bash everything.
Well, I have taste just like everyone else. I like some critically-acclaimed stuff and some really trashy stuff. I make fun of bands I love almost as much as I make fun of bands I hate. Some people tell me that I should never divulge what I actually listen to because it would ruin the I-hate-everything “mystique” that I’ve created. I’m not really sure what to think of that, because I’m not too shy about admitting the fact that I’m just playing a character on this site and that I don’t actually hate everything. At the same time, I have to admit that it’s sort of fun confusing people all the time about what I like and what I hate; it makes it possible to rile people up by pretending to like silly stuff (like my “best singles of the year” article in which I said that Usher and Lil Jon wrote the best songs of 2004, or that article where I pretended to like Avril Lavigne).
Deep down, I just don’t really believe that people care what I listen to. And if they do care, I don’t really believe that they should care. I’m just a dude on the internet with the same sort of random, weird, occasionally shitty taste that anyone else has. Pick some music geek from your forum of choice and pretend I listen to all that stuff, it doesn’t make a difference.
But in case you have some sort of wacky insatiable curiosity to know what I’m listening to lately, I guess I’ll oblige. I recently found a copy of The Chameleons’ Tony Fletcher Walks on Water EP, which was extremely hard to find for a long time but was issued as a bonus disc to their “best of” collection. It was worth the twenty bucks to buy the greatest hits thing even though I had all the songs on the first disc, because copies of the EP generally go for around $130. The Chameleons were a post-punk band from the UK who apparently sound very generic, because no less than three of my friends have commented that they sound like all the other shit I listen to. Even though they don’t sound much like anything else in particular that I listen to, I think that there’s some truth to it, in that if you sort of smashed together and averaged out everything else I listen to, you’d get something close to the Chameleons. The Tony Fletcher Walked on Water EP came out a year or so after their finest album, Strange Times. I’d consider that album and EP a forgotten classic of modern rock, but then again what do I know, they apparently sound like everything else. I’ve also been listening to Fire of Love and The Las Vegas Story by The Gun Club lately, and those certainly don’t sound generic. I always enjoy a singer who sounds like he’s insane, unless it’s heavy metal, because heavy metal fucking sucks 100% of the time, and you can quote me on that. Unless it’s Def Leppard! LET’S GET ROCKED! Okay, now I might be pulling your leg.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Cons: causes bad nightmares. I used to have to eat beef until I passed out to have these kind of terrors, but this machine does it for me every time I fall asleep inside it.
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