Surviving The Suck Vol. 1

28 Oct

You know those moments when your day just feels off, where things are dragging by, and then a song comes on and for three-and-a-half glorious minutes things feel right and set your day off, be it ever so slightly, on a better path than it was before?….I’m in the midst of working 135hrs over two weeks and doing what I can to stay positive, this is a documentation of each song which has been an oasis.

Cheap Trick

“Hello There” – mp3

Over The Edge

The first day I ever met him he said, ‘Hi, I’m Ritchie White. I’m on probation.’

If you haven’t ever seen Over The Edge please, please, please make it happen (Full movie below).

Dazed And Confused is merely an extremely rad almost (but not quite) carbon-copy of OTE and would not have come into fruition if Linklater hadn’t experienced Kaplan’s depiction of middle-class ideals being put under a magnifying glass and exposed for the shit existence they perpetuate in this 1979  youth-in-revolt masterpiece which is one of the most influential and underrated films ever made.

Some songs just don’t feel right when detached from the visual experience often times associated with the first listen through, of the four Cheap Trick songs featured on the soundtrack “Hello There” is the only one which does not fall into that category .

Cheap Trick is one the most unrelenting bands ever to play rock music, not to mention they always kill live and genuinely seem to dig the music they create. “Hello There” embodies everything the Rockfield,Ill  dudes have come to represent.

When this song played last week  I lost myself in three minutes of positive memories; The first time my brains hit the wall from catching the movie on a sick day in elementary school, the fifteen times I’ve seen Cheap Trick in concert,  getting to see the film at the Alamo Drafthouse two months ago, all fogged up around me in a cocoon of “alright.”  (For the record I was geeking the entire time I watched OTE in the theater, which is tied for my favorite theater experience I’ve ever had with a time in high school when I saw Vertical Limit (neither influential nor underrated) with my girlfriend at the time and my best friend Tanner in an empty theater where we ended up laying in the isle with our sweatshirts as pillows… the movie was awful but the experience was gnarly).

Sometimes when you absolutely don’t want to be at work and the day, for the lack of a better word, sucks, a strong case of nostalgia brought on by an unexpected song can make life enjoyable on an unreal level and that is just what Cheap Trick did for me a few days ago.

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Cheap TrickFacebook | Website

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Ezra Furman And The Harpoons

 “I Wanna Be Ignored” – mp3

Ezra Furman

It seems I’m always on an Ezra Furman kick so it’s not exactly a rare occurrence to catch me off-key screaming along with one of his songs to help relieve some inner tension, I played this track four times in a row on Tuesday before refocusing myself on whatever menial task was weighing me down at the time.

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Ezra Furman And The Harpoons Facebook | Twitter | Big Cartel | Website

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The Vibrators

“Stitch you up” – mp3

The Vibrators

Not much needs to be said about this one… The Vibrators come on… life gets better (insert joke here).

The VibratorsFacebook | Website

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999

Rael Rean – mp3

999

I’m not the slightest bit embarrassed to admit that before the start of summer I had never heard 999 before. There’s just so much music I haven’t been exposed to that I’ve learned to accept my ignorance and just keep searching in hopes of shortening that list in whatever way I can. I’m not denying, especially in the case of 999, that there haven’t been some blatantly huge holes in my awareness, in a strange way I appreciate them more than anything else because it gives me such a sense of happiness when I finally do cross their path.

I also appreciate the fact that if it weren’t for those people who still go out of their way to share the music they love with others then there would be such a loss in my life that I can’t imagine where I would be and how I would feel without it. I search all night for bands half as good as 999, turns out I’ve been clicking through the wrong decade.

 999 Facebook | Website

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Cheap Time

“Glitter And Gold” – mp3

Cheap Time

All criticism aside these guys are Nashville’s finest modern offering of attitude and throwback angst, living up to their name one glorious track at a time.

Sure Cheap Time is a one-trick pony but it’s a good trick. “Glitter And Gold” is the pinnacle of the glorious lo-fi sound they sometimes get right.

Typically, this is my go to Friday night “let’s get this train wreck over” music for making the most of a night spent at work and daydreaming of being anywhere but.

Cheap TimeFacebook

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The Ramones 

“Judy Is A Punk” – mp3

The Ramones

To this day “Judy Is A Punk” remains my favorite Ramones song. Every time I hear this one I’m reminded of that original sentiment, the same one shared by thousands of others before me, of “shit I can do that,” only to play guitar for a few years only to happily concede that it’s easy to play like them but impossible to be them.

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The RamonesFacebook | Website

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The Cramps 

“The Way I Walk” – mp3

The Cramps

My roommate has a poster up for Badsville I see whenever I go into the kitchen, I think that may have something to do with my resurgence in interest in The Cramps and their sci-fi take on rockabilly, either that or the fact that I live in the practice space of The Gory Details who are probably the raddest reincarnation of surf-punk I’ve heard in years. Whatever the reason I’ve been laying The Cramps on thick since summer began to fade out.

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The CrampsFacebook

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Dead Man’s Bones

“My Body’s A Zombie For You” – mp3

Dead Man's Bones

The biggest downside to working as much as I have lately is the negative effect impeding my usually immersion into all things horror the closer Halloween gets.

With all the great spooky themed music out there Dead Man’s Bones is still my favorite. Probably more from the fact that I truly believe Gosling may be one of the most underrated people involved with music there is.

Check back on Halloween morning for the HCK! Halloween post which will be a bit more unique than my typically playlists. If you’re in the need of some music to set the tone a few days early you can check out last years mix whose title I took from this Dead Man’s Bones song (looking over it really clarifies the different direction my taste in music has taken this past year).

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Dead Man’s BonesFacebook | Twitter | Website

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Patti Smith 

“Break It Up” – mp3

Patti Smith

Without fail whenever Patti Smith comes on I’m reminded just how irritated I am by Mick Jagger‘s unrelenting and absolutely pretentious arrogance, always thinking he was perceived in the same way as John Lennon, maybe I’m being biased but Jagger should never be put on the same level as Lennon and yet so many people consider him worthy of being there. Sure The Rolling Stones made good music but their undeserved role as “icons” could not be reflected more than in Mick Jagger‘s statements made about Smith during his 1978 Sounds Magazine interview , “I think it’s crap! I think she’s so awful…she’s full of rubbish, she’s full of words and crap. I mean, she’s a poseur of the worst kind, intellectual bullshit, trying to be a street girl when she doesn’t seem to me to be one, I mean, everything…a useless guitar player, a bad singer, not attractive. She’s got her heart in the right place but she’s such a poseur! She’s not really together musically, she’s alright.” The dude was completely out of touch, not to mention that the Stones were signed as a cover band, a complete dick who reflects all that is wrong with the whole “rockstar” complex getting glorified still today.

Sure Patti Smith and Lou Reed had a “New York poet” complex but their music is important. It’s a shame Smith seems to fade more and more each year while The Velvet Underground continue to get credit for the thousands of bands they influenced, Smith pushed the lyric content that dominated 80’s punk and no one other than the bands themselves finds it worthy of stating.

Patti SmithFacebook

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The Smiths 

“Sweet And Tender Hooligan” – mp3

The Smiths

So I’ve seen Perks Of Being A Wallflower twice already, what can I say it’s one of my favorite books and Chbosky’s own visual translation is pretty damn great. As with the book, The Smiths are a focal band in Charlie’s experience with great music, especially “Asleep” and Louder Than Bombs.

Louder Than Bombs is my favorite Smiths album so any spark I find to make me want to listen to it is highly regarded.

The SmithsFacebook

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The Commodores

“Nightshift” – mp3

The Commodores

A heavy need for some Lionel Richie in my life has come over me these last few days. Having feelings which continue to grow stronger for someone amazing (who unfortunately lives forever away) has everything to do with this. Sure he, with and without The Commodores, had some fantastic break-up songs but they never have rang true to me,  it’s when I’m feeling positive and need something to soundtrack my good mood that draws me to the albums he’s been a part of.

Although “Nightshift” doesn’t express those relationship sentiments it is without a doubt my favorite song Lionel has been a part of.

The CommodoresFacebook

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Phineas And The Lonely Leaves

“The Bros. of Summer” – mp3

Phineas And The Lonely Leaves

When my car broke down a few weeks ago I jumped on the Metro for a late night trip through the city,  with my headphones on I took it all in with admiration that was slightly lonely yet lifting of the somber mood I’d been in before forcing myself out of the apartment. The Phineas And The Lonely Leaves song’ “Museum Of The Gone” came up on shuffle reminding me both of why I love their music as well as that it’s been a long-time (relatively speaking) since I’ve had the kind of mind set conducive for their sound.

Since then I’ve found myself returning to PATLL songs in an almost calculated fashion, “The Bros. Of Summer” is a song I’d practically skipped over before now so it still has a newish feel to me and I’m digging it as such.

Phineas And The Lonely LeavesFacebook | Website

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Songs: Ohia

“Just Be Simple” – mp3

Songs: Ohia

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that songs seem truly brilliant only when experienced under ideal conditions.

Just Be Simple” came on as I drove home at one in the morning after working a seventeen hour shift, it felt so good I almost kept on driving past my exit on 35 to replay the song and keep the weight of the lyrics bathing me in their quiet understanding, instead I elected to just park in front of my place and listen through it two more times before dragging myself inside. God I love Jason Molina.

Songs: Ohia Facebook

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Death Cab For Cutie 

“Brothers On A Hotel Bed” – mp3

death Cab For Cutie

It’s been a few years since my heart didn’t feel complete without Ben Gibbard‘s lyrics filling it. That’s not to say I’ve outgrown them or my respect has dwindled in the slightest just that there was a time in my life where I absolutely needed Death Cab For Cutie to help make sense of the sadness that always remains within me, it didn’t give it meaning or anything like that instead it was like a hand to hold or arms to rest in.

Understanding is more important than any break-through or escape could ever be, when things are low knowing you’re not alone can be the only thing you have to hold on to as motivation to keep looking forward, to believe in the orgastic light at the end of the tunnel, I know it was for me anyways. As with faith and love nothing can talk you down from something you feel, Death Cab’s songs were an example that something positive can come from all these fucked up feelings if you allow them the space to express themselves. With all the  emotions I’m constantly trying to downplay and ignore, more so now than ever, it’s not surprising that when I heard this song on Thursday it felt like someone was standing behind me whispering “you’re still not alone,” putting this song up is about the only thanks I have to offer, it’s not much but it’s something.

Death Cab For CutieFacebook | Twitter | Website

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All songs are for promotional purposes only. If you or an artist you represent would like some content removed send me a message at Heycoolkid@yahoo.com.

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